• 2018 Bobby G Awards: Photo gallery and video playlist

    by John Moore | Jun 15, 2018
    The Bobby G Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school musical theatre. The sixth annual awards took place on May 24 at the Buell Theatre. Read our complete report from the evening, including a list of winners an nominees. Below, please enjoy our photo and video coverage of the event to date (more to come.)

    Video: Our look back at the 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Here is our look back at all the fun including the red carpet, performances, interviews, winning speeches and more. Video by Gregory Towle, David Lenk and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. To see a shorter, 60-second re-cap of the evening, click here

    Complete photo gallery:

    2018 Bobby G Awards

    Full photo gallery from the sixth annual Bobby G Awards, which celebrate achievement in Colorado high-school theatre. To see more, click on the photo above. All photos may be downloaded and redistributed with permission from the DCPA with proper photo credit. Photos by Emily Lozow and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Video: Opening number from Dear Evan Hansen

    Two students from each of the 43 participating schools joined together to perform the stirring anthem “You Will Be Found” from six-time 2017 Tony Award® and 2018 Grammy®-Winning Best Musical Dear Evan Hansen, which will be launching its first North American tour at the Denver Center in September.

    Video: 2018 Nominated Actors Medley

    The 10 nominated Outstanding Actors and Actresses are invited to the Denver Center two weeks before the awards to prepare a medley together in community and friendship, which they then perform at the ceremony on the Buell Theatre stage. The annual ritual is created anew each year by 2017 True West Award winner Claudia Carson.

    Still to come: Video highlights from performances by each of the five nominated Outstanding Productions. Also: Elisha Horne and Abby Lehrer performm at the DCPA's 15th Annual Randy Weeks Golf Tournament, which raises scholarship funds for the Bobby G Awards.

    Selected recent coverage of the Bobby G Awards:

    Our series of featured Outstanding Chorus nominees

    Meet our nominated Outstanding lead actors and actresses:

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Video: Student playwrights take audiences to brave new worlds

    by John Moore | Jun 14, 2018

    Video by John Moore and David Lenk for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Four public performances of the student-written play Technical Difficulties will be staged this Friday, June 15

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Denver Center Education launched its annual, year-long Regional High School Playwriting Workshop and Competition five years ago to celebrate the voices of teen writers in Colorado. In that time, hundreds of students have found their authentic voices, Executive Director of Education Allison Watrous says. But now, more than ever, they are discovering the courage it can take to use them.

    “We were so inspired by how brave all of the plays were this year in asking questions about family and the world,” Watrous said. “These teenagers are really facing those questions head-on through their creative writing.”

    Student playwriting Juliana Luce and Trinell SamuelStarting last fall, DCPA Education faculty taught 140 playwriting workshops in 57 Colorado high schools. A record 3,002 students participated in those workshops, which were held in every school district in the Denver-metro area and in 20 counties around the state. The 153 subsequent submissions were judged blindly by DCPA artistic and education professionals.

    Ten 10 semifinalists were named, who covered a substantive range of important topics including sexual abuse, gender identity, suicide, homelessness, child abuse, race relations and addiction.  From that field, three plays were chosen to be presented in February by professional actors at the 2018 Colorado New Play Summit. That included a week of workshops, rewrites, rehearsals and mentoring from nationally acclaimed playwrights. The following three finalists also received a $250 scholarship:

    • Emmaleth Ryan, Grandview High School: In The Warrior, a young woman who is fighting her demons decides to end the battle by committing suicide. However, her course is interrupted by another young woman who reminds her of the resilience of the human spirit. “I learned more about how to grapple with life by writing a character who has fought her demons and won,” Ryan said. MEET EMMALETH
    • Julianna Luce and Trinell Samuel, Vista PEAK Preparatory: Technical Difficulties is a comedy about a group of theatre students who encounter every techie's worst nightmare: Their show has been seized by vengeful understudies. Will these backstage heroes save their show? the self-described high-school techies: “When the lights, sound or even just the ambience we help create draws ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the audience, it is mystical for us,” Samuel said. “It feeds the hunger of our inner artist.” MEET JULIANNA AND TRINELL
    • Noah Jackson, Girls Athletic Leadership School: Wine Colored Lip Gloss is about a non-binary teenager named Lucca who is dealing with gender-identity issues and unaccepting parents. “I learned how to take advice on social situations from my own characters, which actually helped me through a lot of problems I've faced,” Jackson said. MEET NOAH

    Every summer, one of the finalist scripts is chosen to be staged as a full production by DCPA Education’s teen academy. On Friday, these student actors will present four public performances of Technical Difficulties, staged by two separate casts, at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the Conservatory Theatre.

    Student playwriting Emmaleth RyanRyan says issues of mental illness and suicide have been at the forefront of her mind since middle school, and the Denver Center’s playwriting challenge gave her a constructive tool to explore and channel them.

    “I offer two different perspectives on the issue of suicide,” she said. “One character is mired in it, and the other is trying to help her out of it. She is what I call my ‘savior figure.’ She represents my perspective that while it may seem permanent, it's really a temporary state of mind, no matter how final it might seem.”

    There is some level of self-victimization that goes into mental illness and suicide that isn't often talked about openly, Ryan said, “because it is either completely glorified or completely vilified. I wanted to bring that out in the dialogue between my two main characters.”

    Jackson’s play made history when it became the first story to address topic of gender identity in the nearly 40-year history of the Denver Center.

    Student Playwriting Noah JacksonRose-Colored Lip Gloss is a play based on Jackson’s own experiences. “As a boy in a dress, I am obviously gender-queer in some way," said Jackson, who self-identifies using he/him pronouns while his main character uses they/them. "Lucca is very confused about their gender identity,” Jackson said. “They don't understand what the spectrum is at first, because they don't know who they are yet. My play is about Lucca trying to figure out who they are while dealing with family members who are unaccepting and have serious problems of their own. It's just very personal to me, and very close to my heart."

    These extraordinary writers, Watrous said, “are exploring the fullest potential of the art form through their use of poetry and nuanced dialogue. And we are honored to nurture and empower these emerging voices and put them out into the world, whether as part of the next generation of American theatre playwrights, or as a lawyer or a communications director. The important lesson here is that their voices are powerful.”

    Technical Difficulties, by contrast, is very much a comedy, co-written by two friends who met as backstage technicians for the Vista PEAK High School theatre program. Samuel is the sound-board operator and Luce is a stage manager and lighting designer who last month won the Bobby G Award for Outstanding Lighting for her school's production on Into the Woods.

    (Story continues after the photo below.)

    Noah Jackson Juliana Luce

    Playwriting finalists Noah Jackson (middle of photo on left) and Julianna Luce have returned to the Denver Center since having their plays presented in February: Jackson participated in the Denver Public Schools Shakespeare Festival in April; Luce won the 2018 Bobby G Award for Outstanding Lighting in May. Photos by John Moore and Emily Lozow for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    In her acceptance speech, Luce said the award was especially meaningful to her "because of all the amazing work the DCPA does to encourage the work of young people, including the playwriting program."

    She and Samuel chose to co-write Technical Difficulties as a team, which Samuel said made for a complementary fit.

    “I am the bones, and she is the flesh,” said Samuel. “I'll write out a scenario and Juliana will add flavor to the characters and make the dialogue sound more natural.”

    Look back: 2018 Colorado New Play Summit got real

    Seeing their plays presented as professional readings at the Colorado New Play Summit, which draws important theatre industry guests from across the country, was indescribable for Jackson.

    “I had someone come up to me in tears saying my play touched her so much, and I am just over the moon about that,” he said. “It makes me so excited that people are actually feeling the words that I worked so hard on.”

    A Summit Noah Jackson Quote FullJackson took his writing challenge very seriously, especially given the paucity of plays that talk about transgender people and their struggles. But he wanted much more than to write an educational, afterschool-special type of play that “taught” audiences about non-binary people.

    “I wanted it to also have an actual story with characters who had depth, and I think I finally developed it enough to get there.” Jackson said. “I want people to that there are people who struggle with gender identity, and this is an important subject that needs to show up in the media more. But I also wanted it to be a good play.”

    Ryan expected to cry like a baby when her play was first performed — “but luckily my mom did all of that for me,” she said. But she admits being nervous about turning her deeply personal words — much of it her own previously private poetry — into the hands of strangers.

    “But as soon as I walked into that room and the first rehearsal started, I was reassured because the actors they picked for my show were amazing,” she said. “I honesty could not have picked a better group of people myself.” She said watching it acted out in front of an audience gave her new perspective — and pride — in what she had written.

    (Story continues after the photo gallery below.)

    Photo gallery:  Denver Center student playwriting:

    2018 Student Playwriting

    Photos from rehearsals and performance of selected student playwriting scripts. To see more, click on the image above to be taken to our full Flickr photo gallery. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Each year, the featured student playwrights are paired with a professional mentor attending the Colorado New Play Summit. Luce and Samuel were counseled by American Mariachi author José Cruz González; Ryan met with Tony Meneses; and Jackson teamed up with Aleshea Harris.

    “It was really cool to talk to Tony because he is a seasoned playwright who knows what he is doing in this field,” Ryan said. “It was really validating to hear that what I was trying to express on paper came through for him on the stage.”

    Jackson, who does not yet have a vast personal library of gender-fluid writers to study, said Harris wrote down the names of several non-binary playwrights for him to explore. “She was super-cool and helpful and gave me information that I am sure is going to be inspiring and useful to me in the future,” Jackson said.  

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    It is incidental but worth noting that at this time of pronounced gender disparity in the American theatre, the DCPA's statewide high-school playwriting competition has, by a blind judging draw, now produced 70 percent female finalists in its first five years (39 of 56).

    Also of note: Each teacher of the three finalists received a $250 gift certificate for books, supplies or other teaching tools for their classrooms.

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

    Student playwriting. Photo by John Moore.

    The featured playwrights at the 2018 Colorado New Play Summit. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Public performances of Technical Difficulties

    • Written by Julianna Luce and Trinell Samuel
    • Directed by Justin Wolvoord
    • Friday, June 15
    • Performances at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
    • Conservatory Theatre, located in the DCPA's Newman Center for Theatre Education at 1101 13th Street (at Arapahoe St.)
    • Free
    • No advance RSVP required. Just come.
    • Information on next year's program: denvercenter.org/education

    Cast lists:
    10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.:                       

    • Alice Zelenko: Maureen        
    • Isabella Rossi: Tracy            
    • Jeremiah Garcia: Seymour        
    • Nikki Trippler: Elphie            
    • Benji Dienstfrey: Collins            
    • Jori O’Grady: LeFou           
    • Breck Dahlgren: Belle            
    • Gracie Dahlgren: Beast            
    • Angela Howell: Props Master
    • Mati Rogers: Gaston
    • Sarah Scott: Wolf
    • Zoe Fonck: Wolf

    1:30 and 8 p.m.:

    • Zoe Fonck: Maureen
    • Mati Rogers: Tracy
    • Benji Dienstfrey: Seymour
    • Sarah Scott: Elphie
    • Jeremiah Garcia: Collins
    • Angela Howell: LeFou
    • Gracie Dahlgren: Belle
    • Breck Dahlgren: Beast
    • Jori O’Grady: Props Master
    • Isabella Rossi: Gaston
    • Nikki Trippler: Wolf
    • Alice Zelenko: Wolf

    Our profiles of all 2018 Scenester semifinalists:

    2018 Regional High-School Playwriting Workshop and Competition Sponsors:
    Robert and Judi Newman/Newman Family Foundation with matching gifts from The Ross Foundation, June Travis and Transamerica.
  • 2018 Bobby G Awards: DSA reaches the heights with 'In the Heights'

    by John Moore | May 24, 2018
    2018 Bobby G Awards

    Full photo gallery from the sixth annual Bobby G Awards, which celebrate achievement in Colorado high-school theatre. To see more, click on the photo above. All photos may be downloaded and redistributed with permission from the DCPA with proper photo credit. Photos by Emily Lozow and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Awards celebrating achievements in Colorado high-school musical theatre are spread over a record 13 schools

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Students from high schools all over the state of Colorado found themselves at the Buell Theatre on Thursday night for the Denver Center’s sixth annual Bobby G Awards — and now, Bobby G Awards are going to be found at high schools all around Colorado. In all, a record 13 schools won at least one award, spreading the love from Greeley to Parker to all sorts of towns named Springs: Glenwood Springs, Steamboat Springs and Colorado Springs.

    Bobby G Awards Abby 300And speaking of being found, the sixth annual party celebrating achievements in Colorado high-school musical theatre began like no other when two students from all 43 participating schools joined together to perform the stirring anthem “You Will Be Found” from six-time 2017 Tony Award® and 2018 Grammy®-Winning Best Musical Dear Evan Hansen, which will be launching its first North American tour at the Denver Center in September.

    Denver School of the Arts and Castle View High School in Castle Rock led all schools with three awards each. DSA earned its first-ever Outstanding Musical Award, for In the Heights. DSA is comprehensive secondary arts magnet school for grades 6-12 in the Denver Public Schools district. Much like college, DSA students graduate with majors in intensive arts programs ranging from Theatre to Stagecraft to Creative Writing. In the Heights was directed by the team of Brandon Becker and Mara Osterburg, who also won the Bobby G Award for Outstanding Direction.

    Bobby G Awards Elisha Horne 800Becker said In the Heights was a rare opportunity for DSA to wholly embrace multicultural casting, and he encouraged other directors in the room to do the same. "Please continue to cast color-blind, because everyone deserves a chance to shine on the stage," Becker said in accepting his award.

    In six years of the Bobby Gs, there has yet to be a school to win Outstanding Musical twice.

    The Bobby G Awards are a culmination of a year-long program administered by the Denver Center that emphasizes camaraderie and shared experiences — but there is also much at stake. The students named Outstanding Actor and Actress go on to represent Colorado at The Jimmy® Awards/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards™ (NHSMTA) on June 25 at the Minskoff Theatre in New York City.

    (Story continues after the photo below.)

    IN THE HEIGHTS Bobby G Awards. Photo by John MooreThe cast of Denver School of the Arts' 'In the Heights,' which was named Outstanding Musical at the Bobby G Awards. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Elisha Horne of Vista PEAK Preparatory in Aurora (pictured above) was named Outstanding Actor for his performance as The Baker in Into the Woods. Abby Lehrer (pictured above), who wonthe Bobby G Award two years ago for Rising Star (outstanding underclassman), on Thursday was named Outstanding Actress for her work as Eponine in Castle View’s Les Misérables.  Horne and Lehrer will participate in a 10-day series of intensive classes and workshops with Broadway actors, directors and designers leading up to the national awards ceremony, which is presented by The Broadway League Foundation, and will be hosted this year by Broadway and TV star Laura Benanti.

