• DCPA’s Off-Center names Colorado writers selected for micro-theatre project

    by John Moore | May 22, 2018
    BITE SIZE. Micro-theatre. Off-CenterClockwise from top left: Selected 'Bite-Size' playwrights Edith Weiss; Theatre Artibus and Grapefruit Lab; Jeffrey Neuman; co-writers Kristen Adele Calhoun and Theo E.J. Wilson; and Sean Michael Cummings.

    Five Bite-Size selections will be presented at BookBar along with a reading series featuring 12 additional finalists

    A whole mouthful of bite-sized theatre is coming to northwest Denver.

    Off-Center, the Denver Center's most unconventional line of programming, today announced its selections for Bite-Size, an evening of original short plays and performance pieces by Colorado artists — all with bookish twists — to be performed environmentally this fall at BookBar, an independent book store and wine bar in the Tennyson Street Arts District.

    Seam Michael Cummings in District Merchants at Miners Alley Playhouse. Sarah Roshan Photography.Each of the five selected works will be awarded $1,000 and produced as part of a full evening of micro-theatre that will run for 24 performances from Oct. 23-Nov. 18 at 4280 Tennyson St.

    “Micro-theatre is essentially short pieces with incredibly intimate audiences of 10 to 15 people," said Off-Center Curator Charlie Miller. “It is a unique approach to performance that is popular internationally, and we are excited to produce it with local artists in Denver.”

    Bite-Size is conceived and will be directed by 2017 True West Award winner Meridith Grundei, also one of Westword’s 2017 Colorado Creatives.

    (Pictured: Selected writer Sean Michael Cummings is currently performing in 'District Merchants' at Miners Alley Playhouse. Sarah Roshan Photography.)

    “This was an incredibly competitive process with 213 eligible submissions from 101 Colorado zip codes,” said Miller. “Every script was read by at least three different readers in a blind process that ensured the works were judged on their own merits, with the identity of the playwright hidden. The reading and selection committees were impressed with the depth of talent and quality of work that has come out of our vibrant creative community."

    honorable-disorder-erica-brown-theo-wilson-celia-herreraurbn-brandsStill, several prominent members of the local theatre community emerged from the anonymous selection process, including award-winning actor and director Edith Weiss; 2016 True West Award winner Jeffrey Neuman; poet and actor Theo E.J. Wilson, who recently starred in the Emancipation Theatre's Honorable Disorder; 2016 True West Award winner Miriam Suzanne; Kristen Adele Calhoun of Curoius Theatre's In the Red and Brown Water; and Sean Michael Cummings, currently performing in Miners Alley Playhouse's District Merchants.

    (Pictured: Erica Brown and Theo E.J. Wilson in 'Emancipation Theatre's recent production of Honorable Disorder.' Photo by Celia Herrera/URBN Brands.)

    "Choosing only five for production was heartbreaking, so we have selected 12 additional pieces to be part of a post-show reading series at BookBar," Miller said. "This gives our finalists the opportunity to hear their work out loud and share their wonderful pieces with the community.”

    Micro-theatre: It's the next big thing in theatre

    In addition to Colorado-based playwrights and creators, Off-Center also plans to hire all performers and other collaborators locally, Miller said.

    Each evening of Bite Size will feature the five selected original works performed in a different indoor or outdoor space simultaneously. Groups of 10 will see each piece in different orders. During scheduled breaks between performances, audiences will drink wine, eat tapas and socialize. In all, each evening will accommodate around 70 audience members.

    BookBar is located at at 4280 Tennyson St. Photo courtesy BookBar website.

    The selected plays

    A Pocket Full of Dandelions

    • By Kristen Adele Calhoun and Theo E.J. Wilson
    • Directed by Ashley Hamilton
    • While rebellion thrashes outside, in the library of Denver's maximum security prison, two women struggle to decide if liberty and justice is indeed for all. Along the way, they find an unlikely accomplice in this powerful and poetic drama. 

    Holy Couch

    • By Edith Weiss
    • Directed by Geoffrey Kent
    • The face of none other than Jesus Christ appears on the couch of a well-to-do suburban couple in this hilarious and surprisingly relevant comedy.
    • By Jeffrey Neuman
    • Directed by Mare Trevathan
    • In this charming, intimate and sly play, a reticent customer at a used bookstore is confronted by the shop’s manager when caught defacing some books.

    Outside the Room

    • Created by Theatre Artibus (Buba Basishvili and Meghan Frank) and Grapefruit Lab (Julie Rada, Kenny Storms, and Miriam Suzanne)
    • Conceived with writing by Larry Mitchell
    • A family struggles to find humanity and normalcy in a world made uncertain and strange after the transformation and “othering” of one of their own. This physical theatre piece imagines what happens on the other side of the iconic room in Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

    Toxoplasmosis (or) High Strangeness

    • By Sean Michael Cummings
    • Directed by Meridith C. Grundei
    • After the (maybe) accidental cremation of a cat and the discovery of a mysterious book, Ali and Hannah are thrust into quantum uncertainty. They'll have to bridge social, generational and metaphysical chasms if they want to escape this veterinarian's office intact.

    The finalists

    These 12 additional plays will be featured as part of a post-show reading series on Fridays and Saturday nights through the run. Specific dates and times to be announced:
    • Malum by Ashley Rice
    • Antiquarian by Jeff Carey
    • Help – Not Just Anybody by Leslie C. Lewis
    • Impact by Lorraine Carter-Larocque
    • Rats Who Eat Butterflies by Katherine Millett
    • Reindeer Cupcakes by Jennifer Faletto
    • Something to Read at the End of the World by Maureen Biermann
    • The F Word by Claire Caviglia
    • The Lotus Eaters by Travis Duncan
    • The Missing Piece by Christina Miller & Addie Levinsky
    • The Playdate by Rachel Hecker
    • This Side of the Room by Dakota C. Hill

    The semi-finalists

    • Allegory of a Library by Kenzie Kilroy
    • Alice by Michael Bouchard
    • Another Day by Kenneth Wajda
    • Easy Slow Cooker Recipes for the Whole Family by Colette Mazunik
    • Finally by Pamela Nocerino
    • Happy Birthday by Tara Rynders, Lia Bonfilio, and Elizabeth Carena
    • Mommy Digital by Warren Epstein
    • More Than Daisy Dares by Ethelyn Friend
    • Once Upon a Time There Was a Children’s Book Author by Lucy Wright
    • Once Upon a Midnight Dreary by Katy Williams
    • Primordial Soup(ish) by Peter Nemenoff
    • Roach by Regan Linton
    • The Black Square She Wears by Eddy Jordan
    • The Distance, in Five Parts by Anne Penner
    • The Forgetful Storyteller by Royce Roeswood
    • The Interview by Robert Garner McBearty

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Bite-Size: An Evening of Micro Theatre: Ticket information

    • Created and Directed by Meridith C. Grundei
    • Dramaturgy by Heidi Schmidt
    • Oct. 23-Nov. 18
    • At BookBar, 4280 Tennyson St.
    • Tickets can be purchased later this summer at denvercenter.org, 303-893-4100 or in person in the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex at 14th and Curtis streets

    More about the selected writers:

    Kristen Adele Calhoun (A Pocket Full of Dandelions) is an actor, writer and organizer. She is currently co-writing Canfield Drive, a play about Ferguson, Missouri under the commission of 651 ARTS and The St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre through the support of the National Performance Network. Other writing credits: "Aint Gonna Let Nobody: Songs and Stories of the Civil Rights Movement" under the commission of the NAACP; and "With These Hands - The Dr. Justina Ford Story" under the commission of Denver's Black American West Museum. A native of Dallas, Texas, she is a graduate of the University of North Texas and Rutgers University. www.KristenAdele.net

    Sean Michael Cummings (Toxoplasmosis (or) High Strangeness)  is a playwright, actor, director, juggler, comedian and native of Colorado. Sean’s plays have been produced by Colorado State University, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Zing! Theatre Company, Poudre High School, Denver Academy and Noco Arts Alliance. Recent acting credits include District Merchants, The 39 Steps, (Miners Alley Playhouse) White Rabbit Red Rabbit (Pipedream Productions, True West Award), and Tommy Wiseau’s The Room (Alamo Drafthouse Littleton). Sean is a proud alumnus of the KC/ACTF Playwriting Intensive and the Orchard Project Core Company, and was the 2017 recipient of the Orchard Project Fellowship for Playwriting.

    Grapefruit Lab (Outside the Room) is the combined vision of long-term collaborators Julie Rada, Kenny Storms, and Miriam Suzanne — creating cross-media and community-embedded performance. Grapefruit Lab made its debut in February 2018 with Jane/Eyre— a queer adaptation of the classic novel, featuring music by Teacup Gorilla and members of Artibus. Previous works (performed as Vicious Trap) include: The In-Between (2016), Glass (And Other Imponderables) (2011), Missa Populi (2010), and A Murder One Less(2009).

    Jeffrey Neuman (Marginalia) is an award-winning playwright whose work has been performed at theaters and festivals across the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. His plays have been produced and/or developed by Emerging Artists Theatre, LaMaMa, National Public Radio, Edinburgh Fringe, FUSION Theatre Company, and the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival, among others. He is a Heideman Award Finalist, cofounder of Rough Draught Playwrights, and a member of the Dramatists Guild of America. www.theaterbyjeff.com.

