• 'A Christmas Carol' still brings playwright to laughter, tears

    by John Moore | Dec 07, 2017
    Making of 'A Christmas Carol' 2017

    Photos from the making of 'A Christmas Carol' from Friday's opening night and going back to the first rehearsal. To see more, click on the image above to be taken to our full gallery of photos. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    'One of the things I love so much about this Denver Center production is its humanity,' the playwright says at opening.

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Richard Hellesen's 1987 stage adaptation of Charles DickensA Christmas Carol has become a holiday standard for theatre companies across the country including the Denver Center, which opened its 10th seasonal staging of Hellesen’s script last Friday — with the playwright in the audience.

    Hellesen doesn't track how many productions his sweeping adaptation, with music by David de Berry, has enjoyed over the past 30 years. But the number of performances here at the Stage Theatre since 2006 is now nearing 500, with attendance topping 300,000. Hellesen said he was moved to tears by Melissa Rain Anderson’s take on the story.

    Richard Hellesen quote A Christmas Carol“I know the words, but sometimes the performances and the direction surprise me,” Hellesen said after the performance. “I was laughing tonight, I was crying — and I wrote the damn words. How does that work?”

    Well, it starts with Sam Gregory, who is playing Scrooge for a second straight season. Hellesen was taken by Gregory’s evident youth, which while uncommon for actors playing the role of the grizzled old skinflint, is actually consistent with Dickens’ novel.

    Hellesen said Gregory presents a Scrooge who has an opportunity to make a more lasting impact on his Victorian community after his conversion — and a greater emotional impact on audiences — because he still has a significant amount of time left to improve himself and his community. 

    “My favorite line from the whole play is: ‘Best of all, Scrooge knew he had the time before him to make amends — and he started that very day.'

    “One of the things I love so much about this Denver Center production is its humanity, because it's extremely easy to make Scrooge one-dimensional, or a stereotype. I think the harder challenge for the actor is to humanize him to the point where you are sitting in the audience saying to yourself, 'You know what? I kind of … sort of … actually see where he is coming from. And that moves us a little closer in his direction.

    Lisa Kennedy on why we circle back to A Christmas Carol

    “I know when the emotional parts are coming,” he said, “and yet I am just floored whenever I see an actor who is giving it something new like Sam Gregory.”

    A Christmas Carol 2017 Peyton GoosenAdded Anderson: “What I love about this adaptation and the way Sam plays it is that it works on all levels,” she said. “There's the bitter, there's the sweet, there's the political, there's dark humor and there's frivolous humor. Sam really hits every single scope that a man can hit in one night.”

    Part of the enduring power of the source story, Hellesen said, is its ever-relevant decrying of injustice in all its forms. Audiences may not realize it, he said, but Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843 as a demand for societal change.

    “I think certain lines in the script will suddenly resonate anew with any present-day audience depending on what is going on in the world,” he said. “For me tonight, that was when The Ghost of Christmas Present made his speech about how some men commit acts of envy and pride and bigotry and prejudice in the name of Christmas. That's in Dickens’ book, and I put that in my adaptation for a reason. It's because I want people to hear that today. We are at an interesting time. There is want, and there is ignorance. But there is also hope for redemption.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    (Pictured above and right: Peyton Goossen, who plays Tiny Tim, at the opening party. Photo by John Moore. Below: Goossen with Brian Vaughn and Latoya Cameron. Photo by Adams Viscom.)

    A Christmas Carol 2017. Peyton Goossen Brian Vaughn and Latoya Cameron. Photo by Adams ViscomHellesen said the Denver Center’s various stagings have always ranked among his favorites for their production values and the quality of the acting. This year he was particularly impressed to see a multi-racial Cratchit family on the stage.

    “I absolutely loved that,” he said. “Yes, this is a very specific story written in 1843 London, but it's obviously a much more universal story than that. And so to expand the casting in terms of ethnicity and age just adds to the universality of the piece.”

    Hellesen took a moment after the opening performance to thank the cast and crew directly.

    “When you sit at your computer and you adapt something, you just hope that somehow it has a life,” he told those gathered. “To see all of you people who are so talented giving so much to something that I wrote  — I am incredibly humbled to be in the room with you all, watching you do this.”

    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.


    A Christmas Carol: Video


    Video above by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.


    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
    • Performances through Through Dec. 24
    • Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Tickets start at $25
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here
    Previous NewsCenter coverage of A Christmas Carol 2017:
    Photos, video: Your first look at A Christmas Carol 2017
    Video: Governor, Carol cast send Colorado National Guard thanks and hope
    A Christmas Carol: A timeline to today
    DCPA's 25th A Christmas Carol brims with mistletoe and milestones
  • Video, photos: Your first look at 'A Christmas Carol' 2017

    by John Moore | Dec 01, 2017
    A Christmas Carol: Video


    Video above by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.

     

    Your first look in video and photos at the seasonal staging that has come for a 25th time 'to save us everyone.'

    Here is your first look in video (above) and photos (below) at the DCPA Theatre Company's 2017 staging of A Christmas Carol, directed for the second time by Melissa Rain Anderson and starring Sam Gregory as Scrooge.


    Now in its 25th seasonal staging at the Denver Center, A Christmas Carol is a joyous and opulent musical adaptation that traces the money-hoarding skinflint Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption. A Christmas Carol runs through Dec. 24 in the Stage Theatre. Ticket information below.

    A Christmas Carol: Production photos

    A Christmas Carol 2017

    Our full gallery of photos from the DCPA Theatre Company's 'A Christmas Carol. To see more, click on the image above. Photos by Adams Viscom for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    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
    • Performances through Through Dec. 24
    • Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Tickets start at $25
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here
    Previous NewsCenter coverage of A Christmas Carol 2017:
    Video: Governor, Carol cast send Colorado National Guard thanks and hope
    A Christmas Carol: A timeline to today
    DCPA's 25th A Christmas Carol brims with mistletoe and milestones
  • 2017 True West Award: The Tramps

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

    2017 TRUE WEST AWARDS  

    Day 1: The Tramps

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

    Sam Gregory and Timothy McCracken
    Waiting for Godot
    Arvada Center

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

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

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

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

    What they are saying:

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

    A look back at the history of the True West Awards

    Michael BouchardMichael Bouchard 2017:

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


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



    Timothy McCrackenTimothy McCracken 2017:

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


    A Sean Scrutchins 160Sean Scrutchins 2017:

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

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    ABOUT THE TRUE WEST AWARDS: '30 DAYS, 30 BOUQUETS'
    The True West Awards, now in their 17th year, began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001. DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore — along with additional voices from around the state — celebrate the entire local theatre community by recognizing 30 achievements from 2017 over 30 days, without categories or nominations. Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center's Senior Arts Journalist. His daily coverage of the DCPA and the Colorado theatre community can be found at MyDenverCenter.Org

    The 2017 True West Awards (to date)

     

  • Video: Governor, 'Carol' cast send Colorado National Guard thanks and hope

    by John Moore | Nov 28, 2017

    Video: Watch Governor John Hickenlooper's holiday message to members of the Colorado National Guard and their families with cast members from the DCPA Theatre Company's 'A Christmas Carol,' from left: Sam Gregory, Latoya Cameron and Peyton Goosen atop the shoulder of Brian Vaughn. Video courtesy Colorado National Guard. 

     

    Raising The Guard: Hickenlooper joins Denver Center actors to bolster local military spirits at holidays

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Cast members from the DCPA Theatre Company's A Christmas Carol joined Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper at the State Capitol on Nov. 21 to film a message of gratitude and hope for members of the Colorado National Guard.

    The video is a direct address to Guard members and their families after an extraordinary year when service members were called upon to combat disasters in Colorado and neighboring states including wildfires and catastrophic weather events.

    "On behalf of everyone in Colorado, we want to thank you for your service to our state and nation," Hickenlooper said. 

    Participating cast members from the Denver Center were Sam Gregory (Scrooge), Latoya Cameron (Mrs. Cratchit), Brian Vaughn (Bob Cratchit) and Peyton Goosen (Tiny Tim).

    A Christmas Carol. Peyton Goosen "After massive hurricanes pounded Houston, the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, you helped save lives and reduce human suffering," Gregory says in the video.

    Adds Cameron: "Whether you defend the homeland or support the war fight, when you wear the uniform, you embody service and sacrifice."

    The message also served as an acknowledgement that the holidays can be a time of loneliness and isolation, especially for members of the armed forces.

    "Your willingness to defend our nation is what makes you so amazing," says Hickenlooper. "But sometimes it's the little things that seem enormous. Watch out for each other and take care of yourself."

    (Photos: Peyton Goosen, who plays Tiny Tim, on the steps of the State Capitol, above, and with Colorado National Guard Major Darin Overstreet, below right.)

    The actors wove messages from Charles Dickens' classic story into their address to National Guard members who may feel vulnerable at this time of year. 

    "At times the future may look bleak by way of past misfortunes but that doesn't need to be the way it is with you," says Gregory. "The future can differ from what you see now. Resources are bountiful."

    Colorado National Guard A Christmas Carol The suicide rate in the military used to be lower than the population at large. But in the years following the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, service members began taking their own lives in increasing numbers.

    "The Colorado National Guard considers suicide prevention a top priority, and all members of our organization are encouraged to get help for themselves and their fellow warriors," said Chris Neuenfeldt, who manages the Colorado National Guard's Resilience, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention program, which is available to troops of all ranks and statuses, anywhere across the state, 24/7.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    A service member who needs help has a number of resources available via The Colorado National Guard's R3SP webpage. For additional help, a soldier or airman should start by contacting Neuenfeldt via email or the CONG's R3SP Facebook page. Service members are encouraged to contact either of the Directors of Psychological Health, Doug Bryan at 720-250-1562, or Victoria Howatt at 720-847-9438.