    Bobby G Awards Outstanding Musicals: Through the years

    • 2013: Chaparral High School, Les Misérables
    • 2014: Cherry Creek High School, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    • 2015: Durango High School, Les Misérables
    • 2016: Mountain View High School, Anything Goes
    • 2017: Valor Christian, Pippin
    • 2018: Denver School of the Arts, In the Heights

    Bobbuy G Awards In the Heights Nominees for the Bobby G Awards are determined by scoring from a team of professional adjudicators. Unlike other awards categories, the Outstanding Actor and Actress winners are determined by two equally scored criteria: First, the students are judged for their actual performances in their respective school musicals. The five students with the highest scores then go before a professional panel for a private, scored audition.

    (Pictured: Crowd celebration after Denver School of the Arts' 'In the Heights' was named Outstanding Musical. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    An unusual twist Thursday: Vista PEAK senior Julianna Luce, who in February was celebrated at the Denver Center’s 2018 Colorado New Play Summit as one of the winners of DCPA Education’s statewide student playwriting contest, won a Bobby G Award for Outstanding Lighting. Which could not have been more perfect, given her winning play, Technical Difficulties, is a backstage comedy about a high-school theatre production that is saved from vengeful understudies by members of the tech crew. The play will be publicly staged by DCPA Education’s summer academy students next month.

    In her acceptance speech. Luce said the award was especially meaningful to her given the DCPA's commitment to encouraging creativity in young people in many ways. "As Willy Wonka said, 'We are the dreamers of the dreams,' " she said. More on Julianna Luce

    Video above: Students from all 43 participating schools join together to perform "You Will Be Found” from Dear Evan Hansen to open the ceremony. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Students and educators were honored in the areas of performance, design, direction, choreography, technical production and overall production excellence. All participating schools received one personal master class session with a DCPA Education theatre teacher. Winners of the Outstanding Supporting Actor, Actress and Rising Star awards also earn a full year of free classes at the Denver Center. "Theatre is alive in Colorado," said Education Director Allison Watrous. “The DCPA is proud to be a part of your journey.”

    The Bobby G Awards were founded in 2013 by the late DCPA President Randy Weeks. They are named after late producer Robert Garner, who established Denver as a top destination for touring Broadway shows.

    In the six years of the Bobby G Awards nearly 24,000 students have participated in the program. More than 2,000 students have been involved in free workshops delivered by DCPA Education Teaching Artists. Since the Randy Weeks Memorial Fund was begun in 2015, four schools have received funding to help support their productions.


     

    While the Bobby G Awards culminate each year with an awards ceremony modeled after the Tony Awards, the year-long focus of the program is to both celebrate and educate. The participating schools receive detailed feedback on their musical productions from the adjudicators.

    Bobby G Awards Salingers The 10 nominated Outstanding Actors and Actresses are invited to the Denver Center two weeks before the awards to prepare a medley together in community and friendship, which they then perform at the ceremony on the Buell Theatre stage. The annual ritual is created anew each year by 2017 True West Award winner Claudia Carson.

    Each of the five nominated Outstanding Productions performed a musical number during the ceremony, each drawing thunderous appreciation from an enthusiastic Buell Theatre crowd estimated at more than 2,000.

    (Pictured: Previous Outstanding Actor winners — and brothers — Curtis and Evatt Salinger continue a Bobby G Awards red-carpet tradition. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

    The Master of ceremonies was again Greg Moody, longtime known as Colorado's Critic-At-Large for CBS-4. Acknowledging the ongoing tragedy of school shootings at American schools, Moody said, "The people who have been stepping up and making their voices heard and making their feelings known have been theatre students." 

    Liberty High School's Kyle Husted, who was named Outstanding Supporting Actor for his performance as Jean-Michel in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, summed up the evening succinctly in his acceptance speech when he said, "I love theatre. I hope you do, too."

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

    THE 2018 BOBBY G AWARDS:

    Hair and Makeup 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Achievement in Hair and Make-up Design

    Rhiatta Gleghorn, Brynn Ledermann, Kacey Lowe and Olivia VanHattam
    James and the Giant Peach
     
    Resurrection Christian School

    Other nominees:

    • Jana Datteri, Jacelyn Hays and Bryana Martinez, The Little Mermaid, Greeley West High School
    • Lauren Lewis and Ailani Paramo, Into the Woods, Legend High School
    • Amanda Moore & Katie Taylor, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Liberty High School,
    • Arianna Mahan-Higgins, Little Women, Montezuma-Cortez High School


    Costumes 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design

    Kim Christensen and Katie Gorsline
    The Little Mermaid
    Greeley West High School

    Other nominees:
    • Jane Archuleta and Carson Charles, Once on This Island, Brighton High School
    • Katelynn Brusco & Julie Snow, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Chaparral High School
    • Nikky Haabestad, Big Fish, Fossil Ridge High School
    • Ana Alonzo, Nicole Lucier & Joan Stewart, Into the Woods, Legend High School


    Lighting 2018 Bobby G Awards


    Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design

    Julianna Luce
    Into the Woods

    Vista PEAK Preparatory

    Other nominees:
    • Jane Archuleta and Julia Snyder, Once on This Island, Brighton High School
    • Riley Dixon, Bye Bye Birdie, Cherry Creek High School
    • Drew Meier and Thomas Woolner, Big Fish, Fossil Ridge High School
    • Justin Fiscus, Kawak Miranda, Andrew Stott and Alexander Tucker, Crazy for You, Glenwood Springs High School


    Scenic 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Design
    Brogan Croom, Rylee Carlson and Rob Scott
    Les Misérables
    Castle View High School

    Other nominees:

    • Steven Davis and Danny de Paz, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Chaparral High School
    • Alyea Caldwell, Iz Nyghe and Megan Tunnell, Bye Bye Birdie, Cherry Creek High School
    • Jackie Carreras, Jon Ducat, Amanda Penke, Thomas Ray and Red Schweitzer, Into the Woods, Legend High School
    • Josh Belk and Emily Hartlaub, Little Women, Palmer Ridge High School


    Choreography 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Achievement in Choreography
    Sophie Carnoali and Cadie Harrison
    Crazy for You

    Glenwood Springs High School

    Other nominees:

    • Heather Westenskow, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Chaparral High School
    • Brandon Becker and Mara Osterburg, In the Heights, Denver School of the Arts
    • Andrew Cassel and Karen Cassel, Bring it On: The Musical, Fairview High School
    • Tammy Johnson and Rachel Miller, Crazy for You, Mountain View High School


    Musical Direction 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Achievement in Musical Direction
    Jay McGuffin, Heath Walter and Rochelle Walter
    Les Misérables

    Castle View High School

    Other nominees:

    • Alan Davis, Once on This Island, Brighton High School
    • Gretta Hambrook, Dave Hammond, Ray Hootman and Robert Styron, In the Heights, Denver School of the Arts
    • Travis Keller, Zachary Strand and Janice Vlachos, Bring it On: The Musical, Fairview High School
    • Randal Hoepker and John Richard, Into the Woods, Vista PEAK Preparatory


    Chorus 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Performance by a Chorus
    Once Upon a Mattress

    ThunderRidge High School

    Other nominees:

    • Once on This Island, Brighton High School
    • Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Chaparral High School
    • Bring it On: The Musical, Fairview High School
    • Fiddler on the Roof, Regis Jesuit High School


    Orchestra 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Performance by an Orchestra

    Once on This Island

    Brighton High School

    Other nominees:

    • Side Show, Boulder High School
    • Annie, George Washington High School
    • Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Loveland High School
    • Into the Woods, Vista PEAK Preparatory


    Supporting Actress 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

    Vanesa Gomez
    Abuela Claudia
    In the Heights
    Denver School of the Arts

    Other nominees:

    • Gabi Meyer, Bridget, Bring it On: The Musical, Fairview High School
    • Megan Bean, Jenny Hill, Big Fish, Fossil Ridge High School
    • Rachel Miller, Tess, Crazy for You, Mountain View High School
    • Frankie Spiller, Aunt Eller, Oklahoma!, Palisade High School


    Supporting Actor 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
    Kyle Husted
    Jean-Michel
    Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Liberty High School

    Other nominees:

    • Ryker Chavez, Papa Ge, Once on This Island, Brighton High School
    • Ethan Leland, La Cienega, Bring it on: The Musical, Fairview High School
    • Eli Pettit, Bella Zangler, Crazy for You, Glenwood Springs High School
    • Matthew Sewell, Benny Southstreet, Guys and Dolls, Wheat Ridge High School


    Rising Star 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Other nominees:

    • Spencer Gordon, Drake, Annie, George Washington High School
    • Johnathan Webster, Wyatt, Crazy for You, Glenwood Springs High School
    • Abe Soto, Ticket Agent, Honeymoon in Vegas, Lakewood High School
    • DJ Bashford, Rudolph Reisenweber, Hello, Dolly!, Ralston Valley High School

    Lead Actress 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
    Abby Lehrer
    Eponine
    Les Misérables

    Castle View High School

    • Coco Justino, Camila Rosario, In the Heights, Denver School of the Arts
    • Daelyn Nace, Lady of the Lake, Spamalot, Fort Collins High School
    • Isabella McArdle, Ella, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Liberty High School
    • Dominique Smith-Lopez, Baker’s Wife, Into the Woods, Vista PEAK Preparatory


    Lead Actor 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
    Elisha Horne
    Baker
    Into the Woods

    Vista PEAK Preparatory

    Other nominees:

    • Anton Karabushin, Frederic, The Pirates of Penzance, Eaglecrest High School
    • Travis Turner, Edward Bloom, Big Fish, Fossil Ridge High School
    • Will Warner, Tommy Korman, Honeymoon in Vegas, Lakewood High School
    • Jeremiah Garcia, Emmett Forrest, Legally Blonde, Pomona High School


    Direction 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Achievement in Direction
    Brandon Becker and Aleksandra Kay
    In The Heights

    Denver School of the Arts

    Other nominees:

    • Jane Archuleta, Gabby Doyle and Ayaka Hayashi, Once on This Island, Brighton High School
    • Michelle Leisy and Bennie Palko, Into the Woods, Legend High School
    • Katie Marshall, Crazy for You, Mountain View High School
    • Jesse Collett and Taylor Hulett, Legally Blonde, Pomona High School


    Overall Production

    Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical
    In The Heights
    Denver School of the Arts

    Other nominees:

    • Once on This Island, Brighton High School
    • Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Liberty High School
    • Crazy for You, Mountain View High School
    • Into the Woods, Vista PEAK Preparatory


    Valor Christian High School's production of 'Pippin.'




    More video and photos from Thursday's awards ceremony will be posted next week.

    2018 SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT WINNERS:
    • Special Achievement in Prop Management: Cody Charlton, Scott Kull and Rachel Ross; The Pirates of Penzance, Eaglecrest High School
    • Special Achievement in Sound Design: Jocelyn Baker and Kate Holeman; Into the Woods, Legend High School
    • Special Achievement in Projections: Addison Sandvik, Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Steamboat Springs High School
    Selected recent coverage of the Bobby G Awards:

    Video: A look back at the 2017 Bobby G Awards


    Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk. Interviews by Senior Arts Journalist John Moore. More video and photos to come.

    Our series of featured Outstanding Chorus nominees

    Meet our nominated Outstanding lead actors and actresses:

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Participating schools (with 2018 nominations in parentheses):
    • Arvada West High School
    • Boulder High School (1)
    • Brighton High School (8)
    • Broomfield High School
    • Castle View High School (3)
    • Chaparral High School (4)
    • Cherry Creek High School (2)
    • Doherty High School
    • Denver School of the Arts (6)
    • Durango High School
    • Eaglecrest High School (2)
    • Erie High School
    • Fairview High School (5)
    • Fort Collins High School (1)
    • Fossil Ridge High School (4)
    • George Washington High School (2)
    • Glenwood Springs High School (4)
    • Greeley West High School (2)
    • Heritage High School
    • Lakewood High School (2)
    • Legend High School (5)
    • Lewis-Palmer High School
    • Liberty High School (4)
    • Loveland High School (1)
    • Lutheran High School
    • Monarch High School
    • Montezuma-Cortez High School (1)
    • Mountain View High School (5)
    • North High School and STRIVE Prep Excel High School
    • Palisade High School (1)
    • Palmer Ridge High School (1)
    • Pomona High School
    • Ponderosa High School (2)
    • Poudre High School
    • Ralston Valley High School (1)
    • Regis Jesuit High School (1)
    • Resurrection Christian School (1)
    • Steamboat Springs High School (1)
    • ThunderRidge High School (1)
    • Valor Christian High School
    • Vista PEAK Preparatory (6)
    • Wheat Ridge High School (1)
  • Photos: The buildup to tonight's Bobby G Awards

    by John Moore | May 24, 2018
    2018 Bobby G Awards

    Full photo gallery from Wednesday's rehearsal for the 2018 Bobby G Awards at the Buell Theatre. To see more, click on the image above to be taken to our full gallery of downloadable photos. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. All photos may be directly downloaded for free at our Flickr site and redistributed with permission with Denver Center photo credit.

    The awards are tonight, but we already have taken dozens of fun photos from the buildup to tonight’s main event

    Hey, look: The 2018 Bobby G Awards aren’t even until tonight, but we already have taken dozens of fun photos from the two-week buildup to tonight’s main event, including cast photos of all five schools nominated for Outstanding Musical, and all 10 actors nominated for Outstanding Actor or Actress. The awards celebrate outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school musical theatre. Join us at 7 p.m. tonight at the Buell Theatre! Reserve your seat here

    Selected recent coverage of the Bobby G Awards:

    Our series of featured Outstanding Chorus nominees

    Meet our nominated Outstanding lead actors and actresses:

     Cinderella Bobby G Awards Crazy for You

    The cast of Mountain View High School's 'Crazy for You' rehearsing Thursday night at the Buell Theatre for tonight's Bobby G Awards. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.
  • Meet 2018 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress nominee Daelyn Nace

    by John Moore | May 17, 2018
    Daelyn Nace Bobby G Awards

    The Bobby G Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school musical theatre. The sixth annual awards take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at the Buell Theatre. (Reserve your seat here)

    Today we continue our rollout of the five students who are finalists for Outstanding Lead Actress. The winner will advance to represent Colorado at The Jimmy® Awards/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards™ (NHSMTA).

