• 2017 True West Award: Haley Johnson and Sydney Parks Smith

    by John Moore | Dec 05, 2017
    2017 True West Awards. Haley Johnson. Sydney Parks Smith

    2017 TRUE WEST AWARDS  

    Day 4: Haley Johnson and Sydney Parks Smith

    August: Osage County
    Vintage Theatre, Aurora
    OpenStage Theatre, Fort Collins

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    "I'm in charge now!"


    It's one of the most visceral, gut-scraping lines you'll ever hear in a theatre, and it marks a dramatic turning point in Tracy Letts' Pulitzer-winning family fracas August: Osage County. In that one moment, the eldest daughter of perhaps the must acidic matriarch in the American theatrical canon forcibly wrests that crown right out of her mother's clenched fingers. Only the crown, in this case, is a pill bottle. But Barbara is not rescuing her mother. Not by a long shot. She's becoming her.

    True West Haley Johnson Sydney Parks SmithThe mother is Violet Weston, a pained and profane Okie with cancer of the mouth — medically and metaphorically. Violet pops out furious epithets — most aimed at her three daughters — as quickly as she pops in pills. Her spawn all bear varying degrees of the inherited burns they surely will pass down to their own children. Seriously, Violet is a sniper on par with a Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant. It's a bucket-list role for any seasoned female actor.

    But the part of Barbara, a Boulder mom whose marriage is crumbling, presents a plum challenge all its own. And in 2017, we got to see two highly accomplished area actors tackle it in different but effective ways: Sydney Parks Smith for OpenStage & Company in Fort Collins and Haley Johnson for Vintage Theatre in Aurora. And they had formidable scene partners in Colorado legends Denise Freestone and Deborah Persoff, respectively, as their poisoned Vi's.

    Parks wears Barbara's accumulating disappointments like a suit of armor, and she's just itching to take it into battle. Johnson, who has made her mark for a decade playing wounded birds, grew teeth here that eventually sprouted into fangs. The mother-daughter conflict builds to a battle of ill-wills that left audiences gasping from Fort Collins to Aurora. All culminating in that one haunting line — "I'm in charge now!" — that can be delivered every which way from a declarative whisper to a savage declaration of war. We're witnessing a brutal metamorphosis where Barbara becomes the unshrinking Violet.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    The two actors have more than Barbara Fordham in common: Smith is the Associate Artistic Director of OpenStage and Johnson is the Producing Artistic Director of the new Benchmark Theatre, which is finishing up its first season with the world premiere of a freaky-fun new play called Smokefall, playing through Dec. 23 at the Buntport Theater.

    Haley Johnson Sydney Parks SmithSmith won the Colorado Theatre Guild's Henry Award and the OpenStage OPUS Award for Outstanding Actress for her performance as Barbara. Northern Colorado theatre critic Tom Jones called her performance "dynamite."

    Says OpenStage Director Dulcie Willis:
    "Sydney is a highly passionate, focused and dynamic actor. Her work as Barbara perfectly illustrated her deep commitment to nuanced character development. She understood the play inside and out and never, ever stopped working to find the most effective moment-to-moment choices in each scene. Her natural strength and intense zest for life served her thoughtful approach to Barbara while leading the entire cast through a beautiful and challenging piece of theatre. She really was the family heroine of our production."

    (Photos above: Sydney Parks Smith, left and Haley Johnson. Photos by Joe Hovorka and RDG Photography.)

    Says Vintage Theatre Director Bernie Cardell: "The magic of Haley Johnson is that not only can she tap into the broken heart of her characters, she can also find their humor.  She is not afraid to reveal her own wounds in order to find the deepest expression of truth on stage. Plus, she's kind of cool."

    The origin of the poison: Our interview with Tracy Letts

    Said Denver Theatre Perspectives reviewer Michael Mulhern: "Haley Johnson showed incredible range from fragile and bitter to powerful matriarch, and from defeated daughter to hopeful independence."

    Haley Johnson: 2017 at a glance

    Johnson is a graduate of Florida State University and the University of Colorado Denver. She has worked all around the metro area, including the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, Edge Theatre, Miners Alley Playhouse and Spotlight Theatre Company. Notable roles include Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, Harper Pitt in Angels in America, Becca in Rabbit Hole and Jessie in 'Night, Mother. She is also the producing artistic director of the new Benchmark Theatre.
    • The Nether, Morris, Benchmark Theatre
    • August: Osage County, Barbara Fordham, Vintage Theatre
    Sydney Parks Smith: 2017 at a glance

    Smith has performed and directed with OpenStage Theatre in Fort Collins for the past 20 years and serves as the company's  Associate Artistic Director. Notable roles include Claire in Proof, Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, Belinda in Noises Off and Hermia in Dead Man’s Cell Phone. As a director, her credits include Stage Kiss, True West, The Book of Liz and Dirty Blonde. She received the Founder’s Award for her outstanding contributions to OpenStage & Company.

    • The Flick, Director, OpenStage
    • Don’t Dress for Dinner, Production Manager, OpenStage
    • Bright Ideas, Production Manager, OpenStage
    • August: Osage County, Barbara Fordham, Production Manager, OpenStage

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

    A look back at the history of the True West Awards

    The 2017 True West Awards (to date)

  • December theatre listings: Broadway abounds in Denver

    by John Moore | Dec 01, 2017
    Mannheim Steamroller. Matt Christine Photography

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


    December is ... well, Christmastime for Broadway fans, who have five touring titles to choose from this month.

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    A serious Broadway fan will not have to go to New York to bathe in Broadway this month. Denver audiences have the unusual opportunity to see five national touring productions at the Buell Theatre over the next 32 days. Seriously. There's Chicago (through Sunday), Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis, ELF The Musical, Waitress and, opening Jan. 2: Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King & I. Just pop a tent under the arches.

    Arvada Center Joseph Sarah Rex M Gale PhotographyElsewhere, there is as always a plethora of holiday-themed fare to choose from, ranging from annual offerings such as the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble's Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum and the DCPA Theatre Company's 25th staging of A Christmas Carol, to more subversive titles such as The Avenue Theatre's Santa's Big Red Sack and The SantaLand Diaries, an annual partnership between Off-Center and the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company. This year also marks the return of the Arvada Center's once seasonal tradition, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

    There's also a surprising number of, you know ... plays on area stages. Here are five intriguing titles, followed by a complete list of all your Colorado theatregoing options for December:

    Five intriguing titles for December:

    NUMBER 1Colorado Gives Day is the most important day of the year for hundreds of Colorado non-profits, especially those in the arts. And the clever kids as Buntport Theater are turning "giving day" into a "show day" on Tuedsay (Dec. 5) by staging a reading of one of its early favorites: Donner: A Documentary. That's a 2001 "live documentary" about the reindeer (not the, ahem ... party). Freshly baked cookies will be available as well as, no doubt, electronic gizmos for easy internet giving. Tickets $25 at buntport.com. It's an early start time of 7 p.m. because there is a pizza party after at the Pizzeria Locale on Broadway and Sixth Avenue. The pizzeria will donate 50 percent of your purchase to anyone who mentions Buntport that day. 

    NUMBER 2 Jason Spina Phil Luna Red RDG PHOTOGRAPHYMotones vs. Jerseys. BDT Stage no doubt will be packing them in this month with the timeless family friendly musical Annie. But you know what? That adorable little red-headed munchkin is not, in fact, for everyone. So BDT is smartly also offering the "now for something completely different" audience participation 1960s pop music battle Motones vs. Jerseys on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights starting Dec. 10. It's an evening of song and dance from the Motown and Four Seasons songbooks, along with Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Beach Boys, Rick James and even Bruno Mars. At the end of each  night, the audience will vote on a winner. 5501 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    NUMBER 3Smokefall. Last month we told you The Edge Theatre is going on hiatus after  Josh Hartwell's world premiere comedy Resolutions (Dec. 1-31) in Lakewood. The new Benchmark Theatre, which will takes over The Edge's performance space next year, finishes its first season at Buntport with the world premiere of Noah Haidle’s Smokefall. It's an unusual family drama that combines everything from vaudeville to magical realism. So get ready for fetuses swapping philosophy, a daughter who eats dirt and an apple tree that grows through the walls of the house. Dec. 1-23 at 717 Lipan St., benchmarktheatre.com.

    NUMBER 4Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum. Cleo Parker Robinson Dance's nomadic, 47-year holiday tradition returns to its original home in Denver’s Historic Five Points for this year's spectacle of dance, live music, spoken word and ornate celebrations of seasonal customs from around the world. The story centers around a Granny whose memories are her gifts to those she loves. Dec. 2-17 at 119 Park Avenue West, 303-295-1759 x13 or go to cleoparkerdance.org.

    NUMBER 5The Gnome in the Room. This is not your traditional Christmas fare in Colorado Springs, where the Springs Ensemble Theatre wraps up its eighth season with a campy horror story involving decoration, death, divorce, relatives, mythological beings who can't keep their noses out of other people's business — and a Nintendo Entertainment System, Written by locals Jenny Maloney and Jessica Weaver, The Gnome in the Room follows a 10-year-old whose family has decided they will not celebrate Christmas this year, leaving the boy stuck in a cabin with no hope of getting what he wants. Enter the Weirdo and the Gnome. Dec. 7-17 at 1903 E. Cache La Poudre St. 7:30 p.m.  Thursdays through Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays. Call 719-357-3080, or go to  springsensembletheatre.org.

    A Christmas Carol 2017. Michael Fitzpatrick and Leslie O'Carroll. Photo by Adams Viscom


    THIS MONTH'S THEATRE OPENINGS IN COLORADO:

    (Submit your listings to jmoore@dcpa.org)

    Dec. 1-31: Edge Theatre Company's Resolutions
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or theedgetheater.com

    Dec. 1-23: Benchmark Theatre's Smokefall
    At Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St., benchmarktheatre.com

    Dec. 1-16: Funky Little Theatre Company's The Couple Next Door
    2109 Templeton Gap Road, Colorado Springs, 719-425-9509 or funkylittletheater.org

    DecemberSantasBigRedSack Dec. 1-24: The Avenue Theater's Santa’s Big Red Sack
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or avenuetheater.com

    Dec. 1-9: StageDoor Theatre's Cinderella
    27357 Conifer Road, Conifer, 303-886-2819 or stagedoortheatre.org

    Dec. 1-30: Jesters Dinner Theatre's Scrooge, Bah Humbug!
    224 Main St., Longmont, 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com

    Dec. 1-23: OpenStage's Christmas Chaos: Ralphie Gets Scrooged
    At ArtLab, 239 Linden St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or www.openstagetheatre.org

    Dec. 2-17: Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theatre’s Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum
    119 Park Avenue West, cleoparkerdance.org or 303-295-1759 x13

    Dec. 7-24: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Every Christmas Story Ever Told

    Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or boulderensembletheatre.org

    A Su Teatro Juan Diego PerfilDec. 7-23: Su Teatro's The Miracle at Tepeyac
    At the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-296-0219 or suteatro.org

    Dec. 7, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College's Annie

    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

    Dec. 7-17: Lone Tree Arts Center's Home for the Holidays
    10075 Commons St., just west of Interstate 25 and Lincoln Avenue, 720-509-1000, lone tree’s home page

    Dec. 7-17: Thunder River Theatre Company's Constellations
    67 Promenade, Carbondale, 970-963-8200 or thunderrivertheatre.com

