• Corbin Payne of 'The Who's Tommy' on the future state of your eardrums

    by John Moore | May 23, 2018
    corbin_payne The Who's Tommy


    'Theatre is a place to stand up for what’s right, and change what’s wrong,' says Colorado native making DCPA debut.

    Corbin Payne Dogfight Ignite TheatreMEET CORBIN PAYNE
    Colorado Springs native Corbin Payne is making his DCPA Theatre Company debut as a male swing in The Who’s Tommy. In musical theatre, a swing is a member of the company who understudies several roles. Regional credits include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Arvada Center, Baby in Little Theatre of the Rockies in Greeley, Fun Home for the Midtown Arts Center in Fort Collins, and Dogfight for Denver's former Ignite Theatre (pictured at right)

    • Hometown: Colorado Springs
    • Home now: Greeley
    • Training: I have a B.A. in Musical Theatre from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley (Go, Bears!)
    • What's your handle? @pint_0_corbin on Instagram
    • Corbin Payne. DCPA The Who's Tommy Photo by Bamboo BoothTwitter-sized bio: Singer, actor, Colorado native. Lover of craft beer, '80s guitar riffs and "Star Wars." Currently living in Greeley, and yes, it does smell like cows 90 percent of the time. Second passion is writing music. Lost without guitar and piano. Vegetarian and avid couch potato. Addicted to french fries. Loves hiking. (I grew up a few miles from Garden of the Gods how could I not?
    • Website: corbinpayne.com
    • What would you be doing if you were not an actor? I would be a choir teacher. I grew up singing, became addicted to choir, and spent the majority of my high-school days in rehearsal for concerts. I was really quite torn between teaching and performing while I was auditioning for colleges across the country. I love teaching, enjoy kids for the most part, and celebrate the idea of spreading music to all corners of the globe. (Photo above: Opening night of The Who's Tommy by Bamboo Booth.)
    • Bucket-list role: Roger in Rent
    • What's playing on your Spotify? Logic. He is an incredible lyricist and has such an incredible message to share with the world. He can rhyme, his flow is insane and he just sounds like a cool dude.
    • DEH-Mike-Faist-Ben-Platt-0104-Photo-Credit-Matthew-MurphyOne time you saw greatness play out in front of you: Watching Ben Platt in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway (pictured right). It was the most phenomenal performance I have ever seen. Every second I watched was a lesson to be learned and it was truly beautiful.
    • One thing most people don't know about you: I hate throwing things away. Secretly I’m a hoarder. I keep every note, card and gift I am given. I love holding onto memories. But I’m neat about it. Everything has its place, and everything has a purpose. Reflecting on the past is one of my past times.
    • One thing we should be doing to foster the next generation of theatregoers? The next generation of theatregoers needs constant examples of inclusivity and diversity. No one should ever be left out, feel alone or be alienated because of race, gender or disability. Theatre is a place to stand up for what’s right, and change what’s wrong. The more we spread that message, the more success the next generation will have.
    • What is The Who's Tommy about? It's a musical by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff based on The Who's classic 1969 rock opera. Tommy retreats from the world after a traumatic incident, but a newfound talent for pinball introduces him to fame and fortune.
    • Why does The Who's Tommy matter? Because it is a story of reflection. It’s dissecting the past by journeying into it, and seeing how such small events can define or change who you are. All too often, we as humans forget about where we came from and focus on tomorrow, instead of living in the now by remembering where we came from, and using that to see the miracles of today.
    • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing The Who's Tommy? I hope audiences just get to rock out. No one should leave with both eardrums intact. If this cast doesn’t send you out the door ready to re-live the days of rock 'n roll, you need to check your heartbeat.
    • What do you want to get off your chest? Stop eating meat. Invest in public transportation, clean energy and education. Preserve this planet for generations to come instead of being selfish!

    Corbin Payne in Spring Awakening for the University of Northern ColoradoCorbin Payne in 'Spring Awakening' for the University of Northern Colorado.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    The Who's Tommy:
    Ticket information

    Tommy_show_thumbnail_160x160Based 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.
    • Presented by DCPA Theatre Company
    • Performances through May 27
    • Jones Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    Previous NewsCenter coverage of The Who's Tommy:
    Photo gallery: The making of The Who's Tommy at the Denver Center:

    The making of 'The Who's Tommy'
    The photos above are from the making of the DCPA Theatre Company's new production of The Who's Tommy, spanning the first day of rehearsal on March 13 to the Opening Night performance on April 27. To see more, click on the image above to be taken to our full gallery of photos.

  • Owen Zitek on standing up for those who are thought of as lesser

    by John Moore | May 16, 2018
    Charl Brown as Captain Walker and Owen Zitek as Young in the DCPA Theatre Company's The Who's Tommy. Photo by Adams VisCom.
    Charl Brown as Captain Walker and Owen Zitek as Young Tommy in the DCPA Theatre Company's 'The Who's Tommy.' Photo by Adams VisCom for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    After three seasons of A Christmas Carol, the kid comes into his own as young Pinball Wizard in The Who's Tommy 

    Owen Zitek QuoteMEET OWEN ZITEK
    Owen Zitek, a 6th-grader at Falcon Creek Middle School in Aurora, plays Youth Tommy (age 10) in The Who’s Tommy. He has been in the Theatre Company's past three stagings of A Christmas Carol, Other Theatres: The Hobbit (Aurora Fox Theatre), Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan (Classic Acts). Film: Deal, 12th, Halves & Quarter. Training: DCPA Education, Colorado School of Acting.

    • Hometown: Aurora
    • School: Falcon Creek Middle School
    • What's your handle? @OwenZitek on Twitter
    • Twitter-sized bio: 6th-grader who loves acting, reading, running, singing, drawing, playing games with family, camping, climbing 14ers and snowboarding
    • What would you be doing if you were not an actor? I would probably be a singer or an Olympic track runner.
    • Bucket-list role: Any role in Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago or Hamilton.
    • One role you were completely miscast for: In January of 2017 I was cast as Michael Darling in Peter Pan, which I was really excited for except the people who were cast as Wendy and John were only 2 or 3 inches taller than me. So after the play, people came up to me and said, “Are you and John supposed to be twins?” or, “You’re his older brother, right?”
    • elphabaWhat's playing on your Spotify? I am currently listening to the Black Panther soundtrack, SZA, The Greatest Showman soundtrack and, of course, Beyoncé
    • One time you saw greatness play out in front of you: The first time I saw Wicked in Denver and Elphaba flew up into the sky during Defying Gravity. Her cape began to enlarge, and it appeared as if she were floating. That moment was inspirational and one of the main reasons I wanted to be an actor.
    • One thing most people don't know about you: I was born in Ethiopia, and I am adopted.
    • Owen Zitek A Christmas Carol 2016. Photo by John MooreOne thing we should be doing to foster the next generation of theatregoers? We, as a cast, should make sure we are making a difference. If we do a stellar job, then audience members might even want to pursue theatre, too.
    • What is The Who's Tommy about? It's a musical by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff based on The Who's classic 1969 rock opera. Tommy retreats from the world after a traumatic incident, but a newfound talent for pinball introduces him to fame and fortune.
    • Why does The Who's Tommy matter? It shows that everyone is amazing in their own special way no matter what obstacles you face.
    • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing The Who's Tommy? I hope the audience leaves feeling they are special and that they should stand up for those who are seen as lesser in society’s eyes.
    • What do you want to get off your chest? Sometimes I forget left from right.

    Pictured at right: Owen Zitek on opening night of 'A Christmas Carol' 2016. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    Owen Zitek Photo by John MooreOur Pinball Wizard, Owen Zitek, backstage before the opening performance of the DCPA Theatre's Company's 'The Who's Tommy.' Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. See more here.


    The Who's Tommy:
    Ticket information

    Tommy_show_thumbnail_160x160Based 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.
    • Presented by DCPA Theatre Company
    • Performances through May 27
    • Jones Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    Previous NewsCenter coverage of The Who's Tommy:
    Photo gallery: The making of The Who's Tommy at the Denver Center:

    The making of 'The Who's Tommy'
    The photos above are from the making of the DCPA Theatre Company's new production of The Who's Tommy, spanning the first day of rehearsal on March 13 to the Opening Night performance on April 27. To see more, click on the image above to be taken to our full gallery of photos.

  • Kate Poling on the need to choose fight over flight

    by John Moore | Apr 21, 2018
    Kate Poling 800

    Featured actor in two new one-act plays by local playwright calls for more original work that is neither safe nor easy

    MEET KATE POLING
    SmokeKatie Poling, a DCPA Education Teaching Artist, plays Daisy in The Way Station and Stel in South Star, two original one-act plays by Denver playwright Rebecca Gorman O’Neill now being premiered by And Toto Too, the only Denver theatre company to focus entirely on producing new plays by women playwrights. Poling has performed for the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, Arvada Center, Miners Alley Playhouse and Bitsy Stage. Favorite roles include Viola in Twelfth Night (Foothills Theatre Company), Guildenstern in R and G are Dead (NYU) and Nurse in Romeo and Juliet (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts). She also teaches children's theatre at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center. (Pictured above: James O'Hagan-Murphy and Kate Poling in And Toto Too's 2015 production of 'Smoke.' Photo by Meghan Ralph, Soular Radiant Photography.)

    • Hometown: Highlands Ranch
    • Home now: Denver
    • Training: BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts          
    • What's your handle? @katepoling on Instagram
    • Twitter-sized bio: Colorado native. Old soul who loves tea, books, Shakespeare and dragons. A teacher and a student of the world.
    • What would you be doing if you were not an actor? I would probably be in politics. I double-majored in political science at NYU, and I love the drama, the stakes and the potential to make the world better that is inherent in any political system. To me, it’s just a different form of theatre.
    • One role you were completely miscast for: Rebecca Nurse in The Crucible at age 16. While very fun, I definitely need to age a few years before tackling that again.
    • Bucket-list role: Iago in Othello. And with all the gender-bending in Shakespeare these days, it could happen someday!
    • What's playing on your Spotify? The Anastasia Broadway soundtrack
    • What's one thing we don't know about you? I am super into Greek mythology, and I know a lot about it.
    • lily-rabe seminar. photo by jeremy danielOne time you saw greatness play out in front of you: I saw the play Seminar, by Theresa Rebeck, during its Broadway run, and it was a life-changing experience. The script was incredible, the characters were nuanced and the ensemble worked together effortlessly. Lily Rabe’s performance, in particular, blew me away. When an actor can make you love them, pity them, hate them, and want to be them all in a 90-minute period, you know you’re experiencing great writing and wonderful acting. Seminar also appealed to me because it beautifully expressed the idea that art and creation aren’t always easy, and they aren’t always comfortable, but they are necessary — and they are important.
    • One thing we should be doing to foster the next generation of theatregoers? We need to be offering rush tickets, discount tickets and other incentives to bring in younger theatregoers. Some places in Denver are really good about this, but it’s a simple way to bring in younger audiences, who might decide to spend their $10 on a play instead of a movie, or a beer.
    • What are The Way Station and South Star all about? The Way Station is the story of three strangers from different places and times, each pulled out of their travels and dropped off at a mysterious way station. It's about what happens when you run from your problems instead of facing them, and how people get stuck (literally, in this case) when they choose flight over fight. The South Star is set seven years in the future, during the second American Civil War. It's also about running, but this time it’s about spies, intrigue and war, as it takes place during a coming second American civil war.
    • Why do these plays matter? Everyone has things they’d rather run from than face, and I think The Way Station really highlights that flight never truly works out, and we should face things rather than try to bury them. As for South Star, we’re stuck right now in a political environment that is very black and white, and I think South Star really highlights that fact that there are grey areas between what is “right” and what is “wrong.” Even more than that, it brings war and rhetoric to its smallest level of the people and the lives that are affected by it.
    • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing these plays? I hope they leave thinking about the plays and wake up the next morning still thinking about what they meant.
    • What do you want to get off your chest? I think it is so important to keep supporting and producing work that isn’t safe and easy. There have been great strides in Denver over the past couple of years, but we can do more. Pick the play that challenges. If you’re producing a classic, make sure it says something new. I think theatre wages a constant battle to stay relevant, and the best way we can do this is by continuing in this direction. That’s why I love working with And Toto Too. They only produce work by women, and only new work that hasn’t been done in Colorado. I think Denver needs more of that. More new work, more work not written and directed by straight white males, and more work that challenges audiences.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    The Way Station
    and South Star: Ticket information

    • Presented by And Toto too Theatre Company
    • Written by Rebecca Gorman O’Neill
    • Directed by Susan Lyles
    • Performances through May 5
    • At The Commons on Champa at 1245 Champa Street, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Call 720-583-3975 or go to andtototoo.org
    • April 27 will be an ASL interpreted performance
    Cast list:
    • Austin Lazek, Kate Poling and Seth Palmer Harris
    Note: The Way Station and The South Star is sponsored by The Next Stage NOW, an initiative of the city's department of Arts and Venues with a mission to enliven, diversify and sustain the Denver Performing Arts Complex through public performances, programming and place-making.