    Daelyn Nace QuoteDAELYN NACE

    The Lady of the Lake in Spamalot
    Fort Collins High School
    Class of 2019

    • Twitter bio: Just a weird girl in a big world who tries not to freak out every time she sees a dog. Has a Husky named Sokka who with bad eyes so he sports dog goggles. Loves love camping and swimming and hanging out with absolutely insane friends. Movie and theatre nerd.
    • College plans: Not sure yet since I have an entire year until that scary stuff starts, but I’ve always dreamed of going to New York University for music theatre, or heading to California for film production and acting.
    • What's your handle? @daelynnace on Instagram
    • First role: I played Penelope Anne in Bye Bye Birdie at Midtown Arts Center. I was probably 8 years old and way too excited and awkward.
    • Why do you perform? Because being on stage surrounded by friends and being cheered on by an audience is an adrenaline high unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It’s almost like flying. I also found a family in the people I perform with that create bonds I couldn’t ever have imagined. But more than anything, performing  is something I can do to be creative. Stepping into another story and becoming another person who can do amazing things and act however they want is surreal and inexplicably freeing. I get to dress up and act like someone I’m not — and I don’t get called crazy. What’s better than that?
    • G.I.s and Saigon Bar Girls Keegan Flaugh Carousel Midtown Arts CenterOne time you saw greatness play out in front of you: My dad, Keegan Flaugh, is an amazing performer and inspiration, One of the most surreal experiences I have ever had was when I went to see him play John in a 2004 production of Miss Saigon at the Carousel Dinner Theatre in Fort Collins, which is now the Midtown Arts Center. (Pictured top left.) When he walked out on the stage and sang the song "Bui Doi," about the children of Vietnam, I sat there so captivated by his voice and the story he was conveying that I didn’t even notice I had started crying. I don’t mean just a few tears. I was full-on ugly crying, almost to the point of shaking. It was like a sucker-punch to the gut. I had never been so moved before and as cheeseball as it sounds, it really did change my life.
    • Ideal scene partner: Ever since I saw the late Heath Ledger play The Joker in The Dark Knightand his absolutely phenomenal performance, I dreamed of even just meeting the guy, let alone actually doing a scene with him. I was heartbroken when I found out about his passing, but I’ll always remember the amazing things he did.

    • What's playing on your Spotify right now? I’ve recently become way too obsessed with the band AJR. They’re a little weird and a little racy but the music is a really cool style. But honestly, you can almost always find me listening to the original Dear Evan Hansen soundtrack.
    • Favorite moment from your show: I remember our last performance so vividly because of a hilarious little prank one of our best cast members pulled. There is a song in Spamalot where a boy named Herbert is helping the knight Lancelot come out as gay. All of the male cast members were in this number and one of them, during our last show, decided to bring an obscene amount of glitter on stage with him —  hidden in his shorts. The number ends very dramatically with all of the men striking very “vibrant” poses, and as the music struck its final chord, this guy yanked an entire handful of glitter out of his pants and threw it into the air before ripping his shirt open. I was backstage with all the other girls at the time and I tried so hard not to laugh that I choked on my own spit. I swear, I almost died.
    • How does it feel to be nominated? Absolutely surreal. It’s a dream come true. I can’t believe that it’s happening still. It hasn’t entirely sunk in, and on the night of the awards, I’m going to spontaneously freak out and scare all my friends and family.

    Reserve your seat for the May 24 Bobby G Awards

    • What has this experience taught you about the value of arts education and extracurricular activities at your school? It has made me realize how much of a family it’s become to me. Theatre is a place where we can all escape from real life and do things we’re so passionate about for a while. We all lean on each other and laugh together and are just always there for each other. Arts education is so important. I think the arts need to be appreciated more by schools.

    Our featured nominated actors and actresses to date:

    Selected recent coverage of the Bobby G Awards:

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Meet 2018 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor nominee Jeremiah Garcia

    by John Moore | May 17, 2018
    Jeremiah Garcia Bobby G Awards

    The Bobby G Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school musical theatre. The sixth annual awards take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at the Buell Theatre. (Reserve your seat here)

    Today we continue our rollout of the five students who are finalists for Outstanding Lead Actor. The winner will advance to represent Colorado at The Jimmy® Awards/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards™ (NHSMTA).

    JEREMIAH GARCIA

    Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde
    Pomona High School
    Class of 2018

    • Twitter bio: Sagittarius and a tenor. Loves reality TV and long walks on the beach. Pretty loud but infectious laugh and a Vine obsession. Takes things one bag of hot Cheetos at a time. Have Fun, Be Young and Drink Pepsi.
    • College plans: I will be studying Musical Theatre in New York at Marymount Manhattan College in the fall
    • What's your handle? @liljaymiah on Instagram and Twitter
    • First role: I played The Cheese in our Kindergarten musical, It’s The Cheese If You Please
    • Why do you perform? To recognize peoples’ stories and struggles through my interpretation. Performing allows me to capture someone else’s story given my own experience in life. Overall, I enjoy exploring the many fascinating fathoms humanity has to offer.
    • One time you saw greatness play out in front of you: It was 2013, in middle school, I had the opportunity to see the matinee of Pomona’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. I was absolutely blown away and couldn’t wait to be on that stage myself. I went home that night and memorized all the music to the show so I could go back for the evening performance and sing along. It was a turning point for me that I will never forget.
    • Ideal scene partner: I am constantly in awe of Eva Noblezada, who played Kim in the 2017 Broadway revival of Miss Saigon. I’d love to share the stage with a powerhouse like her. I might just have the tiniest crush. No biggie.

    • What's playing on your Spotify right now? Childish Gambino, of course. I’d also recommend Post Malone’s new album if you’re feeling a little down. But you can never go wrong with the classics: Whitney Houston, Prince, Celine Dion, Diana Ross.
    • Favorite moment from your show: Without a doubt, it was the dog auditions. It was heaven. I may be allergic but that didn’t stop any of the belly rubs. And boy, did I give lots of belly rubs.
    • How does it feel to be nominated? It is so humbling. I’ve stalked the nominees on social media since freshman year and dreamed of what this moment might be like. It’s been a dream come true to stand in the shoes of the talented young people before me. When I told my mom about it, we cried.

    Reserve your seat for the May 24 Bobby G Awards

    • What has this experience taught you about the value of arts education and extracurricular activities at your school? The experience of an arts education in a child’s life is irreplaceable. I’ve been blessed with a surplus of accessibility to arts education in my school and community, and that has helped me to be successful both academically and artistically. Arts education gave me the academic balance I needed and brought so much color to my world. I couldn’t be more grateful to the many exceptional theatre educators I’ve had the pleasure to work with in these short 18 years. We have to continue to fight for these opportunities to be provided to every student moving forward. Our future depends on it.

    Jeremiah Garcia Bobby G Awards


    Our featured nominated actors and actresses to date:

    Selected recent coverage of the Bobby G Awards:

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Breaking: 2017-18 Bobby G Awards finalists are announced

    by John Moore | May 01, 2018
    Video recap: Kinship and camaraderie at the 2017 Bobby G Awards:

    Video highlights from the 2016-17 Bobby G Awards ceremony. Video by John Moore and David Lenk for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Brighton High School leads way with eight nominations;    all 43 Colorado high schools will perform opening together

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Finalists for the sixth annual Bobby G Awards were announced today by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The Bobby G's are the Colorado regional-awards program for the larger The Jimmy® Awards/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards™ (NHSMTA).

    Bobby G Awards. Austin Hand.The Bobby G Awards honor outstanding achievements by students and educators in the areas of performance, design, direction, choreography, orchestration, technical production and overall production excellence. The evening is an opportunity for students from all over Colorado to commune and mutually support one another’s work.

    The awards ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 24 in the Buell Theatre. The program will include performances from the shows nominated for Outstanding Overall Production, and a medley featuring the nominees for Outstanding Performance by an Actor or Actress in a Leading Role.

    This year, adjudicators considered 42 musical productions, and topping today's list of nominees is Brighton High School with eight nominations for its staging of Once on This Island. The Weld County high school was nominated for Outstanding Musical for the first time. 

    2018 Bobby G Awards Brighton Once on This IslandJoining Brighton in that category are Denver School of the Arts' In The Heights, Colorado Springs Liberty High School's Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Mountain View High School of Loveland's Crazy for You and Vista PEAK Preparatory (Arapahoe County)'s Into the Woods. 

    In all, 29 schools received at least one nomination. Vista PEAK and Denver School of the Arts received six each; and Mountain View, Boulder Fairview and Legend High School in Parker had five.

    With today's announcement, tickets are now on sale for the 2017-18 Bobby G Awards ceremony. Tickets are $10. Click here to purchase tickets.

    New this year: The Bobby G Awards ceremony will feature “You Will Be Found” from the six-time 2017 Tony Award® and 2018 Grammy®-Winning Best Musical Dear Evan Hansen launching the North American Tour in Denver this September, as the opening number performed by representatives from all 43 participating schools (with 2018 nominations in parentheses) :

    • Arvada West High School
    • Boulder High School (1)
    • Brighton High School (8)
    • Broomfield High School
    • Castle View High School (3)
    • 2018 Bobby G Awards In the Heights Denver School of the Arts MarcusKwanChaparral High School (4)
    • Cherry Creek High School (2)
    • Doherty High School
    • Denver School of the Arts (6)
    • Durango High School
    • Eaglecrest High School (2)
    • Erie High School
    • Fairview High School (5)
    • Fort Collins High School (1)
    • Fossil Ridge High School (4)
    • George Washington High School (2)
    • Glenwood Springs High School (4)
    • Greeley West High School (2)
    • Heritage High School
    • Lakewood High School (2)
    • Legend High School (5)
    • Lewis-Palmer High School
    • Liberty High School (4)
    • Loveland High School (1)
    • Lutheran High School
    • Monarch High School
    • Montezuma-Cortez High School (1)
    • Mountain View High School (5)
    • North High School and STRIVE Prep Excel High School
    • Palisade High School (1)
    • Palmer Ridge High School (1)
    • Pomona High School
    • Ponderosa High School (2)
    • Poudre High School
    • Ralston Valley High School (1)
    • Regis Jesuit High School (1)
    • Resurrection Christian School (1)
    • Steamboat Springs High School (1)
    • ThunderRidge High School (1)
    • Valor Christian High School
    • Vista PEAK Preparatory (6)
    • Wheat Ridge High School (1)
    The winners of Colorado's Outstanding Actor and Actress awards not only will be invited to attend the NHSMTA in June at the Minskoff Theatre in New York, but to participate in a week-long series of intensive classes and workshops with Broadway actors, directors and designers. The national awards ceremony, which is presented by The Broadway League Foundation, will be hosted by Laura Benanti on June 25.


    (Pictured above right: Mountain Vista's Anything Goes wins Outstanding Musical at the 2016 Bobby G. Awards. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

    Reserve your seat for the May 24 Bobby G Awards

    (Story continues after the following list of nominations.)

    2017-18 Bobby G Awards Finalists:

    Outstanding Achievement in Hair and Make-Up Design

    Jana Datteri, Jacelyn Hays and Bryana Martinez
    The Little Mermaid
    Greeley West High School

    Lauren Lewis and Ailani Paramo
    Into the Woods
    Legend High School

    Amanda Moore and Katie Taylor
    Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Liberty High School

    Arianna Mahan-Higgins
    Little Women
    Montezuma-Cortez High School

    Rhiatta Gleghorn, Brynn Ledermann, Kacey Lowe and Olivia VanHattam
    James and the Giant Peach
    Resurrection Christian School

    Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design
    Jane Archuleta and Carson Charles
    Once on This Island
    Brighton High School

    2018 Bobby G Awards Vista PEAK Preparatory. Into the Woods Photo by Heather AndersenKatelynn Brusco and Julie Snow
    Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Chaparral High School

    Nikky Haabestad
    Big Fish
    Fossil Ridge High School

    Kim Christensen and Katie Gorsline
    The Little Mermaid
    Greeley West High School

    Ana Alonzo, Nicole Lucier and Joan Stewart
    Into the Woods
    Legend High School

    Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design

    Jane Archuleta and Julia Snyder
    Once on This Island
    Brighton High School

    Drew Meier and Thomas Woolner
    Big Fish
    Fossil Ridge High School

    Justin Fiscus, Kawak Miranda, Andrew Stott and Alexander Tucker
    Crazy for You
    Glenwood Springs High School

    Riley Dixon
    Bye Bye Birdie
    Cherry Creek High School

    Julianna Luce
    Into the Woods
    Vista PEAK Preparatory

    Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Design

    Alyea Caldwell, Iz Nyghe and Megan Tunnell
    Bye Bye Birdie
    Cherry Creek High School

    Brogan Croom, Rylee Carlson and Rob Scott
    Les Misérables
    Castle View High School

    Steven Davis and Danny de Paz
    Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Chaparral High School

    Jackie Carreras, Jon Ducat, Amanda Penke, Thomas Ray and Red Schweitzer
    Into the Woods
    Legend High School

    Josh Belk and Emily Hartlaub
    Little Women
    Palmer Ridge High School

    Outstanding Performance by an Orchestra
    Side Show
    Boulder High School

    Once on This Island
    Brighton High School

    Annie
    George Washington High School

    Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
    Loveland High School

    Into the Woods
    Vista PEAK Preparatory

    Outstanding Achievement in Musical Direction

    Alan Davis
    Once on This Island
    Brighton High School

    2018 Bobby G Awards LIBERTY CINDERELLAJay McGuffin, Heath Walter and Rochelle Walter
    Les Misérables
    Castle View High School

    Gretta Hambrook, Dave Hammond, Ray Hootman and Robert Styron
    In the Heights
    Denver School of the Arts

    Travis Keller, Zachary Strand and Janice Vlachos
    Bring it On: The Musical
    Fairview High School

    Randal Hoepker and John Richard
    Into the Woods
    Vista PEAK Preparatory

    Outstanding Performance by a Chorus

    Once on This Island
    Brighton High School

    Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Chaparral High School

    Bring it On: The Musical
    Fairview High School

    Fiddler on the Roof
    Regis Jesuit High School

    Once Upon a Mattress
    Thunder Ridge High School

    Outstanding Achievement in Choreography

    Heather Westenskow
    Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Chaparral High School

    Brandon Becker and Mara Osterburg
    In the Heights
    Denver School of the Arts

    Karen Cassel and Andrew Cassel
    Bring it on: The Musical
    Fairview High School

