• 2017 True West Award: The Tramps

    by John Moore | Nov 29, 2017
    TW-Award-1-Bouchard-Scrutchins-Gregory-McCracken

    2017 TRUE WEST AWARDS  

    Day 1: The Tramps

    Michael Bouchard and Sean Scrutchins
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
    Colorado Shakespeare Festival

    Sam Gregory and Timothy McCracken
    Waiting for Godot
    Arvada Center

    Scholars have long connected the lineage of the tramps from Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead back to Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, though all winding, endless roads begin with Shakespeare’s Hamlet. And all four were brought to brilliantly funny and heartbreaking life this year by four of Denver’s leading actors.

    WaitingForGodot400In both plays, two bewildered men bide their pointless time in a theatrical void while the real action unfolds somewhere … off-stage. Each play presents two insignificant tramps pondering the philosophies of a universe full of fear and uncertainty. These are plays that unravel in worlds where we are told “nothing ever happens," and yet — quite a lot happened in these kindred stagings, thanks to the work of this powerhouse foursome. 

    Theatre of the absurd, once so shocking for its subversion of theatre's traditional values, often leaves modern audiences baffled and scratching their heads. These four brought clarity to the incoherence with precise physical and tongue-twisting comedy.

    And to further muddy the absurdist bloodlines: Gregory also appeared in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (as The Player) and Scrutchins likewise appeared in Waiting for Godot (as The Boy). Not to menton: Bouchard, Scrutchins and Gregory all appeared in Colorado Shakespeare Festival's Hamlet (as Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and The Ghost) — because apparently all of this wasn't meta enough.

    What they are saying:

    • Timothy Orr, director, 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead': “Any good comedy team, from Laurel and Hardy to the Blues Brothers, needs to have this psychic connection between them, and Sean and Michael had it. They were connected. They were breathing the same air. And as actors, they were both playing the funny and the straight man at the same time, which is extremely difficult to do.”
    • RosencrantzGuildenstern-CSF17-JMK-1842Geoffrey Kent, Director, 'Waiting for Godot': "Nothing helps a pairing like friendship, and Sam and Tim are old friends. They met on the Denver Center's 1994 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which I watched from the audience. Didi and Gogo are introduced to the audience in the middle of a 50-year old conversation, and that personal history helps. In addition, Sam and Tim are the best listeners I know, intuitively and honestly reacting to each other from line to line. A truly fearless pair of actors."
    • Gary Zeidner, Boulder Weekly: "Whether they’re flipping quarters, forgetting which is Rosencrantz and which is Guildenstern, or delivering Stoppard’s sterling dialogue (like, “Who is the English King? Depends on when we get there”), Bouchard and Scrutchins are two of the most interesting and talented younger actors working the Front Range today. Like a modern-day Abbott and Costello, they are more than a pleasure to watch.”
    • Joanne Ostrow, The Denver Post: "The power of Beckett’s words beams through, thanks to fine, bittersweet performances by Sam Gregory and Timothy McCracken knocking about as perfect vaudevillians. The actors’ chemistry is first-rate, finding desperation beneath the comedy that doesn’t dilute the profound despair at the heart of the play. The production packs a wallop.”

    A look back at the history of the True West Awards

    Michael BouchardMichael Bouchard 2017:

    • Ensemble, Jesus Christ Superstar, Arvada Center
    • Rosencrantz, Hamlet, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    • Rosencrantz, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    • Northumberland, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    • David, The SantaLand Diaries, BETC and DCPA Off-Center, through Dec. 24


    Sam Gregory 160Sam Gregory 2017:
    • Dr. Lyman, Bus Stop, Arvada Center
    • Vladimir, Waiting for Godot, Arvada Center
    • Ghost/The Player, Hamlet, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    • The Player, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    • Scrooge, A Christmas Carol, DCPA Theatre Company, through Dec. 24



    Timothy McCrackenTimothy McCracken 2017:

    • Estragon, Waiting for Godot, Arvada Center
    • Brian, Smart People, DCPA Theatre Company
    • Scrooge understudy, A Christmas Carol, DCPA Theatre Company, through Dec. 24
    • Head of Acting, DCPA Education


    A Sean Scrutchins 160Sean Scrutchins 2017:

    • Bo, Bus Stop, Arvada Center
    • Boy, Waiting for Godot, Arvada Center
    • Guildenstern, Rosencrantz and Are Dead, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    • Guildenstern, Hamlet, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    • Frank, Appropriate, Curious Theatre
    • Dan (mostly), Body of an American, Curious Theatre, through Dec. 9

    More Colorado theatre coverage on 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

    The 2017 True West Awards (to date)

     

  • Vast and visceral: 2017-18 Theatre Company, Off-Center seasons

    by John Moore | Apr 03, 2017

     

    Macbeth, The Who's Tommy, four world premieres and
    "a deep dive into some truly exciting collaborations"

    By John Moore
    DCPA Senior Arts Journalist

    The DCPA Theatre Company’s 39th season will include vast and visceral reimaginings of two distinct cutting-edge classics, a record-tying four world premieres and the company's 25th staging of perennial favorite A Christmas Carol.

    The season begins in September with visionary director Robert O'Hara’s Macbeth to reopen the newly renovated Space Theatre, and builds to The Who’s rock musical Tommy, directed by Sam Buntrock (Frankenstein). And both directors promise ambitious stagings unlike anything audiences have seen before.

    Nataki Garrett QuoteThe DCPA has worked its way to the forefront of new-play development in the American theatre, and next season’s slate will include the comedy Zoey’s Perfect Wedding by former Playwright in Residence Matthew Lopez; José Cruz González’s American Mariachi, the musical tale of an all-female 1970s mariachi band; Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap, about an American college basketball team that travels to Beijing in 1989; and Eric Pfeffinger’s timely comedy Human Error, which raucously explores the great American ideological divide through two vastly different couples - and one wrongly implanted embryo.

    Zoey’s Perfect Wedding will reunite Lopez and Mike Donahue, writer and director from the DCPA’s endearing world premiere The Legend of Georgia McBride (which makes its West Coast debut tomorrow at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.)

    American Mariachi
    was a favorite from the Theatre Company's 2016 Colorado New Play Summit. "Women of course had many challenges trying to play in such a male-dominated musical form," González said. "We interviewed a number of amazing women who were able to help us enter into that world, and we found an amazing group of artists who will play and sing in the piece."

    The Great Leap and Human Error emerged from the recent 2017 Summit in February.  In The Great Leap, Yee explores sport as a metaphor for how countries rub up against each other in terms of strategy, styles and priorities. "If you think of all the sports out there, basketball is the one in which you can really lay the ideals of communism on top of it. Everyone gets to touch the ball. Everyone is equal in their position,” she says.

    Human Error will set a precedent as the first Theatre Company offering ever to be staged in the cabaret-style Garner-Galleria Theatre.

    “The 2017-18 DCPA Theatre Company season represents the microcosm at the heart of the American experiment,” said Associate Artistic Director Nataki Garrett. “These writers, spanning across generations, cultures, and genders, are exploring the ways in which our commonalities are more meaningful than our differences."

    2017-18 Broadway season brings Hamilton to Denver

    For the first time, the DCPA simultaneously announced the upcoming year of its adventurous and ambitious Off-Center line of programming. Off-Center is known for creating experiences that challenge conventions and expand on the traditional definition of theatre. Next season will be the largest yet for Off-Center. It includes Mixed Taste, a summer-long partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver; a 360-degree immersive staging of The Wild Party musical at the Stanley Marketplace. Also of great intrigue: Remote Denver, a  guided audio tour of the secret city; and This Is Modern Art, a controversial play by Idris Goodwin and Kevin Coval that explores graffiti as modern art ...  or urban terrorism.

    “The expansion of Off-Center is a result of the incredible response of the Denver community,” said Off-Center Curator (and Theatre Company Associate Artistic Director) Charlie Miller. “We have seen that audiences are hungry for a broad range of experiences, and are eager for the unexpected.”

    Miller calls the upcoming year "a deep dive into some truly exciting collaborations." A continuing one will be the return of The SantaLand Diaries, in partnership with Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company and again starring Michael Bouchard

    Combined, the DCPA today announced 14 upcoming new productions that will be presented across eight different venues at the Denver Performing Arts Complex and beyond.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    “Theater has the opportunity and the ability to help bridge our differences by offering performances that inspire us to seek deeper connections with one another,” said Garrett, who will make her DCPA debut directing Lydia Diamond's acclaimed race comedy Smart People. “We are honored to provide a space for conversations and connections to the Denver community this year through this season's offerings.”

    Lisa Portes Robert O'HaraMacbeth will be directed by Robert O'Hara, a rising playwright, director and screenwriter who won the 2010 NAACP Best Director Award and the 2010 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play. He was a young prodigy of original Angels in America Director George C. Wolfe and is perhaps best-known as a writer for Insurrection, a time-traveling play exploring racial and sexual identity. 

    The Who's Tommy, the rock musical based on the classic 1969 concept album about the pinball prodigy, will reunite acclaimed British Frankenstein director Sam Buntrock and Scenic Designer Jason Sherwood (who also will create the world of Macbeth). Native Gardens will mark the DCPA return of playwright Karen Zacarias, who wrote Just Like Us in 2014. Zacarias has penned a very close-to-home border-war story: One that plays out between two neighboring couples in D.C. who have a dispute over their property line. The director is Chicago's Lisa Portes, who recently won the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation's 2016 Zelda Fichandler Award, which recognizes an artist who is "transforming the regional arts landscape through singular creativity and artistry in the theatre." She is head of the masters program in directing at DePaul University.

    Next year's A Christmas Carol will be the 25th season staging of Dickens' classic by the DCPA since 1990. Melissa Rain Anderson will return for her second turn at directing, and popular longtime DCPA actor Sam Gregory again will play Scrooge.

    DCPA THEATRE COMPANY SEASON AT A GLANCE:

    • Sept. 15-Oct. 29: Robert O’Hara’s Macbeth (Space Theatre Grand Reopening)
    • Oct. 13-Nov. 19: Smart People (Ricketson Theatre)
    • Nov. 24-Dec. 24: A Christmas Carol (Stage Theatre)
    • Jan. 19-Feb. 25, 2018: Zoey’s Perfect Wedding (Space Theatre)
    • Jan. 26-Feb. 25, 2018: American Mariachi (Stage Theatre)
    • Feb. 2-March 11, 2018: The Great Leap (Ricketson Theatre)
    • April 6-May 6, 2018: Native Gardens (Space Theatre)
    • April 20-May 27, 2018: The Who's Tommy (Stage Theatre)
    • May 18-June 24, 2018: Human Error (Garner Galleria Theatre)

    DCPA OFF-CENTER 2017-18 SEASON AT A GLANCE:

    • July 5-Aug. 23 Mixed Taste, with MCA Denver (Seawell Grand Ballroom)
    • Oct. 12-31: The Wild Party (The Hangar at Stanley)
    • Nov. 24-Dec. 24: The SantaLand Diaries, with Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company (Jones Theatre)
    • March 22-April 15, 2018: This Is Modern Art (Jones Theatre)
    • Spring/Summer 2018: Remote Denver (on the streets of Denver)

    TC 2017-18 800

    And here is a more detailed look at all 14 newly announced productions, in chronological order:

    MIXED TASTE (Off-Center)
    mixed-tasteTag team lectures on unrelated topic
    Presented by Off-Center with MCA Denver
    Wednesdays from July 5 through Aug 23
    Seawell Grand Ballroom
    Even mismatched subjects will find common ground in a lecture series that can go pretty much anywhere. Two speakers get twenty minutes each to enlighten you on unrelated topics, but can’t make any connections to each other. Ideas start to blend afterward when audience members ask questions to both speakers and anything goes. READ MORE ABOUT IT



    MACBETH
    macbethBy William Shakespeare
    Directed by Robert O’Hara
    Sept. 15-Oct. 29
    Space Theatre (Grand Reopening)
    To get what he wants, Macbeth will let nothing stand in his way – not the lives of others, the people of Scotland or his own well-being. As his obsession takes command of his humanity and his sanity, the death toll rises and his suspicions mount. Shakespeare’s compact, brutal tragedy kicks off the grand reopening of our theatre-in-the-round in a visceral re-imagining from visionary director Robert O’Hara, who is “shaking up the world, one audience at a time” (The New York Times). This ambitious reinvention of the classic tale reminds us that no matter what fate is foretold, the man that chooses the dagger must suffer the consequences. 