    More 2017-18 'In the Spotlife' profiles:

    • Meet Erica Brown of Emancipation Theatre's Honorable Disorder
    • Meet John Ahlin of DCPA Theatre Company's Native Gardens
    • Meet Elizabeth Bernhardt of Phamaly's Romeo and Juliet
    • Meet Sheryl McCallum of Aurora Fox's Passing Strange
    • Meet Brynn Tucker of Off-Center's This is Modern Art
    • Meet Gustavo Márquez of DCPA Theatre Company's Native Gardens
    • Meet Gia Valverde of DCPA Theatre Company's Native Gardens
    • Meet Jake Mendes of Off-Center's This is Modern Art
    • Meet Ilasiea L. Gray of Denver Children's Theatre's Sleeping Beauty
    • Meet Meet Jordan Baker of DCPA Theatre Company's Native Gardens
    • Meet Candy Brown of Lone Tree Arts Center's Love Letters
    • Meet Christy Brandt of Creede Rep's Arsenic and Old Lace
    • Meet Deb Persoff of Vintage Theatre's August: Osage County
    • Meet Monica Joyce Thompson of Inspire Creative’s South Pacific
    • Meet Hugo Jon Sayles of I Don't Speak English Only
    • Meet Marialuisa Burgos of I Don't Speak English Only

  • John Ahlin of 'Native Gardens' on what theatre can learn from Comic-Con

    by John Moore | Apr 20, 2018
    mariana-fernandez-john-ahlin-ryan-garbayo-photo-by-adamsviscom_26525867837_o
    Photo by Adams VisCom.

    Broadway veteran's garden grew out of a dream to be a forest ranger. Now he's tilling the soil in the Space Theatre.  

    MEET JOHN AHLIN
    John-Ahlin-Jefferson-Mays-in-the-2007-Broadway-revival-of-Journeys-End-at-the-Belasco-Theatre.-Photo-by-Paul-Kolnik.John Ahlin, who plays gardening fan Frank Butley in Native Gardens, has appeared on Broadway in seven productions including Waiting for Godot with Nathan Lane and Bill Irwin, 2007 Tony Award-winning Best Revival Journey’s End (alongside DCPA master's graduate John Behlmann), The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Macbeth, and others. Other New York credits include Orson Welles in Orson’s Shadow (Barrow Street Theatre), Gray Area (Barrow Group), ChipandGus (Soho Playhouse) and others. TV and film credits include: “Inside Llewyn Davis” (Coen Brothers), “Law & Order: SVU,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” “As the World Turns” and many more. (Pictured above: John Ahlin and Jefferson Mays in Journey's End.' Photo by Paul Kolnik.)

    • Hometown: Aurora
    • Home now: New York
    • Training: BFA from Syracuse University Go Orange
    • Website: JohnAhlin.com
    • Twitter-sized bio: Actor, playwright, thinker: Lives 36 floors above New York City: Works hard: Plays nice: Likes all people and distant train whistles
    • What would you be doing if you were not an actor? Out of high school, I wanted to be a forest ranger, and I was sidetracked by theatre in college and never looked back. I still have the “what if” pangs whenever I look up at forested mountains, and as I type this I can look out to see some snowy Rockies. There is where I’d most likely be if not for acting.
    • One role you were completely miscast for: Not a prideful fellow I, but I feel I’m able to perform myriad roles somewhat effectively, and am not pigeonholed into a type. For example, I’ve appeared on Broadway in a splashy musical, a whodunit, a contemporary Irish black comedy, an all-black musical revue, a Shakespeare, an absurdist classic and a Tony Award-winning revival of a World War I drama. I did, however, once get mis-booked on a radio show where I thought I was going to promote a play I had written, and they instead thought I was a bright young comedian. Luckily I was quick-witted enough to survive that interview, but I wouldn’t want to do that again.
    • John+Ahlin+as+FalstaffBucket-list role: If I were forced to list my all-time bucket-list role, it would be Lear. A small portion of the rest of the list: Willie Loman, Big Daddy, Sheridan Whiteside, Walter Burns, Estragon and Mama Rose. (Note: I included Mama Rose because, in theory, after you complete your bucket list, don’t you kick the bucket? If I have one un-played role on my list, I hope to stave off the inevitable end.)
    • What's playing on your Spotify? "Levon" by Elton John, "Everybody’s Talkin’ " by Harry Nilsson, "Elusive Butterfly of Love" by Bob Lind, "Gentle on My Mind" by Glen Campbell and "And When I Die" by Blood, Sweat and Tears — my favorite band. I would call these my top-five favorite songs, and it wasn’t until this little exercise that I realized what was alike about them all: Scope. The expansive reflection on one’s life, both past and future and its echoing through time.
    • What's one thing we don't know about you? I have done Falstaff 11 times — and I’d be happy to do him 11 more times. (Pictured above right.)
    • 200 Mark Rylance. jerusalem. (Photo by Simon Annand)One time you saw greatness play out in front of you: Watching Mark Rylance in Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth was the happy confluence of seeing both the greatest performance and the greatest play I had ever witnessed, at the same time. And to see such a marvel, after my nearly four decades in show business, was more than an inspiring glimpse of what theatre can be. It was a rejuvenating experience, fueling me to go on, to keep wondering, and seeking the surprises that lurk around every corner of life. (Pictured at right: Mark Rylance in 'Jerusalem.' Photo by Simon Annand.)
    • One thing we should be doing to foster the next generation of theatregoers? This is a bit wacky, but I think everyone who makes or markets theatre should go to a Comic-Con and see the enthusiasm of the crowds of young people lining up around the outside of the convention center, and then just ponder what it is that drives these joyous fans to surrender themselves completely to the stories, characters and ambience. There are probably many revelations that can come just by thinking and wondering how to nurture, increase, reciprocate and reward fandom for theatre — and not just the young, but all theatregoers.
    • What is Native Gardens all about? Karen Zacarías' play is about a young Latino couple who move into a well-established D.C. neighborhood. Though their neighbors have the best intentions, their newly budding friendship is tested when they realize their shared property line isn’t where it’s supposed to be.
    • Why does Native Gardens matter? Native Gardens is what all good theatre should be: the lifting out of ideas and concepts intrinsic to life, to be examined in a focused and palatable way. The themes, characters, plot and style blend beautifully so that the play makes its points through behavior and not comment. This play wonderfully fulfills theatre’s purpose, where we humans gather in one big room and debate life through our stories.
    • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing Native Gardens? Someone once said “the audience is the only genius in theatre,” so what they get out of it is all that really matters. I have a feeling they will get a wonderful and funny night of theatre, but more, they will see a play that shakes preconceived notions and will cause the audience to look at something afresh, as if for the first time. And hint at avenues of hope.
    • What do you want to get off your chest? I think too many people are getting things off their chests. I’m far more interested in common ground and common pursuits.  There are an awful lot of good things to be done without all the complaints and recriminations dividing people.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    Your first look at the DCPA Theatre Company's 'Native Gardens.' Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk for the DCPA NewsCenter.) 


    Native Gardens
    : Ticket information

    NativeGardens_show_thumbnail_160x160Dealing 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 Virgina 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 play about the lines that divide us and those that connect us.

    • Presented by DCPA Theatre Company
    • Performances through May 6
    • Space Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Native Gardens:
  • Blues queen Erica Brown on taking care of our veterans

    by John Moore | Apr 18, 2018
    Quote Honorable Disorder Erica Brown Theo Wilson  Celia HerreraURBN Brands

    Erica Brown and Theo Wilson in 'Honorable Disorder.' Photo by Celia Herrera/URBN Brands.

    The new Emancipation Theater tackles the difficult issue of how we support our veterans when they return from war

    MEET ERICA BROWN
    Erica Brown, who has been called "Colorado's Queen of the Blues," plays Nancy Foster, mother of a Denver military veteran struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the new play Honorable Disorder. This is the inaugural production by the new Emancipation Theater Company, and is being hosted at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theatre. Brown, namesake of the former Erica Brown Band, has worked with some of the finest artists in the world, including B.B. King, Al Green, Delbert McClinton, Tab Benoit, Kenny Neal and, most recently, Todd Park Mohr of Big Head Todd and the Monsters

    • Dan-Treanor-Erica-Brown-Steve-Mack-Photo-01-02-2013-International-Blues-Challenge-Finals-Orpheum-Theatre-Memphis-TNHometown: Sikeston, Mo.
    • Home now: Denver
    • Training: Degree in Management from the University of Phoenix
    • What's your handle? @ericabrownenter on Twitter and @ericabrownentertainment on Instagram
    • Website: ericabrownentertainment.com (photo at right by Steve Mack)
    • Twitter-sized bio: Nerdy girl who loves the blues, history, reading, African-American science fiction and romance — and her family.
    • One role you were completely miscast for: Hasn't happened yet. I've been uniquely suited to every role I've played so far. 
    • Bucket-list role: It doesn't exist: I'd love to play a lead role as a magical teacher-mentor — who also just happens to be a witch or a sorceress —  -n a Harry Potter-style stage play with black characters fighting the forces of evil in America. Black women are not heralded enough for their lives as wise women, crones, witches and Curandera in American theatre and film, and such a production has never been put on, as far as I know.   
    • Big Mama ThorntonWhat's playing on your Spotify? Any old guard blues woman such as Koko Taylor, Big Mama Thornton (pictured right), Memphis Minnie (or Erica Brown 😊 )
    • What's one thing most people don't know about you? One of my original passions in life was to be a librarian, because I so love history. I would have made a great museum curator. I love old things.
    • One time you saw greatness play out in front of you: When my truly stage-frightened daughter stepped up to the musical plate and slayed an audience of 6,000 people singing at her first real gig — at the Telluride Blues Festival!
    • One thing we should be doing to foster the next generation of theatregoers? Let's engage them in difficult conversations through theatre. Our play Honorable Disorder has strong language and situations, but we should not necessarily shelter our youth from the realities of life. One of our attendees last weekend was a young teenager, and she absolutely loved and understood everything about our play.
    • What is Honorable Disorder all about? Honorable Disorder, written by pioneering local hip-hop and spoken-word artist Jeff Campbell, tells the story of DeShawn Foster, a native of Denver’s Five Points neighborhood and a veteran of  Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following the loss of his commanding officer and father figure, DeShawn struggles to hold on to his “Soldier’s Creed” back home in Denver.
    • Why does Honorable Disorder matter? Because we are tackling the difficult issue of how we support our veterans when they return from war. It also explores the difficulties the families of returning servicemen and women face, and the scarcity of support they receive. We also talk about and portray homelessness, drug addiction and poverty. These are important conversations that should be at the forefront of how we care for and about ourselves as a nation.
    • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing Honorable Disorder? A sincere desire to go back into their communities and make real change happen for our vets and their families and support systems. The conversations and help must be real and ongoing. They've been there for us, now it's time for us to step up and care for them.
    • What do you want to get off your chest? Let's all just try to love each other without anger, rancor and violence, please.  We can do it!

    April theatre listings: Don't pass on Fox's Passing Strange

     Honorable Disorder Erica Brown Devon James Photo by Celia HerreraURBN BrandsDenver Center Teaching Artist Devon James, left, and Erica Brown in 'Honorable Disorder.' Photo by Celia Herrera/URBN Brands.

