• 2017 True West Award: Colorado Theatre Person of the Year Regan Linton

    by John Moore | Dec 30, 2017
    2017 True West Award Regan Linton

     

    2017 TRUE WEST AWARDS  

    Regan Linton

    Colorado Theatre Person of the Year


    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    We’ll never know whether Phamaly Theatre Company would have survived 2017 had Regan Linton not been here. She was here. And one of the nation's signature theatre companies is still here. And that's why Linton is the True West Awards' 2017 Colorado Theatre Person of the Year.

    For 28 years, one of Denver’s crown jewels has produced professional plays and musicals exclusively for actors with disabilities. But at this time a year ago, it was in catastrophic financial trouble.

    Regan Linton True West Award Quote Photo by John MooreLinton, a former core company member who went on to become a shining national example of what begets opportunity, had just been named Phamaly’s interim Artistic and Executive Director to fill a short-term leadership vacuum.

    Linton’s appointment was a cause for celebration. Not only had the Denver East High School graduate helped elevate Phamaly’s game as an actor with wrenching performances in musicals such as Side Show and Man of La Mancha, she came home with serious cred. In 2012, she became the first paralyzed student ever to be enrolled into one of the nation's top master’s conservatory programs when she was accepted at the University of California San Diego. And in 2015, Linton became the first actor in a wheelchair ever to be hired into the venerable Oregon Shakespeare Festival's year-round repertory company since it was founded in 1935.

    Today, Linton is a highly respected actor, educator and prominent voice for disability inclusion in the national theatre community. And when she accepted the one-year Phamaly assignment last year at age 34, Linton became the first person in a wheelchair ever to lead a major U.S. theatre company as Artistic Director, according to Theatre Communications Group.

    Then came the sticker shock.

    “I immediately became aware that the company was not in as healthy a financial position as I had thought,” Linton said. Phamaly's annual operating budget had more than doubled over the previous seven years, to $850,000. But revenue had not grown proportionally. Just two months into the job, Linton realized Phamaly was facing an immediate $100,000 shortfall.

    (Story continues after the photo gallery below.)

    Photo gallery: A look back at Regan Linton's year (and years) with Phamaly:

    Regan Linton: 2017 Colorado Theatre Person of the Year
    Photos from Regan Linton's first year as interim Artistic and Executive Director of Phamaly Theatre Company, followed by additional photos from years past. To see more images, just click on the image above to be taken to the full gallery. Photos by or compiled by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Linton attacked the problem swiftly, first by shaving the upcoming budget. She scrapped expensive plans to stage Peter Pan with wheelchairs flying over the DCPA’s Stage Theatre. A Shakespeare collaboration with a New York company was put off. And then, on March 28, Linton took a deep breath and released an uncommonly forthright public statement bluntly telling supporters that without an urgent cash infusion, Phamaly would be bankrupt by July 1. And that was just to make it to the summer. “We were really more like $250,000 in the hole,” she said.

    The most important thing to Linton was being open and honest about the situation. “If we were going to go down, then we were going to do it having been completely transparent with every one of our supporters,” she said.

    But, it turns out, It’s a Wonderful Life ain’t just a holiday movie.

    Phamaly’s “Sunny Tomorrow” campaign didn’t just raise $100,000. It raised $108,000, thanks to more than 325 individual donors. And that still takes Linton's breath away. “I feel like that wasn't just people saying, 'We love this theater company.’ It’s deeper than that. I feel like they were saying, ‘People with disabilities are valuable.’ And as a person who lives with a disability, that's really, powerfully meaningful to me.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Just a few weeks after the campaign ended, Phamaly netted an additional, record-obliterating $60,000 from its annual gala — up from $35,000 the year before. And then Annie, which Linton chose to present instead of Peter Pan, drew 6,700 to the Stage Theatre. That’s nearly 20 percent more than the previous Phamaly attendance record.

    Janice Sinden Regan Linton QuoteAll three of those things had to happen, Linton said, for Phamaly to fully climb out of the hole it was in. And all three did.

    But Phamaly didn’t get the backing it needed on sentiment alone. It got it because it was Linton who went out and asked for it, Denver Center President and CEO Janice Sinden said.

    “Regan is a determined, passionate woman who leads with her heart, but always with an outcome in mind,” Sinden said. “She was uniquely situated to lead this campaign because of who she is and what she means to the community. She leveraged smart relationships to drive this turnaround.”

    Boy, did she. The first call Linton made was to Sinden’s predecessor, Daniel L. Ritchie, a longtime Phamaly supporter who cut Linton a $10,000 check just 20 minutes after sitting down with her. The Harvey Family Foundation then agreed to match up to $35,000 in new donations, a goal that was reached in just 17 days.

    But Linton’s greatest fundraising achievement of 2017 came at the end of the year, after Sinden facilitated a visit with William Dean Singleton, retired chairman of The Denver Post and newly named Chairman of the Bonfils Foundation. They hit it off, Sinden said, because the two share a powerful commonality as former able-bodied persons now living with mobility challenges.

    Life changes in the ordinary instant

    Regan Linton HospitalLinton was a 20-year-old undergrad at the University of Southern California when her spine was wrecked in a fraction of an instant on a rainy Santa Monica Freeway. Linton was in the back seat of a car that was stopped for a vehicle that had been abandoned in the fast lane of the highway. The car behind Linton, filled with five sorority sisters, hit her at full speed.

    Linton no longer feels sensation below her chest. And yet, whenever she prepares to go on stage, she playfully says, “I can still feel butterflies.”

    Singleton is a newspaper magnate and cattle rancher who founded MediaNews Group, the fourth-largest newspaper company in the U.S. by circulation, with The Denver Post as its eventual flagship. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 30 years ago, which has slowly robbed him of his mobility, and today he gets around in a motorized chair.

    (Story continues after the video.)

    Video bonus: Regan Linton wins 2017 Spirit of Craig Award:

    The video above was played at the annual PUSH Gala for Craig Hospital in April with the announcement of Phamaly Theatre Company Executive and Artistic Director Regan Linton as its 2017 Dave and Gail Liniger Spirit of Craig Award winner. Video provided by Craig Hospital. To watch Linton’s acceptance speech, click here

    “They hit it off when they met,” Sinden said, "and Dean immediately saw an opportunity to help.”

    On Oct. 11, Singleton presented Linton with the Fourth Annual Dean Singleton Legacy Grant, a $50,000 gift made through the Denver Post Community Foundation. “It was very emotional for both of them,” Sinden said.

    A Regan Linton and Dean Singleton“I couldn’t be more proud of our grant recipient this year, for what Phamaly does to inspire people to re-envision disability through professional theatre,” said Singleton. “Phamaly provides such a benefit to the metro-Denver community.”

    Linton called the grant “an incredible honor for Phamaly.”

    In just six months, Linton implemented a campaign that moved Phamaly from the financial brink to something akin to stability. And that, said former Phamaly assistant stage manager Max Peterson, is an astonishing accomplishment.

    “I had both the pleasure and the anxiety of watching Regan and (Director of Production and Operations) Paul Behrhorst walk through that whole mess,” Peterson said. “It was inspiring to see their determination and persistence to bring that company all the way back. The blood, sweat and tears were real — and the stakes could not have been higher.”

    Meanwhile, back on the stage

    A Regan Linton Theatre Person of the Year Ytue West Awards Photo by John MooreLest we forget: While this was going on, Linton also had a company to run, both as Artistic and Executive Director.

    In February, Phamaly presented George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion at the Aurora Fox, followed by the record-breaking run of Annie at the Denver Center and, last month, Phamaly’s annual original sketch comedy called Vox Phamilia at Community College of Aurora.

    (Pictured at right: Regan Linton backstage with the cast of 'Annie' on opening night. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

    Linton pushed herself to her physical and mental limits in 2017, in part because she also chose to direct Annie on the largest stage in Phamaly history. Linton began to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of it all as preparations for Annie approached. “The stress of even thinking of Phamaly going away was emotionally taxing for me,” she said. "It all finally caught up to me. I was a mess.”

    One of Linton’s smartest moves of the year was calling on former longtime Phamaly Artistic Director Steve Wilson to co-direct Annie with her. “Wilson knows to his bones what directing disabled actors entails: The difficulties many face, the need to work without sentimentality or condescension, and to treat his actors as the artists they are,” wrote Westword’s Juliet Wittman, who called the resulting production “Ready, willing … and very able.”  

