• 2017 True West Award: Claudia Carson

    by John Moore | Dec 06, 2017
    True West Awards. Claudia Carson. Photo courtesy Jimmy Awards

    2017 TRUE WEST AWARDS  

    Day 6: Claudia Carson


    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Claudia Carson loves her job to her core. That job is to help high-students love theatre to their cores. And she’s pretty good at her job.

    There’s far more to it than that. Carson is also a stage manager, choreographer, director and teaching artist. But what really fuels her fire is coordinating two profoundly meaningful student programs for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts: The annual Bobby G Awards, which celebrate achievements in high-school musical theatre, and a year-round, statewide teen playwriting competition.

    “Claudia is just so joyful, so inspirational and so hungry to make an impact with students,” said DCPA Director of Education Allison Watrous. “She makes those programs possible with her year-round passion and commitment.”

    Claudia Carson True West BGA 2017The Bobby G Awards, which served 42 high schools and nearly 7,000 students last school year, are Carson’s true labor of love. She manages all operational elements of the wide-ranging, 5-year-old  program, including coordinating in-school workshops, professional adjudications of every production and a big, culminating Tony Awards-style party attended by nearly 2,000 each May at the Buell Theatre.

    Participating high schools have the opportunity to be mentored by DCPA Teaching Artists, and last year 24 schools signed on for 70 workshop classes. Once their school musicals go up, they are judged by a field of professional artists and educators who not only score each show for awards consideration, they provide detailed, constructive feedback that teachers can use to make their programs better.

    The awards ceremony itself is a remarkable celebration of the high-school theatre community. Carson not only directs the slick show, she choreographs sophisticated, original medleys that are performed by all of the male and female leading actor nominees. The two students ultimately named Outstanding Actor and Actress move on to the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City, also known as The Jimmys. And Carson chaperones them every step of the way.

    “I think the magic of Claudia coordinating the Bobby G Awards program is that she cares so much about theatre in Colorado, and she cares so much about teachers,” Watrous said. “Claudia is a full-on champion of high-school theatre in Colorado.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    This past year, the DCPA’s fourth High School Playwriting Competition drew 132 one-act submissions from budding writers in 14 Colorado counties. That after Carson sent DCPA Teaching Artists to 46 high schools, where they conducted 138 workshops for more than 2,800 students. Four of the resulting scripts were chosen to be read by professional actors at the 2017 Colorado New Play Summit in February, and two were ultimately given fully staged productions through DCPA Education’s summer academy.

    Claudia Carson True West BGA 2016If that weren’t “job enough,” Carson also returned to her roots as a Stage Manager this year for the recent return engagement of Girls Only: The Secret Comedy of Women. And as a summer Teaching Artist for DCPA Education, she and a group of ambitious teens created an entire original musical from scratch — in just two weeks.

    If that sounds like a lot, you should know this about Carson: It's in her DNA. Her mother, Bev Newcomb-Madden, is a pioneer of  children's theatre in Denver and has directed more plays than any other woman in Colorado theatre history. Her sister, Glenna Kelly, is an accomplished actor who for a long time ran Kaiser-Permanente’s acclaimed Educational Theatre Programs for Colorado. And her daughter, Claire Carson, studied at Denver School of the Arts and SMU, and is now an actor in Dallas. That’s three generations of accomplished Newcomb women — and counting. And brother Jamie Newcomb performed in the DCPA Theatre Company's recent productions of Benediction and All the Way

    Pictured above and right: Claudia Carson with 2016 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actors Curtis Salinger and Charlotte Movizzo, and DCPA  Senior Manager of Press and Promotions Heidi Bosk).

    “Claudia is a sensitive, caring and compassionate person, and she really has an innate ability to connect with teenagers,” said DCPA Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg. “But at the same time, she is also a quintessential stage manager and mother, which is probably why she is so good at both jobs. Part of being a good mom is being a good stage manager.”

    Carson graduated from Denver East High School and studied journalism at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She came to the Denver Center as a stage manager for all Galleria Theatre shows for a five-year stretch starting in 2003 with the longest-running musical in Colorado theatre history, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. She later took charge of the global expansion of the runaway hit Girls Only and then served as Executive Assistant to DCPA President Randy Weeks, who died in 2014. She has also worked as a stage manager at Curious Theatre and the Arvada Center.

    But she seems to have found her sweetest spot working with students.

    “She’s doing what she loves with the people she loves the most,” Ekeberg said. “For someone who has done so many things, that’s a pretty cool culmination of a pretty cool career.”

    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.


    True West Claudia Carson 2017

    The four finalists from the DCPA's fourth statewide High School Playwriting Competition had their plays presented as readings at the 12th annual 2017 Colorado New Play Summit, including 'Dear Boy on the Tree,' above, written by Jasmin Hernandez Lozano of Vista Peak Preparatory Academy in Aurora. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    ABOUT THE TRUE WEST AWARDS: '30 DAYS, 30 BOUQUETS'
    The True West Awards, now in their 17th year, began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001. DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore — along with additional voices from around the state — celebrate the entire local theatre community by recognizing 30 achievements from 2017 over 30 days, without categories or nominations. 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. His daily coverage of the DCPA and the Colorado theatre community can be found at MyDenverCenter.Org

    A look back at the history of the True West Awards

    The 2017 True West Awards (to date)


    Video bonus 1: The 2017 Bobby G Awards




    Video bonus 2 Student playwriting:

  • 'RENT' and more: No day like Tuesday at the Denver Center

    by John Moore | Nov 15, 2017
    Rent Cast Denver Rodney Hicks. Photo by John Moore
    Original 'RENT' cast member Rodney Hicks, front, joins the ensemble performing the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour playing at the Buell Theatre through Tuesday, Nov. 21. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Original cast member meets the newest crop of stage squatters, capping a Tuesday that's one to remember

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    “No day but today,” the cast sings at the finale of RENT, which opened in Denver on Tuesday night. But there was no day quite like Tuesday at the Denver Center in recent memory.

    The day began early with the morning introduction to employees of Chris Coleman as the DCPA Theatre Company’s fourth Artistic Director. Coleman, who has led Portland Center Stage for 17 years, was accompanied by husband Rodney Hicks, who originated the role of Paul and others when RENT debuted on Broadway in 1996.

    Tuesday was a homecoming for Hicks, who played Edmund in the DCPA Theatre Company’s King Lear in 2007. Coleman said Hicks was encouraging about the potential new job in Denver based on his brief experience here. "He told me, ‘What’s possible in that performing-arts complex is very unique in the American theatre,’ ” said Coleman.

    Chris Coleman Rodney Hicks. Photo by John Moore. Coleman also told the gathered company members a personal story that elucidates why storytelling means so much to him. It happened when his sister died quickly and unexpectedly, he said, from a burst clot that stopped her heart.

    “What that solidified for me is that we know not the hour or the day,” Coleman said. “We do know that the universe calls to each of us to carve out meaning in the time that we have together on this planet.”

    (Pictured right: Chris Coleman and his husband, Rodney Hicks. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

    At the same time Coleman was being introduced, DCPA Education was staging a morning performance of its inaugural Theatre for Young Audiences offering, The Snowy Day, in the Conservatory Theatre.

    That evening, as RENT was opening its 20th Anniversary touring production to screaming fans in the Buell Theatre, the the Garner Galleria Theatre was hosting a preview performance of the homegrown musical First Date, featuring a cast of all-local actors. Over in the Ricketson Theatre, the Theatre Company's smart comedy Smart People was playing out. It's the story of four young Harvard intellectuals who collide over race and sexual politics.

    Breaking: Coleman DCPA Theatre Company's new leader 

    Following RENT, Hicks and Coleman were taken backstage along with DCPA President and CEO Janice Sinden and Broadway Division Executive Director John Ekeberg. The cast and crew gathered in the green room to meet Hicks, trade some stories and take a group photo.  

    Hicks told the newest RENT squatters their performance transported him right back into his 21-year-old shoes, and that at intermission, he texted superstar Anthony Rapp (the original Mark Cohen) to tell him all about it. Hicks, who has several other Broadway credits, most recently Come from Away, returned to the RENT family in 2007 to play Benny, the conformed ex-roommate who is now evicting his penniless old bohemian friends “for their own good.” Hick spoke to the cast of the ongoing influence the late RENT composer Jonathan Larson has on his life.

    Back in the Buell, four cast members regaled a few hundred audience members who stayed for a post-show Q&A — and some in the crowd returned the favor. One woman told the story of having been in attendance at RENT’s first pre-Broadway performance (and that this touring cast compared quite favorably). Another thanked the cast for bringing the show back to life with this touring production, and revealed a RENT shoulder tattoo that takes its inspiration from the show.

    A Rent Lyndie Moe 400The audience was also delighted to learn that actor Lyndie Moe, who plays the demonstrative performance artist Maureen in RENT, is a Colorado native and granddaughter of beloved former Denver Nuggets coach Doug Moe. She was asked how the loveable, legendary old coach liked seeing her perform the evocative role created by Idina Menzel. “I’m not going to lie, I was nervous about that — but he actually really liked it, thank God,” said Lyndie, whose sport of choice was volleyball through high school and college.

    (Here is a video of Lyndie Moe performing the national anthem at a Nuggets game at McNichols Sports Arena in 2006. Photo at right.)
     

    One young audience member asked what advice the cast has for aspiring performers such as herself.

    “Well, RENT was my first audition in New York — and I got it,” said Moe. “So my advice is to just go for everything, because you can never know what you are going to get.”  

    All in all, “today” was one very full day at the Denver Center, one that was unique in many ways but at the same time representative of the non-stop activity that both surrounds and fuels the Denver Performing Arts Complexon a daily basis. 

    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.

    RENT: 20th Anniversary Tour: Ticket information200x200-rent
    At a glance: This Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters.

    • National touring production
    • Performances Nov. 14-21
    • Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Tickets start at $25
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more CLICK HERE
    Previous NewsCenter coverage of RENT:
    Two decades later, RENT still comes in on time
    RENT announces daily Denver lottery for $20 orchestra seats
  • Video: Tournament raises $110,000 for DCPA Education programs

    by John Moore | Jun 23, 2017

    The Denver Center’s annual Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament, held June 16 at Legacy Ridge Golf Course in Westminster, raised a record $110,954 to support the DCPA’s arts in education programs.

    More than 106,000 students of all ages participated in DCPA Education programs around the state last year. Proceeds from the golf tournament help underwrite these important efforts, including:

    • Nearly 22,000 youth benefited from free and reduced-price tickets, matinees for their schools, and special Student Nights.
    • Shakespeare in the Parking Lot toured to 60 schools in 10 different counties, providing more than 9,000 unique interactions with students.
    • DCPA Teaching Artists offered workshops for all 189 schools participating in the annual DPS Shakespeare Festival, which attracted nearly 5,000 to the Denver Performing Arts Complex last month.
    • The Bobby G Awards celebrates achievements in Colorado high-school musical theatre. Trained judges adjudicate more than 40 local high-school musicals, culminating in a Tony Awards-style celebration that advances two local students to the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (The Jimmys) in New York City.
    • DCPA Education administers a year-round one-act playwriting competition to nurture high-school writers. This year, four finalists had their plays presented at the DCPA’s annual Colorado New Play Summit. And earlier this month, two plays were selected for fully staged performances in the Conservatory Theatre.
    • DCPA Education also contributes to workforce development through multiple industry courses, a Career Readiness program and Job Shadow Days.

    Randy Weeks worked from the ground up to become President of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He started in the box office as a college student and was named Executive Director of the DCPA’s Broadway division in 1991. He was promoted to president in 2004. As President, welcomed more than 11.6 million guests to the Denver Center until his death in 2014.

    Guests on the video above include DCPA CEO Janice Sinden, President John Ekeberg, Bobby G Awards winner Austin Hand, and golf-tournament event co-chairs Shawn Fowler and Maxwell Bull. Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk and intern Avery Anderson.