    Theatre Artibus (Outside the Room), founded in 2017 by Meghan Frank and Buba Basishvili, is an international team of theatre makers dedicated to strengthening community through the experience of live performance. Through laughter, wonder and curiosity, Artibus strives to dissolve barriers and create connection. Current original works include: Oops, a family show about the glories of failure, and Tea Time, an absurdist comedy that explores power and the folly of hope.

    edith weissEdith Weiss (Holy Couch) was hired in the 1982/83 season as a writer and actor for the original show produced by the Denver Center, Is Denver Burning? No need to do the math, who's got time for that?  Suffice it to say that from then to now she has been acting, directing, and writing in theaters all over Denver. She's done improvisation professionally in Denver and around the country, and toured with her stand up around the country and internationally for the military. Her plays for children, for educational theater, and for community theaters have been published by Dramatics, Pioneer, Brooklyn, Heuer, Eldridge, and Big Dog Publishers.  Her short plays have been produced in competitions in New York, Chicago, Kansas City, and Boston.

    Theo E.J. Wilson (A Pocket Full of Dandelions) is a founding member of the Denver Slam Nuba team, who won the National Poetry Slam in 2011. Theo attended Florida A&M University, where he obtained his B.A. in Theater Performance. He returned to Denver and is now the Executive Director of Shop Talk Live, Inc. In 2013, Theo began speaking with “Rachel’s Challenge.” In 2015, Theo went undercover online in the Alt-Right to investigate the roots of racial hatred in millennials. His TED talk on the topic has since received more than 11 million views.

    About Off-Center

    As the most unconventional line of programming of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Off-Center specializes in unexpected experiences such as Sweet & Lucky, the first large-scale immersive show in Denver and The Wild Party, a decadent 360° party set in the Roaring 20s.  An Off-Center show is like no other theatre experience—by design. Off-Center focuses more on connecting people and upending expectations than on adhering to tradition. If you leave the show thinking “I’ve never seen anything like it,” then Off-Center has done its job. We want you to lose yourself, to welcome surprise and to remember that life is better when you live it Off-Center.

    About BookBar

    BookBar is a community bookstore wine bar for the whole family, featuring a highly curated selection of titles for all ages. Enjoy many local and house crafted hors d'oeuvres, wine, beer, coffee, tea and desserts at our bar. We are proud to host hundreds of literary events per year including author readings, story times, and book clubs.

    Follow the DCPA on social media @DenverCenter and at the DCPA’s online News Center.

  • April theatre openings: Don't pass on 'Passing Strange'

    by John Moore | Apr 06, 2018
    Stew, right, the subject and star of the 2008 Broadway musical 'Passing Strange.' Photo by David Lee.

    Stew, right, was the subject and star of the 2008 Broadway musical 'Passing Strange.' Its first local production will open this month at the Aurora Fox. Photo by David Lee.

    Ten intriguing titles for April offer groundbreaking musicals and a wealth of challenging contemporary works 

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Things will be busier than ever at the Denver Center this month, with a wide range of offerings from Disney's Aladdin to The Who's Tommy to Native Gardens to the final weeks of First Date, This is Modern Art and a sold-out Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill. Here we take our monthly look at everything else Colorado theatregoers will have available to them this month:  

    NUMBER 1Trent Armand KendallPassing Strange. This groundbreaking musical went head-to-head with In The Heights for the 2008 Best Musical Tony Award. It opens as a concert with a rousing funk band led by a showman named Stew who takes us back to the tumultuous 1970s where we retrace young Stew’s epic journey from the suburban comforts of Los Angeles to Amsterdam and Berlin in search of “something more real than real." But this is no nostalgia trip. It’s a difficult and meaningful odyssey about cultural identity and family that culminates as young Stew comes face-to-face with present-day Stew — and to terms with the unalterable cost his youthful narcissism has exacted on those he left behind. This is catchy and cathartic performance art unlike anything Broadway has seen before. And the Aurora Fox is the first local theatre company to dare to let anyone in Colorado see it. Directed by Nick Sugar, starring Broadway's Trent Armand Kendall (Into the Woods) and featuring Sheryl McCallum (DCPA's The Wild Party). April 13-May 13 at 9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org

    NUMBER 2Sunday in the Park with George. The Arvada Center presents the regional premiere of Stephen Sondheim's Broadway revival inspired by the painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat. This gorgeous musical merges past and present into poignant truths about life, love and the creation of art. George is frustrated as he searches for his artistic path only to find the answer to his future is in the past. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and nominated for 10 Tony Awards. The cast is led by Cole Burden and Emily Van Fleet (as both Seurat’s mistress and model) along with an all-star ensemble that includes local favorites Billie McBride, Boni McIntyre, Jeffrey Roark, Heather Lacy, Robert Michael Sanders, Joe Callahan, Abby Apple Boes, Paul Dwyer, Piper Arpan, Jeremy Rill, Michael Bouchard, Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, Drew Horwitz, Shannan Steele and Susannah McLeod. April 17-May 6 at 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    NUMBER 3Honorable DisorderHonorable Disorder. The new Emancipation Theater Company's inaugural production tells the story of DeShawn Foster, a native of Denver’s Five Points neighborhood and a veteran of  Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following the loss of his commanding officer and father figure, DeShawn struggles to hold on to  his “Soldier’s Creed.” Honorable Disorder addresses the issues of a typical American family in present-day Denver as seen through the eyes of a young black man and his perceived value by those who care most for him. Written and directed by iconic local performance artist Jeff Campbell and featuring Theo Wilson, Erica Brown, Chet Sis, Corey Rhoads and Devon James. Through April 29 at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, 119 Park Avenue West, EmancipationTheater.com

    NUMBER 4The 2018 Local Lab. Local Theater Company will welcome three playwrights to Boulder for its seventh annual new-play festival: Clockwork by Emily Zemba, a comedy about a congresswoman up for re-election scrambling to fish her campaign out of the toilet; Ladybits by Rehana Lew Mirza, about an aspiring comedian who finds solace within a group of other female comedians feeling marginalized in an industry dominated by men; and Paper Cut by Andrew Rosendorf, a raw exploration of the physical and emotional toll of war on a soldier returning home as an amputee. "We are committed to bringing stories to the stage that challenge the world we live in today," said Artistic Director Pesha Rudnick. "I can’t think of a more exciting time to engage our community in some of our nation’s most pressing issues through the lens of art." April 20-22 at The Dairy Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 720-379-4470 or localtheatercompany.org

    NUMBER 5 Fences. The Lone Tree Arts Center is calling its production of perhaps August Wilson's most popular play its greatest assemblage of talent to date, led by Esau Pritchett. The sixth play in Wilson's decade-by decade "Century Cycle" is the story of a family led by a garbage collector whose rise through the Negro baseball leagues hit a racial ceiling. But now, in 1957, his son sees the world through very different eyes. Fences won the Tony Award for Best Play and was recently made into an Oscar-winning film. Through April 21 at 10075 Commons St. in Lone Tree, 720-509-1000 or lonetreeartscenter.org

    NUMBER 6Romeo and Juliet. Phamaly Theatre Company, which creates performance opportunities for actors with disabilities, brings to life Shakespeare's timeless love story that explores the passion, beauty, poetry, and tragedy of putting aside differences to pursue love above all else. This is a workshop production with minimal staging. Starring Jacob Elledge and Elizabeth Bernhardt, and directed by 2017 True West Awards Theatre Person of the Year Regan Linton. All performances will include open captioning. April 14-22 at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-575-0005 or thedairy.org

    NUMBER 7Dirt, A Terra Nova Expedition. This new play by Laura Pritchett opens with a young scientist in an underground bunker who has recently lost her love after he sacrificed himself to preserve remaining resources for the others. As she waits for the roots to regenerate, she keeps her sanity by daydreaming the science, culture, history and myth of soil. During her journey, she discovers that perhaps humanity has found its humility. April 7-May 6 at the Bas Bleu Theatre, 401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org

    NUMBER 8Going to a Place Where You Already Are. Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's new play by Bekah Brunstetter, a staff writer for NBC’s This Is Us, centers around an elderly couple facing a sudden end-of-life crisis. In this nuanced comedy, two generations wrestle with love and a life well lived as they wonder what might come next. Brunstetter says she wrote the play "to really confront what I believe — or rather, what I can't seem to stop believing." Directed by Rebecca Remaly Weitz. April 12 through May 6 at Boulder's Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., 303-440-7826 or boulderensembletheatre.org

    Baker: 'It’s hard to listen when the message is a brick'

    NUMBER 9Glengarry Glen Ross. OK, so we've said this before, but this time we mean it: The Edge Theatre Company is going on hiatus after farewell stagings of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, followed next month by Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. Glengarry, which won Mamet a Pulitzer in 1984, shows parts of two days in the lives of four desperate and potty-mouthed Chicago real-estate agents who are prepared to engage in any number of unethical, illegal acts to sell undesirable real estate to unwitting buyers. The cast includes Josh Hartwell, Warren Sherrill, Bill Hahn, Kevin Holwerda Hommes, Jihad Milhem, Max Cabot and Tony Ryan. The director is Missy Moore. Fair warning: The Alec Baldwin character in the film does not exist in the play. To see him, you have to come to a special Denver Actors Fund screening of the film (with a live appearance from The Edge cast) on Monday, April 23 at Alamo Drafthouse. The play runs April 13-May 5 at 1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or theedgetheater.com

    NUMBER 10Bullets Over Broadway. John Ashton directs the regional premiere of this musical stage adaptation of Woody Allen's 1994 screenplay about a  straight-arrow 1920s playwright who finds a producer to mount his show on Broadway. Only ... he's a mobster. The cast includes Mary McGroary, Damon Guerrasio, TJ Hogle, Maggie Tisdale, Michael O’Shea, John Gleason, Colby Dunn, Adrianne Hampton and Bernie Cardell. April 13-May 27 at 1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    NOTE: At the start of each month, the DCPA NewsCenter offers an updated list of upcoming theatre openings, spotlighting work being presented on stages statewide. Companies are encouraged to submit listings and production photos at least two weeks in advance to the DCPA NewsCenter at jmoore@dcpa.org.