    MacGregor Arney and Regan Linton Curious Incident Mixed Blood Photo by Rich Ryan Linton kept her own acting skills sharp in 2017 by performing in two major productions for the Mixed Blood Theatre Company in Minneapolis. In February, she played the governor of California in a site-specific immigration play called Safe at Home that was set and performed at a local baseball stadium. And just last month, she returned in one of the first regional stagings of the big-buzz play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Star-Tribune theatre critic Chris Hewitt said Linton was excellent as an autistic boy’s calm, compassionate teacher.

    (Pictured at right: MacGregor Arney and Regan Linton in 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' for the Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis. Photo by Rich Ryan.)

    As Linton reflects back on her year now, she won’t say she saved Phamaly Theatre Company. But Behrhorst will.

    “I say it because it is true,” Behrhorst said. “Of course Regan didn't do it single-handedly. But from the start, she gave the community, the actors, the board and the staff something to believe in. Regan didn't back away from the problem. She gave us new life."

    Sinden sides with Behrhorst.

    John Moore’s 2005 Denver Post feature on Regan Linton

    “Regan came home and she brought both thought leaders and community leaders to the table who invested in the future of this organization," Sinden said. "Regan put Phamaly on a trajectory for long-term success. And only she could have done that.”

    All of which is only part of the reason Linton has been named the 17th annual Colorado Theatre Person of the Year. She not only saved a theatre company. She not only preserved future performance opportunities for persons with disabilities that do not exist elsewhere. She saved something that is part of the city's soul.

    Regan Linton. Craig Hospital PUSH Gala Photo by John Moore“There's a lot of great theater that happens in Denver,” Linton said. “However, one-fifth of the population of the United States identifies as having a disability. So if you don't have that identity prominently represented in your local theater, then you are missing out on a whole subset of what it means to be human. And that's what I think people would have missed out on if Phamaly had gone away. They would've missed out on this unique experience that opens your eyes to something you just don’t see anywhere else.”

    Linton’s 2017 odyssey has changed her career itinerary in ways that are not yet clear, even to her. Her initial one-year appointment is now entering its 15th month. She says she is very close to hiring the company’s next Executive Director. So what does that mean for Linton, who officially lives in Montana now, while maintaining a second artistic home in Minneapolis?

    “It means I will be around for the near future, at least,” she said. “I feel committed to Phamaly, and I want to see Phamaly succeed. To me, that means following through with my commitment to make sure the company is in a good place if and when I move away. And I don't think that work is done yet.”

    Asked to assess where she is at as 2018 begins, compared to the start of the year, Linton laughs. “Well, I'm not nearly as much of a mess as I was,” she said. “But most of all, I will say I am proud to be part of Phamaly living on, and I'm proud to be part of leading Phamaly into its next chapter.”

    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 

    Regan Linton: 2017
    •  Artistic and Executive Director for Phamaly Theatre Company
    •  Winner, 2017 Spirit of Craig Award READ MORE
    •  Played the Governor of California in Mixed Blood Theatre's Safe at Home in Minneapolis
    •  Co-Directed Phamaly's mainstage production of Annie at the DCPA's Stage Theatre
    •  Played Siobhan in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nght-Time for Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis


    The True West Awards' Theatre Person of the Year / A look back

    • 2016: Billie McBride: Actor and director
    • 2015: Donald R. Seawell: Denver Center for the Performing Arts founder
    • 2014: Steve Wilson: Phamaly Theatre Company and Mizel Center for Arts and Culture
    • 2013: Shelly Bordas: Actor, teacher, director and cancer warrior
    • 2012: Stephen Weitz: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company co-founder
    • 2011: Maurice LaMee: Creede Repertory Theatre artistic director
    • 2010: Anthony Garcia: Su Teatro artistic director
    • 2009: Kathleen M. Brady: DCPA Theatre Company actor
    • 2008: Wendy Ishii: Bas Bleu Theatre co-founder
    • 2007: Ed Baierlein: Germinal Stage-Denver founder
    • 2006: Bonnie Metzgar: Curious Theatre associate artistic director
    • 2005: Chip Walton, Curious Theatre founder
    • 2004: Michael R. Duran: Actor, set designer, director and playwright
    • 2003: Nagle Jackson, DCPA Theatre Company director and playwright
    • 2002: Chris Tabb: Actor and director

    Phamaly Theatre Company: Coming in 2018
    • April 14-22: Romeo & Juliet, at the Dairy Arts Center
    • July 12-Aug. 5: Into the Woods, at the DCPA's Space Theatre
    • Oct. 18-Nov. 11: Harvey, at the The Olin Hotel Apartment, in partnership with Senior Housing Options
    Information: 303-575-0005 or phamaly.org

    Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of Phamaly:
    Photos: Phamaly Theatre Company's amazing opening-night tradition
    The triumph of Phamaly's not-so-horrible Hannigan
    Pop-culture Annie, from comics to Broadway to Jay-Z
    Phamaly gala, campaign raise $200K, ‘save the company’
    Phamaly launches emergency $100,000 fundraising campaign
    Regan Linton accepts Spirit of Craig Award
    Regan Linton returns to lead Phamaly in landmark appointment

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

    A look back at the history of the True West Awards

    The 2017 True West Awards

  • Summertime in Colorado: A time for play ... and plays

    by John Moore | May 31, 2017

    Summer theatre
    Creede is one of Colorado's many hidden mountain gems that offers both recreational activities and some of the best live theatre in the region. Photo courtesy Creede Repertory Theatre.


    By Avery Anderson
    For the DCPA NewsCenter

    Colorado offers a plethora of summer activities such as hiking, camping, white-water rafting and iconic nights at landmarks such as Red Rocks or Coors Field. But there are also a surprising number of live theatregoing opportunities across the state.

    Summer is when summer repertory companies open from GraBenjamin Cowhick 2 nd Lake to Dillon to Creede to Breckenridge to Boulder to Greeley to Pagosa Springs and beyond. The statewide lineup holds an array of offerings from BDT Stage's re-envisioning of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat to lesser-known contemporary musicals such as [title of show] in Trinidad. But the most popular title of the summer is the musical S ister Act, which is being staged in Greeley, Dillon and Pagosa Springs.

    A busy upcoming summer at the Denver Center includes a new weekly collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art called Mixed Taste; the original drag-meets-Comic Con party DragOn; and, of course, the pre-Broadway run of Frozen

    But here we focus on 10 intriguing titles for summer from throughout the state, in order of opening, followed by every Colorado theatre company’s current schedule. (To update or correct your company’s schedule, email jmoore@dcpa.org).

    As you travel the state this summer, remember to combine theatre with your tourism experience.

    (EDITOR'S NOTE: As the summer progresses, we're deleting our featured choices below that have already closed.)

    NUMBER 2Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    Boulder
    Through Aug. 13

    Summer theatre 800 5The Colorado Shakespeare Festival is celebrating its 60th season with The Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, Hamlet and Henry VI Part 3. The nation's second-oldest Shakespeare festival will continue its recent deep-dive into gender fluidity by casting a female Hamlet, and she's an actor 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. (Read our full interview.) 
    At the Mary Rippon Amphitheatre and University Mainstage, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or colorado shakes’ home page

    NUMBER 4Disney’s Newsies
    Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

    Through Aug. 24

    The venerable Rocky Mountain Rep celebrates its 50th anniversary season in Grand Lake with Disney’s hit stage production that follows the 1899 Newsboy Strike from the eyes of fictional paperboy Jack Kelly. Based on the 1992 movie, this musical stage adaptation features music by Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) and a book by Harvey Fierstein. The original production was nominated for eight Tony Awards, and won two.
    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com

    NUMBER 5Ring of Fire
    Vintage Theatre

    Through Aug. 6

    What’s better than country music on a summer day? How about an entire musical filled with country music? Ring of Fire features the music of Johnny Cash, including such as “Folsom Prison Blues,” “I Walk the Line” This tribute to “The Man in Black” is directed by Kelly Van Oosbree.
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintage’s home page

    Summer theatre 800 3

    NUMBER 6Ghost
    Lake Dillon Theatre Company

    July 1- Aug. 24

    Lake Dillon Theatre Company moves into its new $9 million, 16,000 square-foot Silverthorne Performing Arts Center with the musical stage adaptation of the popular '90s movie. Just as in the movie, a woman struggling to accept the death of her lover enlist the help of  a psychic to help the two communicate. SPAC will include multiple theaters and an arts education lab. READ OUR COVERAGE OF THE OPENING
    460 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne,  970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org