    The video message above, directed by Major Darin Overstreet, also will be shared overseas to deployed Colorado National Guard Soldiers and Airmen.

    A Christmas Carol opens on Friday and runs through Dec. 24 at the Denver Center's Stage Theatre.

    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.


    Photo gallery: Creating the Colorado National Guard video:

    Making of 'A Christmas Carol' 2017

    Photos from the making of the Colorado National Guard video. To see more, click on the image above to be taken to our full gallery of photos. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    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
    • Performances through Nov. 24-Dec. 24
    • Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Tickets start at $25
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here
    Previous NewsCenter coverage of A Christmas Carol 2017:
    A Christmas Carol: A timeline to today
    DCPA's 25th A Christmas Carol brims with mistletoe and milestones
  • 'A Christmas Carol': A timeline to today

    by John Moore | Nov 22, 2017
    A 2014-ACC-gmk-1089 allen dorseyAllen Dorsey in the DCPA Theatre Company's 2014 production of 'A Christmas Carol.' Photo by Gabe Koskinen. 

    Over the past 25 years, more than 820,000 people have watched the the timeless story play out here in Denver.

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    It seems A Christmas Carol and its seasonal message of redemption and empathy for all is a perennial need in this country. Charles Dickens’ classic tale of the miser Scrooge’s spiritual redemption remains the DCPA Theatre Company’s most popular and most-produced show. This holiday season marks the company’s 25th musical presentation of the story dating to 1990 — with two years off along the way. (Pictured below in 2003.)

    DCPA Theatre Company's 'A Christmas Carol' 2003. In that time, there have been 18 young Tiny Tims but only two versions of the script. From 1990-2004, the DCPA staged an adaptation written by Laird Williamson and Dennis Powers. Since 2005, the company has presented the adaptation by Richard Hellesen and David de Berry. 

    Dickens wrote his opus in just six weeks, motivated in part by his own financial problems and in part by his anger seeing children working in appalling conditions in the tin mines and barely living in streets overrun with half-starved, illiterate urchins and orphans.

    Here’s a brief look at how the story has played out from London to Denver:

    1843 Charles Dickens publishes A Christmas Carol as a novel on Dec. 19. By Christmas Eve, more than 6,000 copies are sold. 

    1844 The first stage presentation of A Christmas Carol is held, running for 40 nights. Within a year, eight rival A Christmas Carol theatrical productions are playing around London.

    1845 By now 13 editions of the A Christmas Carol novella have been released.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    1852 Charles Dickens gives the first of 127 public readings in London.

    1870 Charles Dickens’ death.

    Philip Pleasants Sam Gregory Scrooge A Christmas Carol1901 Scrooge, or, Marley’s Ghost is produced as a silent black-and-white British film. Since then, there have been at least 18 film variations featuring everyone from Albert Finney to Bill Murray to The Muppets to Mr. Magoo to Scrooge McDuck. Other actors to portray Scrooge on screen or stage include F. Murray Abraham, George C. Scott, Kelsey Grammer, Tony Randall, Hal Linden, Tim Curry and even The Who frontman Roger Daltrey. 

    1990 The DCPA Theatre Company presents A Christmas Carol for the first time, an adaptation by Laird Williamson and Dennis Powers. Laird Williamson also directs, which he continues through 2004. 

    2005 The company switches to an adaptation by Richard Hellesen and David de Berry directed by Bruce K. Sevy. Philip Pleasants plays Scrooge and continues as the primary Scrooge through 2015.

    2007 The DCPA gives A Christmas Carol a year off in favor of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and will do so again in 2012.

    A MayorHickenlooperTinyTim Charlie Korman2009 Charlie Korman (pictured at right with then-Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper) is cast as Tiny Tim at age 5. He would play the role for the next four years before aging up to play Young Scrooge in 2014. Korman would later play featured roles in the Theatre Company’s Lord of the Flies and Frankenstein

    2015 Elias Harger, the Theatre Company’s Tiny Tim the year before at age 7, is cast in Netflix’s Fuller House, the sequel to the long-running hit family sitcom Full House.

    2016 Sam Gregory becomes the eighth actor to play the Theatre Company’s Scrooge. Additionally, Melissa Rain Anderson takes the reins as director.A peyton_headshot_102017

    2017 For the first time, a young female actor, Peyton Goossen, plays the role of Tiny Tim. 

    2017 The Man Who Invented Christmas is released, a film that tells the story of how Charles Dickens brought the Scrooge story to life, starring Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer (as an animated Scrooge).

     DCPA Theatre Company's 'A Christmas Carol' 2016. DCPA Theatre Company's 'A Christmas Carol' 2016.


    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
    • Performances through Nov. 24-Dec. 24
    • Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Tickets start at $25
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here

    Photo gallery: The making of A Christmas Carol 2017

    Making of 'A Christmas Carol' 2017

    Above: Photos from the first day of rehearsal for the DCPA Theatre Company's 'A Christmas Carol.' To see more, click in the image above. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

  • DCPA's 25th 'A Christmas Carol' brims with mistletoe and milestones

    by John Moore | Nov 06, 2017
    Making of 'A Christmas Carol' 2017

    Above: Photos from the first day of rehearsal for the DCPA Theatre Company's 'A Christmas Carol' last week. To see more, hover your cursor over the image above and click the forward arrow that appears. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Favorite Sam Gregory is back as Scrooge and, for the first time in Denver, a young girl has been cast to play Tiny Tim.

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    When the DCPA Theatre Company presents the seasonal favorite A Christmas Carol later this month, it will be an offering filled with mistletoe and milestones. Check out the five things we learned at first rehearsal below.

    A Christmas Carol. Sam Gregory. The cast is again headed by Sam Gregory in his second season playing the miserly Scrooge. The most veteran member of the cast is Leslie O'Carroll, who has appeared in 19 of the Denver Center's 25 stagings, most as Mrs. Fezziwig.

    Back for her second year as director is Melissa Rain Anderson. She will again be staging the version adapted by Richard Hellesen, with music by the late David de Berry, as has been the DCPA tradition since 2006. "This is by far my favorite version," said Anderson, who has herself performed in this version of the story four times as an actor at theatres around the country. "I think it's the most Dickensian." Music Director Gregg Coffin has helmed this version of the show 22 times around the country.

    NUMBER 1LOOK WHO'S TWENTY-FIVE! A Christmas Carol is, no surprise, far and away the DCPA Theatre Company's most-produced show. This holiday season marks the company’s 25th presentation of the story dating to 1990 — having taken two years off along the way in favor of Irving Berlin's White Christmas. "That is a huge milestone," Anderson said. "It's a privilege to be a part of that legacy here at the Denver Center. With everything that is happening in the world, I am so happy to be in this room with all of these people and to be a part of telling this tale again as a true ensemble."

    NUMBER 2 A Christmas Carol. Tiny Tim. Melissa Rain Anderson. Peyton Goosen.GOD BLESS THE GIRL. There have been 18 young Tiny Tims over the DCPA's first 24 years of A Christmas Carols. This year, for the first time, the role of the feeble boy whose death is imminent if Scrooge doesn't break down and finally offer his employee some health insurance, will be played by a girl. Anderson she credits DCPA Artistic Associate Grady Soapes with the idea to cast young Peyton Goosen. "I am always open to more females on the stage, so I was very for it," Anderson said. "Peyton is really smart, she is absolutely adorable and she is precocious. But most important, she was the best actor for the role."

    NUMBER 3KNOCK KNOCK. WHO'S THERE? A Christmas Carol has drawn 820,000 audience members since 1990, so if you live in Denver, chances are, you have seen it. But with 10,000 new residents moving into the city every month, it's become clear that thousands of audience members each year are experiencing A Christmas Carol for the first time "So many people love this production and count on it as a family tradition, but 40 percent of our A Christmas Carol audiences are new every year," said DCPA Associate Artistic Director Charlie Miller.

    NUMBER 4 SHE'S MIXING THINGS UP. Anderson introduced several changes last year, including, for example, introducing a grander sleigh for the Ghost of Christmas Present to ride in on. This year, she says audiences should keep an eye on the phantoms. "Their costumes are a little sleeker this year," Anderson said. "We are going to be able to see their bodies a little more, which I really like, because we have a really good dancers in our cast. I would like for people to see that they were once human."

    NUMBER 5WHO KNEW? Speaking of the creative vision, one of the most reliable aspects of the DCPA's production from year to year is the look of the set, originally designed by veteran Vicki Smith. We learned at first rehearsal that Smith's original inspiration was a Victorian Christmas card she came across.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    A Christmas Carol: Cast list

    • Hadley Brown (DCPA debut) as Belinda Cratchit/Ensemble
    • Latoya Cameron (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Mrs. Cratchit/Ghost of Christmas Past
    • Kevin Curtis (DCPA’s Sweeney Todd, A Christmas Carol) as Dick Wilkins/Peter Cratchit/Ensemble
    • Michael Fitzpatrick (DCPA’s Animal Crackers, A Christmas Carol) as Mr. Fezziwig/Ensemble
    • Peyton Goosen (DCPA debut) as Tiny Tim/Ensemble
    • Sam Gregory (DCPA’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Hamlet, All The Way, A Christmas Carol) as Ebenezer Scrooge
    • Darrell T. Joe (DCPA debut) as Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come/Ensemble
    • Chas Lederer (DCPA debut) as Swing
    • Kyra Lindsay (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Martha Cratchit/Ensemble
    • Brody Lineaweaver (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Ensemble
    • Chloe McLeod (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Swing
    • Timothy McCracken (DCPA’s Smart People, A Christmas Carol) as Ebenezer Scrooge understudy
    • Chris Mixon (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Old Joe/Ensemble
    • Grace Morgan (The Phantom of the Opera, DCPA A Christmas Carol) as Belle/Fred’s Wife/Ensemble
    • Leslie O’Carroll (DCPA’s Benediction, A Christmas Carol) as Mrs. Fezziwig/Ensemble
    • Erik Pinnick (DCPA debut) as Ghost of Christmas Present/Ensemble
    • Daniel Plimpton (DCPA’s The Secret Garden) as Ensemble
    • Jim Poulos (Broadway’s Rent, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, DCPA A Christmas Carol) as Fred/Young Ebenezer/Ensemble
    • Max Raabe (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Ensemble
    • Tristan Champion Regini (DCPA debut) as Boy Ebeneezer/ Ensemble.
    • Augie Reichert (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Ensemble
    • Helen Reichert (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Fan/Ensemble
    • Jeffrey Roark (DCPA’s Sweeney Todd, All The Way, A Christmas Carol) as Jacob Marley/Ensemble
    • Marco Robinson (Off-Center’s The Wild Party) as 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
    • Jackie Vanderbeck (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Charwoman/Ensemble
    • Brian Vaughn (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Bob Cratchit/Ensemble
    • Owen Zitek (DCPA’s A Christmas Carol) as Edward Cratchit/Ensemble
    A Christmas Carol. Photo by John Moore.