    Sophie Carnoali and Cadie Harrison
    Crazy for You
    Glenwood Springs High School

    Tammy Johnson and Rachel Miller
    Crazy for You
    Mountain View High School

    Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

    Ryker Chavez
    Papa Ge
    Once on This Island
    Brighton High School

    Ethan Leland
    La Cienega
    Bring it on: The Musical
    Fairview High School

    Eli Pettit
    Bella Zangler
    Crazy for You
    Glenwood Springs High School

    Kyle Husted
    Jean-Michel
    Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Liberty High School

    Matthew Sewell
    Benny Southstreet
    Guys and Dolls
    Wheat Ridge High School

    Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
    Vanesa Gomez
    Abuela Claudia
    In the Heights
    Denver School of the Arts

    Gabi Meyer
    Bridget
    Bring it On: The Musical
    Fairview High School

    Megan Bean
    Jenny Hill
    Big Fish
    Fossil Ridge High School

    Rachel Miller
    Tess
    Crazy for You
    Mountain View High School

    Frankie Spiller
    Aunt Eller
    Oklahoma!
    Palisade High School

    Rising Star (Outstanding Underclassman)

    Spencer Gordon
    Drake
    Annie
    George Washington High School

    Johnathan Webster
    Wyatt
    Crazy for You
    Glenwood Springs High School

    2018 Bobby G Awards Crazy For You Mountain View High SchoolAbe Soto
    Ticket Agent
    Honeymoon in Vegas
    Lakewood High School

    Mackenzie Mackin
    Patsy
    Crazy for You
    Mountain View High School

    DJ Bashford
    Rudolph Reisenweber
    Hello, Dolly!
    Ralston Valley High School

    Outstanding Achievement in Direction
    Jane Archuleta, Gabby Doyle and Ayaka Hayashi
    Once on This Island
    Brighton High School

    Brandon Becker and Aleksandra Kay
    In The Heights
    Denver School of the Arts

    Michelle Leisy and Bennie Palko
    Into the Woods
    Legend High School

    Katie Marshall
    Crazy for You
    Mountain View High School

    Jesse Collett and Taylor Hulett
    Legally Blonde
    Pomona High School

    Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

    Coco Justino
    Camila Rosario
    In the Heights
    Denver School of the Arts

    Abby Lehrer
    Eponine
    Les Misérables
    Castle View High School

    Daelyn Nace
    Lady of the Lake
    Spamalot
    Fort Collins High School

    Dominique Smith-Lopez
    Baker’s Wife
    Into the Woods
    Vista PEAK Preparatory

    Isabella McArdle
    Ella
    Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Liberty High School

    Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

    Anton Karabushin
    Frederic
    The Pirates of Penzance
    Eaglecrest High School

    Travis Turner
    Edward Bloom
    Big Fish
    Fossil Ridge High School

    Will Warner
    Tommy Korman
    Honeymoon in Vegas
    Lakewood High School

    Jeremiah Garcia
    Emmett Forrest
    Legally Blonde
    Pomona High School

    Elisha Horne
    Baker
    Into the Woods
    Vista PEAK Preparatory

    Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical

    Once on This Island
    Brighton High School

    In The Heights
    Denver School of the Arts

    Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Liberty High School

    Crazy for You
    Mountain View High School

    Into the Woods
    Vista PEAK Preparatory

    2018 Outstanding Special Achievement Award Winners:


    In addition to the nominations, this year’s three Special Achievement winners also were announced today: 

    Outstanding Special Achievement in Prop Management
    Cody Charlton, Scott Kull and Rachel Ross
    The Pirates of Penzance
    Eaglecrest High School

    Outstanding Special Achievement in Sound Design
    Jocelyn Baker and Kate Holeman
    Into the Woods
    Legend High School

    Outstanding Special Achievement in Projections
    Addison Sandvik
    Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
    Steamboat Springs High School

    Nominees of note

    Today’s announcement produced several nominees of note, including Julianna Luce in lighting design for Vista PEAK Preparatory's Into the Woods. In February, Luce was named one of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts' finalists for its fifth annual Regional High School Playwriting Workshop and Competition. Luce and co-write Trinell Samuel wrote a comedy called Technical Difficulties, about a high-school theatre production that has been seized by vengeful understudies. The play is a salute to theatre techies, and was chosen to be fully presented this summer by DCPA education summer academy students. Which makes it all the more triumphant that she is now nominated for a Bobby G Award in a technical category.

    Reserve your seat for the May 24 Bobby G Awards celebration!

    Abby Lehrer, who was nominated two years ago as a Rising Star (outstanding underclassman) was nominated this year as a leading actress for her work as Eponine
    in Castle View High School's Les Misérables.

    Will Warner, nominated last year as a supporting actor, is nominated this year as a leading actor for his portrayal of Tommy Korman in Honeymoon in Vegas for Lakewood High School.

    Last year’s Bobby G Awards winner for Outstanding Actor was Austin Hand of Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins. Elleon Dobias of Valor Christian High School, twice previously nominated as a 2015 Rising Star and again the next year as a supporting actress, won the biggest award of all her third time around, for playing Catherine in Pippin.

    This year's first-time schools include Greeley West; Palisade; Broomfield; Eaglecrest in Aurora, and Doherty and Liberty in Colorado Springs.

    Photo gallery: All of our best photos from the 2016-17 Bobby G Awards

    2017 Bobby G Awards

    A look back at the 2017 Bobby G Awards in photos. To see more, click the 'forward' arrow on the image above. This year's ceremony will be May 24 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.


    Adjudicators made up of professional working theatre artists attended the participating high schools’ musical theatre productions. Using the standards set by The Bobby G Awards training and criteria, as well as their own professional experience, these adjudicators complete extensive evaluation forms offering detailed feedback on all of the various elements involved with staging a musical production. Participating schools receive a copy of the forms complete with each adjudicator’s comments, praise, and constructive criticism designed to motivate growth and recognize success. These evaluations serve as a foundation for the nominations.


    Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of the Bobby G Awards:
    2017 Bobby G Awards: Persistence pays off at Valor Christian
    Video: The 2017 Bobby Awards welcoming montage
    Videos: Complete coverage of the 2017 Bobby G Awards
    2016-17 Bobby G Award finalists are announced
    Mamma Mia's Cashelle Butler returns to Cherry Creek High School
    Authentic voices: 2017 student playwriting winners announced
    North High School gets real with In the Heights
    Video: Colorado's Bobby G Awards reps win scholarships in New York 
    Bobby G Award winners' Road to the Jimmy Awards
    Video, story: Kinship and camaraderie at 2016 Bobby G Awards
    Video: 2016 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds
    Video: Outstanding Musical nominee performances
    Photos: 2016 Bobby G Awards (Download for free)
    Mountain View scales Bobby G Awards' 2016 peak
    Meet your 2015 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor Finalists
    Meet your 2016 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress Finalists
    2015-16 Bobby G Award nominations: The complete list


  • Shakespeare keeps on truckin' in high-school parking lots

    by John Moore | Apr 25, 2018

    Video above by David Lenk and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Education program paves 400 years of distance between The Bard and issues of relevance to contemporary teens

    By John Moore

    Senior Arts Journalist

    William Shakespeare’s most popular play centers around a magic potion that makes you fall madly in love with the first person — or, say, donkey — you come across. A Midsummer Night’s Dream audiences have never taken the actual implications of that comic premise too terribly seriously. After all, by end of the beloved forest romp, all of the characters pretty much end up with their true loves.

    But when you think about it from today’s perspective … that’s kind of messed up. A magic potion that robs you of your free will? That manufactures intense and unnatural romantic desire? That very idea is, at the very least, ethically specious.

    SITPL Kevin Quinn Marchman. Photo by John Moore. Eric Minton, founder of a Bard fan site called Shakespeareances, once theorized that Midsummer remains Shakespeare’s most produced play because it is probably also his most accessible play. "It appeals to people who aren’t familiar with Shakespeare,” Minton said. “You are going to get the comedy even if you’re not proficient at speaking in verse.”

    That’s exactly what makes A Midsummer Night’s Dream the perfect vehicle for DCPA Education’s wildly successful “Shakespeare in the Parking Lot" program, which for four years has presented abridged versions of Midsummer at Romeo and Juliet at high schools throughout the state, followed by creative and compelling classroom workshops that bridge Shakespeare’s themes from 400 years ago with contemporary issues that are relevant to today’s teenagers.

    “Often we just look at Midsummer as magic and fairies and fun,” said actor and DCPA Teaching Artist Kevin Quinn Marchman. “But we wanted to apply that concept to a real-world situation that involves real stakes, and then have a conversation about it.” And at a time when full-on genetic manipulation is becoming closer and closer to a reality, the power to control emotional responses in humans seems like fairly real stakes.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    So a day after presenting a 45-minute version of Midsummer in the parking lot at Strive Prep Excel School in north Denver last week, Marchman and his five fellow DCPA Teaching Artists rejoined the students in their classrooms and presented them this what-if:

    SITPL Kevin Quinn Marchman. Chloe McLeod. Photo by John Moore. What if you were a mother of a teenage girl who isn’t recovering from her first crushed heart? A year has gone by, and she’s only getting worse. She’s withdrawing, and her grades are falling. She’s descending into drugs and alcohol, and starting to display signs of suicidal tendencies. Now imagine being told that doctors are conducting trials on a new drug they believe can selectively zap your daughter’s entire memory of the relationship. If she can’t remember the breakup, the theory goes, then there is no more pain to feel, which means she might be able to resume a normal life. But scientists are unsure of the long-term consequences. It’s your call … would you let your daughter take that pill?

    “Is it ethical to use medicine to change our life experiences and our memories?” Marchman asked the students. “And if that is the case, what effect might that have on destiny?”

    That sparked a spirited debate among the Strive students. After all, there is something undeniably appealing about the opportunity to surgically excise emotional pain from our lives — without the surgery. But most of the Strive students gravitated toward the belief that this drug would be taking science too far. “Mistakes are necessary for growth,” said one student. “Breakups are hard,” added another, “but kids have to learn how to handle painful experiences in their adolescence now, because that prepares us for the far greater difficulties to come in the future.” And another said: “You can’t erase pain. Our pain is what makes us who we are.”

    Then the Teaching Artists connected the dots: This not-so-far-out medical scenario actually poses some of the same underlying questions Shakespeare asks in A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

    • “What is love?”
    • “What causes us to fall in (and out of) love?”
    • “How does love relate to the world of law and reason?”

    The goal of “Shakespeare in the Parking Lot,” conceived and directed by DCPA Director of Education Allison Watrous, is to make Shakespeare more accessible and less intimidating to students who are decreasingly exposed to the man generally considered to be the greatest playwright in the history of the English language.

    (Story continues after the photo gallery below.)

    Photo gallery: 2018 Shakespeare in the Parking Lot

    2018 Shakespeare in the Parking Lot
    Photos from recent performances of 'Shakespeare in the Parking' lot at the central branch of the Denver Public Library and Strive Prep Excel school in north Denver. To see more, click on the image above to be taken to our full gallery. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    “Reading the play is just one thing,” Watrous said. “But we know that Shakespeare really comes alive when it is spoken. It is meant to be performed.”

    Presenting shortened, live versions of Midsummer and Romeo and Juliet with a young and multi-ethnic cast helps connect those dots. So does performing the story in and around and on top of a beat-up old pickup truck that actor John Hauser likens to “a theatrical jungle gym.” If students are welcomed into the storytelling despite their unfamiliarity with Shakespeare’s language, "then the longer they will stay with the story,” Watrous said.

    SITPL. Strive Prep. Photo by John Moore. “My students were talking about the play all the way back from the parking lot,” Strive Prep teacher Allison Body. “I think it was very engaging for them to see the play in a quick and fast-paced way. And then to be able to talk more about the themes the next day was really great. It’s not the same as just reading an annotated version of Romeo and Juliet in class.”

    At a recent outing to Fort Morgan High School, located 80 miles northeast of Denver, the Denver Center ensemble performed for 400 students throughout a single day. "This outreach program is just amazing," Fort Morgan drama teacher Morgan Larsen told the Fort Morgan Times. "A lot of our students never have a chance to see live theatre, let alone Shakespeare. So this outreach that Denver Center does is just a great opportunity."

    Watrous’ cast, comprised of Marchman, Hauser, Kristina Fountaine, Chloe McLeod, Joelle Montoya, Jenna Moll Reyes and Justin Walvoord, are both experienced stage actors and educators trained in drawing sometimes reticent students out of their shells. They get them up and moving, and make sure everyone has a chance to be heard.

    "These actors are stellar on the stage and stellar in the classroom — and that is a hard, beautiful combination to find," Watrous said. 

    SITPL Kevin Quinn Marchman. Photo by John Moore. And it can be quite an endurance test. The creative team, including Technical Director Stuart Barr and sound operator Erik Thurston, are often on the road by 5 a.m. and sometimes perform their plays as many four times a day, both in cold rain and on steamy-hot asphalt.

    This spring, “Shakespeare in the Parking Lot” will visit 52 Colorado schools and public parks — including upcoming free, public performances of both Romeo and Juliet and Midsummer at 1 and 3 p.m. this Saturday (April 28) at 1610 Little Raven Street across from Commons Park in lower downtown Denver.

    In four years, “Shakespeare in the Parking Lot” has now served about 45,000 Colorado students, including 20,000 this school year alone. By the time the current tour ends on May 11, the ensemble will have performed 132 shows (sometimes four on a day) at 52 schools in eight Colorado counties. They will have delivered 66 workshops and engaged more than 20,000 students.

    The No-Fear Factor
    Strive Prep is a public college-prep charter school whose enrollment is 97 percent persons of color, and where 49 percent of students are learning English as a second language.

    SITPL Chloe McLeod and John Hauser. Photo by John MooreBut two of Body’s advanced A.P. literature students said they were neither bored nor afraid of Shakespeare when they heard the Denver Center crew was coming to their school. “We already read Othello and Hamlet in class, and last year we went to see Macbeth at the Denver Center, which I loved,” said Strive Excel student Cesar Robledo. “So I already think of myself as a pretty big fan of Shakespeare.”

    In the DCPA Theatre Company’s controversial and nontraditional take on Macbeth, the story was told in the future by warlocks and set against a backdrop of driving techno music and dance breaks.


    “I always enjoy seeing new interpretations of Shakespeare,” Strive student Connor Ellertson said of seeing both Macbeth in a future glam world — and Midsummer on a pickup truck.