    Dec. 7-17: Upstart Crow's Dear Brutus
    At the Nomad Playhouse, 1410 Quince Ave., Boulder, 303-442-1415 or upstart’s home page

    Dec. 7-23: Millibo Arts Theatre's Fa-La-La

    1626 S. Tejon St. Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321, www.themat.org

    EmoryJohnCollinsonBobMorschandCyndiParrinGNOMEINTHEROOMDec. 7-17: Springs Ensemble Theatre’s The Gnome in the Room
    1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., Colorado Springs, 80909, 719-357-3080 or springsensembletheatre.org

    Dec. 8-17: Longmont Theatre Company's Harry Connick Jr’s The Happy Elf

    513 Main St., Longmont, 303-772-5200 or longmonttheatre.org

    Dec. 9-10: National touring production of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis
    Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Dec. 13-17: National touring production of Elf The Musical
    Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Dec. 19-31: National touring production of Waitress
    Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Dec. 10, 2017-Jan. 23, 2018: BDT Stage's Motones vs. Jerseys
    (Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays only)
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    Dec. 14-29: Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s A Rocky Mountain Christmas

    121 S. Ridge St. 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org

    Dec. 14-23: Denver's Dangerous Theatre's The Perfect Gift
    2620 W. 2nd Ave, No. 1, Denver, 720-989-1764 or dangeroustheatre.co

    Dec. 17- 23: Evergreen Players’ A Christmas Carol (costumed staged readings)
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreenplayers.org

    Jan. 2: National touring production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King & I
    Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    CONTINUING CURRENT PRODUCTIONS:

    Through Dec. 2: Equinox Theatre Company's Disaster!
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page

    Through Dec. 3: National touring production of Chicago
    Buell Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Through Dec. 9: Curious Theatre's Body of an American
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org  READ MORE

    BEAU JESTThrough Dec. 10: Cherry Creek Theatre's Beau Jest
    At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver, 303-800-6578 or cherry creek theatre’s home page

    Through Dec.17: Bas Bleu Theatre's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
    401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org

    Through Dec. 17: Vintage Theatre Productions' Honeymoon In Vegas

    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    Through Dec. 17: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Murder for Two
    Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Pkwy, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org

    Through Dec. 17: Anansi: The Itsy BiTSY Spider Stories
    1137 S. Huron St., 720-328-5294 or bitsystage.com

    Through Dec. 23: Arvada Center's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org





    Through Dec. 23: Aurora Fox's Hi-Hat Hattie (see video above)
    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org READ MORE

    Through Dec. 23: TheatreWorks' The SantaLand Diaries
    At the Bon Vivant Theatre, 3955 Regent Circle, Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org

    Through Dec. 23: Miners Alley Playhouse's A Christmas Carol
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

    Through Dec. 23: Miners Alley Playhouse's The Story of the Nutcracker (children’s)
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

    Through Dec. 23: Firehouse Theater Company’s The Miracle Worker
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. 1st Place, 303-562-3232 or firehousetheatercompany.com 

    Through Dec. 24: DCPA Theatre Company's A Christmas Carol
    Stage Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Santaland Diaries Michael BouchardThrough Dec. 24: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company and DCPA Off-Center's The SantaLand Diaries
    Jones Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Through Dec. 29: Arvada Center's A Year With Frog and Toad (children’s) 
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org

    Through Dec. 30: Town Hall Arts Center's Seussical
    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or townhallartscenter.com

    Through Dec. 30: Thin Air Theatre Company's Angel of the Christmas Mine
    Butte Theatre, 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 719-689-3247 or thinairtheatre.com

    Dec. 30-31: Vintage Theatre's I’ll Eat You Last: A Conversation with Sue Mengers
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    Through Dec. 31: Midtown Arts Center's A Christmas Story
    3750 S. Mason St, Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    Through Dec. 31: Avenue Theater's Comedy Sportz (late nights in December)
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or avenuetheater.com READ MORE

    A Josh Hartwell Jason Maxwell. Photo by Sarah Roshan 400Through Jan. 14, 2018: Vintage Theatre Productions' Red
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    Through Feb. 14, 2018: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse's Beauty and the Beast
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

    Through Feb. 24, 2018: BDT Stage's Annie
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    Through April 22, 2018: DCPA Cabaret’s First Date
    Garner Galleria Theatre, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    Through May 2018: Buntport Theater's Siren Song (ongoing children's series, second Saturdays of every month)
    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com

    ONGOING, MONTHLY or ONE-TIME PROGRAMMING:

    ADAMS MYSTERY PLAYHOUSE

    AURORA FOX ARTS CENTER

    • Dec. 31: Central City Opera’s Winter Song, a mix of favorite tunes from jazz standards to light opera, performed by crossover classical theatre artists Jennifer DeDominici, Chad Reagan, Amanda Raddatz and Deborah Schmit-Lobis. Includes a champagne and dessert reception.

    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurora fox.org

    BUNTPORT THEATRE


    DENVER ACTORS FUND
    • A RyanChrysRoughCuts 400Monday, Dec. 11: Screening of the film Elf, starring Will Ferrell, with live pre-screening entertainment from The Longmont Theatre Company's Harry Connick Jr.’s The Happy Elf. Entertainment 6:30 p.m.; film at 7.
    At Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake, 4255 W. Colfax Ave., drafthouse.com

    • Tuesday, Dec. 19: The Nightly Met Christmas Special at the D.L. Parsons Theatre in Northglenn, hosted by  Avery Anderson and Annie Dwyer, featuring Anna High, and Ryan Chrys and Rough Cuts. Tickets $8-$10. All proceeds to the Denver Actors Fund.  BUY TICKETS
    EQUINOX THEATRE COMPANY
    Sunday, Dec. 10: Equinox: The Season is Slaying (A drag benefit show)
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page
       
    THE SOURCE THEATRE COMPANY
    • Every third Monday: Monday! Monday! Monday! Cabaret
    At Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 720-238-1323 or thesourcedenver.org 

    STORIES ON STAGE
    • Saturday, Dec. 16: Making Merry (at Dairy Arts Center, Boulder)

    • Sunday, Dec. 17: Making Merry (at the King Center, 855 Lawrence Way, Auraria campus)

    303-494-0523 or storiesonstage.org

    Stories on Stage has renowned actors bring stories to life by combining literature with theater. This month, Jamie Horton reads from Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, GerRee Hinshaw reads Crimble Wocky by Graham Potter (a Lewis Carroll-inspired variation on The Night Before Christmas), Anthony Adu reads from "The Goldfish” by Simon Van Booy. Music provided by award-winning composer/pianist Gary Grundei.

  • Vintage, Denver Center collaborate to bring 'Lady Day,' Mary Louise Lee, to stage

    by John Moore | Nov 20, 2017
    Lady Day Mary Louise Lee Adams Viscom Mary Louise Lee in the 2016 DCPA Theatre Company workshop of 'Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.' Photo by  AdamsVisCom.

     

    From First Lady to Lady Day: Billie Holiday musical to open at Vintage, then move to Denver Center's Galleria Theatre

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Mary Louise LeeWhen Mary Louise Lee revisited her signature role as Billie Holiday
    in a special workshop production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill last year, she dedicated the performance to Shadow Theatre Company founding Artistic Director Jeffrey Nickelson. Lee considers having played the jazz legend in 2002 to be the most meaningful performance of her storied career.

    It couldn't be more fitting, then, that when Vintage Theatre Productions brings the story to full stage life again this January with Lee in the title role, she will be be performing in the Jeffrey Nickelson Auditorium. 

    Nickelson, who died in 2009, was a graduate of the DCPA’s National Theatre Conservatory masters program. In 1997, he founded Shadow Theatre to present “stories from the heart of the African-American community,” as he liked to say. And the biggest hit in Shadow’s history was that 2002 production of Lady Day, with Nickelson directing and Lee starring as Holiday.

    Lady DayFor her haunting portrayal of a woman with a singular singing voice — and a lethal heroin habit  — Lee won a Westword Best of Denver Award for Best Actress in a Musical. The review said: “A stunning evening of theatre. Lee's singing is absolutely radiant. Her voice is smooth as glass. At times she sounds uncannily like Holiday, at others entirely like her full-throated self." She reprised the role for a special three-day workshop engagement in 2016 at the Denver Center's Jones Theatre. 

    After Nickelsen died of a heart attack in 2009, the theatre he opened at 1468 Dayton St. in Aurora was renamed the Jeffrey Nickelson Auditorium. Vintage took over operations there in 2011. 

    Berry HartToday, Vintage and the Denver Center announced an unprecedented collaboration. Vintage will introduce its new production of Lanie Robertson's Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, starring Lee and directed by Betty Hart (pictured right), from Jan. 12 through Feb. 18. The production will then move to the Denver Center's Garner-Galleria Theatre on March 5 and perform there on Monday nights through April 23 — while the Denver Center's ongoing musical comedy First Date continues its run for the rest of the week.

    Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill tells Holiday's troubled life story through the songs that made her famous, including "God Bless the Child," "What a Little Moonlight Can Do," "Strange Fruit" and "Taint Nobody's Biz-ness." Set in Philadelphia in 1959, Holiday's performance at Emerson's Bar & Grill was one of her last, and Lady Day is not just a memorable tribute to the singer, but also a moving portrait of her struggles with addiction, racism, and loss.

    "We're thrilled, of course," said Vintage Theatre Artistic Director Bernie Cardell. "This is an exciting event for Vintage and for the theatre community overall. If we are to thrive, collaboration is the key. While we certainly can survive on our own, we can reach bigger heights together. My hope is this is just the start of a new way of producing quality theatre for our community."

     Lady Day Mary Louise Lee. 2002Lee's performing career began at the Denver Center when she appeared in Beehive at what is now the Garner Galleria Theatre while only 18 years old and still a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School. In 2011, Lady Day also became the First Lady of Denver when her husband, Michael B. Hancock, was elected Mayor.

    (Pictured right: Mary Louise Lee in rehearsal for her award-winning turn in 'Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill' for Shadow Theatre in 2002.)

    Lee has performing at many high profile events over the past two decades, including the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Democratic National Conventions. She performed with the Colorado Symphony at the 911 Remembrance Ceremony, and in the First Ladies of Jazz concert. She has sung the national anthem before 78,000 Denver Broncos fans, was featured vocalist at the grand opening of Union Station was a Season 9 contestant on America's Got Talent.  She has toured internationally performing for the troops of the U.S. Department of Defense. She returned to the DCPA in 2014 to sing with the cast of the national touring production of the Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet onstage at the Buell Theatre. And last December, Lee won a 2015 True West Award for her performance in the new musical, Uncle Jed's Barbershop.  

    Read John Moore's Denver Post profile of Mary Louise Lee

    Mary Louise Lee The Wiz. AfterthoughtSome of Lee's other notable local theatre performances have included Vogue Theatre’s A Brief History of White Music, the Arvada Center’s The 1940s Radio Hour, Country Dinner Playhouse’s Ain’t Misbehavin', Denver Civic’s Menopause the Musical and Afterthought Theatre Company's The Wiz, as Glinda the Good Witch (pictured right). She took on that role just after Hancock was elected in 2011.

    From students to senior citizens, Lee is committed to being an ambassador for the arts to help expose and expand access to Denver’s vibrant arts and cultural communities. She is choir director at the New Hope Baptist Church and founder of “Bringin’ Back the Arts," a foundation that encourages arts education in the public schools.