    Photo gallery: 2017 Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament:

    Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament

    DCPA CEO Janice Sinden gets a lift at the 2017 Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament. To see more photos, click the forward arrow on the image above. Photos by Amanda Tipton. Photos may be downloaded and shared with proper photo credit. 


    Our 2017 Bobby G Awards Video Playlist (so far):
    Road to the Jimmy Awards: Austin Hand performs at the DCPA golf tournament
    Road to the Jimmy Awards: Bobby G Awards winners perform for DCPA Board
    The 2017 Bobby G Awards: The full video recap
    The 2017 Bobby G Awards: Nominated actors medley
    The 2017 Bobby G Awards: Performance Highlights
    The 2017 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds
    The 2017 Bobby G Awards welcome to all participating schools

    More of our 2017 Bobby G Awards coverage:
    Our complete photo gallery
    Our full Bobby G Awards report: Persistence pays off at Valor Christian
    Video, photos and top quotes from the 2017 Bobby G Awards
    Meet your 2017 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress finalists
    Meet your 2017 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor finalists
    2016-17 Bobby G Award finalists are announced

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


  • Video: The summer of 'Frozen' is heating up in Denver

    by John Moore | Jun 23, 2017

    Disney Theatrical Productions launches its new Broadway-bound musical Frozen from Aug. 17-Oct. 1 at Denver's Buell Theatre. The new stage adaptation of the popular animated film plays here for seven weeks before joining Disney hits "Aladdin" and "The Lion King" on Broadway in spring 2018 at the St. James Theatre.

    In this video, DCPA Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg talks Frozen as banners for the show were hoisted throughout the Denver Performing Arts Complex - ironically, on the first day of summer.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    "Hosting a pre-Broadway theatrical engagement is so unique because this will be the first time any audience gets to see the full Broadway production up on its feet in the theatre before it goes to New York next spring," said Ekeberg. The venture is also great for the local economy, he added, "because it provides a lot of jobs for the Denver region."

     Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk. 

    Frozen Banner. John Moore
    Banners are going up throughout the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.
    More photos here.


    Frozen
    : At a glance

    From Disney, the producer of The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast comes the beloved tale of two sisters torn apart and their journey to find themselves and their way back to each other. Be among the first to see this highly anticipated new musical before it makes its Broadway debut. This Broadway-bound Frozen, a full-length stage work told in two acts, is the first and only incarnation of the tale that expands upon and deepens its indelible plot and themes through new songs and story material from the film’s creators.  Like the Disney Theatrical Broadway musicals that have come before it, it is a full evening of theatre and is expected to run 2 1/2 hours.

    Presented by Disney Theatrical Productions
    Aug. 17-Oct. 1
    Buell Theatre
    Sales to groups of 10 or more here

    BUY NOW

    Ticket information for Denver:
    Single tickets for the pre-Broadway engagement of Frozen are on sale now. Tickets start at $25, with a limit of eight tickets per account

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Frozen
    Don't get scammed buying your Frozen tickets
    Principal casting announced: Caissie Levy to star as Elsa
    Casting completed for Denver launch of Frozen
    Photos: Rehearsals begin for Frozen
    Denver Frozen tickets go on sale May 1
    Disney confirms director Michael Grandage
    Denver dates for Frozen announced
    2016-17 Broadway season to include pre-Broadway Frozen
  • Five things to know about Sunday's Tony Awards

    by John Moore | Jun 09, 2017
    Dear-Evan-Hansen-You-Will-Be-Found-4645-Photo-Credit-Matthew-Murphy 800
    'Dear Evan Hansen,' which will launch its national touring production in Denver in October 2018, is nominated for nine Tony Awards on Sunday, including Best Musical. Photo by Matthew Murphy. 

    Broadway's big night is a valley of the 'Dolls':
    A Doll’s House Part 2 and Hello Dolly! among leaders

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Hamilton has brought more widespread pop-culture attention to Broadway theatre than any musical in decades. And that helped make last year’s Tony Awards telecast the most-watched in 15 years. But as an awards program, it was also something of a fait accompli for viewers as Hamilton racked up 11 trophies.

    A year later, with Hamilton still running strong but out of awards contention, Sunday’s Tony Awards, hosted by Kevin Spacey, promises to spread the focus around.

    160x600_TuneinBanners_1199Think of Times Square as the Valley of the ‘Dolls’: A Doll’s House Part 2 and Hello Dolly! are among this year's wide-ranging favorites.

     “Compared to last year, where the vast majority of the award attention was centered around Hamilton, this year has many more competitive categories and unknowns,” said John Ekeberg, Executive Director of DCPA Broadway and a Tony Awards voter. “I expect there to be much more drama, shall we say.”

    Broadway introduced 13 new musicals this past season. That's the highest number in 35 years, and it doesn't include five revivals. That means few clear frontrunners this year, Ekeberg said, which should make the 2017 awards unusually competitive.

    Leading the musical field with 12 nominations is Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, followed by the emotionally visceral Dear Evan Hansen, with nine. Come From Away is a potential dark horse, with seven. (See play descriptions below.)

    David Rooney of the Hollywood Reporter breaks down the races

    It was recently announced that Denver will launch the first national touring production of Dear Evan Hansen in October 2018. Director Michael Greif, who also helmed the groundbreaking musicals Rent and Next to Normal, told the DCPA NewsCenter, “Dear Evan Hansen is a cathartic story about a kid who comes to love himself. And it's about a grieving family that gets healed.” Read our full interview here.

    The favorites among new plays are Lucas Hnath's A Doll's House, Part 2, with eight nominations, and J.T. Rogers' Oslo, with seven. Hnath also wrote The Christians, which was presented by the DCPA Theatre Company this last season.

    Celebrity nominees include Cate Blanchett, Kevin Kline, Laura Linney, Chris Cooper, Josh Groban, David Hyde Pierce, Danny DeVito, Nathan Lane, Richard Thomas, Patti LuPone, Cynthia Nixon and Sally Field. But most eyes will be fixed on Bette Midler, who is starring in a fun revival of Hello, Dolly!, which is nominated for 10 awards.

     “I can’t wait to see how it all sorts out,” said Ekeberg.

    The awards will be telecast on a one-hour delay at 7 p.m. Sunday on CBS-4 Denver. For those who just can’t wait, you can stream the awards live online here.

    Five things to know about Sunday’s Tony Awards

    NUMBER 1laurie-metcalfA Doll's House Part 2 claims the rare distinction of having earned nominations for its entire four-member cast, including Laurie Metcalf (pictured right), the runaway favorite to win for lead actress in a play.

    NUMBER 2There’s a fun twist to the Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical category. The nominees include Gavin Creel (Hello, Dolly!) and Andrew Rannells (Falsettos), both of whom played Elder Price in Broadway’s The Book of Mormon.

    NUMBER 3Celebrity presenters will include Scott Bakula, Sara Bareilles, Orlando Bloom, Glenn Close, Brian d’Arcy James, Tina Fey, Sutton Foster, Josh Gad, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Groff, Mark Hamill, Taraji P. Henson, Allison Janney, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Kendrick, John Legend, John Lithgow, Patina Miller, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chazz Palminteri, Sarah Paulson, Lea Salonga and Tommy Tune.

    NUMBER 4Performers will include the casts of Bandstand, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Falsettos, Groundhog Day The Musical, Hello, Dolly!, Miss Saigon, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 and War Paint, along with additional performances by The Radio City Rockettes and Tony Award winners Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom Jr.

    NUMBER 5Annaleigh AshfordIf you heard all the great buzz about Jake Gyllenhaal and Wheat Ridge native (and past Tony Award winner) Annaleigh Ashford in Sunday in the Park with George, you may wonder why the show isn’t among the mix of nominees. The producers withdrew the show from Tony Award consideration. Their statement: "With a season so full of tremendous, soon-to-be long-running new musicals and revivals, the producers feel this extremely limited, special run of Sunday stands most appropriately outside of any awards competition. The production is nevertheless proud to be part of such a landmark Broadway season.”

    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.

    NOMINATIONS FOR 2017 TONY AWARDS

    BEST PLAY

    A Doll's House, Part 2
    Author: Lucas Hnath
    The reimagined Ibsen classic considers what has and hasn't changed in terms of gender politics in the past 140 years.

    Indecent
    Paual_VogelAuthor: Paula Vogel
    Indecent
    recounts the controversy surrounding the play God of Vengeance by Sholem Asch, for which the cast of the original production were arrested on the grounds of obscenity.

    Oslo
    Author: J.T. Rogers
    Oslo
    shapes nine months of secret back-channel peace negotiations into a riveting political thriller.

    Sweat
    Author: Lynn Nottage
    This working-class drama, set in 2008, tells the story of a group of friends whose friendships come apart when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust. Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.


    BEST MUSICAL

    Come From Away
    Set in the week following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Come From Away tells the true story of what transpired when 38 planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland as part of Operation Yellow Ribbon.

    Dear Evan Hansen
    The story of a lonely boy who perpetuates a lie that earns him Internet fame.

    Groundhog Day The Musical
    Based on the 1993 film of the same name, the plot centers an arrogant Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, finds himself in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again.

    Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
    . A brilliantly conceived electro-poperatic retelling of a chapter of War and Peace


    Best Book of a Musical

    Come From Away
    Irene Sankoff and David Hein

    Dear Evan Hansen

    Steven Levenson

    Groundhog Day The Musical
    Danny Rubin

    Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Dave Malloy


    Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

    Come From Away
    Music and Lyrics: Irene Sankoff and David Hein

    Dear Evan Hansen
    Music and Lyrics: Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

    Groundhog Day The Musical
    Music and Lyrics: Tim Minchin

    Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Music and Lyrics: Dave Malloy


    Best Revival of a Play

    August Wilson's Jitney
    John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation
    Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes

    Present Laughter



    Best Revival of a Musical

    Falsettos
    Hello, Dolly!

    Miss Saigon



    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

    Denis Arndt, Heisenberg
    Chris Cooper, A Doll's House, Part 2
    Corey Hawkins, John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation
    Kevin Kline, Present Laughter
    Jefferson Mays, Oslo


    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

    Cate Blanchett, The Present
    Jennifer Ehle, Oslo
    Sally Field, The Glass Menagerie
    Laura Linney, Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes
    Laurie Metcalf, A Doll's House, Part 2


    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

    Christian Borle, Falsettos
    Josh Groban, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Andy Karl, Groundhog Day The Musical
    David Hyde Pierce, Hello, Dolly!
    Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen


    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

    Denée Benton, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Christine Ebersole, War Paint
    Patti LuPone, War Paint
    Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly!
    Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon


    Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

    Michael Aronov, Oslo
    Danny DeVito, Arthur Miller's The Price
    Nathan Lane, The Front Page
    Richard Thomas, Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes
    John Douglas Thompson, August Wilson's Jitney


    Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

    Johanna Day, Sweat
    Jayne Houdyshell, A Doll's House, Part 2
    Cynthia Nixon, Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes
    Condola Rashad, A Doll's House, Part 2
    Michelle Wilson, Sweat


    Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

    Gavin Creel, Hello, Dolly!
    Mike Faist, Dear Evan Hansen
    Andrew Rannells, Falsettos
    Lucas Steele, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Brandon Uranowitz, Falsettos


    Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

    Kate Baldwin, Hello, Dolly!
    Stephanie J. Block, Falsettos
    Jenn Colella, Come From Away
    Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen
    Mary Beth Peil, Anastasia


    Best Scenic Design of a Play

    David Gallo, August Wilson's Jitney
    Nigel Hook, The Play That Goes Wrong
    Douglas W. Schmidt, The Front Page
    Michael Yeargan, Oslo


    Best Scenic Design of a Musical

    Rob Howell, Groundhog Day The Musical
    David Korins, War Paint
    Mimi Lien, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Santo Loquasto, Hello, Dolly!