    Honorable Disorder: Ticket information

    • Presented by Emancipation Theater Company
    • Written and directed by Jeff Campbell
    • Performances through April 29
    • At Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, 119 Park Avenue West
    • Tickets at EmancipationTheater.com
      or email emancipationtheaterco@gmail.com

    Remaining performances:

    • 8 p.m., Friday, April 20
    • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 21
    • 6 p.m., Sunday, April 22
    • 8 p.m., Friday, April 27
    • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 28
    • 6 p.m., Sunday, April 29

    Cast list:

    • Theo Wilson, Erica Brown, Chet W. Sisk, Corey Rhoads and Devon James

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    More 2017-18 'In the Spotlife' profiles:
    • Meet Elizabeth Bernhardt of Phamaly's Romeo and Juliet
    • Meet Sheryl McCallum of Aurora Fox's Passing Strange
    • Meet Brynn Tucker of Off-Center's This is Modern Art
    • Meet Gustavo Márquez of DCPA Theatre Company's Native Gardens
    • Meet Gia Valverde: DCPA Theatre Company's Native Gardens
    • Meet Jake Mendes of Off-Center's This is Modern Art
    • Meet Ilasiea L. Gray of Denver Children's Theatre's Sleeping Beauty
    • Meet Meet Jordan Baker of DCPA Theatre Company's Native Gardens
    • Meet Candy Brown of Lone Tree Arts Center's Love Letters
    • Meet Christy Brandt of Creede Rep's Arsenic and Old Lace
    • Meet Deb Persoff of Vintage Theatre's August: Osage County
    • Meet Monica Joyce Thompson of Inspire Creative’s South Pacific
    • Meet Hugo Jon Sayles of I Don't Speak English Only
    • Meet Marialuisa Burgos of I Don't Speak English Only

  • Jordan Baker of 'Native Gardens': 'It’s hard to listen when the message is a brick'

    by John Moore | Apr 04, 2018
    Jordan Baker

    From The Normal Heart to Native Gardens: Broadway star hopes new comedy can be a gateway to real understanding 

    MEET JORDAN BAKER
    Night SkyJordan Baker, who plays Virginia in the DCPA Theatre Company's upcoming Native Gardens, is best known for creating the role "C" in the New York production of Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Three Tall Women. Her Broadway credits include Garden District, Suddenly Last Summer and The Normal Heart. Off-Broadway credits include Night Sky (pictured at right, along with DCPA National Theatre Conservatory masters graduate Maria Christina Oliveras), Is Life Worth Living? and Milk. Regionally, she was in the original casts of Luna Gale at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and Appropriate (recently performed at the Curious Theatre Company) at the Humana Festival in Kentucky. Her TV and film credits include The Post, Land of Steady Habits, The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and New Adventures of Old Christine.

    • Jordan Baker. Hometown: Great Falls, Mont.
    • Home now: Los Angeles
    • Training: Associate of Arts from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York; B.A. from Smith College; M.F.A. from Rutgers University
    • What's your handle? @jordankilner on Twitter and @jordanbakerkilner on Instagram
    • Websites: JordanBaker.net, roomforthoughtnyc.com and JordanBakerKilner.Arbonne.com
    • Twitter-sized bio: Curious and breathing.
    • What would you be doing if you were not an actor? What a funny question! Who needs a career? Let’s have a life! I pursue so many things — acting does not keep me from doing so. Friends cannot believe how many things I do. So there is nothing left on the plate in my life. I am doing it all and adding adventures every day. Show me something!
    • One role you were completely miscast for: I was actually offered the role of Lynn Fontanne in Ten Chimmneys at the Cleveland Playhouse. I said, “But, she’s 5-foot-2, dark, a bird — and British! Have they taken a look at me lately?” But I took it, and it was the most creative time of my life. I love miscasting.
    • Bucket-list role: I don’t pine for roles. I see things and go there. Typically it's more about the story than my role in it.
    • One seminal experience where you saw greatness play out in front of you:
      I have seen so many transformational performances — but the one that has stuck with me recently was Springsteen on Broadway. It was totally unexpected. I am not really an avid Bruce fan, but he stood on stage with a guitar and a piano, and he talked about life and where the springsteenonbroadwaymusic came from. And when he played it — it wasn’t anything like what we know. It was pure poetry. The lyrics and music are very different without orchestration. He said it was all about us — that we should ignore him and disappear into our own story. That was deeply moving and transformative — and all the more inspiring because he not only performed it, but he lived it and wrote it.
    • Kevin KilnerSmall world: My husband is Kevin Kilner, who starred last year in the Denver Center's production of The Christians (pictured right together in a 2009 production of 'Is Life Worth Living' at the Mint Theatre in New York).
    • What are you listening to on Spotify right now? Creedence Clearwater Revival. I just rediscovered my childhood. CCR gets ya’ goin’.
    • What is Native Gardens all about? Karen Zacarías' play is about a young Latino couple who move into a well-established D.C. neighborhood. Though their neighbors have the best intentions, their newly budding friendship is tested when they realize their shared property line isn’t where it’s supposed to be.
    • Why does The Native Gardens matter? We live in a time of great chaos, anger, violence and fear, and we rage against "the other." Talking has become so difficult for this country at work and in our neighborhoods. It’s hard to listen when the message is a brick. This play uses humor to open the gates for looking at the complexity of who each of us are. There are no heroes and no losers. Everyone is so complex and different and walking many sides of the fence. If we could only just make room in the same way we would like others to make room for us ...
    • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing Native Gardens? Is there one person you are judging? Go and see if you can make room for them. You have no idea what is going on in someone else’s house. Could you make room for being more loving?
    • One thing we should be doing to foster the next generation of theatregoers? Listen to them. What do they value? Can you see where they are coming up short? What don’t they know? Tell them the truth as best you can. Nurture writers of ALL AGES. We lost so many generations during the AIDS crisis. We have not caught up.
    • What do you want to get off your chest? Stop killing children. Stop with guns. I am so grateful they are speaking out in their own defense. I come from a family of hunters, cattle ranchers and farmers in Montana. I know the importance of a gun. But what is happening now is seriously irresponsible, greedy and inhuman. It can’t just be business as usual. We have a problem. We need to adjust. We need to talk. We need to take action to protect our people. And more guns is not the answer. As a professor, I am always frightened walking on campus. I don't want a closed campus. I want to walk free. But our campus security can’t protect us from automatic weapons. Our police can’t. Take them off the market. I can’t imagine the levels of fear our children are experiencing. It is mentally harming generations to come. Listen to how other countries have dealt with the problem. There is a solution that does not need to be based in fear and hate and more weapons. We are smarter and tougher than that.
    • What's one thing we don't know about you? I couldn’t have children — and that left the door open for some unusual children to enter my life. I have mentored a DACA child for 14 years, and I have been an advocate to a young man in prison for nine years. It’s very personal, one-on-one, and while they say I have saved their lives — they have saved mine. I learn so much from them each and every day. 

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Jordan Baker. Native Gardens. John MooreJohn Ahlin and Jordan Baker make their Denver Center debuts in 'Native Gardens,' which has its first public performance on Friday (April 6). Photo by John Moore.

    Native Gardens: Ticket information
    NativeGardens_show_thumbnail_160x160Dealing 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 Virgina 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 play about the lines that divide us and those that connect us.

    • Presented by DCPA Theatre Company
    • Performances Through May 6
    • Space Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Native Gardens:
    Photos, cast list: Native Gardens draws line in the soil

    More 2017-18 'In the Spotlife' profiles:

    • Meet Jake Mendes of This is Modern Art
    • Meet Ilasiea L. Gray of Sleeping Beauty
    • Meet Candy Brown of Love Letters
    • Meet Christy Brandt of Creede Rep's Arsenic and Old Lace
    • Meet Deb Persoff of Vintage Theatre's August: Osage County
    • Meet Monica Joyce Thompson of Inspire Creative’s South Pacific
    • Meet Hugo Jon Sayles of I Don't Speak English Only
    • Meet Marialuisa Burgos of I Don't Speak English Only

  • In the Spotlife: Jake Mendes of 'This is Modern Art'

    by John Moore | Mar 30, 2018

    Jake Mendes. THIS IS MODERN ARTLakewood native Jake Mendes makes his Denver Center debut in This is Modern Art.'

    Jake Mendes glides from Hedwig glam to graffiti bomber in Off-Center's provocative new play This is Modern Art

    MEET JAKE MENDES
    2016 True West Award winner Jake Mendes, who plays Dose in Off-Center's This is Modern Art, is making his Denver Center debut. The University of Northern Colorado grad just blew the roof off the Aurora Fox starring in Hedwig and The Angry Inch. At the Arvada Center, he recently played Rueben in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Paul in A Chorus Line and he originated the role of Simon in the world premiere musical I'll Be Home For Christmas. Off Broadway, he performed in Bunnicula and Pinkalicious: The Musical. Other New York credits include Xanadu, A Man of No Importance, The Little Dog Laughed, The Normal Heart and The Drowsy Chaperone.

    • Hometown: Lakewood
    • Home now: Denver
    • What's your handle? @_jake_mendes_ on Instagram
    • What have you done for us lately? I played Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Aurora Fox
    • Twitter-sized bio: Portuguese. Virgo. Lactose Intolerant.
    • JAKE MENDES HEDWIG AURORA FOXWhat would you be doing if you were not an actor? I would be directing and choreographing. I thrive on the creation of art and collaboration with artistic minds. I feel like I can best contribute to the world around me through theatre and performing arts.
    • One role you were completely miscast for: While it was very fun … I did a spot in a web series where I had to be a hipster bro, introducing my girlfriend to my sex-obsessed, over-sharing parents for the first time.
    • Bucket-list role? I was lucky enough to cross this off of my list earlier this year when I played Hedwig with the incomparable Norrell Moore. So now I’m waiting for someone to cast me as Effie White in Dreamgirls.
    • One seminal experience where you saw greatness play out in front of you: When I saw Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart on Broadway, I had a moment where I truly understood how theatre could immediately affect people in a guttural and primitive way. At the end of the play, people were crying and hugging each other, silent. I realized then that it is truly our responsibility and privilege as performers to send our stories to people’s hearts and souls. We won’t be able to determine how they’ll  be received, but we could be the ones to provide an opportunity for an audience member to be transformed in some way.
    • Betty WhoWhat are you listening to on Spotify right now? I’m always listening to Betty Who, but I’m also really into the playlist compiled from the Netflix series “She’s Gotta Have It” right now.
    • What is This is Modern Art all about? It's based on the true story of a Chicago graffiti crew that is are willing to risk everything for their art. But when they pulled off the biggest graffiti bomb the city had ever seen, the consequences got real, and it sparked a public debate that asked where art does — and does not — belong?
    • Why does This is Modern Art Matter? This play highlights the fact that art should never be boxed into something specific. Artistic expression means different things to different people. You may like to experience different forms of art, but one will never be better than the other.
    • Jake Mendes THIS IS MODERN ARTWhat do you hope audiences get out of seeing This is Modern Art? At the very least, I hope their eyes will be more open to the beautiful and illustrious street art culture that is exploding in Denver.
    • One thing we should be doing to foster the next generation of theatregoers? We need to encourage people to listen, and to be open and honest. Whether you’re listening to a performance, listening to your castmates on stage with you, listening to what your director is saying … listening to your own heart and soul. Listening, honesty and openness all help to foster a sense of trust, which cultivates one’s ability to take risks and create dynamic, life-changing experiences.
    • What do you want to get off your chest? Dear Dad, I got my nose pierced… I’ve been keeping it hidden for a few months… sorry.
    • What's one thing we don't know about you? I’m a certified Pre-Natal and Post Partum Personal Trainer.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    This is Modern ArtThis is Modern Art
    : Ticket information

    • Presented by Off-Center
    • Performances through April 15
    • Jones Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Written by Kevin Coval and Idris Goodwin
    • Directed by Idris Goodwin
    • Featuring Robert Lee Hardy, John Jurcheck, Brynn Tucker, Jake Mendes, Chloe McLeod and Marco Robinson
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of This is Modern Art:
    This is Modern Art will make you look
    Idris Goodwin is going places: From Curious' Detroit '67 to Denver Center
    Graffiti: Modern art or 'urban terrorism'?
    Vast and visceral: Off-Center season will include This is Modern Art

    More 2017-18 'In the Spotlife' profiles:

    • Meet Ilasiea L. Gray of Sleeping Beauty
    • Meet Candy Brown of Love Letters
    • Meet Christy Brandt of Creede Rep's Arsenic and Old Lace
    • Meet Deb Persoff of Vintage Theatre's August: Osage County
    • Meet Monica Joyce Thompson of Inspire Creative’s South Pacific
    • Meet Hugo Jon Sayles of I Don't Speak English Only
    • Meet Marialuisa Burgos of I Don't Speak English Only

  • Meet Denver's Jack Stephens of 'ELF the Musical'

    by John Moore | Dec 15, 2017
    Jack Stephens Elf

    Jack Stephens of Eaglecrest High School is the Company Manager for the national touring production of 'ELF The Musical,' visiting the Buell Theatre through Sunday (Dec. 17).