    Betty Hart, the director, recently moved to Denver from Atlanta, where she was a Teaching Artist at the Alliance Theatre. She is the Special Projects Coordinator for Kaiser Permanente Arts Integrated Resources program and recently joined the board of directors for the Colorado Theatre Guild.

    The Music Director will be Trent Hines. He was most recently the conductor and pianist for The Wild Party at the Stanley Marketplace, and he also performed in the show.


    A Lady Day Westword

    Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill: At Vintage Theatre

  • Jan. 12-Feb 18, 2018 (Note: The Feb. 3 show will be performed by Shandra Duncan)
  • 1468 Dayton St., Aurora
  • Tickets $15-$34
  • Call 303-856-7830 or BUY ONLINE


  • Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill: At the Garner-Galleria Theatre

  • March 5-April 23, 2018
  • Denver Performing Arts Complex
  • Tickets start at $42
  • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
  • The show runs approximately 90 minutes without intermission
  • Adult language and content
  • Age Recommendation: 17 and over
  •  

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Video: Mary Louise Lee sings with Million Dollar Quartet:

    Video: Watch Mary Louise Lee sing 'Fools Fall in Love' with the cast of  the national touring production of 'Million Dollar Quartet' at the Buell Theatre in 2014.

  • Local theatres respond to actor's death with challenges, collections, dedications

    by John Moore | Nov 16, 2017
    Daniel Langhoff Ragtime. Performance Now
    Daniel Langhoff recently starred as Tateh in Performance Now's 'Ragtime,' above. The company has unanimously voted to donate 2 percent of all net profits from every show in the 2017-18 season to the Denver Actors Fund in Langhoff's name.


    Performance Now issues an extraordinary challenge as others announce creative ways to support Langhoff family

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    This week's death of beloved local actor Daniel Langhoff has galvanized the Colorado theatre community and beyond, with targeted donations to Langhoff's wife and two infant daughters through the Denver Actors Fund already reaching $23,578 in four days. READ MORE HERE

    Daniel Langhoff NaomiPerhaps most immediate and most remarkable: Performance Now Theatre Company has not only made a substantial donation of $1,000 to the Langhoff family, the company's Board of Directors on Monday unanimously agreed to donate 2 percent of all net profits from every show in the 2017-18 season to the Denver Actors Fund to be used at its discretion.

    "We challenge all Denver-area theatre companies to do the same," Performance Now Executive Producer Ken Goodwin and Artistic Director Alisa Metcalf said in a joint statement. "Imagine how much more the DAF could help others if the companies themselves got involved and the DAF would not have to rely as heavily on individual donations."

    (Pictured above and right: Daniel Langhoff with second daughter Naomi, who was born Nov. 2, just 10 days before he died from cancer.)

    Performance Now even made the initiative retroactive, sending a separate contribution of $386 for its recent production of The Marvelous Wonderettes. Coming up next: Into the Woods opening Jan. 5 at the Lakewood Cultural Center.

    Langhoff has been a major player with Performance Now, having recently starred in both Ragtime and Man of La Mancha at the Lakewood Cultural Center. The challenge is all the more remarkable given that when Performance Now lost longtime Artistic Director Nancy Goodwin (Ken's wife) to breast cancer in 2007, it established a scholarship fund in her name to aid and reward young college students who are working toward a degree in the performing arts.

    "All performing-arts nonprofits face extraordinary funding challenges as a matter of course," said Denver Actors Fund President Will Barnette. "When nonprofits with already stretched resources still find a way to support other nonprofits, that is kind of remarkable, when you think of it." 

    Donate to the Denver Actors Fund's Langhoff collection

    Daniel


    Barnette added that The Denver Actors Fund does have a modest, ongoing giving campaign in collaboration with area companies called the Tap Shoe Initiative, in which participating companies choose one night per run of a show to collect spare change for the DAF. To date, the initiative has raised about $20,000. Companies interested in participating are encouraged to email Debbie Weinstein Minter at sk8bug77@yahoo.com.

    Elsewhere, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts has announced that it is dedicating the opening performance and the entire run of First Date, opening Friday, as well as the entire run of A Christmas Carol, to Langhoff.

    Langhoff made his Denver Center debut in 2010 in the musical comedy Five Course Love at the Galleria Theatre, followed by a stint in a revival of the longest-running musical in Denver history, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. He also performed in the DCPA Theatre Company’s seasonal stagings of A Christmas Carol in 2014 and 2015.

    “Daniel was a brilliant actor and comedian who loved to laugh almost as much as he loved to hear others laugh," said First Date director Ray Roderick.

    Through curtain speeches, information in the show programs and DCPA NewsCenter, the DCPA will be directing audiences to make targeted donations to the Langhoff family.

    Immediate efforts to add to the Langhoff fund:

    Many other individuals and theatre companies have responded with creative entrepreneurial efforts to add to the total over the coming days and months. Here is a roundup:

    • A November Denver Dolls 400The Aurora Fox's new monthly cabaret series this weekend (Nov. 17-18) features The Denver Dolls presenting their USO/Andrews Sisters tribute, performed in the style of The Manhattan Transfer. The Dolls, presented by YearRound Sound, are led by frequent DCPA performer and Langhoff castmate Heather Lacy, who will lead a collection as audiences leave the studio theatre at 9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora. 303-739-1970 or BUY TICKETS
    • BDT Stage opens its new production of Annie this weekend and will make an audience appeal for donations to the Langhoff fund at performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 17-19). 5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com
    • Local actor, choreographer and certified fitness instructor Adrianne Hampton is holding a benefit "Broadway Boot Camp" at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19, with all proceeds and donations going to Langhoff's family. What is a Broadway Boot Camp? Well, it's a workout, with showtunes. "It’s a place where theaA Daniel Langhoff Vintage. Honemoon in Vegas RDG Photographytre people can come to hone their skills and support each other," Hampton said. "Just come, bring your dancing shoes and have fun dancing. If you don't want to be part of the class, you can come and watch or just come and make a donation." $15. Littleton Ballet Academy 1169 W. Littleton Blvd.
    • Vintage Theatre has announced that all proceeds from the industry-night performance of its new musical Honeymoon in Vegas on Monday, Nov. 27, will go to Langhoff's family, including, remarkably, box office. The DAF's Sue Leiser will lead a collection brigade. All tickets are $15 for this performance only. At 1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or BUY TICKETS
    • Daniel Langhoff Community BETCThe Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company will also donate 100 percent of the proceeds from its official opening performance of Every Christmas Story Every Told on Dec. 13 to the DAF's Langhoff Fund. Langhoff was a cast member of this very same show at this time last year. "Daniel Langhoff will be deeply missed by all the artists who had the opportunity to work with him...and there were so many," said BETC Managing Director Rebecca Remaly Weitz. "He touched so many of us with his wit, optimism, persistence, kindness and humor. Our hearts go out to his family." Additional donations will be accepted at the door on Dec. 13. At the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or BUY TICKETS

    Details on a life celebration for Daniel Langhoff are expected to be announced soon.

    Pictures above, from top: The Denver Dolls; James Thompson and the cast of A Daniel Vintage Theatre's Honeymoon in Vegas (RDG Photograph and Daniel Langhoff in Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Every Christmas Story Every Told (Michael Ensminger). 

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • Robert Lee Hardy of 'The Snowy Day' on living with joyous goodwill

    by John Moore | Nov 07, 2017
    Cast of The Snowy Day. Adams Viscom

    The cast of DCPA Education's 'The Snowy Day Other Stories,' from left: Rachel Kae Taylor, Robert Lee Hardy and Zak Reynolds. Age recommendation: Pre-school to 3rd grade, with adult supervision. Photo by Adams VisCom for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    MEET ROBERT LEE HARDY
    Robert Lee Hardy QuotePeter in The Snowy Day, playing through Nov. 18 in the Conservatory Theatre. Recent stage credits include A Time To Kill at the Vintage Theatre in Aurora; Flyin’ West, The Three Sisters and Home. TV and film credits include Jazz in the Diamond District, Jamesy Boy and HBO’s The Wire.

    • Hometown: Baltimore
    • Home now: Denver
    • Training: I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in acting from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film
    • What's your handle? @RobertLeeHardy on Twitter and Instagram
    • What was the role that changed your life? The role was Cephus Miles from the play Home by Samm-Art Williams. I had to learn eight monologues, the production only had three characters — and it was over two hours long with no intermission! I understood Cephus. He was my grandfather, my uncle and my father. Cephus lost his home, was thrown in jail for not wanting to fight in the Vietnam War and became addicted to drugs. During the run of the show, I was going through a really rough point in my life, and Cephus inspired me. Despite all, he never lost his joyous goodwill or his indomitable spirit. He held onto to his faith in himself and ended up with a life filled with love and happiness.
    • Why are you an actor? I love suspending reality. I have the power to use this gift bestowed upon me, to take people's level of consciousness to a higher level.
    • What do you be doing if you were not an actor? I would be a news anchor. I love the words, I love the camera and I love storytelling.
    • RobertLeeHardyJeffreyWrightIdeal scene partner: Jeffrey Wright (pictured right) and Heath Ledger. They literally know how to put on someone else's shoes, and walk in them.
    • Why does The Snowy Day matter? When I was a child I didn't often see people who looked like me onstage, film or TV. The Snowy Day allows children to see that actors and artists come in all colors, shapes and sizes.
    • What do you hope the audience gets out of this play? I want them to leave the show feeling inspired. Whether you can't whistle or write well. If you believe in yourself, the possibilities are endless.
    • Complete this sentence: “All I want is … “
      "... for the world to know that a career as an artist is realistic and ideal.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Robert Lee Hardy A Time to Kill. Vintage

    Robert Lee Hardy, right, starred as Carl Lee Hailey with Drew Hirschboeck as Jake Brigance in Vintage Theatre's regional premiere production of 'A Time to Kill' in April. He has since joined DCPA Education's 'The Snowy Day.'   


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

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



  • In the Spotlife: Deb Persoff of 'August: Osage County'

    by John Moore | Aug 28, 2017
    Deb Persoff August Osage County
    Deb Persoff, bottom left, stars in Vintage Theatre's 'August: Osage County' as a pill-popping grandma with more than one form of mouth cancer. Playing her daughters are, from left, Kelly Uhlenhopp, Haley Johnson and Lauren Bahlman.
     