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S. by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

    “Shakespeare in the Parking Lot”: Upcoming public performances

    Friday, April 27

    • Denver Public Schools Shakespeare Festival
    • 1 p.m.: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
    • Just outside of the Bonfils Theatre Complex at the Denver Performing Arts Complex

    Saturday, April 28

    • 1 p.m.: Romeo and Juliet
    • 3 p.m.: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
    • At 1610 Little Raven St., just north of 15th Street and across from Commons Park in lower downtown Denver
    • More information: Call 303-446-4892, email education@dcpa.org or go to denvercenter.org/education

    The cast of DCPA Teaching Artists includes Kristina Fountaine, John Hauser, Kevin Quinn Marchman, Chloe McLeod, Joelle Montoya, Jenna Moll Reyes and Justin Walvoord

    Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of “Shakespeare in the Parking Lot”

    SITPL 2018 cast. Strive Prep. Photo by John MooreThe 2018 Shakespeare in the Parking Lot ensemble at Strive Prep, from left: Joelle Montoya, Justin Walvoord, Chloe McLeod, John Hauser, Kristina Fountaine and Kevin Quinn Marchman. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Shakespeare in the Parking Lot is supported by a multi-year grant from Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
  • Video: Disney's 'Aladdin' cast get students to Get Up and Go

    by John Moore | Apr 23, 2018


    Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk and Senior Arts Journalist John Moore.

    Hometown Aladdin cast member (and friends) visit mom's school and get Edgewater students' blood pumping

    Disney’s Aladdin North American touring production has a community program called “Get Up and Go” that promotes fun ways kids can lead healthier lifestyles through dance, inspired by the show’s choreography and music.

    Aladdin cast members Celina Nightengale, Karlee Ferreira, Michael Graceffa and Michael Everett visited Edgewater Elementary School on May 11 to get the kids’ blood pumping as they learned a signature combination from the show as a way of encouraging kids to embrace physical fitness and good nutrition.

    "With the Get Up and Go Program, we get to show kids that you don't have to hate exercise, and you can have fun dancing and be healthy at the same time," Ferreira said.  

    The class’ teacher at Edgewater Elementary School is Kathy Nightengale — Celina’s mother. "Exercise gives the gives the kids an outlet away from the classroom, and it helps to develop their minds in different ways," Kathy Nightengale said.

    Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ continues in Denver through April 28. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

     

    Disney's Aladdin: Complete 'Get Up and Go' photo gallery

    Disney's 'Aladdin' in Denver Photos from Disney's 'Aladdin' tour stop in Denver, including images from the cast's visit to Edgewater Elementary School. To see more, click on the image above to be taken to our full gallery. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.  


    Disney's Aladdin: Ticket information
    Disney’s AladdinFrom the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless story of Aladdin, a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. It’s an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite.
    • National touring production
    • Performances through April 28
    • Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Disney's Aladdin:
    Disney names a new Aladdin for Denver: Our interview with Clinton Greenspan
    Aladdin's Celina Nightengale is doing her happy dance in Denver

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    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Kate Poling on the need to choose fight over flight

    by John Moore | Apr 21, 2018
    Kate Poling 800

    Featured actor in two new one-act plays by local playwright calls for more original work that is neither safe nor easy

    MEET KATE POLING
    SmokeKatie Poling, a DCPA Education Teaching Artist, plays Daisy in The Way Station and Stel in South Star, two original one-act plays by Denver playwright Rebecca Gorman O’Neill now being premiered by And Toto Too, the only Denver theatre company to focus entirely on producing new plays by women playwrights. Poling has performed for the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, Arvada Center, Miners Alley Playhouse and Bitsy Stage. Favorite roles include Viola in Twelfth Night (Foothills Theatre Company), Guildenstern in R and G are Dead (NYU) and Nurse in Romeo and Juliet (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts). She also teaches children's theatre at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center. (Pictured above: James O'Hagan-Murphy and Kate Poling in And Toto Too's 2015 production of 'Smoke.' Photo by Meghan Ralph, Soular Radiant Photography.)

    • Hometown: Highlands Ranch
    • Home now: Denver
    • Training: BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts          
    • What's your handle? @katepoling on Instagram
    • Twitter-sized bio: Colorado native. Old soul who loves tea, books, Shakespeare and dragons. A teacher and a student of the world.
    • What would you be doing if you were not an actor? I would probably be in politics. I double-majored in political science at NYU, and I love the drama, the stakes and the potential to make the world better that is inherent in any political system. To me, it’s just a different form of theatre.
    • One role you were completely miscast for: Rebecca Nurse in The Crucible at age 16. While very fun, I definitely need to age a few years before tackling that again.
    • Bucket-list role: Iago in Othello. And with all the gender-bending in Shakespeare these days, it could happen someday!
    • What's playing on your Spotify? The Anastasia Broadway soundtrack
    • What's one thing we don't know about you? I am super into Greek mythology, and I know a lot about it.
    • lily-rabe seminar. photo by jeremy danielOne time you saw greatness play out in front of you: I saw the play Seminar, by Theresa Rebeck, during its Broadway run, and it was a life-changing experience. The script was incredible, the characters were nuanced and the ensemble worked together effortlessly. Lily Rabe’s performance, in particular, blew me away. When an actor can make you love them, pity them, hate them, and want to be them all in a 90-minute period, you know you’re experiencing great writing and wonderful acting. Seminar also appealed to me because it beautifully expressed the idea that art and creation aren’t always easy, and they aren’t always comfortable, but they are necessary — and they are important.
    • One thing we should be doing to foster the next generation of theatregoers? We need to be offering rush tickets, discount tickets and other incentives to bring in younger theatregoers. Some places in Denver are really good about this, but it’s a simple way to bring in younger audiences, who might decide to spend their $10 on a play instead of a movie, or a beer.
    • What are The Way Station and South Star all about? The Way Station is the story of three strangers from different places and times, each pulled out of their travels and dropped off at a mysterious way station. It's about what happens when you run from your problems instead of facing them, and how people get stuck (literally, in this case) when they choose flight over fight. The South Star is set seven years in the future, during the second American Civil War. It's also about running, but this time it’s about spies, intrigue and war, as it takes place during a coming second American civil war.
    • Why do these plays matter? Everyone has things they’d rather run from than face, and I think The Way Station really highlights that flight never truly works out, and we should face things rather than try to bury them. As for South Star, we’re stuck right now in a political environment that is very black and white, and I think South Star really highlights that fact that there are grey areas between what is “right” and what is “wrong.” Even more than that, it brings war and rhetoric to its smallest level of the people and the lives that are affected by it.
    • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing these plays? I hope they leave thinking about the plays and wake up the next morning still thinking about what they meant.
    • What do you want to get off your chest? I think it is so important to keep supporting and producing work that isn’t safe and easy. There have been great strides in Denver over the past couple of years, but we can do more. Pick the play that challenges. If you’re producing a classic, make sure it says something new. I think theatre wages a constant battle to stay relevant, and the best way we can do this is by continuing in this direction. That’s why I love working with And Toto Too. They only produce work by women, and only new work that hasn’t been done in Colorado. I think Denver needs more of that. More new work, more work not written and directed by straight white males, and more work that challenges audiences.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    The Way Station
    and South Star: Ticket information

    • Presented by And Toto too Theatre Company
    • Written by Rebecca Gorman O’Neill
    • Directed by Susan Lyles
    • Performances through May 5
    • At The Commons on Champa at 1245 Champa Street, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Call 720-583-3975 or go to andtototoo.org
    • April 27 will be an ASL interpreted performance
    Cast list:
    • Austin Lazek, Kate Poling and Seth Palmer Harris
    Note: The Way Station and The South Star is sponsored by The Next Stage NOW, an initiative of the city's department of Arts and Venues with a mission to enliven, diversify and sustain the Denver Performing Arts Complex through public performances, programming and place-making.

    More 2017-18 'In the Spotlife' profiles:

    • Meet Erica Brown of Emancipation Theatre's Honorable Disorder
    • Meet John Ahlin of DCPA Theatre Company's Native Gardens
    • Meet Elizabeth Bernhardt of Phamaly's Romeo and Juliet
    • Meet Sheryl McCallum of Aurora Fox's Passing Strange
    • Meet Brynn Tucker of Off-Center's This is Modern Art
    • Meet Gustavo Márquez of DCPA Theatre Company's Native Gardens
    • Meet Gia Valverde of DCPA Theatre Company's Native Gardens
    • Meet Jake Mendes of Off-Center's This is Modern Art
    • Meet Ilasiea L. Gray of Denver Children's Theatre's Sleeping Beauty
    • Meet Meet Jordan Baker of DCPA Theatre Company's Native Gardens
    • Meet Candy Brown of Lone Tree Arts Center's Love Letters
    • Meet Christy Brandt of Creede Rep's Arsenic and Old Lace
    • Meet Deb Persoff of Vintage Theatre's August: Osage County
    • Meet Monica Joyce Thompson of Inspire Creative’s South Pacific
    • Meet Hugo Jon Sayles of I Don't Speak English Only
    • Meet Marialuisa Burgos of I Don't Speak English Only

  • For one day in Denver, 'Hamilton' makes students the stars

    by John Moore | Mar 23, 2018


    The video above offers a full recap of 'EduHam' day in Denver, complete with interviews and performance excerpts. Separate videos of each individual performance below. Videos by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk and Senior Arts Journalist John Moore.

    Education program allows underserved students to rise up and have their voices be heard before thousands of peers 

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Wednesday was no ordinary day at the Buell Theatre.

    The decibel was higher, the shrieks were louder, the ages were younger and the faces were distinctly more varied in color. 

    EduHam Mathenee TrecoThis was “EduHam,” the innovative educational program developed by the Broadway musical phenomenon Hamilton. On Wednesday, 2,700 students and teachers from 38 Denver-area high schools participated in morning activities followed by a matinee performance of the sold-out, Tony Award-winning musical. 

    You knew this performance would be different before it even began when the students in the mezzanine started a wave. You knew it during the show as they finger-snapped in affirmation of lines that connected with them and roared at the end of songs as if this were a rock concert. Which, in many ways, it was. You knew it as the show was ending when one voice pierced the silence with a scream of “Oh my God!” as, onstage, one of history’s most infamous bullets was piercing Alexander Hamilton’s heart.   

    The students were not only watching a piece of history. They were part of it. Because there has simply never been another pop-culture phenomenon quite like Hamilton. And, to shamelessly quote the show's anthem: They were in the room where it happened.

    “There are moments that the words don’t reach … “ 

    Hamilton, winner of 11 Tony Awards, is the story of Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary.  With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, it features a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and Broadway.

    Cast member Mathenee Treco calls Hamilton the story of America then, as told by America now.

    Lin-Manuel Miranda on theatre's power to eliminate distance

    Hamilton changes lives,” said Treco, who attended Eaglecrest High School in Aurora. And EduHam was perhaps recalibrating the lives of many of the students who spent the day at the Denver Center participating in the show’s innovative educational program that debuted on Broadway in 2015 and has continued in every city it has visited since.

    The participating students prepared by spending up to three months in their classrooms studying American history through a special integrated curriculum about Hamilton and the nation’s other Founding Fathers. On Wednesday morning, select students performed original works based on their studies – songs, rap, poetry, scenes and monologues – on The Buell Theatre stage, in front of their peers. Afterward, they had a Q&A with six cast members.

    “Immigrants … we get the job done”

    Treco, like Hamilton and many of the students in Wednesday’s audience, is an immigrant himself, having been born in the Bahamas and moving to Aurora with his family at age 6. “Today they saw a representation of themselves on the stage," he said. "Their energy was tangible. I could feel their excitement. And I think it's going to propel them.”

    Hamilton is performed by an almost entirely non-white cast. That the audience on Wednesday was almost entirely students of color, Treco said, was overwhelming — in the best possible way. “I want to see children of color feeling empowered and feeling uplifted,” said Treco. But it was not a coincidence, said Hamilton Education Program Manager Amy DiChristina of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

    It was the point. 

    “The goal of this program is to reach Title I schools across the country, and those schools are very often underserved,” DiChristina said. Title I schools have high percentages of children from impoverished families, many of which speak English as a second language. “They don't have the resources they need. And they don't normally have access to field trips like these, or tickets to a show like this.”

    DiChristina’s research indicates more than 65 percent of students who participate in EduHam  have never before attended a Broadway-level show in their lives. “So to be able to offer them both access and educational resources is the goal,” she said.

    Cast member Sabrina Sloan, who plays socialite Angelica Schuyler in Hamilton and volunteered to emcee the morning program at The Buell, said “it was incredible to see this group of students, specifically being mostly kids of color. I remember the first show my parents took me to was West Side Story, and seeing people who were brown onstage and seeing people who looked like me meant the world. It told me that theatre was something that was accessible to me. So knowing that Hamilton might be their first show ever really gives me chills.”

    (Story continues after the video playlist below.)

    Click the video above to see all 14 of the Denver 'EduHam' student performances in one video playlist. Each one plays after the other. Videos by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.


    “I wrote my way out…”

    Grace Padilla, a junior at Vantage Point High School, was one of the students who applied for — and won — a chance to recite from her poetry on The Buell stage. She has been writing since she was 7 years old, and self-published her own book at 14. She was inspired to bridge Hamilton’s story with her own by penning a variation on a song from the Broadway musical called “Wrote My Way Out.” It’s the story of how Hamilton, born out of wedlock on the Caribbean island of Nevis, was abandoned by his father, orphaned at 13 and came to the American colonies two years later to further his education. Padilla can relate.

    “I was born of dirt, but I will live of redwoods,” Padilla read, bringing her peers to their feet.

    “Growing up, I had to deal with being very poor in an abusive, broken home,” she said afterward. “Hamilton wrote his way out, and that is what I have been doing with my life, too. I really wanted to touch other people and be their voice and let them know they are heard, too.”

    Noah Thomas, a junior at Atlas Preparatory High School in Colorado Springs, opened the program by reading a poem called “Remember the Ladies,” written by his best friend, Laci Caballero. It's about Abigail Adams, wife of the second president, John Adams.  “While her husband was off building the country, he forgot the ladies," he said afterward. "This was Laci’s way of saying, ‘Remember them.’

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Performing for thousands of peers, Thomas said, made him feel emboldened. 

    "Even though I'm just a 17-year-old kid from Colorado, I felt like my voice was heard, and Laci's words were heard, and the message behind them were heard," he said.

    That, DiChristina said, is the point. “We want these students to go out into the world and feel empowered to use their voices for whatever they feel is important.”