    MEET JACK STEPHENS
    Company manager of ELF The Musical, playing through Sunday, Dec. 17, at the Buell Theatre. He was the Company Manager for the Blue Man Group when it visited Denver in 2014    

    • Hometown: Denver
    • Home now: The road
    • High school: Eaglecrest in Aurora
    • Training: University of Colorado Denver
    • What's your handle? @sirjackstephens on Instagram
    • What's playing on your your Spotify? Adam Young's various "film scores." Known more popularly as "Owl City," he set out on a project last year to compose one film score per month. And he did it. The scores are for films that don't really exist —  but as you listen, you can imagine those cinematic visions playing out before you. And the sheer scope of his project speaks to his talent and proclivity as a musician.
    • One thing we don't know about you: Even if I see a large, scary spider, or some similar creepy thing, crawling around my house, i can't bear to harm them, so I catch and release.
    • How should we nurture the next generation of theatregoers? I'd love to see shows get back to "event theatre." In the 1990s in particular, when a big Broadway show came to town, it was a real event. Audiences were exposed to all sorts of fascinating behind-the-scenes information on how the show was created. Also, having quality, affordable theatre — even on a small scale, where storytelling is strong and one's imagination muscles are flexed. Making theatre available to a diverse array of audiences is important. 
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of seeing ELF The Musical? I hope our show puts them in the Christmas spirit, and I hope it reminds everyone to prioritize the important things in life. 
    • One thing you want to get off your chest: It is unwise and unfair to make broad, sweeping generalizations about groups or types of people based upon the actions or behaviors of only a few. I so wish more people in our government and in our society could understand this idea. 

    Read our 2014 interview with Jack Stephens

    ELF The Musical: Ticket information
    elfAt a glance: Based on the beloved 2003 film, ELF The Musical is a modern day Christmas classic that is sure to make everyone embrace their inner ELF. Variety proclaims, “ELF is happy enough for families, savvy enough for city kids and plenty smart for adults."

    • National touring production
    • Performances through Dec. 17
    • Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Tickets start at $25
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here
    • ASL Interpreted, Audio-Described and Open Captioned Performance: Dec. 16, 3 p.m.

    ELF The Musical. Jeremy Daniel Photography. The cast of 'ELF The Musical,' which comes to Denver's Buell Theatre from Dec. 13-17. Jeremy Daniel Photography.


    Previous NewsCenter coverage of ELF The Musical
    :
    How ELF became an instant holiday tradition on stage and scree

    More 2017-18 'In the Spotlife' profiles:
    Meet Katie Drinkard of Off-Center's The Wild Party
    Meet Hugo Jon Sayles of Su Teatro's I Don't Speak English Only
    Meet Autumn Hurlbert of Something Rotten!
    Meet Zak Reynolds of DCPA Education's The Snowy Day
    Meet Rachel Kae Taylor of DCPA Education's The Snowy Day
    Meet Christy Brandt of Creede Rep's Arsenic and Old Lace
    Meet Deb Persoff of Vintage Theatre's August: Osage County
    Meet Monica Joyce Thompson of Inspire Creative’s South Pacific

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Meet Katie Drinkard of 'The Wild Party'

    by John Moore | Oct 22, 2017
    A katie-drinkard

    Katie Drinkard, above, attended ThunderRidge High School in Highlands Ranch. Photo by Adams VisCom.


    MEET KATIE DRINKARD
    Mae in The Wild Party, playing through Oct. 31 under the hanger at the Stanley Marketplace.   

    A katie-drinkard 200At the Denver Center: Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking. Recent regional credits include Million Dollar Quartet at Totem Pole Playhouse and Chasing Rainbows at Flat Rock Playhouse. Off-Broadway: Far From Canterbury at Soho Playhouse.

    • Hometown: Highlands Ranch
    • Home now: New York
    • High school: ThunderRidge
    • Training: I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ithaca College in New York
    • Twitter-sized bio: Comically verbose avocado enthusiast often found in the process of dropping or spilling something.
    • What's your handle? @katiedrinkard on Twitter and Instagram
    • Web site? katiedrinkard.com
    • What do you be doing if you were not an actor? I am a true-crime junkie and aficionado, so perhaps something in the realm of private investigator or criminal psychologist. If only I got paid for the embarrassing number of hours I’ve already spent going down various internet rabbit holes compiling my own research and theories on countless forensic cases.
    • A Laurie Metcalf 200One time you saw greatness play out in front of you: Laurie Metcalf in A Doll’s House Part 2 on Broadway (pictured right). Oh wait, no. Cynthia Erivo in The Color Purple. I am riddled with indecision. I can’t stick with one answer. I will describe both in tandem: These women changed the molecules in the air with their performances. As an audience member, you felt the room become so still and you could feel everyone listening with their entire bodies. The command, the power, the humanity and the magic harnessed and delivered from these two women was nothing short of intoxicating to witness.
    • Bucket-list role: I change my mind on this bi-weekly, but at the moment it’s Mama Rose in Gypsy. I know, I have to wait about 30 years, but one day everything’s gonna come up roses for me.
    • One time you were totally miscast: I played the elderly and racist Mrs. Dubose in To Kill a Mockingbird in high school, and I played another ancient woman in the ensemble of The Light in the Piazza at Ithaca College. What can I say? I’ve got a convincing and compelling old-lady gait.
    • What's playing on your your Spotify? Phoebe BridgersStrangers in the Alps album.
    • How should we should foster the next generation of theatregoers? We need to work harder to reach disenfranchised communities. We need to continue to foster outreach programs that bring the arts and live-theatre experiences to every young person.
    • Katie-Drinkard-with-mom-Celeste. Photo by John MooreOne thing we don't know about you: I was born in England!
    • Why does The Wild Party matter? Like all great theatrical endeavors, The Wild Party provides compelling insight into human nature. We see complex, fascinating people dealing with pain, inner turmoil, secrets and indiscretion. We see people projecting the versions of themselves they want the world and their community to see, and we also get to see people without all the glitz and glamour at their most raw and carnal. I think that matters.
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of this play? That they find pieces of themselves in these 15 characters. I hope they leave feeling like they have been truly immersed in a wild evening of fun and debauchery. I hope they leave ruminating on the masks they might wear in their own lives.
    • One thing you want to get off your chest: I have a hard time trusting anyone who enjoys the taste of Marmite.

    Pictured above right: Katie Drinkard her with her mother, Celeste, at the 'Wild Party' opening-night celebration. Photo by John Moore

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    The Wild Party: Ticket information
    The Wild PartyAt  a glance: You’re invited to leave your inhibitions (and Prohibitions) behind as you join a decadent party in the Roaring Twenties, brought to you by the producers of Sweet & Lucky. 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 gin-soaked immersive musical is the bee’s knees.

    • Music and Lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa
    • Book by Michael John LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe
    • Based on the poem by Joseph Moncure March
    • Through Oct. 31, only
    • At The Hangar at Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St.
    • Visit the official Wild Party web site
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here
    Previous NewsCenter coverage of The Wild Party:

    First look at video and photos from The Wild Party
    2017 Colorado Fall Theatre Preview: Meet Emily Van Fleet
    Cast list: Look who's been invited to The Wild Party
    Off-Center throwing a Wild Party at Stanley Marketplace this fall
    The Wild Party: Five things we learned at first rehearsal
    Vast and visceral: 2017-18 Theatre Company, Off-Center seasons announced

    More 2017-18 'In the Spotlife' profiles:
    Meet Hugo Jon Sayles of Su Teatro's I Don't Speak English Only
    Meet Autumn Hurlbert of Something Rotten!
    Meet Zak Reynolds of DCPA Education's The Snowy Day
    Meet Rachel Kae Taylor of DCPA Education's The Snowy Day
    Meet Christy Brandt of Creede Rep's Arsenic and Old Lace
    Meet Deb Persoff of Vintage Theatre's August: Osage County
    Meet Monica Joyce Thompson of Inspire Creative’s South Pacific

  • Meet Autumn Hurlbert of 'Something Rotten!'

    by John Moore | Oct 18, 2017
    AUTUMN HURLBERT. Something Rotten

    Autumn Hurlbert of the national touring cast of 'Something Rotten!' attended college in Greeley.


    MEET AUTUMN HURLBERT
    Portia in 'Something Rotten!,' playing through Oct. 29 in the Buell Theatre.  

    AUTUMN HURLBERT On Broadway: Legally Blonde. First National Tour: Little Women. Selected Off-Broadway/Regional: Nobody Loves You (Second Stage), A Taste of Things To Come (York Theater Company), The Last Five Years (ACT Lousiville), Private Lives (Shakespeare Theatre Company, Huntington Theatre Company), every tongue confess (Arena Stage), Les Miserables and Evita (Pioneer Theater). Film/TV: “The Sound of Music, Live!,” “Legally Blonde: The Search For Elle Woods,” Sudden Death!, Research.

    • Hometown: I was born in Montana, and that's where most of my family lives now.
    • Home now: I have lived in New York City for almost 15 years now ... longer than anywhere else.
    • Training: I have a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theater from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
    • AUTUMN HURLBERT. Twitter-sized bio: Performer, mommy, wife, yogi, explorer, rule-breaker, wannabe political-science expert, musician ... and a silly, life-loving adventurer. 
    • What's your handle? @autumnhurlbert on Twitter and Instagram
    • What do you be doing if you were not an actor? Ooh! I would pursue a profession in some form of social advocacy: Social work, animal rescue, public school after-school programs, something along those lines. I feel that my purpose here on Earth is to empathize and help others in any possible way I can. Or ... this is weird, but I would totally be an aesthetician. I would love to give people facials!
    • One time you saw greatness play out in front of you: One of the most transformative theater experiences I witnessed was Coram Boy (which on Broadway featured former longtime DCPA Theatre Company member Jacqueline Antaramian). It was an epic adventure that addressed child cruelty in the 18th Century. It was unlike anything I had ever seen, and it took my breath away. It was a huge production, but it had these beautiful, nuanced themes that I still think about. It closed much too soon and I am sad more people didn’t get to experience it. It was sad and magical and mind-blowing.
    • Bucket-list role: There are so many great roles I would love to tackle, but my No. 1 dream is to originate a role on Broadway. I love the creative process, and I really hope some day I can put my stamp on a role that future musical theater comediennes will conquer with their own interpretations.
    • One time you were totally miscast: I played one of the urchins in a production of Little Shop of Horrors at a community theater in Arizona. I sang the crap out of it, but it was definitely three white girls playing the urchins. Miscast!
    • alabamashakesWhat's playing on your your Spotify? I am currently obsessed with Alabama Shakes. They have been around for a while, but - man! - their music makes me feel the feels. I also really love Big Boi’s album, Big Boi Boomiverse. He calls himself an old-school rapper, but he says, 'I can lay down all of these new sounds and make them my own.' It’s an eclectic and fun album.
    • How should we should foster the next generation of theatregoers? I think arts education is the most important avenue, not only for nurturing future theatregoers, but also for making the world a better place. The arts teach empathy  and inclusiveness. The arts challenge and enhance your world view and your ability to participate in an ever-changing and evolving world. Studies have shown that children who play musical instruments are better at math. The arts are everything. (But I am totally not biased, am I?)
    • One thing we don't know about you: I have my toddler and my husband on tour with me. We are a like a traveling family band. We are living our gypsy spirit dreams!
    • Why does Something Rotten! matter? Our motto for this tour is: “Make America Laugh Again." Something Rotten! offers an escape from the stress and worry of daily life. One of the main themes is “To thine own self be true." That is a courageous and beautiful mission for anyone to live by. And we exemplify how to do that through comedy. Laughter is a necessity in life, in my opinion.
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of this play? I hope they walk out with their cheeks and bellies sore from laughing. I hope the love we have for each other on stage is felt in the audience — you are our final cast member.
    • One thing you want to get off your chest: Please, please, make fanny packs go away for good. They really don’t look good on anyone. ANYONE. 😜

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Something Rotten!: Ticket information
    Something Rotten!At a glance: Set in 1595, this hit musical comedy  tells the story of two brothers who set out to write the world's very first musical. It was called  'The Producers + Spamalot + The Book of Mormon. Squared,' by New York Magazine. The New York Post called Something Rotten! 'a big, fat hit.'