    MEET DEB PERSOFF
    Violet Weston in Vintage Theatre's 'August: Osage County.' She was the winner of the Colorado Theatre Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

  • Hometown: PhiladelphiaDeb Persoff Marvin's Room
  • Home now: Aurora
  • College: I studied to become an X-Ray Technician and wanted to enter the medical field.
  • What have you done for us lately? I played Grandma in Vintage Theatre's production of Billy Elliot: the Musical.
  • What's next? I will be playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience opening next March at Vintage Theatre.
  • Twitter-sized bio: I am an actor who does not know what Twitter is.
  • Do you have a Twitter handle? Anyone who knows me just laughed out loud reading that question.
  • The role that changed your life: Playing Bessie in Marvin's Room for the late Theatre Group. At the end of the play, she says how lucky she is to have been able to love so deeply. A mantra for life.
  • Maggie SmithIdeal scene partner: Maggie Smith, for her comic timing, her aristocratic bearing, her wonderful expressive face and her history of theatre.
  • What is August: Osage County all about? Family, and the rich web that binds us, are not always smooth in  texture. There are frictions and distinct personalities, but always it is the lineage of our future. It defines us as people and the door is always open to home.
  • Tracy Letts talks 'origin of the poison' with John Moore

  • Deb Persoff August QuoteTell us about the challenge of playing this role: Violet loves her three daughters and feels she's knows what is best for them. Her defiance and resolve gets her through her days. Addiction to pills is always present, but she is a survivor. Her strength and fire makes me stronger as an actress.
  • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing your show? Sharing the time together from the stage to the audience, surrounded by this rich writing and riveting cast is a bond I hope will linger long after the evening ends. 
  • What don't we know about you? I love gift wrapping any surface. Paper is fragile, like us, and can create beauty and illusion. You then ask: "What is beneath?"
  • What do you want to get off your chest? Why is "age" such a stigma, when long life is what we all wish for? 
  • More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    August: Osage County: Ticket information
    • Written by Tracy Letts
    • Directed by Bernie Cardell
    • Sept. 1-Oct. 15
    • At the Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010 MAP IT
    • Tickets $25-$30
    • For tickets, call 303-856-7830 or go to vintagetheatre.com

    Performance schedule:
    • Fridays, Saturdays and Monday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m.
    • Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

    Cast list:

    • Deb Persoff: Violet Weston
    Roger Hudson: Beverly Weston
    Haley Johnson: Barbara Fordham
    Kelly Uhlenhopp: Ivy Weston
    Lauren Bahlman: Karen Weston
    Marc Stith: Bill Fordham
    Kaitlin Weinstein: Jean Fordham
    Andrew Uhlenhopp: Steve Heidebrecht
    Darcy Kennedy: Mattie Fae Aiken
    John Ashton: Charlie Aiken
    Brandon Palmer: Little Charlie Aiken
    Emily Gerhard: Johnna Monevata
    Stephen Krusoe: Sheriff Deon Gilbeau

    2017-18 'In the Spotlife' profiles:

    Meet Christy Brandt of Creede Rep's Arsenic and Old Lace

    Deb Persoff Life Achievement

    Deborah Persoff accepts the Colorado Theatre Guild's 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Henry Awards. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.
  • August theatre in Colorado: Run, 'Rabbit,' run!

    by John Moore | Aug 09, 2017

    White Rabbit Red Rabbit


    Denver, Colorado Springs companies launching month-long runs of a daring play where the actor hasn't read the script.

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    August is the month of the rabbit. And, of course, Frozen.

    You know by now that Disney is presenting the stage adaptation of its Broadway-bound musical adaptation of the highest-grossing animated film in history. Performances of Frozen begin at the Buell Theatre on Aug. 17 and continue through Oct. 1.

    On the other end of the temperature scale, one of the hottest theatre topics this month is White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour. We'd tell you what his story is about, but there's the trick: No one knows. Or rather, those who do know are asked not to tell.

    August Adrian Egolf 300With no rehearsal, no director and a different actor each night, White Rabbit, Red Rabbit is an audacious theatrical experiment and a potent reminder of the power of spontaneous theatre. Because all that awaits each intentionally unprepared sole actor on the stage is a script in a sealed envelope.

    And ... go!

    Two Colorado companies are undertaking this newly popular social experiment, both beginning this Friday night (Aug. 11): The Star Bar Players in Colorado Springs, and the new Pipedream Productions, an upstart crew from the University of Denver. 

    Soleimanpour could not get a passport out of Iran in 2010 because he refused to do national service. So, at age 29, he devised a play that could travel the world without him. He didn't even see it performed himself until 2013.

    White Rabbit. Red Rabbit has been performed by more than a thousand actors around the globe, including Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane, Alan Cumming, Martin Short, F. Murray Abraham, Cynthia Nixon, Stephen Rea and John Hurt. The work, says the official website, “has been called a play. But it’s a lively, global sensation that no one is allowed to talk about. Since Soleimanpour cannot leave Iran, he travels the world through this remarkable work."

    The Denver run starts with a guinea pig, er, rabbit, named Adrian Egolf, who has been seen in DCPA Theatre Company productions of Benediction and Death of a Salesman.

    All proceeds will go to one of three charities, each to be chosen by that performance's given actor: The Colorado Humane SocietyColorado Immigrant Rights Coalition and PEN Center USA. That's animal rights, immigrant rights and free speech. And that may offer a clue about the play's content.

    The Denver lineup: 

    • Friday, Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m.: Adrian Egolf
    • Saturday, Aug. 12, 7:30 p.m.: Meridith C. Grundei
    • Sunday, Aug. 13, 2 p.m.: Luke Sorge
    • August John HauserThursday, Aug. 17, 7:30 p.m.: Anthony Adu
    • Friday, Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m.: Emma Messenger
    • Saturday, Aug. 19, 2 p.m.: Ilasiea Gray
    • Saturday, Aug. 19, 7:30 p.m.: Ben Hilzer
    • Sunday, Aug. 20, 2 p.m.: Andrew Uhlenhopp
    • Thursday, Aug. 24, 7:30 p.m.: Erik Fellenstein
    • Friday, Aug. 25, 7:30 p.m.: Jihad Milhem
    • Saturday, Aug. 26, 2 p.m.: Julie Wolf
    • Saturday, Aug. 26, 7:30 p.m.: John Hauser (pictured at right in DCPA Education's A Midsummer Night's Dream)
    • Sunday, Aug. 27, 2 p.m.: Kelly Uhlenhopp
    • Monday, Aug. 28, 7:30 p.m.: Sean Michael Cummings
    • Thursday, Sept. 7, 7:30 p.m.: Anne Penner
    • Friday, Sept. 8: 7:30 p.m.: Chloe McLeod
    • Saturday, Sept. 9, 2 p.m.: Jonathan Edward Brown
    • Saturday, Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m.: Jeff Jesmer
    • Sunday, Sept. 10, 7:30 p.m.: Mare Trevathan
    • Monday, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.: Susannah McLeod

    The Colorado Springs lineup:

    • Friday, Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m.:  Rev. Nori June Rost
    • Saturday, Aug. 12, 7:30 p.m.: Hossein Forouzandeh
    • Thursday, Aug. 17, 7:30 p.m.: Phil Ginsburg
    • Friday, Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m.: Lynne Hastings
    • Saturday, Aug. 19, 7:30 p.m.: Stoney Bertz 
    • Sunday, Aug. 20, 4 p.m.: John Hazlehurst
    • Thursday, Aug. 24, 7:30 p.m.: Bob Morsch
    • Friday, Aug. 25, 7:30 p.m.: Omid D Harrison
    • Saturday, Aug. 26, 7:30 p.m.: Jodi Papproth
    • Sunday, Aug. 27, 4 p.m.: Michael Lee

    Click here for more on the Denver run, and here for more on Colorado Springs.

    Here are five more intriguing titles opening in the next few weeks. But be sure to also peruse the list of currently running shows that are about to close: More than 40 will finish by the end of the month.  

    (To update or correct your company’s schedule, email jmoore@dcpa.org).

    August DCPA 800


    NUMBER 1Creede Repertory Theatre. There's a lot going on at Creede Rep this month, starting with two benefit performances of award-winning actor Rhonda Brown's one-woman Molly Ivins tribute Red Hot Patriot on Aug. 15-16. The acclaimed theatre 250 miles southwest of Denver then premieres a promising new play called General Store, written by Colorado native Brian Watkins and directed by Christy-Montour Larson (DCPA’s Two Degrees) from Aug. 18-Sept. 16. It's about the owner of a small-town store who is determined not to let anything stop him from holding onto his small piece of the America Dream. That opening leads into Creede Rep's Headwaters New Play Festival on Aug. 25-26, which will feature readings of the new plays The Mess of Us, by Moss Kaplan and Greg Ungar; Caliban’s Island, by Diana Burbano; and Visible From Four States, by Barbara Hammond (and directed by former DCPA Theatre Company Artistic Director Kent Thompson). 124 Main St., 719-658-2540 or creederep.org

    NUMBER 2August BELLEVILLEBelleville. Progressive Theatre, the invention of Candace Joice, is a local company that exists to support other local theatres. For three successive weeks, Progressive will present its latest offering, Belleville, by Amy Herzog (Curious Theatre's After the Revolution), at three host theatres that will then keep the proceeds: Vintage Theatre (Aug. 25-26), Buntport Theater (Sept. 8-9), and Lowry’s Spotlight Theatre and Firehouse Theatre (at the John Hand Theatre Sept. 16-17). It's about two young Americans living a perfect ex-pat life in Paris that's about to become less perfect.

    NUMBER 3 Boulder Fringe. The Boulder International Fringe Festival is a 12-day freakout that provides a platform for artists to showcase their work in often non-traditional spaces throughout Boulder. The Fringe celebrates theatre, dance and music that is independent, accessible and affordable. The event brings together local, national and international acts.

    NUMBER 4Appropriate. Curious Theatre Company is about to embark on a 20th season that harkens to its hottest, hot-button roots. It starts Sept. 2 with Appropriate, by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, an incendiary play on race, family, and if it’s possible for history to ever stay in the past. When the Lafayettes descend on a crumbling Arkansan plantation to liquidate their dead patriarch’s estate, his three adult children collide over clutter, debt and a contentious family history. Directed by Jamil Jude. Sept. 2-Oct. 14, 1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org 

    NUMBER 5

    Patsy Cline. Today, Tomorrow, & Forever: A Celebration of Patsy Cline. Always…Patsy Cline made musical theatre history in Denver in the late 1990s when it ran for 3 1/2 years at the Denver Center's Galleria Theatre. That production starred Melissa Swift-Sawyer reliving the brilliant but brief career of the fated country singer. Swift-Sawyer has portrayed Cline almost 3,000 times around the country since, and she will be channeling the star's enduring popularity and unique vocal style in an intimate reflection for the Longmont Theatre Company. Aug. 18-26. 513 Main St., 303-772-5200 or longmont’s home page

    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.


    THIS MONTH'S THEATRE OPENINGS IN COLORADO:

    (Send updates or additions to jmoore@dcpa.org.)

