• 2018 Bobby G Awards: DSA reaches the heights with 'In the Heights'

    by John Moore | May 24, 2018
    IN THE HEIGHTS Bobby G Awards. Photo by John Moore

    The cast of Denver School of the Arts' 'In the Heights,' which was named Outstanding Musical at the Bobby G Awards tonight. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Awards celebrating achievements in Colorado high-school musical theatre are spread over a record 13 schools

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Students from high schools all over the state of Colorado found themselves at the Buell Theatre on Thursday night for the Denver Center’s sixth annual Bobby G Awards — and now, Bobby G Awards are going to be found at high schools all around Colorado. In all, a record 13 schools won at least one award, spreading the love from Greeley to Parker to all sorts of towns named Springs: Glenwood Springs, Steamboat Springs and Colorado Springs.

    Bobby G Awards Abby 300And speaking of being found, the sixth annual party celebrating achievements in Colorado high-school musical theatre began like no other when two students from all 43 participating schools joined together to perform the stirring anthem “You Will Be Found” from six-time 2017 Tony Award® and 2018 Grammy®-Winning Best Musical Dear Evan Hansen, which will be launching its first North American tour at the Denver Center in September.

    Denver School of the Arts and Castle View High School in Castle Rock led all schools with three awards each. DSA earned its first-ever Outstanding Musical Award, for In the Heights. DSA is comprehensive secondary arts magnet school for grades 6-12 in the Denver Public Schools district. Much like college, DSA students graduate with majors in intensive arts programs ranging from Theatre to Stagecraft to Creative Writing. In the Heights was directed by the team of Brandon Becker and Mara Osterburg, who also won the Bobby G Award for Outstanding Direction.

    Bobby G Awards Elisha Horne 800Becker said In the Heights was a rare opportunity for DSA to wholly embrace multicultural casting, and he encouraged other directors in the room to do the same. "Please continue to cast color-blind, because everyone deserves a chance to shine on the stage," Becker said in accepting his award.

    In six years of the Bobby Gs, there has yet to be a school to win Outstanding Musical twice.

    The Bobby G Awards are a culmination of a year-long program administered by the Denver Center that emphasizes camaraderie and shared experiences — but there is also much at stake. The students named Outstanding Actor and Actress go on to represent Colorado at The Jimmy® Awards/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards™ (NHSMTA) on June 25 at the Minskoff Theatre in New York City.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Elisha Horne of Vista PEAK Preparatory in Aurora (pictured above) was named Outstanding Actor for his performance as The Baker in Into the Woods. Abby Lehrer (pictured above), who wonthe Bobby G Award two years ago for Rising Star (outstanding underclassman), on Thursday was named Outstanding Actress for her work as Eponine in Castle View’s Les Misérables.  Horne and Lehrer will participate in a 10-day series of intensive classes and workshops with Broadway actors, directors and designers leading up to the national awards ceremony, which is presented by The Broadway League Foundation, and will be hosted this year by Broadway and TV star Laura Benanti.

    Bobby G Awards Outstanding Musicals: Through the years

    • 2013: Chaparral High School, Les Misérables
    • 2014: Cherry Creek High School, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    • 2015: Durango High School, Les Misérables
    • 2016: Mountain View High School, Anything Goes
    • 2017: Valor Christian, Pippin
    • 2018: Denver School of the Arts, In the Heights

    Bobbuy G Awards In the Heights Nominees for the Bobby G Awards are determined by scoring from a team of professional adjudicators. Unlike other awards categories, the Outstanding Actor and Actress winners are determined by two equally scored criteria: First, the students are judged for their actual performances in their respective school musicals. The five students with the highest scores then go before a professional panel for a private, scored audition.

    (Pictured: Crowd celebration after Denver School of the Arts' 'In the Heights' was named Outstanding Musical. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    An unusual twist Thursday: Vista PEAK senior Julianna Luce, who in February was celebrated at the Denver Center’s 2018 Colorado New Play Summit as one of the winners of DCPA Education’s statewide student playwriting contest, won a Bobby G Award for Outstanding Lighting. Which could not have been more perfect, given her winning play, Technical Difficulties, is a backstage comedy about a high-school theatre production that is saved from vengeful understudies by members of the tech crew. The play will be publicly staged by DCPA Education’s summer academy students next month.

    In her acceptance speech. Luce said the award was especially meaningful to her given the DCPA's commitment to encouraging creativity in young people in many ways. "As Willy Wonka said, 'We are the dreamers of the dreams,' " she said. More on Julianna Luce

    Bobby G Awards Dear Eban Hansen 800
    Students from all 43 participating schools join together to perform "You Will Be Found” from Dear Evan Hansen to open the ceremony. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Students and educators were honored in the areas of performance, design, direction, choreography, technical production and overall production excellence. All participating schools received one personal master class session with a DCPA Education theatre teacher. Winners of the Outstanding Supporting Actor, Actress and Rising Star awards also earn a full year of free classes at the Denver Center. "Theatre is alive in Colorado," said Education Director Allison Watrous. “The DCPA is proud to be a part of your journey.”

    The Bobby G Awards were founded in 2013 by the late DCPA President Randy Weeks. They are named after late producer Robert Garner, who established Denver as a top destination for touring Broadway shows.

    In the six years of the Bobby G Awards nearly 24,000 students have participated in the program. More than 2,000 students have been involved in free workshops delivered by DCPA Education Teaching Artists. Since the Randy Weeks Memorial Fund was begun in 2015, four schools have received funding to help support their productions.


    (Story continues after the photo gallery.)

    Our 2018 Bobby G Awards photo album (so far!)

    2018 Bobby G Awards

    Photos from the buildup to the 2018 Bobby G Awards, through Wednesday night's rehearsal. Photos fro the actual event will be added soon. To see more, click on the image above to be taken to our downloadable Flickr gallery of photos. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    While the Bobby G Awards culminate each year with an awards ceremony modeled after the Tony Awards, the year-long focus of the program is to both celebrate and educate. The participating schools receive detailed feedback on their musical productions from the adjudicators.

    Bobby G Awards Salingers The 10 nominated Outstanding Actors and Actresses are invited to the Denver Center two weeks before the awards to prepare a medley together in community and friendship, which they then perform at the ceremony on the Buell Theatre stage. The annual ritual is created anew each year by 2017 True West Award winner Claudia Carson.

    Each of the five nominated Outstanding Productions performed a musical number during the ceremony, each drawing thunderous appreciation from an enthusiastic Buell Theatre crowd estimated at more than 2,000.

    (Pictured: Previous Outstanding Actor winners — and brothers — Curtis and Evatt Salinger continue a Bobby G Awards red-carpet tradition. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

    The Master of ceremonies was again Greg Moody, longtime known as Colorado's Critic-At-Large for CBS-4. Acknowledging the ongoing tragedy of school shootings at American schools, Moody said, "The people who have been stepping up and making their voices heard and making their feelings known have been theatre students." 

    Liberty High School's Kyle Husted, who was named Outstanding Supporting Actor for his performance as Jean-Michel in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, summed up the evening succinctly in his acceptance speech when he said, "I love theatre. I hope you do, too."

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

    THE 2018 BOBBY G AWARDS:

    Hair and Makeup 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Achievement in Hair and Make-up Design

    Rhiatta Gleghorn, Brynn Ledermann, Kacey Lowe and Olivia VanHattam
    James and the Giant Peach
     
    Resurrection Christian School

    Other nominees:

    • Jana Datteri, Jacelyn Hays and Bryana Martinez, The Little Mermaid, Greeley West High School
    • Lauren Lewis and Ailani Paramo, Into the Woods, Legend High School
    • Amanda Moore & Katie Taylor, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Liberty High School,
    • Arianna Mahan-Higgins, Little Women, Montezuma-Cortez High School


    Costumes 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design

    Kim Christensen and Katie Gorsline
    The Little Mermaid
    Greeley West High School

    Other nominees:
    • Jane Archuleta and Carson Charles, Once on This Island, Brighton High School
    • Katelynn Brusco & Julie Snow, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Chaparral High School
    • Nikky Haabestad, Big Fish, Fossil Ridge High School
    • Ana Alonzo, Nicole Lucier & Joan Stewart, Into the Woods, Legend High School


    Lighting 2018 Bobby G Awards


    Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design

    Julianna Luce
    Into the Woods

    Vista PEAK Preparatory

    Other nominees:
    • Jane Archuleta and Julia Snyder, Once on This Island, Brighton High School
    • Riley Dixon, Bye Bye Birdie, Cherry Creek High School
    • Drew Meier and Thomas Woolner, Big Fish, Fossil Ridge High School
    • Justin Fiscus, Kawak Miranda, Andrew Stott and Alexander Tucker, Crazy for You, Glenwood Springs High School


    Scenic 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Design
    Brogan Croom, Rylee Carlson and Rob Scott
    Les Misérables
    Castle View High School

    Other nominees:

    • Steven Davis and Danny de Paz, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Chaparral High School
    • Alyea Caldwell, Iz Nyghe and Megan Tunnell, Bye Bye Birdie, Cherry Creek High School
    • Jackie Carreras, Jon Ducat, Amanda Penke, Thomas Ray and Red Schweitzer, Into the Woods, Legend High School
    • Josh Belk and Emily Hartlaub, Little Women, Palmer Ridge High School


    Choreography 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Achievement in Choreography
    Sophie Carnoali and Cadie Harrison
    Crazy for You

    Glenwood Springs High School

    Other nominees:

    • Heather Westenskow, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Chaparral High School
    • Brandon Becker and Mara Osterburg, In the Heights, Denver School of the Arts
    • Andrew Cassel and Karen Cassel, Bring it On: The Musical, Fairview High School
    • Tammy Johnson and Rachel Miller, Crazy for You, Mountain View High School


    Musical Direction 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Achievement in Musical Direction
    Jay McGuffin, Heath Walter and Rochelle Walter
    Les Misérables

    Castle View High School

    Other nominees:

    • Alan Davis, Once on This Island, Brighton High School
    • Gretta Hambrook, Dave Hammond, Ray Hootman and Robert Styron, In the Heights, Denver School of the Arts
    • Travis Keller, Zachary Strand and Janice Vlachos, Bring it On: The Musical, Fairview High School
    • Randal Hoepker and John Richard, Into the Woods, Vista PEAK Preparatory


    Chorus 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Performance by a Chorus
    Once Upon a Mattress

    ThunderRidge High School

    Other nominees:

    • Once on This Island, Brighton High School
    • Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Chaparral High School
    • Bring it On: The Musical, Fairview High School
    • Fiddler on the Roof, Regis Jesuit High School


    Orchestra 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Performance by an Orchestra

    Once on This Island

    Brighton High School

    Other nominees:

    • Side Show, Boulder High School
    • Annie, George Washington High School
    • Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Loveland High School
    • Into the Woods, Vista PEAK Preparatory


    Supporting Actress 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

    Vanesa Gomez
    Abuela Claudia
    In the Heights
    Denver School of the Arts

    Other nominees:

    • Gabi Meyer, Bridget, Bring it On: The Musical, Fairview High School
    • Megan Bean, Jenny Hill, Big Fish, Fossil Ridge High School
    • Rachel Miller, Tess, Crazy for You, Mountain View High School
    • Frankie Spiller, Aunt Eller, Oklahoma!, Palisade High School


    Supporting Actor 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
    Kyle Husted
    Jean-Michel
    Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    Liberty High School

    Other nominees:

    • Ryker Chavez, Papa Ge, Once on This Island, Brighton High School
    • Ethan Leland, La Cienega, Bring it on: The Musical, Fairview High School
    • Eli Pettit, Bella Zangler, Crazy for You, Glenwood Springs High School
    • Matthew Sewell, Benny Southstreet, Guys and Dolls, Wheat Ridge High School


    Rising Star 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Other nominees:

    • Spencer Gordon, Drake, Annie, George Washington High School
    • Johnathan Webster, Wyatt, Crazy for You, Glenwood Springs High School
    • Abe Soto, Ticket Agent, Honeymoon in Vegas, Lakewood High School
    • DJ Bashford, Rudolph Reisenweber, Hello, Dolly!, Ralston Valley High School

    Lead Actress 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
    Abby Lehrer
    Eponine
    Les Misérables

    Castle View High School

    • Coco Justino, Camila Rosario, In the Heights, Denver School of the Arts
    • Daelyn Nace, Lady of the Lake, Spamalot, Fort Collins High School
    • Isabella McArdle, Ella, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Liberty High School
    • Dominique Smith-Lopez, Baker’s Wife, Into the Woods, Vista PEAK Preparatory


    Lead Actor 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
    Elisha Horne
    Baker
    Into the Woods

    Vista PEAK Preparatory

    Other nominees:

    • Anton Karabushin, Frederic, The Pirates of Penzance, Eaglecrest High School
    • Travis Turner, Edward Bloom, Big Fish, Fossil Ridge High School
    • Will Warner, Tommy Korman, Honeymoon in Vegas, Lakewood High School
    • Jeremiah Garcia, Emmett Forrest, Legally Blonde, Pomona High School


    Direction 2018 Bobby G Awards

    Outstanding Achievement in Direction
    Brandon Becker and Aleksandra Kay
    In The Heights

    Denver School of the Arts

    Other nominees:

    • Jane Archuleta, Gabby Doyle and Ayaka Hayashi, Once on This Island, Brighton High School
    • Michelle Leisy and Bennie Palko, Into the Woods, Legend High School
    • Katie Marshall, Crazy for You, Mountain View High School
    • Jesse Collett and Taylor Hulett, Legally Blonde, Pomona High School


    Overall Production

    Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical
    In The Heights
    Denver School of the Arts

    Other nominees:

    • Once on This Island, Brighton High School
    • Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Liberty High School
    • Crazy for You, Mountain View High School
    • Into the Woods, Vista PEAK Preparatory


    Valor Christian High School's production of 'Pippin.'