    Four students from West Leadership Academy used their voices to perform a full scene called The Story of Peggy, about Hamilton's wife, in their native Spanish.

    "I’m young, scrappy and hungry, and I’m not throwing away my shot."

    Padilla said Miranda’s spoken-word writing style is the biggest attraction to Hamilton for students  “because you just can't connect with the younger generation today without a little hip-hop and rap,” she said.

    Treco said Miranda isn’t telling a different story than what is already being told in history books. He’s just telling it in a more exciting way.

    Sloan says presenting constitutional debates and personal disputes as rap battles is not only a clever variation on a Broadway theme — it is an essential way of reaching younger theatre audiences. “And it doesn’t just reach students,” she said. “It reaches everyone across generations, color lines, social, economic backgrounds. There is a truth to it. There is a humanity in how he speaks."  And the way he speaks, Treco added, "makes history sound really, really cool.”

    Life doesn’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints…”

    The Hamilton Education Program is one of several history education programs funded by the Gilder Lehrman Institute. “This project is transformative," said president James G. Basker — who devised the education program in New York in tandem with Miranda, Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller, The Rockefeller Foundation and the New York City Department of Education.

    "Hamilton has struck a chord with students because it embodies what great history education is all about: Bringing the past to life, and fostering connections with the exceptional individuals and moments that have made us who we are. This program empowers students to reclaim their own narrative and empowers teachers to bridge classroom learning with the stage.”

    (Story continues after the video below.)



    The response to EduHam on social media was rapturous. On Twitter, Jill Williams called the Hamilton “the best history lesson ever.” A sample of others:

    • “One of the best things about Hamilton is that every person in the room is excited about art and music and collectively vibrates with good energy,” a woman named Jennifer Tweeted. “We need more of that.”
    • Wrote Lois Rapport on Facebook: This was so fabulous. I am so happy to be a part of a group that encourages learning and helps kids fall in love with the theater. I was lucky that my parents took me to the theater at a young age, and I immediately was hooked.”
    • West Early College posted: We are so proud of our very own Josiah Blackbear, who was selected as one of the students to perform on stage for EduHam Keep an eye on our rising star. He is going places.
    • "That was amazing for those students. I hope the felt as inspired as I did," posted Matt Carnes.

    This is not a moment, it is a movement

    Treco said for it took guts for the high-school students to bare their souls before their peers on the Buell Theatre stage, but he’s sure the experience laid seeds of courage left that are already now germinating.

    "They killed it," Treco said. "Honesty is scary. But at the end of the day, they spoke their truth, and I promise you some of those kids just got really addicted to that feeling. … And some of them will be performing in Hamilton someday.”

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S. by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

    The participating schools:

    ·    Alameda International High School
    ·    Arapahoe Ridge High School
    ·    Atlas Preparatory School
    ·    Bruce Randolph High School
    ·    Denver School of Science and Technology
    ·    Green Valley Ranch High School
    ·    Denver South High School
    ·    DSST: College View High School
    ·    Early College Academy
    ·    Emily Griffith High School
    ·    Global Leadership Academy
    ·    Harrison High School
    ·    High Tech Early College
    ·    John F. Kennedy High School
    ·    Justice High School
    ·    KIPP Denver Collegiate High School
    ·    KIPP Northeast Denver Leadership Academy
    ·    Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy
    ·    Legacy Options High School
    ·    Manual High School
    ·    Mapleton Early College High School
    ·    Moffat School (K-12)
    ·    Monte Vista High School
    ·    Noel Community Arts School
    ·    North High School
    ·    Northglenn High School
    ·    Overland High School
    ·    RiseUp Community School
    ·    Sheridan High School
    ·    Sierra High School
    ·    STRIVE Prep RISE
    ·    STRIVE Prep- SMART
    ·    STRIVE Preparatory Schools - Excel Campus
    ·    The New America School Thornton
    ·    Vantage Point High School
    ·    Venture Prep
    ·    West Early College
    ·    West Leadership Academy
    ·    York International 

    The student performers (with video links):

    Noah Thomas, Atlas Preparatory School
    “Remember the Ladies”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/0v1stGZo7po

    Esteban Gallegos and Madis, on RustEmily Griffith High School
    “Hypocrisy of America”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/fys9vkwFyWc

    Eduardo Gonzalez and Sydney Hernandez, Global Leadership Academy
    “Boston Tea Party”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/VEbqfxspC58

    Erin JonesHarrison H, igh School
    “My Father”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/mrk_pIx_-7U

    Albert Ortega, High Tech Early College
    “George Washington at Valley Forge”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/dXjmAHPVTAw

    John Le, Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy
    “Aaron Burr”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/-hT17DgOelU

    Luis Castro and Jesus Villa, Mapleton Early College High School
    “Hamilton v. Jefferson Constitution”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/xNR2vJ226_4

    Ryker Poor and Sabian Storm, Moffat School
    “Jefferson v. King George”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/wh1Af6pU5s0

    Precious Allen, Sierra High School
    “Common Sense”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/hAe-INcmJ2k

    Issak Lucero, Strive Prep - SMART
    “Benjamin Franklin"
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/KQBBuj94vxo

    Isabel Aguilar, Jaqueline Garcia and Brandon Garcia
    The New America School at Thornton
    “Boston Massacre”
    Direct video link:  https://youtu.be/xIv7YatWQfE

     Isabel Aguilar, Jaqueline Garcia, Brandon Garcia, The New America School at Thornton
    “Boston Massacre”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/bWk5j00QsGc

    Grace Padilla, Vantage Point High School
    “Wrote My Way Out”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/wMlT6NmvrPE

    Josiah Blackbear, West Early College
    “Alexander Hamilton”

    Zehydi Chaparro-Rojas, Jose Torres-Andazola, Rossy Martinez-Sanchez and Alexandra Andazola-Chavez, West Leadership Academy

    “The Story of Peggy”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/sRfGFcMZjC8

  • Videos of all 'EduHam' student performances in Denver

    by John Moore | Mar 22, 2018

    Watch students from 14 schools perform original songs, rap, poetry, scenes and monologues based on studies

    EduHam” is the innovative educational program that Hamilton debuted on Broadway and continued in Denver on Wednesday, March 21, when 2,700 students and teachers from 38 Denver-area high schools attended an all-student matinee performance of the hit musical at The Buell Theatre

    The students spent several weeks in their classrooms studying American history through a special integrated curriculum about Alexander Hamilton and the nation’s Founding Fathers. Before the special performance, students representing various Title I schools performed original works they created based on their classroom studies – songs, rap, poetry, scenes, monologues – in front of their peers on The Buell stage. Title I schools have high percentages of children from low-income families.

    The Hamilton Education Program is one of several history education programs at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. “This project is transformative," said president James G. Basker — who devised the education program in New York in tandem with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, producer Jeffrey Seller, The Rockefeller Foundation and the NYC Department of Education.

    "Hamilton  has struck a chord with students because it embodies what great history education is all about: bringing the past to life, and fostering connections with the exceptional individuals and moments that have made us who we are. This program empowers students to reclaim their own narrative and empowers teachers to bridge classroom learning with the stage.”

    The emcee in Denver was cast member Sabrina Sloan. Later Thursday, you can read more about “EduHam” in Denver on the DCPA NewsCenter, MyDenverCenter.Org

    Click here to see all 14 of the student performances in one video playlist, where each one plays after the other. 


    Noah Thomas
    Atlas Preparatory School
    “Remember the Ladies”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/0v1stGZo7po



    Esteban Gallegos and Madison Rust
    Emily Griffith High School
    “Hypocrisy of America”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/fys9vkwFyWc





    Eduardo Gonzalez and Sydney Hernandez
    Global Leadership Academy
    “Boston Tea Party”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/VEbqfxspC58



    Erin Jones
    Harrison High School
    “My Father”
    Direct link https://youtu.be/mrk_pIx_-7U



    Albert Ortega
    High Tech Early College
    “George Washington at Valley Forge”
    Direct link https://youtu.be/dXjmAHPVTAw



    John Le
    Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy
    “Aaron Burr”
    Direct link https://youtu.be/-hT17DgOelU



    Luis Castro and Jesus Villa
    Mapleton Early College High School
    “Hamilton v. Jefferson Constitution”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/xNR2vJ226_4


     



    Ryker Poor and Sabian Storm
    Moffat School
    “Jefferson v. King George”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/wh1Af6pU5s0


     



    Precious Allen
    Sierra High School
    “Common Sense”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/hAe-INcmJ2k



    Issak Lucero
    Strive Prep - SMART
    “Benjamin Franklin”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/KQBBuj94vxo


     

    Isabel Aguilar, Jaqueline Garcia and Brandon Garcia
    The New America School at Thornton
    “Boston Massacre”
    Direct link:  https://youtu.be/xIv7YatWQfE


     

    Grace Padilla
    Vantage Point High School
    “Wrote My Way Out”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/bWk5j00QsGc


     

    Josiah Blackbear
    West Early College
    “Alexander Hamilton”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/wMlT6NmvrPE




    Zehydi Chaparro-Rojas, Jose Torres-Andazola, Rossy Martinez-Sanchez and Alexandra Andazola-Chavez
    West Leadership Academy
    “The Story of Peggy”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/sRfGFcMZjC8

  • DCPA's next Theatre for Young Audiences title: 'Corduroy'

    by John Moore | Mar 19, 2018
    Curduroy 5


    DCPA Education to follow its staging of The Snowy Day with Don Freeman's popular children's story Corduroy this fall

    The Denver Center's fall Theatre for Young Audiences offering will be Corduroy, based on Don Freeman's popular children’s books about a department-store teddy bear, it was announced today. 

    DCPA Education will stage more than 100 performances tailored for pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade audiences in The Conservatory Theatre. 

    “Theatre for Young Audiences provides opportunities for our youngest audience members to experience live theatre for the first time,” Executive Director of Education Allison Watrous said. “Arts education allows children to connect their experiences to stories on stage and participate in activities designed to engage their imagination, critical thinking and socio-emotional intelligence." 

    The Denver Center launched its new Theatre for Young Audiences last year to address a gap in its education programs for this  specific age group. Watrous believes it is crucial to introduce the vital force that live theatre can be in the lives of young people during those early years. Last fall, the DCPA welcomed nearly 20,000 Denver area students, teachers and families for 100 performances of The Snowy Day and Other Stories. Most remarkably, Watrous said, "79 percent attended on a full or partial scholarship.”

    Don Freeman wrote Corduroy in 1968, and and the book was included on the National Education Association's list of its top 100 books for children in 2007. Freeman, who died in 1978 was a painter, printmaker, cartoonist, children's book author and illustrator. Frequent subjects included Broadway theatre, politics and the circus. He was also a jazz musician. 

    In the play, which also incorporates Freeman's A Pocket for Corduroy, Corduroy is a teddy bear who has been patiently waiting on a department store shelf to find a home. A girl named Lisa thinks he’s just the teddy bear for her. But before she can convince her mom to let her take Corduroy home, he’ll have to go on a late-night hunt to find a missing button for his overalls. The ensuing chase becomes a sort of allegory for the universal search for happiness. And by the end, he finds both — the button and happiness. Curdoroy is a tender, enduring story about true friendship and the lengths we go to find it.

    Corduroy

    • Based on the books by Don Freeman
    • Adapted by Barry Kornhauser
    • Directed by Allison Watrous
    • Oct. 5-Dec. 9
    • Conservartory Theatre
    • Tickets will go on sale in summer 2018
    • There will be a a sensory-friendly performance on Oct. 22
    • Weekday student performances will be $10 and weekend performances will be $15. 

    To receive an alert when tickets for weekend performances go on sale to the public, sign-up at denvercenter.org/corduroy.
     
    All school groups are encouraged to participate in a no-cost, post-show workshop with DCPA Teaching Artists to give students an opportunity to explore themes and elements of the production. To receive an alert on Aug. 1, when reservations will begin being accepted for weekday student matinees, including post-show workshops and applications for scholarships, sign-up here.

    Scholarships are available for student groups. Call 303-893-6085 for information on how to apply.

  • 'American Mariachi' sets students on a search for the recipe of their American Dreams

    by John Moore | Mar 13, 2018

    Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk and Senior Arts Journalist John Moore. 

    DCPA Education goes into schools to prepare students for themes expressed in plays such as American Mariachi


    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Each season, DCPA Education partners with the DCPA Theatre Company to develop classroom workshops that help prepare students to attend performances of the company’s plays. Last month, more than a dozen members of the American Mariachi cast and band participated in workshops at Annunciation and Bryant-Webster elementary schools, whose enrollments are primarily lower-income students of color.

    “We engage students in these pre-production workshops to develop themes that are explored in the play,” said DCPA Teaching Artist Andre' Rodriguez. "And for American Mariachi, the overarching theme keeps coming back to the American Dream."

    With help from several American Mariachi cast members and fellow DCPA Teaching Artists, Rodriguez challenged the middle-schoolers to identify not only what their own American Dreams are, but their real and perceived barriers to achieving those dreams. The results were telling. Dream jobs expressed included playing in a variety of professional sports, being a rapper or doctor. One wrote: “Keep playing mariachi,” while another’s goal, simply, is “to be alive.”

    American Mariachi Luis Quintero“A lot of the kids wrote down that one of the big barriers to achieving their dreams is not having support from their own family members,” said American Mariachi actor Luis Quintero (pictured with an Annunciation student, right). Other common impediments expressed by the children, mostly ages 9-13, included money and access to college. “My thoughts,” one student wrote simply. “They say I can’t do it,” another scribbled in brightly colored ink.  

    Quintero was joined in the workshops by castmates Natalie Camunas, Jennifer Paredes, Bobby Plasencia, Amanda Robles and Heather Velazquez, as well as Rodriguez and DCPA Teaching Artists Joelle Montoya and Chloe McLeod. Working in small groups, the students and actors created their own original mariachis and performed them for the rest of the class. One such example:

    “My health is bad because
    I keep second-guessing myself.
    Self-doubt holding me back
    .
    It’s time to bring my confidence back.”

    “One of the most powerful parts of this experience is that they got to engage directly with the actors in their own classrooms, and then the following day, they got to see them on onstage at the Denver Center,” Rodriguez said.

    (Story continues after the photo gallery below:)

    Photo gallery: American Mariachi in the classrooms

    Making of 'American Mariachi'To see more photos, click on the image above to be taken to our full Flickr gallery. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    The afternoon session at Bryant-Webster was special because it is one of the only schools in the state that has its own mariachi program and student band. To open the afternoon’s activities, the professional band from American Mariachi stood on the stage and played a song from the play for the approximately 100 students and staff gathered in the Bryant-Webster auditorium.