    Aug. 11-20: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Grounded
    At the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org READ MORE

    Aug. 11-Sept. 11: Pipedream Productions' White Rabbit Red Rabbit
    At the University of Denver's JMAC Studios, 1903 E. Iliff Ave., whiterabbitredrabbitdenver.bpt

    Aug. 11-25: Star Bar Players' White Rabbit Red Rabbit
    The Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado, Colorado Springs, starbarplayers.org

    Aug. 11-12: Star-Crossed Theatre's Green Day's American Idiot
    At Bas Bleu Theatre, 401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org

    Aug. 15-16: Creede Repertory Theatre's Red Hot Patriot
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Aug. 17-Oct. 1: DCPA Broadway's Frozen
    Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Aug. 17-Sept. 2: The Sisters, SweetwaterAt Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 720-238-1323 or thesourcedenver.org

    Aug. 18-27: Boulder International Fringe Festival
    At venues around Boulder, boulderfringe.com

    Aug. 18-Sept. 14: Creede Repertory Theatre's General Store
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Aug. 18-26: Longmont Theatre Company's Today, Tomorrow, & Forever: A Celebration of Patsy Cline
    513 Main St., Longmont, 303-772-5200 or longmont’s home page

    Aug. 25-26: Creede Repertory Theatre's Headwaters New Play Festival
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Aug. 25-Nov. 11: BDT Stage's Rock of Ages
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    Aug. 25-Sept. 4: Breckenridge Backstage Theatre's Billy Elliot
    121 S. Ridge St. 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Aug. 25-Sept. 17: Edge Theatre's Dinner
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or theedgetheatre.com

    Aug. 25-26: Progressive Theatre's Belleville
    At Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintage’s home page

    Aug. 25-26: Evergreen Players' EPiC summer (quarterly improv comedy)
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreenplayers.org

    Sept. 1-Oct. 15: Vintage Theatre's August: Osage County
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintage’s home page

    Sept. 1-17: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Noises Off
    At the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org READ MORE

    Sept. 1-30: Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre's Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver
    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com READ MORE

    Sept. 1-23: Thin Air Theatre Company's The Nerd
    Butte Theatre, 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 719-689-3247 or thinairtheatre.com

    Sept. 2-Oct. 14: Curious Theatre's Appropriate
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org 

     

    CONTINUING CURRENT PRODUCTIONS

    Through Aug. 9: Creede Repertory Theatre's Arsenic and Old Lace
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Through Aug. 10: Creede Repertory Theatre's She Loves Me
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Through Aug. 11: Creede Repertory Theatre's Pants on Fire
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Through Aug. 12: Theatre Aspen's Sex With Strangers
    Hurst Theatre  470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org

    Through Aug. 12: Breckenridge Backstage Theatre's Buyer and Cellar
    121 S. Ridge St. 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org

    Through Aug. 12: Colorado Shakespeare Festival's Julius Caesar
    At the Mary Rippon Amphitheatre, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or cupresents.org

    A Alexis Cooley 800 2Through Aug. 12: square product theatre's House of Gold (pictured right)
    At the ATLAS Black Box Theater on the University of Colorado Boulder campus, 1125 18th St., Boulder READ MORE

    Through Aug. 13: Colorado Shakespeare Festival's The Taming of the Shrew
    At the Mary Rippon Amphitheatre, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or cupresents.org

    Through Aug. 13: Colorado Shakespeare Festival's Hamlet
    At the University Mainstage, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or cupresents.org READ MORE

    Through Aug. 13: Colorado Shakespeare Festival's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
    At the University Mainstage, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or cupresents.org

    Through Aug. 13: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Sister Act
    At the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org READ MORE

    Through Aug. 15: Theatre Aspen's The World According to Snoopy
    Hurst Theatre  470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org

    Through Aug. 18: Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre's The Murder Room
    At the Famous Performing Arts Center, 131 W Main St., Trinidad, 719-846-4765 or scrtheatre.com

    Through Aug. 19: BDT Stage's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com READ MORE

    Through Aug. 19: TheatreWorks' Much Ado About Nothing
    At Rock Ledge Ranch, Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org READ MORE

    Through Aug. 19: Equinox Theatre's Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page

    Through Aug. 19: Theatre Aspen's Hairspray
    Hurst Theatre  470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org

    Through Aug. 20: Germinal Stage-Denver's Seascape
    At Westminster High School, 69th Avenue and Raleigh Street, 303-455-7108 or germinalstage.com

    August BROADWAY BOUNDThrough Aug. 20: Miners Alley Playhouse's Broadway Bound
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

    Through Aug. 20: Lakewood Cultural Center's My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy!
    470 S. Allison Parkway, 303-987-7845 or Lakewood.org/LCCPresents

    Through Aug. 23: Off-Center's Mixed Taste
    Wednesdays at the Seawell Ballroom, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Through Aug. 24: Lake Dillon Theatre Company's Ghost
    At the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org READ MORE

    MIXED TASTE 400Through Aug. 24: Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre's Newsies
    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com

    Through Aug. 24: Thin Air Theatre Company's After Dark
    Butte Theatre, 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 719-689-3247 or thinairtheatre.com

    Through Aug. 25: Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre's West Side Story
    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com

    Through Aug. 25: Thingamajig Theatre Company's Aida
    At the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

    Through Aug. 26: Thingamajig Theatre Company's Hairspray
    At the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

    Through Aug. 26: Thingamajig Theatre Company's Sister Act
    At the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

    Through Aug. 26: Lowry Spotlight Theatre's On Golden Pond
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or thisisspotlight.com

    Through Aug. 26: Creede Repertory Theatre's The Syringa Tree
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Through Aug. 26: Midtown Arts Center's Hair
    3750 S. Mason St, Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    Through Aug. 26: Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre's Mamma Mia
    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com

    Through Aug. 26: Thin Air Theatre Company's Annie Get Your Gun
    Butte Theatre, 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 719-689-3247 or thinairtheatre.com

    Through Aug. 26: Millibo Arts Theatre's Circus of the Night
    1626 S. Tejon St. Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321, www.themat.org

    Through Aug. 27: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus Live!
    Garner Galleria Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Through Aug. 27: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse's The Slipper and the Rose
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

    Through Aug. 27: Thingamajig Theatre Company's Big River
    At the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

    Through Sept. 1: [title of show]
    At the Famous Performing Arts Center, 131 W Main St., Trinidad, 719-846-4765 or scrtheatre.com

    Through Sept. 2: Dames at Sea
    At the Famous Performing Arts Center, 131 W Main St., Trinidad, 719-846-4765 or scrtheatre.com

    Through Sept. 9: Creede Repertory Theatre's Boomtown
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Through Sept. 15: Creede Repertory Theatre's Talley’s Folley
    124 Main St., Creede, 719-658-2540 or CreedeRep.Org

    Through Oct. 1: Jesters Dinner Theatre's Anything Goes
    224 Main St., Longmont, 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com

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

    by John Moore | May 31, 2017

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


    By Avery Anderson
    For the DCPA NewsCenter

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

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

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

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

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

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

    NUMBER 2Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    Boulder
    Through Aug. 13

    Summer theatre 800 5The Colorado Shakespeare Festival is celebrating its 60th season with The Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, Hamlet and Henry VI Part 3. The nation's second-oldest Shakespeare festival will continue its recent deep-dive into gender fluidity by casting a female Hamlet, and she's an actor familiar to DCPA Theatre Company audiences. Lenne Kingaman, who played Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and two roles in Appoggiatura, will be mulling the meaning of her existence on the University of Colorado's intimate indoor stage. (Read our full interview.) 
    At the Mary Rippon Amphitheatre and University Mainstage, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or colorado shakes’ home page

    NUMBER 4Disney’s Newsies
    Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

    Through Aug. 24

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

    NUMBER 5Ring of Fire
    Vintage Theatre

    Through Aug. 6

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

    Summer theatre 800 3

    NUMBER 6Ghost
    Lake Dillon Theatre Company

    July 1- Aug. 24

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

    NUMBER 7Sex With Strangers
    Theatre Aspen

    July 6-Aug. 12

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

    NUMBER 8Annie
    Phamaly Theatre Company

    July 15-Aug. 3

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

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

    Colorado Springs TheatreWorks
    At Rock Ledge Ranch

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

    NUMBER 10General Store
    Creede Repertory Theatre

    Aug. 18-Sept. 16

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


    COLORADO SUMMER THEATRE SCHEDULES

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

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

    ADAMS MYSTERY PLAYHOUSE

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

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

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

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

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

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

    BENCHMARK THEATRE
    benchmarktheatre.com
    No summer events scheduled

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CENTERSTAGE THEATER COMPANY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    DAIRY ARTS CENTER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    JESTERS DINNER THEATRE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Avery-Anderson Avery Anderson is interning with the DCPA NewsCenter for the summer. He is the General Manager and producer of Met TV at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He was won two Heartland Student Emmy Awards for his work on The Met Report. He has a passion for local arts and culture and enjoys covering theatres across the Denver area and the state. Follow him on Twitter and @a_anderson64.
  • Charles Packard leaving Aurora Fox after 19 years

    by John Moore | May 23, 2017
    Charles Packard Charles Packard was nominated for a Denver Post Ovation Award for designing this set for the ice-climbing drama 'K2' in the Aurora Fox studio theatre in 2012. 
     

    Longtime Executive Producer cited budget cutbacks, exhaustion and personal hurdles as ongoing difficulties

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Charles Packard, Executive Producer for the Aurora Fox Arts Center since 2009, has resigned, both he and city officials confirmed today in joint statements. 

    Packard is resigning "to pursue other opportunities," said Abraham Morales, Senior Public Information Officer for the city of Aurora. In his own statement, Packard cited fatigue. "I have grown tired, then exhausted, and it has come time to close," he said.

    Associates close to Packard, who was placed on administrative leave May 8, say his sometimes competing role as both an artist and arts administrator for Charles Packard Quotea city-owned performing-arts facility had become increasingly more difficult to navigate. Reached at home 10 days ago, Packard said he was looking forward to visiting family in Michigan, and that "I am really thrilled for what's coming next in my life."

    In today's statement, he elaborated: "I will be spending the next few months 'in the sandwich,' " he said. "My parents are aging, and my kids are growing fast. I will be with them while my artistic and public-servant batteries recharge.

    "In the 19 years I've been at the Fox we have had a few failures, many successes and tremendous growth. The audience has changed and the neighborhood has changed. I have grown as an artist." (Read the full statement here.)
     
    On the blog Packard regularly kept on the Aurora Fox web site, Packard wrote openly about the theatre's many artistic achievements, but also "unprecedented challenges including staff changes, budget crises, weather and other assaults, as well as intense personal hurdles."

    The change comes at a tenuous time for the Fox, which has not yet announced its 33rd season beginning in September. Cultural Services Manager Gary Margolis, Packard's boss, will handle administrative duties while a national job search is conducted to find Packard's replacement. Margolis joined the city a year ago. When he moved to Aurora from San Diego, Packard described him as "Aurora’s No. 1 arts advocate."

    Packard's resignation also comes as the Fox has been enjoying a steady stream of artistic and box-office successes. Last July, the Fox received six Henry Award nominations, including Outstanding Season for a Theatre Company.

    Local actor, director and former Aurora Fox employee Robert Michael Sanders said Packard has been one of the most impactful people in the local theatre community over the past two decades.

    "In his years at the Fox, Charlie set himself and the theatre apart with a simple premise: 'Why not?' " said Sanders. "He set the bar high and brought people up around him."

    Packard, a former president of the Colorado Theatre Guild, joined the Aurora Fox in 1999 as Production Manager and Associate Producer. He is also a multiple award-winning Scenic Designer known for elaborate sets including The Wedding Singer, Xanadu, Something Wicked this This Way Comes, Arabian Nights, K2 and Big Fish. He won the 2014 Henry Award for his design of the water-themed Metamorphoses in the Aurora Fox studio theatre.

    Packard has long been known for openly sharing his talents with theatre companies throughout the metro area including Curious Theatre, Magic Moments and more. His scenic work is currently on display in Curious' The Luckiest People. His boxing-ring design for The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, a co-production between Curious and Colorado Springs TheatreWorks, was nominated for 2013 True West and Henry awards. He is also an accomplished lighting designer, winning the 2006 Denver Post Ovation Award with Jennifer Orf for Phamaly Theatre Company's The Wiz.

    Read the Aurora Sentinel's 2012 profile on Charles Packard

    Sanders said Packard has been one of the theatre community's strongest advocates for actors' rights. "He has always fought behind the scenes for actors to be paid a decent wage and have health insurance," Sanders said.