    More video and photos from Thursday's awards ceremony will be posted next week.

    2018 SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT WINNERS:
    • Special Achievement in Prop Management: Cody Charlton, Scott Kull and Rachel Ross; The Pirates of Penzance, Eaglecrest High School
    • Special Achievement in Sound Design: Jocelyn Baker and Kate Holeman; Into the Woods, Legend High School
    • Special Achievement in Projections: Addison Sandvik, Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Steamboat Springs High School
    Selected recent coverage of the Bobby G Awards:

    Video: A look back at the 2017 Bobby G Awards


    Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk. Interviews by Senior Arts Journalist John Moore. More video and photos to come.

    Our series of featured Outstanding Chorus nominees

    Meet our nominated Outstanding lead actors and actresses:

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Participating schools (with 2018 nominations in parentheses):
    • Arvada West High School
    • Boulder High School (1)
    • Brighton High School (8)
    • Broomfield High School
    • Castle View High School (3)
    • Chaparral High School (4)
    • Cherry Creek High School (2)
    • Doherty High School
    • Denver School of the Arts (6)
    • Durango High School
    • Eaglecrest High School (2)
    • Erie High School
    • Fairview High School (5)
    • Fort Collins High School (1)
    • Fossil Ridge High School (4)
    • George Washington High School (2)
    • Glenwood Springs High School (4)
    • Greeley West High School (2)
    • Heritage High School
    • Lakewood High School (2)
    • Legend High School (5)
    • Lewis-Palmer High School
    • Liberty High School (4)
    • Loveland High School (1)
    • Lutheran High School
    • Monarch High School
    • Montezuma-Cortez High School (1)
    • Mountain View High School (5)
    • North High School and STRIVE Prep Excel High School
    • Palisade High School (1)
    • Palmer Ridge High School (1)
    • Pomona High School
    • Ponderosa High School (2)
    • Poudre High School
    • Ralston Valley High School (1)
    • Regis Jesuit High School (1)
    • Resurrection Christian School (1)
    • Steamboat Springs High School (1)
    • ThunderRidge High School (1)
    • Valor Christian High School
    • Vista PEAK Preparatory (6)
    • Wheat Ridge High School (1)
  • Bobby G Awards Outstanding Chorus nominee: ThunderRidge High School

    by John Moore | May 20, 2018



    The Bobby G Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school musical theatre. The sixth annual awards take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at the Buell Theatre. (Reserve your seat here)

    Each year, we single out one category for further recognition on the NewsCenter. This year, we are spotlighting the five schools nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Chorus with a selfie video shout-out (above), along with an Q&A with each school's Choral Director. Next up: ThunderRidge High School's Bring it On: The Musical in Highlands Ranch.

    THUNDER RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL

    Once Upon a Mattress
    Kylene Hurley, Director

    • Hurley, Kylene Bobby G Awards How does one become a Choral Director, anyway? I'm the theatre teacher, but the music director is a man who is involved in many musicals around the area. He played piano for PACE center musicals, Magic Moments, his church, many other high schools, Colorado School of Mines musicals and more. He was out in NY for many years doing this professionally.
    • Which singing range is hardest to find at your school? In our theatre department, we have very few baritones.
    • What is the value that a full and robust (and on-key) chorus brings to an overall production? They are the meat of the production. They are the energy of the production. When the energy is elevated by the ensemble, the whole production is elevated in quality.
    • What’s the one thing you wish people knew about the chorus of a high-school musical production? How much work goes into being in the chorus. There is a perceived lack of importance, but really they work just as hard as everyone else. 
    • What do you say to a student who is disappointed to 'only' be a chorus member? I would tell them, 'Every single one of you contributes because you all get to create your own characters.' I also would talk to them about the many times I walked away from a show remembering a chorus member over a lead performer. 
    • What is the greatest chorus performance you have ever witnessed? We just saw The Who's Tommy at DCPA. The chorus is imperative to the plot line. They play multiple different characters throughout the play.  Without the chorus, Tommy's storyline does not exist. They play doctors, family members, fans, and more — all supporting Tommy in his ups and contributing to his downs.

    Reserve your seat for the May 24 Bobby G Awards

    • What does it mean to your kids to be nominated for a Bobby G Award as a choral ensemble? They are so excited. This is our first nomination. They can't wait to get dressed up and go to the Denver Center. I think they'll have a blast, win or lose.
    • What has this experience taught you about the value of music education and extracurricular activities at your school? They are so important. The performing-arts department is a place where everyone is welcome, and everyone has value. 

    ThunderRidge High SchoolThunderRidge High School's 'Once Upon a Mattress'

    Selected recent coverage of the Bobby G Awards:

    Our series of featured Outstanding Chorus nominees:

    Meet our nominated Outstanding lead actors and actresses:

     

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Bobby G Awards Outstanding Chorus nominee: Brighton High School

    by John Moore | May 19, 2018



    The Bobby G Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school musical theatre. The sixth annual awards take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at the Buell Theatre. (Reserve your seat here)

    Each year, we single out one category for further recognition on the NewsCenter. This year, we are spotlighting the five schools nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Chorus with a selfie video shout-out (above), along with an Q&A with each school's Choral Director. First up: Brighton High School's Once on This Island.

    Jane Archuleta BRIGHTON HIGH SCHOOL

    Once on This Island
    Jane Archuleta, Overall Director

    • How does one become a Choral Director, anyway? At our school, we are really fortunate that our Choir Director usually is our "person" who works with our program. We have had productions where we have not been able to use that person, and in our community we are lucky to have musicians and experienced people who are committed to our school and our program and they have helped. While the Choir Director directs the music, our whole team encourages and works with the chorus — always focusing on making them the core and heart of our shows.
    • Which singing range is hardest to find at your school? Boys in general.
    • What is the value that a full and robust (and on-key) chorus brings to an overall production? We value our ensemble and chorus very highly.  This is the piece of a stage production that adds to your overall production atmosphere. The chorus brings out the emotion of the show.
    • Brighton High SchoolWhat’s the one thing you wish people knew about the chorus of a high-school musical production? Their work is harder because that they have to coordinate with each other and everyone and usually they are busy running around backstage more than others. They have to be at every rehearsal and have a commitment to the entire show even when they aren't on stage and in the spotlight all of the time. It takes dedication to be in the chorus.
    • What do you say to a student who is disappointed to 'only' be a chorus member? First of all, we truly believe if you can't be part of the whole, you will never be very good alone. We value this at our school and in our program. Leaders take on many different roles — we even have an award at the end of the year for the outstanding 'extra.'


  • What is the greatest chorus performance you have ever witnessed? Les Misérables in London (above)
  • Reserve your seat for the May 24 Bobby G Awards

    • What does it mean to your kids to be nominated for a Bobby G Award? We were nominated the first year we applied three years ago, but we were not nominated last year. This was a goal they set for themselves early on. They have reached their goal for this year, and that means so much to them. This goal motivated them throughout all of our rehearsals.
    • What has this experience taught you about the value of music education and extracurricular activities at your school? In a high-school world where there is so much recognition for sports and for other areas, having this recognition for the arts is outstanding. We are so proud to be a Bobby G Awards nominee and so appreciative of this program and all the work that goes into the process.

    Brighton High School Bobby G Awards


    Selected
    recent coverage of the Bobby G Awards:

    Our series of featured Outstanding Chorus nominees:


    Meet our nominated Outstanding lead actors and actresses:

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Meet 2018 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress nominee Dominique Smith-Lopez

    by John Moore | May 18, 2018
    Dominique Smith Lopez Bobby G Awards

    The Bobby G Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school musical theatre. The sixth annual awards take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at the Buell Theatre. (Reserve your seat here)

    Today we conclude our daily rollout of the five students who are finalists for Outstanding Lead Actress. The winner will advance to represent Colorado at The Jimmy® Awards/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards™ (NHSMTA).

    Dominique Smith Lopez Quote HyphenDOMINIQUE SMITH-LOPEZ

    The Baker's Wife in Into the Woods
    Vista PEAK Preparatory in Aurora
    Class of 2018

    • Twitter bio: Strong believer that we were put on this Earth for a purpose, and my purpose is to inspire people through musical theatre. I love acting, singing, and dancing, so why not do them all at the same time?  
    • What's your handle? @reneadominique on Twitter and @issadom.23 on Instagram
    • College plans: Metropolitan State University of Denver to pursue a degree in Musical Theatre
    • First role: My theatre debut was my sophomore year in my high-school musical Beauty and the Beast. I played a silly girl and a napkin.
    • Why do you perform? Because I love to. I love receiving energy from an audience, and I love the adrenaline rush you get from the curtain opening and the lights beaming down on your face. I perform to change the demographic of musical theatre.
    • One time you saw greatness play out in front of you: In December, I saw Waitress the Musical at the Buell Theatre and I couldn’t stop singing the soundtrack for the next three weeks because the music, the acting, the trust on stage was impeccable. I have never seen such perfection and love for performing on stage. That was when I knew that musical theatre was what I wanted to do.
    • Ideal scene partner: Johnny Depp. He has played such a wide variety of roles, and he just seems like a really fun person to be around.

    • What's playing on your Spotify right now?  I am listening to a lot of Daniel Caesar and the soundtracks to the musicals Dreamgirls and Waitress
    • Favorite moment from your show: It was when I cheated on The Baker (weird, I know!) because it was honestly one of the funniest moments in our entire show, and it allowed me to be more creative with my acting choices. It was a huge turning point in the show, as well as with my character.    
    • How does it feel to be nominated? I can honestly say that I have never been so excited about anything in my life. This is an incredible opportunity, and I think everyone should get the chance to experience the love and unity of this performing-arts family.

    Reserve your seat for the May 24 Bobby G Awards

    • What has this experience taught you about the value of arts education and extracurricular activities at your school? The importance of having a passion for everything you do — and not just arts education. If you don’t have a passion for something, then it’s not enjoyable for you or the people watching. School has taught me to finish everything I start and to finish strong, and those are lessons I will cherish forever.

     Our featured nominated actors and actresses to date:

    Selected recent coverage of the Bobby G Awards:

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Meet 2018 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor nominee Elisha Horne

    by John Moore | May 18, 2018
    Elisha Horne Bobby G Awards

    The Bobby G Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school musical theatre. The sixth annual awards take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at the Buell Theatre. (Reserve your seat here)

    Today we continue our rollout of the five students who are finalists for Outstanding Lead Actor. The winner will advance to represent Colorado at The Jimmy® Awards/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards™ (NHSMTA).