    Aladdin Photo by Deen van Meer
    Disney's 'Aladdin' flies into Denver on April 7. Photo by Deen van Meer.


    April 5-21: Lone Tree Arts Center's August Wilson's Fences
    10075 Commons St., just west of Interstate 25 and Lincoln Avenue, 720-509-1000 or lonetreeartscenter.org

    A Picasso. Logan Ernstthal and Susie RoelofszApril 5-29: Cherry Creek Theatre Company's A Picasso
    At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver, 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org
    (Pictured at right: Logan Ernstthal and Susie Roelofsz)

    April 5-15: Theatrix USA's Stand Still & Look Stupid
    At the Beacons/Parkside Mansion, 1859 York St., theatrixusa.org

    April 6-29: Emancipation Theatre's Honorable Disorder
    At Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, 119 Park Avenue West, EmancipationTheater.com

    April 6-May 6: Town Hall Arts Center's Sisters of Swing
    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or town hall’s home page

    April 6-28: Equinox Theatre Company’s Reefer Madness: The Musical
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page

    April 6-21: StageDoor Theatre's Fame
    27357 Conifer Road, Conifer, 303-886-2819, 800-838-3006 or stagedoortheatre.org
    (No performances April 13-15)

    April 7-28: National touring production of Disney’s Aladdin, Buell Theatre
    Stage Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    April 7-May 6: Bas Bleu's Dirt! A Terra Nova Expedition
    401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org

    April 12-May 6: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Going to a Place Where You Already Are
    Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or boulderensembletheatre.org

    April 12-21: 5th Wall Productions' Venus in Fur
    The Bakery 2132 Market St.,720-771-8826 or ticketleap.com
    No performances April 13-14

    April 13-May 6: DCPA Theatre Company's Native Gardens
    Space Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    April 13-May 5: The Edge Theatre Company’s Glengarry Glen Ross
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or theedgetheater.com

    April 13-May 13: Aurora Fox's Passing Strange
    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org

    April 13-22: Germinal Stage Denver's The Creditors
    At the John Hand Theater Ballroom on the Colorado Free University Campus at Lowry, 7653 E. 1st Place, 303-455-7108 or germinalstage.com

    April 13-July 8: Jester’s Dinner Theatre’s Annie
    224 Main St., Longmont, 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com

    April 13-May 27: Vintage Theatre's Bullets Over Broadway
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    April 14-22: Phamaly Theatre Company’s Romeo and Juliet
    At the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-575-0005 or thedairy.org

    April 17-May 6: Arvada Center's Sunday in the Park with George
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    LaManchaPromoApril 19-May 5: And Toto too Theatre Company’s The Way Station and The South Star
    At The Commons on Champa, 1245 Champa St., 720-583-3975 or andtototoo.org

    April 26-May 13, 2018: TheatreWorks' Amadeus
    At the Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org

    April 26-June 17: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse's Man of La Mancha (pictured right)
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

    April 27-May 27: DCPA Theatre Company's The Who's Tommy
    Stage Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    April 27-May 20: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College’s Fully Committed
    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org


    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    Lawrence Hecht Michael EnsmingerThrough April 14: Curious Theatre's The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism & Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org READ MORE

    Through April 15: Off-Center's This Is Modern Art
    Jones Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    Through April 15: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse's Kiss Me Kate
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

    Through April 22: DCPA Cabaret’s First Date
    Garner Galleria Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    Through April 22: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College’s Fun Home
    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org READ MORE

    Through April 23: DCPA Cabaret's Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
    Garner Galleria Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    Lili Shuger as AnneFrankThrough April 28: Lowry's Spotlight Theatre's The Diary of Anne Frank
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or thisisspotlight.com
    (Photo at right of Lili Shuger by Meghan Ralph)

    Through April 28: OpenStage's And Then There Were None
    Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org

    Through April 28: Miners Alley Children's Theatre’s Little Red Riding Hood
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 Or minersalley.com

    Through April 29: Miners Alley Playhouse's The 39 Steps
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

    Through May 3: Arvada Center's All My Sons
    Studio Theatre, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Through May 4: Arvada Center's The Electric Baby
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Through May 4: Denver Children's Theatre's Sleeping Beauty
    Public performances 1 p.m. Sundays
    Elaine Wolf Theatre at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-316-6360 www.maccjcc.org

    Through May 6: Arvada Center's Sense and Sensibility
    Studio Theatre, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Through May 13: Vintage Theatre's The Audience
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    Through May 20: BDT Stage's Always … Patsy Cline
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    Through May 25: Arvada Center Children's Theatre's Seussical
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Through May 26: Midtown Arts Center's Ragtime
    3750 S. Mason St, Fort Collins, (970) 225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    Through Aug. 11: Iron Springs Chateau’s A Precious Bit of the West, or: She Was Simply a Delight!
    444 Ruxton Ave., Manitou Springs, 719-685-5104 or ironspringschateau.com


  • Ongoing productions


  • Weekends: Comedy Sportz

    • Sunday, April 15: The Homeless Choir Speaks, a film by Susan Polis Schutz
    At 401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org

    • Thursday, March 19: The Emerging Filmmakers Project, showcasing Denver's indie film scene on the third Thursday of every month.
    • Monday, April 30: Freak Train: Open-mic variety show hosted by GerRee Hinshaw on the final Monday of every month

    3654 Navajo St., 303-477-9984 or bugtheatre.info


    • Monday, April 23: Bernstein at 100: Leonard Bernstein Tribute Concert 

    The Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra presents Leonard Bernstein's iconic West Side Story, in collaboration with Central City Opera and choirs.
    At Levin Hall at the Boulder JCC, 6007 Oreg Ave., Boulder TICKETS

    • Sunday, April 29: Bernstein at 100: West Side Story in Concert

    The Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra presents Leonard Bernstein's iconic West Side Story, in collaboration with Central City Opera and choirs.
    At the Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons St., just west of Interstate 25 and Lincoln Avenue, 720-509-1000 or lonetreeartscenter.org


    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com


    • Monday, April 23: Screening of the film Glengarry Glen Ross with live entertainment from The Edge Theatre's upcoming production of the profane David Mamet classic about the cutthroat world of real estate. Entertainment 6:30 p.m.; film at 7. Choose your preferred seating

    At Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake, 4255 W. Colfax Ave., drafthouse.com


    • Friday, April 20: Swing Into Spring: Big band sound of William and the Romantics
    At the Evergreen Lake House, 303-674-4002 or evergreenchorale.org


  • April 20-22: Local Theater Company's Local Lab new-play festival.

    At the Dairy Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 720-379-4470 or tickets.thedairy.org

    • April 12-19: Women’s Theatre Festival
    1626 S. Tejon St. Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321 or themat.org

    • April 6-7, 2018: Parker Arts’ Wiley and the Hairy Man
    • April 13, 2018: Parker Arts’ Henry and Mudge
    At the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, 303.805.6800 or www.ParkerArts.org

    • Saturday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m.: Guys and Dolls in Concert
    At The Armory Performing Arts Center, 300 Strong St., Brighton, 303-227-3053 or plattevalleyplayers.org
    • Sunday, April 22 at 4 p.m.: Guys and Dolls in Concert
    At First Presbyterian Church of Brighton, 510 S. 27th Ave., Brighton, 303-227-3053 or plattevalleyplayers.org


    • Every third Monday: Monday! Monday! Monday! Cabaret
    • April 17-28: 4th EVER WordFest
    At Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 720-238-1323 or thesourcedenver.org


    • Saturday, April 14: Course Correction. Stories on Stage has renowned actors bring stories to life by combining literature with theater. This month: Cajardo Lindsey,  Emma Messenger and Sam Gregory perform stories about self-help.
    1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive,  303-494-0523 or storiesonstage.org
  • 2018-19 DCPA Theatre Company season: In with the old ... and the new

    by John Moore | Apr 01, 2018
    Chris Coleman offers a play-by-play look at the 2018-19 DCPA Theatre Company season, his first as the company's new Artistic Director. Video by David Lenk and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Coleman's 40th anniversary season includes two world premieres, Tolstoy and an African-American Oklahoma!

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Incoming DCPA Theatre Company Artistic Director Chris Coleman has announced a 40th anniversary season he believes both honors the company’s past and boldly steps into the future — and in some intriguing examples, at the same time.

    Coleman will return to the company’s roots by presenting its third Rodgers and Hammerstein musical following previous stagings of Carousel and South Pacific. But Coleman is promising a fresh new look at Oklahoma! by telling the beloved story of a spirited rivalry between local farmers and cowboys from a mostly African-American perspective. Similarly, Coleman will offer adaptations of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and W. Somerset Maugham’s The Constant Wife, stories of women overcoming great societal barriers that may strike audiences as remarkably contemporary.

    A Last Night 800 1“It’s incredibly exciting to imagine what you want your first season at an organization to be,” said Coleman, who assumes his full-time Denver duties in May. "This company has long been known as a place where you can do really big, interesting, meaty, dramatic literature. One of the things that's exciting to me is to do something really traditional and then follow that with something that is brand new and edgy. That collision of styles and voices is really juicy to me.”