    NUMBER 7Sex With Strangers
    Theatre Aspen

    July 6-Aug. 12

    Robblee, JessicaIn this provocative contemporary romance written by Cherry Creek High School alumna Laura Eason, two people are forced together in a secluded B&B with no TV or Internet. Denver actor Jessica Robblee (DCPA Theatre Company’s Frankenstein) stars alongside New York actor Patrick Ball. The Director is Christy-Montour Larson (DCPA’s Two Degrees).
    The Hurst Theatre  470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org

    NUMBER 8Annie
    Phamaly Theatre Company

    July 15-Aug. 3

    You may know the story of Annie, but you have not seen America’s favorite orphan through the lens of Phamaly, Denver’s acclaimed theatre company that makes performance opportunities available to actors with disabilities. Phamaly’s approach to this well-worn story will be more raw and humanistic, says Phamaly Artistic Director Regan Linton. “These are hardened orphans who have faced a lot of adversity in their lives, just like the actual young actors in our cast who are going to be playing these roles,” Linton said. READ MORE
    At the Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 303-575-0005 or phamaly’s home page

    NUMBER 9Much Ado About Nothing
    July 27-Aug. 19

    Colorado Springs TheatreWorks
    At Rock Ledge Ranch

    Summer theatreThe Colorado Shakespeare Festival is not the only company tackling the Bard this summer. Audiences can once again experience the Bard at the stunning outdoor Rock Ledge Ranch at the base of the Garden of the Gods with a new staging of Much Ado About Nothing. This Colorado Springs tradition was started by Colorado Springs TheatreWorks founder Murray Ross, who died in January. The company has dedicated the upcoming season to him.
    3105 Gateway Road, Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org

    NUMBER 10General Store
    Creede Repertory Theatre

    Aug. 18-Sept. 16

    In this world premiere, the owner of the local general store is determined not to let anything stop him from holding onto his small piece of the America Dream. This big-buzz new play, which actually kicks off the fall sesaon, is written by Colorado native Brian Watkins and will star Logan Ernstthal (Miners Alley Playhouse’s A Skull in Connemara) and be directed by Christy Montour-Larson. Summer titles include She Loves Me, The Syringa Tree and Arsenic and Old Lace.
    124 Main St., 719-658-2540 or creederep.org


    COLORADO SUMMER THEATRE SCHEDULES

    (The following listings are through September 2017. Send updates or additions to jmoore@dcpa.org.)

    5th WALL PRODUCTIONS
    At The Bakery 2132 Market St., ticketleap.com
    July 13-28: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

    ADAMS MYSTERY PLAYHOUSE

    Presented by Marne Interactive Productions, 2406 Federal Blvd., 303-455-1848 or adams’ home page
    Ongoing events and rotating shows

    AND TOTO TOO
    44th and Tennyson Street, 720-583-3975 or andtototoo.org
    No summer events scheduled

    ARVADA CENTER
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org
    Sept. 12-Oct. 1: A Chorus Line

    AURORA FOX ARTS CENTER
    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org
    Season 33 to be announced July 10

    THE AVENUE THEATER
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or the avenue’s home page
    No summer events scheduled

    BAS BLEU THEATRE
    401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org
    July 27-30: Theatre Esprit Asia’s Coming to America: Boat Person & Antecedent

    BENCHMARK THEATRE
    benchmarktheatre.com
    No summer events scheduled

    BiTSY STAGE
    720-328-5294 bitsystage.com
    No summer events scheduled

    BOULDER ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY
    Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., 303-440-7826 or betc’s home page
    Sept. 14-Oct. 8: The Revolutionists

    Jack BartonBDT STAGE
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdt’s home page
    Through Aug. 19: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat READ MORE
    Aug. 25-Nov. 11: Rock of Ages

    BOULDER INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL
    boulderfringe.com
    Aug. 18-27 at venues around Boulder

    BRECKENRIDGE BACKSTAGE THEATRE
    121 S. Ridge St., 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org
    Through Aug. 6: The Producers
    July 7-Aug. 12: Buyer and Cella
    Aug. 25-Sept. 4: Billy Elliot (at the Riverwalk Amphitheatre)

    BUNTPORT THEATER
    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport’s home page Buntport.com
    No new productions scheduled - check web site for monthly offerings

    CANDLELIGHT DINNER PLAYHOUSE
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970) 744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com
    Through Aug. 27: The Slipper and the Rose
    Sept. 7-Nov. 5: The Music Man

    THE CATAMOUNTS
    At the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or thecatamounts.org
    Sept. 8-30: You On the Moors Now

    CENTERSTAGE THEATER COMPANY

    Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, or tickets.thedairy.org
    Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant St., Louisville (see below)

    July 15-24, 2017: In the Heights (Youth performers) (At Dairy Center, Boulder)
    303-444-7328 or thedairy.org

    July 27-Aug. 6, 2017: Godspell (Youth performers) (At Louisville Center for the Arts) ticket info

    CENTRAL CITY OPERA
    124 Eureka St., 303-292-6700 or centralcityopera.org
    July 8-Aug. 6: Carmen
    July 15-Aug. 6: Così fan tutte
    July 26-Aug. 6: The Burning Fiery Furnace
    July 26-Aug. 6: Cabildo
    July 26 through Aug. 6: Gallantry

    COAL CREEK THEATRE OF LOUISVILLE
    Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant St., 303-665-0955 or cctlouisville.org
    No summer events scheduled

    COLORADO SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL
    At the Mary Rippon Amphitheatre and University Mainstage, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or colorado shakes’ home page
    Through Aug. 13: The Taming of the Shrew, outdoors
    Through Aug. 13: Hamlet, indoors
    July 7-Aug. 12: Julius Caesar, outdoors
    July 21-Aug. 13: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, indoors
    Aug. 6-8: Henry VI, Part 3 (Original Practices), outdoors

    COLORADO SPRINGS FINE ARTS CENTER
    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or www.csfineartscenter.org
    Sept. 8-Oct. 1: Parallel Lives
    Sept. 16: An Evening with Jim Breuer

    CREEDE REPERTORY THEATRE
    124 Main St., 719-658-2540 or creederep.org
    Through Aug. 11: Pants on Fire
    Through Aug. 10: She Loves Me
    Through Aug. 26: The Syringa Tree
    Through Sept. 9: Boomtown
    June 30-Aug 9: Arsenic and Old Lace
    July 14-Sept. 15: Talley’s Folley
    Aug. 18-Sept. 14: General Store

    CURIOUS THEATRE
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curious’ home page 
    Sept. 2-Oct. 14: Appropriate

    DAIRY ARTS CENTER

    Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-444-7328 or tickets.thedairy.org
    June 3-July 23: Tommy Koenig’s Baby Boomer Baby

    Dixie Longate Photo by Bradford RogneDENVER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
    Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or the denver center’s home page
    July 5-Aug 23: Mixed Taste, Seawell Ballroom
    July 15-Aug. 6: Phamaly Theatre Company’s Annie, Stage Theatre
    July 19-Aug. 6: Dixie's Tupperware Party, Garner Galleria (Photo at right)
    Aug. 9-27: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus Live!, Garner Galleria Theatre
    Aug, 17-Oct. 1: Frozen, Ellie Caulkins Opera House
    Sept. 21-Oct. 22: Girls Only - The Secret Comedy of Women, Garner Galleria

    THE EDGE THEATER
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or the edge’s home page
    Through July 2: Mud Blue Sky
    July 14-Aug. 6: Bad Jews
    Aug. 25-Sept. 17: Dinner

    EQUINOX THEATRE COMPANY
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page
    Through July 1: The Rocky Horror Show
    July 28-Aug. 19, 2017: Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story

    EVERGREEN PLAYERS
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreen players’ home page
    July 15-Aug. 6: Monty Python's Spamalot
    Aug. 25-26: EPiC summer improv

    FIREHOUSE THEATER COMPANY
    At the John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. 1st Place, 303-562-3232 or firehouse’s home page  Through July 15: Rock of Aging

    FUNKY LITTLE THEATER COMPANY
    2109 Templeton Gap Road, Colorado Springs, 719-425-9509 or funkylittletheater.org
    No summer events scheduled