    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
    • Performances through Nov. 24-Dec. 24
    • Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Tickets start at $25
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here


    The SantaLand Diaries:
    Back for Year 9

    SantaLand Diaries 2016. Michael Bouchard. Photo by Adams VisComAround the corner in the Jones Theatre, Off-Center’s seasonal co-production of The SantaLand Diaries again will be staged in partnership with the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company. The production will be essentially unchanged for 2017, with Michael Bouchard again donning the caustic candy-striped socks for a third 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 "Other David."

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

    The SantaLand Diaries: Ticket information
    The SantaLand DiariesAt a glance: 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.

    • Presented by Boulder Ensemble Theatre with DCPA Off-Center
    • Performances Nov. 24-Dec. 24
    • Jones Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Tickets start at $25
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here
  • Vast and visceral: 2017-18 Theatre Company, Off-Center seasons

    by John Moore | Apr 03, 2017

     

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

    By John Moore
    DCPA Senior Arts Journalist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    2017-18 Broadway season brings Hamilton to Denver

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

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

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

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

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

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

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

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

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

    DCPA THEATRE COMPANY SEASON AT A GLANCE:

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

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

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

    TC 2017-18 800

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

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



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



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



    SMART PEOPLE

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



    A CHRISTMAS CAROL

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

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



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

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



    ZOEY'S PERFECT WEDDING

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



    AMERICAN MARIACHI

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


     

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


     

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


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



    Sam Buntock

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



    HUMAN ERROR

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


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

     

    TICKET INFORMATION:

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

     

     

  • April: Here's what's coming this month in Colorado theatre

    by John Moore | Mar 30, 2017
    April Listings Baby Dance


    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.

    Five intriguing titles for April:

    NUMBER 1The Nether. The new Benchmark Theatre debuts March 31 with the regional premiere of Jennifer Haley’s serpentine crime drama at Buntport Theater. This haunting sci-fi thriller is described as a virtual wonderland where one can simply log in, choose an identity and indulge your every desire. But when a young detective uncovers a disturbing brand of entertainment in this world, she triggers an interrogation into the darker corners of the imagination. The cast features Haley Johnson, Jim Hunt, Marc Stith, Cameron Varner and Ella Madison. Directed by Rachel Bouchard. Performances 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 6 p.m. Sundays through April 23 at 717 Lipan St. Tickets at the door or online at benchmarktheatre.com.

    NUMBER 2The Gun Show. Playwright EM Lewis takes aim at her own relationship with firearms in And Toto Too Productions' 12th-season opener at The Commons on Champa, a newly available performing space at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. From a farming community in rural Oregon to the big cities of Los Angeles and New York, The Gun Show features one actor (Mark Collins) sharing Lewis' unique, middle-ground perspective on the issue with her true stories about America’s favorite and perhaps most dangerous pastime. And Toto Too is Colorado's only theatre company dedicated exclusively to women's voices. The Commons on Champa is subsidized in part by the city's The Next Stage NOW, a public initiative with a mission to enliven, diversify and sustain the downtown arts complex. Performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays from April 13-29 at 1245 Champa St., 720-583-3975 or andtototoo.org.

    NUMBER 3Waiting for Godot. When Samuel Beckett's existential masterpiece opens April 21, the Arvada Center's first repertory season will be in full swing, joining The Drowning Girls and Bus Stop in the studio theatre. (And Jesus Christ Superstar continues on the mainstage through April 16.) Waiting for Godot, the story of a couple of patient hobos, their hats, boots and a tree, is directed by the Denver Center's Geoffrey Kent (An Act of God) and features DCPA Education Head of Acting Tim McCracken, Sam Gregory (A Christmas Carol), Josh Robinson and Sam Gilstrap. 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    NUMBER 4Robert SchenkkanBuilding The Wall. Denver Center commissioned playwright Robert Schenkkan wrote this dystopian play as an immediate and angry response to the presidential election. In it, he imagines us six months into the Donald Trump presidency by invoking George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and the Nazi regime. The play focuses on the frontman of the new administration, who loses his humanity amid chaos and martial law. His policies have  resulted in the mass roundup of millions of illegal aliens, with their incarceration overflowing into private prisons and camps reminiscent of another century. Building the Wall, Schenkkan told the DCPA NewsCenter, “is a terrifying and gripping exploration of what happens if we let fear win.” The play is being presented from April 4-19 by Denver's Curious Theatre, featuring John Jurcheck and Brynn Tucker, at 1080 Acoma St. 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org

    NUMBER 5Lauren ShealyEvita. Argentina's controversial First Lady is the subject of Andrew Lloyd Webber's enduring musical masterpiece, which features Denver actor Lauren Shealy (DCPA's Forbidden Broadway) in the starring role alongside Broadway actors Miles Jacoby (Che) and Jesse Sharp (Perón). As an illegitimate 15-year-old, Eva escaped her dirt-poor existence for the bright lights of Buenos Aires. Driven by ambition and blessed with charisma, she was a starlet at 22, the president's mistress at 24, the First Lady at 27, and dead at 33. The director is Gina Rattan, who helmed the recent national tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. Runs April 13-29 at the Lone Tree Arts Center, just west of Interstate 25 and Lincoln Avenue, 720-509-1000 or lonetreeartscenter.org


    DCPA April theatre listings



    THIS MONTH'S THEATRE OPENINGS IN COLORADO:

    (Submit your listings to jmoore@dcpa.org)

    March 30-April 23: Cherry Creek Theatre Company’s The Baby Dance
    Pluss Theatre at the the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver, 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org

    April Listings Blue KitchenMarch 30-April 31: Bas Bleu Theatre's The Blue Kitchen
    401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949or basbleu.org

    March 31-May 7: DCPA Theatre Company's Disgraced
    Ricketson Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    March 31-April 30: Town Hall Arts Center's The Robber Bridegroom
    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or town hallartscenter.org READ MORE

    March 31-April 23: Benchmark Theatre's The Nether
    At Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St., benchmarktheatre.com READ MORE

    March 31-April 23: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's Bye Bye Birdie
    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

    March 31-May 21: Vintage Theatre’s The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    March 31-April 16: Star Bar Players' Tape
    The Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado, Colorado Springs
    Info: Email tickets@starbarplayers.org or call 719-357-5228

    March 31-April 30: Dangerous Theatre's Dogmai (world premiere)
    2620 W. 2nd Ave #1, 720-989-1764 or dangeroustheatre.com

    April 1-April 29: OpenStage's Don't Dress for Dinner
    Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org

    April Listings Crimes of the HeartApril 1-29: Firehouse Theater Company's Crimes of the Heart
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. 1st Place, 303-562-3232 or firehouse’s home page 

     

    April 1-29: Miners Alley Children's Theatre's Peter and the Wolf
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

    April 4-19: Curious Theatre's Building the Wall
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org

    April 6-30: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Silent Sky
    Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or betc.org READ MORE

    April 6-22: 5th Wall Productions' Life Lessons
    At The Bakery, 2132 Market St., 5th-wall-productions.com

    April 7-May 21Vintage Theatre’s A Time to Kill
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintage’s home page

    April 7-30: Germinal Stage-Denver's Arms and the Man
    At Westminster High School, 69th Avenue and Raleigh Street, 303-455-7108 or germinalstage.com

    April 7-15: Theatre Company of Lafayette’s The X-Files: The Spoof is Out There
    Mary Miller Theater, 300 E. Simpson, 720-209-2154 or tclstage.org

    April 7-8: PACE Center and Inspire Creative's Mr. Popper's Penguins
    20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker,  303-805-6800 or parkerarts.org

    April 11-16: National touring production of Mamma Mia!
    Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    April 13-29: Lone Tree Arts Center's Evita
    10075 Commons St., just west of Interstate 25 and Lincoln Avenue, 720-509-1000 or lonetreeartscenter.org

    April 13-29: And Toto too Theatre Company’s The Gun Show (world premiere)
    The Commons on Champa, 1245 Champa St., 720-583-3975 or andtototoo.org 

    April 14-30: Funky Little Theatre Company’s Sylvia
    2109 Templeton Gap Road, Colorado Springs, 719-425-9509 or funkylittletheater.org

    April 14-22: Robert Dubac’s The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron?
    At the Avenue Theater, 417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or avenuetheater.com

    April 14-29: StageDoor Theatre's Footloose, The Musical
    27357 Conifer Road, Conifer, 303-886-2819, 800-838-3006 or stagedoor’s home page

    April 21-May 28: DCPA Theare Company's The Secret Garden
    Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    April 21-May 21: The Edge Theatre's Misery
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or theedgetheatre.com

    April 21-May 20: Arvada Center's Waiting for Godot
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org READ MORE