    Pictured above: Valerie Curtis-Newton, left, will return to again direct 2017 Colorado New Play Summit offering 'Last Night and the Night Before' on the mainstage season. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

    Coleman covers the traditional-to-edgy gamut with the announcement of both an eight-play Theatre Company season that includes three classics and two world premieres, as well as an innovative five-play slate from the company's adventurous Off-Center wing.  

    nataki-garrettWhen Coleman was named Artistic Director in November, he promised programming that will further the DCPA’s efforts to diversify its audiences, champion local storytelling and give voice to underserved communities. All five of the other mainstage directors he named today are women — and three of the playwrights are women or persons of color. Four if you count Off-Center's commission of a planned immersive hip-hop piece from This is Modern Art co-writer Idris Goodwin.

    The mainstage season includes two world-premiere plays: Donnetta Lavinia GraysLast Night and the Night Before, which was featured at the company’s 2017 Colorado New Play Summit, and Itamar MosesThe Whistleblower. With the exception of A Christmas Carol, which returns for a 26th year, every playwright and source writer (even Tolstoy) will be new to Theatre Company audiences except Nottage, whose Ruined was one of the most celebrated productions in company history In 2011.

    The Off-Center offerings, said Curator Charlie Miller, will complement the Theatre Company season and tell exciting stories in unconventional ways. “From original micro plays to new theatrical experiments to a large-scale immersive hip-hop show, Off-Center will take audiences into unexpected Denver spaces and showcase local artists, stories, and communities,” he said.

    Take a deeper dive into each play on the 2018-19 season

    The Theatre Company debuted on New Year’s Eve 1979 with The Caucasian Chalk Circle, starring Tyne Daly. Coleman says there is special significance to this being the 40th anniversary season because the company is old enough to have built an significant canon but also young enough to still have staff, artists and audience members who have been here all along — a lot of them.

    "As we step into the next chapter of the Theatre Company’s history, it's inspiring and energizing to look back on the extraordinary body of work that this company has brought to the region over the last 40 seasons," Coleman said. "What's really vivid to me is how many people have been around from Day 1. There are so many people who are really invested in the history and the future of this organization. So, to me, that's worth celebrating. And I view that as a launching pad for me.

    These playwrights and directors are the cream of the crop, and I look forward to the conversations these works will open up with the Denver community."

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

    Meet new Theatre Company Artistc Director Chris Coleman

    Chris Coleman 2018-19 season announcement

    2018-19 DCPA Theatre Company season at a glance:

    • Aug. 24-Sept. 30: Vietgone (Ricketson Theatre) DEEPER DIVE
    • Sept. 7-Oct. 14: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! (Stage Theatre) DEEPER DIVE
    • Sept. 21-Oct. 21: The Constant Wife (Space Theatre) DEEPER DIVE
    • Nov. 21-Dec. 24: A Christmas Carol (Stage Theatre) DEEPER DIVE
    • Jan. 18-Feb. 24, 2019: Last Night and the Night Before (Ricketson Theatre) DEEPER DIVE
    • Jan. 25-Feb. 24, 2019: Anna Karenina (Stage Theatre) DEEPER DIVE
    • Feb. 8-March 10, 2019: The Whistleblower (Space Theatre) DEEPER DIVE
    • April 26-May 26, 2019: Sweat (Space Theatre) DEEPER DIVE

    DCPA Theatre Company tickets and subscriptions: New and renewing subscribers have the first opportunity to reserve tickets. Subscription packages are now available online at denvercenter.org or by calling 303-893-4100. Subscribers enjoy 30 percent off savings, 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. BUY ONLINE

    2018-19 Off-Center season at a glance:

    • July 11-Aug. 22: Mixed Taste: Tag team lectures on unrelated topics (Wednesdays only, with MCA Denver, Seawell Ballroom)
    • Oct. 23-Nov. 18: Bite-Size: An evening of micro theatre (at BookBar)
    • Nov. 23-Dec. 24: The SantaLand Diaries (with Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company at The Jones)
    • March 2019: Powered by Off-Center (The Jones)
    • Dates TBA: Untitled Immersive Hip-Hop Show

    Off-Center ticket information: 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.

    2018-19 THEATRE COMPANY SEASON: Title by title

    (Descriptions provided by DCPA Theatre Company)


    • Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2016 VietgoneBy Qui Nguyen
    • Original music by Shane Rettig
    • Directed by Seema Sueko
    • Aug. 24-Sept. 30, 2018 (Opens Aug. 31)
    • Ricketson Theatre
    • Glance: This rap-spitting, pop culture-crusted dramedy is an ode to the real-life courtship of Playwright Qui Nguyen’s parents. Forced to leave their country during the height of the Vietnam War, two refugees find themselves at the same relocation camp in Arkansas – the land of Harleys, hot dogs and “howdy!” Before they find their way into each other’s arms, they’ll have to blaze a trail in their weird new world and leave behind the baggage they didn’t pack. Jump on this emotional ride for an adventure that hums with excitement as it hops across time and around the globe through the highs and lows of love.
    • Fun fact: Qui Nguyen is the self-described geeky playwright behind She Kills Monsters, which addressed stereotypes and social issues through the game “Dungeons and Dragons.”
    • Take a deeper dive into Vietgone

    (Pictured: Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2016 production of 'Vietgone,' courtesy Oregon Shakespeare Festival.)

    Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

    • Oklahoma!Music by Richard Rodgers; book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
    • Based on the play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs
    • Original Dances by Agnes de Mille
    • Directed by Chris Coleman
    • Sept. 7-Oct. 14, 2018 (Opens Sept. 14)
    • Stage Theatre
    • Glance: With a spring in their step and a song in their hearts, cowboys, farmers and travelling salesmen alike have chased their destinies to a land that promises everything they could hope for: love, opportunity and a brighter future. The first collaboration by the legendary team of Rodgers and Hammerstein became a landmark musical for its rollicking music and stunning dance numbers, and this joyful presentation will solidify why it has stood the test of time. New DCPA Theatre Company Artistic Director Chris Coleman makes his DCPA directorial debut with this production, and he will set the story in one of the 50 all-African-American towns in the early days of the Oklahoma Territory. Discover an overlooked piece of American history as one small community stakes its claim on a place full of hope. The choreographer will be Dominique Kelley, a dancer in the film La La Land and the musical Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk.
    • Fun fact: Oklahoma! opened on Broadway at the St. James Theatre 75 years ago Saturday, and the cast of the Denver-born Frozen marked the anniversary with a curtain-call singalong that you can watch at this YouTube link.
    • Take a deeper dive into Oklahoma!

    The Constant Wife

    • The Constant WifeBy W. Somerset Maugham
    • Directed by Shelley Butler
    • Sept. 21-Oct. 21, 2018 (Opens Sept. 28)
    • Space Theatre
    • Glance: As the intelligent, charming housewife of a successful doctor, Constance Middleton cheerfully plays her traditional role. But she knows far more than she’s willing to let on. This cheeky satire pokes holes in the expectations of relationships, fidelity and social roles that were just as relevant in the 1920s as they are today. Featuring an infectiously plucky heroine at the helm, The Constant Wife takes joy in the imperfections of life and applauds those who elude the strict confines of society to discover true happiness. DCPA alum Shelley Butler (Human Error, The Most Deserving) returns to direct this contagious comedy.Fun fact: Variety calls Maugham’s protagonist “a perverse protofeminist — and an antecedent to the women of “Desperate Housewives” and “Sex and the City.”
    • Take a deeper dive into The Constant Wife

    A Christmas Carol

    • Sam Gregory A Christmas Carol. By Charles Dickens
    • Adapted by Richard Hellesen
    • Music by David de Berry
    • Directed by Melissa Rain Anderson
    • Nov. 21-Dec. 24, 2018 (Opens Nov. 29)
    • Stage Theatre
    • Glance: Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, the Theatre Company’s joyous and opulent seasonal offering now in its 26th year 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. Note: This is an added attraction, not part of the Theatre Company subscription season.
    • Fun fact: Denver favorite Sam Gregory is scheduled to return for a third time as Scrooge.
    • Take a deeper dive into A Christmas Carol

    Last Night and the Night Before (world premiere)

    • Summit. Last Night. Donnetta By Donnetta Lavinia Grays
    • Directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton
    • Jan. 18-Feb. 24, 2019 (Opens January 25)
    • Ricketson Theatre
    • Glance: When Monique and her 10-year-old daughter Samantha show up unexpectedly on her sister’s Brooklyn doorstep, it shakes up Rachel and her partner Nadima’s orderly New York lifestyle. Monique is on the run from deep trouble and brings their family’s Southern roots with her, grabbing hold of Rachel’s life more ferociously than she could have ever imagined. Poetic, powerful and remarkably funny, Last Night and the Night Before play explores the struggle between the responsibilities that are expected of us and the choices we actually end up making.
    • Fun fact: This play was featured in the 2017 Colorado New Play Summit. Its original title was simply, Sam. The new title references a line from the children’s game "Last night and the night before, I met my baby at the candy store."
    • Take a deeper dive into Last Night and the Night Before