    Best Costume Design of a Play

    Jane Greenwood, Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes
    Susan Hilferty, Present Laughter
    Toni-Leslie James, August Wilson's Jitney
    David Zinn, A Doll's House, Part 2


    Best Costume Design of a Musical

    Linda Cho, Anastasia
    Santo Loquasto, Hello, Dolly!
    Paloma Young, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Catherine Zuber, War Paint


    Best Lighting Design of a Play

    Christopher Akerlind, Indecent
    Jane Cox, August Wilson's Jitney
    Donald Holder, Oslo
    Jennifer Tipton, A Doll's House, Part 2


    Best Lighting Design of a Musical

    Howell Binkley, Come From Away
    Natasha Katz, Hello, Dolly!
    Bradley King, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Japhy Weideman, Dear Evan Hansen


    Best Direction of a Play

    Sam Gold, A Doll's House, Part 2
    Ruben Santiago-Hudson, August Wilson's Jitney
    Bartlett Sher, Oslo
    Daniel Sullivan, Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes
    Rebecca Taichman, Indecent


    Best Direction of a Musical

    Christopher Ashley, Come From Away
    Rachel Chavkin, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
    Michael Greif, Dear Evan Hansen
    Matthew Warchus, Groundhog Day The Musical
    Jerry Zaks, Hello, Dolly!


    Best Choreography

    Andy Blankenbuehler, Bandstand
    Peter Darling and Ellen Kane, Groundhog Day The Musical
    Kelly Devine, Come From Away
    Denis Jones, Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical
    Sam Pinkleton, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812


    Best Orchestrations

    Bill Elliott and Greg Anthony Rassen, Bandstand
    Larry Hochman, Hello, Dolly!
    Alex Lacamoire, Dear Evan Hansen
    Dave Malloy, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812


    Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-competitive Categories

    Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre

    James Earl Jones 

    Special Tony Award
    Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin, Sound Designers for The Encounter

    Regional Theatre Tony Award
    Dallas Theater Center

    Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award
    Baayork Lee

    Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
    Nina Lannan
    Alan Wasser


    Tony Nominations by Production

    Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 - 12
    Hello, Dolly!
    - 10
    Dear Evan Hansen
    - 9
    A Doll's House, Part 2
    - 8
    Come From Away
    - 7
    Groundhog Day The Musical
    - 7
    Oslo
    - 7
    August Wilson's Jitney
    - 6
    Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes
    - 6
    Falsettos
    - 5
    War Paint
    - 4
    Indecent
    - 3
    Present Laughter
    - 3
    Sweat
    - 3
    Anastasia
    - 2
    Bandstand
    - 2
    The Front Page
    - 2
    John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation
    - 2
    Miss Saigon
    - 2
    Arthur Miller's The Price
    - 1
    The Glass Menagerie
    - 1
    Heisenberg
    - 1
    Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical
    - 1
    The Play That Goes Wrong
    - 1
    The Present
    - 1

    Have fun: Tony Awards trivia


    Follow along on social:

    #TonyAwards2017
    www.TonyAwards.com

    Some information in this report was culled from national media reports.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Breakin' Convention promises to bring authenticity, local artists to DCPA

    by John Moore | Jun 07, 2017
    Breakin Convention. Ian FlawsPhoto by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. Full photo gallery at the bottom of this report. 

     

    The international hip-hop dance theatre festival will be an opportunity to both to fill a void and open a door.

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    The circle was made up of local hip-hop poets, dancers, graffiti artists, MCs, DJs, business owners, educators, musicians, activists, promoters and parents. And when they all got done introducing (or reintroducing) themselves, acclaimed Block 1750 choreographer DeAndré Carroll looked around in wonder.

    “It took somebody outside of our community to bring us all together in one room,” Carroll said to nodding heads and finger snaps. “This needs to not be the last time.”

    BREAKIN CONVENTION QUOTEThe occasion was a community roundtable organized by the Denver Center to start a conversation about Breakin' Convention, an international and local hip-hop dance theatre festival that will take over The Buell Theatre and the surrounding Denver Performing Arts Complex the weekend of Nov. 4-5.

    “But this is not just about dance from around the world,” Alicia Bruce, General Manager of the DCPA’s Broadway division, promised those gathered. “It’s also about dance from around the corner.”

    The major ticketed events will be two public performances in the Buell Theatre featuring four international hip-hop dance acts, one as-yet unnamed national act and four local crews who will be chosen from auditions to be held in Denver on July 6 (more info below). The Buell Theatre and surrounding spaces under the DCPA’s famed arches will be home to a free and unprecedented public hip-hop festival. “That's where we really want to give a stage to a variety of local artists,” Bruce said, including musicians, DJs, MCs, rappers, graffiti artists and dancers. “The hope is to present a program that is engaging to both theatre and hip-hop communities - and brings them together.”

    Breakin ConventionBreakin’ Convention was started in 2004 by Jonzi D of Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. The British dancer, spoken-word artist and director is the most influential advocate for hip-hop theatre in the world. He first took his creation across the pond to Charlotte two years ago. It comes to Denver in November both to fill a void and open a door here.

    “We have an awesome, supportive theatre community here in Denver,” said DCPA Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg, whose primary job is to bring touring New York theatrical productions to Denver. “We try to bring a broad range of musicals and other types of entertainment here. But there are untapped opportunities out there for us to bring in some other art forms we don't typically have down here at the Arts Complex.”

    Ian Flaws, the designated local rep for the Denver gathering, made it clear that Breakin' Convention is, indeed, all about breaking conventions. His personal priority, he said, is authenticity.

    “I was really excited to be asked to do this because this will be a bigger stage and a bigger platform that we are all hungry for here in the community,” said Flaws, who runs the Bboy Factory here in Denver, which is a dance studio dedicated to the preservation of the traditional hip-hop culture. “And I think we deserve it,” he added, “because there is a ton of talent in this state.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    About 35 members of the local artistic community attended the conversation at the Denver Center. They represented a wide swath of organizations and crews from the Disciples of Funk to Youth on Record to the Colorado Ballet to Cleo Parker Robinson Dance.

    The guests included Laurence Curry, a former DCPA Teaching Artist, movement specialist and actor who most recently performed in the DCPA Theatre Company’s epic LBJ drama All the Way.

    “I am so excited and thankful for this on so many levels,” said Curry, whose passion is infusing hip-hop into school curriculums. He was also part of the DCPA’s Hip Hop Jumbalaya pilot program in 2010.

    He was joined by Bianca Mikahn, who last year directed the Denver Center's How I Got Over - five celebrated slam poets weaving an interconnected story about womanhood, self-discovery and adversity. Her focus is on using urban arts to increase mental wellness and reduce youth violence. “I have been saving my life through art since … breath,” she said.

    Breakin Convention.Also among the attendees were Denver rapper Soul Daddy, DCPA Board member Tina Walls (sister of one the Little Rock Nine) and Arian Noorzai, co-founder of Hype Hyena Entertainment and a contributing artist from the Muslim hip-hop community.     

    The organizer was FloraJane DiRienzo, the DCPA’s Director of Strategic Projects. “The roundtable accomplished our goal of gathering the community to discuss the elements of Breakin’ Convention including auditions, festival planning and youth outreach," she said. "But more important, it allowed us an opportunity to get to know one another, start a conversation and bring together all the amazing talent and energy of the Denver hip-hop community.”

    And Ekeberg promised the conversation doesn’t end in November. Toward that end, he told the group that the DCPA’s Off-Center next March will be staging This Is Modern Art, a controversial play by Idris Goodwin and Kevin Coval that explores graffiti as modern art ...  or urban terrorism.

    Breakin' Convention: The international lineup

    • Yeah Yellow (France) - An explosive b-boy crew from France, YY brings agility, creativity and invention to the BC stage. Bodies create orifices to dive through, and reform physical shapes with muscular alchemy. Recently performed at BOTY16.
    • Protocol (U.K.) - Lanre Malouda directs as well as performs in this duet that explores racial dynamics. Popping and tutting techniques, as well as text and physical theatre is used to present ideas that reflect the tensions in our community today.
    • Salah (France) - A living legend in the world of hip-hop dance, Salah returns to the Breakin’ Convention stage after an eight year hiatus. This consummate performer is a master popper, locker, b-boy, clown and all around entertainer. Known for his amazing battle abilities, Salah will present his theatre piece The Sickness.
    • Soweto Skeleton Movers (South Africa) - From the most notorious township on the African continent comes the Soweto Skeleton Movers. The audience highlight of Breakin’ Convention 2016 returns with a brand new show. Experts in a particular form of pantsula dance developed by Skeleton Mover pioneer Jabulani, the crew use comedic contortionism, frenetic footwork, and magical hat tricks. 

    *International companies subject to change


    Photo gallery: Breakin' Convention community roundtable

    Breakin' Convention in Denver

    Photo gallery: About 35 members of the local artistic community attended the conversation at the Denver Center. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Breakin' Convention local artist auditions:

    Dancers, Graff Writers, DJ’s, Emcees, Rappers and Beatboxers are invited to audition from 4-10 p.m. Thursday, July 6, at the Robert and Judi Newman Center for Theatre Education, 1101 13th St. Audition submission forms will be accepted from June 5-18. “This is a highly produced hip-hop dance theatre show, so we are looking for polished acts,” said Ian Flaws. Visit denvercenter.org/BreakinConvention for more information, or to receive audition alerts.


    Breakin' Convention:
    Ticket Information

    Breakin’ Convention 2017 International Festival of Hip Hop Dance TheatreNov. 4-5
    • The Buell Theatre and surrounding areas
    • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829
    •Special student performance at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 3

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Breakin' Convention:
    Breakin' Convention to kick off Denver Arts Week in November


  • 'Frozen' tickets: Don't get scammed on Monday

    by John Moore | Apr 27, 2017

    John Ekeberg. Frozen


    Here's how to freeze out the third-party price-gougers
    when Frozen tickets go on sale to the public May 1

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Yovani PinaAnyone who has attended a Denver Broncos game and passed dozens of ticket scalpers outside Mile High Stadium hawking tickets at well above face value knows that re-selling sports and entertainment tickets is big business. But how big? according to Northcoast Research, it's a $5 billion annual industry.  

    "This is a worldwide problem," said John Ekeberg, Executive Director of DCPA Broadway. At the Denver Center, "the more popular the show is, the bigger the problem."

    And shows don't get much bigger than Disney's highly anticipated pre-Broadway engagement of Frozen in Denver. With tickets going on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, this is both "buyer beware" and "buyer be aware" time for all potential consumers.

    "We have safeguards in place to try to keep tickets in the hands of those people who actually want to attend our performances," said Yovani Pina, DCPA Associate Vice President of Technology. But he and his team are in a constant race against technological advances that help the secondary brokers get their hands on tickets they procure solely to re-sell for big profits.

    Here are some tips to keep you from being scammed on Frozen tickets, and how you can make your purchasing experience go as smoothly as possible on Monday:

     7 tips to keep you from being scammed on Frozen tickets

    NUMBER 1The Denver Center's web site at DenverCenter.Org is the only authorized online ticket provider for Frozen. Do not buy from any other online source. You will pay more on any other site. Look for the Denver Center logo at the top of the page. Make certain that you see "denvercenter.org" in your URL. Don't be fooled by sites with URLs that might even include official-looking words like "buelltheatre" in the web address. It's all a ploy to make you believe you are buying from an official site, when you aren't. Bottom line: On Monday, just remember "DenverCenter.Org."



    NUMBER 2When you buy tickets from the official seller, such as DenverCenter.Org, you are assigned an exact section, row and seat number – and your place is guaranteed. (See below.) A broker might only be able to give you a general sense of where you might be seated. If your ticketing outlet does not issue you an exact section, row and seat number, then you are dealing with a broker – and your seat is not guaranteed. 

    YovaniAny legitimate ticket purchased from the Denver Center tells you your exact seat, as shown above. Oftentimes brokers can't do that - because they don't have their hands on any tickets yet.


    NUMBER 3Frozen tickets start at $25, and the top regular ticket price, as of May 1, will be $115 (plus fees). So if any seller asks you for more than $115 (plus fees), something is probably wrong.