    THE WILD PARTY
    (Off-Center)
    the-wild-partyMusic and Lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa
    Book by Michael John LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe
    Based on the poem by Joseph Moncure March
    Directed by Amanda Berg Wilson
    Oct. 12-31
    The Hangar at Stanley
    You’re invited to leave your inhibitions (and Prohibitions) behind for a decadent party in the Roaring Twenties. Indulge your inner flapper as you mingle with an unruly mix of vaudevillians, playboys, divas, and ingénues in a Manhattan apartment lost in time. Debauchery turns disastrous as wild guests becomes unhinged and their solo songs reveal the drama bubbling underneath the surface. Whether you’re a wallflower or a jitterbug, you’ll think this jazz- and booze-soaked immersive musical is the bee’s knees. Dress up in your finest pearls, suits and sequins – encouraged but not required.



    SMART PEOPLE

    smart-peopleBy Lydia R. Diamond
    Directed by Nataki Garrett
    Oct. 13-Nov. 19
    Ricketson Theatre
    Intelligence can only get you so far when it comes to navigating love, success and identity in the modern age. This biting comedy follows a quartet of Harvard intellectuals struggling to understand why the lives of so many people – including their own – continue to be undermined by race. But no matter how hard they research, question and confront the issue, their own problems with self-awareness make it difficult to face the facts of life. Fiercely clever dialogue and energetic vignettes keep the laughs coming in a story that Variety calls “Sexy, serious and very, very funny.”



    A CHRISTMAS CAROL

    christmas-carolBy Charles Dickens
    Adapted by Richard Hellesen
    Music by David de Berry
    Directed by Melissa Rain Anderson
    Nov. 24-Dec. 24
    Stage Theatre
    Essential to the holiday season in Denver, A Christmas Carol promises to “warm your heart and renew your holiday spirit” according to the Examiner. Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, this joyous and opulent musical adaptation traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption. A Christmas Carol illuminates the meaning of the holiday season in a way that has resonated for generations. Denver favorite Sam Gregory returns as Scrooge. READ MORE ABOUT IT

    (Note: 'A Christmas Carol' is an added attraction, not part of the Theatre Company subscription season.)



    SantaLand Diaries 2016. Michael Bouchard. Photo by Adams VisCom
    'The SantaLand Diaries,' 2016. Michael Bouchard. Photo by Adams VisCom.

    THE SANTALAND DIARIES
    (Off-Center)
    By David Sedaris
    Adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello
    Presented by Off-Center with Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    Directed by Stephen Weitz
    Nov. 24-Dec. 24
    The Jones Theatre
    This disgruntled Macy's elf has the cure for the common Christmas show. Looking for a little more snark in your stocking? Crumpet the Elf returns for more hilarious hijinks in this acclaimed one-man show based on stories by David Sedaris. Crumpet’s twisted tales from his stint in Macy’s SantaLand are the cure for the common Christmas show. Release your holiday stress, get all of those obnoxious carols out of your head and check out even more late night options this year. READ MORE ABOUT IT



    ZOEY'S PERFECT WEDDING

    zoeys-perfect-wedding2By Matthew Lopez
    Directed by Mike Donahue
    Jan. 19-Feb. 25, 2018
    Space Theatre
    The blushing bride. The touching toast. The celebration of true love. These are the dreams of Zoey’s big day…and the opposite of what it’s turning out to be. Disaster after disaster follow her down the aisle, from brutally honest boozy speeches to a totally incompetent wedding planner. Even worse, her friends are too preoccupied with their own relationship woes to help with the wreckage around them. From the team that brought you, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Matthew Lopez’s wildly funny fiasco destroys expectations with the realities of commitment, fidelity and growing up. READ OUR 2015 INTERVIEW WITH MATTHEW LOPEZ



    AMERICAN MARIACHI

    american-mariachi2By José Cruz González
    Director to be announced
    Jan. 26-Feb. 25, 2018
    The Stage Theatre
    Lucha and Bolie are ready to start their own all-female mariachi band in the 1970s. The only things standing in their way are a male-dominated music genre, patriarchal pressure from inside their families and finding the right women to fill out their sound. As they practice, perform and strive to earn the respect of their community, their music sparks a transformation in the lives of those around them – especially Lucha’s parents. This humorous, heartwarming story about music’s power to heal and connect includes gorgeous live mariachi music played on stage. González writes a passionate story about families and friendships that you should share with yours. READ OUR FULL INTERVIEW WITH JOSÉ CRUZ GONZÁLEZ


     

    THE GREAT LEAP
    the-great-leap2By Lauren Yee
    Director to be announced
    Feb. 2-March 11, 2018
    Ricketson Theatre
    When an American college basketball team travels to Beijing for an exhibition game in 1989, the drama on the court goes deeper than the strain between their countries. For two men with a past and one teen with a future, it’s a chance to stake their moment in history and claim personal victories off the scoreboard. American coach Saul grapples with his relevance to the sport, Chinese coach Wen Chang must decide his role in his rapidly-changing country and Chinese American player Manford seeks a lost connection. Tensions rise right up to the final buzzer as history collides with the action in the stadium. Yee’s “acute ear for contemporary speech” and a “devilishly keen satiric eye” (San Francisco Chronicle) creates an unexpected and touching story inspired by events in her own father’s life. READ OUR FULL INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN YEE


     

    THIS IS MODERN ART
    this-is-modern-artBy Kevin Coval and Idris Goodwin
    Directed by Idris Goodwin
    March 22-April 15, 2018
    The Jones Theatre
    Graffiti crews are willing to risk anything for their art. Called vandals, criminals, even creative terrorists, Chicago graffiti artists set out night after night to make their voices heard and alter the way people view the world. But when one crew finishes the biggest graffiti bomb of their careers, the consequences get serious and spark a public debate asking, where does art belong? This Is Modern Art gives a glimpse into the lives of anonymous graffiti artists and asks us to question the true purpose of art. READ MORE ABOUT IT


    NATIVE GARDENS
    native-gardensBy Karen Zacarias
    Directed by Lisa Portes
    April 6-May 6, 2018
    Space Theatre
    Dealing with neighbors can be thorny, especially for Pablo and Tania, a young Latino couple who have just moved into a well-established D.C. neighborhood. Though Frank and Virginia have the best intentions for making the new couple feel welcome next door, their newly budding friendship is tested when they realize their shared property line isn’t where it’s supposed to be. Frank is afraid of losing his prized garden, Pablo wants what is legally his, Tania has a pregnancy and a thesis she’d rather be worrying about, and Virginia just wants some peace. But until they address the real roots of their problems, it’s all-out war in this heartfelt comedy about the lines that divide us and those that connect us.



    Sam Buntock

    THE WHO'S TOMMY
    the-whos-tommyMusic and Lyrics by Pete Townshend
    Book by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff
    Additional Music and Lyrics by John Entwistle and Keith Moon
    Directed by Sam Buntrock
    April 20-May 27, 2018
    Stage Theatre
    Based on The Who’s iconic 1969 rock concept album, Tommy is an exhilarating musical about the challenges of self-discovery and the resilience of the human spirit. When young Tommy retreats into a world of darkness and silence after a deeply traumatic incident, he must navigate a harsh and unforgiving world with no hope of recovery. But when he discovers a newfound talent for pinball, he’s swept up in the fame and fortune of his success. Tommy and his family give new voice to The Who’s classic stadium rock as they navigate the troubles and joys of being alive. This production reunites director Sam Buntrock and scenic designer Jason Sherwood, the team behind last season’s audience favorite, Frankenstein.



    HUMAN ERROR

    human-error2By Eric Pfeffinger
    Director to be announced
    May 18-June 24, 2018
    Garner Galleria Theatre
    Madelyn and Keenan are NPR-listening, latte-sipping, blue-state liberals, while Heather and Jim are NRA-cardholding, truck-driving, red-state conservatives. After an unfortunate mix-up by their blundering fertility doctor, Heather is mistakenly impregnated with the wrong child. Now the two couples face sharing an uproarious nine-month’s odyssey of culture shock, clashing values, changing attitudes and unlikely – but heartfelt – friendships. “Up-and-coming scribe Eric Pfeffinger has the vital nerve to explore the gaping communication gap between red America and blue America, liberal humanists and the conservative right” (Chicago Tribune). READ OUR FULL INTERVIEW WITH ERIC PFEFFINGER


    REMOTE DENVER
    remote-denverBy Rimini Protokoll
    Concept, Script and Direction: Stefan Kaegi
    Research, Script and Direction Denver: Jörg Karrenbauer
    Spring/Summer 2018
    On the streets of Denver
    Join a group of 50 people swarming Denver on a guided audio tour that seems to follow you as much as you are following it. Experience a soundtrack to the streets, sights, and rooftops of The Mile High City as a computer-generated voice guides your group’s movements in real time. Discover a "secret Denver," exploring places like gathering spaces, back alleyways, dark hallways and public areas through a new lens. You’re not just audience members — you’re actors and spectators, observers and observed, individuals and hordes, all at the same time.

     

    TICKET INFORMATION:

    • Theatre Company: New and renewing subscribers have the first opportunity to reserve tickets. Subscription packages are available online at denvercenter.org/nextseason or by calling 303-893-4100. Subscribers enjoy free ticket exchanges, payment plans, priority offers to added attractions, discounted extra tickets, a dedicated VIP hotline, free events including talkbacks and receptions, and the best seats at the best prices, guaranteed. Single ticket on-sale date will be announced at a later time. Note: Plans for the new season are subject to change and benefit restrictions may apply.
    • Off-Center: The single-ticket on-sale date for all Off-Center productions will be announced at a later time. Subscriptions are not available for Off-Center shows.

     

     

  • Lenne Klingaman to explore Hamlet's feminine side for Colorado Shakes

    by John Moore | Mar 02, 2017
    Lenne Klingaman



    The Colorado Shakespeare Festival has announced casting for its 60th anniversary season in the summer of 2017, and it includes not only a female Hamlet, but one familiar to DCPA Theatre Company audiences. Lenne Kingaman, who played Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and two roles in Appoggiatura, will be mulling the meaning of her existence on the University of Colorado's intimate indoor stage. 

    And DCPA veteran Robert Sicular will be playing Julius Caesar. He’s performed in 11 Theatre Company productions from 1994-2012, most recently Heartbreak House, The Liar and The Taming of the Shrew. Anthony Powell (All the Way) directs.

    "I’m super excited about the cast we’ve put together,” Producing Artistic Director Timothy Orr. “We worked really hard to assemble a group of local favorites — some of the best in Colorado — as well as actors from California and New York who we’ve been trying to get out here for several years.”

    Robert SicularCarolyn Howarth is directing a contemporary version of Hamlet in a fresh way that should unlock more of the enduring mysteries of the play, Klingaman said.

    “To be a woman sinking my teeth into a role that is so iconic, but from a female perspective, is going to allow us to open up the characters and the relationships in the story in a way that will help us find our way to an even more universal portrayal of the character and the play as a whole,” she said.

    For centuries, women have been going through the same juggernaut of earth-shattering experiences Hamlet went through, Klingaman said. Audiences just have not been allowed to see that play out on a stage until now.

    “To be a woman and to get to tackle those issues of power and mortality and duty and love will be extremely thrilling," Klingaman said. “But I am also excited about what it does to every relationship in the play" 

    It should be noted that Ophelia still will be played by a woman (Emelie O'Hara).

    “Our understanding of masculinity and femininity today is so different from Shakespeare’s time," she said. "Some of our ideas of what might be feminine today are now more in line with might have been considered masculine in Shakespeare’s time. I want to open up a more fluid conception of gender and masculinity and femininity. It's not just a question of one or the other."

    University of Northern Colorado theatre professor Shelly Gaza will make her Colorado Shakes debut as Kate in a New York-centric, post-war The Taming of the Shrew. Scott Coopwood, a Marin Shakespeare Company and Portland Center Stage regular, will play Petruchio.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Gaza’s Kate is a plucky Air Force pilot who’s just returned to New York City from a tour in World War II, and Coopwood’s Petruchio, older and wiser in this production, must grapple with the fact that he’s fallen in love with his strong, stubborn match.