    GERMINAL STAGE-DENVER
    At Westminster High School, 69th Avenue and Raleigh Street
    303-455-7108 or www.germinalstage.com
    July 28-Aug. 20: Seascape
    Sept. 22-Oct.15: The Master Builder

    INSPIRE CREATIVE
    At the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, parkerarts.org
    July 14-Aug. 6: Hairspray (with Parker Arts)

    JESTERS DINNER THEATRE

    224 Main St., Longmont, 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com
    Through July 2: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

    LAKE DILLON THEATRE COMPANY
    At the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Parkway, Silverthorne, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org
    Through Aug. 13, 2017: Sister Act
    June 30-July 9: Buyer and Cellar
    July 1-Aug. 24: Ghost
    Aug. 11-20: Grounded
    Sept. 1-17: Noises Off
    Sept. 15-24: Pretty Fire
    Nov. 24-Dec. 17: Murder for Two

    LITTLE THEATRE OF THE ROCKIES
    University of Northern Colorado campus, 970-351-4849 or littletheatrerockies.com
    Through July 16: Baby
    Through July 23: Simply Simone
    June 29-July 21: Proof
    July 27-July 30: Sister Act

    LONE TREE ARTS CENTER
    10075 Commons St., 720-509-1000, lone tree’s home page
    June 10: An evening with Betty Buckley

    LONGMONT THEATRE COMPANY
    513 Main St., Longmont, 303-772-5200 or longmont’s home page
    July 15-Aug. 6: As You Like It (multiple locations)  

    LOWRY SPOTLIGHT THEATER COMPANY
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or thisisspotlight.com
    Through July 30: It's Only a Play (At Vintage Theatre)
    July 29-Aug. 26: On Golden Pond

    MIDTOWN ARTS CENTER
    3750 S. Mason St, Fort Collins, (970) 225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com
    Through Aug. 26: Hair

    MILLIBO ART THEATRE
    1626 S. Tejon St. Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321, themat.org
    July 21-Aug. 26, 2017: Circus of the Night

    MINERS ALLEY PLAYHOUSE
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or map’s home page
    July 14-Aug. 20: Broadway Bound
    Sept. 8-Oct. 15: Les Liasons Dangereuses

    OPENSTAGE & COMPANY
    Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org
    Through July 1: The Three Musketeers              
    Sept. 21-Oct. 14, 2017: Ideation (At ArtLab, 239 Linden St., Fort Collins)

    PACE CENTER
    20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, parkerarts.org
    July 14-Aug. 6: Hairspray (with Inspire Creative)

    PERFORMANCE NOW
    Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway, 303-987-7845 or performancenow.org

    PHAMALY THEATRE COMPANY
    At the Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 303-575-0005 or phamaly’s home page
    July 13-Aug. 6: Annie 

    ROCKY MOUNTAIN REPERTORY THEATRE
    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com
    Through Aug. 26: Mamma Mia
    Through Aug. 24: Newsies
    June 30-Aug. 25: West Side Story
    Sept. 1: Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver

    SENIOR HOUSING OPTIONS
    The Barth Hotel, 1514 17th St. seniorhousingoptions.org
    Stella and Lou (presented by Vintage Theatre)

    SOUTHERN COLORADO REPERTORY THEATRE
    At the Famous Performing Arts Center, 131 W Main St., Trinidad, 719-846-4765 or scrtheatre.com
    Through Sept. 1: [title of show]
    July 1-Sept. 2: Dames at Sea
    July 21-Aug. 18: The Murder Room

    SPRINGS ENSEMBLE THEATRE
    1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., Colorado Springs, 719-357-3080 or springsensembletheatre.org
    July 20-Aug. 6: Gidion’s Knot

    SQUARE PRODUCT THEATER
    At the ATLAS Black Box Theater on the University of Colorado Boulder campus, 1125 18th St., Boulder, squareproducttheatre.org
    July 29-Aug. 12: House of Gold

    STAGEDOOR THEATRE
    27357 Conifer Road, Conifer, 303-886-2819, 800-838-3006 or stagedoor’s home page
    No summer events scheduled

    STAR BAR PLAYERS
    The Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado, Colorado Springs or starbarplayers.org
    No summer events scheduled

    STEAMPLANT THEATRE
    220 W. Sackett Ave., Salida, 719-530-0933 or salidasteamplant.com
    No summer events scheduled

    SU TEATRO
    At the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-296-0219 or su teatro’s home page
    No summer events scheduled

    THEATRE ASPEN
    The Hurst Theatre  470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org
    Through Aug. 19: Hairspray
    July 6-Aug. 12: Sex With Strangers
    July 13-Aug. 15: The World According to Snoopy

    THEATRE COMPANY OF LAFAYETTE
    Mary Miller Theater, 300 E. Simpson, 720-209-2154 or tclstage.org
    July 15-Aug. 6: As You Like It (Various locations)

    THEATRE ESPRIT ASIA
    teatheatre.org
    July 27-30: Coming to America: Boat Person and Antecedent (at Bas Bleu Theatre, Fort Collins)

    THEATREWORKS
    3955 Regent Circle, Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org
    July 27-Aug. 19: Much Ado About Nothing, at Rock Ledge Ranch (3105 Gateway Road)
    Sept. 7-24: Heisenberg, at the Bon Vivant Theatre

    THIN AIR THEATRE COMPANY
    Butte Theatre, 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 719-689-3247 or thinairtheatre.com
    June 2-July 28: A Cripple Creek Ragtime Revue
    June 23-Aug. 24: After Dark
    June 30-Aug. 26: Annie, Get Your Gun
    Sept. 1-23: The Nerd

    THINGAMAJIG THEATRE COMPANY
    At the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org
    Through Aug. 25: Aida
    Through Aug. 26: Hairspray
    July 8-Aug. 27: Big River
    July 15-Aug. 26: Sister Act

    THUNDER RIVER
    67 Promenade, Carbondale, 970-963-8200 or thunderrivertheatre.com
    Through July 1: The Memory of Water

    TOWN HALL ARTS CENTER
    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or town hall’s home page
    Sept. 8-Oct. 8: In the Heights

    THE UPSTART CROW
    Nomad Playhouse, 1410 Quince Ave., Boulder, 303-442-1415 or upstart’s home page
    No summer events scheduled

    VINTAGE THEATRE
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintage’s home page
    Through July 23: It's Only a Play (with Spotlight Theatre)
    Through Aug. 6: Ring of Fire
    July 13-23: Stella and Lou (with Senior Housing Options at the Barth Hotel)

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Avery-Anderson Avery Anderson is interning with the DCPA NewsCenter for the summer. He is the General Manager and producer of Met TV at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He was won two Heartland Student Emmy Awards for his work on The Met Report. He has a passion for local arts and culture and enjoys covering theatres across the Denver area and the state. Follow him on Twitter and @a_anderson64.
  • Guest column: Westminster students Skype with 'Curious Incident' Scenic Designer

    by John Moore | May 18, 2017

    Curious Scenic Design Bunny Christie
    'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' Scenic Design by Bunny Christie. Photo by Joan Marcus.


    Students learn first-hand how technology collides with scenic design in the Denver-bound Curious Incident

    By BreAnna Romero
    For the DCPA NewsCenter

    On May 15, CenterStage Theatre Company at Westminster High School had the unique opportunity to Skype with Bunny Christie, the scenic designer of the upcoming national touring production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which opens on May 30 at the Denver Center.

    Bunny, who is from Scotland and attended an art college called Central Saint Martins, was calling in from London. We learned about everything from Bunny’s background to everything that goes into designing a set to all the hard work backstage it takes to make a show come to life.

    Curious Incident Skype Westminster High Bunny ChristieBunny told us that scenic designers in the U.K. sometimes do much more than just design the set. Not only do they have to integrate their work with the lighting and costume designers, they sometimes have to take on those tasks themselves. Bunny also designs costumes for the National Theatre in London. 

    For The Curious Incident, Bunny has created a set that is both interactive and incredibly technical. In this story, technology symbolizes the life of the main character. Christopher is a 15-year-old boy who falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, so he sets out to identify the true culprit. But Christopher is not your typical teenager. His overactive mind isn’t equipped to interpret everyday life normally. Because of Bunny’s imaginative work on the set, we are able to visualize what is going on inside Christopher’s head.