    The Aurora Fox was built for $10,000 as an art-deco neighborhood movie theater in 1946. It was renovated in the 1980s as a community arts center with two performing spaces and has become an anchor of the Aurora Cultural Arts District, which stretches along East Colfax Avenue from Clinton Street to Geneva Street. That includes the nearby Vintage Theatre, which also sports two performing spaces less than a half-mile away. For years, city leaders have hoped to turn this iconic stretch of East Colfax Avenue into a cultural destination that might grow surrounding businesses, but the results have been mixed.

    "Charles Packard has been the anchor of the Aurora Cultural Arts District for the better part of a decade," said Vintage Theatre Executive Director Craig Bond. "At the helm of the Aurora Fox he has directed, produced, supported and encouraged various groups of artists to achieve amazing theatrical successes within Aurora. His leadership will be missed within Aurora, but I am sure his amazing staff will continue to support great work within the 80010 zip code."

    Charles Packard The Wedding SingerIn his role at the Fox, Packard has overseen both the 245-seat mainstage theatre and the transformable studio theatre that seats about 90. The Aurora Fox typically produces five shows per year while making its theatres available for many other local theatres to rent. In recent years, Packard has blown open the Fox’s doors to underserved voices and audiences with productions including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna in the Tropics, The Color Purple, Black Elk Speaks, Porgy & Bess and the current Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

    Packard has also steered the Fox through several small controversies over the years. The Fox’s partnership with Ignite Theatre, which staged 31 productions at the Fox, hit a hiccup in 2015 when Aurora city officials said the Fox could no longer present simultaneous shows in its two spaces until the backstage dressing-room space was expanded. That forced Ignite to move or cancel three upcoming productions. And in January, Ignite ceased production

    Charles Packard  Consider the OysterThe Fox garnered much unwanted attention late last month when Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the finale of the current mainstage season, was beset with production problems, culminating with the last-minute decision to cancel the opening weekend of performances out of concern for the safety of the actors. 

    (Pictured above: Charles Packard's curtain speeches have been a staple at the Aurora Fox since 2009. Here: 'Consider the Oyster' in 2013. Photo by John Moore.)

    While numbers for the current season are not complete (Priscilla closes out the season on May 28), 2015-16 was a banner year for Packard and the Aurora Fox. In his blog, Packard reported records for fundraising, ticket revenue and season subscriptions (up an astounding 26 percent over the previous season). “My goal for the year was to be up 10 percent, which in itself was a pretty bold promise to make my board of directors,” Packard told the Aurora Sentinel. “But the increase probably just means that (Aurora Cultural Arts District Managing Director Tracy Weil’s) efforts of image control for the neighborhood have been successful.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Part of Packard’s job was “refining the theater’s financial model,” which proved to be an evolving and ongoing challenge with the city.

    Back on his blog, Packard wrote: “I am very proud of our results this year. We achieved high and quantifiable artistic successes (despite budget cutbacks.) We pushed ourselves as individual artists and stretched the very definition of what it means to be a collaborative arts center. And, we had unprecedented challenges. We’ve had staff changes, budget crises, weather and other assaults as well as intense personal hurdles."

    Beginnings in Michigan summer stock

    Charles Packard MiscastPackard, a Michigan native, said in a 2012 Aurora Sentinel profile that his first gig was working in “the creative chaos of summer-stock festivals after dropping out of Western Michigan University. Packard worked as a stage manager for a musical workshop in New Bedford, Mass., helping to create new works as creative egos clashed and backers pulled out.

    Packard arrived in Colorado in 1997 and quickly found work as a freelance stage manager and designer. His duties at the Fox evolved to season selection, design, administration and a long list of other small jobs necessary for running a theater. He stepped into the executive producer role in early 2009, just after the full effects of the economic collapse of 2008 started to hit the local theater community.

    (Photo at right: Charles Packard showed off his playful side by performing a number from 'La Cage Aux Folles' for Miscast, a 2007 benefit performance. Photo by John Moore.)

    “About every day, I was on the phone with my grandfather and my great aunt, begging for them to tell me stories about the Great Depression,” Packard said, laughing. “I wanted to know — how bad can this get?”

    Aurora Chamber of Commerce Vice President George Peck said of Packard’s hiring in 2009: “Charlie reaches out and creates networks. He understands that arts are not narrowly focused. We were very impressed with Charlie’s facility to wear both of those hats. He still has that very creative side that is necessary to be successful running a theater. But he understands the business aspects as well.”

    Packard's reach into the community often exceeded theater. In 2007, Packard helped with the defense in a gruesome federal death-penalty case. Rudy Sablan, an inmate in the U.S. Penitentiary in Florence, Colorado, was charged with murder for helping his cousin eviscerate a third man in the 7-by-14-foot cell the three shared. Packard was hired to meticulously re-create the jail cell in the U.S. District courtroom.

    “I don’t really care whether the person being defended is a good guy or a bad guy,” Packard said at the time. “I am proud to be part of giving him a rigorous defense.”

    For the Fox season that is ending May 28, Packard adopted the theme “Life on the Margins of Polite Society.” The intent of the season, he wrote on his Fox blog, “was to examine ourselves and the groups we form for safety and comfort. We have reflected on those tight-knit groups of like-minded people we hold dear. Our polite society. We have been introduced to others. To those left on our margins, the different, the foreign, the newcomer. We have seen that those individuals are at the center of their own hard spheres.”

    He signed off, as he often did, “ I will see you at the theater.”

    In today's closing statement, Packard wrote: "No arts organization should become dependent on the presence of any single mind. That is true of The Fox ... Dozens of artists are still here working hard on the 33rd season. Soon a new producer will emerge, and he or she will build on our accomplishments."

    Said Sanders: "Whether it was choosing shows, directing, designing or running the business of theatre, Charlie always asked the same question: 'Does it have heart?'

    "He does."

    An excerpt from Charles Packard’s blog:

    “As arts advocates and administrators we remove obstacles. We deflect worry and distraction from our artists whenever possible. We don’t want them to know how hard it can be. When you have gifted painters living in your community the last thing you want them to worry about is how to buy paint or where to hang their finished work. You want them to create art for all of our benefit. That is my job and the job of other administrators and advocates for The Fox.”

    Note: This report will continue to be updated throughout the day.

    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.
  • In the Spotlife: Marc Stith of 'The Nether'

    by John Moore | Apr 05, 2017
    Marc Stith Photo of Marc Stith by Nathan Rigaud.

    MEET MARC STITH

    Marc Stith plays Sims (known to some as Papa) in Benchmark Theatre's 'The Nether,' set in a futuristic world where the internet is a virtual wonderland that indulges your every desire. But when a young detective uncovers a disturbing brand of entertainment in The Nether, it triggers a high-stakes interrogation into the ethics of the broadening internet. The play runs through April 23 at the Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St. (Photo below of Marc Stith by McLeod9Creative.)

  • Marc Stith. Photo by McLeod9CreativeHometown: Jefferson City, Mo.
  • Home now: Castle Rock
  • College: BFA in theater from the University of Central Missouri
  • What have you done for us lately? I played Arnold in Hir at the Miners Alley Playhouse in Golden
  • What's next? I will play Bill Fordam in August: Osage County from Sept. 1-Oct. 15 at the Vintage Theatre in Aurora
  • Twitter-sized bio: Closet optimist, aspiring cynic, socially awkward penguin, dog and cat lover. I quietly resent people who put clothes on their pets.
  • Twitter and Instagram handle: @japhydean
  • What was the role that changed your life? I was cast as Jed Jenkins in Fifth of July by Lanford Wilson. It was 1990, and I was a student in college. It was the first play I did subsequent to taking an acting class from Dr. Richard Herman. Before that class, I had no idea of how to go about approaching a role, or any concept of the “magic if” – that sort of thing. And I was really just awful. So thank God for teachers. Fifth of July was the first script where I got to apply theories learned in class, so to this day I consider that to be the moment when acting really began for me. And if I may – a quick shout-out to the University of Central Missouri. They have an outstanding theatre program. I am a proud alumnus.
  • Mark RuffaloIdeal scene partner: Mark Ruffalo is so understated and natural and interesting to watch. Yes, calling The Hulk 'understated' is pretty ridiculous. But I’m thinking The Kids Are All Right Mark Ruffalo. Infinitely Polar Bear Mark Ruffalo. Indie-film Mark Ruffalo! (That said, sharing a scene with Hulk would be cool, too.)
  • What is The Nether all about? The play explores whether the moral codes and laws and ideals of real-life society apply in a virtual world - and does time spent in the virtual world further define who we are (or how we act) in the real world? There are a few surprises and twists along the way. I’m hesitant to divulge more.
  • Tell us about the challenge of playing your part: Without giving too much away, I’m kind of playing two roles … but not really. One role is an idealized version of the other – or what one character “pretends to be” in a different place and time. Because it’s his interpretation of his own existence in that setting, he has character affectations that wouldn’t necessarily be present in a historically accurate period piece.
  • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing this play? The major themes of the play could be seriously challenging for some audience members. I hope they trust us to take them on that journey. And I would hope that their drive home is full of compelling discussion and healthy debate.
  • More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • TLCWhat's one thing most people don't know about you? If you want to instantly bond with me, just walk up to me and start singing a TLC song. Any TLC song. I will shamelessly join you. I am not kidding. I will. Also, I lived in Los Angeles for seven years and played bass guitar in a power trio. We did the Sunset Boulevard thing, playing the Whiskey and the Roxy, among other clubs. It was a fun time in my life, and a bucket list item for sure.
  • What’s one thing you want to get off your chest? I’m alarmed by the current political landscape in this country. It’s surreal. We live in a time when millions of people are making a conscious choice to be uninformed and ignorant of reality, rather than to be confronted with ideas that conflict with their personal or political ideologies. It’s concerning because the process of having our belief systems occasionally challenged - being forced to consider something from a different perspective - is healthy. It contributes to our growth and evolution as thinking beings. But there’s a resistance to that right now, which means that collectively we have, in some ways, stopped moving forward. Throw in a well-funded, partisan media that for many has become a substitute for independent thought; on that  constantly demonizes 'the other side' in lieu of actual journalism; AND  our society’s propensity for violence ... It just feels very, very volatile right now, and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. But I also think that underscores the need for artists to be productive and fully engaged right now. The optimist in me thinks that some really good art will emerge as a result.

  • Marc Stith. Hir. Miners Alley PlayhouseRecently, Marc Stith played a father who is tortured by his wife after he has had a stroke in 'Hir,' opposite Martha Harmon Pardee, at the Miners Alley Playhouse in Golden. 