    Michael Bouchard (The SantaLand Diaries) and DCPA Teaching Artist Sean Scrutchins will play the title characters in Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, a comic retelling of Hamlet from the perspective of its two most minor characters. Most of the actors in Hamlet will play their same roles in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.

    “I can’t believe I get to work with Sean and Michael in the title roles,” said Orr, who will direct. “Comedically, these guys can tear the roof off a theatre.”

    Other familiar DCPA names include Sam Gregory (Scrooge in A Christmas Carol), Mare Trevathan (The Sweetest Swing in Baseball), Rodney Lizcano (The Book of Will) and Meridith C. Grundei (Frankenstein). Also well-known to Colorado Shakes audiences or around the metro area include Christopher Joel Onken, Casey Andree, Rachel Turner, Sam Sandoe, Anne Sandoe, Bob Buckley and Anne Penner. 

    The design teams include DCPA costumer Meghan Anderson Doyle (An Act of God, The Glass Menagerie), sound designer Jason Ducat (Two Degrees) and lighting designer Shannon McKinney (Tribes). Acclaimed New York scenic and lighting designer Stephen C. Jones will light both indoor plays (the other is a yet-to-be-cast Original Practices performance of Henry VI, Part 3.

    Additional reporting by Jill Kimball of CU Presents.

    HAMLET, indoors
    June 23-Aug. 13
    Shakespeare’s masterpiece, often considered the greatest play in the English language, returns for CSF’s 60th season. When Hamlet’s world is ripped apart by his father’s sudden death and his mother’s hasty remarriage, the young prince’s mind wrestles with his heart in a tormented quest to uncover the truth. Staged for the first time inside the intimate University Theatre, this is Hamlet as you’ve never seen it before.

    Gary Wright: Claudius
    Michael Bouchard: Rosencrantz
    Kristofer Buxton: Osric/Tragedian
    Elise Collins: Fortinbras/Tragedian
    Sam Gregory: The Player/Ghost
    Lenne Klingaman: Hamlet
    Ava Kostia: Laertes
    Rodney Lizcano: Polonius/Gravedigger
    Jihad Milhem: Horatio
    Emelie O'Hara: Ophelia
    Sean Scrutchins: Guildenstern
    Cindy Spitko: Voltemand/Tragedian
    Austin Terrell: Cornelius/Tragedian
    Mare Trevathan: Gertrude
    Blake Williams: Marcellus/Tragedian

    Carolyn Howarth: Director
    Paul Behrhorst: Stage Manager
    Whitney Brady: Assistant Lighting and Scenic Designer
    Jason Ducat: Sound Designer
    Hugh Hanson: Costume Designer
    Stephen C. Jones: Scenic Designer, Lighting Designer
    Darion Ramos: Assistant Stage Manager

    JULIUS CAESAR, outdoors
    July 7-Aug. 12
    Benaiah Anderson: Cinna/Titinius/Ensemble
    Casey Andree: Casca/Strata/Ensemble
    Bob Buckley: Cobbler/Publius/Lepidus/Ensemble
    Michael Chen: Volumnious/Ensemble
    Scott Coopwood: Marcus Brutus
    David Derringer: Trebonius/Clitus/Ensemble
    Evan Ector: Young Cato/Ensemble
    Erik Fellenstein: Flavius/Anthony's Messenger/Octavius Caesar/Ensemble
    Ian Roy Fraser: Lucius
    Shelly Gaza: Calphurnia
    Christopher Joel Onken: Marc Anthony
    Anne Penner: Portia/Soothsayer
    Tony Ryan: Carpenter/Metellus Cimber/Lucilius/Ensemble
    Sam Sandoe: Caius Ligarius/Ensemble
    Matthew Schneck: Cassius
    Robert Sicular: Julius Caesar
    Ayla Sullivan: Artemidora/Ensemble
    Andy Walker Decius: Brutus/Pindarus/Ensemble
    Coleman Zeigen: Marullus/Populous/Lepidus/Ensemble

    Anthony Powell: Director
    Caitlin Ayer: Scenic Designer
    Jonathan D. Allsup: Assistant Stage Manager
    Jason Ducat: Sound Designer
    Clare Henkel: Costume Designer
    Shannon McKinney: Lighting Designer
    Stacy Renee Norwood: Stage Manager

    THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, outdoors
    June 11-Aug. 13
    CSF kicks off its 60th season with a zany comedy set in swinging 1940s New York City. Enter Kate, a plucky pilot who’s just returned from the fray of World War II, and her stubborn match, Petruchio. On the vibrant streets of Little Italy, the two duke it out in a battle of wits, dance the night away and discover, against all odds, a mutual respect that’s almost like being in love.

    Benaiah Anderson: Biondello
    Casey Andree: Hortensio
    Michael Chen: Ensemble
    Scott Coopwood: Petruchio
    David Derringer: Tailor / Ensemble
    Evan Ector: EnsembleIan
    Roy Fraser: Haberdasher/Ensemble
    Shelly Gaza: Kate
    Meredith C. Grundei: Curtis
    Christopher Joel Onken: Lucentio
    Tony Ryan: Tranio
    Anne Sandoe: Widow
    Sam Sandoe: Gremio
    Matthew Schneck: Grumio
    Robert Sicular: Baptista
    Ayla Sullivan: Ensemble
    Rachel Turner: Bianca
    Robert Wester: The Pedant
    Coleman Zeigen: Vincentio

    Christopher DuVal: Director
    Caitlin Ayer: Scenic Designer
    Jonathan D. Allsup: Assistant Stage Manager
    Meghan Anderson Doyle: Costume Designer
    Jason Ducat: Sound Designer
    Shannon McKinney: Lighting Designer
    Stacy Renee Norwood: Stage Manager

    ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD, indoors
    July 21-Aug. 13
    In this hilarious and mind-bending comedy by the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Shakespeare in Love, Hamlet is brilliantly retold through the eyes of two minor characters. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two bewildered schoolmates sent to pull Prince Hamlet out of his descent into madness, grapple with fate, free will and the game of life. CSF’s production brings its full Hamlet cast on stage to inhabit Stoppard’s ingenious parallel universe of wit and wisdom.

    Gary Wright: Claudius
    Michael Bouchard: Rosencrantz
    Elise Collins: Tragedian
    Sam Gregory: The Player
    Lenne Klingaman: Hamlet
    Rodney Lizcano: Polonius
    Jihad Milhem: Horatio
    Emelie O'Hara: Ophelia
    Sean Scrutchins: Guildenstern
    Cindy Spitko: Tragedian
    Austin Terrell: Tragedian
    Mare Trevathan: Gertrude
    Blake Williams: Tragedian

    Timothy Orr: Director
    Paul Behrhorst: Stage Manager
    Whitney Brady: Assistant Lighting and Scenic Designer
    Jason Ducat: Sound Designer
    Hugh Hanson: Costume Designer
    Stephen C. Jones: Scenic Designer, Lighting Designer
    Darion Ramos: Assistant Stage Manager

    ADDITIONAL COMPANY
    Casting by Sylvia Gregory Casting
    Company Armorer: Benaiah Anderson
    Props Supervisor: Katie Hamilton
    Costume Shop Manager Adam M. Dill


    TICKET INFORMATION  

     

  • Meet the cast: Michael Bouchard of 'The SantaLand Diaries'

    by John Moore | Dec 20, 2016
     Michael Bouchard. The SantaLand Diaries. Photo by Adams Vicsom. Michael Bouchard of 'The SantaLand Diaries': 'If you're wanting to kick Christmas in the (privates), boy do I have the show for you.' Photo by Adams Viscom.


    MEET MICHAEL BOUCHARD

    David/Crumpet in The SantaLand Diaries, a collaboration between Off-Center and the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, running through Dec. 24 in the Jones Theatre.

     Michael Bouchard QuoteAt the Theatre Company: Ensemble in A Christmas Carol. Selected other credits: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Colorado Shakespeare Festival), The Cripple of Inishmaan (Creede Rep), Camelot (Arvada Center), Bach at Leipzig (Boulder Ensemble Theater Company), Avenue Q (Vintage Theater). Spamalot (Aurora Fox). TV/Film: Charles Manson in The CREEP behind the Camera. Special/Awards/Training: Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, 2009 Best Season by an Actor, Denver Post; 2011 Denver Post and Westword Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy; 2012 Westword Best on Stage Couple (with wife Rachel Bouchard.)

    • Twitter-sized bio: I’m an introverted performer who wants to be liked by those around him while constantly starting arguments.
    • Hometown: The I-80 corridor from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe
    • Training: Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts
    • What was the role that changed your life? Probably Eugene in Broadway Bound along with Shady Brady in Slabtown that same year at Creede Repertory Theatre. I proved to myself that I really was capable of leading shows in a range of characters. Eugene being Neil Simon, and Brady being an angry western drunk gunslinger. That’s also the year I met my wife, so it was a really good year.
    • Why are you an actor? As a child I would cope with the difficult divorce of my parents and getting bullied at school by retreating into my imagination. Come to find you can actually make a living playing make believe. Or at least you can try, which is what I’m doing.
    • What would you be doing if you weren't an actor: I’d probably be a writer. An opinion writer at that. I’m just well read enough to have opinions that are substantive and just dumb enough to think people would want to read them if I write them.
    • TatianaIdeal scene partner: Tatiana Maslany. She’s the most versatile actress working today and I have immense respect for that. In America we call people who are morphing in and out or personalities that are not their own, “character actors.” But the Brits simply call them “actors.” That’s what I aspire to be, and she is the gold standard.
    • Why does The SantaLand Diaries matter? The holidays are actually not a very happy time for many people. Not everyone has a Norman Rockwell family to return to, and the stress of presents, decorations and parties can suck all the fun out of the holidays. And there’s no escaping it. Holiday music starts playing in every public square the second after you pull the turkey out of the oven, and from then on out you’re in Holiday North Korea. So, this play helps us to remember to laugh at all the insanity and commercialization surrounding a guy in a red suit who was invented by Coca-Cola.
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of seeing it? I know I’ve done my job when people are leaving saying that they haven’t laughed that hard in years. Not everyone does, of course. The humor isn’t for everyone and time to time people leave (or flip me off). But if you're wanting to kick Christmas in the (privates), boy do I have the show for you.
    • Finish this sentence: "All I want is ..."
      "... A Tony Award, a syndicated column, a cottage in Aspen, a full library and wine cellar, a sold-out show and a new pair of jeans."
    Video: Your first look at The SantaLand Diaries



    The SantaLand Diaries
    : Ticket information

    • The story: David Sedaris' off-beat tales from his stint as a Macy's elf in New York City is the sure cure for the common Christmas show.
    • Through Dec. 24
    • Jones Theatre
    • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829

    Selected previous coverage of The SantaLand Diaries:
    Video, photos: Your first look at The SantaLand Diaries 2016
    Podcast 2015: Listen in with Michael Bouchard and John Moore


    Michael Bouchard, left, in a previous staging of Creede Repertory Theatre's 'The 39 Steps' with Mario Cabrera and Steven Cole Hughes.
  • Video, photos: Your first look at 'The SantaLand Diaries' 2016

    by John Moore | Dec 03, 2016


    Your first look at the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's 2016 staging of The SantaLand Diaries, presented each holiday season in partnership with the DCPA's Off-Center at the Jones Theatre. Michael Bouchard stars in David Sedaris' off-beat monologue about his real-life stint as a Macy's elf in New York City. The SantaLand Diaries has been called "a sure cure for the common Christmas show." Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.

    Listen to John Moore's 2015 podcast with Michael Bouchard


    The SantaLand Diaries production photos: Our first-look photo gallery:
    The SantaLand Diaries 2016

    To see more photos, click on the "forward" arrow on the image above. Photos by Adams VisCom for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    The SantaLand Diaries:
    Ticket information
    280x200-santaland-diariesAt a glance: Crumpet the Elf returns for more hilarious holiday hi-jinks in this acclaimed one-man show. Looking for a little more snark in your stocking this year? David Sedaris' offbeat tales from his stint as a Macy's elf in New York City do not make for your typical Christmas show.