    April 21-May 28: Aurora Fox's Priscilla Queen of the Desert
    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org

    April 22-May 7: TheatreWorks' Pride and Prejudice
    3955 Regent Circle, Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org

    April 23-May 13: square product’s She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchange (world premiere)
    At The Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or the dairy.org

    April 27-May 7: Upstart Crow's Dark of the Moon
    At the Nomad Playhouse, 1410 Quince Ave., Boulder, 303-442-1415 or theupstartcrow.org

    April 27-May 13: Dairy Arts Center's The Testament of Mary
    2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or tickets.thedairy.org

    April 28-May 21: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins (Second Stage)
    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

    CONTINUING CURRENT PRODUCTIONS:

    Through March 31: Vintage Theatre Productions’ Stella & Lou
    At The Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or vintagetheatre.com

    Through April 2: The Edge Theatre's The Nance
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or theedgetheatre.com

    Through April 2: Millibo Art Theatre's The Crucible
    1626 S. Tejon St., Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321 or themat.org

    Through April 2: BiTSY Stage's The Lass Who Went Out With The Cry Of Dawn: A Celtic Yarn
    1137 S. Huron St., 720-328-5294 or bitsystage.com

    Through April 8: DCPA Cabaret's An Act of God
    Galleria Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    Through April 8: Athena Project Arts Festival's The Wave That Set the Fire
    At the Byron Theatre in Newman Center for Performing Arts at the University of Denver, 2344 E Iliff Ave., AthenaProjectFestival.org

     

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Through April 9: Aurora Fox's Chinglish
    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org


    Through April 9: Performance Now's Hello, Dolly!
    Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway, 303-987-7845 or performancenow.org

    Through April 9: The Avenue Theater's Oddville
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or avenuetheater.com

    Through April 15: Evergreen Players' Enchanted April
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreenplayers.com

    Through April 15: Equinox Theatre Company’s Stage Kiss
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinoxtheatredenver.com

    Through April 15: Curious Theatre's Constellations
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org READ MORE

    Through April 16: Arvada Center's Jesus Christ Superstar
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org



    Through April 30: Miners Alley Playhouse's A Skull in Connemara
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com READ MORE

    Through April 30: Denver Children's Theatre's The Jungle Book
    Elaine Wolf Theatre at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-316-6360 or maccjcc.org

    Through May 6: BDT Stage's Disenchanted
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

     

    Through May 14: Arvada Center's Bus Stop
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org READ MORE

    Through May 19: Arvada Center's A Year With Frog and Toad
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Through May 21: Off-Center's Travelers of the Lost Dimension, with A.C.E.
    At the Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St., Aurora, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    Through May 21: Arvada Center's The Drowning Girls
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Through May 27: Midtown Arts Center's Sister Act
    3750 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    Through June 4: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s 42nd Street
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com


    ONGOING, MONTHLY or ONE-TIME PROGRAMMING:

    ADAMS MYSTERY PLAYHOUSE
    Ongoing productions
    2406 Federal Blvd., Denver, 303-455-1848 or adamsmysteryplayhouse.com

    THE ATHENA PROJECT ARTS FESTIVAL
    Through April 8: World-premiere play The Wave That Set the Fire
    At the Byron Theatre in the Newman Center for Performing Arts at the University of Denver, 2344 E Iliff Ave. INFO

    2017 Plays In Progress Series

    • April 1 at 1 p.m. and April 8 at 4 p.m.: Beating a Dead Horse by Jennifer Stafford
    • April 1 at  4 p.m. and April 2 at 7 p.m.: Famous Last Words by Katherine Millett
    • April 8 at 1 p.m. and April 9 at 7 p.m.: Handcrafted Healing by Nancy Beverly

    At the Byron Theatre in the Newman Center for Performing Arts at the University of Denver, 2344 E Iliff Ave. ticket info

    Special Table Reading

    • April 2 at 9:30 a.m. and April 3 at 7 p.m.: Honor Killing by Sarah Bierstock

    At the Byron Theatre in the Newman Center for Performing Arts at the University of Denver, 2344 E Iliff Ave. ticket info

    BENNETT COMMUNITY CENTER
    April 8-9: Vintage Theatre presents RFK – A Portrait of Robert Kennedy
    Starring James O’Hagan Murphy at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, and at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, April 9.
    1100 E. Colfax Ave., Bennett (35 miles east of Denver). 303-856-7830 or vintagetheatre.com

    BUNTPORT THEATRE

    • Saturday, April 8: Siren Song: A Pirate Odyssey (Monthly theatre for young audiences at 1 and 3 p.m. the second Saturday of each month, through May 13)
    • Saturday, April 9: Very Short Stories: International for Stories on Stage, at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Su Teatro, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-494-0523 or storiesonstage.org
    • Tuesday, April 18: The Great Debate (monthly)
    • Wednesday, April 19: The Narrators (a monthly live storytelling show and podcast)
    • Friday, April 28: Untitled (in the freight elevator at the Denver Art Museum, monthly)
    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com

    THE CLOCKTOWER CABARET

    • Saturdays in April: 1980s Burlesque Tribute: Ladies of the '80s

    D&F Clocktower, 16th and Arapahoe streets, 303-293-0075 or clocktowercabaret.com

    Concert Lone Treey 340

    DENVER ACTORS FUND
    • Sunday, April 9: Screening of the film Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, with live pre-screening entertainment for the cast of the Aurora Fox's upcoming stage production of the stage musical. Entertainment 6:30 p.m.; film at 7.

    Alamo Drafthouse Littleton, 7301 S Santa Fe Drive, drafthouse.com

    • Sunday, April 30: United in Love: A benefit concert starring Broadway's Annaleigh Ashford, Andy Kelso and Mara Davi. Featuring Mary Louise Lee, Jodie Langel and Denise Gentilini. Hosted by Eden Lane and Steven J. Burge.

    At the Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons St., just west of Interstate 25 and Lincoln Avenue, 720-509-1000 or lonetreeartscenter.org READ MORE


    DENVER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

    • BethMalone-SO FAR-artApril 1: Hal Holbrook: Mark Twain Tonight!, Buell Theatre READ MORE INFO
    • April 15: Beth Malone: So Far, Galleria Theatre INFO READ MORE
    • April 28 and May 12: Cult Following & SCRIPTprov™, Jones Theatre INFO
    • April 29 and May 13: Cult Following: Rated G, Jones Theatre INFO

    Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER: BOULDER

    • Saturday, April 29: Giving Motherhood a Microphone

    One-day live staged-reading event where local writers share their stories of motherhood. At Unity of Boulder, 2855 Folsom, Boulder, listentoyourmothershow

    LONE TREE ARTS CENTER

    • Sunday, April 30: United in Love: A concert benefiting the Denver Actors Fund

    Starring BROADWAY'S Annaleigh Ashford, Andy Kelso and Mara Davi. Featuring Mary Louise Lee, Jodie Langel and Denise Gentilini. Hosted by Eden Lane and Steven J. Burge.
    10075 Commons St., just west of Interstate 25 and Lincoln Avenue, 720-509-1000 or lonetreeartscenter.org

    PHAMALY THEATRE COMPANY
    • April 1-2: James and the Giant Peach
    At The Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or the dairy.org

    THE SOURCE THEATRE COMPANY

    • Every third Monday: Monday! Monday! Monday! Cabaret

    At Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 720-238-1323 or thesourcedenver.org

    STORIES ON STAGE
    • Saturday, April 9: Very Short Stories: International
    Flash fiction from around the world. Stories will be performed by Erin Rollman, Hannah Duggan, Erik Edborg and Brian Colonna of Buntport Theatre.
    1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Su Teatro, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-494-0523 or storiesonstage.org

    SU TEATRO

    • April 18- 29: Wordfest

    Su Teatro's third annual festival of readings of new work, presentations and performances
    721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-296-0219 or su teatro’s home page

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

    by John Moore | Mar 02, 2017
    Lenne Klingaman



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

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

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

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

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

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

    Additional reporting by Jill Kimball of CU Presents.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    TICKET INFORMATION  

     

  • Thanks pour in for DCPA Theatre Company's Kent Thompson

    by John Moore | Jan 06, 2017

    Sense and Sensibility
    Marcia Milgrom Dodge‎, Director of Sense & Sensibility The Musical (above) was among the many offering Kent Thompson their well wishes today. Photo by Jennifer M. Koskinen


    Kent Thompson, only the third Producing Artistic Director in the nearly 40-year history of the DCPA Theatre Company, announced his resignation Thursday, effective March 3. Here is a sampling of the well-wishes that have been sent in or posted on social media since the news broke:

    Kent Thompson QuoteOn the morning Kent Thompson announced the creation of the Women’s Voices Fund for the DCPA Theatre Company, I remember thinking that this man just counted up all the shows before his arrival in Denver and figured out fewer than 10 were written or directed by women in all those years. And he said, "Enough is enough. Let's change that." Kent was the first leader I met who worked on gender inequities in the field. Also, while we're at it, he said, “Let's launch a huge new-play program.” The Denver Center has been a major artistic home for me. Many shows. Many workshops. Many birthdays. Many problems with altitude. Many, many years of great theatremaking. I feel privileged to have been part of the Thompson years, and I have so much respect for the work he has done.
    Wendy C. Goldberg, Director (Two Things You Don’t Talk About at Dinner), Artistic Director of the National Playwrights Conference at The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center.