    Benchmark Theatre's The Nether: Ticket information


    The NetherBy Jennifer Haley
    • Directed by Rachel Bouchard
    • Through April 23
    • Performances 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 6 p.m. Sundays
    • Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St.
    • Tickets $20-$30
    • For tickets or information, go to benchmarktheatre.com

    Cast list:
    •  Haley Johnson as Morris
    •  Jim Hunt as Doyle
    •  Ella Madison as Iris
    •  Marc Stith as Sims/Papa
    •  Cameron Varner as Woodnut

    More 'In the Spotlife' profiles:
    Meet Lauren Bahlman of Wide-Eyed West's theMumblings
    Meet Mark Collins of And Toto Too's Lost Creatures
    Meet Carley Cornelius of Colorado Springs TheatreWorks' Constellations
    Meet Emily Paton Davies of Miners Alley Playhouse's God of Carnage
    Meet Kelsey Didion of Curious Theatre's Constellations
    Meet Denise Freestone of OpenStage's August: Osage County
    Meet Sam Gregory of the Arvada Center's Tartuffe
    Meet John Hauser of Curious Theatre's Hand to God
    Meet Jim Hunt of Buntport's The Zeus Problem
    Meet Jeff Jesmer of Spotlight Theatre's The Crucible
    Meet Wayne Kennedy of BDT Stage's Mid-Life 2
    Meet Carla Kaiser Kotrc of Miners Alley Playhouse's A Skull in Connemara
    Meet Seth Maisel of Town Hall Arts Center's The Firestorm
    Meet Tim McCracken of Local Theatre's The Firestorm
    Meet Angela Mendez of Beauty and the Beast
    Meet Joelle Montoya of Su Teatro's El Sol Que Tu Eres
    Meet Rebekah Ortiz of The Robber Bridegroom
    Meet Anne Oberbroeckling of Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Ripcord
    Meet Jessica Robblee of Buntport Theatre for All Ages' Siren Song: A Pirate Odyssey
    Meet Cory Sapienza of Miners Alley Playhouse's Hir
    Meet Sean Scrutchins of the Arvada Center's Bus Stop
    Meet Jane Shirley of The Avenue's Santa's Big Red Sack
    Meet Peter Trinh of the Aurora Fox's Chinglish
    Meet Petra Ulyrich of Germinal Stage-Denver's Johnny Got His Gun
    Meet Megan Van De Hey of the Arvada Center's Sister Act
    Meet Sharon Kay White of the Arvada Center's I'll Be Home for Christmas

  • In the Spotlife: Peter Trinh of 'Chinglish'

    by John Moore | Mar 31, 2017
    A Peter Trinh Chinglish 800 1


    MEET PETER TRINH

    Peter Trinh plays three roles in the Aurora Fox's 'Chinglish,' a comedy about the challenges of doing business in a country where the language and underlying cultural assumptions can be worlds apart from those of the West. It runs through April 9.

  • Hometown: Denver
  • Home now: Denver
  • High school: Arvada West
  • College: Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Peter Trinh QuoteWhat have you done for us lately? I played Monk in the The Oldest Boy, presented by Vintage Theatre and Theatre Esprit Asia 
  • What's next? I will play myself in the return of my one-man play Boat Person with Theatre Esprit Asia from July 27-30 at the Bas Bleu Theatre,
    401 Pine St. in Fort Collins
  • Twitter-sized bio: First generation American; DEN native; father of two boys; actor; playwright; stand-up comedian. 
  • Twtter and Instagram handle: @Peter_Trinh
  • What was the role that changed your life? I was cast in Dust Storm for Theatre Esprit Asia in 2013. It is a solo play and it was my first lead role. This show proved to myself that I could carry a show as a lead, and even on my own.
  • Ideal scene partner: I have always respected Edward Norton. He is a character actor, but strong enough to play a lead. I recall his scene in Birdman with Michael Keaton, and I imagine working a scene with him would be similar to that. There is an honesty in his performances that I feel is deeply engaging.
  • What is Chinglish all about? The inevitable miscommunications between cultures. It's a comedy that follows Daniel, a businessman from the Midwest, who arrives in a bustling Chinese province looking to score a lucrative contract for his family’s sign-making company. He soon finds that the complexities of such a venture far outstrip the expected differences in language, customs and manners – and calls into question even the most basic assumptions of human conduct. Through comic exchanges, he learns what is lost and found in translation. Despite our efforts to understand each other, there is a part of us that will never understand those from other cultures, but that doesn’t mean we cannot share or live together.
  • Peter_Trinh Boat PersonTell us about the challenge of playing your part: My lines are about 65 percent Mandarin. I do not speak Mandarin. Learning enough to be able to pronounce my lines decently was a bear. It’s harder than it looks. Luckily, our dramaturg and the two native speakers in our cast made me feel comfortable. I am bilingual in Vietnamese – which could be considered a derivative dialect of Mandarin – so learning the tones was familiar.
  • What do you hope audiences get out of seeing this play? I hope they laugh. The jokes (which come with subtitles) make for a unique theatregoing experience for the audience. But most of all, I hope this play inspires people to travel and experience the world outside the realm of what they presently know.
  • More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

  • What's one thing most people don't know about you? I’m the first person on either side of my family to be born on American soil. My parents were pregnant with me when they were sponsored to Denver in 1982.
  • What’s one thing you want to get off your chest? I feel like what the world is missing is compassion. We need to find away to allow others to believe the way they wish without imposing our own beliefs. This country has been so busy drawing lines in the sand on this issue, and that issue, we seem to be losing our humanity. Let’s agree to disagree.

  • Peter Trinh Chinglish. By Christine Fisk From left: Mark Rubald, Tim O'Connell, Peter Trinh and Ke Zang in the Aurora Fox's production of 'Chinglish.' Photo by Christine Fisk.

    Aurora Fox's Chinglish: Ticket information

    • By David Henry Hwang
    • Directed by Steve Wilson
    • Through April 9
    • Performances 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays
    • 9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora
    • Tickets $16-$37
    • 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org

    Cast list:
    •  Mark Rubald as Daniel Cavenaugh
    •  Peter Trinh as Bing, Judge Geming and Qian
    •  Tim O'Connell as Peter Timms
    •  Christa Yan as Xi Yan
    •  Ke Zang as Minister Cai Guoliang and Prosecutor Li
    •  Molly O'Niel as Zhao and Waitress

    More 'In the Spotlife' profiles:
    Meet Lauren Bahlman of Wide-Eyed West's theMumblings
    Meet Mark Collins of And Toto Too's Lost Creatures
    Meet Carley Cornelius of Colorado Springs TheatreWorks' Constellations
    Meet Emily Paton Davies of Miners Alley Playhouse's God of Carnage
    Meet Kelsey Didion of Curious Theatre's Constellations
    Meet Denise Freestone of OpenStage's August: Osage County
    Meet Sam Gregory of the Arvada Center's Tartuffe
    Meet John Hauser of Curious Theatre's Hand to God
    Meet Jim Hunt of Buntport's The Zeus Probem
    Meet Jeff Jesmer of Spotlight Theatre'sThe Crucible
    Meet Wayne Kennedy of BDT Stage's Mid-Life 2
    Meet Carla Kaiser Kotrc of Miners Alley Playhouse's A Skull in Connemara
    Meet Seth Maisel of Town Hall Arts Center's The Firestorm
    Meet Tim McCracken of Local Theatre's The Firestorm
    Meet Angela Mendez of Beauty and the Beast
    Meet Joelle Montoya of Su Teatro's El Sol Que Tu Eres
    Meet Rebekah Ortiz of The Robber Bridegroom
    Meet Anne Oberbroeckling of Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Ripcord
    Meet Jessica Robblee of Buntport Theatre for All Ages' Siren Song: A Pirate Odyssey
    Meet Cory Sapienza of Miners Alley Playhouse's Hir
    Meet Sean Scrutchins of the Arvada Center's Bus Stop
    Meet Jane Shirley of Santa's Big Red Sack
    Meet Petra Ulyrich of Germinal Stage-Denver's Johnny Got His Gun
    Meet Megan Van De Hey of the Arvada Center's Sister Act
    Meet Sharon Kay White of the Arvada Center's I'll Be Home for Christmas
  • February: Colorado theatre listings

    by John Moore | Feb 01, 2017
    February Theatre Openings

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

    Five intriguing titles for February:

    NUMBER 1The Zeus Problem. Buntport Theater’s latest creation is described as “a dark comedy about a god and the mess he made.” And they swear it was conceived and written before the recent presidential election. Whatever. Inspired by Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound, The Zeus Problem is an original tale about abuse of power, the potential of storytelling "and the importance of a stretchy waistband at the dinner table." Featuring guest god Jim Hunt, winner of the Colorado Theatre Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Feb. 3-25 at 717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com

    NUMBER 2A Murray Ross 160The Hairy Ape. Colorado Springs lost an icon with the death of Murray Ross, who started TheatreWorks from nothing on the campus of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs in 1975. In tribute to the man and his passion, TheatreWorks will continue as planned its staging of Eugene O’Neill’s 1922 expressionistic masterwork, with Scott RC Levy, Producing Artistic Director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, taking over as director. The Hairy Ape stars Dylan Mosley as Yank, an immigrant who finds America to be a world riddled by unrest and controlled by the wealthy. Sound familiar? Feb. 11-26 in the Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater. 719-255-3232 or www.theatreworkscs.org

    NUMBER 3Billy Elliot, The Musical. Broadway’s stage adaptation of the charming British film about the coal-town kid who prefers ballet over boxing, has its first two homegrown Colorado stagings this month. Vintage Theatre’s production, directed by Bernie Cardell and featuring a cast of 26, plays Feb. 3-March 19 at 1468 Dayton St. in Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com. Evergreen Chorale, which is partnering with the Colorado Ballet for its production, plays Feb. 24-March 12 at Center Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive in Evergreen, 303-674-4002 or evergreenchorale.org. A special performance will be held on Friday, March 17, at the Colorado Ballet’s Armstrong Center for Dance.

    NUMBER 4February Theatre OpeningsKing Lear. Boulder’s 35-year-old Upstart Crow, Colorado’s only company dedicated exclusively to presenting classics, expands out to Longmont for its new staging of King Lear. Shakespeare’s infamously bad old dad brings his storm to the Longmont Performing Arts Center, otherwise known as the Longmont Theatre Company’s longtime home at 513 Main St. It’s a perfect marriage: Boulder County’s two oldest theatre companies cooperating on the story of Shakespeare’s oldest protagonist. Directed by Joan Kuder Bell. Starring Louis Clark as Lear. Feb. 9-19 303-772-5200 or longmonttheatre.org

    NUMBER 5Yohen. Speaking of partnerships, Colorado’s only Asian-American theatre Company, Theatre Esprit Asia, has called on Tony Garcia, Producing Artistic Director  of Colorado’s only Chicano theatre, Su Teatro, to direct Philip Kan Gotanda's play, featuring Maria Cheng and Don Randle. "Yohen" refers to pottery that comes out of the kiln with imperfection. "Usually the pots are thrown away, but sometimes that imperfection is so unique that it makes the pot special and cherished," Garcia said. "I am thrilled to be able to work with other actors of color to continue to build these relationships. At ACAD Gallery, 1400 Dallas St., Aurora, 720-492-9479, or theatre-esprit-asia.org

    February Theatre Openings

    THIS MONTH'S THEATRE OPENINGS IN COLORADO:

    (Submit your listings to jmoore@dcpa.org)

    Feb. 2-12: Lone Tree Arts Center's Muscle Shoals: I’ll Take You There
    10075 Commons St., just west of Interstate 25 and Lincoln Avenue, 720-509-1000, lonetreeartscenter.org

    Feb. 2-26: Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's An Iliad
    At the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or thedairy.org

    Feb. 3-March 12: DCPA Theatre Company's Two Degrees
    Jones Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Feb. 3-25: Buntport Theater's The Zeus Problem
    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com

    Feb. 3-26: Theatre Esprit Asia’s Yohen
    At ACAD Gallery, 1400 Dallas St., Aurora, 720-492-9479, or theatre-esprit-asia.org

    Feb. 3-March 19: Vintage Theatre Productions' Billy Elliot, The Musical
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    Feb. 4-March 5: That Championship Season
    417 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org

    Feb. 9-26: 5th Wall Productions' Straight
    At Tony P's, 777 E. 17th Ave., 5th-wall-productions.ticketleap.com
    (No shows Feb. 11 or 25)