    • National touring production
    • Performances Oct. 17-29
    • Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Tickets start at $25
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Sales to groups of 10 or more click here
    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Something Rotten! (to date)
    Something old, something new, something borrowed and Something Rotten!
    Go to the Something Rotten! show page
  • Rachel Kae Taylor of 'The Snowy Day' on the magic of being a kid

    by John Moore | Oct 11, 2017
    RachelKaeTaylor


    MEET RACHEL KAE TAYLOR
    Actor, Teaching Artist and Puppet Designer Rachel Kae Taylor is one of three ensemble members in DCPA Education's The Snowy Day and Other Stories, by Ezra Jack Keats, playing through Nov. 18 in the Conservatory Theatre. She plays Archie, Amy, Mom and other roles.

    At the Denver Center: The Servant of Two Masters, One Foot on the Floor and A Christmas Carol. Other theatres: Touch the Names (Ensemble Studio Theatre N.Y., Cleveland Play House); The Good Woman of Setzuan, 5th of July (National Theatre Conservatory).

    • Hometown: Denver
    • Training: University of Colorado, MFA from the Denver Center's National Theatre Conservatory (pictured below right with Patrick Goss in 'The Fifth of July'.)
    • Rachel Kae Taylor and Patrick Goss in The Fifth of JulyTwitter-sized bio: Mom of the coolest 14-year-old on the planet. Visual artist. Zombie fanatic. Ghost-story addict. Baseball lover. Doing my part to keep 80s alternative music alive. Undefeated at Tetris.
    • Web site? rkaetaylor.com and CupOfTwigs on ETSY
    • What was the role that changed your life? This is a tough one because I think every role changes your life in some way, and it should.
    • What would you be doing if you were not an actor? I actually have my dream career as a Teaching Artist and At-Risk Coordinator for DCPA Education. I have the privilege of teaching and developing theater arts programing for underserved communities and Title One schools across Colorado. If I hadn’t gone into the arts, I would have been an anthropologist or forensic sculptor. I am the biggest geek for all things science. Humans are endlessly fascinating.
    • RachelKaeTaylor Larry Hecht 160Ideal scene partner? Larry Hecht (pictured right), the former head of adult acting at the DCPA. He could literally wizard things out of you. Things you had no idea you could do or be.
    • Why does The Snowy Day matter? Ezra Jack Keats was such a groundbreaker in terms of social awareness in children’s literature, in a quiet and beautiful way.  For a child to be able to read a story and say “Hey, they look like me!’ is a very powerful thing. I remember the first time it happened to me to this day.
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of this play? I hope that for adults it is a reminder of how truly beautiful the simple things in a life are. Whether it is the wonder of a new snowfall, or having your heart flutter for the first time, or little acts of bravery, it’s easy to forget sometimes in our adult lives how magical these moments are. I hope that the kids find themselves within the characters and their discoveries about the world around them. If it is their first time at the theater, I hope they fall madly in love with it, like I did.
    • Finish this sentence: "All I want is ..."
      " ... to live my favorite quote, which I saw spray-painted on a door in Queens: “Art changes people, and people change the world.’ "

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    Rachel Kae Taylor. AdamsVisCom. The Smowy DayThe cast of 'The Snowy Day Other Stories,' from left: Rachel Kae Taylor, Robert Lee Hardy and Zak Reynolds. Photo by Adams VisCom for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Previous NewsCenter coverage of The Snowy Day and Other Stories

    First rehearsal photos: Forecast calls for a Snowy Day at DCPA
    DCPA Education to launch Theatre for Young Audiences
    Meet Zak Reynolds of The Snowy Day, 'a fan of being happy'

    The Snowy Day and Other Stories: Ticket information
    Snowy DayFrom the joys of a first snowfall and learning how to whistle to thrilling encounters delivering a precious invitation, the delightful moments of childhood are perfectly captured in this medley of simple, sweet stories.

    • Written by Ezra Jack Keats; adapted for the stage by Jerome Hairston
    • Performances through Nov. 18
    • School performances: Weekdays 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. (except Thursdays are at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.)
    • Public performances: 1:30 p.m. Saturdays
    • Conservatory Theatre, located in the Robert and Judi Newman Center for Theatre Education, 1101 13th St.
    • Tickets $10 (discounts and scholarships available)
    • Best suited for: Pre-K through third grade
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Teachers: Inquire by clicking here or calling 303-446-4829
  • Meet Zak Reynolds of 'The Snowy Day': 'A fan of being happy'

    by John Moore | Sep 21, 2017
    Zak Reynolds, Rachel Kae Taylor and Robert Lee Hardy. Snowy Day.

    The cast of 'The Snowy Day Other Stories,' from left: Zak Reynolds, Rachel Kae Taylor and Robert Lee Hardy. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    MEET ZAK REYNOLDS
    Zak Reynolds is one of three ensemble members in DCPA Education's The Snowy Day and Other Stories, by Ezra Jack Keats, playing through Nov. 18 in the Conservatory Theatre, located in the Newman Center for Theatre Education. 

    At the Denver Center: Debut. National tours: A Year with Frog and Toad. Regional: World premiere of Bella: An American Tall Tale (Dallas Theater Center); Spamalot, Les Miserables, Schoolhouse Rock Live! (Casa Mañana), Go Dog, Go!, Skippy Jon Jones, A Wrinkle in Time (Dallas Children's Theater), Dogfight (WaterTower Theater), The Liar, Less Than Kind (Theatre 3). Named Best Actor 2014 by D Magazine.

    • Zak Reynolds. Snowy DayHometown: Fort Worth, Texas
    • Training: Circle in the Square Theatre School, New York
    • Twitter-sized bio: I am always psyched to be consistently moving and working on something new or innovative. Challenging myself keeps me on my toes. I’m a fan of forming new relationships. I love being happy, and I feel that I can be a role model for young actors looking to find their own light, whether in theater or any other lifestyle.
    • What was the role that changed your life? When I did Dogfight at the WaterTower Theater, it was a difficult time for me. I had just joined the union at the beginning of that year, and began to lose my hair due to Alopecia right before the production went into rehearsals. That role challenged me to stay patient with my aspirations because no matter what I looked like on stage, hair or no hair, I knew I still could be successful, even with mental barricades in the way. It took a while to be comfortable, but looking back on that time it is something that I will never forget, and I am now grateful for.
    • Why are you an actor? Acting is a way to be free for a few hours a day. It takes me out of whatever I may be facing in real life and lets me portray another set of challenges in someone else’s shoes. It’s so rewarding to expose theater to children. I grew up around a theatrical family. It is in my blood to make sure future generations are just as inspired by theatre as I was.
    • What do you be doing if you were not an actor? I’m always up for the service industry. As crazy as this might sound, I love the high-end restaurant world. Or I would be a nurse. A nurse would be neat.
    • Ideal scene partner? Alan Langdon. When I went to school at Circle in the Square, he was always the teacher I never understood completely but I feel like I didn’t free myself enough to the work as much as I wanted to at 18 years old. He questioned every single moment of my scene work, no matter the text. He was definitely a mentor who challenged all of my senses, and I thrived.
    • Why does The Snowy Day matter? Because even though a kid might be timid or a little less animated than others it’s totally OK to be that way - and also have tons of fun. Peter is a kid who wants to go on adventures and play all of the time, but he still has a quiet, thoughtful side to him. We can all connect with learning how to whistle or finding out who our first crush is. No matter how hard a journey may be, this is a story that shows everything ends up just fine.
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of this play? I want them to feel chills leaving the theater, having seen something they might never have seen before. I hope they all feel connected by the notion of learning to whistle or dealing with mom making you put on your PJs. As long as they connect in some way, then we actors have done a great job.
    • Finish this sentence: "All I want is ..."
      " ... for people to chill out, look on the bright side of life, and know that someone is always there for you when hard times arise."

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of The Snowy Day and Other Stories

    First rehearsal photos: Forecast calls for a Snowy Day at DCPA
    DCPA Education to launch Theatre for Young Audiences

    The Snowy Day and Other Stories: Ticket information
    Snowy DayFrom the joys of a first snowfall and learning how to whistle to thrilling encounters delivering a precious invitation, the delightful moments of childhood are perfectly captured in this medley of simple, sweet stories.

    • Written by Ezra Jack Keats; adapted for the stage by Jerome Hairston
    • Performances through Nov. 18
    • School performances: Weekdays 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. (except Thursdays are at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.)
    • Public performances: 1:30 p.m. Saturdays
    • Conservatory Theatre, located in the Robert and Judi Newman Center for Theatre Education, 1101 13th St.,
    • Tickets $10 (discounts and scholarships available)
    • Best suited for: Pre-K through third grade
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Teachers: Inquire by clicking here or calling 303-446-4829
  • In the Spotlife: Tim Howard of 'The Producers'

    by John Moore | Jun 19, 2017

     


    MEET TIM HOWARD     
    Leo Bloom in Breckenridge Backstage Theater's 'The Producers,' running through Aug. 6. In 2014, Howard won a DCPA True West Award for his work in Town Hall Arts Center's 'How to Succeed in Business...'

  • Tim HowardHometown: Denver
  • Home now: Arvada
  • High school: Littleton High School
  • College: Five Towns College (Long Island, N.Y.)
  • What have you done for us lately? I played Clyde Barrow in Town Hall Arts Center's Bonnie & Clyde.
  • What's next? I will be playing Drew in Rock of Ages at BDT Stage
  • What's your handle? @timothybrooks88 on Instagram
  • Twitter-sized bio: Currently enjoying the last year of my 20s. Hate adulting. Enjoy the outdoors and going on adventures. Usually, adventures start or end with my friends saying: "Tim, don't!" Or: "I do not want to take you to the hospital." But I'm still here (because of my friends). Love to go camping, hiking and backpacking. When I was 9, I got involved with The Academy of Theater Arts (ATA) and played there until I was 18 and have been involved with theater ever since. Someday I would love to have the means to travel. But on an actors salary ... hah!
  • The role that changed your life: I played Leo Bloom once before, five years ago at the Town Hall Arts Center. Before that, I was often cast in the ensemble or as a secondary character. I grew up with Paul Dwyer teaching me comedy and being cast as the comic relief and a lot of very fun character roles at ATA. Matt Dailey was always the leading man opposite Melissa Benoist. Paul, who co-directed the shows with Alann Worley, always said, "Matt got the girl, but Tim got the audience." Once I was given the opportunity to play Leo, I was suddenly seen as a leading man. It changed how I looked at roles. It wasn't always comedy, and I found myself getting more passionate about the "acting" part of musical theater.
  • Robin WilliamsIdeal scene partner: I have always wanted to act on stage with Robin Williams. He was such an inspiration to me growing up. He had such a knack for it. I wanted to be him. One thing that made me admire him even more was that he was an incredible actor as well. He understood emotion. Everything he did was so natural and real. Every role I take on, I try to be the kind of actor he would be proud to work next to.
  • What is The Producers all about? Max Bialystock, a has-been Broadway producer, can't seem to produce a hit. He meets a timid accountant named Leo Bloom who discovers (in theory) that a producer could make more money with a flop than a hit. Together they hatch a scheme to produce "the worst musical ever written": Springtime for Hitler. Everything does not go as planned, and they find themselves in a lot of awkward and funny situations.
  • Tell us about the challenge of playing this role: Leo Bloom is the shy, timid, mousy accountant who plays by the rules but has a secret desire to be a Broadway producer. He slowly comes out of his shell and finds there is more to him than even he knew there was.  When I played this role before five years ago, I found Leo to be pretty much like who I was then. I had just come back from college, and Denver theater wasn't the same as I remembered it. I was getting to know new people, and I wasn't ready to let them in. In that production, it was very easy to understand Leo. Fast-forward five years: I just finished Bonnie and Clyde. I was playing a character who was confident, spoke his mind, knew who he was and how to follow his dreams. Clyde, unlike Leo, wouldn’t let anything get in the way. I now identify with Clyde more than Leo, so I have found it difficult to transition from one back to the other. However, this challenge is allowing me to find a new take on Leo, and I have more of an understanding about his journey toward self-confidence.
  • More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing your show? I hope they laugh. Laughter is, as they say, the best medicine. This is a musical adaptation of the 1967 Mel Brooks hit, The Producers. Brooks even wrote the music, so how can you not laugh? I hope every audience leaves feeling happy. It's a great show to see if you are having a rough day and need a break from the outside world. On a more serious note, I hope they leave knowing that even when everything in your life goes wrong, you can always find a way through and have a happy ending.
  • What's one thing people might not know about you? I don't volunteer or do good deeds like everyone thinks I do. I watch a lot of Netflix and drink beer instead. But, when I was 7, I was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome. People don’t usually believe me when I tell them. It was a very tough time for me. I was bullied and made fun of a lot. A few years later I got into theater, and that changed my life. Throughout my school years, I was still picked on, but because of my comedy training, I knew how to handle it. I like to think theater is the reason my tics went away. Tourette's is still a part of me, but no one can tell.
  • What do you want to get off your chest? I am passionate about brewing beer. We live in a state where craft beers are a growing art form. Right now I have a Kiwi Wit beer in fermentation and I'm looking forward to sharing it with my Producers cast in Breckenridge.