    Presented by Off-Center and Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    By David Sedaris
    Adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello
    Directed by Stephen Weitz
    Nov. 25-Dec. 24
    Jones Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    SantaLand Diaries 2016. Michael Bouchard. Photo by Adams VisComYou really don't want to be Riley when David (Michael Bouchard) gets going - even if you can't see the misbehaving kid. Photo by Adams VisCom.
  • Photos: DCPA demonstrates 'The Magic of Theatre' for Denver Arts Week

    by John Moore | Nov 08, 2016
    The Magic of TheatreAll photos are downloadable for free. To see more, just click the forward arrow on the image above. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    More than a dozen Denver Center artisans both onstage and off treated a near-capacity crowd at the Ricketson Theatre to a free demonstration of insider tricks of the trade on Monday night. This special evening, titled The Magic of Theatre, was the DCPA's contribution to the community-wide celebration of Denver Arts Week.

    "The Magic of Theatre" blood demonstration from "Sweeney Todd." Photo by John Moore. Ever wonder how it rains on stage? Snows inside? Or how they sliced so many necks in Sweeney Todd without anyone getting hurt? DCPA experts in lighting, sound, multimedia, scenic design, costumes, wigs, painting and props made brief demonstrations in each of their respective crafts. The artists made real fire on stage, and showed how some of the bulkiest-looking set pieces are actually as light as styrofoam. 

    (Pictured above right: Director of Scenic Arts Jana Mitchell is just fine after having her throat slashed and eye gouged out. It's magic!) 


    The hosts were actors Steven J. Burge (An Act of God) and Napoleon M. Douglas (A Christmas Carol). Audiences were welcomed by actors Michael Bouchard (The SantaLand Diaries) and Sam Gregory (A Christmas Carol). Jenna Moll Reyes and John Hauser performed a scene from DCPA Education's traveling  "Shakespeare in the Parking Lot" production of Romeo and Juliet, and Colorado native Matthew Dailey took questions about his current assignment playing Tommy DeVito in the Denver-bound national touring production of Jersey Boys. He welcomed about The Magic of Theatre. Jersey Boysa dozen audience members (including the boy pictured at right) onto the stage to learn how to "walk like a man."

    Some of the DCPA artisans who contributed to the program included Lisa Orzolek, Bob Orzolek, Meghan Anderson Doyle, Charles MacLeod, Robin Payne, Jana Mitchell, Doug Taylor and Topher Blair.

    They also took a wide range of questions from the audience, ranging from stage injuries to actor salaries power outages to whether crews use real black powder in their stage explosives.

    Among their pearls of wisdom:

    • The DCPA Theatre Company employs about 80 craftspeople
    • One dress can take up to 60 hours to construct
    • It takes about 20 backstage crew at every performance to keep A Christmas Carol running smoothly

    Information on the shows:
    Jersey Boys
    A Christmas Carol
    The SantaLand Diaries
    An Act of God


    The Magic of Theatre. Michael Bouchard and Sam Gregory. Michael Bouchard ("The SantaLand Diaries") and Sam Gregory ("A Christmas Carol") at Monday's "The Magic of Theatre" gathering. Photo by John Moore. 
  • Cast lists: 'A Christmas Carol,' 'The SantaLand Diaries' begin anew

    by John Moore | Nov 01, 2016

    Christmas Casting Santaland Michael Bouchard

    Michael Bouchard will return next month to his role as a desperate man who takes a job as a department-store elf in David Sedaris' 'The SantaLand Diaries.' Photo by Emily Lozow for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    The DCPA Theatre Company has begun rehearsals for its 24th seasonal staging of A Christmas Carol with at least two meaningful beginnings: Melissa Rain Anderson is the first new director to helm the production for the DCPA since 2005, and longtime company favorite Sam Gregory is assuming the role of Ebenezer Scrooge from veteran Philip Pleasants.

    A Christmas Carol. Photo by Adams VisCom.On the other hand, casting for Off-Center’s seasonal co-production of The SantaLand Diaries, staged in partnership with the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, will be unchanged for 2016, with Michael Bouchard donning the caustic candy-striped socks for a second time  in David Sedaris’ comic monologue recounting his real-life experience working as a Macy’s Department store elf.

    Bouchard is a Denver Post Ovation Award-winning actor best-known to Colorado audiences from his time at the Arvada Center, the Creede Repertory Theatre and the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company. Luke Sorge will again serve as Bouchard's understudy.

    Listen to John Moore's 2015 podcast with Michael Bouchard

    This will be Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's eighth annual holiday staging of The SantaLand Diaries, and the fourth since it moved to the DCPA's Jones Theatre. The director is again Steven Weitz, who directed the DCPA Theatre Company's Tribes.

    MelissaRianAndersonThe cast for A Christmas Carol includes several returning cast members and some fresh faces. Leslie O'Carroll returns for her 18th turn as the DCPA's Mrs. Fezziwig, again alongside Michael Fitzpatrick as Mr Fezziwig (pictured above right; photo by Adams VisCom.) Newcomers include Broadway veteran Jim Poulos, who starred in the Arvada Center's 2013 production of Curtains. Poulos will play Fred and Young Ebenezer. Also: Daniel Berryman, who played Anthony in the Theatre Company's acclaimed production of Sweeney Todd earlier this year, will return to Denver to play Topper.

    "At Christmastime, there is no better show to be working on," said Anderson (pictured above and right).

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    A Christmas Carol: Cast list (alphabetically):
    Daniel Berryman
    (DCPA’s Sweeney Todd) as Topper/Ensemble.
    Latoya Cameron (DCPA debut) as Mrs. Cratchit/Ghost of Christmas Past.
    Kevin Curtis
    (DCPA’s Sweeney Todd) as Dick Wilkins/Peter Cratchit/Ensemble.
    Allen Dorsey
    (DCPA’s Lord of the Flies, A Christmas Carol) as Swing.
    Napoleon Douglas
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come/Ensemble.
    Jack Eller
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Ebenezer the Child/Ensemble.
    Michael Fitzpatrick
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Mr. Fezziwig/Ensemble.
    Sam Gregory
    (DCPA’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Hamlet, All The Way, A Christmas Carol) as Ebenezer Scrooge.
    Kyra Lindsay
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Martha Cratchit/Ensemble.
    Brody Lineweaver
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Ensemble.
    Lars Lundberg
    (DCPA’s As You Like It) as Ensemble.
    Chloe McCleod
    (DCPA debut) as Swing.
    Timothy McCracken
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) will understudy Ebenezer Scrooge.
    M. Scott McLean
    (DCPA’s Animal Crackers, As You Like It, A Christmas Carol) as Ensemble.
    Chris Mixon
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Old Joe/Ensemble.
    Grace Morgan
    (The Phantom of the Opera, DCPA debut) as Belle/Fred’s Wife/Ensemble.
    Leslie O’Carroll
    (DCPA’s Benediction, A Christmas Carol) as Mrs. Fezziwig/Ensemble.
    Jim Poulos
    (Broadway’s Rent, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, DCPA debut) as Fred/Young Ebenezer/Ensemble.
    Wayne Pretlow
    (DCPA debut) as Ghost of Christmas Present/Ensemble.
    Max Raabe
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Ensemble.
    Augie Reichert
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Tiny Tim/Ensemble.
    Helen Reichert
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Belinda Cratchit/Ensemble.
    Jeffrey Roark
    (DCPA’s Sweeney Todd, All The Way, A Christmas Carol) as Jacob Marley/Ensemble.
    Christine Rowan
    (DCPA’s Sweeney Todd, Animal Crackers, A Christmas Carol) as Ensemble.
    Shannan Steele
    (DCPA’s Sweeney Todd, A Christmas Carol) as Ensemble.
    Olivia Sullivent
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Fan/Ensemble.
    Jackie Vanderbeck
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Charwoman/Ensemble.
    Brian Vaughan
    (DCPA debut) as Bob Cratchit/Ensemble.
    Owen Zitek
    (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Edward Cratchit/Ensemble.


    A Christmas Carol: Ticket information
    A Christmas CarolAt a glance: Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, this joyous and opulent musical adaptation traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption. A Christmas Carol illuminates the meaning of the holiday season in a way that has resonated for generations.

    Presented by the DCPA Theatre Company
    By Charles Dickens
    Adapted for the stage by Richard Hellesen
    Music by David de Berry
    Directed by Melissa Rain Anderson
    Nov. 25-Dec. 24
    Stage Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE



    The SantaLand Diaries:
    Ticket information

    280x200-santaland-diariesAt a glance: Crumpet the Elf returns for more hilarious holiday hi-jinks in this acclaimed one-man show. Looking for a little more snark in your stocking this year? David Sedaris' offbeat tales from his stint as a Macy's elf in New York City are the sure cure for the common Christmas show.

    Presented by Off-Center and Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    By David Sedaris
    Adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello
    Directed by Stephen Weitz
    Nov. 25-Dec. 24
    Jones Theatre
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

  • In the Spotlife: Anne Oberbroeckling of 'Ripcord'

    by John Moore | Sep 17, 2016
    Anne Oberbroeckling and Billie McBride star in Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's 'Ripcord,' by David Lindsay-Abaire. Photo by Michael Ensminger.


    The DCPA NewsCenter regularly profiles actors performing in theatre productions throughout the state of Colorado.

    MEET ANNE OBERBROECKLING

    Marilyn Dunne in Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Ripcord

    • Hometown: Long Beach, Calif.
    • Home now: Denver
    • College: Degree in theatre and English from Clark College in Dubuque, Iowa
    • What have you done for us lately? Amanda in the Cherry Creek Theatre Company's The Glass Menagerie
    • What is Ripcord all about? Well, it is written by David Lindsay-Abaire, so while it can be about one thing, on the surface, it is really about so very much more. But the
      essence is the story of two old gals in an assisted living facility in New Jersey who are polar opposites. They make a bet where one of them wins the room for herself. One is trying to make one angry and the other is trying scare the first one. The bets
      become more complicated and intricate and crazy.
    • Most challenging aspect for you as an actor: Marilyn is a mother, grandmother and widow. She is one of the most positive and energetic women I may have ever played. That is a challenge right there. The bets are going to require some technological challenges (so I guess that is the crew, not me, whew.) l have also been basing her on an old friend who passed away from ALS last year. She is my spirit animal on this one.
    • What do you love most about this play? I love David Lindsay-Abaire's outlook on life. It is sweet and funny and slightly off-kilter.
    • What's one thing most people don't know about you? I want to write, and I continue to make attempts at it Just wait.
    • What’s one thing you want to get off your chest? I wish to heck there were much more gender-blind, age-blind and color-blind casting. We are all so darn afraid to take chances with things like that in the U.S. There is so much more of that done in other countries. I remember this quote from an actor who said: "I  want to play the parts that weren't written for me." Isn't that great?

      Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Ripcord: Ticket information
      • Directed by Rebecca Remaly (read her interview with the Daily Camera)
      • Through Oct. 9
      • At the new Grace Gamm Theater in the renovated Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder
      • Performances: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays, plus 7:30 p.m. Thursdays Sept. 29 and Oct. 6. Also: "Tech Tuesday," 6:30 p.m. Sept. 27. (Includes pre-show happy hour and post-show conversation for $40).
      • Tickets $20-$35
      • 303-440-7826 or BUY ONLINE


    Cast list:

    Abby Binder: Billie McBride
    Marilyn Dunne: Anne Oberbroeckling
    Scotty: Michael Bouchard
    Benjamin/Lewis: Josh Hartwell
    Colleen: Lindsey Pierce
    Derek: Kevin Lowry

    Please Note: Ripcord contains some profane language and adult situations, so may not be suitable for patrons under high-school age. Parental discretion advised.

    More 'In the Spotlife' profiles:
    Meet Carley Cornelius of Colorado Springs TheatreWorks' Constellations
    Meet Megan Van De Hey of the Arvada Center's Sister Act
    Meet Emily Paton Davies of Miners Alley Playhouse's God of Carnage

  • Philip Pleasants: A Scrooge for the ages, one last time

    by John Moore | Nov 19, 2015

    A look at Philip Pleasants' run as Scrooge from 2005-14 for the DCPA Theatre Company. (There was no staging of 'A Christmas Carol' in 2007 or 2012). Photos by Terry Shapiro and Jennifer M. Koskinen.