    Anna Karenina

    • TC-web-Season-Ann-400x3003By Kevin McKeon, adapted from the novel by Leo Tolstoy
    • Directed by Artistic Director Chris Coleman
    • Jan. 25-Feb. 24, 2019 (Opens Feb. 1)
    • Stage Theatre
    • Glance: Love holds the power to bind us together or tear us apart, and no one knows better than Countess Anna Karenina. As a noblewoman and socialite, her glamorous lifestyle shrouds her unhappy marriage. But everything changes when she meets the dashing army officer Count Vronsky. She risks her social status, marriage, friends and family for the thrill of forbidden love. Anna Karenina uses the romantic backdrop of Tsarist Russia to tell a turbulent tale of passion and betrayal, dreams chased and lost, and the consequences of getting swept off your feet. Helmed by Artistic Director Chris Coleman, this lush, modern adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s masterpiece brings the opulent setting and heart-wrenching story to life.
    • Fun fact: The play was made into a 2012 movie adapted by Tom Stoppard and featuring Keira Knightley and Jude Law.
    • Take a deeper dive into Anna Karenina

    The Whistleblower (world premiere)

    • itamarmoses whistleblowerBy Itamar Moses (pictured right)
    • Directed by TBA
    • Feb. 8-March 10, 2019 (Opens Feb. 15)
    • Space Theatre
    • Glance: For screenwriter Eli, an offer to finally create his own TV show should be the ultimate culmination of his goals, but instead shocks him into wondering why he had those dreams in the first place. Armed with a new sense of spiritual clarity, he sets out on a quest to serve up some hard truths to his coworkers, family, exes and friends. What could possibly go wrong? A lively world premiere about the lies we tell to protect ourselves  and how the tiniest gestures can have deep impact on those around us. Written by Itamar Moses, the award-winning author of the musical The Band’s Visit, currently on Broadway.
    • Fun facts: The Whistleblower was first introduced as a staged reading at South Coast Repertory’s 2015 Pacific Playwrights Festival in Costa Mesa, Calif. — alongside Vietgone. Also, Moses was an Executive Story Editor for HBO's "Boardwalk Empire."
    • Take a deeper dive into The Whistleblower


    • TC-web-Season-Ann-400x3004By Lynn Nottage
    • Directed by Nataki Garrett
    • April 26-May 26, 2019 (Opens May 3)
    • Space Theatre
    • Glance: For the people of poverty-stricken Reading, Pa., work is so much more than a paycheck – it’s the glue that holds the town together. The floor of their central factory is where lifelong friendships are made, where love blossoms and where family members work side-by-side. But as layoffs become the new norm and a cheaper workforce threatens the viability of the local union, the threads that once kept the community together begin to fray. Sweat is an “extraordinarily moving drama,” said The New York Times, that powerfully contrasts life’s happiest highs with the heart-wrenching struggles of survival. Using warm humor and deep empathy, this 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner from Lynn Nottage (Ruined) paints a moving portrait of today’s working-class America in decline.
    • Fun fact: Nottage developed her play through interviews with actual former steelworkers in Reading.
    • Take a deeper dive into Sweat

    2018-19 OFF-CENTER SEASON: Title by title

    Mixed Taste: Tag team lectures on unrelated topics

    • Mixed Taste Aug 9Co-presentation with MCA Denver
    • July 11-Aug. 22, 2018 (Wednesdays only)
    • Seawell Ballroom
    • Glance: Returning for a second summer series, even mismatched subjects find common ground in this fun lecture forum that can go pretty much anywhere. Two speakers get 20 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.
    • Fun fact: One clever example from last year’s series: “Wild West mail delivery and post-conceptual art.” Last year’s series emcee Suzi Q. Smith wrote a poem during each performance and read them at the end of every evening.

    Bite-Size: An evening of micro theatre

    • 2017 TRUE WEST AWARDS Gary Grundie Meridith C. GrundeiCreated and directed by Meridith Crosley Grundei
    • Oct. 23-Nov. 18, 2018
    • At BookBar, 4280 Tennyson St.
    • Glance:
    • Bite-Size brings you five short plays with bookish twists performed in and around BookBar, an independent bookstore and wine bar in the Tennyson Street Arts District. Grab tapas and drinks between the short performances of original works by Colorado-based artists. There is no better way to see a variety of local playwrights and performers in one place. Whether you’re a theatre geek, a bookworm or on the hunt for an off-beat night out, this evening will leave you eager to crack into a fresh hard-cover and dream up some tales of your own.
    • Fun fact: Director Meridith Grundei, a 2017 True West Award winner, packed up a used R.V. and hit the road with her husband and daughter in 2017 to travel the United States and Mexico for a year.

    The SantaLand Diaries

    • A Santaland Diaries Michael BouchardCo-presentation with Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
    • By David Sedaris, adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello
    • Directed by Stephen Weitz
    • Nov. 23-Dec. 24, 2018 (Opens Nov. 25)
    • The Jones Theatre
    • Glance: This acclaimed one-man show is based on David Sedaris’ best-selling memoir about his curmudgeonly experience working as a Macy’s SantaLand elf, once again featuring Michael Bouchard and Luke Sorge as David, and his devilish Macy’s persona, Crumpet the Elf. Think holiday shopping is brutal? Try being on the receiving end of Macy’s SantaLand madness in a pair of pointy shoes. This twisted tale is the cure for the common Christmas show and the perfect excuse to take a break from it all.
    • Fun fact: 2018-19 will mark the 10th anniversary of BETC’s annual holiday staging, the last seven in partnership with Off-Center. That will equal The Bug Theatre’s run of 10 seasonal The SantaLand Diaries starring Gary Culig.

    Powered by Off-Center

    • March 2019
    • The Jones Theatre
    • Glance: Discover your next favorite Colorado performer as they debut new work at the Denver Center. Off-Center is offering the spotlight to local creators of all kinds as they get their projects off the ground with the support of our team. We’re giving our local artistic community a new place to play and a platform to experiment, engage and excite us all. Performance dates and participating artists to be announced.

    Untitled Immersive Hip-Hop Show

    • Idris Goodwin 160Written by Idris Goodwin
    • Directed by Jenny Koons
    • Glance: Following the hit experiential shows Sweet & Lucky and The Wild Party, Off-Center is cooking up its next large-scale immersive adventure. Off-Center has commissioned playwright Idris Goodwin and New York-based director Jenny Koons (Burn All Night at American Repertory Theatre) to create a one-of-a-kind new hip-hop-inspired event. Title, location, dates, and details to be announced.
    • Fun fact: Goodwin is the director and co-writer of This is Modern Art, currently playing through April 15 in The Jones Theatre.

    Note: Due to the nature of live performance, all productions, prices and dates are subject to change.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • BETC moves up in class with ambitious 'The Curious Incident...'

    by John Moore | Mar 20, 2018
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time The Broadway company of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.' Photo by Joan Marcus.

    Boulder company will be first in Colorado to stage celebrated plays The Curious Incident and The Wolves

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    The Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s 13th season will include its most ambitious undertaking ever: Staging an enormously challenging play that was once thought to be unstageable. For the first time in its history, BETC will stage a Tony Award-winning best play before anyone else in Colorado when it caps its wildly aspirational 2018-19 season with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the stage adaptation of Mark Haddon's 2003 best-selling novel.

    Stephen-Weitz- quoteIntroducing Tony-winning best plays to Colorado audiences is a distinction that for the past two decades has generally been traded between the DCPA Theatre Company (All the Way, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) and Curious Theatre (Red, Clybourne Park, next year’s The Humans). No one in Colorado has had the temerity to bite on Curious Incident since it won the Tony in 2015.

    BETC steps into that company this year with the story of a socially awkward British teen who is a mathematical savant but falls somewhere on the autism spectrum. The story follows his quest to clear his name after the neighbor’s dog is speared by a garden fork in the middle of the night.

    The National Theatre’s 2012 London production was a sensation for its ingenious technological advances that somehow helped communicate to its audiences what might be going on inside the young man’s mysterious and often short-circuiting head. The staging used lighting and sound innovations that made the boy's sensory overload both harrowing and eminently understandable.

    But the groundbreaking success of the play also seemed to confirm the presumed belief that it would be impossible to produce for small theatres around the country that, like BETC, do not have multimillion-dollar budgets. “Curious Incident is one of the most fully immersive works ever to wallop Broadway,” the New York Times said. “So be prepared to have all your emotional and sensory buttons pushed, including a few you may have not known existed.”

    Gene Gillette comes home in The Curious Incident tour

    BETC co-founder Stephen Weitz was not scared off. He believes any good story is a stageable story. Somehow.

    “At its heart, Curious Incident is a powerful story about a young boy,” Weitz said. “People who encountered the play in New York or during the national tour may be expecting a particular production style. Ours will feature plenty of ‘theatre magic,’ but it will be our own BETC vision guiding the aesthetic with that story at its core.”

    Sarah BETC’s season is also notable for The Wolves, an utterly original story that takes place on the sidelines of a high-school girls soccer team's games. It is not only Sarah DeLappe’s first play, it was presented at New York’s Lincoln Center — and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

    "I'm thrilled that The Wolves has found its Colorado home at the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company,” DeLappe told the DCPA NewsCenter. The playwright, who grew up playing youth soccer in Reno, Nev., was tutored at Brown University by none other than Paula Vogel (How I Learned to Drive). DeLappe’s characters are listed in the script not by their names but rather their jersey numbers. They are teammates, after all.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    They play, which has surprisingly little to do with soccer, takes place in nine scenes, each while the girls are warming up for a match. “I was attracted to the idea of a stage where we were watching young women whose bodies were active throughout,” DeLappe told the Lincoln Center’s media office. She said she is hungry for narratives with strong female protagonists, and that she sees The Wolves as a story about women warriors. “I was inspired to think of these characters as a pack preparing for battle,” she said.