    I've worked with Kent Thompson off and on for almost 20 years. Nothing I can say will begin to describe what that has meant to me. He already knows I'm grateful. I've told him many times. I wish him all the best in whatever new adventures come his way.
    Sam Gregory, Actor (A Christmas Carol)

    Robert Petkoff Sweeney ToddI will forever be grateful for the opportunity you gave me to play one of my dream roles. Robert Petkoff, Actor (Sweeney Todd)

    Kent Thompson is a damn fine human being. Kent's work for the theatre company and Denver at large will be felt for years to come.
    Geoffrey Kent, Fight Director and Actor

    220px-Marcia_Milgrom_DodgeBest of luck to you, dear Kent. I am grateful for the spectacular Sense & Sensibility The Musical experience with the DCPA Theatre Company. Here's hoping your next chapter brings you great success and much happiness.
    Marcia Milgrom Dodge‎, Director (Sense & Sensibility The Musical)

    I so enjoyed working with you and getting to know you, and was looking forward to much more of that. I hope our paths cross again soon in the world. Many congrats on your huge accomplishments at the DCPA.
    Melissa Rain Anderson, Director (A Christmas Carol)

    I have admired your leadership not only in Denver, but the ambition many of your ideas have fueled the national conversations about important issues and initiatives we ignore at our peril.
    Edgar Dobie

    A Kent Thompson Matt ZambranoI owe so much to Kent Thompson. He took a chance on me while I was still in school and cast me in The Liar, which was my first show at the Denver Center. As a kid growing up in Denver theater, that was a big deal. It's also because of him that I got to play Sylvester in Scapin at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, where I met friends I will cherish for the rest of my life. He did so much for the DCPA and for the Denver theater community, and I wish him the best in all his new endeavors.
    Matt Zambrano, Actor (The Liar)

    Kent Thompson is a true visionary. I admire him so.
    Elaine Romero, Playwright

    Kent Thompson will be missed ... and that's an understatement.
    Tina Walls, DCPA Trustee

    A Midsummer Night's DreamKent Thompson, thanks to you, I played a sassy wench from Cyprus with epic red hair and an ethereal green-haired lady and her feisty granddaughter. But best of all, I had the privilege of running around an Athenian forest with these wonderful people and a gaggle of mechanicals and fairies, to boot. I am so grateful to you, sir, for taking a chance on an overzealous grad student. I would dunk myself in a freezing pool of water in Denver in February for you anytime.
    Allison Pistorius, Actor (A Midsummer Nights Dream)

    Thompson's legacy: Giving sound to unheard voices

    It was a great honor and pleasure working with you. I wish you all the best as you transition into the next chapter of your life. I know beautiful experiences and adventures await you.
    Lauren Shealy, actor (A Christmas Carol)

    Kent is a kind and wonderful human being and a generous collaborator who is leaving very large shoes to be filled.
    David M. Barber, Scenic Designer (The Most Deserving)

    I am so grateful for the opportunities I've had under Kent’s leadership and proud of the work we have created together. He leaves behind an incredible legacy, and I'm excited to see what artistic adventures await him.
    Charlie Miller, DCPA Associate Artistic Director for Strategy and Innovation

    Kent, I so value our artistic collaboration and friendship. Thank you for everything.
    Karen Zacarias, Playwright (Just Like Us)

    Thank you for your talent and creativity.  It has been wonderful to see your productions,  and your footprint is apparent. Best wishes for you next endeavors. We will be watching.
    Karen Garcia

    I've had the honor of working on two shows with Kent Thompson, and he will be missed greatly in the Denver theatre community. Kent's work with the DCPA has impacted my life so much, which is why I think of Denver as a second home.
    Erik Daniells. Conductor (Sweeney Todd)

    Kent Thompson’s groundbreaking achievements here are not likely to be matched in the near future.
    Alan Gass

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Fred Vaugeois and I of the Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre in Trinidad want you to know how pleased we've been with the many new programs and quality productions you brought to us as theatregoers and the increased focus on live theatre you generated for all of us in Colorado. We met briefly one day in your office when you were kind enough to share insights and suggestions for our work in southern Colorado.  You also facilitated a playwriting workshop for our youth interns, which was a great success for our kids.
    Harriet Vaugeois, Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre

    Your creativity, drive and excellent spirit made each story the best quality in storyline, character development and being able to pull it all together with grace. Judith Babcock

    Many thanks for your leadership of the Denver Center. My spouse and I have admired your work and your loyalty to the Denver Center.
    Ed and Patty McAuliffe, ushers and patrons

    I have enjoyed your tenure at the DCPA. You have helped keep things relevant while pushing boundaries and preserving excellence.
    Andy Frazier

    You have brought excitement and joy to me with the wonderful plays you've produced in Denver. We have been blessed with your creativity, vision, sensitivity and so many more of your talents to our theater here in Denver.  I'm grateful I was able to participate in the experience.
    Kathleen Anderson

    We followed you from Alabama Shakespeare Festival and were feeling a bit isolated until we got to our first play at the Denver Center. When we first realized that you and several "friends" from Alabama were here in Denver, we began to feel at home in Denver. Thank you.
    Samera and Bill Baird

    We have been season-ticket holders since the DCPA was formed, and you have been such a marvelous addition to the organization.  We think the plays get better each year and we credit you with the many wonderful experiences you have given us.
    Ann and Gary Polumbus

    We have been subscribers since 1990 and have missed only one production during that time.  Kent Thompson’s contribution and leadership have been felt and appreciated. Richard and Christine Hall, Colorado Springs

    Selected previous NewsCenter coverage:
    The Thompson legacy: Giving sound to unheard voices
    The Christians
    : Five things we learned at first rehearsal
    Where the blade meets the band: Kent Thompson on Sweeney Todd
    Kent Thompson on The Bard, The Creature and the soul of his audience
    2016-17 season: Two world premieres and a return to classics
    Westminster High School tackles immigration with DCPA's Just Like Us
    How Thompson turned questions into exclamation points

    Photo gallery: A retrospective of Kent Thompson's years in Denver

    Kent Thompson: A retrospectiveTo see more photos, click the forward arrow on the image above.

  • 2016 True West Award: Sam Gregory

    by John Moore | Dec 28, 2016
    True West Awards Sam Gregory


    30 DAYS, 30 BOUQUETS

    Day 28: Sam Gregory

    When looking back on the dozens of seminal roles Sam Gregory has played on Denver stages for 25 years, you would do well to start with the three unforgettable characters he brought to cagey life in 2016 with a full heart, precision comedy and at times blood-curdling abandon.

    This year, he played three indelible and full-bodied characters who are changed for the better and, in one case, for the much, much worse. That would be the white guy on the bus he played in Curious Theatre’s White Guy on the Bus, Bruce Graham’s incendiary new play that highlights the racial disparities we see every day in the news, on our streets and in our jails.

    True West Awards Sam Gregory. White Guy on the Bus. Curious Theatre, Michael Ensminger. Gregory plays Ray, a liberal and wealthy banker who for unknown (at first) reasons takes the same bus each week that passes the remote state penitentiary. Over time, he befriends a single black mother who takes this same bus to visit her incarcerated brother. Eventually we discover this affable-seeming man is actually a roiling powder keg who is hatching a plan to avenge the brutal murder of his do-gooder wife.

    The play is a timely and intentionally uncomfortable case study of white privilege, and Gregory’s Ray served as a particularly cold conduit for this much-needed confrontation with many hard truths about racism in America. It was all the more discombobulating coming from a nice guy like Gregory - and that was the point.

    “Sam Gregory stands astride the evening, fascinating to watch at every moment, whether he’s maintaining a civilized veneer or allowing flame-spitting anger to break through,” wrote Westword’s Juliet Wittman. Added Beki Pineda of GetBoulder.com: “The evening belongs to Sam Gregory. The dark side beckons - and he cannot resist.”

    (Pictured above and right: Sam Gregory and Jada Suzanne Dixon in Curious Theatre's 'White Guy on the Bus.' Photo by Michael Ensminger.)

    Read our recent profile of Sam Gregory

    Gregory followed that unnerving staging with two of the most high-profile performances of the year in local theatre, starting with Orgon in Moliere’s farcical comedy, Tartuffe. That production marked the launch of the Arvada Center’s new Black Box Theatre Company, which will now present its plays in repertory, mostly by a core company of recurring actors including Gregory.

    True West Awards Sam Gregory QuoteTartuffe is about a brazen con who pretends to be a devout holy man to swindle Orgon out of house, home … and wife! Orgon is a gullible bully who has only himself to blame for his comic predicament, "but instead he blames everyone around him,” Gregory told the DCPA NewsCenter. “He's full of bluster and self delusion.” But Gregory deftly managed to make his hilariously insufferable Orgon appealing to the audience as he was being mercilessly duped.

    Gregory came full circle at the end of the year when he took over for the legendary Philip Pleasants as Scrooge in the DCPA Theatre Company’s 24th seasonal staging of A Christmas Carol. It would have been a risk for any actor to try to don Pleasants’ Scrooge slippers, but audiences and critics alike responded positively to Gregory’s meaningful take on literature’s most notorious skinflint.

    “You need a Scrooge with intellect, depth and feeling,” wrote Juliet Wittman, “and Sam Gregory fills the bill.

    For a guy who played some bluntly irredeemable characters in 2016, Gregory’s Scrooge powerfully communicated Charles Dickens’ echoing mantra that no one is, in truth, irredeemable. “I hope the audience takes away that the very worst, most miserable, unhappy person that you might cross the street to avoid, can become a better person,” Gregory told Westword. “Scrooge is there to teach us that lesson.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    True West Awards Sam Gregory Gregory, who first appeared at the Denver Center in 1991, now has more than 45 DCPA Theatre Company credits to his name. Since the True West Awards began as The Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001, Gregory has been singled out for “Outstanding Season by an Actor” a record five times. You don’t get those kinds of accolades working alone, and his newest director, Melissa Rain Anderson of A Christmas Carol, said Gregory is one of the most collaborative artists she has ever worked with, an actor both “generous with his gifts and astounding with his discipline,” she said. (Photo at right by Adams VisCom.)

    At one A Christmas Carol rehearsal, Gregory wondered whether he should take it easy that day, to pace himself for the grueling run of performances ahead. “He asked me if he should go by the numbers and possibly not take the full emotional journey of Scrooge that day. And I said, ‘Of course!’ ” Anderson said.