  • Tim Howard. Scott Rathbun.Scott Rathbun, left, with Tim Howard in Backstage Breckenridge's 'The Producers.' 



    The Producers: Ticket information

    • Written by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan
    • Directed by Robert Michael Sanders
    • Through Aug. 6
    • 121 S. Ridge St., Brekenridge MAP IT
    • Tickets $23-$39
    • For tickets, call 970-453-0199 or go to backstagetheatre.org


    Remaining performance schedule:
    • Sunday, June 18, 6:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, June 24, 7:30 p.m.
    • Sunday, June 25, 6:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday, June 28, 7:30 p.m.
    • Thursday, June 29, 7:30 p.m.
    • Friday, June 30, 7:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, July 1, 7:30 p.m.
    • Sunday, July 2, 6:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday, July 5, 7:30 p.m.
    • Sunday, July 9, 6:30 p.m.
    • Friday, July 14, 7:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, July 15, 7:30 p.m.
    • Thursday July 20, 7:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, July 22, 7:30 p.m.
    • Sunday, July 23, 6:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday, July 26, 7:30 p.m.
    • Friday, July 28, 7:30 p.m.
    • Sunday, July 30, 6:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday, August 2, 7:30 p.m.
    • Friday, August 4, 7:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, August 5, 7:30 p.m.
    • Sunday, August 6, 6:30 p.m.

    Cast list:

    Tim Howard
    Scott Rathbun
    Colby Dunn
    Brian Jackson
    Christopher Willard
    Josh Rigo
    Barret Harper
    Stephanie Hesse
    Jessica Hindsley
    Kaitlyn Althoff
    Rose Metcalf
    Mary McGroary
    Cole Mitchell
    Alissa Robinson
    Eli Stewart
    Connor Sullivan

    More 'In the Spotlife' profiles:
    Meet Lauren Bahlman of Wide-Eyed West's theMumblings
    Meet Jack Barton of BDT Stage's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    Meet the ensemble of Buntport Theater's The Crud
    Meet Mark Collins of And Toto Too's Lost Creatures
    Meet Carley Cornelius of Colorado Springs TheatreWorks' Constellations
    Meet Emily Paton Davies of Miners Alley Playhouse's God of Carnage
    Meet Kelsey Didion of Curious Theatre's Constellations
    Meet Denise Freestone of OpenStage's August: Osage County
    Meet Ethelyn Friend of ________________, An Opera
    Meet Sam Gregory of the Arvada Center's Tartuffe
    Meet Emily K. Harrison of She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchange
    Meet John Hauser of Curious Theatre's Hand to God
    Meet Haley Hunsaker of Funky Little Theatre Company's Extremities
    Meet Jim Hunt of Buntport's The Zeus Problem
    Meet Jeff Jesmer of Spotlight Theatre's The Crucible
    Meet Wayne Kennedy of BDT Stage's Mid-Life 2
    Meet Carla Kaiser Kotrc of Miners Alley Playhouse's A Skull in Connemara
    Meet Heather Lacy of the Aurora Fox's Priscilla Queen of the Desert
    Meet Seth Maisel of Town Hall Arts Center's The Firestorm
    Meet Tim McCracken of Local Theatre's The Firestorm
    Meet Tamara Meneghini of The Last Testament of Mary
    Meet Angela Mendez of Beauty and the Beast
    Meet Joelle Montoya of Su Teatro's El Sol Que Tu Eres
    Meet Rebekah Ortiz of The Robber Bridegroom
    Meet Anne Oberbroeckling of Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Ripcord
    Meet Jessica Robblee of Buntport Theatre for All Ages' Siren Song: A Pirate Odyssey
    Meet Cory Sapienza of Miners Alley Playhouse's Hir
    Meet Sean Scrutchins of the Arvada Center's Bus Stop
    Meet Lauren Shealy of Lone Tree Arts Center's Evita
    Meet Jane Shirley of The Avenue's Santa's Big Red Sack
    Meet Marc Stith of Benchmark Theatre's The Nether
    Meet Peter Trinh of the Aurora Fox's Chinglish
    Meet Petra Ulyrich of Germinal Stage-Denver's Johnny Got His Gun
    Meet Megan Van De Hey of the Arvada Center's Sister Act
    Meet Sharon Kay White of the Arvada Center's I'll Be Home for Christmas
    Meet Adriane Wilson of Miners Alley Playhouse's Cabaret

  • Meet the Cast: Erin Rubico of 'The Secret Garden'

    by John Moore | May 27, 2017
    Erin Rubico. The Secret Garden. Bamboo Booth of Denver.

    Opening night of the DCPA Theatre Company's 'The Secret Garden.' Photo by Bamboo Booth of Denver.


    MEET ERIN RUBICO
    Swing in The Secret Garden, the classic story of the 10-year-old orphan girl doomed to a life of isolation with her uncle in England until she uncovers the key to her late aunt’s long-lost garden. It plays through May 28 in the Stage Theatre.

    Erin Rubico quoteAt the Theatre Company: Debut. Erin most recently appeared as Marian Paroo in The Music Man at Flat Rock (N.C.) Playhouse. Other regional credits include Fiddler on the Roof (Tzeitel), Les Miserables (Fantine), Nine (Stephanie Necrophorus), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Smitty), and 9 to 5 (Maria Delgado).

    • Hometown: Dartmouth, Mass..
    • Training: BA in Theatre and Speech from Wagner College in New York City
    • Web site: erinrubico.com
    • Twitter and Instagram: @erinrubico
    • What was the role that changed your life? Playing a soldier/munchkin in an unlicensed production of The Wizard of Oz in fourth grade definitely takes the cake. If you can get through that, you can get through anything.
    • Why are you an actor? I love to tell stories, and the way that theater can convey those stories directly into the hearts of the audience is pure magic. You will definitely feel that when you see The Secret Garden.
    • What do you be doing if you were not an actor? I think I would be an editor. I am very detail-oriented (which sure comes in handy being a swing), and absolutely love to play around with language. I have been known to play many a game of Scrabble in our Green Room during intermission.
    • Erin Rubico maggie smithIdeal scene partner? I recently watched the film version of The Secret Garden, and I forgot how marvelous Maggie Smith was as Mrs. Medlock. She is such a powerhouse, I would absolutely love to work a scene with her.
    • Why does The Secret Garden matter? One of the quotes associated with our show has really stuck with me through our entire process: "Hope is powerful magic." Hope is easy to lose sight of, as we see with Mary at the beginning of the play. But even the smallest spark can unlock our deepest potential for connection and love. This musical reminds audiences how vital it is that we keep hope alive.
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of this play? I want them to leave the garden believing in their own power. We all have the ability to nurture and care for even the thorniest roses among us, and this musical truly inspires us all to use that power to find the magic within each other and ourselves.
    • Finish this sentence: "All I want is ..."
      " ... Compassion, compassion, compassion."

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    The Secret Garden: Ticket information
    The Secret GardenThe beloved classic blossoms anew in this enchanting musical full of beautiful melodies. When young Mary uncovers the key to her late aunt’s long-lost garden, she becomes determined to revive the beauty that once flourished.
    Book and lyrics by Marsha Norman; music by Lucy Simon;
    based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

    Through May 28
    Stage Theatre
    Denver Performing Arts Complex
    303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

    Previous coverage of The Secret Garden:
    Photos: Marsha Norman visits DCPA's The Secret Garden
    Denver Post
    review: A worthy, family-friendly and satisfying theatrical experience
    Video: How does our Secret Garden grow?
    Photos, video: Your first look at The Secret Garden
    Five things we learned at first rehearsal
    Five things we learned at Perspectives
    2016-17 season: Nine shows, two world premieres, return to classics

    More 2016-17 'Meet the Cast' profiles:
    Vandit Bhatt, Disgraced
    Steven J. Burge, An Act of God
    Liam Craig, The Book of Will
    Aubrey Deeker, The Glass Menagerie
    Thaddeus Fitzpatrick, Frankenstein
    Meridith C. Grundei, Frankenstein
    Steven Cole Hughes, An Act of God
    Sullivan Jones, Frankenstein
    Mark Junek, Frankenstein
    Dorien Makhloghi, Disgraced
    Charlie Korman, Frankenstein
    Jennifer Le Blanc, The Book of Will
    Cajardo Lindsey, The Christians
    Rodney Lizcano, The Book of Will
    Wesley Mann, The Book of Will
    Zoe Manarel, The Secret Garden
    Robert Montano, Two Degrees
    Amelia Pedlow, The Glass Menagerie
    Benjamin Pelteson, Disgraced
    Daniel Plimpton, The Secret Garden
    Sean Reda, The Secret Garden
    Jessica Robblee, Frankenstein
    Erik Sandvold, An Act of God
    John Skelley, The Glass Menagerie
    Kim Staunton, Two Degrees

    Regina Steffen, The Secret Garden

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Meet the Cast: Sean Reda of 'The Secret Garden'

    by John Moore | May 26, 2017
    The Secret Garden. Sean Reda-photo-credit-adamsviscom

    Sean Reda, who plays Colin Craven, is an un-craven New York Yankees fan. 'The Secret Garden' plays through May 28. Photo by Adams VisCom.


    MEET SEAN REDA
    Colin Craven in The Secret Garden, the classic story of the 10-year-old orphan girl doomed to a life of isolation with her uncle in England until she uncovers the key to her late aunt’s long-lost garden. It plays through May 28 in the Stage Theatre.

    A The Secret Garden 500 Sean Reda-photo-credit-adamsviscomAt the Theatre Company: Debut. Broadway credits include Les Miserables and Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Tour credits include Radio City Christmas Spectacular and Beauty and the Beast. Film: I Smile Back.

    • Hometown: Montebello, N.Y.
    • School: I am in the seventh grade at Suffern Middle School
    • What was the role that changed your life? Playing Chip in the national touring production of Beauty and the Beast. It was my first professional role. I got to travel to so many cities and states and meet so many incredible people. Also, being part of the Disney “magic” was amazing, especially since I was only 7 years old. I got this funny feeling inside my stomach that made me feel really great, and I wanted to do it again and again.
    • Why are you an actor? Because it’s fun! I have met and made friends with so many wonderful and talented people. Acting brings me joy.
    • What do you be doing if you were not an actor? I would be doing sports. My favorite sport is baseball. My favorite team is the New York Yankees.
    • Walton-Emily-March2017Ideal scene partners? Hugh Jackman and Emily Walton. (pictured right). But I actually get to work with her Emily this show. So I guess that dream has come true. She’s the best actor ever.
    • Why does The Secret Garden matter? It matters to me because it gives such a deep understanding of hope.
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of this play? I hope they get a better understanding that even in the darkest times there is light.
    • Finish this sentence: "All I want is ..."
      " ...  peace in the world."

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    The Secret Garden: Ticket information
    The Secret GardenThe beloved classic blossoms anew in this enchanting musical full of beautiful melodies. When young Mary uncovers the key to her late aunt’s long-lost garden, she becomes determined to revive the beauty that once flourished.
    Book and lyrics by Marsha Norman; music by Lucy Simon;
    based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

    Through May 28
    Stage Theatre
    Denver Performing Arts Complex
    303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE


    Previous coverage of The Secret Garden:
    Photos: Marsha Norman visits DCPA's The Secret Garden
    Denver Post
    review: A worthy, family-friendly and satisfying theatrical experience
    Video: How does our Secret Garden grow?
    Photos, video: Your first look at The Secret Garden
    Five things we learned at first rehearsal
    Five things we learned at Perspectives
    2016-17 season: Nine shows, two world premieres, return to classics

    More 2016-17 'Meet the Cast' profiles:
    Vandit Bhatt, Disgraced
    Steven J. Burge, An Act of God
    Liam Craig, The Book of Will
    Aubrey Deeker, The Glass Menagerie
    Thaddeus Fitzpatrick, Frankenstein
    Meridith C. Grundei, Frankenstein
    Steven Cole Hughes, An Act of God
    Sullivan Jones, Frankenstein
    Mark Junek, Frankenstein
    Dorien Makhloghi, Disgraced
    Charlie Korman, Frankenstein
    Jennifer Le Blanc, The Book of Will
    Cajardo Lindsey, The Christians
    Rodney Lizcano, The Book of Will
    Wesley Mann, The Book of Will
    Zoe Manarel, The Secret Garden
    Robert Montano, Two Degrees
    Amelia Pedlow, The Glass Menagerie
    Benjamin Pelteson, Disgraced
    Daniel Plimpton, The Secret Garden
    Jessica Robblee, Frankenstein
    Erik Sandvold, An Act of God
    John Skelley, The Glass Menagerie
    Kim Staunton, Two Degrees

    Regina Steffen, The Secret Garden

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Meet the Cast: Daniel Plimpton of 'The Secret Garden'

    by John Moore | May 23, 2017

    Daniel Plimpton believes nothing teaches perspective better than theatre. He says 'The Secret Garden' honors those who came before us, and gives hope for what is to come. Playing through May 28.