    “One of the student leaders approached me and said, ‘We would like to challenge the professional mariachi band to a duel,’ ” Rodriguez said. The student mariachi band then performed a song in return for the professional musicians. “It was a great show of community and celebration of tradition,” Rodriguez said.

    DCPA Director of Education Allison Watrous said programs such as the DCPA’s in-school workshops are a critical part of the process of introducing the theatre arts to unfamiliar students.

    American Mariachi spurs community conversations

    “We at the Denver Center know how important it is for students to experience theatre in their classroom — and first-hand,” Watrous said. “So we are excited to make that investment, and to partner with teachers and marry that with their curriculum. That is the heart of our work.”

    Natalie Camunas American Mariachi American Mariachi,
    which has ended its run in Denver but in two weeks will re-open at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, follows the journey of a young woman named Lucha who has become the caretaker for a mother with dementia. When Lucha finds a mariachi record that briefly brings her mother back to life, she becomes determined to learn how to play this magical song for her before it is too late. Although being a female mariachi player was unheard of in the U.S. in the 1970s, Lucha assembles a group of friends who help make her dream come true.

    Quintero was certain these students would get a kick out of seeing a live representation of their culture on the stage, “and in a positive light, Camunas added. “In a way that makes women look strong and happy and brave.

    “It was really nice to be able to bring them to our show that fully represents them in all the beautiful complexities that it is to be Mexican-American, which I think has never been more important and necessary than it is in these times.”

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S. by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.


    Annunciation at American Mariachi
    The class from Annunciation at school (above), and, the next day, attending a performance of 'American Mariachi' by the DCPA Theatre Company. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. 

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Previous NewsCenter Coverage of American Mariachi:
    Behind the scenes video: Making the Great Wall of American Mariachi
    Tony Garcia: American Mariachi is an American beauty
    When Leonor Perez found mariachi, she found her true voice
    American Mariachi
    Perspectives: Music as a powerful memory trigger
    Photos, video: Your first look at American Mariachi
    American Mariachi
    's second community conversation: Food, music and tough issues
    Cast announced, and 5 things we learned at first rehearsal
    American Mariachi
    : Community conversation begins
    Summit Spotlight video: José Cruz González, American Mariachi
    2016 Summit: An infusion of invisible color and hidden voices
    Vast and visceral: 2017-18 Theatre Company season
    Denver Center taking new plays to new level in 2017-18

  • 'Saturday Night Alive' raises record $1.15 million for DCPA Education

    by John Moore | Mar 12, 2018

    Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.

    More than 800 see performance of Hamilton while supporting programs that serve 106,000 students every year

    The Denver Center for the Performing Arts' 38th annual Saturday Night Alive party netted a record $1.15 million on March 3. The fundraiser is a benefit for the DCPA’s extensive theatre education programs, which serve more than 106,000 students of all ages each year.

    With that evening's performance of Hamilton included as part of Saturday Night Alive, the evening sold out in record time — just one week. While more than 80Saturday Night Alive. Janice Sinden. Photo by Amanda Tipton0 guests enjoyed the full evening, another 200 joined the festivities at the show and after-party. The emcee was of CBS Denver.

    DCPA President and CEO Janice Sinden described the evening as breathtaking.

    “At the DCPA, we believe that the arts are a fundamental part of a well-rounded education,” she said. “Being able to celebrate that with Hamilton, a show that is equally passionate about arts education, is an exciting opportunity for our Saturday Night Alive donors.”

    (Pictured at right: DCPA President and CEO Janice Sinden. Photo by Amanda Tipton.)

    In addition to seeing Broadway’s biggest blockbuster, guests enjoyed a luxury silent auction, dinner by Epicurean Group, and post-show desserts and dancing to music by the Wash Park Funk Band.

    Saturday Night Alive has now raised an estimated $29 million and has helped the DCPA provide theatre programs to more than 2 million students.


    2018 Saturday Night Alive

    Photos from the 2018 Saturday Night Live, starting with, above, members of the 'Hamilton' cast enjoying the post-show party in the Seawell Ballroom. To see more photos, click on the image above to be taken to our full gallery of photos. Image above by acustomlook.com. All other photos by Amanda Tipton. 

    2018 Saturday Night Alive

    • 2018 Event Chairs: were Susan and Steve Struna
    • Corporate Chairs: Lisa & Norm Franke / Alpine Bank
    • Silent Auction Co-Chairs: Keri Christiansen & Jane Netzorg
    • Patron Chairs: Lyn and Dr. Michael Schaffer
    • Platinum Sponsors: Roger, Rick & Friends; United Airlines
    • Emerald Sponsors: Salah Foundation, SRC Energy, US Bank, Westin Denver Downtow
    • Gold Sponsors: Alpine Bank; Assist2Hear; Bayswater Exploration & Production; Colorado State Bank and Trust; CRG, Epicurean Group; Kathie & Keith Finger; Genesee Mountain Foundation; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP; HealthONE; Edward H. and Margaret Anne Leede; Microsoft; Tuchman Family Foundation; PDC Energy; Xcel Energy; Trice Jewelers
  • Look back: 2018 Colorado New Play Summit got real

    by John Moore | Feb 26, 2018
    2018 Colorado New Play Summit

    Our gallery of photos above includes nearly 300 images from the 2018 Colorado New Play Summit. To see more, click on the image above to be taken to our full gallery of photos Photos by Senior Arts Journalist John Moore and Adams Viscom.

    Readings explored contemporary social issues through the lens of real stories taken from the recent and distant past

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Perhaps more so than ever, the Denver Center’s 13th annual Colorado New Play Summit explored complex contemporary social issues through the lens of real stories taken from both the recent and distant past.

    Summit 2018 The Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, a forgotten pre-Civil War slave trial and a horrible, headline-grabbing drunk-driving tragedy were among the real-life inspirations for the Summit’s four featured readings, all of which become instant candidates for consideration to be fully staged in the future.  

    The Colorado New Play Summit has grown into one of the nation’s premier showcases of new plays. Since 2006, the Summit has workshopped 54 new plays, leading to 31 fully produced world premieres as part of the DCPA Theatre Company’s mainstage season. At this year’s Summit, more than 800 attendees also were treated to a record three fully staged world premieres: American Mariachi, The Great Leap and Zoey’s Perfect Wedding.

    But history of another kind was made on Saturday when the topic of gender identity was addressed on a Denver Center stage for the first time in its nearly 40-year history, and it came from a most unexpected source. A teenage boy uttered the words, “Dad, I’m non-binary” in high-schooler Noah Jackson’s play Wine Colored Lip Gloss during public readings of DCPA Education’s three statewide student playwriting competition winners.

    “It means so much to me that the Denver Center allowed my story to be heard,” said Jackson, who attends Girls Athletic Leadership School. “I had someone come up to me in tears saying that my play touched her so much. I am just over the moon that people are actually feeling the words that I have worked so hard on.”  

    2018 Summit: A look at all four featured plays

    The 2018 Summit came as DCPA Theatre Company leadership continues to transition from Summit founder Kent Thompson to incoming Artistic Director Chris Coleman, who told the Friday night crowd the Summit was “a great calling card” for the job he is about to embrace. “A festival like this is impossible at a lot of theatres around the country,” he said. “But new-play development is creativity at its most pure. There is enormous joy and heartache in watching something come out of nothing. And I want to be a part of the future of this organization's voice around the country.”

    (Story continues below the video)

    Video: Our interviews with all four featured playwrights

    Press play to watch all four of our short spotlight videos.


    The four featured Summit readings at a glance
    :

    • A Summit Playwrights Social Barbara Seyda’s Celia, A Slave recalls a 19-year-old African-American slave in Missouri who was convicted of killing her master in 1855 and hanged.
    • Kemp Powers’ Christa McAuliffe’s Eyes Were Blue is the story of mixed-race twins who are genetically the same but to the entire outside world, one is perceived as black, and one is perceived as white.
    • David Jacobi’s The Couches takes its cue from the real-life story of a 16-year-old Texas boy who drove drunk and killed four people. His lawyer successfully argued the boy had “affluenza" — meaning he was too rich to know right from wrong.
    • Sigrid Gilmer's Mama Metallica is the story of a woman who copes with her mother's dementia through her muse: The heavy-metal band Metallica. "What makes you laugh will make you cry," she said.

    “This is a precious and fragile time in the life of these plays and that's because they are reflecting life which is also so fragile, as we have learned in these past couple of weeks,” said Theatre Company Associate Artistic Director Nataki Garrett,” referring to the Florida school shooting. “And that's why it’s so important to support new work and nurture it and fund it and produce it and give it to the world. That's our responsibility: To keep life moving forward. And I like to think of the Summit as the beginning of that.”

    (Pictured at right: From 'Celia, A Slave', from left: Jada Dixon, Owen Zitek, Director Nataki Garrett, Celeste M. Cooper.)

    Celia A Slave. Summit. Photo by John MooreThe Colorado New Play Summit allows for two weeks of development of each new play, culminating in a first round of public readings. Playwrights then take what they learn from their first readings back into rehearsal before more rehearsal and a second round of readings for industry professionals.

    This year’s Summit drew industry leaders from 33 local and national theatre organizations, with more than 150 directors, actors, artistic leaders, educators and others from 12 states attending or taking part. Visitors represented companies ranging from the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington D.C. to the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York. Closer to home, guests included the Arvada Center, Creede Repertory Theatre, Curious Theatre, The Catamounts, Athena Festival Project and others.

    There was another added twist at this year’s festival in that both American Mariachi and The Great Leap are the Theatre Company’s first co-productions in nearly 20 years — upon closing, both will set off for stagings at other theatres with their Denver creative teams intact.

    Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap is a Denver Center commission, meaning she was hired to write a play for the Theatre Company’s right of first refusal. She used her Asian-American father’s real-life goodwill basketball tour to China in the 1980s as the basis for exploring, among many other things, the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Her play was read at the 2017 Summit, premiered in January at the Denver Center and will re-open at the Seattle Repertory Theatre later in March.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    “This play would not exist without the Denver Center,” Yee said. “Not just because it's a commission, but also because of the way that the Colorado New Play Summit launches you into national consciousness. This is an event that the whole new-play development world looks at every year for leadership and inspiration.”

    The Couches. Adams VisComJosé Cruz González’s American Mariachi was given a second full year to germinate before being fully staged. It was introduced at the 2016 Summit, then developed for two years before opening in January. The story of a pioneering young woman who forms an all-female mariachi band in a desperate attempt to use music to communicate with a mother falling into dementia struck a universal chord with Theatre Company audiences. It now moves to the Old Globe Theatre, which is Director James Vásquez’s artistic home, for a run in San Diego.  

    (Pictured: Tasha Lawrence and Cesar J. Rosado in 'The Couches.' Photo by Adams Viscom.)

    “The Denver Center has been so unbelievably supportive since the moment we got here,” Vásquez said. “It's been a dream. And I feel like the luckiest guy in the world that now I get to take the show home and share it with my family and friends in San Diego.”  

    Vásquez is particularly grateful the Summit coincided with the Denver run of American Mariachi, where it was seen by dozens of artistic leaders from around the country.

    “It's overwhelming and exciting to think of how many industry professionals saw our play here at the Summit,” said Vásquez. “We do this work so we can share it, and I want Jose's play to get out into the world. So if the other professionals want to take it, I say … ‘Go.’ ”

    One of those professionals is former longtime DCPA Theatre Company actor David Ivers, now the Artistic Director at the Arizona Theatre Company. He already has added American Mariachi to his season lineup for performance in March 2019.

    American Mariachi resonates in myriad ways with the kaleidoscope of our community,” Ivers said. “The writing, the gift of mariachi music, the celebration and empowerment of women, and the struggle of loss in the face of hope are powerful and meaningful messages to explore in the communities we have the honor of serving.”

    2018 Colorado New Play Summit Slam. Photo by John MooreThe Summit again included two late-night "Playwrights Slams," where writers sampled their developing works in a fun and supportive atmosphere. One focused on local playwrights and was curated this year by the Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

    (Pictured at right: Playwrights Slam reader Mfoniso Udofia. Others included José Cruz González, Ricardo A. Bracho, Denver native Max Posner and Luis Quintero. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

    The Summit also included a gathering of the Women's Voices Fund, the Denver Center’s $1.5 million endowment that supports new plays by women and female creative team members. Since 2006, the Denver Center has produced 33 plays by women, including 14 world premieres, commissioned 19 female playwrights and hired 28 female directors Supporters of the fund were treated to a private gathering with 2018 featured playwright Sigrid Gilmer (Mama Metallica.)   

    The Summit ended on the same day the Denver run of American Mariachi closed. But unlike most other shows, closing day in Denver was just the start for the San Diego-bound cast and crew.

    “We’re leaving Denver,” said actor Amanda Robles. “But it doesn't feel like the end.”

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S. by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.


    Christa McAuliffe's Eyes Were Blue
    From left: Cast members Tihun Hann, Celeste M. Cooper and Owen Zitek. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

    Selected NewsCenter coverage of the 2018 Colorado New Play Summit

    Summit Spotlight: Barbara Seyda's collision with voices of the dead
    Summit Spotlight: Kemp Powers on a matter that's black and white
    Summit Spotlight: David Jacobi on affluenza, the rich man's plague
    Summit Spotlight, Sigrid Gilmer: 'What makes you laugh will make you cry'
    Summit prep begins at the intersection of Eugene O'Neill and Metallica
    2018 Colorado New Play Summit selections announced
    Authentic voices: DCPA Education names 2018 student playwriting finalists

  • Hamilton’s celebrated education program debuts March 21 at DCPA

    by John Moore | Feb 08, 2018
    Hamilton. Joan Marcus

    The 'Hamilton' national touring company. Photo by Joan Marcus.

    2,700 students and teachers will attend performance of the Broadway musical at The Buell Theatre

    The innovative educational program that debuted at HAMILTON on Broadway will continue in Denver (Denver Center for the Performing Arts) on Wednesday, March 21 when 2,700 students and teachers from Denver area high schools attend the matinee performance of the musical at The Buell Theatre. 

    The March 21 all-student matinee performance in Denver will provide more than 2,700 Denver area high school students the opportunity to experience the musical HAMILTON after having spent several weeks in their classrooms studying American history through a special integrated curriculum about Alexander Hamilton and the nation’s Founding Fathers. 