    As I sat in the classroom with Bunny’s face projected in the front of us, I found it interesting to hear how she integrated technology into the production. In rehearsal, the actors were unaware how the technology would play out until they got onto the actual set. Bunny had to work hard to create the pictures in the actors’ heads so they could better understand why the scenes were being staged the way they were.

    BreAnna Romero quoteBunny faces additional challenges when a show she has built to be performed in one theatre then goes out on a national tour, like The Curious Incident. For the tour, she has to build a whole new set from scratch that can travel across the country and play in multiple venues. Because the size of the stage can vary greatly from city to city, she has to make sure that the touring set can fit into each theatre. So essentially, she has to build the touring set so that it will fit into the smallest venue on the road schedule.

    I thought the most interesting part of the Skype call was when Bunny was asked the most difficult part about being a scenic designer. “When you have to get deep inside your head,” she said. “You start off with a blank page, and you have to create an idea. You have a deadline you have to meet, and you have to meet that deadline with work presentable enough to work with. A lot of pressure goes into this job. You have to learn how to be self-sufficient but at the same time, you have to learn how to work with a lot of different people. At times the job is tricky, but the end result is more than worth it.”

    Her advice to young scenic designers: “Get training, and get familiar with all you can in theatre. Learn everything you can and take advantage of opportunities that come your way. Feed your imagination.”

    Speaking with Bunny opened my eyes to the world of a scenic designer. I realized that they deserve more credit than they are usually given. A lot of people might never know all the hard work that goes on backstage before a production is brought to life.

    The world Bunny creates in The Curious Incident is breathtaking. That she would take the time to speak to us from London was much appreciated by all of us Westminster High School. We are looking forward to seeing the show on May 30 at The Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

    (Editor's Note: The Skype conversation was moderated by DCPA Associate Director of Education Patrick Elkins-Zeglarski, who has been working with the Westminster students all semester as part of a Broadway League Grant.)


    About the Author: BreAnna Romero

    BreAnna Romero fullBreAnna Romero is a 16-year-old student at Westminster High School. Her interest and love for theatre sprouted when she was young, and her love for the arts has never stopped growing. She hopes to pursue a career as a casting director and continuing to devote herself to the arts.  Her teacher at Westminster High School is Andre' Rodriguez.

    About Bunny Christie

    Bunny Christie is a multiple award-winning scenic designer. She works mainly in London but has designed shows all over the U.K., Europe and in the U.S. She has a long relationship with the National Theatre of Great Britain, designing in all their theatre spaces and devising shows at the N.T. Studio. Her work at the NT covers set and costume design for many of the classics and a huge number of new plays. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time began life at the National Theatre, subsequently transferred to the West End to huge acclaim and completed a U.K. tour. The show is currently touring the U.S.

    Video excerpt from Bunny Christie's Skype call:





    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:
    Ticket Information

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeMay 30-June 18
    • The Ellie Caulkins Opera House
    • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829
    • ASL, Audio-Described and Open-Captioned performance 2 p.m. June 11


    Previous coverage of
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:
    For Denver actor Gene Gillette, a long road from Curious to The Curious Incident
    A deep dive into a 'Curious' mind and mystery
    Gene Gillette will return to Denver in Curious Incident
    2016-17 season: Nine shows, two world premieres, return to classics


    Video: Your first look at The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:


    Selected previous Guest Columns:
    Judy Craymer on the origins of Mamma Mia!
    Douglas Langworthy on 'translating' Shakespeare: First, do no harm
    David Nehls: Live theatre returns to Elitch Gardens after 24 years
    Gillian McNally: Colorado's oldest theatre celebrates Artistic Director Tom McNally
    Margie Lamb on the Henry Awards: Something doesn't add up
    Bryan VanDriel on Lloyd Norton: A name that will live on in Greeley
    Jessica Jackson on Creede Repertory Theatre's 50th anniversary season
  • For Colorado's Gene Gillette, it is morning in America

    by John Moore | May 15, 2017

    Gene Gillette, left, returns to Denver next week with Adam Langdon in 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.' Photo by Joan Marcus.


    He lost his mother at 5, beat cancer at 40, and now returns home in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    It was the culminating day of his acting career. It was last August, and Denver actor Gene Gillette was sitting at a table in New York reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the opening rehearsal for the first national touring production of the National Theatre of Britain’s acclaimed, Tony Award-winning play. And as the actors came to the end of the story … Gillette broke into tears.

    “Something about this troubled kid who has lost his mother,” Gillette said, his voice trailing off. “I just started bawling.”

    Probably because he can so easily relate.

    Gillette plays Ed, the father of a 15-year-old boy named Christopher who lost his mother two years earlier. Gillette’s mother died of breast cancer when he was 5.

    “When you lose your mother, you have no emotional anchor in your life,” Gillette said in advance of his return to Denver in The Curious Incident, which opens May 30 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. “My father always tried to be there for me. But a father is just a different kind of anchor than a mother.”

    In the stage story, Christopher is an exceptionally intelligent boy, but his overactive mind is ill-equipped to interpret everyday life normally. Gillette can palpably understand a boy who is exploding to get out of his own head.

    To say an adolescent Gillette was a bit of a trouble-maker is grossly inadequate. To say he had trouble in school, to say he had run-ins with the law, to say was a bit of a hothead – it’s all grossly inadequate. A young Gene Gillette could have ended up dead or in jail, several times over. But somehow he made it through, he said, largely through the interjection of protectors ranging from teachers to his father to his future wife. That and the safe haven he found in Denver theatre community.

    But it has been a very long road from Denver’s Curious Theatre to the national touring production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. One that recently included three weeks in a life-threatening coma.

    An incomprehensible loss

    Gillette was born in Evergreen in 1974 and moved with his father and sister to Franktown after his mother died. His father, then a paper salesman, struggled with how to help his children cope. In eighth grade, Gene was sent to a school for kids with special problems. There were stints in both rehab and a mental hospital. Doctors believe it was all a natural response to the boy losing his mother.

    Gene GilletteGillette attended three area high schools, but never fit in at any of them. “I actually did really well in school,” he said, “but there were a myriad of ways I found to get into trouble back then.” At Denver Academy, at just 15, he was jumped by three older students on the football team at prom. He dropped out of Douglas County High School during his junior year but, after several years adrift, he earned his high-school G.E.D.

    His life started to turn around when he made his way to Denver to explore the local theatre community. “There were times I didn’t have an address, but I always had a roof over my head,” he said, “usually crashing on people’s couches.”

    People say that theatre saves lives ... and sometimes they are being overdramatic when they say it. Gillette is not.

    “I absolutely believe that theatre saved my life,” he said. “It's so stupid and cliché to say it, but the way I was going, I didn't think there was any way I would make it to 30.”

    Theatre was his lifeline, starting back in the fourth grade when he playeGene Gillette Raind the troll in Billy Goat's Gruff. Later, as his life was imploding at Ponderosa High School, Gillette remembers a teacher named Mrs. Smith showing him the movie version of A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Marlon Brando. “That’s when I really, really got into theatre,” he said. “Everything about that guy, man: Stanley Kowalski. On the Waterfront. The Godfather. Apocalypse Now. Those are monumental transformations. That’s the kind of acting I dream about doing – the stuff that touches your soul.”

    Fitting, because critics have observed a young Brando quality to Gillette’s work from the start – the good, the sexy, and the scorching. One of his first roles in Denver was in Separate Tables at the South Suburban Theatre in Littleton. “I was actually surprised to learn that he was under 21, because his height and carriage at his audition were so mature and elegant,” said his director, Jeremy Cole. That was followed by a production of Macbeth, again directed by Cole. “Gene had multiple roles,” Cole said, “including – notably – a murderer.”

    (Photo at right: A young Gene Gillette with Kathryn Gray in Curious Theatre's 'Praying for Rain' in Denver in 2000.)

    Like Brando, a young Gillette was wild, untrained and had a short fuse. During intermission of the final performance, Cole went backstage and criticized him for the way he was grabbing the woman playing Banquo. After the show, there was a confrontation, “and I had to be dragged off of him,” Gillette said.

    “Gene and I both learned lessons from that, I think,” said Cole, who remains friends with Gillette and will be seeing The Curious Incident in Denver.

    But the raw performance was riveting. Future Curious Theatre founder Chip Walton, then a PhD student at the University of Colorado, saw Macbeth and quickly cast Gillette in his first leading role, in Saved at the LIDA Project warehouse. Walton then convinced theatre professor Sean Kelley to help Gillette enroll at CU-Boulder to study theatre.