    MEET DANIEL PLIMPTON
    Lieutenant Shaw in The Secret Garden, the classic story of the 10-year-old orphan girl doomed to a life of isolation with her uncle in England until she uncovers the key to her late aunt’s long-lost garden. It plays through May 28 in the Stage Theatre.

    At the Theatre Company: Debut. Touring: Visited the Ellie Caulkins Opera House with the National Tour of The Book of Mormon and the Buell Theatre with Spring Awakening. Regional Credits: Paper Mill Playhouse, O'Neill Theater Center, North Shore Music Theatre, Weston Playhouse, Engeman Theatre, New Century Theatre, Lyric Stage. Training: BFA, The Boston Conservatory.

    • Hometown: Amherst, Mass.Daniel Plimpton-photo-credit-adamsviscom
    • Training: BFA from The Boston Conservatory 
    • What was the role that changed your life? Well I have to say playing Colin in The Secret Garden! It was 2001, and I was 11 at a community theatre in Amherst, Mass. We had this fabulous director who pushed me to explore the truth of this character who has been so mistreated and who has no relationship skills, because he hasn’t been exposed to any sort of variety of life experience. It was tough but it was the first time I had been called on to actually act, as opposed to just be a cute kid. That was the show that really compelled me to want to audition professionally and try to take my love of theatre to another level.
    • Why are you an actor? The simple answer is that since I was 5 years old, there has never been another thing I have liked doing more. Never have I had a year, or a phase, or even a moment where I have wanted to do something else. The more complex answer is that theatre is the greatest teaching tool of perspective. People leave good theatre as better people. They have been able to learn about a different life experience than their own. To be a part of that, and to get the chance to constantly learn about myself and others through portraying a huge variety of different people at different times in this world, it’s amazing.
    • What do you be doing if you were not an actor? I like to think I would be a sports commentator, because I love sports. Or a marine biologist and swim with wild dolphins every day.
    • Mark RylanceWho would you like to roll up your sleeves and work a scene with someday? Well, I would have to roll up every inch of everything I own to get up the nerve to do a scene with Mark Rylance. Watching him onstage is like a religious experience for me. I have seen everything he has done in New York. The way he captures theatricality while still giving the most real performances is mesmerizing. I would definitely want to be on the receiving end of that energy.
    • Why does The Secret Garden matter? This story packs a huge punch with how it  deals with grief, spirituality, childhood and nature. It’s a really deep play, and this is certainly an ambitious subject to set to music. Mary Lennox goes on a journey that we can all relate to - this journey of plugging herself into the world during dark times in a way that honors those who came before us, and gives hope for what is to come.
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of this play? I hope this play makes them feel transported to a safe place to think about how they view the circle of life. This story is very much about children, and it’s also very much about death. And on a 'less deep' level, I hope they love the music and have a great time with these characters as they find ways to move on from their respective tragedies.
    • Finish this sentence: "All I want is ..."
      " ...  a world where people feel accepted for who they are; a world where peace triumphs over fear and love squashes judgment. And I think the arts can help lead us to this personal utopia.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Daniel Plimpton Spring AwakeningDaniel Plimpton left, played Ernst opposite Devon Scott as Hanschen in the national touring production of Spring Awakening that visited Denver in 2011. Photo by Andy Snow.


    The Secret Garden: Ticket information
    The Secret GardenThe beloved classic blossoms anew in this enchanting musical full of beautiful melodies. When young Mary uncovers the key to her late aunt’s long-lost garden, she becomes determined to revive the beauty that once flourished.
    Book and lyrics by Marsha Norman; music by Lucy Simon;
    based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

    Through May 28
    Stage Theatre
    Denver Performing Arts Complex
    303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE


    Previous coverage of The Secret Garden:
    Photos: Marsha Norman visits DCPA's The Secret Garden
    Denver Post
    review: A worthy, family-friendly and satisfying theatrical experience
    Video: How does our Secret Garden grow?
    Photos, video: Your first look at The Secret Garden
    Five things we learned at first rehearsal
    Five things we learned at Perspectives
    2016-17 season: Nine shows, two world premieres, return to classics

    More 2016-17 'Meet the Cast' profiles:
    Vandit Bhatt, Disgraced
    Steven J. Burge, An Act of God
    Liam Craig, The Book of Will
    Aubrey Deeker, The Glass Menagerie
    Thaddeus Fitzpatrick, Frankenstein
    Meridith C. Grundei, Frankenstein
    Steven Cole Hughes, An Act of God
    Sullivan Jones, Frankenstein
    Mark Junek, Frankenstein
    Dorien Makhloghi, Disgraced
    Charlie Korman, Frankenstein
    Jennifer Le Blanc, The Book of Will
    Cajardo Lindsey, The Christians
    Rodney Lizcano, The Book of Will
    Wesley Mann, The Book of Will
    Zoe Manarel, The Secret Garden
    Robert Montano, Two Degrees
    Amelia Pedlow, The Glass Menagerie
    Benjamin Pelteson, Disgraced
    Jessica Robblee, Frankenstein
    Erik Sandvold, An Act of God
    John Skelley, The Glass Menagerie
    Kim Staunton, Two Degrees

    Regina Steffen, The Secret Garden

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Meet the cast: Regina Steffen of 'The Secret Garden'

    by John Moore | May 22, 2017

    Regina Steffen says 'The Secret Garden' 'is for anyone who has ever lost love, or yearned for love, or believes in hope.' Playing through May 28.


    MEET REGINA FERNANDEZ STEFFEN
    Ayah in The Secret Garden, the classic story of the 10-year-old orphan girl doomed to a life of isolation with her uncle in England until she uncovers the key to her late aunt’s long-lost garden. It plays through May 28 in the Stage Theatre.

    At the Theatre Company: Debut. At Colorado Springs TheatreWorks: Antony and Cleopatra (Charmian). At the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center: The Drowsy Chaperone (Trix). At Theatre Aspen: Avenue Q (Christmas Eve). At Creede Repertory Theatre: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Marcy Park), This Day and Age (Joy). At Merry Go Round Playhouse: Miss Saigon (Yvette). At Seaside Music Theatre: The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Helena US/ Ensemble).

    • Regina Steffen. Photo by Adams VisComHometown: Boca Raton, Fla.
    • Home now: Denver
    • Training: BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Central Florida Conservatory Program
    • What was the role that changed your life? When I was 5, a cousin was babysitting me while I was visiting family in California. I always was a pretty morbid and morose child - eternally interested in ghost stories and death. Knowing this, my cousin put on the original Broadway cast recording of Les Misérables. The soaring score, the epic story and the escape into different characters’ lives spoke to me, even as a child. I’d stand in my living room and belt out “On My Own” time and time again. Even now, as an adult, whenever I put on the recording of Les Miz, I’m transported back to being that little girl playing Eponine in my living room. I was hooked from then on.
    • Why are you an actor? I believe in art and in the art of storytelling. There’s nothing quite as magical for me than two or more people coming together to share stories. I think it’s amazing how you can be a complete stranger to a person but after exchanging stories, a connection is made. As actors, we have this huge privilege to continue this tradition time and time again.
    • What do you be doing if you were not an actor? If I am not at the theatre, you’ll most likely find me sitting with a blanket and a really good book. I am a huge fan of English Literature and, in another life, I would like to be an English Literature professor. In high school, I shadowed my senior year English teacher, and she let me grade a couple of papers … I loved it.
    • viola-davis-fencesWho is your ideal scene partner? Viola Davis! Have you seen Fences? She is a force. Or Audra McDonald. She is a true artist in every sense of the word. And she’s won six Tony Awards. ... Six!
    • Why does The Secret Garden matter? This story is for anyone who has ever lost love, or yearned for love, or believes in hope. It’s a story about two broken people and the choice of “coming back to life” after experiencing loss. For Mary, it's her family and everyone she knew back in India. For Archibald, it's the love of his life. It’s that feeling you get when you lose something so precious and so dear to you and you sort of feel stuck. You don’t know what to do. It’s grief. It’s struggle. It’s rebirth. The Secret Garden is a story of hope, and who couldn’t use a little bit of hope nowadays?
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of this play? I hope they can look at the characters and say to themselves, “Yeah. I’ve felt that way.” Or like they’ve opened up their copies of The Secret Garden and the story is right there, next to their heart.
    • Finish this sentence: "All I want is ..."
      " ... human connection." It’s so easy for us to disconnect - to find reasons for derision. It may sound naïve, but in my heart, I wish we could look across the table and see the human sitting across from us and say, “I see you, and you see me. We are different in these ways. And that’s OK."

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    The Secret Garden: Ticket information
    The Secret GardenThe beloved classic blossoms anew in this enchanting musical full of beautiful melodies. When young Mary uncovers the key to her late aunt’s long-lost garden, she becomes determined to revive the beauty that once flourished.
    Book and lyrics by Marsha Norman; music by Lucy Simon;
    based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

    Through May 28
    Stage Theatre
    Denver Performing Arts Complex
    303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE


    Previous coverage of The Secret Garden:
    Photos: Marsha Norman visits DCPA's The Secret Garden
    Denver Post
    review: A worthy, family-friendly and satisfying theatrical experience
    Video: How does our Secret Garden grow?
    Photos, video: Your first look at The Secret Garden
    Five things we learned at first rehearsal
    Five things we learned at Perspectives
    2016-17 season: Nine shows, two world premieres, return to classics

    Regina Steffen as Xmas Eve in 'Avenue Q' for Theatre Aspen in 2012.Regina Steffen as Xmas Eve in 'Avenue Q' for Theatre Aspen in 2012.


    More 2016-17 'Meet the Cast' profiles:
    Vandit Bhatt, Disgraced
    Steven J. Burge, An Act of God
    Liam Craig, The Book of Will
    Aubrey Deeker, The Glass Menagerie
    Thaddeus Fitzpatrick, Frankenstein
    Meridith C. Grundei, Frankenstein
    Steven Cole Hughes, An Act of God
    Sullivan Jones, Frankenstein
    Mark Junek, Frankenstein
    Dorien Makhloghi, Disgraced
    Charlie Korman, Frankenstein
    Jennifer Le Blanc, The Book of Will
    Cajardo Lindsey, The Christians
    Rodney Lizcano, The Book of Will
    Wesley Mann, The Book of Will
    Zoe Manarel, The Secret Garden
    Robert Montano, Two Degrees
    Amelia Pedlow, The Glass Menagerie
    Benjamin Pelteson, Disgraced
    Jessica Robblee, Frankenstein
    Erik Sandvold, An Act of God
    John Skelley, The Glass Menagerie
    Kim Staunton, Two Degrees

     

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Meet the cast: Zoe Manarel of 'The Secret Garden'

    by John Moore | May 03, 2017
    zoe-manarel-photo-credit-adamsviscom_34145860262_o

    Zoe Manarel, a sixth-grader who plays Mary Lennox in 'The Secret Garden,' makes her upcoming Amazon film debut as Suzie “Z” Yang in a new 'American Girl Story' special that begins streaming on June 9. Photo by Adams VisCom.


    MEET ZOE MANAREL
    Zoe Manarel plays Mary Lennox  in The Secret Garden, the classic story of the 10-year-old orphan girl doomed to a life of isolation with her uncle in England - until she uncovers the key to her late aunt’s long-lost garden.  It plays through May 28 in the Stage Theatre.