    DCPA's Yovani Pina talks tickets tips with 9News' Jeremy Jojola


    NUMBER 4For this show only, the Denver Center will only be mailing tickets directly to patrons. "Print at Home" will not be a ticketing option for Frozen - purely as a safeguard to cut down on potential fraud. So if any seller wants to email you tickets as a PDF to download, print and take to the theatre, know that it's a fake.



    NUMBER 5If you plan to buy tickets to Frozen online on Monday, here's a helpful tip: Create your DCPA ticket-buying account today, so that your buying experience goes more quickly on the big day. Here's where to do it.



    NUMBER 6If you already have a DCPA ticket-buying account, know your password. Test it today so that, if necessary, you can change or verify it now so you won't have any trouble purchasing tickets quickly on Monday.



    NUMBER 7Don't assume a lack of ticket availability. Even though Frozen is expected to be a high-demand show, "We are going to have a lot of tickets to sell on denvercenter.org," DCPA Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg says. "People should not just assume that if they miss the first day sales that they are going to have to buy off the secondary market. Try DenverCenter.Org first." 



    The problem explained in greater detail:
    How much difference does it make where you buy your Frozen tickets? Consider that  third-party online ticket brokers already are offering tickets to Frozen for more than $500 - more than four times the highest face value - and they don't even have their hands on any tickets yet, because individual seats do not go on sale to the public until Monday.

    One online broker already is offering tickets to Hamilton in Denver in 2018 - another show that has not gone on-sale yet - for an astonishing $3,030 a seat. Potential customers searching the web today for tickets to either of those hot shows might encounter similarly outrageous prices and think the Denver Center is gouging them - only it isn't the Denver Center that is doing the gouging.

    Wait: Isn't ticket scalping illegal in Denver?
    On the federal level, there is no law criminalizing the re-sale of tickets above face value. Ticket scalping is illegal in the City and County of Denver - which includes some parts of Littleton, Westminster and Aurora. In some surrounding counties, the practice is legal, for now. It is important to remember though, that even if you purchase a ticket at an inflated price from an internet broker, you are not allowed to re-sell that ticket for higher than the value written on the ticket in Denver.

    How can brokers sell tickets they don't have?
    So how do these brazen broker sites put tickets on sale before they even have them in hand? "Essentially they are making promises to their buyers in the certainty that, one way or another, they will get their hands on enough tickets to satisfy their demand," Ekeberg said. Bottom line, said Pina: They are gambling. And they are betting the house.

    So how do brokers get their hands on real tickets to sell?
    Ticket brokers employ "bots" that can access legit online ticket providers such as DenverCenter.Org and TicketMaster.Com. "Bots" are programmed to mimic an actual human user like you, using a program that can zip through the ticket-buying process much more quickly than you can. The DCPA has safeguards in place to weed these "bots" out. One powerful "anti-bot" tool is CAPTCHA, which has largely rendered "bot" software ineffective. But brokers are responding by hiring hundreds of actual humans to man server banks whenever high-demand tickets go onsale. The DCPA attempts to minimize the success of these planted broker-buyers by limiting every sale to eight tickets per account. Another safeguard: The Denver Center does not allow a single credit-card to be used from multiple computers. Still, Ekeberg acknowledges, the brokers will successfully amass an inventory of tickets. Just how many, though, is not currenty measureable.

    Now that they have their tickets, how do they fool you into buying them?
    Frozen screengrabThird-party ticket-sellers set out to fool you into thinking you are buying from an official website when you aren't. One of the most common mistakes buyers make, Pina said, is trusting a Google search to send them to the right place. For example, if you search "Frozen tickets Denver," the first two options you will see are actually paid ads from third-party ticket brokers. The official denvercenter.org outlet comes up fifth. (See the example above and right.)

    "Most folks hear about a show like Frozen on TV or the radio, and they go to Google to buy," Pina said. "But most consumers aren't trained to notice that the first few options are paid advertisements. Take a second to look at your screen. These are sites that pay big money to look like the Denver Center when they are not. And if you click one of the wrong sites, you are going to find a ticket broker who is selling a $70 ticket for $500."

    What to do? Those who start at denvercenter.org will not have a problem. But those using Google should scroll down and see the Denver Center option. Denvercenter.org is the only place you can buy tickets at face value.

    If the tickets are real, does it really matter who I buy from?
    Beyond the obvious price inflation, consider this: The Denver Center communicates essential information to its customers before and after every performance. If you purchase tickets from a broker or any third party, you aren't in the Denver Center database. So the Denver Center cannot, for example, re-print or replace your lost or stolen tickets. It is also has no way to contact you about time changes, weather alerts, parking or other news.

     

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Frozen: At a glance:
    FrozenAt a glance: From Disney, the producer of The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast comes the beloved tale of two sisters torn apart and their journey to find themselves and their way back to each other. Be among the first to see this highly anticipated new musical before it makes its Broadway debut. This Broadway-bound Frozen, a full-length stage work told in two acts, is the first and only incarnation of the tale that expands upon and deepens its indelible plot and themes through new songs and story material from the film’s creators.  Like the Disney Theatrical Broadway musicals that have come before it, it is a full evening of theatre and is expected to run 2 1/2 hours.

    Presented by Disney Theatrical Productions
    Aug. 17 through Oct. 1, 2017
    Buell Theatre
    Sales to groups of 10 or more here

    MORE INFO

    Ticket information for Denver:
    Single tickets for the pre-Broadway engagement of Frozen will go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, May 1. Tickets start at $25, with a limit of eight tickets per account

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Frozen
    Principal casting announced: Caissie Levy to star as Elsa
    Denver Frozen tickets go on sale May 1
    Disney confirms director Michael Grandage
    Denver dates for Frozen announced
    2016-17 Broadway season to include pre-Broadway Frozen


    'Frozen' principal casting. Top row, from left: Caissie Levy, Patti Murin and Jelani Alladin.
    Bottom row, from left: Greg Hildreth, John Riddle and Robert Creighton.

  • Photos: 46 public figures read Shakespeare in Boulder

    by John Moore | Sep 02, 2016
    First Folio: Speak the Speech

    Photos of all 46 public figures who read as part of the 'Speak the Speech' event in Boulder. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. All are downloadable by clicking on the image. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA's NewsCenter.


    The University of Colorado culminated its month-long exhibition of Shakespeare’s First Folio with Speak the Speech, an evening of 46 Shakespeare readings by an eclectic variety of actors, educators, industry professionals and unexpected public figures.

    Among those taking turns reading from the Bard on Aug. 25 at the CU Art Museum, right in the presence of the famous First Folio, were former CU women’s basketball coach Ceal Barry, retired Lockheed Martin CEO Norm Augustine, CU Chief of Police Melissa Zak and even An Act of God Director Geoffrey Kent’s dog, Titus. John Ekeberg, Executive Director of the DCPA’s Broadway Division took on Mercutio’s Queen Mab speech from Romeo and Juliet (pictured right).

    The First Folio is arguably the most influential book in history after the Bible. It includes 36 Shakespeare plays, 18 of which had never before been printed. Without it, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, As You Like It and more – might have been lost forever. Compiled by two of his friends and fellow theater colleagues, the First Folio was published in 1623 – seven years after Shakespeare’s death. That is a story the DCPA Theatre Company will be exploring in the upcoming world premiere of  Lauren Gunderson’s The Book of Will, opening in January at the Ricketson Theatre.

    CU has been honoring the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death throughout the year with more than 40 events and exhibitions.

    The Speak the Speech event took its name from a famous speech from Shakespeare's Hamlet, in which the prince offers advice to a group of actors he has enlisted to play for the court of Denmark.

    The First Folio exhibition, hosted by the Folger Library, ended in Boulder on Aug. 31.

    (Pictured above right: Actor and CU teacher Tamara Meneghini read as part of "Speak the Speech" at the CU Art Museum. So did her son, Henry Stalker, who read from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" to bring the event to a close.)

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    5_book_of_will_030716The Book of Will: Information
    Without William Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have literary masterpieces like Romeo and Juliet. But without Henry Condell and John Heminges, we would have lost half of Shakespeare’s plays forever. After the death of their friend and mentor, the two actors are determined to compile the first folio and preserve the words that shaped their lives. They’ll just have to borrow, beg and band together to get it done. Shakespeare-lover Lauren Gunderson weaves a comic and heartfelt story of the characters behind the collected stories we know so well.

    • By Lauren Gunderson (DCPA Theatre Company Commission)
    • Jan. 13-Feb. 26, 2017
    • Ricketson Theatre
    • ASL interpreted, Audio-described and Open Captioned performance: 1:30 p.m. Feb. 4
    • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of The Book of Will
    Shakespeare in a season without Shakespeare
    Read our interview with playwright Lauren Gunderson
    Shakespeare's First Folio comes to Boulder

    Lineup of readers
    Philip P. DiStefano
    Chancellor, University of Colorado-Boulder
    Duke Orsino, Twelfth Night, I.i.

    Edwin Jordan
    Graduate, BFA in Performance, CU-Boulder
    Antipholus of Ephesus, Comedy of Errors, V.i.

    Norm Augustine
    Retired Chairman and CEO of the Board of the Lockheed Martin Corporation
    King Henry VI, Henry VI, Part 1, IV.i

    Bob Yates
    Boulder City Council
    York, Henry VI, Part 2, III.i.

    Maggie Simms
    "Til Death Do Us Party" mystery dinner theater owner Employee, CU-Boulder
    Queen Margaret, Henry VI, Part 3, I.iv.

    Joel Parker
    Astronomer and Director, Southwest Research Institute Adjoint faculty, CU-Boulder
    Gloucester, Richard III, I.iii.

    Ceal Barry
    Senior Administrator, Athletic Department, CU-Boulder
    Duchess of York, Richard III, IV.iv.

    Joe Rice
    Director of Government Relations, Lockheed Martin Space System
    Titus, Titus Andronicus, III.i.

    John Tayer
    President and CEO, Boulder Chamber
    Katharina, Taming of the Shrew, V.ii.

    Bud Coleman
    Chair, Department of Theatre & Dance,  CU-Boulder
    Launce, Two Gentlemen of Verona, II.iii.

    Kevin Rich
    Assistant Professor, Theatre & Dance CU-Boulder
    Berowne, Love’s Labour’s Lost, IV.v.

    John Ekeberg
    Executive Director of DCPA Broadway, Denver Center for Performing Arts
    Mercutio, Romeo and Juliet, I.iv.

    Eva Balistrieri
    Actor
    Juliet, Romeo and Juliet, III.ii.

    Mary Kraus
    Vice Provost & Associate Vice Chancellor, CU-Boulder
    John of Gaunt, Richard II, II.i.

    Steve Ludwig
    Regent, CU-Boulder
    Richard II, Richard II, III.ii.

    Cameron Varner
    Graduate, BFA in Performance, CU-Boulder
    Bottom, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, IV.i.

    Sam Sandoe
    Actor, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    Bastard, King John, I.i.

     
    Kristofer Buxton

    Student, BFA in Performance, CU-Boulder
    Shylock, Merchant of Venice, III.i.

     

    Melissa Zak
    Chief of Police, CU-Boulder Police Department
    Portia, Merchant of Venice, IV.i.

    William Kuskin
    Senior Associate Vice Provost for Education Innovation, CU-Boulder
    Falstaff, Henry IV, Part 1, V.i.

    Hadley Kamminga-Peck
    First Folio Project Manager, CU-Boulder
    Lady Percy, Henry IV, Part 2, II.iii.

    Rick George
    Athletic Director, CU-Boulder
    Henry V, Henry V, IV.iii.

    Chip Persons
    Associate Professor, Theatre & Dance, CU-Boulder
    Dogberry, Much Ado About Nothing, IV.ii.

    Elise Collins
    Student, BFA in Performance, CU-Boulder
    Marc Antony, Julius Caesar, III.ii.

    Jim Symons
    Professor Emeritus, Theatre & Dance, CU-Boulder
    Jaques, As You Like It, II.vii.

    Jane Gray
    Retiree, Senior Student, CU-Boulder
    Viola, Twelfth Night, II.ii.