    Elisha Horne Bobby G AwardsELISHA HORNE

    The Baker in Into the Woods
    Vista PEAK Preparatory in Aurora
    Class of 2018

    • Twitter bio: A man with a vision and a purpose to change the world.
    • College plans: First I am joining Up With People to travel and help a great message reach the world. Then I would like to audition for AMDA’s musical theater program in New York. (The American Musical and Dramatic Academy).
    • What's your handle? @EHorne22 on Twitter and @elisha_horne22 on Instagram
    • First role: I played Jafar in Disney's Aladdin Jr.
    • Why do you perform? To recognize peoples’ stories and struggles through my interpretation. Performing allows me to capture someone else’s story given my own experience in life. Overall, I enjoy exploring the many fascinating fathoms humanity has to offer.
    • One time you saw greatness play out in front of you: I watched Barbra Streisand’s Back to Brooklyn concert, and she sang the song Somewhere from West Side Story. From the moment she opened her mouth to the last note, it was absolute perfection because it was simple and just beautiful.
    • Ideal scene partner: The iconic Laura Benanti because she is so beautiful and an amazing performer with great stage presence

    • What's playing on your Spotify right now? I’m listening to Daniel Caesar, Yebba, and musical-theatre soundtracks.
    • Favorite moment from your show: The ending scene, because it brings the whole lesson of the show together and teaches the audience that for every wish you make there is a price, and that wish will forever affect the next generation, and the generation after them.
    • How does it feel to be nominated? It is a dream come true and such an honor. I told a story in Into The Woods that was very personal to me, and this makes me believe the story I told reached more people as well. I have made great memories and friends I will forever remember.

    Reserve your seat for the May 24 Bobby G Awards

    • What has this experience taught you about the value of arts education and extracurricular activities at your school? That the arts are just as important as the core-curriculum. And that hard work truly does pay off in the end.


    Our featured nominated actors and actresses:

    Selected recent coverage of the Bobby G Awards:

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Meet 2018 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress nominee Daelyn Nace

    by John Moore | May 17, 2018
    Daelyn Nace Bobby G Awards

    The Bobby G Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school musical theatre. The sixth annual awards take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at the Buell Theatre. (Reserve your seat here)

    Today we continue our rollout of the five students who are finalists for Outstanding Lead Actress. The winner will advance to represent Colorado at The Jimmy® Awards/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards™ (NHSMTA).

    Daelyn Nace QuoteDAELYN NACE

    The Lady of the Lake in Spamalot
    Fort Collins High School
    Class of 2019

    • Twitter bio: Just a weird girl in a big world who tries not to freak out every time she sees a dog. Has a Husky named Sokka who with bad eyes so he sports dog goggles. Loves love camping and swimming and hanging out with absolutely insane friends. Movie and theatre nerd.
    • College plans: Not sure yet since I have an entire year until that scary stuff starts, but I’ve always dreamed of going to New York University for music theatre, or heading to California for film production and acting.
    • What's your handle? @daelynnace on Instagram
    • First role: I played Penelope Anne in Bye Bye Birdie at Midtown Arts Center. I was probably 8 years old and way too excited and awkward.
    • Why do you perform? Because being on stage surrounded by friends and being cheered on by an audience is an adrenaline high unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It’s almost like flying. I also found a family in the people I perform with that create bonds I couldn’t ever have imagined. But more than anything, performing  is something I can do to be creative. Stepping into another story and becoming another person who can do amazing things and act however they want is surreal and inexplicably freeing. I get to dress up and act like someone I’m not — and I don’t get called crazy. What’s better than that?
    • G.I.s and Saigon Bar Girls Keegan Flaugh Carousel Midtown Arts CenterOne time you saw greatness play out in front of you: My dad, Keegan Flaugh, is an amazing performer and inspiration, One of the most surreal experiences I have ever had was when I went to see him play John in a 2004 production of Miss Saigon at the Carousel Dinner Theatre in Fort Collins, which is now the Midtown Arts Center. (Pictured top left.) When he walked out on the stage and sang the song "Bui Doi," about the children of Vietnam, I sat there so captivated by his voice and the story he was conveying that I didn’t even notice I had started crying. I don’t mean just a few tears. I was full-on ugly crying, almost to the point of shaking. It was like a sucker-punch to the gut. I had never been so moved before and as cheeseball as it sounds, it really did change my life.
    • Ideal scene partner: Ever since I saw the late Heath Ledger play The Joker in The Dark Knightand his absolutely phenomenal performance, I dreamed of even just meeting the guy, let alone actually doing a scene with him. I was heartbroken when I found out about his passing, but I’ll always remember the amazing things he did.

    • What's playing on your Spotify right now? I’ve recently become way too obsessed with the band AJR. They’re a little weird and a little racy but the music is a really cool style. But honestly, you can almost always find me listening to the original Dear Evan Hansen soundtrack.
    • Favorite moment from your show: I remember our last performance so vividly because of a hilarious little prank one of our best cast members pulled. There is a song in Spamalot where a boy named Herbert is helping the knight Lancelot come out as gay. All of the male cast members were in this number and one of them, during our last show, decided to bring an obscene amount of glitter on stage with him —  hidden in his shorts. The number ends very dramatically with all of the men striking very “vibrant” poses, and as the music struck its final chord, this guy yanked an entire handful of glitter out of his pants and threw it into the air before ripping his shirt open. I was backstage with all the other girls at the time and I tried so hard not to laugh that I choked on my own spit. I swear, I almost died.
    • How does it feel to be nominated? Absolutely surreal. It’s a dream come true. I can’t believe that it’s happening still. It hasn’t entirely sunk in, and on the night of the awards, I’m going to spontaneously freak out and scare all my friends and family.

    Reserve your seat for the May 24 Bobby G Awards

    • What has this experience taught you about the value of arts education and extracurricular activities at your school? It has made me realize how much of a family it’s become to me. Theatre is a place where we can all escape from real life and do things we’re so passionate about for a while. We all lean on each other and laugh together and are just always there for each other. Arts education is so important. I think the arts need to be appreciated more by schools.

    Our featured nominated actors and actresses to date:

    Selected recent coverage of the Bobby G Awards:

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Meet 2018 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor nominee Jeremiah Garcia

    by John Moore | May 17, 2018
    Jeremiah Garcia Bobby G Awards

    The Bobby G Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school musical theatre. The sixth annual awards take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at the Buell Theatre. (Reserve your seat here)

    Today we continue our rollout of the five students who are finalists for Outstanding Lead Actor. The winner will advance to represent Colorado at The Jimmy® Awards/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards™ (NHSMTA).

    JEREMIAH GARCIA

    Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde
    Pomona High School
    Class of 2018

    • Twitter bio: Sagittarius and a tenor. Loves reality TV and long walks on the beach. Pretty loud but infectious laugh and a Vine obsession. Takes things one bag of hot Cheetos at a time. Have Fun, Be Young and Drink Pepsi.
    • College plans: I will be studying Musical Theatre in New York at Marymount Manhattan College in the fall
    • What's your handle? @liljaymiah on Instagram and Twitter
    • First role: I played The Cheese in our Kindergarten musical, It’s The Cheese If You Please
    • Why do you perform? To recognize peoples’ stories and struggles through my interpretation. Performing allows me to capture someone else’s story given my own experience in life. Overall, I enjoy exploring the many fascinating fathoms humanity has to offer.
    • One time you saw greatness play out in front of you: It was 2013, in middle school, I had the opportunity to see the matinee of Pomona’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. I was absolutely blown away and couldn’t wait to be on that stage myself. I went home that night and memorized all the music to the show so I could go back for the evening performance and sing along. It was a turning point for me that I will never forget.
    • Ideal scene partner: I am constantly in awe of Eva Noblezada, who played Kim in the 2017 Broadway revival of Miss Saigon. I’d love to share the stage with a powerhouse like her. I might just have the tiniest crush. No biggie.

    • What's playing on your Spotify right now? Childish Gambino, of course. I’d also recommend Post Malone’s new album if you’re feeling a little down. But you can never go wrong with the classics: Whitney Houston, Prince, Celine Dion, Diana Ross.
    • Favorite moment from your show: Without a doubt, it was the dog auditions. It was heaven. I may be allergic but that didn’t stop any of the belly rubs. And boy, did I give lots of belly rubs.
    • How does it feel to be nominated? It is so humbling. I’ve stalked the nominees on social media since freshman year and dreamed of what this moment might be like. It’s been a dream come true to stand in the shoes of the talented young people before me. When I told my mom about it, we cried.

    Reserve your seat for the May 24 Bobby G Awards

    • What has this experience taught you about the value of arts education and extracurricular activities at your school? The experience of an arts education in a child’s life is irreplaceable. I’ve been blessed with a surplus of accessibility to arts education in my school and community, and that has helped me to be successful both academically and artistically. Arts education gave me the academic balance I needed and brought so much color to my world. I couldn’t be more grateful to the many exceptional theatre educators I’ve had the pleasure to work with in these short 18 years. We have to continue to fight for these opportunities to be provided to every student moving forward. Our future depends on it.

    Jeremiah Garcia Bobby G Awards


    Our featured nominated actors and actresses to date:

    Selected recent coverage of the Bobby G Awards:

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Meet 2018 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor Nominee Will Warner

    by John Moore | May 16, 2018
    Will Warner Bobby G Awards


    The Bobby G Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in Colorado high-school musical theatre. The sixth annual awards take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at the Buell Theatre. (Reserve your seat here)

    Today we continue our rollout of the five students who are finalists for Outstanding Lead Actor. The winner will advance to represent Colorado at The Jimmy® Awards/The National High School Musical Theatre Awards™ (NHSMTA).

    Will Warner QUOTE 2WILL WARNER

    Tommy Korman in Honeymoon in Vegas
    Lakewood High School
    Class of 2018

    • Twitter bio: Just a regular guy who wants to make an impact. I do every single activity I set my eyes on, and the one that has captured my heart is theatre.
    • College plans: I will be attending the University of Oklahoma to pursue a BFA in Acting.
    • First role: My theatre debut was Puck in the children’s version of A Midsummer’s Night Dream
    • Why do you perform? To make an impact. I enjoy seeing people leave the theatre with more insight and perspective than when they entered. It is the power of this art form to change minds and drive the American culture to a more equitable place.
    • One time you saw greatness play out in front of you: I saw The Woman in Black in London before my junior year, it was like watching magic. The two actors drew me into the story and took me on a roller coaster that changed my whole goal for my craft. I wanted to make magic like they did because it impacted me so much.
    • Ideal scene partner: Eva Noblezada, who played Kim in the 2017 Broadway revival of Miss Saigon.

    • What's playing on your Spotify right now? “Take it Easy” by The Eagles
    • Favorite moment from your show: I enjoyed seeing people who came in with frowns leave with smiles.
    • How does it feel to be nominated? I feel very honored to be recognized, especially considering how talented some of the actors were in other productions I saw.

    Reserve your seat for the May 24 Bobby G Awards

    • What has this experience taught you about the value of arts education and extracurricular activities at your school? My experience in high-school theatre has taught me how an arts education goes beyond the knowledge developed in core classes in order to develop the individual. Arts education builds character, empathy and accountability, which are all core attributes of leaders. Acting and working on shows has made a leader of me, and I think that it prepares students to graduate high school ready for anything life throws at them.  

     Our featured nominated actors and actresses to date:

    Selected recent coverage of the Bobby G Awards:

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • 2018 DPS Shakespeare Festival turns into a celebration of teachers

    by John Moore | Apr 28, 2018

    Our NewsCenter video recap of the 2018 DPS Shakespeare Festival. "What I like is that any person can play any character," said Wedase Gezahagi of Denver Green School.  Photo gallery below. Video by David Lenk and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Despite rally at the state Capitol, most teachers wouldn't have missed seeing culmination of students' hard work

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    To be or not to be … red. That was not even a question on Friday.

    The 34th Denver Public Schools Shakespeare Festival took on the feel of recent downtown protest marches in support of women and gun control — only in this case, most of the marchers were dressed in colorful Elizabethan garb as queens, clowns, swordsmen and ghosts. But the prevailing color of the day was assuredly red, in support of thousands of Colorado teachers who were gathering down the road at the state Capitol building for a second day of rallies calling for better pay and more school funding.