    Weitz calls The Wolves “possibly the most honest depiction of the lives of young women I've ever encountered,” he said. “Not only is it a profound story, but if affords an incredible opportunity for nine young women in our acting community — part of our efforts to address equity in all facets of our art form.”

    Arvada Cebter Sense and Sensibility. Mall Gale PhotographyThe 13th BETC season is also notable for two Jane Austen adaptations — Pride and Prejudice (a rollicking new adaptation by Kate Hamill, who also wrote the Arvada Center's current Sense and Sensibility) and its modern sequel, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon. This makes the third straight BETC season with a title by Gunderson (Silent Sky, The Revolutionists), currently the most produced playwright in the world not named Shakespeare.

    (Pictured at right: Zachary Andrews, Jessica Robblee, Emma Messenger, Abner Genece, Geoffrey Kent, Jessica Austgen, and Emelie O'Hara in the Arvada Center's 'Sense and Sensibility', running through May 6. BETC will stage a sequel penned by the same adaptor. Matt Gale Photography.)

    2018-19 will also mark the 10th anniversary of BETC’s holiday staging of David Sedaris’ The SantaLand Diaries, the last seven in partnership with Off-Center at the DCPA’s Jones Theatre.The complete season is listed below.

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

    Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company 2018-19 at a glance

    • Sept. 13-Oct. 7, 2018: Pride and Prejudice
    • Oct. 25-Nov. 18, 2018: The Wolves
    • Dec. 8-24, 2018: Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
    • Nov. 23-Dec. 24, 2018: The SantaLand Diaries
    • Feb. 7-March 3, 2019: The Rembrandt
    • April 25-May 19, 2019: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    A closer look at each play:

    (Descriptions provided by BETC)

    Pride and Prejudice
    Sept. 13-Oct. 7, 2018
    By Jane Austen, adapted by Kate Hamill
    This is a playful and unconventional update Jane Austen's classic romance set in Regency, England, where marriage is a must for women. This clever comedy offers a decidedly progressive take on the trials of Lizzie, Mr. Darcy and the Bennet family — with a few dance breaks thrown in for good measure. 

    The Wolves
    Oct. 25-Nov. 18, 2018
    By Sarah DeLappe
    In each scene of this stunning first play by Sarah DeLappe, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, nine girls warm up for their upcoming soccer game. But they must also tackle coming of age and all the confusion, awkwardness, joy and sorrow that comes with it.  Along the way, these unforgettable young women make fierce choices, face their own fragility and ultimately grow into a team. The New York Times said: “The scary, exhilarating brightness of raw adolescence emanates from every scene of The Wolves.”

    Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
    Dec. 8-24, 2018
    By Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon
    In this sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, the bookish middle child of the Bennett family is constantly overshadowed by her four sisters and longs for a large life.' As Mary searches for her identity, she unexpectedly discovers the possibility of true love.

    The SantaLand Diaries
    Nov. 23-Dec. 24, 2018
    By David Sedaris, adapted by Joe Mantello
    For the 10th consecutive year, BETC returns to the Macys department store for this delightfully devilish holiday hit, produced in partnership with Off-Center at the Denver Center’s Jones Theatre. Michael Bouchard and Luke Sorge will again alternate as David, the desperate New Yorker who takes a job as a SantaLand elf named Crumpet.

    The Rembrandt
    Feb. 7-March 3, 2019
    By Jessica Dickey
    Inside a modern-day museum, two security guards and a painter find themselves compelled to touch a masterpiece.  But soon, we are skipping through time; watching Rembrandt at work and listening to Homer discuss the nature of art. Dickey’s play asks us to consider the longevity of art, and the brevity of life.  

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    Gene Gillete. Curious Joan MarcusApril 25-May 19, 2019
    By Simon Stephens, adapted by Mark Haddon
    Christopher Boone, a sweet 15-year-old Brit, has an extraordinary mind but is ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of everyday life.  When falsely accused of killing his neighbor's dog, he sets out to find the true culprit. His journey across London leads to an earth-shattering discovery that will change his life forever. Winner of the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play.

    Pictured above and right: Colorado native Gene Gillette in the recent national touring production of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.' Photo by Joan Marcus.)

  • Rodney Lizcano leads 2018 Colorado Shakes lineup as Richard III

    by John Moore | Feb 08, 2018
    American Mariachi Rodney Lizcano. Adams Viscom

    Rodney Lizcano, currently playing several roles in the DCPA Theatre Company's world premiere of 'American Mariachi,' will headline the 2018 Colorado Shakespeare Festival season in the title role of 'Richard III.' Photo by Adams Viscom.

    A flood of familiar faces this summer will join what the festival is calling the most diverse lineup in its history

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Rodney Lizcano, an award-winning comic and dramatic actor now performing in the DCPA’s American Mariachi, is a character actor no more.

    Rodney LizcanoThe Colorado Shakespeare Festival announced today that Lizcano, a graduate of the Denver Center’s National Theatre Conservatory long known for his supporting roles, will play Shakespeare’s most murderous and malicious king in Richard III  this summer.

    “Rodney can slip chameleon-like in and out of different roles with such skill and charisma,” said Colorado Shakes Producing Artistic Director Timothy Orr. “He is thrilling to watch on stage, and we can’t wait for him to sink his teeth into Richard III.”

    Lizcano was nominated for a 2016 Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Award for his comic portrayal of Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, and again last year for playing a more somber Ralph Crane in the Denver Center’s world-premiere The Book of Will.

    As part of the Denver Center’s world-premiere cast of American Mariachi now performing in the Stage Theatre, Lizcano will travel with the production to San Diego for a run at the Old Globe Theatre opening March 28 before Colorado Shakespeare Festival rehearsals begin.

    Lizcano’s extensive Denver Center credits include Frankenstein, Hamlet, American Night, The Merchant of Venice, Gross Indecency, The Rivals, A Christmas Carol and more. His Colorado Shakes titles have included Hamlet, Equivocation, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Henry V, Tempest, The Merry Wives of Windsor and both parts of Henry IV. He has also performed with Theatre Aspen and the Arvada Center, among others.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Orr said the Colorado Shakespeare’s 61st season will again consist of two separate repertory companies: One to perform Love’s Labour’s Lost and Cyrano de Bergerac on the Mary Rippon outdoor stage, and another to perform Richard III and You Can’t Take it With You on the indoor stage.

    Orr also said 2018 promises to be its most diverse season in company history, with one third of all roles going to actors of color.

    Berry HartAmong those making their Colorado Shakes debuts is Betty Hart (pictured right), a new Colorado Theatre Guild board member who is directing DCPA Cabaret’s upcoming presentation of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, starring Denver First Lady Mary Louise Lee and playing Mondays at the Galleria Theatre from March 5-April 23. She will play Queen Elizabeth in Richard III and Mrs. Kirby in You Can’t Take it With You.

    Anthony Adu, from Off-Center’s Drag On, will play Moth in Love’s Labour’s Lost. And Brynn Tucker (DCPA’s Frankenstein and Last Night and the Night Before, will play Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac.

    Brynn Tucker Summit. Photo by John Moore“Historically, there haven’t been many opportunities for minority actors in classical theatre, and we’re committed to changing that,” Orr said. “Our aim is for the CSF stage to reflect the strengths and talents of the diverse communities in which we live.”

    Other returning Colorado Shakespeare Festival favorites include Sam Gregory and Leslie O’Carroll as Grandpa Vanderhof and Penelope Sycamore in You Can’t Take it With You, the classic 1930s screwball comedy about a young couple whose two very different families meet at a disastrous dinner.  

    Gregory, who plays Scrooge in the Theatre Company’s seasonal stagings of A Christmas Carol, appeared last summer in Colorado Shakes’ Hamlet and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. He is about to star in All My Sons at the Arvada Center, opening March 2. O’Carroll’s history with the Theatre Company goes back nearly 30 years, most recently as Mrs. Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol.

    Seth DhonauSeth Dhonau, currently starring in DCPA Cabaret’s First Date, and University of Northern Colorado alumna Desiree Mee Jung will play the quick-witted couple Rosaline and Berowne in Love’s Labour’s Lost. Marco Robinson, who just performed in Off-Center’s The Wild Party and is currently featured in Miners Alley Playhouse’s Fun Home, will star as King Ferdinand. DCPA Teaching Artist Chloe McLeod, who plays Joan in that same Fun Home, will play Essie Carmichael in You Can't Take it With You.

    Starring as Cyrano will be Scott Coopwood, who played Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew and Brutus in Julius Caesar last year. Anastasia Davidson, currently appearing in Curious Theatre’s Detroit ’67, will play Jaquenetta in Love’s Labour’s Lost. Young Augie Reichert, who has been appearing in the DCPA Theatre Company’s annual stagings of A Christmas Carol since 2014, will play Little Richard in Richard III.

    Returning favorites include Michael Bouchard, Off-Center’s longtime Crumpet in The SantaLand Diaries, along with Sean Scrutchins, with whom he won a 2017 a True West Award for last season’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. Also: Sam Sandoe, Anne Sandoe, Bob Buckley, Benaiah Anderson, Matthew Schneck, Mare Trevathan, Casey Andree, Brian Kusic, Sam Sandoe, Jihad Milhem, Emelie O'Hara, Austin Terrell and more.