    At the Theatre Company: Debut. Broadway: Matilda the Musical (Lavender). Off-Broadway: The Little Princess (Ann). Broadway Lab Productions and Workshops: Amelie The Musical (Young Amelie), Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen (Little Orchid),  Unbound Musical reading (Young Zhong-Mei). T.V.: “Inside Amy Schumer,” “Unforgettable,” “Jimmy Fallon,” “Riding the D with Dr. Seeds.”

    • Hometown: Katonah Westchester, N.Y. 
    • School: Sixth grade
    • When did you know you wanted to be an actor?  I think I always wanted to be an actor and singer - especially in kindergarten. There was a bathroom in the classroom and I would sing whenever I was in there. When I would come out, the teacher and all the kids said they loved my singing. I loved the feeling of making people happy.
    • DespereauxIf you could play any role, what would it be? I would love to play Desperaux, the mouse in The Tale of Despereaux. I love his determination, and the fact that he never gives up, and that he would strive for things like marrying a human princess, even though it was unlikely it would happen. (He did get a kiss from her.) Also, he was quirky. He did not really have any friends, but he didn’t care. He stayed true to what he thought was right, and did not let other people sway him. He was a leader, even if it was only to himself.
    • Why are you an actor? Because It makes me feel complete inside.
    • What do you want to be when you grow up, if not an actor? If i don’t grow up to be an actor, I’d like to be either a food critic or a comedian doctor. I’d like to be a food critic because I love eating. I love all sorts of foods and seeing how different people can cook. I'd like to be a comedian doctor because I love people, and I hate seeing them sick or sad. If I am a doctor, I figure I should learn a lot of amazing jokes to help my patients laugh and feel good as I gave them a shot, or when they feel scared. Laughter is a great medicine.
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of this play? I hope they see that no matter how bad things look, there is always a little piece of goodness or hope to grab on to. If you can do that, even though you’re really sad, that little piece of goodness or hope can grow into something much bigger and better. In the end, while you may still be sad, your life will be a little bit better.
    • Finish this sentence: "All I want is ..."
      " ... for people to see that we are really not that different, and we all want the same thing: To be happy and to get along."

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    The Secret Garden: Ticket information
    The Secret GardenThe beloved classic blossoms anew in this enchanting musical full of beautiful melodies. When young Mary uncovers the key to her late aunt’s long-lost garden, she becomes determined to revive the beauty that once flourished.
    Book and lyrics by Marsha Norman; music by Lucy Simon;
    based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

    Through May 28
    Stage Theatre
    Denver Performing Arts Complex
    303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE


    Previous coverage of The Secret Garden:
    Denver Post review: A worthy, family-friendly and satisfying theatrical experience
    Video: How does our Secret Garden grow?
    Photos, video: Your first look at The Secret Garden
    Five things we learned at first rehearsal
    Five things we learned at Perspectives
    2016-17 season: Nine shows, two world premieres, return to classics

    zoe-manarel-photo-credit-adamsviscom_34145860262_oPhoto by Adams VisCom for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    More 2016-17 'Meet the Cast' profiles:
    Vandit Bhatt, Disgraced
    Steven J. Burge, An Act of God
    Liam Craig, The Book of Will
    Aubrey Deeker, The Glass Menagerie
    Thaddeus Fitzpatrick, Frankenstein
    Meridith C. Grundei, Frankenstein
    Steven Cole Hughes, An Act of God
    Sullivan Jones, Frankenstein
    Mark Junek, Frankenstein
    Dorien Makhloghi, Disgraced
    Charlie Korman, Frankenstein
    Jennifer Le Blanc, The Book of Will
    Cajardo Lindsey, The Christians
    Rodney Lizcano, The Book of Will
    Wesley Mann, The Book of Will
    Robert Montano, Two Degrees
    Amelia Pedlow, The Glass Menagerie
    Benjamin Pelteson, Disgraced
    Jessica Robblee, Frankenstein
    Erik Sandvold, An Act of God
    John Skelley, The Glass Menagerie
    Kim Staunton, Two Degrees

     

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Meet the cast: Vandit Bhatt of 'Disgraced'

    by John Moore | Apr 17, 2017
    Vandit Bhatt. Adams VisCom. Disgraced


    MEET VANDIT BHATT
    Bhatt plays Abe in Disgraced, playing through May 7 at the Ricketson Theatre. The Pulitzer Prize-winning play is about a successful Muslim-American attorney named Amir Kapoor, who has turned his back on his faith and is now thriving in post-9/11 Manhattan. Amir's American nephew, born Hussein Malik, is now assimilated and called Abe. He brings to Amir his concerns over the arrest of a local imam accused of terroristic acts.

    At the Theatre Company: Debut. Select New York credits: Indian Ink (Roundabout Theatre Company); Harper Regan (Atlantic Theater Company); Other Farmers’ Fields (The Public), Skin, Asking for Trouble, and The Unusual Life of Bed Bugs and Other Creatures (all at The Ensemble Studio Theatre); Bike America (Ma-Yi Theater Company); and The Great Recession (The Flea Theater). Select regional credits: The Hard Problem (American Conservatory Theater) and Disgraced (Arizona Theater Company). Film: "Ripped," "42 Seconds Of Happiness." TV: "Younger," "The Michael J. Fox Show," "Mercy," "One Life To Live."

    • Vandit Bhatt, Disgraced. Photo by Adams ViscomHometown: A blend of Fort Myers, Fla. and Hyderabad, India
    • Training: Graduated from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla.
    • Twitter handle: @thevanditbhatt
    • Website: vanditbhatt.com
    • What was the role that changed your life? Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing. It was the first play I ever did. I had just moved from India, so I didn't know anything about acting, much less Shakespeare. I auditioned and, for some reason, Mrs. Goff cast me as Claudio. I had a lot of firsts with that play: First lead, first Shakespeare play, my first friends in America, my first girlfriend and my first kiss. I firmly believe doing that play set me on a path to become an actor. I always wanted to be an actor but I probably wouldn't have gone for it if it hadn't been for that production.
    • Why are you an actor? If I were to put it simply, it's all I have ever known. Sometimes, when I take a step back and look at my life, I feel like it was really meant to be. 
    • What would you be doing if you weren't an actor: I honestly don't know.
    • deniroIdeal scene partner: Robert DeNiro. There are numerous reasons, but the most obvious one is that it would be a tremendous learning experience.
    • Why does Disgraced matter? It's one of the most relevant plays of our time. It matters because it is incredibly complicated, much like life.  
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of this play? I want them to leave with questions. Lots of them.
    • Finish this sentence: "All I want is ..."
      At the risk of sounding silly: "All I want is to share my work with the world."

    Fron left: Vandit Bhatt, Olivia Gilliatt and Dorien Makhloghi. Photo by adamsviscom'Disgraced' actors, from left, Vandit Bhatt, Olivia Gilliatt and Dorien Makhloghi. Photo by Adams VisCom for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Disgraced
    : Ticket information
    DisgracedIn this raw new play, Amir has built the perfect life. But as a high-profile case and his wife’s art show reveal how little his culture is understood, their misconceptions become too much to bear.

    Through May 7
    Ricketson Theatre
    ASL and audio-described performance: 1:30 p.m. April 30

    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Disgraced:
    Perspectives: Disgraced is about starting, not finishing, conversations
    Video, photos: Your first look at Theatre Company's Disgraced
    Video: A talk with Disgraced Costume Designer Lex Liang
    Disgraced
    has been known to leave audiences gasping
    Disgraced Director promises to push your (empathy) button
    TED Talk: On the danger of a 'single story'

    More 2016-17 'Meet the Cast' profiles:
    Steven J. Burge, An Act of God
    Liam Craig, The Book of Will
    Aubrey Deeker, The Glass Menagerie
    Thaddeus Fitzpatrick, Frankenstein
    Meridith C. Grundei, Frankenstein
    Steven Cole Hughes, An Act of God
    Sullivan Jones, Frankenstein
    Mark Junek, Frankenstein
    Dorien Makhloghi, Disgraced
    Charlie Korman, Frankenstein
    Jennifer Le Blanc, The Book of Will
    Cajardo Lindsey, The Christians
    Rodney Lizcano, The Book of Will
    Wesley Mann, The Book of Will
    Robert Montano, Two Degrees
    Amelia Pedlow, The Glass Menagerie
    Benjamin Pelteson, Disgraced
    Jessica Robblee, Frankenstein
    Erik Sandvold, An Act of God
    John Skelley, The Glass Menagerie
    Kim Staunton, Two Degrees

     

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Meet the cast: Benjamin Pelteson of 'Disgraced'

    by John Moore | Apr 12, 2017
    Disgraced Benjamin Pelteson-photo-credit-adamsviscom
    Benjamin Pelteson plays Isaac, a curator at the Whitney Museum, in 'Disgraced,' playing through May 7. Photo by Adams VisCom.


    MEET BENJAMIN PELTESON
    Isaac in Disgraced

    At the Theatre Company: Debut. Other Theatres: Ensemble Studio Theatre, City Opera, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Baltimore Centerstage, Wilma Theater, Williamstown, Capital Repertory, McCarter (tour), Pittsburgh Public and others. TV: "The Americans," "Homeland," "Law & Order," "Unforgettable," "Silly Little Game" (ESPN). Barrymore Nominee for Outstanding Supporting Actor for Angels in America (Philadelphia).

    • Disgraced Benjamin PeltesonHometown: Orlando
    • Training: BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh
    • What was the role that changed your life? When I was 17, my high-school drama teacher handed me The Merchant of Venice and asked me to play Shylock. Not a good idea. One rehearsal I found myself weeping and spitting on people and grabbing them by their collars. The language did something to me that was very unplanned and very surprising and addictive. Those poor kids who had to act with me ... I am so sorry. But that show 900 years ago is why I decided to do this for a living.
    • Why are you an actor? I learn more by being other people than by being myself. Also: Affordable health insurance. 
    • What would you be doing if you weren't an actor: I would be a writer or a civil-rights lawyer. I like words. I like clarity and argument. I like changing people’s minds.
    • A Mark RylanceIdeal scene partner: Mark Rylance. He never stops inventing. He always listens.
    • Why does Disgraced matter? To me, this is a play about the problem of tribes. Can we get past our ancient group hatreds, or are we - no matter how hard we struggle - going to be beholden to them forever? That seems like a pretty pressing question for all of us right now.  
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of this play? I want the funny stuff to be funny, the sad stuff to be sad and the surprising stuff to be surprising.
    • Finish this sentence: "All I want is ..."
      "... public institutions and politicians we can put our faith in. A general restoration of belief in empiricism. The National Endowment for the Arts to be well-funded into perpetuity, so that the Denver Center and others like it can keep bringing you great work. ... That, and a really nice cup of coffee."

    Disgraced Benjamin Pelteson-photo-credit-adamsviscom'Disgraced' actors, from left, Dorien Makhloghi, Christina Sajous and Benjamin Pelteson. Photo by Adams VisCom for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Disgraced
    : Ticket information
    DisgracedIn this raw new play, Amir has built the perfect life. But as a high-profile case and his wife’s art show reveal how little his culture is understood, their misconceptions become too much to bear.

    Through May 7
    Ricketson Theatre
    ASL and audio-described performance: 1:30 p.m. April 30

    Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of Disgraced:
    Perspectives: Disgraced is about starting, not finishing, conversations
    Video, photos: Your first look at Theatre Company's Disgraced
    Video: A talk with Disgraced Costume Designer Lex Liang
    Disgraced
    has been known to leave audiences gasping
    Disgraced Director promises to push your (empathy) button
    TED Talk: On the danger of a 'single story'

    More 2016-17 'Meet the Cast' profiles:
    Steven J. Burge, An Act of God
    Liam Craig, The Book of Will
    Aubrey Deeker, The Glass Menagerie
    Thaddeus Fitzpatrick, Frankenstein
    Meridith C. Grundei, Frankenstein
    Steven Cole Hughes, An Act of God
    Sullivan Jones, Frankenstein
    Mark Junek, Frankenstein
    Dorien Makhloghi, Disgraced
    Charlie Korman, Frankenstein
    Jennifer Le Blanc, The Book of Will
    Cajardo Lindsey, The Christians
    Rodney Lizcano, The Book of Will
    Wesley Mann, The Book of Will
    Robert Montano, Two Degrees
    Amelia Pedlow, The Glass Menagerie
    Jessica Robblee, Frankenstein
    Erik Sandvold, An Act of God
    John Skelley, The Glass Menagerie
    Kim Staunton, Two Degrees

     

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

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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.