    2018 Shakespeare Festival. Photo by John Moore. “Red for Ed” and “Kids First” were common chants along the short opening parade from the 16th Street Mall to the Denver Performing Arts Complex, where an estimated 3,400 students from kindergarten through high school performed more than 640 short scenes, dances, soliloquies and sonnets on 18 indoor and outdoor stages. An estimated 5,000 attended.

    Protest signs were prevalent, such as, “I would rather be in a funded classroom,” and, “Out, damned TABOR. Out, I say.” That’s both a takeoff on Lady Macbeth’s famous “Out, damned spot” speech, and a dig at a state constitutional amendment that severely limits Colorado’s spending — and has been blamed for the state’s dismal ranking as 47th in educational spending.

    For decades, the nation's largest annual student Shakespeare Festival has been a celebration of both students and the man considered to be the greatest writer in the English language. But on Friday, the festival turned into a joyous and organic exaltation of teachers.

    “Today is absolutely a celebration of teachers,” said Denver Center President and CEO Janice Sinden. “Thousands of teachers across Denver Public Schools give every minute of every day to their students, and this is an opportunity celebrate their contributions to our educational system.”

    The call for Colorado teachers to rally at the state capitol on Friday came down only last week. But DPS have been preparing their students for the hard work of Friday’s fun back since the semester began in January. Missing it, said Highline Academy teacher Rachel VanScoy, “would have been horrible,” she said.

    “What's happening at the state Capitol is important, but what is happening here is important, too. We have a lot of good people representing us at the rally, but I wanted to be here to see what my kids have worked so hard to accomplish.”

    Read more: Our list of Shakespeare's Top 10 teenagers

    Studies have shown that studying and performing Shakespeare improves students’ reading skills, vocabulary, critical thinking, public speaking, confidence, self-esteem and even empathy. VanScoy said her students got even more out of it on Friday. “Well, they got a little bit of stage fright,” she said with a laugh. “But they also got a sense of accomplishment. … And they get turkey legs and cotton candy.”

    All in all, a pretty great day.

    (Story continues below the photo.)

    2018 Shakespeare Festival. Travis Ostrum. Photo by John Moore.
    Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Travis Ostrom, a fourth-grade reading and writing teacher at Denver Green School, said Friday was easily the highlight of his school year. “The sense of pride and love that I have for my students has never shined stronger than when I got to see them perform,” he said. “I support everything that is going on down at the Capitol, and I will join them later today. But there was no way I was going to miss this for anything. This is my special time with my students.”

    2018 Shakespeare Festival. Photo by John MooreDPS officials said only two schools pulled out of the Shakespeare Festival because of Friday’s teacher walkout.

    Denver School of the Arts theatre teacher Shawn Hann said she thought about going to the Capitol on Friday “for a split second,” she said. “But we have 177 students in this program, and so there was no question about it. I had to be here. This is about being the biggest advocate we can be for theatre in Denver Public Schools.”

    The DPS Shakespeare Festival, founded in 1984 by the legendary teacher Joe Craft, is presented by the Denver Public Schools in partnership with the city of Denver, the Denver Public Schools Foundation and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

    Sinden delivered opening remarks wearing a gown that was used by the actor playing Juliet’s attendant in the DCPA Theatre Company’s 2013 production of Romeo and Juliet.

    “My favorite part of the day was walking across the street this morning and a swarm of children ran to greet me asking me who I was dressed as,” Sinden said. “Another highlight was seeing a little group of boys wearing mafia outfits as Shakespeare’s Kingsmen. “They all have their own interpretation of what Shakespeare is.”

    Priya Burkett, Chair-Elect of the DPS Foundation Board of Directors, said "the Foundation believes our city is strengthened by each student who graduates and leads a successful life, and we see this Shakespeare Festival as a key component for learning about literature, culture and creative expression."

    Gabriella Cavallero and Leslie O’Carroll, both longtime actors for the DCPA Theatre Company, each have daughters who performed on Friday. Cavallero’s daughter, Ariana Lavezza, is a first-timer because only fifth graders at Park Hill Elementary School participate in the festival. Lavezza said she loved the chance to perform because it is a chance for her to be like her mom, who won a 2016 True West Award and most recently appeared in the Aurora Fox’s staging of Real Women Have Curves.

    O’Carroll, best known for playing Mrs. Fezziwig in the Denver Center’s annual production of A Christmas Carol, has watched her daughter Olivia Wilson grow — and grow up — through her six years at the DPS festival. On Friday, she could hardly believe how grown up her daughter has become as she engaged in a rather intense sparring match playing Anne opposite the wicked Richard III.

    (Story continues after the photo gallery below.)

    Photo gallery: The day in pictures:

    2018 DPS Shakespeare Festival
    Photo gallery: Our best images from the 2018 DPS Shakespeare Festival. To see more, click on the photo above to be taken to our full, downloadable Flickr gallery. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    “When I was little, going to the DPS Festival was all about wearing costumes and being around the big kids,” said Wilson, a ninth-grader at Denver School of the Arts. “As I have gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate Shakespeare's language, and I have learned so much about acting because Shakespeare basically tells you exactly how to play the scene.”

    Ostrom, who was bringing his Denver Green School students to the DPS festival for the first time, said the semester-long Shakespeare project gave them a real sense of purpose. “That’s the best type of education,” he said, “when your students are completely engaged, and fully invested in an assignment."

    Watch our Facebook Live stream of the 2018 parade

    Each year, DPS students submit essays for the privilege to play William Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I in the welcoming ceremonies, and ride at the head of the parade. This year’s honorees were Daniel McCorquodale, a senior at Denver Center for International Studies, and Denver School of the Arts senior Emily Embleton.

    2018 Shakespeare Festival. Photo by John Moore“It’s such an honor for me because this is the biggest student-run Shakespeare festival in the country, and theatre arts are so important,” Embleton said. “I am so honored to help facilitate the opportunity for all of these young people to be here doing theatre. It’s amazing."

    McCorquodale was treated like a rock star wherever he went, often stopping to talk with groups of young student performers.  

    “This is just tremendous,” he said. "I am so glad to be part of something as wonderful as this, in a city as wonderful as Denver is, and to just be having a good time with all these lovely theatre kids.”

    Friday’s program included a performance by DCPA Education’s “Shakespeare in the Parking Lot” ensemble — a group of six professional teaching artists who presented a shortened, 45-minute version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This semester, the group has traveled to 52 schools and logged 132 performances of Midsummer and Romeo and Juliet, followed by classroom workshops that connect the themes of the plays with  issues relevant to contemporary students. The group will perform at 1 and 3 p.m. today (Saturday, April 28) at 1610 Little Raven St., just north of 15th Street. The public is welcome.

    Shakespeare keeps on truckin' in high-school parking lots

    “When schools might not have the opportunity to come downtown and see a matinee, we are so excited to bring Shakespeare to them,” said DCPA Director of Education Allison Watrous. “We also think it’s just so important for Shakespeare to be a part of the core curriculum in schools across Denver, and so to have ‘Shakespeare in the Parking Lot’ perform as part of this festival just connects with that mission. And when the kids see our teaching artists performing at the highest level, it shows them that Shakespeare is still very relevant, that it is accessible and that his stories are just incredible.Charlie Korman as Romeo

    “And to be able to watch these professional actors perform Shakespeare, that gives them something to shoot for themselves.”

    Friday was a busy day at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Three young members of the DCPA Theatre Company's production of The Who's Tommy attend Denver Public School and performed in the fest before Friday evening's opening of The Who's rock opera: Charlie Korman (pictured as right Romeo), Olivia Sullivent and Tristan C. Regini. The national touring production of Disney's Aladdin also performed a matinee that attracted nearly 3,000 to the Buell Theatre during the festival.

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


    2018 Shakespeare Festival. Photo by John Moore
    The 2018 DPS Shakespeare Festival. Photo by John Moore.

    Our coverage of the DPS Shakespeare Festival through the years
    Our 2017 DPS Shakespeare Festival coverage
    Our 2016 DPS Shakespeare Festival coverage
    Our 2015 DPS Shakespeare Festival coverage
    Our 2014 DPS Shakespeare Festival coverage

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • DPS Fest: Shakespeare's Top 10 teenagers

    by John Moore | Apr 26, 2018

    Video: Our look back at the 2017 Denver Public Schools Shakespeare Festival, which returns for a 34th year on Friday (April 27). Video by David Lenk and John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    When 5,000 teens take over downtown in Shakespearean garb Friday, some might even be playing their own ages  

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    The first 33 years of the Denver Public Schools' annual Shakespeare Festival have produced thousands of teenagers playing hundreds of Macbeths, Rosalinds and dusty old Lears. But you might be surprised how many age-appropriate roles there are out there for teens. Most prominently, no doubt, the uncomfortably young 14-year-old Juliet, whose Romeo was five years her senior.

    (But hey, different times. Life expectancy in England in 1600 was 35, largely because of high infant and child mortality.)

    The DPS Shakespeare Festival, the largest student fest in the country, returns Friday to the Denver Performing Arts Complex, despite a planned walkout by teachers throughout the country in support of increased salaries and classroom resources.

    "The Show Must Go On!" the district says on the festival page of its website. And the show begins with a grand parade from Skyline Park beginning at 10 a.m. and continues throughout the day with short performances of sonnets and scenes, as well as demonstrations of dance, music and songs from Shakespeare’s time.

    In honor of the 5,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade who will participate in Friday's festival, we present this list of Shakespeare's Top 10 Teens: 

    NUMBER 1DPS Shakespeare JulietJuliet is a title character in Romeo and Juliet. The daughter of Capulet, she falls in love with Romeo, son of her father's mortal enemy with, ahem, tragic results. Juliet is thrust into adulthood quickly. In four days, she is courted by Count Paris; falls in love with Romeo (who kills her cousin Tybalt); has her first sexual experience; is nearly disowned by her parents, and spends two days drugged to unconsciousness. And then kills herself. So you know ... that's a lot.

    "O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die."

    NUMBER 2

    Joan la Pucelle: Better known to history as Joan of Arc, she leads the Dauphin's forces against Talbot and the English in Henry VI, Part 1. An unkind Shakespeare presents her as an adulteress who fakes pregnancy in order to avoid being burnt at the stake.

    May never glorious sun reflex his beams upon the country where you make abode, but darkness and the gloomy shade of death environ you, till mischief and despair drive you to break your necks or hang yourselves!

    NUMBER 3

    Midummer lovers DCPA Theatre Company Lysander + Hermia and Demetrius + Helena, the four bickering, pining, potioned young lovers in A Midsummer Night's Dream: Hermia loves Lysander. Lysander loves Hermia but, under a spell, fake-loves Helena. Helena is initially rejected by Demetrius, but later gets her man. (Got it?)

    Helena: O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent to set against me for your merriment. If you were civil and knew courtesy, you would not do me thus much injury.

    (Pictured above and right: Leigh Miller, Drew Cortese, Caitlin Wise and Allison Pistorius in the DCPA Theatre Company's 2011 production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.' Photo by Terry Shapiro.)

    Bard keeps truckin' with 'Shakespeare in the Parking Lot'

    NUMBER 4

    Imogen is the daughter of king Cymbeline. Her husband, Posthumus, wrongly believes she has been unfaithful and orders her killed. Her vain stepbrother Cloten "loves" Imogen, and thus, resolves to rape her. She is later administered a poison by the queen — but it’s a fake.

    Look here, love: This diamond was my mother's. Take it, heart. But keep it till you woo another wife, when Imogen is dead.

    NUMBER 5 HENRY_V-jmk-15-8044Hal: King Henry V starts out as just a lad, eldest son of Bolingbroke (also known as King Henry IV). Before he becomes his own title character in Henry V, we see his wild-seed years play out at the foot father figure Falstaff. He of course eventually ascends the throne, rejects Falstaff and leads the English to victory at Agincourt.

    Thou art so fat-witted, with drinking of old sack and unbuttoning thee after supper and sleeping upon benches after noon …

    (Pictured above and right: A grown-up Hal in Colorado Shakespeare Festival's 'Henry V' in 2014. Photo by Jennifer Koskinen.)