    Gene Gillette. Coyote on a Fence. Gillette then headed for New York, but a violent confrontation during a holiday trip home changed the course of his life. Gillette was ordered to return to Colorado to serve a house arrest. Here, he was cast as the lead in Hamlet at the Denver Civic Theatre (now Su Teatro), followed by the play that landed him on the Denver theatre map – Curious Theatre’s Coyote on a Fence (pictured at right). Gillette chillingly portrayed Bobby Reyburn, an uneducated hick awaiting the death penalty for killing three African-American girls in a church fire. The play opened three days after the 9/11 attacks. Gillette won the Denver Post Ovation Award for Best Actor.

    “That was a life-changing event for me,” Gillette said. “That play was all about revenge. An eye for an eye: Is that the path that you want to take in life, either as a community or as an individual? Those are subjects we were dealing with a lot back then – and we still are now.”

    Gene Gillette wifeGillette credits two people for turning his life around: One is his wife, Laura Tesman, a theatre professor at Brooklyn College who has been by Gillette’s side for 19 years. “She's a huge rock in my life,” Gillette said. “She knows who I am and where I come from. She's everything to me, man.”

    The other is Walton, who most recently cast Gillette at Curious in The Lieutenant of Inishmore in 2008. Westword’s Juliet Wittman called that black Irish comedy “a crazed, cathartic bloodbath of a play dominated by scenes of torture, murder and dismemberment.” She called Gillette’s performance as a psychopathic soldier “mesmerizing, steely and scary.”  

    “Curious is my home,” Gillette said. “Chip's like my older brother. He's my mentor. He's the guy I look up to most of all.”

    Gillette went on to seminal roles in Denver and around the country, notably as John Proctor in the Arvada Center’s The Crucible. His life, through the benevolence of passing time, has normalized. He was happily married in 2014 when he was asked to join the national touring production of War Horse, the National Theatre’s epic story of another 15-year-old boy whose horse is sold into the military by his father (Gillette) to aid in Britain’s World War I effort.

    “Knowing that a place like the National Theatre of Great Britain believed in me enough to cast me in a play like that, in a principal role, just really validated my life choices,” Gillette said. “It told me, ‘You didn't totally screw up.’ ”

    Cancer calls a cold timeout

    But his biggest battle was just around the corner. The War Horse tour was on a brief break before a scheduled closing visit to Japan in the summer of 2015. But Gillette wasn’t feeling right. After three weeks, he visited a doctor who diagnosed him with an aggressive form of testicular cancer.

    “My mother died of cancer when she was 35 so, yeah, it's just terrifying, man. Just terrifying,” said Gillette. “I found out I had cancer, turned 40 and lost the best job I ever had – all within two weeks.”

    (Story continues below the photo gallery.)

    Photo gallery: Gene Gillette through the years:

    Gene Gillette: A look back

    To see more photos, click the forward arrow on the image above.

    Rather than go to Japan, Gillette had surgery to remove the tumor and his lymph nodes. In true Gillette fashion, he said, “I guess that I was kind of fighting people when I came out of surgery – so they put me back under.” Doctors put him on the drug propofol, which slows brain activity and the nervous system. But while he was under sedation, Gillette developed pneumonia and slipped into a coma. A pulmonary embolism formed in his lung, and blood clots in his legs. He credits his wife for saving his life – again – when she demanded that doctors take him off the propofol.

    Gene GilletteAfter three weeks in the coma, he came to. By then he had lost 45 pounds and was down to a rail-thin 137. When he woke up, the first person he called was his father.

    “I think I've heard my dad cry maybe two times in my life, and one of them was when I called him after waking up from three weeks in a coma,” Gillette said.

    He said his curious, near-death incident had a profound effect on his outlook, his demeanor, and his relationship with loved ones.

    “I just don't let stuff get to me as much as I used to,” Gillette said, before backtracking. “OK, I still let things get to me – because I am still me. But I just don't take things for granted. I really like the life I have. I love my wife. I love the career that I have. I don't want to die anytime soon, man. I really want to live life as much as possible.”  

    Gillette does not think it is a coincidence that every audition he has gone after since the coma has resulted in either a callback – or a job. “This whole thing was a call to action,” he said. “I'm done (bleeping) around. This is what I want to do with my life.”

    One of the jobs he went after – and landed – was in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. As Gillette was recovering from his cancer scare, he found out the play, written by Simon Stephens and adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling 2003 novel, was forming a national tour.

    The story begins with young Christopher falling under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog. The boy then sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery. Gillette auditioned for the role of the father, Ed, in New York City – and got it. Gillette says if Ed were a real person, the two would probably be good friends.

    (Pictured at right: Gene Gillette with his father at the tour opening of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.)

    “Ed is a guy you would want to watch a football game with,” Gillette said. “He’s a good dude. He runs his own company. He has a son with an extraordinary skill set and some special needs. He’s got a lot of weight on his shoulders, but he’s doing the best he can.”

    One of the hardest parts about playing Christopher’s father, he said, is the fact that the boy doesn't like to be touched. “That is very difficult for a parent, not being able to touch your own son,” he said. “Christopher doesn't have any friends at school. He talks a lot about enjoying being alone and how amazing it would be to be an astronaut and see the Milky Way. He just has a very bittersweet outlook on life.”

    Gene Gillette QuoteAnd while Christopher’s story and Gillette’s own are very different, he recognizes commonalities: A difficulty conforming, living on the fringes, not behaving the way that society deems normal. But to play the role of Ed, Gillette looked more to his own father for inspiration.

    “When I look at what my dad had to deal with from me as his son – it was a lot,” Gillette said. “I think Ed loves his son as much as my dad loves me. I think they both were dealt a really hard hand with the mother dying so young, and his son having the special needs that he has.”

    You may recall Gillette saying he has only heard his dad cry twice. He thinks the third time might happen on May 30, when Gene takes the stage at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver.

    “Our relationship is great now,” he said. “I realize now how hard my dad had to work after my mom died, and I know that he did the best that he could to take care of us. I think it's going to mean a lot to him to be there on opening night in Denver.”

    He knows what it will mean to him.

    “It’s going to be a dream realized,” he said. "I have never worked at the Denver Center. That’s the crown jewel in my head. That's THE spot. It's going to be huge for me. I cannot wait.”

    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.


    Video: Your first look at The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time



    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:
    Ticket Information

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeMay 30-June 18
    • The Ellie Caulkins Opera House
    • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829
    • ASL, Audio-Described and Open-Captioned performance 2 p.m. June 11


    Previous coverage of
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:
    A deep dive into a 'Curious' mind and mystery
    Gene Gillette will return to Denver in Curious Incident
    2016-17 season: Nine shows, two world premieres, return to classics


    Video bonus: Our 2011 interview with Laura Tesman and Gene Gillette:

    Gillette and Tesman discuss 'Bound,' an adaptation of the Prometheus and Pandora myths (and more) which they co-wrote. He starred; she directed.
  • May 2017: Crossword puzzle and solution

    by John Moore | May 10, 2017
    With each new issue of Applause Magazine, we offer readers a crossword puzzle related to our current shows. Here is the most recent puzzle, covering Mamma Mia!, The Secret Garden, The Illusionists – Live From Broadway and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

    The solution is posted below. Print and play! CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE PUZZLE WITH THE SOLUTION!

    Crossword Puzzle_Applause 7 1Crossword Puzzle_Applause 7 2Crossword Puzzle_Applause 7 3Crossword Puzzle_Applause 7 4

    Recent previous downloadable puzzles:

    An American in Paris, Kinky Boots, Hal Holbrook Tonight and Disgraced DOWNLOAD

    Fun Home, The Book of Will, The Christians and Two Degrees DOWNLOAD

    Jersey Boys, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Finding Neverland, A Christmas Carol and The Hip-Hop Nutcracker DOWNLOAD
  • A deep dive into a 'Curious' mind and mystery

    by John Moore | May 03, 2017
    denver-center_the-curious-incident-of-the-dog-in-the-night-time_adam-langdon-and-company_cjoan-marcus_32506805125_oAdam Langdon and the company of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,' opening at the Denver Center on May 30. Photo by Joan Marcus.