    Katherine Eggert
    Professor, English, CU-Boulder
    Hamlet, Hamlet, II.ii.

    Mary Young
    Mayor Pro-Tem, Boulder City Council
    Hamlet, Hamlet, III.i.

    Leslie Arnold
    Assistant Superintendent, Boulder Valley School District
    Mistress Page, Merry Wives of Windsor, II.i.

    Jami Goetz
    Colorado Department of Education
    Cressida, Troilus and Cressida, III.ii.

    Nolan Carey
    Ph.D. Student, Theatre, CU-Boulder
    Coriolanus, Coriolanus, IV.v.

    Bernadette Sefic
    Graduate, BFA in Performance, CU-Boulder
    Helena, All’s Well that Ends Well, I.iii.

    Alphonse Keasley
    Associate Vice Chancellor, Office of Diversity, Equity and Community, CU-Boulder Othello, Othello, I.iii.

    Matthew Denton
    Discus and hammer-thrower, CU-Boulder
    Iago, Othello, II.iii.

    Robert Boswell
    Vice Chancellor, CU-Boulder
    Angelo, Measure for Measure, II.iii.

    John Stevenson
    English Professor, CU-Boulder
    King Lear, King Lear, III.ii.

    Madalena DeAndrea
    President of Internal Affairs, Student Government, CU-Boulder
    Macbeth, Macbeth, V.v.

    Anne Sandoe
    Actor, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    Hermione, The Winter’s Tale, III.ii.

    Casey Dean
    BFA in Performance, CU-Boulder
    Cleopatra, Antony and Cleopatra, V.ii.

    Tamara Meneghini
    Associate Professor, Theatre & Dance, CU-Boulder
    Constance, King John, III.iv.

    Titus
    Canine Thespian
    Timon, Timon of Athens, III.v.

    Nicole Kenneally
    Head Coach, Women’s Tennis, CU-Boulder
    Imogen, Cymbeline, III.vi.

    Michael Bautista
    Director of Construction, Flatirons Habitat for Humanity
    Caliban, The Tempest, III.ii.

    Amanda Giguere
    Director of Outreach, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    Prospero, The Tempest, IV.i.

    Kiffany Lychock
    Director of Educational Innovations, Boulder Valley School District
    Prospero, The Tempest, Epilogue

    Henry Stalker
    Shakespearean Actor
    Puck, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Epilogue

  • 'Beautiful' stars tell students: 'Don't give up'

    by John Moore | Jul 26, 2016

    Two stars of Beautiful - The Carole King Musical talked with a DCPA Education class on Thursday, July 21, 2016, about auditions, creating roles and more in the Jones Theatre. Ben Fankhauser and Becky Gulsvig play Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil in the national touring production that visits Denver through July 31. The session was moderated by DCPA Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg. Our video includes comments from the students. 

    For more information on DCPA Education classes, click here. Registration for fall classes begins Aug. 10.

    Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk. Interviews conducted by Greg Moody of CBS-4 Denver.


    'Beautiful' cast members Ben Fankhauser and Becky Gulsvig (center) with DCPA Education students and staff. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. 
     

    Beautiful in Denver: Our photo gallery:

    'Beautiful' in Denver

    Photos include opening night and a talkback with DCPA Edcation students. To see more, click the arrow on the image above.


    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Beautiful - The Carole King Musical

    Video, photos, story: A Beautiful Opening Night in Denver
    Mann and Weil: How Beautiful bloomed 'On Broadway'
    Video montage: The show at a glance


    Beautiful – The Carole King Musical: Ticket information
    • Through July 31
    • Buell Theatre
    • ASL interpreted, Audio-described and Open Captioned performance: 2 p.m. July 31
    • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829

    Beautiful cast members Ben Fankhauser and Becky Gulsvig. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.  'Beautiful' cast member Ben Fankhauser. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. 
  • The HamilTony Awards: What Denver’s voter has to say

    by John Moore | Jun 09, 2016

    Colorado Tony Awards Connections Kyle Malone 
    Graphic above by DCPA Art Director Kyle Malone.

    Click for an expandable version of the graphic

    DCPA Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg has been a Tony Awards voter since 2006. And while it would be professional bad form for him to express a preference for one musical over any another, he is among the few, the bold, and the brave who are going out on a limb and calling this year’s awards “The HamilTonys.”

    “I would say Ross Perot has a better chance of winning the Democratic presidential nomination than Hamilton has of losing the Best Musical Tony Award,” Ekeberg said, adding with a wink: “But you never know until all the votes are counted.”

    Hamilton Hamilton (pictured right) is the rare piece of live theater to cross over into the mainstream popular culture. But it is perhaps the first to do so before anyone outside of Broadway has even seen it. Interest in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop-infused musical about the founding fathers is approaching what Variety calls “stratospheric levels.”

    Hamilton is nominated for 16 Tony Awards, more than any other show in Broadway history. It can’t break The Producers’ all-time record with 12 wins on Sunday night (7 p.m., CBS), but it’s a mathematical impossibility only because the show has so many multiple nominees in the same individual acting categories. Still, Hamilton is nominated in every category of theatremaking — acting, writing, directing, dancing, music and design.

    John EkebergHamilton is sold-out on Broadway through January 2017. It is regularly propped and promoted on daytime and late-night television. But if you really want to know how deep Hamilton Fever runs, consider that officials at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo have named a new camel born there last month “Alexander Camelton.”

    We are having a pop-culture moment, said Ekeberg (pictured right).

    “I think where Hamilton really succeeded was the gestalt of it all,” said Ekeberg. “When a piece of theatre works, there is something about it that is larger than the sum of its individual parts. Hamilton succeeds at all of the things that make theatrical storytelling great.”

    Here is our complete list of 2016 Tony Awards nominees

    Ekeberg said the musical is resonating with audiences on multiple levels. “Some of the issues the story touches on regarding diversity and immigration and our country’s values at its beginning are revealing meaningful truths about where we are as a country today,” he said.  

    But if Hamilton is going to run the table on Sunday night, is there any reason to even watch on Sunday night? “Absolutely,” Ekeberg was quick to say back. Since CBS began broadcasting the awards in 1978, the annual telecast has become an essential opportunity to introduce to heartland American audiences the musicals that will be visiting their cities in the coming years.

    “It is incredibly important that as many TV viewers tune into the Tony Awards as possible,” said Ekeberg. And with interest in Hamilton skyrocketing, Ekeberg believes the often ratings-challenged broadcast could get a boost.

    Hamilton is a fantastic show, no question, and I expect it to do very well in terms of awards,” Ekeberg said. “But it was a great season on Broadway all around, and a lot of shows will be featured on that broadcast. I am excited that whatever attention Hamilton brings to the broadcast means more people will see other shows like Shuffle Along and Waitress as well.

    “The Tony Awards are a celebration of all things Broadway, and if Hamilton means more people will tune into the celebration because of it, then all the better. I like to believe the old saying that a rising tide floats all boats.”

    What strikes Ekeberg most about the Broadway theatre season just passed was its unprecedented diversity. Of the 40 acting nominations, 14 went to black, Hispanic and Asian-American actors. Contrast that with the controversy the Academy Awards faced in February over the lack of nominations for nonwhite performers.

    “From Hamilton to Shuffle Along to The Color Purple to On Your Feet, it’s been an amazing season for diversity on Broadway,” said Ekeberg. But the open-door policy goes far beyond skin color. This season brought Deaf West’s acclaimed production of Spring Awakening, which included not only hearing-impaired actors, but the first non-able-bodied actress to appear on Broadway in a wheelchair (Ali Stoker).

    Tony Awards Trivia TONY AWARDS 3

    Additionally, Waitress became the first Broadway musical with an all-female creative team. And the powerful political drama Eclipsed was the first Broadway play written by, directed by and starring women.

    “It’s been a pretty amazing year,” Ekeberg said.

    We talked to Ekeberg further about the Tony Awards, who votes for them, and what else to look for on Sunday’s broadcast, which will be hosted by Broadway actor, film star and now, late-night TV host James Corden.

    James Corden Tony Awards John Moore: So, who are the Tony Awards voters, anyway?

    John Ekeberg: There are approximately 846 eligible voters, the vast majority of whom are New York theatre professionals. Tony voters include full members of The Broadway League as well as the board of directors and designated members of the advisory committee of the American Theatre Wing, which is comprised of theatre professionals, general managers and those of us from out-of-town who oversee touring Broadway programming in those communities.

    John Moore: Why is it important that the touring community has a voice in determining the winners?

    John Ekeberg: Broadway is first and foremost a New York-centric business. But I actually think that as the years go on, the lifespan of any piece of commercial theatre is only expanded by its increased exposure on the road.

    John Moore: How much do the Tony Awards directly affect what shows we eventually see in Denver?

    John Ekeberg: I take the results very seriously. If the profession-at-large has determined a show to be the best musical of any given season, there would be no reason I would prevent the Denver community from seeing that show. I feel like part of our role here is to keep our local community at the forefront of the pulse of Broadway theatre, and certainly winning the Tony Award for best musical qualifies a show as being a part of that heartbeat.

    Tuck Everlasting Cynthia Settje. Sketches by Gregg Barnes
    Cynthia Settje's Boulder shop Redthreaded was called upon to build some costumes for the Tony Award-nominated 'Tuck Everlasting.' Sketch by Gregg Barnes.


    John Moore: Still, it must takes some courage to book underdog or controversial Best Musical winners such as Fun Home and Spring Awakening.

    John Ekeberg: I don’t know that it takes courage. When I heard the name “Fun Home” announced as last year’s Best Musical, my immediate reaction was, “When is it getting to Denver?” I never gave it a second thought. I just can’t imagine getting a call from John Q. Public asking me, ‘Why didn’t you book the Tony Award-winner for Best Musical?’ - and not having a good answer for that.

    John Moore: But your predecessor Randy Weeks said it took some real soul-searching for him to eventually book Spring Awakening.

    John Ekeberg: Things have changed.  I go back to how freaked out people were about Avenue Q. I feel like our Denver audiences, time and time again, have proven to us that challenging material is valuable to their lives, and they want it to be seen onstage here in Denver. I think we’re in a really exciting time where we have a lot of shows that are telling important stories from interesting points of view.

     Tony Awards Trivia

    Tony Awards telecast information

    • The Tony Awards will air on a one-hour delay at 7 p.m. MDT on CBS-4.
    • Host: James Corden
    • Watch the pre-show, red-carpet special live online at tonyawards.com
  • Photos: The 2016 Bobby G Awards

    by John Moore | May 29, 2016
    2016 Bobby G Awards
    To see more photos, click the forward arrow on the image above. To download any photo for free, in a variety of sizes, click on the photo. You will be taken to our Denver Center Flickr account, where you will click on the download arrow at the bottom right of the image. Photos by John Moore and Emily Lozow for the DCPA NewsCenter.



    Bobby G AwardsHere is a gallery of our best photos from the fourth annual Bobby G Awards held Thursday, May 26 at the Buell Theatre. The Bobby G Awards, named after late Denver theatre producer Robert Garner, honor outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school theatre.The gallery includes photos from the day-long rehearsal at the Buell on Wednesday, May 25.

    Read our complete report on the 2016 Bobby G Awards


    Bobby G Awards DCPA Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg with New York-bound Outstanding Actor and Acrtress Curtis Salinger and Charlotte Movizzo. Photo by Emily Lozow.DCPA Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg with New York-bound Outstanding Actress and Actor Charlotte Movizzo and Curtis Salinger. Photo by Emily Lozow.


    Here is a fun time-lapse video covering the day-long Bobby G Awards rehearsal the day before the ceremony, including performances by Fairview, Arvada West, Denver School of the Arts, Mountain View and Cherry Creek. Video shot by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk on May 25 in the Buell Theatre.

    The traditional post-Bobby G Awards celebration photo on the Buell Stage by John Moore for the DCPA.
    Everyone who was part of a winning production was invited onto the Buell Theatre stage for the traditional  post-Bobby G Awards celebration photo by John Moore for the DCPA.


    Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of the Bobby G Awards:
    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
    2014-15 Bobby G Awards a triumph for Durango High
    Bobby G Award winners sing National Anthem at Rockies game
    Video: The Acceptance Speeches
    Photos: The 2015 Bobby G Awards. (Download for free)
    Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'

    Bobby G Awards Mountain View High School. Anything Goes. Mountain View High School celebrates the announcement that its 'Anything Goes' had won the 2016 Bobby G Award for Outstanding Musical. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

  • Time-lapse video: Watch the 'Newsies' set go up in Denver

    by John Moore | Mar 24, 2016



    John EkebergDCPA Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg talks all things Disney's Newsies in the video above while Video Producer David Lenk shows you in time-lapse form the show's set rise into place Denver's Buell Theatre over two 8-hour days. 

    "You will see this amazing, three-story, 24-foot tower designed by Tobin Ost, which is made of steel and aluminum, that is actually 7 1/2 tons in weight," Ekeberg says. Interview by DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore.

    The video below shows you the time-lapse by itself. Watch 16 hours of hard work come together in just more than a minute.

    Another look: Just the time-lapse:


    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    Disney's Newsies: Ticket information

  • Through April 9 at the Buell Theatre
  • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • TTY: 303-893-9582
  • Groups of 15 or more: 303-446-4829
  • Also: Purchase in person at The Denver Center Ticket Office, located at the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby. Buy and print online at DenverCenter.Org.
  •  Kids' Night on Broadway, Talkback with the Company: 7:30 p.m. March 24
  • Accessibility performance: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. April 3

  • Previous NewsCenter coverage of Disney's Newsies:
    Extra! Read all bout Denver's real Newsies past
    Michael Gorman: The Oldsie of Newsies returns to Denver
    Stephen Hernandez: Dancer's paper trail runs from Wyoming to Newsies
    Photos: Newsies' Fansies hawk some papes around Denver
    Try our Newsies crossword puzzle

    Newsies set load-InThe early stages of the set load-in at the Buell Theatre in Denver on Tuesday. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA's NewsCenter. The photo below shows a little of how the set looks when it is completed. Photo by Deen van Meer.

    Newsies set load-In
  • Mayor unveils bold vision for new Denver Performing Arts Complex

    by John Moore | Mar 10, 2016
    Nest Stage: The New Denver Performing Arts Complex

    Our complete gallery of photos from the city's press event today, including a look at artist renderings and live entertainment that was spread throughout the Denver Performing Arts Complex. To see more photos, simply click the forward arrow on the photo above. To download for free, click on the photo. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

     

    The city’s grand vision for a new downtown Denver Performing Arts Complex is for now, just that. But when the mayor orders you to dream big … you dream big.

    On Thursday, Mayor Michael B. Hancock unveiled “Next Stage,” a bold proposal for what a transformed arts center might look like at a public press event held under the iconic arches of the 38-year-old Denver Performing Arts Complex.

    Scott ShillerIf realized, the 12-acre site that is already the largest arts complex in the country by attendance will undergo a makeover that aims to go much further than simply transforming the city’s Theatre District.

    “We are here to transform a city,” Hancock said.

    When you combine the Performing Arts Complex with the Colorado Convention Center next door, Hancock said, more than 2 million people visit Denver’s arts corridor each year. “But what I love about Denver is that that even though we are No. 1, we are saying that’s simply not good enough,” he added. “This project has the potential to change our city's cultural life in untold ways.

    “I want Denver  to be known for its commitment to arts and culture.”

    The ambitious – and as of now unfunded - plan calls for expanding Sculpture Park, which runs along Speer Boulevard between Arapahoe and Stout streets, into an entertainment destination that would be anchored by an amphitheater that would rival Chicago’s Millennium Park. It calls for moving Denver School of the Arts from its east Denver campus to the Boettcher Concert Hall property. It calls for three 40-story residential towers that would include new hotels, restaurants, office and retail space where the city’s public parking garage is currently located. It imagines a new 1,200-seat music hall at 14th and Arapahoe streets that would, among other things, serve as a new home to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. It calls for a new parking facility under Sculpture Park that would raise the current number of available parking spots from 1,700 to more than 2,600. And it calls for dedicating at least $250,000 to introduce new public art projects in and around the Performing Arts Complex over the next two years.

    For starters.

    A look at what the new Denver Performing Arts Complex might look like from the entranceway at 13th and Curtis streets.A look at what the new Denver Performing Arts Complex might look like from the entranceway at 13th and Curtis streets.


    The goal is to make the Denver Performing Arts Complex a place that will be buzzing with activity for 18 hours every day. And remaining right at the heart of it all would be the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, which presently draws about 800,000 to the Denver Performing Arts Complex with its theatre programming and educational opportunities. DCPA CEO Scott Shiller was present on Thursday to lend his full support for the plan.

    Go to the city’s ‘Next Stage’ web page

    “The city has made arts and culture one of the pillars of what is going to make Denver a global arts center,” said Shiller, who was backed by more than 200 DCPA employees wearing matching black DCPA jackets. “Mayor Hancock has been supportive of us, and we want to be supportive of him.”

    Mayor Michael B. Hancock: 'What I love about Denver is that that even though we are No. 1, we are saying that's simply not good enoughAccording to city officials, the new DPAC will be “an enlivened, vibrant, thriving, public regional center of cultural activity in the heart of downtown. It will attract diverse audiences, celebrate a variety of art forms, contribute to the city's economic vitality, enhance Denver's urban fabric, integrate with neighboring amenities and serve as an innovative model for sustainable cultural and civic investment.”

    And despite the radical proposed new looks, all early architectural renderings call for maintaining the signature arch that connects the two sides of the Complex at Curtis Street, and provides patrons protection from the weather.

    The plan unveiled Thursday was developed by an Executive Leadership Team appointed by Hancock (pictured above right) that received input from more than 4,200 Denver residents, as well as arts patrons, performers and presenters. Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks, who served on that Leadership Team, said its charge from the mayor was to simply reimagine what the new Performing Arts Complex might look like in the future, without limits.

    "It is rare to announce something that can change the face of a city and in a way that we are doing today,” said Brooks.  

    Added Hancock: “I asked the Leadership Team to be bold, to think outside the box and to not acknowledge limitations. I asked them to make this Complex into something that will take Denver to the next level."

    Colorado Ballet. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.  Among those representing the DCPA on that Executive Leadership Team were Shiller, Broadway Division Executive Director John Ekeberg and board member Tina Walls.

    “As the largest non-profit theatre company in America and the primary programmer of the Performing Arts Complex,” Shiller said, “we appreciate Mayor Hancock's challenge to look beyond what the Complex is today and to focus on what we can become tomorrow. The cornerstone elements that comprise Next Stage align with our own vision to be the most engaging theatre organization in the nation.”

    A key component of the plan is tearing down the 2,600-seat Boettcher Concert Hall to create a new home for Denver School of the Arts, currently located at East Montview Boulevard and Quebec Street. Denver Public Schools Acting Superintendent Susana Cordova hailed the Hancock plan as “revolutionary.” She said moving DSA to the downtown corridor would not only infuse the new Performing Arts Complex with “adolescent energy,” but, being centrally located near many public transportation hubs would solve many existing transportation problems for low-income students who come from all over the city.

    “We are so excited to be a part of all this newness coming here to downtown Denver,” Cordova said. “We know that as the Performing Arts Complex grows, so will grow the opportunities for our students, both on the stage and as supporters of the amazing arts community here in Denver.”

    Read the city’s Executive Summary

    There has been no attempt at attaching a price tag or a timeline to the project yet. And as for how Hancock will pay for it all, he said bluntly, “I don’t know.” He has appointed a funding and governance committee that has been tasked with delivering a financing plan by the end of the year.

    The unveiling event included entertainment from Colorado Ballet, the Colorado Symphony, Denver Brass, Black Actors Guild, Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance, Opera Colorado, Gift of Jazz, Denver Young Artists Orchestra, students from Denver School of the Arts and former Bobby G Awards winner (for outstanding high-school achievement in musical theatre) Abby Noble.

    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.

    Frequent Flyers. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.  A member of the Frequent Flyers performs from a makeshift trapeze outside the Bonfils Theatre Complex at the heart of the Denver Performing Arts Complex on Thursday. Above right: A member of the Colorado Ballet. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    A video prepared by the city's Department of Arts and Venues about its plans for a new Performing Arts Complex.

  • Video, photos: 'If/Then' National Tour Launch in Denver

    by John Moore | Oct 20, 2015


    If/Then opening, Lachanze and Janine DiVita. Photo by John Moore. Sights and sounds from the launch of the national touring production of If/Then in Denver on Friday, Oct. 16. We show you the electric opening-night curtain call, the post-show party at Limelight (including a cake-cutting by composers Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey with Director Michael Greif), as well as comments from cast member Janine DaVita alongside DCPA Broadway Executive Director John Ekeberg.

    Video by David Lenk and John Moore for the DCPA's NewsCenter. Visit us at www.MyDenverCenter.Org.

    (Photo above right: LaChanze and her onstage wife, played by Janine DiVita. Photo by John Moore.)


    Our Opening Night Photo Gallery:

    To download any photo for free, in a variety of available sizes, click "View original Flickr image." All photos by Emily Lozow and John Moore for the DCPA's NewsCenter.



    If/Then
    :
    Ticket information
    Oct. 13-25
    At the Buell Theatre
    Call 303-893-4100, buy in person at the Denver Center Ticket Office located at the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby, or BUY ONLINE
    ASL interpreted, Audio described & Open captioned performance: 2 p.m. Oct 25,
    Groups: Call 303-446-4829

    (Please be advised that the DCPA's web site at denvercenter.org is the ONLY authorized online ticket provider for 'If/Then' performances in Denver)



    Our previous NewsCenter coverage of If/Then and Idina Menzel:

  • Denver School of the Arts announces Randy Weeks Award

    by John Moore | Sep 18, 2015

    Photos from the Denver School of the Arts' Friends Foundation gala on Sept. 12, 2015. All photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Denver School of the Arts’ annual arts leadership award has been renamed the Randy Weeks Community Arts Leadership Award after the late president of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

    Principal William Kohut made the announcement at the school’s annual fall gala held on Friday (Sept. 12). The inaugural Randy Weeks Community Arts Leadership Award was presented to the namesake's brother, Joel.

    Joel Weeks accepts the gift of art from Denver School of the Arts students in honor of the memory of his brother, Randy. Photo by John Moore. Weeks, who helped build Denver into a preferred stop among national touring productions of Broadway musicals, was a longtime supporter of Denver School of the Arts and a member of the school's Friends Foundation board of directors. Three years ago, Weeks founded the DCPA’s Bobby G Awards, which celebrate achievements in Colorado high-school musical theatre.

    (Photo: Joel Weeks accepts the gift of art from Denver School of the Arts students in honor of the memory of his brother, Randy. Photo by John Moore.)

    “Randy had a great love for Denver School of the Arts, and he is greatly missed on our board,” Kohut said. “It means a lot for us to be able to bestow this award every year in his name knowing what he did in terms of leadership for arts education in our community.”

    Kohut then introduced a video tribute to Weeks produced by the school’s film students.

    CEO and President Scott Shiller led a large DCPA contingent at the ceremony, which was held in the school’s mainstage theatre just before a sold-out student performance of Oliver!

    Shiller was joined by his predecessor - and continuing DCPA Chairman of the Board - Daniel L. Ritchie, who received the school’s arts leadership award last September. Weeks, who helped present that award to Ritchie, died just two weeks later at a conference in London.

    John Ekeberg, Weeks’ successor as Executive Director of the DCPA’s Broadway division, praised Weeks as his mentor for nearly 18 years. He cited the qualities that he said made Weeks an effective arts leader: His intelligence, positive energy, passion for theatre and his generosity.

    “He was a very generous person with his time, whether you were the CFO, or an actor on one of our stages, or a ticketing agent in our box office,” Ekeberg said. “If you walked by Randy's door and it was open, you were always welcome to come in and pull up a chair.”