    CNN may have James Earl Jones, but since 2005, Philip Pleasants has been “the voice” of the DCPA Theatre Company. And anyone who has heard Pleasants revel in the skinflint Scrooge’s dripping, delicious humbuggery knows just what we mean by “the voice” – it’s that deep, distinctive Southern baritone that makes you feel as if you’re in the presence of an American Gielgud.

    “If they would rather die, they had better do it…and decrease the surplus population!”

    Philip Pleasants and Charlie Korman. Photo by Terry Shapiro. You can hear it just by reading it.

    Of course, just a short time later, the same Pleasants is onstage kicking up his heels in the utter joy of the miser’s seasonal redemption:

    “Spirit, I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year!”


    It is Pleasants’ unique ability to pull off both extremes of Scrooge – the grinch and the unleashed inner child – that has made the actor himself an indelible part of the Denver holiday season over the past decade. By the time the Theatre Company’s 23rd staging of A Christmas Carol passes this season, more than 235,000 will have seen Pleasants playing his signature role in Denver alone.

    “I have worked with many Scrooges over the years,” said actor Leslie O’Carroll, who plays the festive Mrs. Fezziwig, “and Phil is the only one who can play both sides with equal aplomb.”

    But just as all seasons must change, Pleasants is now a spry 78, and he has decided this will be his last run as Scrooge, a role he has played all over the country for four decades.

    “I want to go back home and just enjoy my life,” he said of his quiet getaway in Alabama.

    But this is far from the solstice of Pleasants’ acting career. To the contrary, Pleasants is enjoying a prolific run actors half his age would envy. He just played three distinct and delicious roles in As You Like It – which included being suspended from a flying chair 22 feet above the stage – and he will follow A Christmas Carol by playing Sen. Richard Russell and Rep. Emanuel Celler in Robert Schenkkan’s LBJ drama, All the Way.

    Philip PLeasants quote


    Pleasants arrived in Denver in 2005 after having worked with Producing Artistic Director Kent Thompson at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. He was already at an age when many of his contemporaries might typically retire. But for Pleasants, Denver was the start of a fertile new professional chapter. He has produced a steady string of remarkable performances, notably his two “roles of a lifetime” – as one of the crusty old Colorado ranchers in the 2008 world premiere of Eventide, and raging against the madness of King Lear.

    “Coming to Denver has been a godsend. I won’t be shy about saying it,” Pleasants said. “Kent has been wonderful to me.”

    And Pleasants has been wonderful for the Denver Center, its audiences, and his fellow cast and crew. A Christmas Carol Director Bruce K. Sevy called working with Pleasants over the past decade a remarkable partnership and learning experience.

    “This is one of the rare experiences you get in the theatre that makes you think your whole career was worth it,” Sevy said.

    Added Michael Bouchard, who performed in A Christmas Carol with Pleasants last year and stars this December in the far more subversive The SantaLand Diaries: "He might be the greatest Scrooge I have ever heard of, much less seen." 

    Since Pleasants was a boy growing up in Virginia, Shakespeare has been the ongoing joy of his life. “I had the good fortune of having a mother who happened to love Shakespeare,” he said. “When I was very small, she used to read scenes to me. She would explain them in a way that would make sense to an idiot child like me. She helped me to understand these Elizabethan turns of phrases that are hideously difficult for a modern audience to understand.”

    Pleasants recently spotted a bumper sticker he adored. It was an engraving of Shakespeare with the note: “Providing employment for over 400 years.”

    Sam Gregory Philip Pleasants quoteHe’s been providing Pleasants employment for more than 60. One of his favorites was playing an obviously pregnant female witch in a 1997 staging of Macbeth. “Her doom was she could never give birth,” he said.

    Pleasants’ other constant companion has been Scrooge, a role he first played in 1978 in the wilds of Alaska. He was not yet 40 — far too young for the role back then. But, he says with a wry grin: “Not with this character face. It’s a real antique!"

    Pleasants played Scrooge in dozens of productions since, and each year he finds the story’s meaning to be poignantly colored by the news of the day. His second time as Scrooge coincided with the mass murder-suicides of 900 under the spell of cult leader Jim Jones in Jonestown, Guyana. “I will never forget that because I was so horrified,” he said. “All those people taking poison and dropping dead."

    That horrible incident solidified Pleasants’ great and ongoing belief that the true meaning of A Christmas Carol lies less in any specific religious doctrine but rather in a universal belief in the power of renewal. “You find new truths every time you do it,” Pleasants said. “But there’s always that core reality and prudent beauty of the great Dickens fable.”

    If Pleasants has been a successful and believable Scrooge, he says it’s because he so strongly believes the words that are coming out of the character's mouth.

    “I do believe in the redemption of people,” he said. “And I believe that old curmudgeons can be restored to some degree of civility.”

    Fellow actor Sam Gregory, who has more than 40 Theatre Company credits to his name — including playing Bob Cratchit and six other A Christmas Carol roles — says Pleasants is the quintessential Scrooge in part because he approaches Dickens the same way he approaches Shakespeare.

    “Phil has this ability to replicate elements of a 19th-century acting style, which is a little bit florid and a bit little (ornate),” he said. “And it works so well because when Phil adopts a non-naturalistic style, it has great, natural heart behind it. Nothing he does looks fake. Only Phil can do that successfully because Phil is not replicable.”

    And yet, it is Gregory who will attempt to replicate Pleasants as his understudy in 2015, before trying to make the role his own in 2016 and moving forward.

    “Oh, who am I kidding?” Gregory said. “Phil Pleasants is the Peyton Manning of Scrooges. How does anyone follow him?”

    A Christmas Carol: Ticket information

  • Nov. 27-Dec. 27 (Opens Dec. 4) at the Stage Theatre
  • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • Accessibility performance: 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19

  • Philip PleasantsA toast to Philip Pleasants. Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen. Other photos: Top, with Charlie Korman, who played Tiny Tim in 2010 and now plays Young Scrooge. Photo by Terry Shapiro. Photo with Sam Gregory by John Moore.


    Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of A Christmas Carol:

    First rehearsal: Scrooge, in typical fashion: Let's get to work!
    From Denver Center's Tiny Tim to TV's Fuller House
    Beginnings and endings for stars of A Christmas Carol, The SantaLand Diaries
    Video: Leslie O'Carroll performs A Christmas O'Carroll ... in 5 minutes
    Actor Scott McLean is now also a published children's author
    Video: The Christmas Carol Coast to Coast Challenge. No. 1: Denver
    By the numbers: A Christmas Carol over 22 years at the DCPA
    First day of 2014 rehearsal: Interviews, cast list and photos

    2015 'Meet the Cast' profiles:
    Meet Courtney Capek (Belle)
    Meet Shannan Steele (Fred's wife)
  • 'SantaLand' Podcast: Michael Bouchard is the new elf in town

    by John Moore | Nov 09, 2015

    To listen to our podcast, press play.

    Episode 175 of our Running Lines Audio Podcast:

    There's a new elf in town. Yes, there will be a fresh, caustic candy-striper playing Crumpet in the Denver Center’s annual presentation of The SantaLand Diaries, David Sedaris’ comic monologue recounting his real-life experience working as a Macy’s Department store elf. His name is Michael Bouchard, a Denver Post Ovation Award-winning actor best-known to Colorado audiences from his time at the Arvada Center, the Creede Repertory Theatre, and as a newly appointed company member with the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, which is presenting The SantaLand Diaries at the Jones Theatrein collaboration with the DCPA’s Off-Center.

    Why is he perfect for the role of David Sedaris? Bouchard isn't bragging when he says with a twinkle, "I’m a cynical bastard through and through." He says the people who most annoy him are "classical liberal intellectuals," whom he defines as "those who love humanity … but they hate people." He only associates with them, he says, "when I look in the mirror."

    Bouchard may be cynical about the commercialization of Christmas, but he thinks audiences should consider attending both The SantaLand Diaries' and the far less cynical A Christmas Carol, because it will be fellow actor Philip Pleasants' last time playing Scrooge. "And he might be the greatest scrooge I have ever heard of, much less seen," he said. 

    A Christmas Carol is good for the human spirit," he added. The joy of SantaLand, he added, is that it pokes fun at the industry of Christmas. "You can shed some of that cynicism off while getting a really hard laugh."

    The running time of the podcast is 6 minutes.

    Podcast Outtake:

    Bouchard is proud to have recently been named a full company member with the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company. The company, known colloquially as "Betsy " after its BETC acronym, was co-founded by Bouchard's SantaLand Director, Steven Weitz, who also just directed Tribes for the DCPA Theatre Company. 

    "There are a lot of great theatre local companies out there doing a lot of different theatre," Bouchard said. "But BETC is a theatre that is doing just really good work. They are doing the best shows they can find with the best people they can get their hands on, and there's not necessarily a gimmick to it. For me, that's the sweet spot."


    Matt Zambrano, left, with Michael Bouchard. Photo by John Moore.

    There was a recent informal passing of the hat when Matt Zambrano, who played Crumpet in the 2013 and '14 DCPA stagings of "The SantaLand Diaries," symbolically turned the role over to Michael Bouchard. Zambrano recently appeared in the DCPA Theatre Company's "As You Like It." Last year, Bouchard appeared in "A Christmas Carol."  Photo by John Moore. 


    The SantaLand Diaries: Ticket information

  • Nov. 27-Dec. 27 at the Jones Theatre
  • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • Accessibility performances: 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 20
  • 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

  • Please be advised that the Denver Center for the Performing Arts – denvercenter.org – is the only authorized online ticket provider for 'The SantaLand Diaries.'


    More SantaLand coverage
    :
    Beginnings and endings A Christmas Carol, The SantaLand Diaries'

    Recent Running Lines podcasts:
    Our interview with ... Geoffrey Kent and Benjamin Bonenfant of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    Our interview with ... Tony Award winner Annaleigh Ashford
    Our interview with: Emma Messenger and Haley Johnson of 'Night, Mother
    Our interview with ... Margie Lamb of Next to Normal
    Our interview with ... Jane Lynch of Glee
    Our interview with ... Cyndi Lauper of Kinky Boots
    Our interview on dialects with ... The cast of Lord of the Flies
    Our interview with ... Jeremy Palmer, Ed Mills and J Murray d'Armand of Wit's L.A. Diner
    Our interview with ... Laura Norman and Josh Hartwell of Grounded
    Our interview with ... Dramaturg Allison Horsley of Animal Crackers
    Our interview with ... Director Christy Montour-Larson of Shadowlands

  • First rehearsal: Scrooge, in typical fashion: Let's get to work!

    by John Moore | Nov 07, 2015
    Photos from the opening meet-and-greet rehearsal for the DCPA Theatre Company's 2015 staging of 'A Christmas Carol.' Photos by John Moore for the DCPA's NewsCenter. To download any photo for free, click on "View original Flickr" image and choose from a variety of download sizes.


    Director Bruce K. Sevy took a moment during the first rehearsal for the DCPA Theatre Company’s upcoming 23rd staging of A Christmas Carol to honor venerable actor Philip Pleasants, who will be playing Scrooge at the Denver Center for the 11th and final time.

    Sevy called working with Pleasants over the past decade a remarkable partnership and learning experience. “This is one of the rare experiences you get in the theatre that makes you think your whole career was worth it,” Sevy said.

    Sam Gregory and Philip Pleasants. Photo by John Moore. DCPA veteran Sam Gregory, who will understudy Pleasants this year and eventually assume the role of Scrooge as his own, called Pleasants the greatest actor to ever play the role.

    “I have watched Phil progress and grow in this role since I first played Bob Cratchit to Phil's Scrooge at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in 1998,” Gregory said. “He has been so magnificent. There is no one in this room more intimidated than I am right now.”

    Pleasants had to sit there and take the accolades like Cratchit working on Christmas Eve. He then summoned his inner Scrooge and declared simply, "It is a great honor and privilege. I am thrilled to be here. Now ... let's get to work!"

    (Photo above: Sam Gregory, left, and Philip Pleasants. Photo by John Moore.) 

    Sevy welcomed faces old and new for the official meet-and-greet that launches the beginning of the rehearsal period before every Theatre Company production. This year, the noontime party included guests from another DCPA holiday offering, David Sedaris’ caustic monologue, The SantaLand Diaries.

    Stephen Weitz, who also directed the Theatre Company's Tribes (running through Nov. 15), is helming SantaLand for a seventh straight holiday season. This is the third year the show is being presented as a collaboration between Weitz's Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company and the DCPA's Off-Center.