    In addition to seeing a performance of HAMILTON, students will participate in a Q&A with members of the HAMILTON cast.  As well, students representing various schools in attendance will perform an original work they created based on their classroom studies – songs, rap, poetry, scenes, monologues – on The Buell Theatre stage in front of their peers.  

    The Hamilton Education Program is one of several history education programs at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Its president, James G. Basker -- who devised the education program in New York in tandem with HAMILTON creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, producer Jeffrey Seller, The Rockefeller Foundation and the NYC Department of Education -- adds, “This project is transformative. HAMILTON has struck a chord with our nation’s students because it embodies what great history education is all about: bringing the past to life, and fostering connections with the exceptional individuals and moments that have made us who we are. This program empowers students to reclaim their own narrative and empowers teachers to bridge classroom learning with the stage.”

    HAMILTON producer Jeffrey Seller, who was instrumental in developing the HAMILTON Education Program, says about the program in Denver, “Our goal is to ensure that students have a shot to see HAMILTON and use its words, music and staging to further their understanding and enjoyment of American History, music and drama. We’ve had the pleasure of expanding the education program outside of New York in Los Angeles, Chicago and other cities around the country.”

    Dr. Rajiv Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation said “After the initial success of the partnership in New York City we could not throw away our shot to ensure students across the United States had the opportunity to witness living breathing history. We look forward to seeing the creativity and engagement this program continues to spur.”

    The HAMILTON producers are making tickets for this educational partnership available for $70, $60 of which is subsidized by Google. Tickets will cost $10 for each student.

    "Google is proud to work with Hamilton Education Program and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to bring Hamilton to thousands of students in the Denver community. The play shares a critical piece of American history and it's especially important for high school students to be engaged in civic learning and have a deep understanding of our country's past so they can make informed decisions about its future," says Gerardo Interiano, Head of External Affairs for Colorado. 

    The Rockefeller Foundation provided an initial grant of $1.46 million that funded the educational partnership in New York City.  After the resounding success of the partnership in New York, The Rockefeller Foundation committed an additional $6 million to the effort to support the national expansion of the program.  The Rockefeller Foundation has a long history of supporting the arts and humanities, fueled by a belief that the cultivation of aesthetic sensibilities through literature, music and other fine arts is essential to the well-being of humanity.  The HAMILTON Education Program underscores the Foundation's commitment to nurturing the vitality of American cultural institutions and the role of the arts as a catalyst for social change.   

    HAMILTON is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary.  Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, HAMILTON is the story of America then, as told by America now.  

    With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, HAMILTON is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

    The HAMILTON creative team previously collaborated on the 2008 Tony Award ® Winning Best Musical In the Heights. 

    HAMILTON features scenic design by David Korins, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe, and casting by Telsey + Company, Bethany Knox, CSA.

    The musical is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman and The Public Theater.

    The HAMILTON Original Broadway Cast Recording is available everywhere nationwide. The HAMILTON recording received a 2016 Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album. 

    For information on HAMILTON, visit www.HamiltonMusical.com, www.Facebook.com/HamiltonMusical, www.Instagram.com/HamiltonMusical and www.Twitter.com/HamiltonMusical.

    ABOUT THE GILDER LEHRMAN INSTITUTE OF AMERICAN HISTORY

    Founded in 1994 by philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the leading American history nonprofit organization dedicated to K–12 education, while also serving the general public. Drawing on the 65,000 documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection and an extensive network of eminent historians, the Institute provides teachers, students, and the general public with direct access to unique primary source materials.

    As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is supported through the generosity of individuals, corporations, and foundations. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Organization of American Historians.

    For information on the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, visit www.gilderlehrman.org, www.Facebook.com/gilderlehrman, www.instagram.com/gilderlehrman and www.twitter.com/Gilder_Lehrman.

    About THE DENVER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

    The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) is the largest non-profit theatre organization in the nation, presenting Broadway tours and producing theatre, cabaret, musicals, and innovative, multimedia plays. Last season the DCPA engaged with more than 1.2 million visitors, generating a $150 million economic impact in ticket sales alone. Follow the DCPA on social media @DenverCenter and through the Denver Center for the Performing Arts News Center. The DCPA Broadway season is generously sponsored by UCHealth and United Airlines. Media sponsorship is provided by The Denver Post and CBS4. Denver Center for the Performing Arts is supported in part by the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).

  • The 2018 Scenesters: Emmaleth Ryan, Grandview High School

    by John Moore | Jan 16, 2018
    2018 The Scenesters Emmaleth Ryan

    Today on the DCPA NewsCenter, we continue our daily countdown of the 10 Colorado student playwrights who have been named semifinalists for our fifth annual statewide playwriting competition. On Wednesday, Jan. 17, we will announce the writers whose plays will be read at the 2018 Colorado New Play Summit. (Details below.)


    SCENESTER NO. 10: EMMALETH RYAN

    • Class: Senior
    • School: Grandview High School
    • Teacher: Brianna Lindahl
    • Your play title: Sleep No More
    • What is your play about? A girl is fighting demons both within and without herself, and she decides to end the battle by committing suicide. However, her course is interrupted by another young woman who reminds her of the resilience of the human spirit.
    • What was your inspiration for writing your play? I was inspired by the sudden influx of suicide-related media that I felt misrepresented or glorified depression and suicide (namely the TV show 13 Reasons Why and the song 1-800-273-8255 by Logic.) I've struggled with depression and I know many people who have fought against bullying, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. This play was written as an attempt to honor, but not glorify, that struggle. The title of my play was taken from a line in Macbeth: "Sleep no more, Macbeth does murder sleep." This reference was a vague parallel between Macbeth, who becomes a tyrannical king, and the tyrant of my play, as they both ruin the peace of the innocent.
    • Yara Shahidi ScenestersFavorite word that appears in your script: Visceral.
    • Killer casting: If I had any kind of influence, my first choice for playing the Princess would be Yara Shahidi. She is a known social activist, and I'm endlessly impressed by the way she uses her intelligence and popularity to promote social justice in spite of her youth. She is the type of person I hoped to exemplify when writing the Princess. Additionally, she seems like a wonderful person to work with, and she's gorgeous.
    • What did you learn from writing this play? Writing this play brought me a great deal of peace. I spent a long time in the mindset of the Warrior, who is intelligent and spirited but sunk too deep in her misery to truly see reality as it is. Her role wasn't difficult to write. Writing the Princess was far more challenging, as she is meant to be the inspiring antagonist to the Warrior's suicidal thoughts. In the play, she has been kicked around by the world, but her response was not to hide but to fight back. This response was enlightening to me, and I learned more about how to grapple with life by writing a character who has fought her demons and won.

    Video: Winning DCPA student playwrights' plays are performed

    Scenesters Quote Emmaleth Ryan

    About the 2017-18 Regional High-School Playwriting Workshop and Competition:

    What: A one-act playwriting competition designed for area high schools. Local playwrights and DCPA Education faculty taught 146 playwriting workshops in 57 Colorado schools. A record 3,002 high-school students participated in those workshops, which were held in every school district in the Denver-metro area and in 20 counties around the state.

    Why: To nurture Colorado’s young playwrights; develop theatre artists and audiences; develop new plays; and advance literacy, creativity, writing and communication through playwriting.

    How: A total of 153 submissions were judged blindly by DCPA artistic, literary and education professionals. Ten semifinalists are being identified through this rolling daily countdown. At the end of the countdown, three winners will be named. They will receive a cash scholarship of $250 each AND a staged reading in the 2018 Colorado New Play Summit next month. In addition, each teacher of the three finalists will receive a $250 gift certificate for books, supplies or other teaching tools for their classrooms. One play also will be presented as a fully staged performance exercise for DCPA Education students in the summer of 2018.

    Sponsors: Robert and Judi Newman Family Foundation with matching gifts from The Ross Foundation, June Travis and Transamerica.

    Our profiles of all 2018 Scenester semifinalists (to date):
    Video bonus: Last year's playwrights at the Colorado New Play Summit

    Video: We talked with the four 2017 student playwriting finalists whose plays were read by DCPA actors at the Colorado New Play Summit. Video by David Lenk and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. 


    A look back: Our profiles of all 10 of the 2017 semifinalists:

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • The 2018 Scenesters: Callista Zaronias

    by John Moore | Jan 15, 2018
    A 2018 Scenesters Callista Zaronias 800

    Today on the DCPA NewsCenter, we continue our daily countdown of the 10 Colorado student playwrights who have been named semifinalists for our fifth annual statewide playwriting competition. On Wednesday, Jan. 17, we will announce the writers whose plays will be read at the 2018 Colorado New Play Summit. (Details below.)


    SCENESTER NO. 9: CALLISTA ZARONIAS

    • Class: Senior
    • School: Peak to Peak Charter School, Lafayette
    • Teacher: Kristie Letter
    • Your play title: Invisible Scars
    • What is your play about? It's about a woman who has been sexually abused and struggles with what it means in her current life. It shows the internal conflict with her conscience as she fights to come to terms with the abuse.
    • What was your inspiration for writing your play? Sexual abuse is a tragicjennifer-lawrence event and a much too common issue in today’s society. Many women are now voicing their stories of sexual abuse in the media. These women inspired me to help bring even more attention to sexual abuse. No one deserves to be abused, and no one should feel the need to keep quiet about it. Everyone deserves a voice, and I hope that my play can help others find their voice, too.
    • Favorite word that appears in your script: Naive.
    • Killer casting: I would cast Jennifer Lawrence as Nicole's Conscience because of her spunky humor, and her real and gritty personality.
    • What did you learn from writing this play? That creative expression can come in many different forms. I also learned that words can have different meaning when they're written versus when they are said, and that difference can make plays uniquely powerful.

    Video: Winning DCPA student playwrights' plays are performed

    2018 Scenesters Callista Zaronias quote


    About the 2017-18 Regional High-School Playwriting Workshop and Competition:

    What: A one-act playwriting competition designed for area high schools. Local playwrights and DCPA Education faculty taught 146 playwriting workshops in 57 Colorado schools. A record 3,002 high-school students participated in those workshops, which were held in every school district in the Denver-metro area and in 20 counties around the state.

    Why: To nurture Colorado’s young playwrights; develop theatre artists and audiences; develop new plays; and advance literacy, creativity, writing and communication through playwriting.

    How: A total of 153 submissions were judged blindly by DCPA artistic, literary and education professionals. Ten semifinalists are being identified through this rolling daily countdown. At the end of the countdown, three winners will be named. They will receive a cash scholarship of $250 each AND a staged reading in the 2018 Colorado New Play Summit next month. In addition, each teacher of the three finalists will receive a $250 gift certificate for books, supplies or other teaching tools for their classrooms. One play also will be presented as a fully staged performance exercise for DCPA Education students in the summer of 2018.

    Sponsors: Robert and Judi Newman Family Foundation with matching gifts from The Ross Foundation, June Travis and Transamerica.

    Our profiles of all 2018 Scenester semifinalists:
    Video bonus: Last year's playwrights at the Colorado New Play Summit

    Video: We talked with the four 2017 student playwriting finalists whose plays were read by DCPA actors at the Colorado New Play Summit. Video by David Lenk and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. 

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • The 2018 Scenesters: Noah Jackson

    by John Moore | Jan 14, 2018
    2018 Scenesters Noah Jackson

    Today on the DCPA NewsCenter, we continue our daily countdown of the 10 Colorado student playwrights who have been named semifinalists for our fifth annual statewide playwriting competition. On Wednesday, Jan. 17, we will announce the writers whose plays will be read at the 2018 Colorado New Play Summit. (Details below.)


    SCENESTER NO. 8: NOAH JACKSON

    • Class: Senior
    • School: Girls Athletic Leadership School
    • Teacher: Amanda Flageolle
    • Your play title: Wine Colored Lip Gloss
    • What is your play about? A teenager named Lucca is dealing with gender-identity problems and how to tell his parents about it while his mother has her own issues with alcoholism.
    • What was your inspiration for writing your play? At first my play was inspired by my own struggles, but as it developed it strayed from that. Still, the underlying themes are based off things I have personally dealt with and was inspired by.
    • aubreyplazaFavorite word that appears in your script: Wonky!
    • Killer casting: I would cast Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) as Fey, not only because I love her with all of my soul, but because her sense of humor and style and sass would be perfect for Fey.
    • What did you learn from writing this play? A lot about myself. I learned how to take advice on social situations from my own characters, which actually helped me through a lot of problems I've faced. I've also learned that playwriting is a very, very long process.

    Video: Winning DCPA student playwrights' plays are performed

    2018 Scenesters quote noah jackson


    About the 2017-18 Regional High-School Playwriting Workshop and Competition:

    What: A one-act playwriting competition designed for area high schools. Local playwrights and DCPA Education faculty taught 146 playwriting workshops in 57 Colorado schools. A record 3,002 high-school students participated in those workshops, which were held in every school district in the Denver-metro area and in 20 counties around the state.

    Why: To nurture Colorado’s young playwrights; develop theatre artists and audiences; develop new plays; and advance literacy, creativity, writing and communication through playwriting.

    How: A total of 153 submissions were judged blindly by DCPA artistic, literary and education professionals. Ten semifinalists are being identified through this rolling daily countdown. At the end of the countdown, three winners will be named. They will receive a cash scholarship of $250 each AND a staged reading in the 2018 Colorado New Play Summit next month. In addition, each teacher of the three finalists will receive a $250 gift certificate for books, supplies or other teaching tools for their classrooms. One play also will be presented as a fully staged performance exercise for DCPA Education students in the summer of 2018.

    Sponsors: Robert and Judi Newman Family Foundation with matching gifts from The Ross Foundation, June Travis and Transamerica.

    Our profiles of all 2018 Scenester semifinalists:
    Video bonus: Last year's playwrights at the Colorado New Play Summit

    Video: We talked with the four 2017 student playwriting finalists whose plays were read by DCPA actors at the Colorado New Play Summit. Video by David Lenk and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. 

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

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ABOUT THE EDITOR
John Moore
John Moore
Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as the DCPA’s Senior Arts Journalist. With The Denver Post, he was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the US by American Theatre Magazine. He is the founder of the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. John is a native of Arvada and attended Regis Jesuit High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow him on Twitter @moorejohn.

DCPA is the nation’s largest not-for-profit theatre organization dedicated to creating unforgettable shared experiences through beloved Broadway musicals, world-class plays, educational programs and inspired events. We think of theatre as a spark of life — a special occasion that’s exciting, powerful and fun. Join us today and we promise an experience you won't soon forget.