    He remembers Weeks as a boss who was not about winning every argument. “He was certainly about consensus and sometimes compromise, and looking at the big picture,” Ekeberg said.

    Joel Weeks traveled to Colorado to accept the award on behalf of his larger family.

    “This award embodies everything that Randy was,” said Weeks, “a leader in the arts community, and a passionate mentor of youth.”

    Weeks told the story of running into a Colorado couple at an out-of-state fundraiser who were awestruck when they realized that Joel was Randy Weeks’ brother. They had never met Randy, but they had often attended theatre at the Dnver Performing Arts Complex. They thought of him as a rock star for bringing Broadway programming to Denver.

    The husband told Joel Weeks: “It almost sounds trite to say this, but I hope he died knowing he did something great for the people of the Front Range.”

    “My brother cared about Denver School of the Arts, and he cared about the Bobby G Awards,” Joel Weeks said. “Not only was he a caring human being, but he changed our lives for the better. By counseling, by fundraising, by mentoring. By just being a friend. He is sorely missed, and I am sure he always will be. But we are all better off that he existed in this world."

    Photo by John Moore.

    Our previous coverage of the death of Randy Weeks:
    DCPA president Randy Weeks dies at London conference
    Video: Highlights, interviews from Randy Weeks celebration
    Celebration draws 1,500 to recall a singular friend in story and song
    Video: Randy Weeks honored with dimmed lights, moments of silence
    Randy Weeks photo gallery
    DCPA to celebrate Randy Weeks' life on Nov. 3
    A look back at Randy Weeks' 'It Gets Better' video
    'Pippin' dedicates entire tour to Randy Weeks
    <a target="_blank" href="http:// www.denvercenter.org/blog-posts/news-center/2015/07/02/video-photos-randy-weeks-memorial-golf-tournament-raises-$45000">Video, photos: Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament raises $45,000
    Annaleigh Ashford raises $735 for new Bobby G Awards memorial fund
  • Our video tribute to Henry Lowenstein

    by John Moore | Jul 21, 2015




    Henry Lowenstein and wife, Deb. The Colorado Theatre Guild's annual Henry Awards are named for legendary producer Henry Lowenstein, who staged more than 400 productions at the old Bonfils Theatre on East Colfax Avenue. This was the first year of the Henry Awards without Henry, who died in October 2014. This video tribute produced by Denver Center for the Performing Arts Senior Arts Journalist John Moore was played during Monday's ceremony, and it includes commentary from Cleo Parker Robinson, Bob Wells and John Ashton. Robinson, who credits her later founding of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance to her growing up at the Bonfils Theatre, tells the story of how her father was hired as the theatre janitor in 1956 over the objections of Bonfils patrons. Jonathan Parker went on to perform in dozens of plays at the Bonfils, including the lead role of Walter Lee Younger in A Raisin in the Sun.




    Part 2 of our video tribute (above) pays respect to others we have lost in the theatre community over  the past year, including Shelly Bordas, Lloyd Norton, Jeffrey Gallegos, Ray Viggiano, Bill Francouer, Kent Haruf, Michael Daevid (McKim) and DCPA President Randy Weeks. Commentary by Steven J. Burge, Steve Tangedal, Christopher Whyde, Madge Montgomery, Ronni Gallup, Rod Lansberry, William Hahn, Tom McNally, Mark Devine, Nick Sugar, John Ekeberg, Ray Roderick and more.

    Here is our complete roundup of Monday's Henry Awards at the Arvada Center. It includes a complete list of winners. Look for more coevrage to come including photos, video performance highlights and our tribute honoring other members of the local theatre community who have died in the past year.

    Pictured: Henry Lowenstein and wife, Deb.

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of the 2015 Henry Awards:
    Colorado Theatre Guild honors DCPA with 11 Henry Awards
    The Henry Awards: The complete list of nominations
    Duck and cover: Gloria Shanstrom takes your Henry Awards questions
    Beth Malone, Colin Hanlon will perform at Henry Awards
    Guest essay by Margie Lamb: Something about the Henry Award doesn't add up

  • Video, photos: Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament raises $45,000

    by John Moore | Jul 02, 2015


    The DCPA's 12th annual fundraising golf tournament, held June 29 at the Lakewood Country Club, was renamed this year in honor of the late DCPA President Randy Weeks.

    The 2015 Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament raised $45,000 for the Bobby G Awards, an annual celebration of achievement in Colorado high-school theatre founded by Weeks in 2013.

    Over 12 years, the annual tournament, previously called the Swing Time Tournament, has raised $1 million for DCPA programming.

    Students from Westminster High School sing from 'Rent' before the Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament. Photo by John Moore. The year-long Bobby G Awards program includes personal workshops at all 30 participating schools hosted by DCPA Education Teaching Artists. A field of several dozen professional adjudicators then fan out across the state and attend those schools'  musicals, then provide constructive feedback.

    Their scores serve as the basis for a Tony Awards-style celebration at the end of each schoolyear held at the Buell Theatre. The two students named Outstanding Actor and Actress advance to the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City.

    In the video above, DCPA Broadway executive Director John Ekeberg welcomes the field of 68 participating golfers and explains the value of the Bobby G Awards.

    Just before the shotgun start, students from Westminster High School's Rent (pictured above) serenaded the golfers with that show's signature song, "Seasons of Love." Rent was one of five nominated outstanding musicals at the most recent Bobby G Awards ceremony held May 28 at the Buell Theatre. They are introduced by Andre' Rodriguez, who won the Bobby G Award for Outstanding Direction.

    "Regardless of whether or not they pursue theatre as a career," Rodriguez said, "they are getting skills that are truly preparing them for the 21st century."

    Finally, new DCPA President and CEO Scott Shiller thanked the golfers for supporting both Weeks' dream, and the DCPA's mission.

    "Randy really wanted to celebrate the craft of theatre for high-school students, and to celebrate the arts and culture in schools in the same way that sports are celebrated," Shiller said.

    Weeks was a lifelong fan of golf and theatre. Twelve years ago, he and former Development Director Dorothy Denny started the DCA's annual golf tournament at Lakewood Country Club, where Weeks was a member.

    The golfers were afforded several fun opportunities to win show-related prizes. One hole dedicated to the Theatre Company's upcoming production of As You Like It had golfers aim their tee shots at a life-sized fairway cutout of William Shakespeare. A closest-to-the-pin par-3 hole was designated the Sweeney Todd "Closest Shave" hole.

    At another tee stop, golfers posed for photographs as their favorite Wizard of Oz characters. And in honor of DCPA Broadway's upcoming launch of the If/Then national tour, golfers on one hole had to designate one player to pull a random fortune card from a dealer. It either contained good news (such as, "Subtract one shot from your score") or bad news (such as, "Proceed to the nearest bunker.")

    Most golfers played in a best-ball team competition, while the elite players in the field played a straight, stroke-play format.
     
    Photos and video by John Moore for the DCPA's NewsCenter.

    For more information on the Bobby G Awards, click here.

    A panorama showing golfers participating in the pre-golf putting contest.  Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament. Photo by John Moore.
    A panorama showing golfers participating in the pre-golf putting contest at the Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament. Photo by John Moore.

    Our photo gallery from the 2015 Randy Weeks Memorial Golf Tournament:


    All photos by John Moore. Click on "Go to original image" and download any image for free.

    2015 Tournament Sponsors:
    Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management
    Comcast Spotlight
    Fineline Graphics
    Sprint Press
    CBS4
    Wilks Broadcasting
    MKK Consulting Engineers, Inc.
    Centerre Construction
    Shawn and Elisa Fowler
    Max and Kea Bull

    Golfers pose as their favorite 'Wizard of Oz' characters. The beloved musical returns to Denver next year. Photo by Chelley Canales.
    Golfers pose as their favorite "Wizard of Oz" characters. The beloved musical returns to Denver next year. Photo by Chelley Canales.

    Our 2014-15 Bobby G Awards coverage to date:
    Bobby G Awards a triumph for Durango High School
    Break a Leg video: Cheering on Bobby G Awards winners in New York
    Bobby G Awards winners' daily video blogs
    Video: Outstanding Musical nominees perform
    Video: Outstanding Actor Nominee Performances
    Video: Bobby G Award winners sing National Anthem at Rockies game
    Video: The Acceptance Speeches
    Video: A look at Durango's Outstanding Musical, Les Misérables
    Photos: The 2015 Bobby G Awards. (Download for free)
    Video: The 2015 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds
    Andre' Rodriguez's stirring Bobby G Awards speech
    Video: See how we introduced all 30 participating schools
    Video: Page to Stage highlights with Bobby G Awards winners
    Meet your Bobby G Awards nominees, in their own words Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
    2014-15 Bobby G Awards: Complete list of nominations 
    2015 Bobby G Awards announces list of participating schools
    Annaleigh Ashford raises $735 for new Bobby G Awards memorial fund
    Denver Center establishes Randy Weeks Memorial Fund for The Bobby G Awards

    2015 Tournament field:

    John

    Reid

    Zach

    Wolfel

    Nick

    Gardner

    Michael

    Hupf

    Wanda

    Colburn

    Dick

    Havey

    Bob

    Loeb

    Kent

    Nossaman

    Paul

    Stastny

    Kyle

    Quincey

    Drew

    Shore

    Andrew

    Caldwell

    Aaron

    Inman

    Debbee

    CdeBaca

    Brad

    Axberg


    Terry

    Koch

    Dave

    Hirtz

    Steve

    Hirtz

    Art

    Cudworth

    Mark

    Etchason

    Kurt

    Kennedy

    Katie

    Monahan

    Carolyn

    Petersen

    Jon

    Bitrolff

    Murphy

    Huston

    Rob

    Mengelson

    Matthew

    Walton

    Calrissa

    Gliksman

    Stevie

    Johnson

    Scott

    Shreeve

    Ken

    Von Wold

    Kevin

    Baldwin

    Betty

    Lewis

    John

    Roble

    Eric

    Rosales

    John

    Ekeberg

    Mike

    Mills

    Julie

    Mills

    Brian

    Sells

    Sean

    Sjodin

    John

    St. Martin

    Craig

    Watts

    Matthew

    Campbell

    Shawn

    Fowler

    Gus

    Gardner

    Travis

    Mulvihill

    Margo

    Black

    Rich

    Ehrman

    Tamera

    Ehrman

    Craig

    Reinwald

    Kent

    Zwingelberg

    Andrew

    Brodie

    Bruce

    Montgomery

    Bryan

    Smith

    Carlos

    Vannoni

    Brook

    Nichols

    Joe

    Ghiglia

    John

    Marshall

    Jim

    Steinberg

    Andrew

    Bell

    Rich

    Kline

    Josh

    Lembrich

    Mary Ann

    Neidert

    Ken

    Blasi

    Brenda

    Egger

    Cindi

    Routh

    Nicole

    Williams

  • Break a Leg video: Cheering on Bobby G Awards winners tonight

    by John Moore | Jun 29, 2015



    Evatt Salinger and Emma Buchanan of Durango High School, who last month were named Outstanding Actor and Actress at the 2015 Bobby G Awards at the Buell Dinger and Brady O'Neill of the Colorado Rockies. åTheatre, have represented Colorado this past weekend at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, which culminate tonight (June 29) with the announcement of national winners - and a performance by all participants on a Broadway stage in New York City.

    The DCPA NewsCenter collected video well-wishes from friends and family in Durango, as well as previous Bobby G Awards representatives, staff from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and even Colorado Rockies mascot Dinger.

    Watch as Salinger and Buchanan (we call them E&E for short) receive encouragement from grandparents, teachers and even DCPA CEO Scott Shiller. 

    Please check back at the DCPA NewsCenter tonight for competition results, which are colloquially known as The Jimmy Awards..

    Peter Salinger wishes his sin well at tonight's Jimmy Awards in New York City. To watch, play the video at the top of this page.