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

    LL_Image4Love's Labour's Lost

    • By William Shakespeare
    • Outdoor stage
    • June 8-Aug. 12
    • Directed by Brendon Fox

    In the bucolic Kingdom of Navarre, four attractive young men make a pact to swear off romance and focus on academia — just minutes before the four loves of their lives wander by. Shakespeare’s comedy about the struggle to balance heart and head is the perfect ode to the festival's academic surroundings.

    • Marco Robinson: King Ferdinand of Navarre
    • Desirée Mee Jung: Princess of France
    • Seth Dhonau: Berowne
    • Scott Coopwood: Boyet
    • Rafael Untalan: Don Adriano de Armado
    • Matthew Schneck: Holofernes
    • Michael Bouchard: Costard
    • Grant Bowman: Anthony Dull
    • Anthony Adu: Moth
    • Brynn Tucker: Rosaline
    • Benaiah Anderson: Forrester/Mercade
    • Aziza Gharib: Maria
    • Amber Scales: Katherine
    • Casey Andree: Sir Nathaniel
    • Anastasia Davidson: Jaquenetta
    • David Derringer: Dumaine
    • AJ Voliton: Longaville

    richard. III

    • By William Shakespeare
    • Indoor stage
    • June 22-Aug. 11
    • Directed by Wendy Franz

    Richard, Edward IV’s deformed and embittered younger brother, will do anything to take the crown for himself — but once he has the throne, everything falls apart. Four centuries later, the masterful conclusion of Shakespeare’s Henriad history cycle still speaks volumes about lies, honor and the dark side of ambition.(Pictured: Richard III in 2012.)

    • Sam Gregory: Hastings
    • Leslie O'Carroll: Duchess of York
    • Betty Hart: Queen Elizabeth
    • Brian Kusic: Richmond/Grey/Alderman
    • Coleman Zeigen: Stanley
    • Sam Sandoe: Catesby/First Murderer
    • Christian Ray: Dorset/Second Murderer/Messenger/Alderman/Soldier
    • Jihad Milhem: Clarence/Earl of Oxford/Mayor of London
    • Lindsay Ryan: Lady Anne
    • Rodney Lizcano: Richard III
    • Sean Scrutchins: Buckingham
    • Austin Terrell: Brackenbury/Ratcliffe
    • Leraldo Anzaldua: King Edward IV/Bishop of Ely/Alderman/Soldier/Faceless Ghost/Fight Choreographer
    • Anne Penner: Margaret
    • Mike Largent: Rivers/Soldier/Alderman/Faceless Ghost
    • Kyle Chesney: Ensemble/Alderman/Soldier
    • Elena Sayeedi: Ensemble/Lady in Waiting/Alderman/Soldier
    • Alex RosenthalEnsemble/Alderman/Soldier
    • Luka Teodoru: Prince Edward
    • Augie Reichert: Little Richard, Duke of York
    • Kaiyane Arabian: Little Lady

    Cyrano de Bergerac

    • By Edmond Rostand
    • Outdoor stage
    • July 6-Aug. 11
    • Directed by Christopher DuVal

    In Rostand’s timeless romantic comedy, Cyrano is witty and proud but crippled by insecurity. He secretly pines for Roxanne — but she has her eyes on handsome, empty-headed Christian.

    • Marco Robinson: Christian de Neuvillette
    • Desirée Mee Jung: Sister Claire/Lady/Lise/Precieuse/Ensemble
    • Seth Dhonau: Brissaille/Cavalryman/Capuchin/Another Actor/Cadet 2/Cook 2 and Apprentice/Nun/Ensemble
    • Scott Coopwood: Cyrano de Bergerac
    • Rafael Untalan: Comte de Guiche
    • Matthew Schneck: Le Bret
    • Michael Bouchard: Ragueneau
    • Janae Burris: Bellerose/Doorkeeper/Actress/Poet 2/Nun/Ensemble
    • Anthony Adu: Jodelet/Cadet 3/Poet 1/Guard/Actor/Nun/Ensemble
    • Brynn Tucker: Roxanne+Read Bio for Brynn Tucker
    • AJ Voliton: Musketeer/Spanish Officer/Cadet 5
    • Benaiah Anderson: Vicomte de Valvert/Cadet 1/Cadet 6/Ensemble
    • Aziza Gharib: Flower girl/Nun/Poet 3/Pickpocket/Foodseller/Ensemble
    • Amber Scales: Sister Marthe/Duenna/A Lady/Ensemble
    • Casey Andree: Cuigy/Citizen/Cooks 1 and 4/Cadet 8/Ensemble
    • David Derringer: Ligniere/Nun/Cadet 4/Ensemble
    • Anne Sandoe: Mother Marguerite de Jesus/1st Marquis/Poet 4/Ensemble
    • Bob Buckley: Montfleury/Carbon de Castel-Jaloux/Cadet 7/Ensemble
    • Robert Wester: Cook 3/Bertrandous/Cadet

    You Can't Take It With You

    • By Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman
    • Indoor stage
    • July 20-Aug. 12
    • Directed by Carolyn Howarth

    When Alice brings her boyfriend’s traditional, straight-laced family to dine with her household of freethinking eccentrics, fights break out and fireworks erupt. Kaufman and Hart’s 1930s classic pays homage to those who march to the beat of their own drum and reminds us all to choose dreams over drudgery.

    • Sam Gregory: Martin (Grandpa) Vanderhof
    • Leslie O'Carroll: Penelope Vanderhof Sycamore
    • Betty Hart: Mrs. Kirby
    • Mare Trevathan: Olga/Gay
    • Coleman Zeigen: Mr. Kirby
    • Sam Sandoe: Mr. De Pinna
    • Lauren Dennis: Rheba
    • Christian Ray: Tony Kirby
    • Jihad Milhem: Ed Carmichael
    • Lindsay Ryan: Alice
    • Rodney Lizcano: Boris Kolenhkov
    • Sean Scrutchins: Henderson
    • Chloe McLeod: Essie Carmichael
    • Leraldo Anzaldua: Paul Sycamore/Fight Choreographer
    • Mike Largent: Donald
    • Kyle Chesney: The Man
    • Elena Sayeedi: G-man photographer

    Edward III

    • By William Shakespeare and Thomas Kyd
    • Outdoor stage
    • Aug. 5
    • Directed by Kevin Rich

    Colorado Shakes’ “Original Practices” tradition continues with a history play that’s been mired in mystery for hundreds of years. England’s king is out to capture the crown of France and the heart of a married countess. The cost of his lust? Personal humiliation and 150 years of English battle and bloodshed. This is a one-night-only performance, inspired by the stage practices of Shakespeare’s own time.

    • Michael Bouchard: Earl Douglas/Charles
    • Marco Robinson: Lorraine/Villers/Esquire 1/Calais Citizen 1
    • Desirée Mee Jung: Countess of Salisbury/Frenchman 2/Calais Citizen 2
    • Seth Dhonau: John of France
    • Scott Coopwood: Edward III
    • Benaiah Anderson: Prince Edward/Fight Choreographer
    • Aziza Gharib: Frenchman 4/French Herald 3/French Captain/Esquire 2/Herald
    • Emelie O'Hara: Lodwick/French Woman/Queen Phillipa
    • Leslie O'Carroll: Audley
    • Betty Hart: Artois
    • Sam Sandoe: Warwick/Frenchman 3/French Herald 1/Copland
    • Christian Ray: Messenger/Percy/Philip
    • Jihad Milhem: Mountague/French Mariner/Salisbury
    • Leraldo Anzaldua: David of Scotland/Gobin de Grey/Frenchman 1/Montford/French Herald 2
    • Kevin Rich: Derby

    *Play descriptions provided by Colorado Shakespeare Festival

    Casting by Sylvia Gregory Casting

    Ticket information
    The Colorado Shakespeare Festival's 2018 season runs through June 8-1Aug. 12 in Boulder on the campus of the University of Colorado. Tickets are available by calling 303-492-8008 or going to www.coloradoshakes.org

    Video bonus: Rodney Lizcano's Old Joe transformation:

  • Study: There's a lot of Denver in Denver Center casts this fall

    by John Moore | Dec 13, 2017

    Fall Casting 800 Photos by Adams Viscom

    Survey of DCPA cast lists shows 56 percent of all available jobs this fall have gone to actors who live in Denver area 

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    There has been a lot of Denver at the Denver Center this fall. An analysis of cast lists for the eight shows presented since the start of September shows that 56 percent of all actors who have taken to a DCPA stage also call Denver home.

    That doesn’t even include the eight child actors who currently populate the Theatre Company’s A Christmas Carol. And when you add in all the actors who grew up in Colorado but are now based elsewhere, the number of actors with local connections jumps to 67 percent.  

    “The Colorado acting community is such a multi-talented group, and that is evident in all the amazing work featured across the entire state and on every one of our stages at the DCPA this fall,” said DCPA Director of Casting Grady Soapes.

    The survey includes all homegrown programming offered by the DCPA, totaling 73 adult actor slots. Much of the local infusion this year can be traced to Off-Center’s immersive musical The Wild Party at the Stanley Marketplace, as well as DCPA Cabaret’s newly launched musical First Date at the Galleria Theatre, both of which cast entirely local actors.

    First Date Fall Casting Photo by Emily LozowFirst Date director Ray Roderick, who is based out of New York, is responsible for the longest-running musical in Colorado Theatre history, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, also at the Galleria, as well as The Taffetas, Five Course Love and many others. And while he is always empowered to cast actors based anywhere around the country, he almost always fills his Denver cast lists with Denver actors. Why? Because he can, he says.