    This year, Michael Bouchard, who appeared in last season’s A Christmas Carol, will assume the candy-striped tights of Crumpet the Elf from Matt Zambrano in The SantaLand Diaries, which plays Nov. 27-Dec. 27 in the Jones Theatre.

    Another first: For the first time in eight years, Weitz announced, that will be a new Crumpet costume Bouchard is sporting. Weitz jokingly cited an EPA violation from eight years of cumulative sweat from his previous Crumpets, Zambrano and Geoffrey Kent.

    Michael Bouchard and Bruce K. Sevy. Photo by John Moore.
    A joking 'A Christmas Carol' Director Bruce K. Sevy, right, doesn't look too happy with actor Michael Bouchard's life choices. After performing for Sevy in 'A Christmas Carol' last year, Bouchard will move over to the Jones Theatre to star in David Sedaris' 'The SantaLand Diaries' this holiday season. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    David Sedaris wrote The SantaLand Diaries in 1992 detailing his real-life experience working as an elf at the Macy's department store in New York,” Weitz said. “Since then, it has really become a staple of holiday theatre all across the country. We've always thought of it as an alternative holiday outing to more traditional offerings like A Christmas Carol. It attracts a somewhat different audience, and it traffics in Sedaris’ unique brand of snark and cynicism. In many ways, Seadris' view of the holidays in 1992 was prophetic in that he was just starting to comment on the commercialization of Christmas, and how it was becoming about all the wrong things. I don't think any of us knew how far that trend was going to continue, but when you look at where we are today, it's still incredibly timely.

    “And yet what makes the play wonderful is that underneath all the biting commentary, it really does have a heart about what Christmas is, and should be, and can be.”

    Daniel Langhoff, Laura Mathew Siebert and Nate Siebert. Photo by John Moore. Before offering his thoughts on A Christmas Carol, Sevy invited returning cast member Daniel Langhoff to address the gathering. Langhoff, a new father, was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in August, and two weeks ago had the mass removed. Next week, he starts a 24-week course of chemotherapy.

    “I don’t know how this is going to hit me,” Langhoff said, but he thanked his director, cast and crew for inviting him to come back to the show regardless. “This couldn't be coming at a better time for me,” he said of A Christmas Carol. "I just want to say thank you all for that. “

    Langhoff gave a shoutout to the Denver community for supporting him through the start of his ordeal, including the Denver Actors Fund, which has raised about $3,600 to help off-set his medical expenses. Also present was local photographer Laura Mathews Siebert, who hosted a recent portrait fundraiser that raised an additional $1,500 for Langhoff’s family.

    In a remarkable small-world twist, Siebert is also the mother of 10-year-old Nate Patrick Siebert, who is newly cast in the Denver Center's A Christmas Carol for the first time. Twice before, young Nate has donated $100 from his acting stipends (Arvada Center’s Camelot and Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s Mary Poppins) to the Denver Actors Fund.

    “If you ever are worried about the transient nature of relationships in theatre, it's a lie,” Langhoff said. “Theatre relationships go on. We are all here for each other, whether or not we even know it.”

    (Photo above right: Daniel Langhoff, Laura Mathews Siebert and her son Nate, along with a montage of portraits Laura photographed to raise money for Langhoff's cancer treatments. Photo by John Moore.)


    The children of 'A Christmas Carol.' Photo by John Moore

    The children of the DCPA's 'A Christmas Carol.' Photo by John Moore.


    Four things Director Bruce K. Sevy loves about A Christmas Carol:

    1 PerspectivesThe music by David de Berry, with fresh orchestrations by Gregg Coffin. “This is a very musical play, with its use of traditional carols, singing, underscoring and sound,” Sevy said. Added Coffin: “The music is beautifully ornamental. None of the music defines character or forwards the plot. Instead it hangs like little ornaments on a tree. And all of these little musical moments help to paint a fuller picture of the Dickensian world.” Over his six years with the DCPA, Coffin has completely reimagined the scoring by adding more indigenous instruments such as hammer dulcimers, fiddles and guitars that help bring out the feel of Victorian England.

    2 PerspectivesTheatricality. "We did Hamlet a couple of years ago, and I realized while I was watching it how much Marley's scene with Scrooge is actually borrowing the same sensibility from Hamlet with his father, who is also a ghost,” Sevy said. He added with a laugh: “So Scrooge is actually Hamlet, and Marley is his father. That is really what is going on here.”

    3 PerspectivesSocial conscience. "This story is remarkably progressive; moral without being stuffy," Sevy said. "It gets into some fundamental questions about our relationship to one another, and what the point of life is after all. We know at the core of this play is a man who has cut himself off from the world, and from other human beings. His journey is one of reconnecting. I think when most people come to A Christmas Carol, they leave thinking mostly of the happy stuff. But by the time we get to the part where Scrooge comes to ask if he can come to dinner at his nephew's place, and then surprises Cratchit with a pay raise - it's moving. That's the power of this piece. It speaks to a shared value that we all have."

    4 PerspectivesTimeliness: “What's similar between 1840 and now is that we have a comparable imbalance between those who have money and those who don't,” Sevy said. “Almost every scene in this play has some reference to either money, finances or the lack of it. The reason Belle breaks up with Scrooge is because he has a new golden idol - and it is money. Just as it is today, Scrooge's world is out of balance when we start the play. That's a big part of what this play is about.”                  

    A Christmas Carol: Cast list:

    Based on the novel by Charles Dickens
    Adapted by Richard Hellesen
    Music by David de Berry

    Directed by Bruce K. Sevy
    Music Direction by Gregg Coffin
    Orchestrations by Gregg Coffin
    Choreography by Christine Rowan
    Set Design by Vicki Smith
    Costume Design by Kevin Copenhaver
    Lighting Design by Don Darnutzer
    Sound Design by Craig Breitenbach       

    Colin Alexander (Ghost of Christmas Present)
    Leslie Alexander (Mrs. Cratchit)
    Benjamin Bonenfant (Undertaker’s Man)
    Courtney Capek (Belle)
    Stephanie Cozart (Ghost of Christmas Past)
    Allen Dorsey (Ghost of Christmas Future)
    Napoleon M. Douglas (Ensemble)
    Mehry Eslaminia (Ensemble)
    Michael Fitzpatrick (Mr. Fezziwig)
    Ella Galaty (Fan)
    Sam Gregory (Scrooge Understudy)
    Edwin Harris (Ensemble)
    Ben W. Heil (Peter Cratchit)
    Charlie Korman (Boy Scrooge)
    Robert Andrew Koutras (Ensemble)
    Daniel Langhoff (Ensemble)
    Avi Levin (Ensemble)
    Kyra Lindsay (Martha Cratchit)
    Brody Lineaweaver (Ensemble)
    Rodney Lizcano (Old Joe)
    Emma C. Martin (Ensemble)
    M. Scott McLean (Young Scrooge)
    Leslie O’Carroll (Mrs. Fezziwig)
    Philip Pleasants (Ebenezer Scrooge)
    Max Raabe (Edward Cratchit)
    Augie Reichert (Tiny Tim)
    Helen Reichert (Belinda Cratchit)
    James Michael Reilly (Bob Cratchit)
    Jeffrey Roark (Jacob Marley)
    Christine Rowan (Ensemble)
    Nate Patrick Siebert (Ensemble)
    Shannan Steele (Ensemble)
    Olivia Sullivent (Want)
    Jake Williamson (Ensemble)
    Erin Willis (Ensemble)
    Owen Zitek (Ensemble) 

    A Christmas Carol: Ticket information

  • Nov. 27-Dec. 27 (Opens Dec. 4) at the Stage Theatre
  • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • Accessibility performance: 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19

  • The SantaLand Diaries: Ticket information
  • Nov. 27-Dec. 27 at the Jones Theatre
  • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • Accessibility performance: 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 20
  •  
    For both shows:
  • 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

  • Please be advised that the Denver Center for the Performing Arts – denvercenter.org – is the only authorized online ticket provider for 'A Christmas Carol' and 'The SantaLand Diaries.'


    Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of  A Christmas Carol:
    Beginnings and endings for stars of A Christmas Carol, The SantaLand Diaries
    Video: Leslie O'Carroll performs A Christmas O'Carroll ... in 5 minutes
    Actor Scott McLean is now also a published children's author
    Video: The Christmas Carol Coast to Coast Challenge. No. 1: Denver
    By the numbers: A Christmas Carol over 22 years at the DCPA
    First day of 2014 rehearsal: Interviews, cast list and photos
    Meet the cast video: James Michael Reilly
    Meet the cast video: Leslie Alexander
  • Colorado Fall Theatre Preview: 10 shows to watch

    by John Moore | Sep 04, 2015
    Town Hall Arts Center's 'West Side Story.'

    Town Hall Arts Center's 'West Side Story' opens Sept. 11.



    Theatre never takes a rest in the busy Colorado theatre community, but September is always considered the traditional launch of the theatre season. The NEA recently ranked Colorado first in the nation in per-capita theatre attendance, and while the Denver Center for the Performing Arts plays a major part in that success, so does the work of the approximately 100 theatre companies of all sizes throughout Colorado, as new President and CEO Scott Shiller acknowledged at a local theatre forum on Monday.

    Continuing a September tradition that goes back 16 years, DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore will help mark the opening of the theatre season by offering a quick overview of all DCPA fall shows, as well as 10 intriguing titles on the upcoming theatre calendar outside the arches of the DCPA. These are not the 10 “best"; just 10 intriguing titles that have caught John’s eye as a former Denver Post theatre critic.

    OUR COMPLETE LIST OF SEPTEMBER THEATRE OPENINGS IN COLORADO

    Before we dig in, the 10 fall DCPA offerings (with links to more information on each):

    Through Sept. 13: The Book of Mormon, Buell Theatre
    After record-breaking engagements in 2012 and 2013, the hilariously profane Denver-born tour is back by popular demand for a limited engagement.

    Through Oct. 11: Defending the Caveman, Garner Galleria Theatre

    Enduring,insightful comedy about the ways men and women relate to each other in the  ongoing battle for understanding between the sexes.

    Sept. 9-20: Matilda The Musical, Buell Theatre
    An extraordinary girl, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her destiny.

    Sept. 11-Oct 11: Lookingglass Alice, Stage Theatre
    Imagination soars and laughter and awe abound in this Chicago-born, gravity-defying hit inspired by Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories.

    Sept. 25-Nov 1: As You Like It, Space Theatre
    Banished lovers Orlando and Rosalind become entangled in a beguiling game of mistaken identity when Rosalind disguises herself as a man.

    Oct. 9-Nov. 15: Tribes, Ricketson Theatre
    Meeting Sylvia causes Billy, deaf since birth, to question what it means to be understood.

    Oct. 13-25, 2015: If/Then, Buell Theatre
    In this tour launch, Broadway superstar Idina Menzel (Wicked, Rent, Frozen) will reprise her acclaimed role alongside other original cast members

    Oct. 21-Feb 13, 2016: Cult Following, The Jones
    Off-Center’s signature night of unrehearsed, unscripted theatre features the  quick-thinking talents of some of Denver’s best improv performers.

    Oct. 27, 2015-Feb 21, 2016: Murder For Two, Garner Galleria Theatre
     A musical murder mystery comedy with a twist: One actor investigates the crime, the other plays all of the suspects - and they both play the piano.

    Nov. 4-29, 2015: Disney's The Lion King, Buell Theatre​
    More than 70 million people have now experienced the Julie Taymor phenomenon. The national tour debuted in Denver a decade ago.



    Any Given Monday

    Vintage Theatre
    Sept. 4-Oct. 25
    Directed by Sam Gilstrap (pictured)
    Sam GilstrapOn the surface, this play sounds like it could be a trifle – it’s described as “a comedy for the men who love football and the women who despise it.” Yet it’s written by Bruce Graham – the same guy who wrote one of the most unsettling plays of the past 20 years in Coyote on a Fence, which was about a racist death-row inmate. So maybe this football romp has some bite. It’s about a good guy whose life is shattered when his wife leaves him for a smooth-talking lothario. A development that doesn’t sit well with his best friend, who takes matters into his own hands.