    Peter Salinger wishes his son well at tonight's Jimmy Awards in New York City. To watch, play the video at the top of this page.



    Our 2014-15 Bobby G Awards coverage to date:
    Bobby G Awards a triumph for Durango High School
    Bobby G Awards winners' daily video blog
    Video: Outstanding Actor Nominee Performances
    Video: Bobby G Award winners sing National Anthem at Rockies game
    Video: The Acceptance Speeches
    Video: A look at Durango's Outstanding Musical, Les Misérables
    Photos: The 2015 Bobby G Awards. (Download for free)
    Video: The 2015 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds
    Andre' Rodriguez's stirring Bobby G Awards speech
    Video: See how we introduced all 30 participating schools
    Video: Page to Stage highlights with Bobby G Awards winners
    Meet your Bobby G Awards nominees, in their own words Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
    2014-15 Bobby G Awards: Complete list of nominations 
    2015 Bobby G Awards announces list of participating schools
    Annaleigh Ashford raises $735 for new Bobby G Awards memorial fund
    Denver Center establishes Randy Weeks Memorial Fund for The Bobby G Awards


    For more information on the Bobby G Awards, which honor excellence in Colorado high-school theatre, click here.
  • Video: 2015 Bobby G Awards: The Acceptance Speeches

    by John Moore | Jun 09, 2015


    Here is a brief video montage showing highlights from all of the acceptance speeches at the 2015 Bobby G Awards on May 28 at the Buell Theatre.

    When Cherry Creek High Luccio Dellepiane, who played Herald in Cherry Creek High School's 'Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella,' won the Rising Star award honoring underclassmen. Photo by John Moore. School's Jimmy Miller accepted his share of the Outstanding Costumes award, he said of late DCPA President and Bobby G Awards Founder Randy Weeks: "Cherry Creek was honored with one of these last year, and I had the honor of receiving it from Mr. Randy Weeks. I know that he would say to all of you, 'Congratulations to all of the designers, technicians and artists in Colorado high-school theatre.' "

    The presenters include Charles MacLeod, Candy Brown, Allison Watrous and John Ekeberg. Video by David Lenk and John Moore.

    (Photo: Luccio Dellepiane, who played Herald in Cherry Creek High School's 'Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella,' won the Rising Star award honoring underclassmen. Photo by John Moore.)


    Our 2014-15 Bobby G Awards coverage to date:
    Bobby G Awards a triumph for Durango High School
    Video: A look at Durango's Outstanding Musical, Les Misérables
    Photos: The 2015 Bobby G Awards. (Download for free)
    Video: The 2015 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds
    Andre' Rodriguez's stirring Bobby G Awards speech
    Video: See how we introduced all 30 participating schools
    Video: Page to Stage highlights with Bobby G Awards winners
    Meet your Bobby G Awards nominees, in their own words Video: Coloradans on Broadway to high-schoolers: 'Be relentlessly yourself'
    2014-15 Bobby G Awards: Complete list of nominations 
    2015 Bobby G Awards announces list of participating schools
    Annaleigh Ashford raises $735 for new Bobby G Awards memorial fund
    Denver Center establishes Randy Weeks Memorial Fund for The Bobby G Awards

  • Scott Shiller becomes second CEO in DCPA's history: 'Theatre is in my bones'

    by John Moore | Feb 26, 2015
    Scott Shiller Quote

    Scott ShillerScott Shiller fell in love with theatre from the very back row. Not the cheap seats … the free seats.

    The Shiller family turned day trips from their small farming community in rural Missouri into theatre outings at St. Louis’ massive, 4,500-seat Fox Theatre, where the seats in the very back row are always free.

    “Both of my parents were college professors, on college professors’ salaries,” said Shiller. “But they wanted me and my brother to grow up with arts and culture as part of our lives. So mom and dad would pack the family in the car with a picnic lunch and we would drive to downtown St. Louis. We would sit on the sidewalk and wait for the box office to open to get access to the free tickets.”

    Young Scott Shiller saw incredible stories unfold through high-powered opera glasses. Stories like Big River, about the adventures Huckleberry Finn. “To see these stories that I grew up imagining in my mind’s eye unfold onstage changed my life,” Shiller said. “I was hooked. I was reeled-in. Theatre was in my bones. Theatre has the power to transform lives. It did for me.”

    Shiller will soon be moving his theatre bones to Colorado as President and only the second CEO in the 43-year history of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Shiller has served as Executive Vice President of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami since 2007. Daniel Ritchie, who has served as both CEO and Chairman of the Board of Trustees since 2007, will continue as Chairman. Shiller starts May 1.

    Scott Shiller QuoteShiller is a proud, admitted theatre geek. Anyone who works at a place like the Denver Center, he said, should be. He talks with childlike wonder of the time he got to sit in the orchestra pit during a touring performance of Evita, feeling the music as the horns blared in his ears and the drums rumbled right through his core. “I looked up and just behind the conductor, you could see just the noses and eyes of the people in the front row, and the glow of the stage lights off of their faces,” he said. “That was a phenomenal, transformative moment for me.” 

    The DCPA is the largest not-for profit theatre organization in the country, one that produces and presents Broadway, cabaret and homegrown theatre while supporting an Education Division that engages more than 68,000 students of all ages every year. And leading that organization into the next generation will be one of the nation’s youngest CEOs. At only age 39, Shiller is less than half the age of the man he is replacing.

    Shiller, who was named to the prestigious "40 Under 40" by the South Florida Business Journal, never wants to forget the magic that happens to a child who sees Big River for the first time. Or a slightly more adolescent Shiller seeing The Blue Man Group for the first time - a performance that reached its crescendo with the entire theatre covered in toilet paper. 

    “I had never seen anything so immediate and so loud and so interesting,” he said. “By the end of this whirlwind grand finale, I found myself standing on my seat yelling at the top of my lungs. That was the visceral, immediate reaction I had to the art that was on the stage. I thought that was great, and I want everyone to be able experience that feeling.”

    And he can’t wait to do it in Denver.

    “What makes theatre incredibly powerful, and what makes me thrilled to be a part of creating and contributing to the national landscape of theatre, is the magic that happens when an audience comes into a space together to have a shared experience,” Shiller said. “The electricity that happens at a good night of theatre where the artists on stage are having a real communication with the audience is like lightning in a bottle. And the Denver Center gets it right more than almost anywhere else in the country.”

    In his first year at the Arsht Center, Shiller led a $3.3 million turnaround with a growth in average ticket sales from 43 to 70 percent, and recorded a 76 percent increase in attendance.

    How did he do it?

    “It was really about tapping into the community,” he said. “It was about doing all the things that the Denver Center already does day in and day out. All the things that are baked into their DNA here.”

    To turn things around in Miami, Shiller focused on tearing down any perceived barriers to entry. “For example, if language is a barrier to entry, we need to find ways to create great theatre where language is not a barrier,” he said. “If price is a barrier to entry, we need to find ways to be open to the community and to provide free and reduced-price admissions like I had available to me as a child.”

    Ritchie, 83, said Shiller “joins us at a pivotal time in the DCPA’s history. “Following an extensive analysis of our priorities, our emphasis will be on deepening and enriching relationships with our entire community. And Scott’s leadership will enable me to focus on board matters and reauthorization of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District in 2016.” 

    A2 Scott Shiller QuoteShiller thinks the SCFD – a voter-approved, penny per $10 tax that funds arts organization throughout the metro area with about $50 million a year – is "forward-thinking, unprecedented and essential."

    He also said of Ritchie: “He has an incredible reputation across the country. And I have a tremendous respect for the work he has done in driving the organization forward.”

    Under Shiller, the Arsht Center’s programming continued to experience broad growth and now includes more than 500 public performances, nearly 900 ancillary events and more than 500,000 guests each year. In 2007, he bucked the national trend by launching the equivalent of the DCPA Theatre Company for the presentation and performance of homegrown theatre. He has presented 12 world premiere plays and musicals at the Arsht Center in the past eight years.

    “That was both an incredible joy and a labor of love,” he said, “to be working with incredible local playwrights, national playwrights and amazing artists with the goal of creating work that is really tied to the community.”

    Shiller is somewhat in awe to be taking the reins of the Denver Center, which is not only the largest non-profit theatre organization in the nation by size, it’s No. 1 in audience engagement: Last season, the Denver Center, which does $52 million in annual business, entertained nearly 800,000 visitors through 43 productions, 816 performances and 138 events.

    “I am amazed at how the Denver Center stacks up against the leading organizations in this category,” Shiller said. “Think of that number: 800,000 visitors is more than the total number people who are living in Denver.” (And by more than 150,000.)

    “When I look at places like Center Theatre Group (in Los Angeles), which did 19 productions last year, or the Kennedy Center (in Washington D.C.), which did 18 theatre productions - and then you see that the Denver Center did 43? That’s pretty impressive. There are very few no-for-profit arts organizations that present both Broadway and produce original theatre. I think it's sometimes easy to forget what an incredible gem you have in your community.”

    Scott Shiller QuoteAs a whole, the cultural industry had a $520.8 million economic impact on Colorado in 2013. Last month, the National Endowment for the Arts released a study that put Colorado No. 1 in per-capita trips to theaters, concert halls and museums. Nearly 52 percent of all Colorado adults reported attendance at one or more live performing-arts events in 2012, far above the national average of 37.4 percent. Attendance at nonmusical plays in Colorado is roughly twice the rate of the country as a whole. 

    “I think that shows the audiences in Denver are incredibly sophisticated,” Shiller added. “You have an incredibly diverse audience that has clearly demonstrated with these attendance figures that they are willing to go along for the ride.” 

    Prior to the Arsht Center, Shiller presented and produced shows in major cities across the U.S., serving as Vice President of Programming at The Chicago Theatre and L.A.’s Kodak Theatre; Director of Programming and Engagement Manager at Boston’s On the Line Company; and as Theatre and Marketing Manager for Broadway in Boston. His Broadway credits include working on Wicked, The Graduate, Cabaret and The Diary of Anne Frank (Natalie Portman), and The Vagina Monologues (Eve Ensler). Click here to read his complete bio.

    Under Shiller, the multidisciplinary Arsht Center designed programs to welcome new patrons of all ages and backgrounds — family performances, gospel Sundays and extensive partnerships through the Miami-Dade County Public School District.

    Shiller is particularly proud of his Learning Through the Arts program, which has made performances of the Rock Odyssey available free to middle-school students. That is an innovative, rock opera approach to Homer’s The Odyssey that was written developed at the Walden Family Playhouse in Lakewood.

    Scott Shiller Quote“Through Rock Odyssey, we have introduced 300,000 students to the magic of live theatre,” said Shiller, who received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emerson College in 1997 and has served as an adjunct professor at DePaul University in Chicago.

    “There are so many studies that have proven that students who are introduced to the arts at a young age become lifelong learners in the arts.”

    Shiller believes his lifetime of producing shows on Broadway, of bringing national tours to the cities where he has worked, and launching his new regional theatre company in Miami have all prepared him to lead the Denver Center. Shiller says his top priorities will include education, access and diversity. But he says it is too soon for him to know yet how he can best impact the organization right away.

    “I am coming into an extremely healthy organization that is at the top of its game,” said Shiller, who is married to wife, Kerry. “The staff and the team members there have accomplished so much. And I think the community is really behind continuing the trend of the Denver Center becoming great. My goal will be to listen, learn, collaborate and challenge both (DCPA Broadway Director John Ekeberg and DCPA Producing Artistic Director Kent Thompson) to create work that is at the top of their game.”

    Asked what he hopes will be said of him a year from today, Shiller said: “That we were able to really muster our resources, and boy are we moving in the right direction with a full tank of gas and a lot of excitement."




    Scott Shiller is featured in this short documentary on the making of "Rock Odyssey" at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.The children's musical, first developed at the Walden Family Playhouse in Lakewood, introduced 300,000 students to the magic of live theatre in Miami.


    Previous coverage
    :
    Ritchie shifting focus to SCFD 'because we can't afford to fail'


    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.
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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.