    'This is something only theatre can do,' Colorado
    actor Gene Gillette says of The Curious Incident ...

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    It’s not often you hear people talk about a play with the same kind of visceral enthusiasm normally reserved for, say, a big Broadway musical. But Colorado native Gene Gillette promises The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time “is going to blow you out of your seat, man.”

    Curious Incident, winner of Best Play and four other 2015 Tony Awards, is one of the most widely praised and technically complex plays, well, ever — and one of the few to tour the country. A traveling production is the rare opportunity for heartland audiences to see a play staged to its full Broadway standards.

    Gene Gillette QuoteGillette, who was born in Evergreen and grew up in Franktown, plays Ed, father to a 15-year-old boy named Christopher who is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life.

     “Christopher has an extraordinary set of abilities, and this play is a fully immersive, deep dive inside his brain,” said Gillette. “Just seeing what that magical world looks like on a stage is pretty awe-inspiring. There are some amazing technical elements with the set and the sound and the lighting, but it’s really how they all physically interact with the actors that is so remarkable.”

    The play, written by Simon Stephens and adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling 2003 novel, begins with Christopher falling under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog. He then sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change the boy’s life forever.

    A renowned British company called Frantic Assembly is responsible for integrating the human and technical elements that make it possible for Christopher to fly or to stand in the middle of a bustling London train station. Some sequences take place entirely in Christopher’s head.

    “This is something only theatre can do,” Gillette said.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Tony Award-winner Marianne Elliott directed the play for the National Theatre in London and then on Broadway, where it ran for almost two years. That’s an extraordinary achievement for a non-musical, although the expansive and fluid show functions in some ways like a musical.

    denver-center_the-curious-incident-of-the-dog-in-the-night-time_adam-langdon-and-company_cjoan-marcus_32506805125_o“The secret weapon of this show is, to my mind, pretty simple,” wrote Chicago Tribune theatre critic Chris Jones. “There is a fearless, laser-like focus on telling the entire story from Christopher’s point of view.”

    Christopher’s dissociative disorder is never given a label. “He is very good with math. He loves Sherlock Holmes. And he loves his clinical, detached way of looking at the world,” Gillette said. “Solving the mystery of who killed the neighbor’s dog is very thrilling to him. But he also doesn’t like to be touched, which is very difficult for me, playing his father. He doesn’t have any friends. He enjoys being alone and he talks about how amazing it would be to be an astronaut and see the Milky Way. So he has a kind of bittersweet outlook on life.”

    Elliott says Christopher is very much aware of how he, “as a tiny human, fits into the vast universe.” And that’s exactly why audiences so easily identify with him — even if they can’t fully understand how his brain works.

     “This is a show about a boy enduring in spite of himself,” Elliott said.

    Gillette understands his stage son better than most might. He recognizes a little of himself in the boy.

    At age 13, Christopher learned that his mother died. Gillette lost his mother to cancer when he was 5, which led to a troubled adolescence. He credits theatre for helping him make it to adulthood at all. He said it was watching theatre at The Buell Theatre, located right next to The Ellie, where he will be performing in Curious Incident, that he found his direction in life.

    “The first play I ever saw was the national tour of Biloxi Blues in 1986 at The Buell Theatre, and that changed everything,” Gillette said.

    Coming soon: Our expanded profile of Colorado's Gene Gillette

    His seminal performances on Colorado stages included playing Hamlet at the Denver Civic Theatre, John Proctor in the Arvada Center’s The Crucible and a particularly chilling turn as a child killer in Curious Theatre’s death-row drama Coyote on a Fence. He won The Denver Post Ovation Award in 2008 for his darkly funny turn in Curious’ The Lieutenant of Inishmore as an alternately savage and sweet Irish madman.

    Gillette’s biggest break came two years ago when he joined the national touring production of the National Theatre’s War Horse, also directed by Elliott. Gillette was recovering from his own near-death battle with cancer when he landed the role of Ed in Curious Incident. Gillette said if Ed were a real person, the two would probably be good friends.

    “Ed is a guy you would want to watch a football game with,” Gillette said. “He’s a good dude. He runs his own company. But he has all kinds of challenges in his family. He’s got a lot of weight on his shoulders, but he’s doing the best he can.”

    Some of the reporting for this story was provided from a story by Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune.

    Gene Gillette Inishmore


    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:
    Ticket Information

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeMay 30-June 18
    • The Ellie Caulkins Opera House
    • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829
    • ASL, Audio-Described and Open-Captioned performance 2 p.m. June 11

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:
    Casting announced for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
    2016-17 season: Nine shows, two world premieres, return to classics

  • Gene Gillette will return to Denver in 'Curious Incident'

    by John Moore | Aug 30, 2016


    Gene Gillette, photographed after a rehearsal for 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' on New York's 42nd Street, is well-known to audiences of Curious Theatre, Colorado Springs TheatreWorks, the Denver Civic Theatre and many more. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Casting has been announced for the North American tour of the National Theatre’s Tony Award-winning production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and it includes Evergreen native Gene Gillette in a leading role.

    Gillette, who grew up making his name on Denver stages playing ferocious characters in explosive performances, will play Ed, father to a 15-year-old boy named Christopher who is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life.

    Gene Gillette RainThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, winner of Best Play and four other Tony Awards, is one of the most widely praised and technically complex plays of the past decade - and one of the few to tour the country. This way, American audiences are assured of seeing the play performed and presented to its full Broadway standards.

    The play, written by Simon Stephens and adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel, begins with Christopher falling under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog. He then sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.

    (Photo at right: A young Gene Gillette with Kathryn Gray in Curious Theatre's 'Praying for Rain' in Denver in 2000.)

    Gillette’s biggest break came two years ago when he joined the national touring production of the National Theatre’s War Horse. The director of Curious Incident is Tony Award-winner Marianne Elliott, who also directed War Horse. The cast will star Juilliard graduate Adam Langdon as Christopher, along with Felicity Jones Latta (Metamorphoses) as Judy, Maria Elena Ramirez (Fish in the Dark) as Siobhan and Amelia White (The Heiress) as Mrs. Alexander. White had a leading role in the DCPA Theatre Company's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike in 2014.

    Curious Incident is the longest-running play on Broadway in more than 10 years.It closes on Sept. 4.

    The touring production, which stops in Denver at The Ellie Caulkins Opera House next May 30-June 18, is so highly anticipated, it is being presented here as part of both the DCPA’s Broadway and Theatre Company season subscriptions.

    Gene Gillette quoteGillette grew up in Franktown and attended Ponderosa High School and the University of Colorado-Boulder. His seminal performances in Colorado have included playing Hamlet at the Denver Civic, John Proctor in the Arvada Center’s The Crucible, and a particularly chilling turn as a child killer in Curious Theatre’s death-row drama Coyote on a Fence. Gillette won the Denver Post Ovation Award in 2008 for his darkly funny turn in Curious’ The Lieutenant of Inishmore as an alternately savage and sweet Irish madman. Since then, Gillette has appeared at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Shakespeare Santa Cruz and most recently in Berkeley Rep’s Macbeth with Frances McDormand. His TV credits include The Good Wife, Person of Interest and Elementary.

    When Gillette joined the War Horse tour, it already had stopped in Denver, so Curious Incident will be his first chance to perform at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Gillette lost his mother to cancer when he was 5, and he credits theatre for helping him through a difficult adolescence. He said it was watching theatre at the Buell Theatre, located right next to The Ellie, that he found his direction in life.

    “The first play I ever saw was the national tour of Biloxi Blues in 1986 at the Buell Theatre, and that changed everything,” he said in an exclusive interview with the DCPA NewsCenter.

     “It's going to be huge for me,” he said. “I have never worked at the Denver Center. That's the place, man. That's the crown jewel in my head. That's the spot. I cannot wait.”

    The tour will launch at Rochester’s Auditorium Theater on Sept. 27 and go on to play more than 30 cities in its first season.

    The ensemble includes Geoffrey Wade (Translations), who performed with the DCPA Theatre Company in Wings in 1981, as well as Brian Robert Burns (War Horse), Francesca Choy-Kee (Disgraced), Josephine Hall (Les Liaisons Dangereuses), John Hemphill (School of Rock), Robyn Kerr (Dark Vanilla Jungle), Kathy McCafferty (Dada Woof Papa Hot), J. Paul Nicholas (Blood and Gifts) and Tim Wright (Curious Incident/Broadway). Benjamin Wheelwright (Curious Incident/Broadway) will play Christopher at certain performances.