    “Well, it only took a few scenes in before he was fully weeping.”

    That’s Gregory.

    "He's an absolute professional," added Tartuffe director and Arvada Center Artistic Director of Plays Lynne Collins. "He always shows up prepared and asks the kinds of questions that keep everyone honest. He's also one of the few actors I know who will walk away from an easy laugh if he thinks it's not furthering the story."

    Next up for Gregory: Starring as Vladimir in the Arvada Center’s Waiting for Godot, opening April 21, opposite DCPA Education Head of Acting Tim McCracken, Josh Robinson (DCPA’s All the Way), Sam Gilstrap and DCPA Teaching Artist Sean Scrutchins. It is a play that Collins put on the Arvada Center season, she says flatly, specifically because she has Gregory to perform in it.

    Sam Gregory/At a glance

  • True West Awards Sam Gregory. A Flea in Her Ear. Hometown: New Haven, Conn.
  • College: Menlo School (Atherton, Calif.); Masters from Cal-Berkeley
  • More than 45 DCPA Theatre Company credits including A Flea in Her Ear in 2005 (pictured at right.) He is a member of the Arvada Center Black Box Theatre Company and will return to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in the summer of 2017. He has also performed locally for the Curious Theatre, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company and the late Paragon Theatre.
  • National credits include The Actor's Company Theatre of New York, Seattle Rep, Milwaukee Rep, San Jose Rep, Cleveland Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse, Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and more.

  • ABOUT THE TRUE WEST AWARDS

    The True West Awards, now in their 16th 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 2016 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 2016 TRUE WEST AWARDS
    Day 1: Jada Suzanne Dixon
    Day 2: Robert Michael Sanders
    Day 3: After Orlando
    Day 4: Michael Morgan
    Day 5: Beth Beyer
    Day 6: Patrick Elkins-Zeglarski
    Day 7: donnie l. betts
    Day 8: Night of the Living Dead
    Day 9: The Killer Kids of Miscast
    Day 10: Jason Sherwood
    Day 11: Leslie O'Carroll and Steve Wilson
    Day 12: Jonathan Scott-McKean
    Day 13: Jake Mendes
    Day 14: Charles R. MacLeod
    Day 15: Patty Yaconis
    Day 16: Daniel Langhoff
    Day 17: Colorado Shakespeare Festival costumers
    Day 18: Miriam Suzanne
    Day 19: Yolanda Ortega
    Day 20: Diana Ben-Kiki
    Day 21: Jeff Neuman
    Day 22: Gabriella Cavallero
    Day 23: Matthew Campbell
    Day 24: Sharon Kay White
    Day 25: John Hauser
    Day 26: Lon Winston
    Day 27: Jason Ducat
    Day 28: Sam Gregory
    Day 29: Warren Sherrill
    Day 30: The Women Who Run Theatre in Boulder
    Theatre Person of the Year Billie McBride
  • Photos: Opening night of 'A Christmas Carol' 2016

    by John Moore | Dec 10, 2016
    Our click-through photo gallery:

    A Christmas Carol 2016 Photos from opening night of the DCPA Theatre Company's 24th staging of the holiday classic A Christmas Carol, starting backstage before the show and through the party afterward. You'll see the crew preparing the stage and actors in their dressing rooms, including the new Scrooge (Sam Gregory) having his wig applied. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. All photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

     


    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
    Through Dec. 24
    Stage Theatre
    ASL Interpreted and Audio-Described Performance: 1:30 p.m. Dec 11
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

     

    Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of A Christmas Carol
    Photos, video: Your first look at A Christmas Carol 2016
    Behind the Scenes video series: Making the costumes
    Costume Corner: What's new with A Christmas Carol?
    A Christmas Carol
    undergoes its own rebirth with new director, star
    Cast lists: A Christmas Carol, The SantaLand Diaries begin anew
    Video: Leslie O'Carroll performs A Christmas Carol in five minutes
    Photos, video: Philip Pleasants takes final bow as Scrooge

    A Christmas Carol Opening night 2016. Photo by John Moore.The younger cast members had plenty of energy after the opening performance of the DCPA Theatre Company's 'A Christmas Carol' for the after-party. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.
  • Jamie Horton: The professor returns with a 'Wonderful' message

    by John Moore | Dec 08, 2016

     Jamie Horton. It's a Wonderful Life. Lone Tree Arts Center.



    When Jamie Horton accepted a professorship at Dartmouth College in 2006, he left the bosom of an artistic home where he had performed in nearly 75 plays over 23 seasons with the Denver Center Theatre Company.

    To say that it is a joy for him to come home to Colorado this holiday season to play with many of his friends of old, he says, is an understatement. Horton will be playing George Bailey in the Lone Tree Arts Center’s It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, opening tonight (Dec. 8) and running through Dec. 18. It’s the familiar story of the family man whose imminent  suicide on Christmas Eve is interrupted by his guardian angel. Only here the story is presented in a 1940s radio studio, complete with live, on-stage sound effects. And Horton (pictured right) will be playing alongside a whole host of familiar DCPA Theatre Company names including Stephanie Cozart, Randy Moore, Mark Rubald, Michael Santo and Director Randal Myler (Love, Janis).

    Jamie Horton. It's a Wonderful Life. Lone Tree Arts Center.“I look back at my time at the Denver Center with profound gratitude,” Horton said. "It is a rare and extraordinary thing for an actor to have a 23-year home where you can lead a normal and full life bringing up a family in a community like Denver - and I cannot overstate how much that has meant to me.”

    Horton’s seminal roles in Denver have included Frank in Spokesong (his first, in 1983), Sweeney in World of Mirth, Phillip in Orphans, Norman in The Dresser, Oscar Wilde in Gross Indecency, and Dalton Trumbo in Trumbo: Red White and Blacklisted – that last one for the Curious Theatre Company in 2004. He also worked extensively with the Creede Repertory Theatre and Stories on Stage.

    Serving then as The Denver Post Theatre Critic, I wrote of him: “When Horton takes to the stage, he becomes the personification of an author’s pen stroke. He’s the epiphany made human. Words come out of his mouth with such authority, it’s hard to imagine the writer harboring any more conviction in his own words."

    But a career in academia called, and Horton has thrived since in his return to Hanover, N.H., where he attended high school and landed his first professional acting job at age 17.

    “When I exited Denver stage right, I landed in a wonderful place and a wonderful job,” he said. “I just can't quite believe 10 years have gone past.”

    Dartmouth faculty are encouraged to continue their individual crafts outside of the university, and Horton has prospered over the over the past few years. He has become a regular at the Northern Stage in White River Junction, Vt., where he played Mr. Webb in a heartfelt 2015 production of Our Town opposite longtime DCPA actor John Hutton as the Stage Manager. Sam Gregory, the DCPA’s new Scrooge, joined them both in Vermont for last year’s A Christmas Carol. Horton and Hutton both played small roles in Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln.

     Jamie Horton.  Bernice/ButterflyHorton is now fresh off what he humbly calls “one of the brightest spots of my career” – making his New York stage debut starring in Orwell in America, a cautionary political tale directed by Peter Hackett, who was the DCPA Theatre Company's second artistic director in the early 1980s. The New York TimesKen Jaworowski said flatly: “Mr. Horton delivers perhaps the finest performance I’ve seen Off-Broadway this year. While there’s scant spectacle, the dynamic Mr. Horton remains transfixing as he morphs from introspective to lively to frustrated.”

    (Pictured right:  Jamie Horton was not yet a professor in 2003. But he played one in the DCPA Theatre Company's world premiere of Bernice/Butterfly. Photo by Terry Shapiro.)

    The experience meant so much to Horton, he said, because George Orwell has so much to say to America right now. The play takes place in the late 1940s, with Orwell talking about the dangers of totalitarianism, the value of compassionate socialism and reiterating the warning of his dystopian cautionary tale, Animal Farm. Orwell targeted his allegorical barnyard satire at the brutal dictatorship of Russia's Joseph Stalin. But Horton says the lessons just as easily apply to America today.

    “We did the play in October just prior to the election, and it was all just incredibly timely, similar to the experience I had in 2004 when I played Dalton Trumbo in Red White and Blacklisted for Curious Theatre,” he said. “Orwell was really prescient. He said, 'I hope that what emerges is a society that cares for itself and for each other.' And man, oh man, we're going to need a good deal of watching out for each other in the next few years. The doors have been opened up to the darker places in ourselves, and we have many wounds to be healed.”

    Theatre has a profound power to help heal, and Horton describes It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play as “a wonderfully fun night of theatre." A salve of sorts. But he said it is important that the Lone Tree Arts Center production acknowledge that when It's a Wonderful Life was released in theatres in the late 1940s, “it was deemed by some to send the wrong messages about the common man and the evil of money,” Horton said.

    George Bailey is a good man who dedicated his life to making things possible for his fellow man. But like Willy Loman, George is beaten down over time by responsibility, fate and a corrupt power structure. By the end of the story, George is snapping at his kids, insulting their teacher and contemplating jumping off a bridge. Honoring that part of the original story, Horton says, is essential to the success of the play.

    “I feel the same about A Christmas Carol,” Horton said. "The London that Charles Dickens was writing about was a very dark place. And George Bailey goes to a very dark place in his life where he is close to committing suicide. But then he is given this opportunity to see that the dark spots we go into are essential to the appreciation of light."

    It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play: Ticket information

    At a glance: The classic film is told here as a live 1940s radio broadcast, complete with an applause sign, commercial jingles and on-stage sound effects. An ensemble of six actors  bring of an ensemble play several dozen characters to tell the story of the idealistic George Bailey who considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve.