    NUMBER 6

    Richard Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester is the brave but evil third son of Richard, Duke of York. He is a fairly minor character in Henry VI, Part 2, becomes more prominent in Henry VI, Part 3, and grows up to be the hunchbacked, the titular antagonist in Richard III.

    France should have torn and rent my very heart before I would have yielded to this league.

    NUMBER 7

    King Lear DCTC 2007Edgar and Edmund are the sons (ish) of Gloucester in King Lear. Edgar is the worthy, legitimate son of Gloucester who disguises himself as "Poor Tom." Edmund is the bastard son, and one of the most calculating of Shakespeare villains.

    Edgar: Who gives anything to poor Tom? whom the foul fiend hath led through fire and through flame, through ford and whirlpool, o'er bog and quagmire.

    (Pictured above and right: Rodney Hicks as Edmund and Markus Potter as Edgar in the DCPA Theatre Company's 2007 production of King Lear.' Photo by Terry Shapiro.)

    NUMBER 8

    Hero and Claudio: Hero falls in love with Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing. She is wronged by Don John and Borachio, and is abandoned at the altar, and left for dead, by Claudio. No one's really sure how old Claudio is, but, as Shmoop.com says: "Seriously, he acts like he's about 12." 

    Hero: O, God defend me! how am I beset! What kind of catechizing call you this?
    Claudio: To make you answer truly to your name.

    2017 Festival: Students put spirit of youth into everything

    NUMBER 9

    Miranda and Ferdinand are hormonal kids in The Tempest. Miranda is the daughter of Prospero, and she falls for Ferdinand. She’s 14. Yeah, try not to think about that too much. We know here age, Shmoop.com says, "because her dad says she wasn't yet 3 years old when they landed on the island and 12 years have passed since then."

    Miranda: How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, that has such people in it!

    NUMBER 10

    DPS Shakespeare Lavinia Hannah Duggan Buntport Lavinia is the daughter of Titus in Titus Andronicus. She is raped by Chiron and Demetrius, her tongue is cut out and her hands cut off. In 2003, Denver's clever Buntport Theater presented a comic Titus Andronicus in which Lavinia (Hannah Duggan) responded to her tongue-trimming by mumble-singing “Oops!” by Britney Spears (name presumably shortened from Shakespeare) with bloody shirt cuffs and blood spilling out from of her mouth. Legen ... dary.

    No grace? no womanhood? Ah, beastly creature! The blot and enemy to our general name! Confusion fall—

    (Pictured above right: Hannah Duggan in Buntport Theater's 2003 production of 'Titus Andronicus.')

    Bonus: Boy, Oh, Boy!
    OK, there are a lot of young male characters Shakespeare didn't bother to officially name. In Henry V, “Boy” goes to war with Pistol, Bardolph and Nym. In Richard III, “Boy” is the young son of the murdered Clarence (described in one speech as little Ned Plantagenet). In Coriolanus, “Boy” is young Martius, son of Caius Martius Coriolanus. In Henry IV, Part 2, “Boy” is a follower of Sir John Falstaff, and in The Merry Wives of Windsor, that same boy is called Robin. In Henry VI, Part 1, “The Master Gunner's Boy” kills Salisbury. “Boy” sings in The Two Noble Kinsmen, Measure for Measure and Antony and Cleopatra. “Boy” is also a servant in Troilus and Cressida and Much Ado About Nothing. (Full disclosure: Probably not all the same boy.) Oddly — or perhaps not, given the times, Shakespeare only bothered to name one character “Girl”—  the young daughter of the murdered Clarence in Richard III.

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

    Special thanks: Research assistance from Jessica Austgen and Geoffrey Kent. Some material collected from Shmoop.com, Wikipedia's complete list of Shakespeare characters and OpenSource Shakespeare.

    Photo gallery: The 2017 DPS Shakespeare Festival:


    2017 DPS Shakespeare FestivalOur photos from the 2017 DPS Shakespeare Festival. Last year, the student selected to play Queen Elizabeth at the Opening Ceremonies was Denver School of the Arts Senior Amelia Corrada. To see more photos, click on the image above to be taken to our full gallery. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    34th Annual Denver Public Schools Shakespeare Festival

    • 10 a.m.: Opening Ceremonies will be held at 15th and Arapahoe streets
    • 10:15 a.m.: All students will join a short parade down the 16th Street Mall to the Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • 10:45 a.m. through 4:15 p.m.: Short performances of sonnets and scenes from the works of Shakespeare, as well as demonstrations of dance, music and songs from Shakespeare’s time. Note: DCPA Education's "Shakespeare in the Parking Lot" ensemble will perform at 1 p.m. just outside the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex.
    • Ages: Kindergarten through high school
    • This year’s theme play: Macbeth
    • More information on auditioning, workshops and resources for educators: shakespeare.dpsk12.org
    The 2018 stage map:

    Stage-Map-2018

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • For one day in Denver, 'Hamilton' makes students the stars

    by John Moore | Mar 23, 2018


    The video above offers a full recap of 'EduHam' day in Denver, complete with interviews and performance excerpts. Separate videos of each individual performance below. Videos by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk and Senior Arts Journalist John Moore.

    Education program allows underserved students to rise up and have their voices be heard before thousands of peers 

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Wednesday was no ordinary day at the Buell Theatre.

    The decibel was higher, the shrieks were louder, the ages were younger and the faces were distinctly more varied in color. 

    EduHam Mathenee TrecoThis was “EduHam,” the innovative educational program developed by the Broadway musical phenomenon Hamilton. On Wednesday, 2,700 students and teachers from 38 Denver-area high schools participated in morning activities followed by a matinee performance of the sold-out, Tony Award-winning musical. 

    You knew this performance would be different before it even began when the students in the mezzanine started a wave. You knew it during the show as they finger-snapped in affirmation of lines that connected with them and roared at the end of songs as if this were a rock concert. Which, in many ways, it was. You knew it as the show was ending when one voice pierced the silence with a scream of “Oh my God!” as, onstage, one of history’s most infamous bullets was piercing Alexander Hamilton’s heart.   

    The students were not only watching a piece of history. They were part of it. Because there has simply never been another pop-culture phenomenon quite like Hamilton. And, to shamelessly quote the show's anthem: They were in the room where it happened.

    “There are moments that the words don’t reach … “ 

    Hamilton, winner of 11 Tony Awards, is the story of Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary.  With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, it features a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and Broadway.

    Cast member Mathenee Treco calls Hamilton the story of America then, as told by America now.

    Lin-Manuel Miranda on theatre's power to eliminate distance

    Hamilton changes lives,” said Treco, who attended Eaglecrest High School in Aurora. And EduHam was perhaps recalibrating the lives of many of the students who spent the day at the Denver Center participating in the show’s innovative educational program that debuted on Broadway in 2015 and has continued in every city it has visited since.

    The participating students prepared by spending up to three months in their classrooms studying American history through a special integrated curriculum about Hamilton and the nation’s other Founding Fathers. On Wednesday morning, select students performed original works based on their studies – songs, rap, poetry, scenes and monologues – on The Buell Theatre stage, in front of their peers. Afterward, they had a Q&A with six cast members.

    “Immigrants … we get the job done”

    Treco, like Hamilton and many of the students in Wednesday’s audience, is an immigrant himself, having been born in the Bahamas and moving to Aurora with his family at age 6. “Today they saw a representation of themselves on the stage," he said. "Their energy was tangible. I could feel their excitement. And I think it's going to propel them.”

    Hamilton is performed by an almost entirely non-white cast. That the audience on Wednesday was almost entirely students of color, Treco said, was overwhelming — in the best possible way. “I want to see children of color feeling empowered and feeling uplifted,” said Treco. But it was not a coincidence, said Hamilton Education Program Manager Amy DiChristina of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

    It was the point. 

    “The goal of this program is to reach Title I schools across the country, and those schools are very often underserved,” DiChristina said. Title I schools have high percentages of children from impoverished families, many of which speak English as a second language. “They don't have the resources they need. And they don't normally have access to field trips like these, or tickets to a show like this.”

    DiChristina’s research indicates more than 65 percent of students who participate in EduHam  have never before attended a Broadway-level show in their lives. “So to be able to offer them both access and educational resources is the goal,” she said.

    Cast member Sabrina Sloan, who plays socialite Angelica Schuyler in Hamilton and volunteered to emcee the morning program at The Buell, said “it was incredible to see this group of students, specifically being mostly kids of color. I remember the first show my parents took me to was West Side Story, and seeing people who were brown onstage and seeing people who looked like me meant the world. It told me that theatre was something that was accessible to me. So knowing that Hamilton might be their first show ever really gives me chills.”

    (Story continues after the video playlist below.)

    Click the video above to see all 14 of the Denver 'EduHam' student performances in one video playlist. Each one plays after the other. Videos by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.


    “I wrote my way out…”

    Grace Padilla, a junior at Vantage Point High School, was one of the students who applied for — and won — a chance to recite from her poetry on The Buell stage. She has been writing since she was 7 years old, and self-published her own book at 14. She was inspired to bridge Hamilton’s story with her own by penning a variation on a song from the Broadway musical called “Wrote My Way Out.” It’s the story of how Hamilton, born out of wedlock on the Caribbean island of Nevis, was abandoned by his father, orphaned at 13 and came to the American colonies two years later to further his education. Padilla can relate.

    “I was born of dirt, but I will live of redwoods,” Padilla read, bringing her peers to their feet.

    “Growing up, I had to deal with being very poor in an abusive, broken home,” she said afterward. “Hamilton wrote his way out, and that is what I have been doing with my life, too. I really wanted to touch other people and be their voice and let them know they are heard, too.”

    Noah Thomas, a junior at Atlas Preparatory High School in Colorado Springs, opened the program by reading a poem called “Remember the Ladies,” written by his best friend, Laci Caballero. It's about Abigail Adams, wife of the second president, John Adams.  “While her husband was off building the country, he forgot the ladies," he said afterward. "This was Laci’s way of saying, ‘Remember them.’

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Performing for thousands of peers, Thomas said, made him feel emboldened. 

    "Even though I'm just a 17-year-old kid from Colorado, I felt like my voice was heard, and Laci's words were heard, and the message behind them were heard," he said.

    That, DiChristina said, is the point. “We want these students to go out into the world and feel empowered to use their voices for whatever they feel is important.”

    Four students from West Leadership Academy used their voices to perform a full scene called The Story of Peggy, about Hamilton's wife, in their native Spanish.

    "I’m young, scrappy and hungry, and I’m not throwing away my shot."

    Padilla said Miranda’s spoken-word writing style is the biggest attraction to Hamilton for students  “because you just can't connect with the younger generation today without a little hip-hop and rap,” she said.

    Treco said Miranda isn’t telling a different story than what is already being told in history books. He’s just telling it in a more exciting way.

    Sloan says presenting constitutional debates and personal disputes as rap battles is not only a clever variation on a Broadway theme — it is an essential way of reaching younger theatre audiences. “And it doesn’t just reach students,” she said. “It reaches everyone across generations, color lines, social, economic backgrounds. There is a truth to it. There is a humanity in how he speaks."  And the way he speaks, Treco added, "makes history sound really, really cool.”

    Life doesn’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints…”

    The Hamilton Education Program is one of several history education programs funded by the Gilder Lehrman Institute. “This project is transformative," said president James G. Basker — who devised the education program in New York in tandem with Miranda, Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller, The Rockefeller Foundation and the New York City Department of Education.

    "Hamilton has struck a chord with students because it embodies what great history education is all about: Bringing the past to life, and fostering connections with the exceptional individuals and moments that have made us who we are. This program empowers students to reclaim their own narrative and empowers teachers to bridge classroom learning with the stage.”

    (Story continues after the video below.)



    The response to EduHam on social media was rapturous. On Twitter, Jill Williams called the Hamilton “the best history lesson ever.” A sample of others:

    • “One of the best things about Hamilton is that every person in the room is excited about art and music and collectively vibrates with good energy,” a woman named Jennifer Tweeted. “We need more of that.”
    • Wrote Lois Rapport on Facebook: This was so fabulous. I am so happy to be a part of a group that encourages learning and helps kids fall in love with the theater. I was lucky that my parents took me to the theater at a young age, and I immediately was hooked.”
    • West Early College posted: We are so proud of our very own Josiah Blackbear, who was selected as one of the students to perform on stage for EduHam Keep an eye on our rising star. He is going places.
    • "That was amazing for those students. I hope the felt as inspired as I did," posted Matt Carnes.