    More Bruce Graham: Graham’s biggest success outside Coyote on a Fence has been The Outgoing Tide, a “death with dignity” dramedy about a man who wants to ensure his family’s security before his mind is consumed by Alzheimer’s disease. It’s playing Sept. 11-Oct. 12 at the Bas Bleu Theatre in Fort Collins. 



    American Girls
    The Edge Theatre
    Sept. 4-27
    Directed by Angela Astle
    Edge Theatre In a very celebrity-driven culture, two God-fearing teenage girls have their sights set on much bigger things. They want fame, even if it means selling their souls to the devil in the name of the Bible. Their naiveté leads them down a dark and seedy path, forcing them to grow up much too soon. A regional premiere written by Hilary Bettis

    (Photo: Bethany Richardson and Alexis Robbins.) 



    The Flick

    Curious Theatre Company
    Sept. 5-Oct. 17
    Directed by Chip Walton
    John Jurcheck, left, and Laura Jo Trexler. Photo by Michael Ensminger. Polarizing playwright Annie Baker has been called everything from America’s next “it” playwright to the world’s next Harold Pinter. Which means she writes a lot of pauses. The Flick, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize, is a short play – on paper – that lasts 3 hours in performance. That’s because Baker is known for writing giant intentional silences into her scripts that seem bent on forcing audiences to confront their discomfort with silence. But is that entertainment … or a psychological experiment? You decide as you follow three sad sacks who work at a run-down old movie house in Massachusetts. This play has been hailed as “an hilarious and heart-rending cry for authenticity in a fast-changing world.” Featuring Christopher Hayes, John Jurcheck, Royce Roeswood and Laura Jo Trexler.
    (Pictured: John Jurcheck, left, and Laura Jo Trexler. Photo by Michael Ensminger.)


    Lonny (Sean Riley) and Dennis (Joel Adam Chavez) in 'Rock of Ages' at the Midtown Arts Center.
    Lonny (Sean Riley) and Dennis (Joel Adam Chavez) in "Rock of Ages" at the Midtown Arts Center.

    Rock of Ages
    Midtown Arts Center, Fort Collins
    Sept. 10-Nov. 29
    Directed by Kurt Terrio
    Midtown is well-known for being first to locally stage some of Broadway’s most popular musicals. In this jukebox musical lark, Aqua Net, Lycra, lace and liquor freely flow in 1987 at one of the Sunset Strip’s last legendary rock venues. A small-town girl (natch) and a big-city rocker fall in love to rock legends of the ’80s such as Styx, Bon Jovi, Twisted Sister, Journey and more.



    Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story
    BDT Stage
    Sept. 11-Nov. 14
    Directed by Wayne Kennedy
    Brett AmblerThis easygoing bio-musical Starring Brett Ambler (pictured) tells the true and tragic story of the bespectacled Buddy’s rise to fame, from the 1957 day when “That’ll Be The Day!” hit the airwaves, through his tragic death less than two years later – a moment forever immortalized by Don McLean as “The Day The Music Died.” The score includes 20 Holly hits including: “Peggy Sue,” “Oh Boy,” “Rave On” and “Raining in My Heart.”




    Saturday Night Fever
    Arvada Center
    Sept. 11-Oct. 4
    Director: Rod Lansberry
    Shannan SteeleThe end of the Arvada Center’s summer musical tradition was an unsettling development, but Broadway spectacle – along with big hair, bell-bottoms and platform shoes – make a big comeback with the regional premiere of the stage adaptation of the classic John Travolta film. Featuring the music of the Bee-Gees, Saturday Night Fever brings back the zeitgeist and volatility of American pop-culture in the 1970s. Starring Ian Campayno and McKayla Marso as Tony ‘n Stephanie Mangano, and featuring local favorites including Emma Martin, Damon Guerrasio, Steven Burge, Tom Borrillo, Sharon Kay White, Adam Estes, Michael Bouchard, RJ Wagner, Shannan Steele (pictured right), Heather Doris, Sarah Rex, Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, Jenna Moll Reyes and more. Costume design by Mondo Guerra.

    West Side Story
    Littleton Town Hall Arts Center
    Sept. 11-Oct. 11
    ​Directed by Nick Sugar
    Nick SugarTown Hall is revisiting Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece 10 years after a staging that launched Elizabeth Welch (Maria) on her way to The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. This production stars Carolyn Lohr and Jared Ming as the fated lovers, and brings back from 2005 director Nick Sugar, Ronni Gallup (Anita), Kent Randell (Bernardo) and Tim Howard (Riff).

    Northside West Side: The Candlelight Dinner Playhouse is also presenting West Side Story in Johnstown, about 45 miles north of Denver, from Sept. 24 through Nov. 15.

    Still more Sondheim: The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center becomes just the second Colorado company to ever stage Putting It Together (Sept. 10-27), and the Cherry Creek Theatre Company presents Sondheim on Sondheim from Oct. 2-25.


    Emily Paton Davies and DCPA Head of Acting Tim McCracken will star in Boulder Ensemble Theatre Copmpanys 'Outside Mullingar' opening Sept. 17. Photo by Michael Ensminger
    Emily Paton Davies and DCPA Head of Acting Tim McCracken will star in Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's 'Outside Mullingar' opening Sept. 17. Photo by Michael Ensminger.

    Outside Mullingar
    Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    Sept. 17-Oct. 11
    Directed by Rebecca Remaly Weitz
    Timothy McCrackenBetsy (the colloquial name for BETC) is the first of what is sure to many companies staging John Patrick Shanley’s latest comedy, which has been described as an Irish Moonstruck. It’s about two stubborn, feuding neighbors who put down their pitchforks and take a chance on later love. Featuring a stellar cast of Emily Paton Davies, DCPA Head of Acting Tim McCracken (pictured right), three-time 2015 Henry Award winner Billie McBride (DCPA's Benediction) and Chris Kendall.  

    More Mullingar: OpenStage & Company of Fort Collins will also stage Outside Mullingar in January.



    Baby with the Bathwater
    Phamaly Theatre Company
    Oct. 8-25 at the Avenue Theater
    Directed by Warren Sherrill
     Trenton SchindeleChristopher Durang’s 1983 absurdist comedy is about parents who are so clueless about even the most basic parenting skills, they think it’s a good idea to give their baby Nyquil. These two are too polite to check the child’s sex (it’s a boy) so they name him Daisy - which leads to all manner of future emotional and personality problems. Phamaly exists to provide performance opportunities to persons with disabilities. The cast includes Micayla Smith, Trenton Schindele, Daniel Traylor, Kimberlee Nanda and Kenzie Kilroy.


    The Explorers Club
    Lone Tree Arts Center
    Oct. 15-24
    Directed by Randal Myler
    photo of Sam GregoryNeil Benjamin’s wildly funny comedy features the madcap adventures of eccentric London-based explorers who are members of a prestigious club. And the looming possibility of a woman assuming the presidency of this club threatens to shake the foundations of the British Empire. This Colorado premiere features a notable cast filled with DCPA favorites including Brad Bellamy, Stephanie Cozart, Sam Gregory, Mark Rubald, Colin Alexander, Randy Moore, Director Randal Myler and Costumer Kevin Copenhaver.  

    OUR COMPLETE LIST OF SEPTEMBER THEATRE OPENINGS IN COLORADO
  • 'A Christmas Carol': Opening Night photo gallery

    by John Moore | Dec 16, 2014
    A_Christmas_Carol_Opening_800_1

    Backstage, actor Philip Pleasants prepares for his eighth opening night as the DCPA Theatre Company's Ebenezer Scrooge. Photo by John Moore. To see our complete gallery of Opening Night photos, click here

    A_Christmas_Carol_Opening_800_2


    A_Christmas_Carol_Opening_800_3
    Actor Leonard Barrett (Ghost of Christmas Present) was diagnosed with a retinal tear in his eye on the afternoon of Opening Night, but he went on as scheduled. Three days later, he had surgery, necessitating at least two weeks of recovery time. He's being replaced for the time being by Colin Alexander. Photo by John Moore.

    TO SEE OUR COMPLETE GALLERY OF OPENING NIGHT PHOTOS, CLICK HERE

    A Christmas Carol
    : Ticket information
    Performances run through Dec. 28
    Stage Theatre
    Performances daily except Mondays
    Call 303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site at www.DenverCenter.Org

    Our previous coverage of
    this year's A Christmas Carol:
    Actor Scott McLean is now also a published children's author
    Video: The Christmas Carol Coast to Coast Challenge. No. 1: Denver
    By the numbers: 'A Christmas Carol' over 22 years at the DCPA
    First day of 2014 rehearsal: Interviews, cast list and photos
    Meet the cast video: James Michael Reilly
    Video: Leslie O'Carroll performs A Christmas O'Carroll ... in 5 minutes
  • 2014 True West Award: Rick Yaconis

    by John Moore | Dec 15, 2014
    True_West_Award_RICK_YACONIS_800_2


    TRUE WEST AWARDS: 30 DAYS, 30 AWARDS

    True_West_Award_300

    Over the years, I have enjoyed a playful repartee with genial tough guy Rick Yaconis, who's from Pittsburgh, though you'd swear he walked straight outta Jersey. Bada bing. Yaconis took over the E-Project Theatre in 2010 and renamed it The Edge with the stated objective of lifting it out from the overcrowded pack of small, similar neighborhood troupes in the Denver area. And I have chided and cajoled, championed and chastised him every encouraging step of his way.

    Growing into the ranks of Denver’s few mid-sized, professional theatre companies will be no small – or fast – task. But it is clear that the smallest company having the most noticeable growth spurt at the moment is The Edge Theatre.

    In 2014, Yaconis and wife Patty delivered solid stagings of challenging titles that were worthy of the company’s bold name, even if the edgiest days of the plays he chose came a decade or more before: Orphans, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Buried Child. Solid work all around. Then there were decidedly non-Edgy titles that muddled the message, such as The Graduate and Gifted. But Yaconis sent out his clearest signal to date that things are changing by expanding his director and actor pool. 2014 brought Augustus Truhn, Michael Bouchard, Emily Paton Davies, Michael Stricker, Adrian Egolf, Jack Wefso, Mark Collins and other respected actors to The Edge for the first time. But there were also examples of the kind of preferential casting you see from small friends-and-family companies that were not always in service to the plays, or the company's overall mission. It's at times, confusing. 

    What was made crystal clear in September is that Season 5 will be a jaw-dropper: The Mother****er with the Hat, Stephen Adly Guirgis’ surprisingly funny comedy about jealousy and addiction by America’s reigning King of Nasty. Mike Bartlett’s Cock, a title we can print here because it’s a relationship comedy some might describe as "the ultimate cockfight." As the winner of The Edge’s annual new-play festival, local playwright Jeffrey Neuman's Exit Strategies earned a full staging. It's about a man who is drawn back into explosive family dynamics when he returns home for his father’s funeral. And Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? will never not be considered edgy. Then there are some less edgy-sounding titles, but at least they will be new to the area: American Girls by Hillary Bettis, about two God-fearing, celebrity-starved Iowa farm girls. And Alan Ayckbourn’s Woman in Mind, a British comedy about a cleric’s frustrated wife.

    And then there is Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth. Nothing any local theatre company has ever scheduled has scared me more than the prospect of The Edge taking on this incredible opus about a drunken, wanted man who faces eviction from his trailer home in the rural woods of Wiltshire. Seeing Mark Rylance perform Jerusalem on Broadway was to humbly acknowledge the unlikelihood that any of us in the audience will ever see a greater live performance in our lifetimes. But hey, good luck with that, Edge.

    How a Nora Ephron title (Lucky Me) made the cut escapes me, but I'll focus instead on the fact that The Edge’s expanding director pool will include big-time Edge newcomers Josh Hartwell, Warren Sherrill and John Ashton.

    The first few years of The Edge seemed to be a lot of “two steps forward, one step back,” but those steps back now seem to be much fewer and further between. And, by taking many more steps forward than back, just look at where The Edge is now: Miles further down the road from where the Yaconises started five years ago.

    One thing we know as 2014 ends is that it will be impossible not to watch The Edge in 2015.