    • Presented by the Lone Tree Arts Center
    • Dec. 8-18
    • 10075 Commons St., just west of I-25 and Lincoln Avenue
    • Adapted by Joe Landry
    • Directed by Randal Myler
    • Showtimes:

    Thursday, Dec. 8: 7:30 p.m.
    Friday, Dec. 9: 8 p.m.
    Saturday, Dec. 10: 1:30 p.m.; 8 p.m.
    Sunday, Dec. 11: 1:30 p.m.
    Wednesday, Dec. 14: 1:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
    Thursday, Dec. 15: 7:30 p.m.
    Friday, Dec. 16: 8 p.m.
    Saturday, Dec. 17:  1:30 p.m., 8 p.m.
    Sunday, Dec. 18: 1:30 p.m., 7 p.m.

    Cast and crew:

    Cast: Jamie Horton, Stephanie Cozart, Janet Dickinson, Mark Rubald, Randy Moore, Michael Santo, Randy St. Pierre, and Lisbeth Splawn

    Creative team includes: Michael R. Duran (scenic designer), Brian Freeland (sound designer), Laureen Klapperich (costume designer), Jen Kiser (lighting designer) Bob Bauer and Rob Costigan (properties) and Erik Jauch (stage manager).

    Bonus coverage: The Jimmy Stewart connection

    Horton isn’t intimidated following in Jimmy Stewart’s footsteps because he’s pretty much been doing that his whole life – including once playing Elwood P. Dowd in another signature Stewart film, Harvey.

    “I have always felt connected to Jimmy Stewart,” he said. “We both went to Princeton University and acted in the same spaces, though many years apart. People have remarked at one time or another throughout my career that there is something similar about our personas. And I have a marvelous appreciation for how wonderful he is in that film. One of the challenges for me is to try to capture what he brought to the role without trying to do an imitation of him.”

    Bonus coverage: Jamie Horton on Terry Dodd

    Horton returned to Denver to direct local playwright Terry Dodd's Home by Dark for Curious Theatre in 2010. The semi-autobiographical story recalled when Dodd came out as gay to his cop father in the 1970s. Dodd died of a heart attack on Oct. 12, and Horton attended his memorial celebration last season at the Arvada Center.

    “Terry was a good friend and a man whose life was cut off way too damn short,” Horton said. “Just to see how many people were there and were so connected to him was a glorious testament to his life. More than anything, the thing that really struck me is that Terry's  was a wonderful life. And it continues because the reverberations of what Terry was in this life will go on in the lives of all of those people who were in that room. He was at the center of this community in so many ways.” 
  • Video, photos: Your first look at 'A Christmas Carol' 2016

    by John Moore | Dec 01, 2016


    The DCPA Theatre Company's 2016 staging of A Christmas Carol has been reimagined with a new director (Melissa Rain Anderson) and star (Sam Gregory). Here is your first look. Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.


    A Christmas Carol production photos: Our first-look photo gallery

    A Christmas Carol 2016

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


    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
    Through Dec. 24
    Stage Theatre
    ASL Interpreted and Audio-Described Performance: 1:30 p.m. Dec 11
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

    Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of A Christmas Carol
    Behind the Scenes video, Part 1: Making the hats
    Costume Corner: What's new with A Christmas Carol?
    A Christmas Carol
    undergoes its own rebirth with new director, star
    Cast lists: A Christmas Carol, The SantaLand Diaries begin anew
    Video: Leslie O'Carroll performs A Christmas Carol in five minutes
    Photos, video: Philip Pleasants takes final bow as Scrooge

    Sam Gregory in the DCPA Theatre Company's 'A Christmas Carol.' Photo by Adams VisComSam Gregory in the DCPA Theatre Company's 'A Christmas Carol.' Photo by Adams VisCom
  • 2016 True West Award: Jada Suzanne Dixon

    by John Moore | Dec 01, 2016
    Jada Suzanne Dixon True West Award


    30 DAYS, 30 BOUQUETS

    Day 1:
    Jada Suzanne Dixon

    2016 may have the most been the most volatile year in a tense and divided America since 1968. More than 1,000 people have been killed by police, and more than 130 police have been killed in the line of duty. During a hotly contested presidential election, Donald Trump brazenly called Hillary Clinton a bigot. Clinton brazenly retorted that Trump was normalizing white nationalism. "Black Lives Matter" became not only a movement - but a flash point. People aren't just talking about race and politics. They're shouting about race and politics.

    Live theatre can be a refuge from the din because, for 90 minutes at least, audiences have no choice but to listen, if not hear. But theatre is also, by the necessities of long-term scheduling, often a year or two behind the national conversation.
    Jada Suzanne Dixon True West Award
    Not in 2016.

    As protests spilled onto America's streets over race and politics, plays about race and politics spilled onto many of our local stages. And smack in the middle of two was Jada Suzanne Dixon, who took on incendiary roles in two incendiary plays that spoke with uncommon urgency to our volatile national problem that permeated the entire election season.

    Dixon (formerly Roberts) played the only black character in Curious Theatre's White Guy on the Bus. Bruce Graham's literary Molotov cocktail essentially ridicules white people for the ultra-P.C. ways in which they talk about race. Until the main character's wife, an educator, is brutally murdered. He then sweetly preys on Dixon's character, Shatique, a struggling stand-up single mother, for her help in exacting his revenge.

    Dixon was a revelation. Westword's Juliet Wittman wrote: "Jada Dixon, sitting in shadow during the evening’s final moments, commands your attention. You see it all on her face – Shatique’s weariness, rage and pain; her intense and terrible loneliness – and can only wonder at the courage it takes to reveal such emotional depths."

    Dixon then dove head-first into the other end of the American cesspool in Local Theater Company's world-premiere of Meridith Friedman's The Firestorm. Here she played a  highly successful lawyer and wife of a white man on the verge of becoming governor. But when a scandal hits, the power couple begins to fracture. It's very Clintonesque, only with additional and uncomfortable racial undertones that call into question the interracial couple's motivations for marrying in the first place.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Dixon, Denver-raised and NYU-trained, has been a powerful if sadly intermittent  presence on Denver stages for 20 years. In 2016, she morphed before our eyes from a poor and powerless woman facing an impossible dilemma into a poised and privileged political partner. (And opposite two of Denver's most formidable leading men in Sam Gregory and Tim McCracken.)

    At a time when our country is facing such divisiveness in regard to race, power, politics and unseemly human behavior, there was no better time for a strong woman of color not only to emerge on the stage, but to allow audiences to discover - and consider - two strong and very different women of color.

     

    Jada Suzanne Dixon/At a glance:

    • High School: Bishop Machebeuf Catholic High School
    • College: New York University, Tisch
    • Additional training: Harvard - American Repertory Theatre
    • Artistic Company Member, Curious Theatre Company
    • Denver Center tie: She was in the cast of the DCPA Theatre Company's black odyssey


    ABOUT THE TRUE WEST AWARDS

    The True West Awards, now in their 16th 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 2016 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 2016 TRUE WEST AWARDS
    Day 1: Jada Suzanne Dixon
    Day 2: Robert Michael Sanders
    Day 3: After Orlando
    Day 4: Michael Morgan
    Day 5: Beth Beyer
    Day 6: Patrick Elkins-Zeglarski
    Day 7: donnie l. betts
    Day 8: Night of the Living Dead
    Day 9: The Killer Kids of Miscast
    Day 10: Jason Sherwood
    Day 11: Leslie O'Carroll and Steve Wilson
    Day 12: Jonathan Scott-McKean
    Day 13: Jake Mendes
    Day 14: Charles R. MacLeod
    Day 15: Patty Yaconis
    Day 16: Daniel Langhoff
    Day 17: Colorado Shakespeare Festival costumers
    Day 18: Miriam Suzanne
    Day 19: Yolanda Ortega
    Day 20: Diana Ben-Kiki
    Day 21: Jeff Neuman
    Day 22: Gabriella Cavallero
    Day 23: Matthew Campbell
    Day 24: Sharon Kay White
    Day 25: John Hauser
    Day 26: Lon Winston
    Day 27: Jason Ducat
    Day 28: Sam Gregory
    Day 29: Warren Sherrill
    Day 30: The Women Who Run Theatre in Boulder
    Theatre Person of the Year Billie McBride

    THE 2015 TRUE WEST AWARDS IN REVIEW
    Day 1: Rachel D. Graham
    Day 2: BALLS! A Holiday Spectacular
    Day 3: Creede Repertory Theatre's 50th anniversary season
    Day 4: Laurence Curry
    Day 5: Bernie Cardell
    Day 6: Susan Lyles
    Day 7: John Jurcheck
    Day 8: Christopher L. Sheley
    Day 9: DCPA Education's 'Shakespeare in the Parking Lot'
    Day 10: Man and Monster: Todd Debreceni and TJ Hogle
    Day 11: Shauna Johnson
    Day 12: Geoffrey Kent and Benjamin Bonenfant
    Day 13: Sesugh Solomon Tor-Agbidye
    Day 14: Keith Ewer
    Day 15: Allison Watrous
    Day 16: Jonathan Farwell
    Day 17: Bob, Wendy and Missy Moore
    Day 18: Emma Messenger
    Day 19: Shannon McKinney
    Day 20: Mary Louise Lee and Yasmine Hunter
    Day 21: Charlie Miller and Emily Tarquin
    Day 22: Scott Beyette
    Day 23: Augustus Truhn
    Day 24: Jimmy Bruenger
    Day 25: The Masters of Props: Rob Costigan, Peki Pineda and Becky Toma
    Day 26: Jalyn Courtenay Webb
    Day 27: Andre Rodriguez
    Day 28: Rebecca Remaly
    Day 29: Mark Collins
    Day 30: Phamaly Theatre Company's Cabaret
    Bonus: Donald R. Seawell
  • Costume Corner: What's new with 'A Christmas Carol'?

    by John Moore | Nov 23, 2016
    A Christmas Carol 2016

    Photos from the making of the DCPA Theatre Company's 24th staging of the holiday classic, 'A Christmas Carol.' Photos include new costumes and scenic elements. To see more, click the forward arrown on the image above. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    By Hope Grandon
    For the DCPA NewsCenter

    Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was first published on  Dec. 19, 1843. Now, 173 years and 24 DCPA Theatre Company productions later, audiences continue to make it the company's most popular show.