    This is not a moment, it is a movement

    Treco said for it took guts for the high-school students to bare their souls before their peers on the Buell Theatre stage, but he’s sure the experience laid seeds of courage left that are already now germinating.

    "They killed it," Treco said. "Honesty is scary. But at the end of the day, they spoke their truth, and I promise you some of those kids just got really addicted to that feeling. … And some of them will be performing in Hamilton someday.”

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

    The participating schools:

    ·    Alameda International High School
    ·    Arapahoe Ridge High School
    ·    Atlas Preparatory School
    ·    Bruce Randolph High School
    ·    Denver School of Science and Technology
    ·    Green Valley Ranch High School
    ·    Denver South High School
    ·    DSST: College View High School
    ·    Early College Academy
    ·    Emily Griffith High School
    ·    Global Leadership Academy
    ·    Harrison High School
    ·    High Tech Early College
    ·    John F. Kennedy High School
    ·    Justice High School
    ·    KIPP Denver Collegiate High School
    ·    KIPP Northeast Denver Leadership Academy
    ·    Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy
    ·    Legacy Options High School
    ·    Manual High School
    ·    Mapleton Early College High School
    ·    Moffat School (K-12)
    ·    Monte Vista High School
    ·    Noel Community Arts School
    ·    North High School
    ·    Northglenn High School
    ·    Overland High School
    ·    RiseUp Community School
    ·    Sheridan High School
    ·    Sierra High School
    ·    STRIVE Prep RISE
    ·    STRIVE Prep- SMART
    ·    STRIVE Preparatory Schools - Excel Campus
    ·    The New America School Thornton
    ·    Vantage Point High School
    ·    Venture Prep
    ·    West Early College
    ·    West Leadership Academy
    ·    York International 

    The student performers (with video links):

    Noah Thomas, Atlas Preparatory School
    “Remember the Ladies”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/0v1stGZo7po

    Esteban Gallegos and Madis, on RustEmily Griffith High School
    “Hypocrisy of America”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/fys9vkwFyWc

    Eduardo Gonzalez and Sydney Hernandez, Global Leadership Academy
    “Boston Tea Party”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/VEbqfxspC58

    Erin JonesHarrison H, igh School
    “My Father”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/mrk_pIx_-7U

    Albert Ortega, High Tech Early College
    “George Washington at Valley Forge”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/dXjmAHPVTAw

    John Le, Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy
    “Aaron Burr”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/-hT17DgOelU

    Luis Castro and Jesus Villa, Mapleton Early College High School
    “Hamilton v. Jefferson Constitution”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/xNR2vJ226_4

    Ryker Poor and Sabian Storm, Moffat School
    “Jefferson v. King George”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/wh1Af6pU5s0

    Precious Allen, Sierra High School
    “Common Sense”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/hAe-INcmJ2k

    Issak Lucero, Strive Prep - SMART
    “Benjamin Franklin"
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/KQBBuj94vxo

    Isabel Aguilar, Jaqueline Garcia and Brandon Garcia
    The New America School at Thornton
    “Boston Massacre”
    Direct video link:  https://youtu.be/xIv7YatWQfE

     Isabel Aguilar, Jaqueline Garcia, Brandon Garcia, The New America School at Thornton
    “Boston Massacre”
    Direct video link: https://youtu.be/bWk5j00QsGc

    Grace Padilla, Vantage Point High School
    “Wrote My Way Out”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/wMlT6NmvrPE

    Josiah Blackbear, West Early College
    “Alexander Hamilton”

    Zehydi Chaparro-Rojas, Jose Torres-Andazola, Rossy Martinez-Sanchez and Alexandra Andazola-Chavez, West Leadership Academy

    “The Story of Peggy”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/sRfGFcMZjC8

  • Videos of all 'EduHam' student performances in Denver

    by John Moore | Mar 22, 2018

    Watch students from 14 schools perform original songs, rap, poetry, scenes and monologues based on studies

    EduHam” is the innovative educational program that Hamilton debuted on Broadway and continued in Denver on Wednesday, March 21, when 2,700 students and teachers from 38 Denver-area high schools attended an all-student matinee performance of the hit musical at The Buell Theatre

    The students spent several weeks in their classrooms studying American history through a special integrated curriculum about Alexander Hamilton and the nation’s Founding Fathers. Before the special performance, students representing various Title I schools performed original works they created based on their classroom studies – songs, rap, poetry, scenes, monologues – in front of their peers on The Buell stage. Title I schools have high percentages of children from low-income families.

    The Hamilton Education Program is one of several history education programs at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. “This project is transformative," said president James G. Basker — who devised the education program in New York in tandem with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, producer Jeffrey Seller, The Rockefeller Foundation and the NYC Department of Education.

    "Hamilton  has struck a chord with students because it embodies what great history education is all about: bringing the past to life, and fostering connections with the exceptional individuals and moments that have made us who we are. This program empowers students to reclaim their own narrative and empowers teachers to bridge classroom learning with the stage.”

    The emcee in Denver was cast member Sabrina Sloan. Later Thursday, you can read more about “EduHam” in Denver on the DCPA NewsCenter, MyDenverCenter.Org

    Click here to see all 14 of the student performances in one video playlist, where each one plays after the other. 


    Noah Thomas
    Atlas Preparatory School
    “Remember the Ladies”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/0v1stGZo7po



    Esteban Gallegos and Madison Rust
    Emily Griffith High School
    “Hypocrisy of America”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/fys9vkwFyWc





    Eduardo Gonzalez and Sydney Hernandez
    Global Leadership Academy
    “Boston Tea Party”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/VEbqfxspC58



    Erin Jones
    Harrison High School
    “My Father”
    Direct link https://youtu.be/mrk_pIx_-7U



    Albert Ortega
    High Tech Early College
    “George Washington at Valley Forge”
    Direct link https://youtu.be/dXjmAHPVTAw



    John Le
    Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy
    “Aaron Burr”
    Direct link https://youtu.be/-hT17DgOelU



    Luis Castro and Jesus Villa
    Mapleton Early College High School
    “Hamilton v. Jefferson Constitution”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/xNR2vJ226_4


     



    Ryker Poor and Sabian Storm
    Moffat School
    “Jefferson v. King George”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/wh1Af6pU5s0


     



    Precious Allen
    Sierra High School
    “Common Sense”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/hAe-INcmJ2k



    Issak Lucero
    Strive Prep - SMART
    “Benjamin Franklin”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/KQBBuj94vxo


     

    Isabel Aguilar, Jaqueline Garcia and Brandon Garcia
    The New America School at Thornton
    “Boston Massacre”
    Direct link:  https://youtu.be/xIv7YatWQfE


     

    Grace Padilla
    Vantage Point High School
    “Wrote My Way Out”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/bWk5j00QsGc


     

    Josiah Blackbear
    West Early College
    “Alexander Hamilton”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/wMlT6NmvrPE




    Zehydi Chaparro-Rojas, Jose Torres-Andazola, Rossy Martinez-Sanchez and Alexandra Andazola-Chavez
    West Leadership Academy
    “The Story of Peggy”
    Direct link: https://youtu.be/sRfGFcMZjC8

  • 'Saturday Night Alive' raises record $1.15 million for DCPA Education

    by John Moore | Mar 12, 2018

    Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.

    More than 800 see performance of Hamilton while supporting programs that serve 106,000 students every year

    The Denver Center for the Performing Arts' 38th annual Saturday Night Alive party netted a record $1.15 million on March 3. The fundraiser is a benefit for the DCPA’s extensive theatre education programs, which serve more than 106,000 students of all ages each year.

    With that evening's performance of Hamilton included as part of Saturday Night Alive, the evening sold out in record time — just one week. While more than 80Saturday Night Alive. Janice Sinden. Photo by Amanda Tipton0 guests enjoyed the full evening, another 200 joined the festivities at the show and after-party. The emcee was of CBS Denver.

    DCPA President and CEO Janice Sinden described the evening as breathtaking.

    “At the DCPA, we believe that the arts are a fundamental part of a well-rounded education,” she said. “Being able to celebrate that with Hamilton, a show that is equally passionate about arts education, is an exciting opportunity for our Saturday Night Alive donors.”

    (Pictured at right: DCPA President and CEO Janice Sinden. Photo by Amanda Tipton.)

    In addition to seeing Broadway’s biggest blockbuster, guests enjoyed a luxury silent auction, dinner by Epicurean Group, and post-show desserts and dancing to music by the Wash Park Funk Band.

    Saturday Night Alive has now raised an estimated $29 million and has helped the DCPA provide theatre programs to more than 2 million students.


    2018 Saturday Night Alive

    Photos from the 2018 Saturday Night Live, starting with, above, members of the 'Hamilton' cast enjoying the post-show party in the Seawell Ballroom. To see more photos, click on the image above to be taken to our full gallery of photos. Image above by acustomlook.com. All other photos by Amanda Tipton. 

    2018 Saturday Night Alive

    • 2018 Event Chairs: were Susan and Steve Struna
    • Corporate Chairs: Lisa & Norm Franke / Alpine Bank
    • Silent Auction Co-Chairs: Keri Christiansen & Jane Netzorg
    • Patron Chairs: Lyn and Dr. Michael Schaffer
    • Platinum Sponsors: Roger, Rick & Friends; United Airlines
    • Emerald Sponsors: Salah Foundation, SRC Energy, US Bank, Westin Denver Downtow
    • Gold Sponsors: Alpine Bank; Assist2Hear; Bayswater Exploration & Production; Colorado State Bank and Trust; CRG, Epicurean Group; Kathie & Keith Finger; Genesee Mountain Foundation; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP; HealthONE; Edward H. and Margaret Anne Leede; Microsoft; Tuchman Family Foundation; PDC Energy; Xcel Energy; Trice Jewelers
  • Lakewood High School's Tami LoSasso chosen for national advocacy leadership role

    by John Moore | Jan 26, 2018
    Tami LoSasso 2017 Bobby G Awards 2017. Photo by Emily Lozow.
    Lakewood High School's Tami LoSasso accepts her 2017 Bobby G Award for Outstanding Achievement in Direction last May at the Buell Theatre. Photo by Emily Lozow.

    Two-time Bobby G Award winner joins national grassroots initiative on behalf of theatre and other arts education

    Tami LoSasso, a two-time Bobby G Award-winning director and longtime theatre educator at Lakewood High School, has been selected as a member of the 2018 class of the Advocacy Leadership Network, it was announced today by the Educational Theatre Association in Cincinnati.

    That's a three-year pilot initiative started last year designed to train and empower members of the Educational Theatre Association in grassroots advocacy efforts on behalf of theatre and other arts education. Up to 10 representatives will be selected annually in a competitive process.
     
    Now in her 17th year of teaching, LoSasso has grown the program at Lakewood from two sections of theatre to a full offering ranging from introductory classes to advanced and I.B. Theatre, and a unified theatre program for students with special needs. Next year, she will introduce a slam poetry course for at-risk youth.

    Each year, Lakewood High School produces six shows including three full-length plays, one musical, one unified production, and student directed one-act plays.

    Last May, LoSasso earned her second Bobby G Award for Outstanding Achievement in Direction, for Sweeney Todd, with Yovana Milosevic. LoSasso also won in 2014 for Young Frankenstein, with Delaney Bohlen.

    Just two weeks ago, LoSasso's sophomore student Arianna Josue was named one of the 10 semifinalitsts for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts' fifth annual statewide playwriting competition.
     
    LoSasso is in her third year as Chapter Director for Colorado Thespians and is an active voice of advocacy for theatre education in Colorado.

    EdTA is a national nonprofit organization with approximately 125,000 student and professional members that supports and promotes school theatre. The Educational Theatre Association is the home of the International Thespian Society, an honor society for middle and high-school theatre students, which has inducted more than 2.3 million members since 1929.
     
    The goal of the pilot program is to create an effective and self-sustaining network of advocates who monitor and share state-based arts education policies, legislation, and advocacy successes that can be modeled by others.
     