    The production is designed by Tony Award-winner Bunny Christie and Tony Award-winning video designer Finn Ross, with lighting by Tony Award-winner Paule Constable, choreography by Scott Graham and Olivier Award-winner Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, music by Adrian Sutton, sound by Ian Dickinson for Autograph and hair and wig design by David Brian Brown. Casting is by Daniel Swee and Cindy Tolan.

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: Ticket Information

    • May 30-June 18
    • The Ellie
    • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Groups: Call 303-446-4829

     

  • 2016-17 season: Nine shows, two world premieres, return to classics

    by NewsCenter Staff | Mar 08, 2016

    Geoff Kent and Michelle Patrick of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts announce the Theatre Company's 2016-17 season, above.


    The DCPA Theatre Company's 38th season will include two world premiere productions fresh off the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit, the U.S. premiere of a new version of Frankenstein, two acclaimed contemporary dramas, Tennessee Williams' most popular  play, the company's silver-anniversary staging of A Christmas Carol and the popular musical The Secret Garden.

    The new season will feature eight mainstage productions, plus the national touring production of the 2015 Tony Award-winner for Best Play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

    A Book of Will Lauren Gunderson 300The two new plays chosen from the Summit are The Book of Will by Lauren Gunderson and Two Degrees by Tira Palmquist. The Book of Will tackles the history right after Shakespeare died, when his  friends and fellow actors valiantly published the first folio of his works, essentially saving the greatest English-speaking playwright from oblivion.

    Palmquist describes Two Degrees as "a cheery story about climate change."  Actually, Palmquist loves science, and her main character is a woman of about 45 years old who is a climate scientist. "It's really a play about grief: Grief for the planet, grief at large, grief on a more personal scale." 

    “We are excited to dive deep into the Theatre Company’s 38th season,” said Producing Artistic Director Kent Thompson. “This season is full of powerful stories that range from American classics to new works that all get to the heart of the human condition. Whether you’re a scientist trying to convince the Senate that climate change is real, a band of brothers risking financial ruin to save the legacy of your friend William Shakespeare, or a young girl finding solace in a hidden garden, something remarkable happens when people are pushed to their breaking point.”

    The season will be spread out over four theatres, in part because the Space Theatre is undergoing a year-long renovation. Two Degrees will be staged in the Jones Theatre.

    (Photos above: 'The Book of Will' at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)


    THEATRE COMPANY 2016-17 SEASON/AT A GLANCE

    Sept. 9-Oct. 16: The Glass Menagerie, Ricketson Theatre
    Sept. 30-Oct. 30: Frankenstein, Stage Theatre
    Nov. 25-Dec. 24: A Christmas Carol, Stage Theatre
    Jan. 13-Feb. 26, 2017: The Book of Will, Ricketson Theatre
    Jan. 27-Feb. 26, 2017: The Christians, Stage Theatre
    Feb. 3-March 12, 2017: Two Degrees, The Jones Theatre
    March 31-May 7, 2017: Disgraced, ​Ricketson Theatre
    Apr 21-May 28, 2017: The Secret Garden, Stage Theatre
    May 30-June 18, 2017: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Ellie

    THE SEASON/PLAY BY PLAY

    Glass_menagerie 275The Glass Menagerie
    By Tennessee Williams
    Sept. 9-Oct. 16
    Ricketson Theatre
    The Wingfield family is trapped in a cage of nostalgia in their drab 1930s apartment. They dream of lives they wished they had but never pursued, of opportunities drifting away with the passing of time. But when a long-awaited gentleman caller joins them for dinner, fantasy and reality collide as expectations shatter like glass. This will be the  DCPA’s first-ever production of Tennessee Williams’ autobiographical masterpiece.


    3_frankenstein_030716Frankenstein
    By Nick Dear
    Sept 30-Oct. 30
    Stage Theatre
    Given life by a man with a troubled heart, a creature assembled from corpses sets out into the unforgiving world to discover his humanity. As he uncovers both kindness and cruelty, he seeks out the doctor who created him to demand answers about his tormented existence. Frankenstein features two lead actors alternating performances in the roles as Victor Frankenstein and his creature, allowing man and monster to intersect with every chilling performance of this U.S. premiere.



    4_christmas_carol_030716A Christmas Carol
    (not part of subscription package)
    By Charles Dickens, adapted by Richard Hellesen, music by David de Berry
    Nov. 25-Dec 24
    Stage Theatre
    The 25th seasonal staging of A Christmas Carol will star longtime  Denver favorite Sam Gregory, replacing the legendary Philip Pleasants. The production is a joyous and opulent musical adaptation that 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.



    5_book_of_will_030716The Book of Will

    By Lauren Gunderson (DCPA Theatre Company Commission)
    Jan. 13-Feb. 26, 2017
    Ricketson Theatre
    Without William Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have literary masterpieces like Romeo and Juliet. But without Henry Condell and John Heminges, we would have lost half of Shakespeare’s plays forever. After the death of their friend and mentor, the two actors are determined to compile the first folio and preserve the words that shaped their lives. They’ll just have to borrow, beg and band together to get it done. Shakespeare-lover Lauren Gunderson weaves a comic and heartfelt story of the characters behind the collected stories we know so well.

    READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN GUNDERSON



    6_the_christians_030716The Christians
    By Lucas Hnath
    Jan. 27-Feb 26, 2017
    Stage Theatre
    Pastor Paul inspires faith in the members of his growing congregation through his preaching. But when he brings up unexpected questions during a sermon, his changing perspective may ask too much of his followers. Featuring a full choir at every performance, The Christians is an intimate look at the moments that define who we are and what we believe. This New York Times Critics’ Pick has been called “deeply affecting" and "emotionally devastating” by The New York Post.




    7_two_degrees_030716Two Degrees

    By Tira Palmquist
    Feb. 3-March 12, 2017
    Jones Theatre
    The smallest changes can lead to the biggest impact, and no one knows that better than Emma, a scientist studying climate change in Greenland. Still grappling with the unexpected death of her husband, she is invited to the nation’s capital to share her findings at a Senate hearing that could define her career and her cause. But if she can’t overcome her tumultuous inner struggle, her dedication and sacrifices may not be enough to make the difference in the world that she’s always wanted.

    READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH TIRA PALMQUIST


    8_disgraced_030616Disgraced
    By Ayad Akhtar
    March 31-May 7, 2017
    Ricketson Theatre
    Amir has spent his adult life downplaying his upbringing to build the perfect life. But a high-profile court case and his wife’s Islamic-inspired art show reveal just how little his culture is understood by the people around him. The expectation to be true to yourself and to fit into mainstream society collide in this 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning play. The New York Times calls it “terrific and turbulent, with fresh currents of dramatic electricity.” The Associated Press calls the play "breathtaking, raw and blistering.”


    9_secret_garden_030716The Secret Garden
    Book and lyrics by Marsha Norman, music by Lucy Simon
    Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett
    April 21-May 28, 2017
    Stage Theatre
    When young Mary is sent to live with her uncle after the death of her parents, she finds herself surrounded by distant relatives who are overcome by grief and fear. But when she uncovers the key to her late aunt’s long-lost garden, she becomes determined to revive the beauty that once flourished. Surrounded by spirits of the past, she uses the magic of hope to help the world around her grow once again.



    Original Broadway Company of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Photo: Joan Marcus.The Curious Incident of the Dog
    in the Night-Time

    National touring production
    By Simon Stephens, based on the novel by Mark Haddon
    Directed by Tony winner Marianne Elliott
    May 30-June 18, 2017
    The Ellie
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, winner of five 2015 Tony Awards including Best Play, was hailed as “one of the most fully immersive works ever to wallop Broadway” by The New York Times. Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion for killing his neighbor’s dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.

    Tickets and Subscriptions

    New and renewing subscribers have the first opportunity to reserve tickets. Tickets are available to subscribers online at denvercenter.org by calling 303-893-6030 or 303-893-4100. Subscribers enjoy free ticket exchanges, payment plans, priority offers to Broadway and student shows, discounted extra tickets, a dedicated VIP hotline, free events including talkbacks and receptions, and the best seats at the best prices, guaranteed.

    A single ticket on-sale date will be announced at a later time.

    Note: Plans for the new season are subject to change.

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

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