    The Theatre Company has produced A Christmas Carol since 1990 (with a few gap years). The current musical version has been a Denver staple since 2005. This year marks Kevin Copenhaver’s 12th time designing costumes for the beloved holiday tradition.

    A Christmas Carol costume designed by Kevin Copenhaver. Photo by John Moore. A Christmas Carol features more than 100 Dickensian costumes — some old, some new but always a few finishing touches to make it sparkle anew each year.

    This year, Copenhaver gets to outfit a brand new Scrooge - Sam Gregory. “I’m really looking forward to collaborating with Sam to bring his version of Scrooge to life,” Copenhaver said.

    Director Melissa Rain Anderson, who is making her DCPA directorial debut with A Christmas Carol, and Copenhaver also have been discussing a new take on two of the spirits Scrooge encounters.

    Upon first meeting the Ghost of Christmas Past, Scrooge asks, “Good Heaven. Please madam, could you dim your glow?”

    Past designs for the Ghost of Christmas Past have relied on Don Darnutzer’s lighting design for that illuminating moment. This year, Copenhaver is exploring what it would look like if the spirit’s costume had the ability to be a self-contained light source. You also may see The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come rising a little higher above you. According to Copenhaver, the team is “looking into the possibility of that other-worldly specter coming in on stilts this year.”

    Pictured above and right: Kevin Copenhaver's new look for The Ghost of Christmas Past. Photo by John Moore.

    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
    ASL Interpreted and Audio-Described Performance: 1:30 p.m. Dec 11
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

    Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of A Christmas Carol
    A Christmas Carol undergoes its own rebirth with new director, star
    Cast lists: A Christmas Carol, The SantaLand Diaries begin anew
    Video: Leslie O'Carroll performs A Christmas Carol in five minutes
    Photos, video: Philip Pleasants takes final bow as Scrooge

  • DCPA's 'A Christmas Carol' undergoes its own rebirth

    by John Moore | Nov 10, 2016

    Sam Gregory as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.

    Denver is getting its first chance to meet Sam Gregory as the miserly Scrooge in its 24th seasonal staging of 'A Christmas Carol,' opening Nov. 25. 




    Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is the world’s most beloved story of seasonal spiritual reawakening. And now, in its 24th staging at the Denver Center, the production itself is undergoing its own kind of renewal. The beloved holiday tradition has a new director and star this year: Denver newcomer Melissa Rain Anderson and longtime company favorite Sam Gregory playing Scrooge.

    “I think there is something addictive about the journey of A Christmas Carol every year,” said Anderson. “That sense of joy and wonder and getting re-birthed every year is pretty special.”

    And if the Theatre Company’s most popular annual offering is not getting fully re-birthed, it is certainly getting a re-boot. Audiences again will be treated to the familiar adaptation by Richard Hellesen with music by David de Berry, and many of the DCPA’s homegrown scenic and technical elements will be largely unchanged.

    Melissa Rain Anderson. A Christmas Carol. “Absolutely we want to pay homage to what has come before, because obviously it’s been a huge success,” said Anderson, who thinks of this production as one she is adopting, not reinventing. Still, the newness of this staging will be as evident as the man barking out the old man’s unhappy humbuggery.

    Gregory, who has more than 40 Theatre Company credits to his name, will become only the eighth actor to play Scrooge since the Denver Center’s nearly annual tradition began in 1990. Gregory’s task is merely to replace a fellow actor he calls irreplaceable: Philip Pleasants.

    “Taking over Scrooge from somebody like Phil is a monumental task that I would never wish on anyone because he was such a master at it,” Gregory said. “What I so very much appreciated in his performance was how within 10 minutes you could hear little children in the audience giggling away at the stuff he was doing. Phil was able to present this mean old curmudgeon and yet, right away, the children could spot his good heart.”

    Gregory said following Pleasants feels a little like Trevor Siemien following legendary Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. But Anderson and Producing Artistic Director Kent Thompson both say he’s up to the task.

    “Sam is a masterfully comic actor who can also turn scary and scared at any moment,” Thompson said. “He has a gift for the language and dialects of England — whether it’s Dickens or Shakespeare. Besides that, Sam brings great heart to his acting, making him a beloved actor in the Denver theatre scene. I’m excited to see his Scrooge.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Anderson sees in Gregory the opportunity for this A Christmas Carol to make an even greater emotional impact on audiences, simply given the actuarial differences between Pleasants, who is 79, and Gregory, who is 53. Gregory initially worried he might actually be too young for the role, until his research turned up that while Dickens never specifies the old man’s age, he plants clues that suggest Scrooge is only 54 years old.

    “Sam is really the perfect age to be playing Scrooge because he has a significant amount of time left,” Anderson said. “His Scrooge lives through this beautiful redemption — and then how wonderful it will be for us to consider that this Scrooge still has 20 or more years left to give all his money away. And what a gift for Scrooge to gain his family back into his life and to open his arms to Bob Cratchit again while he still has so much time to do good? This Scrooge will change lives for many years after our story ends.”

    Sam Gregory as Bob Cratchit in 2008. Anderson and Gregory both have deep bloodlines with the Hellesen adaptation of A Christmas Carol. As an actor, Anderson has performed in it four times around the country. Gregory has previously played Bob Cratchit and six other roles. Anderson thinks it’s probably better for her that the actor playing Scrooge is changing at the same time she is becoming the first new director of this annual production in Denver since 2004.

    “I think it’s great that we are shaking everything up at the same time rather than in bits and pieces,” she said.

    For his part, Gregory isn’t aiming to simply give audiences a younger version of Pleasants’ Scrooge. How could he? “I can’t roll my R’s the way Phil can,” he joked.

    “I think we want to focus more on the fact that this is really an incredible play about redemption and that is the reason it stands the test of time,” he said. “This play is about how anyone can be redeemed and can change and can become a better human being.”

    But getting there won’t be easy. And shouldn’t be.

    “The Scrooge we meet is hardened and calcified,” Gregory said. “He doesn’t turn on the heat because he has no heat inside of him. That’s why poor Bob is freezing. Scrooge isn’t cold because he has ice-water in his veins. I’d like to try it so that we see him thaw — and come to life.”

    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.

    (Photo above right: Sam Gregory has played seven different characters in DCPA stagings of 'A Christmas Carol,' including Bob Cratchit in 2008. Photo by Terry Shapiro.)

    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
    ASL Interpreted and Audio-Described Performance: 1:30 p.m. Dec 11
    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

    Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of A Christmas Carol
    Cast lists: A Christmas Carol, The SantaLand Diaries begin anew
    Video: Leslie O'Carroll performs A Christmas Carol in five minutes
    Photos, video: Philip Pleasants takes final bow as Scrooge

  • 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

  • Photos: Arvada Center launches Black-Box Theatre Company

    by John Moore | Oct 01, 2016
    Arvada Center's Black-Box CompanyCurtain call on Opening Night of the Arvada Center's 'Tartuffe,' the very first performance by its new Black-Box Theatre Company. To see more, press the forward arrow on the image above.


    On Friday (Sept. 30), the Arvada Center launched its new Black-Box Theatre Company with the opening of Molière's Tartuffe. One group of actors will perform together for an entire season in four separate plays. Not all actors will appear in all four plays.

    The 2016-17 core ensemble is made up of Michael Morgan, Sam Gregory, Leslie O’Carroll, Sean Scrutchins, Emily Van Fleet, Kate Gleason, Anthony Adu, Josh Robinson, Jessica Austgen, Geoffrey Kent, Sam Gilstrap, Jenna Moll Reyes, Tim McCracken and Steve Wilson. Some plays will incorporate additional actors.

    Heading the operation for the Arvada Center are Artistic Director of Plays Lynne Collins and Executive Director Philip Sneed.
     
    Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Read more about the Arvada Center's new repertory company

    Arvada Center's Tartuffe: Ticket information
    • Written by Molière
    • Directed by Lynne Collins
    • Sept. 30-Nov. 6
    • 6901 Wadsworth Blvd.
    • Performances: 1 p.m. Wednesdays; 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays
    • Tickets $45 at 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Cast list:

    Michael Morgan (Tartuffe/M. Loyal)
    Sam Gregory (Orgon)
    Leslie O’Carroll (Mme Pernelle) - also Mrs. Fezziwig in DCPA's A Christmas Carol
    Sean Scrutchins (Damis) - DCPA Teaching Artist
    Emily Van Fleet (Mariane)
    Kate Gleason (Elmire) - DCPA Teaching Artist
    Anthony Adu (Valère)
    Josh Robinson (Cléante) - DCPA's All the Way
    Jessica Austgen (Dorine) - DCPA Teaching Artist

    The creative team also includes Clare Henkel (costume design), Diana Ben-Kiki (wigs), Brian Mallgrave (scenic design), Shannon McKinney (lighting design) and Morgan McCauley (sound design).

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    In the Spotlife: Meet Sam Gregory of Tartuffe

    DCPA Teaching Artist Jessica Austgen is one of many actors with Denver Center ties who are part of the Arvada Center's first seasonal repertory company. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.
  • POPULAR POSTS
     
    ABOUT THE EDITOR
    John Moore
    John Moore
    Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as the DCPA’s Senior Arts Journalist. With The Denver Post, he was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the US by American Theatre Magazine. He is the founder of the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. John is a native of Arvada and attended Regis Jesuit High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow him on Twitter @moorejohn.

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