    “The concept of the Advocacy Leadership Network is based on the notion that networking can help resolve common and unique issues impacting theatre education, especially when you have trained and committed advocates," said James Palmarini, Educational Theatre Association director of educational policy. So, each year, as we add more states, we become stronger and more effective as veterans help to mentor new members.”
     

    Direction
  • DCPA Education spring and summer classes go on sale today

    by John Moore | Jan 10, 2018
    DCPA Education classes
    DCPA Education's 'Musical Madness' students age kindergarten through fifth grade create and perform their own musical from scratch.


    Options include kids writing their own musical or gaining confidence with improv, and teens preparing for next step.


    DCPA Education’s winter classes kick off next week with 50 new classes ranging from intro to acting to scene study to Shakespeare’s text to auditioning tips to stage combat and even the Denver Center’s signature trapeze training.

    And while some of those classes still have slots open, today (Jan. 10), DCPA Education is also opening enrollment for its upcoming spring and summer sessions for children and teens, which run from April 7 through May 19, and June 4 through August 3.

    Last year, DCPA Education served nearly 106,000 students overall, of which more than 84,000 were youth. Included in those figures are the 4,000 adults, teens and children who took part in 400 year-round Education classes.

    To give you a small sense of what classes are newly available as of 10 a.m. today, here are three featured summer-class possibilities:

    NUMBER 1Musical Madness and Musical Mayhem. DCPA Education’s signature summer program for K-5 students gives children the chance to perform an original musical they create from scratch. They come up with the story, lyrics, dance moves and scenic elements, and they use their acting skills to transform their ideas into a 10-minute mini-musical they share with an eager audience in a free public performance. Musical Madness is the first class group (July 9-20), followed by the Musical Madness group (July 23-Aug 3). Classes run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cost: $500. Both end in public performances for friends and family.

    NUMBER 2Middle School Short-Form Improv: Youngsters develop a quick wit while exploring the fun and spontaneous world of short-form improvisational comedy. Using group activities, games and invented scene work, students build their confidence by learning how to make immediate, strong choices while cheering each other on in a supportive environment of creativity and spontaneity. Classes run June 4-8 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost: $250. The class ends with a public showcase performance.

    NUMBER 3High-School Summer Intensive. The Denver Center’s teen conservatory program is a great opportunity for committed high-school students who plan to pursue theatre in college. This program helps young actors who are  excelling in their school drama productions prepare for a serious career in theatre or film. Modeled after prestigious curriculums of the nation’s top acting programs, these two weeks are a unique opportunity for budding actors to grow while rubbing elbows with Denver Center acting professionals. Students must be sophomores, juniors or seniors in high school to apply. This program is considered the most challenging and rewarding actor-training experience for teen actors in the metro area. Classes run June 25 through July 9 from 9 a.m. to  5 p.m. Cost: $650. Click here or call 303-446-4892 for exact curriculum and application information.

    For more information, call 303-446-4892 or BUY ONLINE


    DCPA Education Classes

    DCPA Education served more than 84,000 youth last year in capacities ranging from classes to workshops to student matinees. The children above attended a performance of 'The Snowy Day' and then participated in a post-show workshop. The children below took the 'Musical Madness' class in 2015. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    DCPA Education Classes

    DCPA Education Musical Madness

  • Cast of 'Snowy Day': Parting thoughts on value of early arts education

    by John Moore | Nov 18, 2017

    A Snowy Day. Robert Lee Hardy. Zak Reynolds, Rachel Kae Taylor. Adams Viscom

    The cast of DCPA Education's 'The Snowy Day,' from left: Rachel Kae Taylor, Robert Lee Hardy and Zak Reynolds. Photo by Emily Lozow.

    'At an early age, the arts develop curiosity, empathy and whole little human beings through storytelling.'

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    DCPA Education launched its new Theatre for Young Audiences program this fall with The Snowy Day and Other Stories, which closes today after having been seen by about 20,000 underserved pre-school through 3rd graders from around the metro area.

    The production, staged in full partnership with the DCPA Theatre Company, told a sweet medley of four stories in the remarkable series authored by Caldecott Award-winning author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats. The Snowy Day tells the simple story of a boy named Peter and the wonder of his first encounter with snow.

    The play, told largely with the assistance of puppets, was performed by three professional local actors and benefited from the full resources of the DCPA Theatre Company’s creative staff, who focused on making the production a tactile experience in which all of the young audiences’ senses were activated.

    Allison Watrous, Director of DCPA Education and also director of The Snowy Day, said it is crucial to introduce live theatre to young people during the early years. "Theatre has not only been shown to boost academic achievement among early childhood learners," she said, "live performance can have a large impact on the way a kindergartner views and thinks about the world."

    In all the company gave 99 performances of The Snowy Day.  "More than 15,000 attended on organized field trips, with 79 percent of the participating schools on scholarship," Watrous said. "We also welcomed more than 5,000 students for post-show workshops led by DCPA Teaching Artists."

    As the company prepares to make its final two of nearly 100 performances today (Saturday, Nov. 18), actors Zak Reynolds, Rachel Kae Taylor and Robert Lee Hardy reflected on the value of arts education in their own young lives, which has led them to their place on the Conservatory Theatre stage: 

    Robert Lee HardyROBERT LEE HARDY
    "I was first exposed to theatre in the second grade. I was always in the principal’s office, and my teacher decided to put me onstage. The experience changed my life. I wasn’t a horrible kid. I just needed an outlet and I needed to find my passion. The arts change lives."





    Zak ReynoldsZAK REYNOLDS

    "I was first exposed to live theatre around 5 or 6. I sat in Casa Mañana, a leading theatre in Fort Worth, Texas, when it was in the round, watching rehearsals of Big River happen while the orchestra was setting up and other actors were waiting around for their scene. I think that was the moment I sensed the smell of the theater and the energy of the entire dome, knowing that this is what I want to do. That sounds hilarious, being that young age, but it's true. I think that's why I love performing live theatre to young audiences — because I was there once. It helped me morph into the person I am today, and I just want to share those experiences with any age group."

    RachelKaeTaylor 160RACHEL KAE TAYLOR
    My older sister was a ballerina for Colorado Ballet when I was very young.  She was so stunningly beautiful. I wanted to be a part of all the splendor and the drama of the ballet so badly — but a dancer, I was not. My mother took me to the theater to see Frog and Toad when I was about 6 and mic drop — that was it. The arts are so very crucial at an early age because they develop curiosity, empathy and whole little human beings through storytelling. Whether that storytelling is done through a play, a book or a painting — it can be a game-changer.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    A Snowy Day. Robert Lee Hardy. Zak Reynolds, Rachel Kae Taylor. Adams Viscom

    The cast of DCPA Education's 'The Snowy Day,' from left: Rachel Kae Taylor, Robert Lee Hardy and Zak Reynolds. Photo by Emily Lozow.

    Previous NewsCenter coverage of The Snowy Day and Other Stories

  • Breaking: 2018 Saturday Night Alive guests will attend 'Hamilton'

    by John Moore | Oct 19, 2017

     

    Guests of the Denver Center's signature fundraiser for arts education will experience the Broadway show first-hand

    Guests of the DCPA's 38th annual signature fundraiser, Saturday Night Alive, next March 3, will attend that evening’s performance of Hamilton at The Buell Theatre, it was  announced tonight at a kickoff party at Le Méridian Denver Downtown

    Every year, Saturday Night Alive helps DCPA education programs give more than 106,000 students the opportunity to take their first step toward changing their lives and transforming the world around them.

    Chris De'Sean Lee, Jose Ramos, Wallace Smith, Miguel Cervantes - HAMILTON - (c) Joan Marcus 2016“At the DCPA, we believe that the arts are a fundamental part of a well-rounded education,” said DCPA President and CEO Janice Sinden. “Being able to celebrate that with Hamilton, a show that is equally passionate about arts education, is an exciting opportunity for our  Saturday Night Alive donors.”

    (Pictured right: Chris De, Sean Lee, Jose Ramos, Wallace Smith, Miguel Cervantes from the original Broadway company of 'Hamilton.' Photo by Joan Marcus.)

    Individual tickets for Saturday Night Alive start at $1,000 and will go on sale at the end of November. Tables of 10 start at $10,000. Prices include a donation to the DCPA, the events of the evening, and tickets to Hamilton that evening. Visit denvercenter.org/SNA  for more information.

    SNA_Social_AnnouncementPlease Note: Tickets to the Denver engagement of Hamilton are currently not on sale. Tickets to Hamilton will go on sale after the first of the year. Information regarding the specific date and details of the public on-sale will be announced at the end of 2017. Please be aware that if one sees tickets for sale from a third party, there is a very good chance these are not legitimate tickets. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts – denvercenter.org – is the ONLY authorized ticket provider for Hamilton in Denver. Ticket buyers who purchase tickets from a ticket broker or any third party should be aware that the DCPA is unable to reprint or replace lost or stolen tickets and is unable to contact patrons with information regarding time changes or other pertinent updates regarding the performance.

    To receive alerts related to Hamilton in Denver, click here

    SNAAt Saturday Night Alive, which is a regular sell-out on the Denver social calendar, guests will enjoy not only that evening’s performance of Hamilton, but also elements that have made this event an eagerly anticipated highlight of the social scene for nearly four decades:

    • Surprise Box Sale: A Saturday Night Alive original. Bidders purchase a box without knowing what is inside.
    • Computerized Luxury Silent Auction featuring nearly 100 items including artwork, jewelry and fabulous trips both domestic and worldwide courtesy of United Airlines and Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
    • Dinner provided by Epicurean Culinary Group in the elegant Seawell Grand Ballroom.
    • Post-show desserts and dancing, to which members of the Hamilton company have been invited.

    (Pictured above and right: Broadway stars Kelli O'Hara and Brian d'Arcy James headlined the 2016 Saturday Night Alive.)

    Last year, Saturday Night Alive grossed more than $1.2 million to support the Denver Center’s extensive educational programs. Over the past three decades, an estimated $21 million has helped the DCPA provide theatre programs to more than 1.9 million students — a testament to the volunteers, donors, sponsors and attendees who have made this event a success.

    Video Bonus: Savion Glover at the DCPA's 2017 Saturday Night Alive

    Tap-dancer and choreographer Savion Glover's headlining performance helped raised a record $1 million for DCPA Education programs last year at the Denver Center's annual Saturday Night Alive benefit. In addition, he taught a master class for a wide range of Denver dance students. Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk. Interview by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Related NewsCenter coverage
    :
    Hamilton dates, 2017-18 Broadway season titles announced
    Broadway's Hamilton is heading to Denver
    Lin-Manuel Miranda on the power of theatre to eliminate distance
    Why Lin-Manuel Miranda's father is obsessed with The Unsinkable Molly Brown



    Note:
    The 2018 Saturday Night Alive Event Chairs are Susan and Steve Struna. Corporate Chairs are Lisa and Norm Franke/Alpine Bank. Auction Co-Chairs include Keri Christiansen and Jane Netzorg. Patron Chairs are Lyn and Dr. Michael Schaffer. sponsors are United Airlines, The Westin Denver Downtown, Epicurean Culinary Group, Kathie and Keith Finger, HealthONE and the Colorado Oil and Gas Industry.

  • Winning DCPA student playwrights' plays performed

    by John Moore | Jul 13, 2017
    Video above: We talk with the two student playwrights whose works were fully staged by DCPA Education actors on June 11. 



    DCPA Education's fourth annual Regional High-School Playwriting Workshop and Competition is a one-act playwriting competition designed for Colorado high schools. Its mission is to help high-school writers find and cultivate their authentic voices.

    Each fall, local playwrights and DCPA Teaching Artists go out into schools statewide, conduct writing workshops and encourage students to submit one-act plays for the competition. This past year, 138 playwriting workshops were held in 46 Colorado high schools. More than 2,823 high-school students participated in those workshops, which were held in every school district in the Denver-metro area and in 15 counties around the state.