    (Pictured above and right: Local actors Seth Dhonau and Adriane Leigh Robinson will be taking their 'First Date' through April 22. Photo by Emily Lozow.)

    “There is no question that there is a wealth of talent here in Denver,” Roderick said. “When I work at other regional theatre centers and I choose my cast, I’m often told, 'Well what have they done on Broadway?’ I never get that here at the Denver Center. The fact is, when you are casting a show, what matters is the story, period. And we have beautiful storytellers in Denver. That they happen to live in Denver has nothing to do with their level of talent.”

    It was the Denver Center’s Jeff Hovorka who convinced then-DCPA President Randy Weeks that the first staging of the Galleria Theatre’s Always…Patsy Cline back in 1997 could be effectively cast with local actors. Melissa Swift-Sawyer and Beth Flynn made Denver musical-theatre history when their show ran for three and a half years, only to be surpassed by I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, another all-local show that opened in 2000 and became Denver’s longest-running musical by 2004.

    “The three biggest successes in the Galleria Theatre history, including Girls Only: The Secret Comedy of Women, all have had local casts,” said Hovorka, now the DCPA’s Director of Sales and Marketing for Broadway and Cabaret. “Denver always has had an incredibly strong talent base, and we are always proud to celebrate the homegrown talent we have in this city.”

    Check out the all-local cast of DCPA's First Date

    The Wild Party Director Amada Berg Wilson, also the founder of a Boulder theatre company called The Catamounts, put 15 local actors to work on Off-Center’s risky plunge into immersive musical theatre, which was attended each night by 200 live party guests.

    “Having an all-local cast is evidence that we really do have the talent right here to pull off a show like this,” said Wilson. “And I think it is great that as the Denver Center continues to experiment with immersive theatre, we are developing a base of talent right here who have the tools and the vocabulary to make this specific kind of work. We are discovering that audiences are really hungry for more of it, and now we have the people here to do it.”

    michael-fitzpatrick-leslie-ocarroll-photo-credit-adamsviscom_24874516748_oThe list of local actors working for the Denver Center this fall spans beloved veterans such as Leslie O’Carroll, who is again playing Mrs. Fezziwig in the Theatre Company’s A Christmas Carol, to first-timers such as longtime BDT Stage favorite Wayne Kennedy and Adriane Leigh Robinson, who just played Sally Bowles for the Miners Alley Playhouse’s Cabaret.

    (Leslie O'Carroll, right with 'A Christmas Carol' castmate Michael Fitzpatrick, is now the longest-tenured actor in the DCPA Theatre Company.)

    Longtime Galleria Theatre favorites Jordan Leigh and Lauren Shealy, now appearing in First Date, have built sustainable acting careers around steady work at the DCPA, including occasional crossover roles in Theatre Company productions. Shealy, headlined the Lone Tree Arts Center’s summer production of Evita that was nominated for Outstanding Musical by the Colorado Theatre Guild’s Henry Awards.

    Colorado theatre favorite Steven J. Burge, who joined the Denver Center earlier this year to play none other than God in the long-running Galleria Theatre hit An Act of God, is back in First Date, which runs through April 22. This is a job, Burge says, “that I would not quit even if I won the lottery, because I love it so much.”

    Each May, the Denver Center holds three days of “general auditions” that are open to local actors to sign up for. This year a record 100 union and 275 non-union actors participated, directly resulting in many of the fall hirings.

    Many of the Denver Center’s current crop of actors have tentacles that reach throughout the Colorado theatre community from Creede Repertory Theatre (Diana Dresser and Emily Van Fleet) to Phamaly Theatre Company (Leonard E. Barrett), which exists to create performance opportunities for actors with disabilities.

    Michael Bouchard and Luke Sorge, the two actors playing David in Off-Center’s The SantaLand Diaries, are both company members with the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, which was co-founded by occasional DCPA Theatre Company actor and Director Stephen Weitz.  

    The Theatre Company’s season-opening production of Macbeth included local playwright Steven Cole Hughes, also a longtime Teaching artist for DCPA Education and graduate of the Denver Center’s National Theatre Conservatory. Robert O’Hara’s cast was a Denver Center reunion of sorts that also brought home Colorado natives Gareth Saxe, Erik Kochenberger and Skyler Gallun.

    Skyler GallunSaxe, a graduate of Colorado College and Denver East High School, played Scar for two years on Broadway in Disney’s The Lion King, but his DCPA Theatre Company roots go back to Cyrano de Bergerac in 2001. Kochenberger also graduated from East High School — but his was in Pueblo. Gallun, who previously appeared in Lord of the Flies, led a talkback with students from his alma mater, George Washington High School, after one Macbeth matinee (pictured at right by John Moore).

    DCPA Education head of acting Timothy McCracken, who has recently performed with both BETC (Outside Mullingar) and Local Theatre company (The Firestorm), landed this fall in both the Theatre Company’s Smart People and A Christmas Carol. His Smart People co-star Jason Veasey graduated from Coronado High School in Colorado Springs and the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. His many past local credits include playing Jesus in Town Hall Arts Center’s Godspell.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    This fall also has brought the launch of DCPA Education’s new Theatre for Young Audiences program. The three-person cast of The Snowy Day who performed Ezra Jack Keats’ beloved story for 19,000 pre-kindergarten through third-graders included longtime DCPA Teaching Artist Rachel Kae Taylor (also an NTC grad with three Theatre Company credits) and Robert Lee Hardy, who was recently seen in Vintage Theatre’s A Time to Kill In Aurora.  

    finalpdheadshots0005-web“This has been an exciting year not only for the local actors but for myself and the DCPA,” Soapes (pictured right) said of his local casting. “The dedication this organization has made to further highlighting the talent we have here in Denver has also deepened our appreciation for the artists who are working hard every day to entertain our audiences —  my hat goes off to them,” he said.

    Soapes said his top priority always will be to cast the best person for every role, regardless of ZIP code.

    “We here at the DCPA are excited to continue to tap further into the local talent pool, open our doors wider and show the entire industry why Denver is a destination for quality theatre,” Soapes said.

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

    Grady Soapes Quote

    Denver Center Fall 2017 Casting:

    Macbeth: 17 actor jobs
    Actors living in Colorado:

    • Steven Cole Hughes as Doctor of the Psychic/Ensemble)

    Actors from Colorado:

    • Skyler Gallun as Donalbain/Ensemble
    • Erik Kochenberger as Hecate Two/Ensemble
    • Gareth Saxe as Duncan/Ensemble)

    'A Snowy Day. Rachel Kae Taylor, Robert Lee Hardy. Zak Reynolds. Photo by Adams Viscom.The Snowy Day:
    Three actor jobs

    Actors living in Colorado:

    • Rachel Kae Taylor as Archie, Amy, Mom and others
    • Robert Lee Hardy as Peter

    Smart People: Four actor jobs
    Actors living in Colorado:

    • Timothy McCracken
    Actors from Colorado:
    • Jason Veasey

    The Wild Party: 15 actor jobs
    Actors living in Colorado:

    • Brett Ambler as Gold
    • Leonard Barrett Jr. as Oscar D’Armano
    • Allison Caw as Sally
    • Laurence Curry as Black
    • Diana Dresser as Miss Madelaine True
    • Katie Drinkard as Mae
    • Trent Hines as Phil D’Armano
    • Drew Horwitz as Burrs
    • Wayne Kennedy as Goldberg
    • Sheryl McCallum as Dolores
    • Jenna Moll Reyes as Nadine
    • Marco Robinson as Eddie Mackrel
    • Emily Van Fleet as Queenie
    • Aaron Vega as Jackie
    • Erin Willis as Kate

    Girls Only: The Secret Comedy of Women: Three actor jobs
    Actors living in Colorado:

    • Barbara Gehring
    • Linda Klein
    • Amie MacKenzie

    A Christmas Carol (through Dec. 24): 21 adult actor jobs; eight youth jobs
    Actors living in Colorado:

    • Sam Gregory as Ebenezer Scrooge
    • Chas Lederer as Swing
    • Kyra Lindsay as Martha Cratchit/Ensemble
    • Chloe McLeod as Swing
    • Timothy McCracken as Ebenezer Scrooge understudy
    • Leslie O’Carroll as Mrs. Fezziwig/Ensemble
    • Jeffrey Roark as Jacob Marley/Ensemble
    • Shannan Steele as Ensemble
    • Marco Robinson as Ensemble

    A Michael Bouchard 800The SantaLand Diaries (through Dec. 24): Two actor jobs
    Actors living in Colorado:

    • Michael Bouchard as David
    • Luke Sorge as David understudy
    First Date (through April 22): Eight actor jobs

    Actors living in Colorado:

    • Adriane Leigh Robinson as Casey
    • Seth Dhonau as Aaron
    • Steven J. Burge as Man 1
    • Aaron Vega as Man 2 (Nov. 11-Dec. 3)
    • Jordan Leigh as Man 2 (Dec. 5-April 22)
    • Lauren Shealy as Woman 1
    • Barret Harper as Male Understudy
    • Cashelle Butler as Female Understudy
  • 2017 True West Award: The Tramps

    by John Moore | Nov 29, 2017


    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

    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


  • 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.


    • 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)


    • 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

    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-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-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.”


    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.

    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


    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-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-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-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-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-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-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-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.



    • 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

    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

    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

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



  • 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.


    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.


    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.


    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.  

  • 'A Christmas Carol': Opening Night photo gallery

    by John Moore | Dec 16, 2014

    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


    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.


    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



    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

    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

    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.