      2014 TRUE WEST AWARDS:
    1: Norrell Moore
    2. Kate Gleason
    3. Amanda Berg Wilson and Jeremy Make
    4. Ben Cowhick
    5. Robert Michael Sanders
    6. David Nehls
    7. Adrian Egolf
    8. Emma Messenger
    9. Buntport's Naughty Bits
    10. Tim Howard
    11. Gleason Bauer
    12. Daniel Traylor
    13. Aisha Jackson and Jim Hogan
    14. Cast of 'The Whipping Man'
    15. Rick Yaconis
    16. Michael R. Duran
    17. Laura Norman
    18. Jacquie Jo Billings
    19. Megan Van De Hey
    20. Jeremy Palmer
    21. Henry Lowenstein   
    22. Sam Gregory
    23. Wendy Ishii
    24. J. Michael Finley
    25. Kristen Samu and Denver Actors Fund volunteers
    26. Matthew D. Peters
    27. Shannan Steele
    28. Ludlow, 1914
    29. Spring Awakening and Annapurna
    30 Theatre Person of the Year Steve Wilson

    ABOUT THE TRUE WEST AWARDS
    The True West Awards, which began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001, are the longest-running continuously administered awards program in Colorado theater. This year, the awards have been re-conceived to simply recognize 30 award-worthy achievements in local theatre, without categories or nominations. A different honoree will be singled out each day for 30 days.

    The True West Awards are administered by arts journalist John Moore, who was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since founded The Denver Actors Fund and taken a groundbreaking position as the DCPA's Senior Arts Journalist.

    *The DCPA Theatre Company is not considered for True West Awards, which are instead intended as the DCPA's celebration of the local theatre community.

    Moore's daily coverage of the Colorado theatre community can be found at MyDenverCenter.Org

  • Doors Open Denver Center: Banner year for local actors

    by John Moore | Sep 19, 2013

    image

    Henry Award-nominated James O'Hagan-Murphy is taking his "RFK" ball to the Denver Center Theatre Company.

    The closing of the National Theatre Conservatory was one of the darkest days in the history of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The only consolation was the inevitability that the Denver Center Theatre Company, by necessity, would be opening its doors more widely to actors from the local theater community. And it has.  

    As the company prepares to open its 35th season, there’s much more Denver in the Denver Center.

    An analysis of the cast lists for the first five shows of the season opening Friday shows that 67 percent of the actors who will be taking the stage for the rest of the year either already call Colorado home, or they grew up here.

    And that’s not including the child actors who will populate “A Christmas Carol,” or the hometown actors who will be employed as understudies. And even though the Denver Center’s graduate program ceased operations last year, there still will be 11 NTC graduates appearing in fall plays.

    That 67 percent figure also doesn’t reflect that Durango native Cody Lyman (“Defending the Caveman”) and Wheat Ridge native Matt Zambrano (“The SantaLand Diaries”) will be occupying the Galleria Theatre for the next few months with their one-man shows.

    Among the big-name local newcomers to the Denver Center Theatre Company are James O’Hagan-Murphy (“Death of a Salesman”), who was just nominated for a Henry Award for his portrayal of Robert F. Kennedy in Vintage Theatre’s “JFK”; and Leonard E. Barrett Jr., a multiple award-winning star of several productions for the handicapped Phamaly Theatre Company. He will be playing the Ghost of Christmas Present in “A Christmas Carol.”

    “This is a banner year for local actors,” said Associate Artistic Director Bruce Sevy, who oversees casting at the Denver Center along with Artistic Associate Emily Tarquin. His priority will always be to cast the best person for every role, he said, regardless of ZIP code. He sees the infusion of local actors not so much as a new trend but rather a natural evolution. He said opportunities for local actors at the Denver Center have been expanding for years, but he admits it’s tough to change longstanding perceptions, especially after a period during which, Sevy admits, it was tough for local actors ages 20-32 to get cast at the Denver Center because those roles were being filled by a free labor pool: The resident masters students of the NTC.

    For many years, Sevy said, it was sometimes a challenge to get local actors to come out for “generals” – three days of open auditions the Denver Center hosts every year. “It was becoming harder and harder just to fill out the schedule because I think there was a sense of fruitlessness to the whole thing,” he said.

    No more. In May, Sevy and Tarquin slated 316 audition slots for local actors -- 232 for non-union thespians and 84 for union (children are auditioned separately). For many of those who tried out, the effort paid off.

    The list of newcomers this fall also includes Boulder’s Kyra Lindsay (“Salesman,” “A Christmas Carol”) and, joining her in “A Christmas Carol”: Colin Alexander (Arvada Center’s “Curtains”); Maggie Sczekan (Boulder’s Dinner Theatre’s “Phantom”); Gabriel Morales (Vintage Theatre’s “Kiss of the Spider-Woman”) and Michael Bouchard (Arvada Center’s “Camelot”).

    image

    Leonard Barrett, star of the handicapped Phamaly Theatre Company's "Man of La Mancha" in 2009, will make his Denver Center Theatre Company debut as the Ghost of Christmas Present in "A Christmas Carol."

    “I am learning so much every single day from everybody -- not just on stage, but off,” said Lindsay, a graduate of Fairview High School. “I remember seeing ‘Tartuffe’ here when I was in high school. It was so funny, and I was not expecting it to be funny at all. That’s when I decided that theater can bring alive all these things you never knew about.”

    O’Hagan-Murphy not only plays the small role of the waiter in “Salesman,” he’s understudying three others, and one more in the world premiere of “Just Like Us.”

    “It’s amazing for me just to be here,” he said. “The first show I ever saw at the Denver Center was ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ with Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson, and it blew me away. I said then and there, ‘I want to do a show here someday,’ and now, around 20 years later, I am getting a chance to do it.”

    "Salesman" director Anthony Powell is a former associate artistic director for the Denver Center Theatre Company whose full-time gig is now running Stories on Stage.

    "For me, it's 25 years in Denver and knowing how good the actors are here," Powell said. "But It's also specifically Stories on Stage. I've been seeing more theatre just to keep up with the new faces. So for me, it's a no-brainer. Bruce and (artistic director) Kent (Thompson) were completely on-board that this should be an ensemble, Denver affair. A family affair."

    “Jackie & Me,” which will be helmed by first-time Denver Center director Stephen Weitz (founder of the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company), will  feature Ryan Wuestewald, currently appearing in the Aurora Fox’s “Metamorphoses,” and John Jurchek, who appeared in a landmark staging of “Metamorphoses” 10 years earlier, at the Avenue Theater. Also: Denver School of the Arts grad Aaron Davidson, who is currently playing the evil Mordred in the Arvada Center’s “Camelot.”    

    The list of familiar local actors who are returning to the Denver Center includes Benjamin Bonenfant, Jake Walker, Adrian Egolf, Jamie Ann Romero, Lauren Shealy, Diana Dresser, Anthony Bianco, Cajardo Rameer Lindsey, Mackenzie Paulsen, Gabra Zackman and Courtney Capek.

    The returning NTC alumni include Leslie O’Carroll, Gabriella Cavallero, Steven Cole Hughes, M. Scott McLean, Timothy McCracken, Jeff Roark, Leigh Miller, Justin Walvoord, Brian Shea, Stephanie Cozart and Allison Watrous.

     “Just Like Me” features Denver East grad Mary Bacon as Helen Thorpe. It will be the first Denver Center role for the New York-based Bacon in almost 20 years.

    Among the actors signed to be paid understudies are SuCh, who just won the Henry Award as best leading actress in a musical for the Aurora Fox’s “The Color Purple”; longtime Denver Center contributor Erik Sandvold; Phamaly’s Jeremy Palmer; Laurence Curry (Curious Theatre’s “The Brothers Size”); and Mercedes Perez, winner of a 2012 True West Award for her work in “Kiss of the Spider-Woman” for  the Lake Dillon Theatre Company.

    And then there are familiar Denver Center favorites, including Cavallero,  Roark, Kathleen M. Brady, John Hutton, Sam Gregory, Philip Pleasants, Mike Hartman, Lauren Klein, Jeanne Paulsen.

    In all: More than 40 actors who call Colorado home representing the hometown Denver Center Theatre Company in the first five plays of the season.

    CAST LISTS

    (First three shows; subject to change)

    “DEATH OF A SALESMAN”
    Sept. 26-Oct. 20, Space Theatre

    Willy Loman: MIKE HARTMAN
    Linda: LAUREN KLEIN
    Biff: JOHN PATRICK HAYDEN
    Happy: M. SCOTT MCCLEAN
    Bernard: ANTHONY BIANCO
    The Woman: KATE GLEASON
    Charley: MICHAEL SANTO
    Ben: JOHN HUTTON
    Howard Wagner: BRIAN SHEA
    Stanley: JAMES O’HAGAN-MURPHY
    Jenny/Letta: KYRA LINDSAY  
    Miss Forsythe: ADRIAN EGOLF
    Understudies: Jeremy Palmer, James O’Hagan-Murphy, Erik Sandvold, Gabra Zackman, Brian Shea, Mackenzie Paulsen

    ARTISTIC STAFF:

    Director: ANTHONY POWELL

    Set Designer: LISA ORZOLEK Costume Designer: DAVID KAY MICKELSEN
    Lighting Designer: CHARLES MACLEOD
    Composer: GARY GRUNDEI
    Sound Designer: JASON DUCAT
    Dramaturg: ALLISON HORSLEY

    “JUST LIKE US”
    Oct. 9-Nov. 3, 2013, The Stage Theatre

    Helen Thorpe: MARY BACON
    Marisela/Raul Gomez Garcia/Ensemble: YUNUEN PARDO
    Yadira/Spanish Translator/Ensemble: ADRIANA GAVIRIA
    Clara/Ensemble: CYNTHIA BASTIDAS
    Elissa/Zulema/Sandra Rivas/Ensemble: RUTH LIVIER
    Fabián/Tom Tancredo/Ensemble: RICHARD AZURDIA
    Josefa/Alma/Donnie’s Mother/Ensemble: ALMA MARTINEZ
    Yolanda/Cynthia Poundstone/Evelyn Elstrom/Ensemble: GABRIELLA CAVALLERO
    Kelly Young/Carol Vizzi/Ensemble: ALLISON WATROUS
    Ramiro/Julio/Ensemble: FIDEL GOMEZ
    CU Recruiter/Mike McGarry/Officer Bishop/Ensemble: STEVEN COLE HUGHES
    Mr. Smith/Jim Spence/Judge Naves/Ensemble: CAJARDO RAMEER LINDSEY
    Carlos/Cezar Mesquita/Frederico Peña/Ensemble: FELIX SOLIS
    Irene Chavez/Ana/Lisa Martinez/Ensemble: LIZA FERNANDEZ
    Luke/Bailiff/Frosty Woolridge/Ensemble: CASEY PREDOVIC

    UNDERSTUDIES: Gabra Zackman, Jamie Ann Romero, Rodney Lizcano, James O’Hagan-Murphy, Laurence Curry, Jeremy Palmer, Mercedes Perez.

    ARTISTIC STAFF:
    Director: KENT THOMPSON
    Assistant Director: JOSE ANTONIO MERCADO
    Scenic Designer: KEVIN RIGDON
    Costume Designer: KEVIN COPENHAVER
    Lighting Designer: DON DARNUTZER
    Projection Designer: CHARLIE I. MILLER
    Sound Designer: CRAIG BREITENBACH
    Composer: DEBORAH WICKS LA PUMA
    Movement Coach: LAURENCE CURRY
    Dramaturg: DOUGLAS LANGWORTHY
    Voice and Dialect Coach: KATHRYN G. MAES Ph.D
    Spanish Coach: GABRIELLA CAVALLERO

    "THE MOST DESERVING"
    Oct. 17-Nov. 17, The Ricketson Theatre

    Jolene Atkinson: JUDITH HAWKING
    Ted Atkinson: SAM GREGORY
    Liz Chang: REBECCA MIYAKO HIROTA
    Edie Kelch: JEANNE PAULSEN
    Dwayne Dean: CRAIG BOCKHORN
    Everett Whiteside: JONATHAN EARL PECK

    ARTISTIC STAFF:
    Director: SHELLEY BUTLER
    Set Designer: DAVID M. BARBER
    Costume Designer: LEAH PIEHL
    Lighting Designer: JANE SPENCER
    Dramaturg: ABIGAIL GONDA
    Sound Designer: TYLER NELSON
    Dialect Coach: KATHRYN G. MAES, Ph.D

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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.