    Student playwriting A total of 132 submissions were judged blindly. Ten were named as finalists. Four of those were chosen to be workshopped and have a staged reading at the 2017 Colorado New Play Summit in February. In previous years, one play has then been chosen for a full summer production by DCPA Education’s summer teen company. But this year, competition officials chose to advance two scripts to full stagings. The winning plays were Dear Boy on the Tree, written by Jasmin A. Hernandez Lozano of Vista Peak High School (pictured above), and Spilt Lava, written by Ryan McCormick of Fort Collins High School. Each play had two public performances on June 11 in the Conservatory Theatre.

    Video: Our report from the 2017 Colorado New Play Summit

    This video above includes interviews with the playwrights, Director Steven Cole Hughes and student actors Nathaniel Pagibigan, Madeleine Kee and Jacob Maki.

    For information on next year's competition, starting with school workshops in the fall of 2017, go to denvercenter.org/education.

    Video by David Lenk and Avery Anderson for the DCPA NewsCenter.

     


    Photo gallery: 2016-17 Student Playwriting

    2017 Student Playwriting

    To see more photos, click the forward arrow on the image above. All photos are downloadable for free and may be used for personal and social purposes with credit. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.
     

    2017 Regional High-School Playwriting Workshop and Competition Sponsors:
    Robert and Judi Newman/Newman Family Foundation with matching gifts from The Ross Foundation, June Travis and Transamerica.

    Our profiles of all 10 of the 2017 semifinalists:
    Parker Bennett, Fossil Ridge High School
    Corinna Donovan and Walker Carroll, Crested Butte Community School
    Jasmin A. Hernandez Lozano, Vista Peak High School
    Ryan Patrick McCormick, Fort Collins High School
    Abby Meyer and Nic Rhodes, Fossil Ridge High School
    Amelia Middlebrooks, Valor Christian High School
    Samantha Shapard, Overland High School
    Sarah Shapard, Overland High School
    Daniela Villalobo, York International
    Jessica Wood, Denver Christian School

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • The paradox of ‘13 Reasons Why’: Listen to what isn't said

    by John Moore | Jun 13, 2017

     

    Editor’s Note: This essay discusses important plot points that take place in the last three episodes of Netflix's ‘13 Reasons Why,’ created by Brian Yorkey ('Next to Normal'). Photo above of Katherine Langford. 

    The clarion call to everyone in the audience is to listen vigilantly for what is often not said out loud.

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    13 Reasons Why is one of the most talked-about new series on television for what it says about teenage suicide. But its clarion call to everyone in its audience is to listen vigilantly for what is often not said out loud.

    I should know.

    The groundbreaking Netflix screen adaptation of Jay Asher’s 2007 novel is rightly being praised for putting the issue on America’s 80-inch HD screens wrapped in exquisite writing and often riveting storytelling.

    It’s about an ordinary 16-year-old girl named Hannah who, within arm’s reach of an ideal boyfriend, achingly involved parents and supportive peers, is also bullied and assaulted right under every loving but oblivious eye in her life. But before she kills herself, she commits her reasons for committing suicide to 13 damning audiotapes. Essentially to both torture her peers - and educate the Netflix audience on what signs to look for.

    America, and especially America’s educators, are lasering in on the controversial climactic scene in which Hannah (Katherine Langford) finally goes to her school counselor (Derek Luke) for help. To give life one last try, she says. It is a heartbreaking exercise in best intentions and missed signals. And 13 Reasons Why just brought that all home for me.

    I was once an idealistic high-school theatre teacher. Not as a vocation, or even as a side job. As a favor. I was working nights in the sports department at The Denver Post right out of college, which meant my days were free. So I was asked to teach two classes this high school needed to offer in order to maintain its accreditation. It didn’t matter that I was untrained and inadequate. Or that the school counselor was untrained and inadequate. As long as all the holes were filled.

    It didn’t matter that I loved my time at that school so much that I never cashed a single paycheck, even though I was 24 and could barely afford a pizza. It didn’t matter that I was determined to shake these kids from their prevailing malaise and absorb their heart’s injuries and restore a modicum of their innate teenage optimism and adolescent joy.

    It didn’t matter how well-intentioned I was, because on the one day it really did matter that I actually knew what I was doing, I was tested. And like the school counselor in 13 Reasons Why, I failed.

    Brian Yorkey's words of comfort after actor's suicide

    There was a knock on my car window. It was a Friday afternoon, and I was taking a rare weekend off to go camping with friends. I was in my car and just a few feet away from leaving my slowly thawing young tribe of theatre geeks in the rear-view window for a few days. But from the second I turned to see the source of the knock, my pop quiz had begun.

    Her name was Lilly. No it wasn’t, but that’s not important here. Lilly was, by her own admission, insistently unlikable. She was a rich, entitled and friendless 18-year-old. She was attractive by any standard of burgeoning beauty, and no one knew that better than Lilly. I was determined to eventually open her hardened heart, but she was the one kid who did not buy my act. Not at all. Still, I persisted. Told her to audition for the school play because it was going to shake the foundation of this troubled school and all of its institutional hypocrisy. That got her attention.

    I was stunned when Lilly actually did show up to audition. But just before she began, she told me, “You should know that if I don’t get a big part, then I don’t want any part at all.” Every director’s dream. I kind of did a “say what?” and she emphatically clarified: “It would be a waste of my time to play a part that I don’t want.” That didn’t stop me from offering her a small role - and that didn’t stop her from turning it down.

    The play did kind of shake the foundation of the school, and Lilly later regretted her self-sabotage. It was about a well-intentioned pre-Columbine teacher who takes his high-school class hostage until they actually learn something. Lilly came to a performance of the play and later admitted that she blew it. And I told her there’s always another play.

    I am sure I was short with Lilly when I rolled down the window that Friday afternoon. I had no time to lose. But she only wanted to hand me a letter. “Read it when you have a minute,” she said. I took it, tossed it on the passenger seat and hit the highway.

    Lilly wasn’t in class on Monday. Tuesday, too. I asked the class. No one had seen her at any of the parties that weekend. Then it hit me: The letter. I hadn’t given it a second thought. I ran out to my car, grabbed it off the seat and ripped it open. It was written with fine pencil in exquisitely crafted cursive penmanship. And my worst fears were realized. I can quote it, because I still have it as a cautionary reminder:

    Dear John,

    I may seem to you a very strong person, but inside me I am crumbling to pieces. I’m going crazy. I sometimes wonder why I’m still alive. John, I don’t know if I can handle life anymore. There’s so much pain and anger and frustration and loneliness. The pain is so dominant. Sooner or later it will win. And I will die.”

    I read no further. I sprinted to the principal’s office with every heartbeat stabbing into my guilt-ridden hippocampus. Lilly often boasted how her parents essentially lived in Chicago, leaving her alone for weeks in their gigantic east Denver home. The school secretary gave me the number. I dialed, already starting to assume full responsibility for the death of this troubled, spoiled and unsaved child. I expected no answer and yet somehow … got one.

    “Hi John,” Lilly said casually.

    “Lilly?” I blurted. “What the hell?”

    She teased: “I was wondering how long it would take you to call.”

    Yes, Lilly was the kind of girl who missed two days of school because she was testing me. How long before I read and reacted? Five days, it turns out. Test failed. And, no, I didn’t do a lot of teaching after that. But at least she wasn’t dead in a bathtub.

    But then came 13 Reasons Why, which has shaken real (certified!) teachers to the core and, in some cases, left them defensive and angry. For weeks, embattled, overworked and underfunded educators have assailed the series for romanticizing suicide; for normalizing it as a viable option for impressionable viewers in similar crises. You know what I say? More than 5,240 teenagers attempt suicide every day. So let’s talk about it.

    13 Reasons Why To fully understand the context of this important scene between Hannah and the counselor, Mr. Porter, you first have to go back two episodes to when Hannah shuts down her good-guy budding boyfriend, Clay (Dylan Minnette). Something about homework and making a fresh start, she tells him. But as the wounded pup leaves, awkwardly trying to salvage his pride, we hear Hannah’s internal monologue: "Part of me was saying, 'Ask me again.' " Not, "Part of me wanted to say, 'Ask me again." Those words are critical: Part of me WAS SAYING. To her, she said it. Clay just didn't hear it.

    Fast-forward to the scene where Hannah finally does what we all are silently willing her to do: She goes to the school counselor and asks for help. But she just can't say the critical words: “I've been raped by the star of the basketball team.” Mr. Porter is not unconcerned – he just never quite fully hears Hannah. So they engage in a frustrating word dance where he is asking the right questions – “What's on your heart right now?” “Did you have an encounter at the party?” - but she can’t quite give him full answers.

    When she tells him: “I need it to stop. Everything. People. Life.” He gets it. “That's a serious thing to say,” he says, and for a moment, you think she might be saved. But it’s not that easy. She doesn't say, ‘Yeah. It is serious.’ She apologizes and says instead, “I didn't mean ... that. I guess." 

    And so it goes. When Hannah ultimately tells Mr. Porter she can’t confront the boy who assaulted her without the assurance of a conviction, her only real choice, he tells her, is to move on.

    Later, when Clay later confronts Mr. Porter over his culpability in Hannah’s suicide, those most haunting words come back: “She hoped you would come after her,” he tells the counselor. “But you didn't.” No one did.

    Check out our Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    “Some of you care,” Hannah says on the tape. “None of you cared enough.” And with that, Hannah enters that common state of finality when a suicidal person has essentially made peace with their impending demise.

    In both cases, the central dialogue is not what Hannah says out loud. It’s what we hear her saying inside her own head. And that’s where 13 Reasons Why becomes a teachable moment. So often teens in crisis are asking for help. And it’s not that we aren't listening. We're just not hearing. You can’t wait for a suicidal person to say: "I am going to walk out this door and kill myself." You have to listen for a suicidal person to tell you: “I want you to come after me." Even when they can’t say the words.

    The author is telling us all to be vigilant. Listen. Pick up on the clues. Even if those clues are cloudy, gray and wrapped in riddles.

    It’s when people go silent that you really have to listen.

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.
  • 2017 Bobby G Awards: Our complete video coverage

    by John Moore | Jun 08, 2017

    The Denver Center's fifth annual Bobby G Awards celebrated achievement in Colorado high-school theatre on May 25 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The video above follows Colorado's Outstanding Actors Austin Hand and Elleon Dobias to New York City, where they advanced to compete in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, otherwise known as the Jimmy Awards. There, they took workshops with Broadway creatives and performed at the Minskoff Theatre.

    The video below offers the complete original medley performed by the 10 Outstanding Actor and Actress nominees, as well as 2016 winners Charlotte Movizzo and Curtis Salinger:


    The nominees were:  

  • Chandler Carter, The Scarlett Pimpernel, Chaparral High School
  • Elleon Dobias, Pippin, Valor Christian High School
  • Austin Hand, The Addams Family, Fossil Ridge High School
  • Chantal King, Into the Woods, Niwot High School
  • Gable Kinsman, Pippin, Valor Christian High School
  • Trey Kochevar, Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School
  • Cameron Marter, Sweeney Todd, Lakewood High School
  • Grace Nolte, The Scarlett Pimpernel, Chaparral High School
  • Asha Romeo, Rent, Boulder High School
  • Jesse Shafroth, Rent, Boulder High School

  • Videos by produced David Lenk for the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Our complete 2017 Bobby G Awards Video Playlist:

    Colorado's Bobby G Award winners at the 2017 Jimmy Awards in New York City
    Road to the Jimmy Awards: Austin Hand performs at the DCPA golf tournament
    Road to the Jimmy Awards: Bobby G Awards winners perform for DCPA Board
    The 2017 Bobby G Awards: The full video recap
    The 2017 Bobby G Awards: Nominated actors medley
    The 2017 Bobby G Awards: Performance Highlights
    The 2017 Bobby G Awards in 60 seconds
    The 2017 Bobby G Awards welcome to all participating schools

     

    More of our 2017 Bobby G Awards coverage:
    Our complete photo gallery
    Our full Bobby G Awards report: Persistence pays off at Valor Christian
    Video, photos and top quotes from the 2017 Bobby G Awards
    Meet your 2017 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actress finalists
    Meet your 2017 Bobby G Awards Outstanding Actor finalists
    2016-17 Bobby G Award finalists are announced

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    A Bobby G Awards
    From Valor Christian's performance of 'Pippin.'
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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.