    Feb. 9-19: Upstart Crow's King Lear
    Presented at Longmont Theatre Company, 513 Main St., 303-772-5200 or longmonttheatre.org

    Feb. 9-26: Millibo Art Theatre's Lovette
    1626 S. Tejon St. Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321 or themat.org

    Feb. 10-11: Off-Center's Cult Following: Secrets & Confessions
    D&F Clocktower, 16th and Arapahoe streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Feb. 10-11: Evergreen Players' EPiC Winter (improv comedy)
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreenplayers.com

    Feb. 10-26: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's Enchanted April
    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

    Feb. 11-26: TheatreWorks' The Hairy Ape
    3955 Regent Circle, Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org

    Feb. 14-18: Vintage Theatre and Edge Theater's I'll Eat You Last: A Conversation with Sue Menger
    At the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or thedairy.org

    Feb. 15-19: National touring production of Motown the Musical 
    Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Feb. 16-March 18: OpenStage Theatre & Company’s August: Osage County
    Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org

    February Theatre OpeningsFeb. 16-March 5: The Heir Apparent
    1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., Colorado Springs, 719-357-3080 or springsensembletheatre.org

    Feb. 17-March 19: Town Hall Arts Center's Bonnie & Clyde
    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or town hallartscenter.org

    Feb. 17-March 18: Breckenridge Backstage Theatre's The Toxic Avenger
    121 S. Ridge St. 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org

    Feb. 17-18: The Avenue Theater's The Golden Years
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or the avenue’s home page

    Feb. 18-March 18: Spotlight Theater Company's Sabrina Fair
    At the John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or thisisspotlight.com

    Feb. 21-26: Circus 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus
    Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Feb. 23-March 12: Phamaly Theatre Company's Pygmalion 
    At the Aurora Fox, 9900 E. Colfax Ave., 303-575-0005 or phamaly.org

    Feb. 23-March 12: The Catamounts' Beowulf, A Thousand Years of Baggage
    Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or the dairy.org

    Feb. 23-March 11: Thunder River Theatre Company’s The Tempest
    67 Promenade, Carbondale, 970-963-8200 or www.thunderrivertheatre.com

    Feb. 23-25: square product theatre’s The Box Marked Black: Tales from a Halfrican American Growing up Mulatto (with Sock Puppets)!
    Performed in rep with Hoarded Stuff Performance’s Practicing
    At the Boulder Creative Collective Warehouse, 2500 47th St., Unit 10, Boulder, 800-838-3006 or brownpapertickets.com
    (Also: March 2-4 at Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan St., Denver)

    Feb. 24-May 14: Arvada Center's Bus Stop
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or the arvada center’s home page

    Feb. 24-March 12: Evergreen Chorale's Billy Elliot, The Musical
    At CenterStage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4002 or evergreenchorale.org

    Feb. 24-March 11: Coal Creek Theatre of Louisville's And Then There Were None
    Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant St., 303-665-0955 or cctlouisville.org

    Feb. 24-March 12: The Avenue Theater's Robert Dubac’s The Book of Moron
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or the avenue’s home page

    Feb. 24-March 26: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's Junie B. Jones: The Musical
    Second Stage, 30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

    CONTINUING CURRENT PRODUCTIONS:

    Through Feb. 4: Firehouse Theatre Company's Becky’s New Car
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or firehousetheatercompany.com
    Thursday, Feb. 2, benefits The Denver Actors Fund

    Through Feb. 4: Town Hall Arts Center's Avenue Q
    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or townhallartscenter.org

    Through Feb. 4: OpenStage Theatre & Company’s Bright Ideas
    Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org

    Through Feb. 4: Equinox Theatre Company’s The Who’s Tommy
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page

    Through Feb. 12: The Edge Theatre's Burn This
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or theedgetheater.com

    Through Feb. 12: The Avenue Theater's Almost, Maine
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or the avenue’s home page

    Through Feb. 12: Vintage Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast

    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com

    Through Feb. 12: Parker Center and Inspire Creative's Disney's Beauty and the Beast
    20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, parkerarts.org

    Through Feb. 12: Something’s Afoot
    27357 Conifer Road, Conifer, 303-886-2819, 800-838-3006 or stagedoor’s home page

    Through Feb. 17: Curious Theatre's The Happiest Song Plays Last
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org

    Through Feb. 19: BDT Stage's Thoroughly Modern Millie
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    February Theatre OpeningsThrough Feb. 19: Aurora Fox's Myth
    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org

    Through Feb. 19: Cherry Creek Theatre's Red Hot and Cole
    At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center's Pluss Theatre, 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver, 303-800-6578 or cherry creek theatre’s home page

    Through Feb. 26: DCPA Theatre Company's The Christians
    Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Through Feb. 26: DCPA Theatre Company's The Book of Will
    Ricketson Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    February Theatre OpeningsThrough March 5: Miners Alley Playhouse's Hir
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

    Through March 5: Vintage Theatre's Brilliant Traces
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintage’s home page

    Through March 12: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s Forever Plaid
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

    Through March 18: Midtown Arts Center's Million Dollar Quartet
    3750 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    Through March 18: Midtown Arts Center's Forbidden Broadway (Studio Theatre)
    3750 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

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

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    A February Openings 800 1

    ONGOING, MONTHLY or ONE-TIME PROGRAMMING:

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

    ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE DENVER
    Sunday, Feb. 26: Oscars Viewing Party (with KMGH Channel 7)
    7301 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, drafthousedenver.com.
    Benefits Denver Actors Fund

    February Theatre Openings BDT STAGE
    Sunday, Feb. 19: Procceds from the closing (evening) performance of Thoroughly Modern Millie benefit the Denver Actors Fund
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    BUNTPORT THEATRE

    Feb. 11: Siren Song: A Pirate Odyssey (Monthly theatre for young audiences at 1 and 3 p.m. the second Saturday of each month, through May 13)
    Feb. 15: The Narrators (a live storytelling show and podcast)
    Feb. 24: Untitled (in the freight elevator at the Denver Art Museum)
    Feb. 20: Staged reading of The 30th of Baydak Tickets here

    Feb. 21: The Great Debate
    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com

    THE CLOCKTOWER CABARET
    Sunday, Feb. 19: The Jerseys sing the Four Seasons and more
    D&F Clocktower, 16th and Arapahoe streets, 303-293-0075 or clocktowercabaret.com
    Benefits the Denver Actors Fund

    Friday, Feb. 3: Drag Decades hosted by Shirley Delta Blow
    Performances inspired by musicals from TV, movies and the stage. Appearances by Vivian LeCher (Miss Gay Pride of Colorado), Zarah (Drag Machine) and Brody Danger.
    D&F Clocktower, 16th and Arapahoe streets, 303-293-0075 or clocktowercabaret.com

    Monday, Feb. 6: Cabaret for a Cause
    Eugene Ebner and Paul Page Productions presents the third annual "Cabaret for a Cause," songs celebrating the power of love.
    D&F Clocktower, 16th and Arapahoe streets, 303-293-0075 or clocktowercabaret.com
    Benefits Challenge Denver

    Wednesday, Feb. 22: Tony Desare in concert
    New York cabaret star Tony DeSare performs Night Life, his classic and elegant 1950s New York nightclub act featuring songs from Cole Porter to Bob Dylan
    D&F Clocktower, 16th and Arapahoe streets, 303-293-0075 or clocktowercabaret.com
    Benefits Think360 Arts

    DCPA THEATRE COMPANY
    Feb. 18-26: Colorado New Play Summit
    Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    DENVER ACTORS FUND
    Feb. 16, 18 and 22: Fathom Events screening of Broadway's Newsies, featuring Jeremy Jordan, at Alamo Drafthouse Denver, 7301 S Santa Fe Drive, https://drafthouse.com/denver/show/fathom-presents-disneys-newsies-the-broadway-musical
    See also: Alamo Drafthouse, Clocktower Cabaret and BDT Stage

    LAKE DILLON THEATRE COMPANY

    Friday, Feb. 3: Broadway st the Summit
    Celebrating the music of ABBA
    At the Outlets at Silverthorne. Dillon, 970-513-9386

    Wednesday, March 1: Snowshoe Hike and Supper
    Raven Golf Course, Silverthorne. Email megan@lakedillontheatre.org

    LOCAL THEATER COMPANY

    Wednesday, Feb. 6: Public reading of Home in the Heart, a student adaptation of Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street
    This free, 45-minute presentation  is geared for elementary and middle-school students. Starring Mehry Eslaminia. Directed by Megan Mathews.  
    At Boulder Public Library's Canyon Theater, 1001 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder. Get tickets in advance

    PACE CENTER

    Thursday, Feb. 23: The Berenstain Bears Live! in Family Matters, the Musical
    20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, parkerarts.org

    THE SOURCE THEATRE COMPANY

    Every third Monday: Monday! Monday! Monday! Cabaret
    At Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 720-238-1323 or thesourcedenver.org

    SQUARE PRODUCT THEATRE
    Friday, Feb. 25: Being Black in Boulder: A Community Conversation
    Immediately following the performance of The Box Marked Black: Tales from a Halfrican American Growing up Mulatto (with Sock Puppets)!
    Panelists: Arthur Antoine, Paris Ferribee, and Vanessa Roberts
    At the Boulder Creative Collective Warehouse, 2500 47th St., Unit 10, Boulder. Free. 800-838-3006 or brownpapertickets.com

    STORIES ON STAGE

    Sunday, Feb. 12: Legal Fictions
    “The Something by John Grisham,” by B.J. Novak, performed by Leigh Miller
    “Weight,” by Margaret Atwood, performed by Stephen Weitz
    "The Conversion of the Jews,” by Philip Roth Young, performed by Michael Bouchard
    "The Blue Hole” by Erika Krouse, performed by Jessica Austgen
    "A Fable with Slips of White Paper Spilling from the Pockets,” by Kevin Brockmeier, performed by Cajardo Rameer Lindsey
    1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-494-0523 or storiesonstage.org

    THUNDER RIVER THEATRE COMPANY
    Friday, Feb. 24: At its production of The Tempest, Thunder River will re-name the “black-box” studio theatre its founder opened in 2006 as The Lon Winston Theatre.

    67 Promenade, Carbondale, 970-963-8200 or www.thunderrivertheatre.com

  • Ignite Theatre to cease operations after 'The Wiz'

    by John Moore | Jan 07, 2017


    Keith Rabin Jr., Rob Riney and Lindsey Falduto in Ignite Theatre's 'tick…tick…BOOM!'  Photo by Olga Imaging.


    Denver’s Ignite Theatre somehow caught a spark during the worst economic nadir since the Great Depression – and still caught fire. But after seven years of brazen and unapologetically provocative fare, the torch is soon going out on the most unlikely success story in Denver theatre over the past decade.

    Co-founder Will Adams made the announcement at tonight’s opening performance of The Wiz that Ignite is ceasing operations after the show closes at the Aurora Fox on Jan. 29.

    “We’re not mourning; we’re celebrating 31 incredible productions,” Adams said.

    Ignite Keith Rabin QuoteIgnite was facing several significant challenges moving forward, including an overextended board, the impending departure of co-founder Keith Rabin Jr., and the increasing challenge of finding viable performance spaces in the metro area. But Adams said Friday there was no single tipping point. “It’s just time,” he said.

    Ignite was launched in 2009 as Gravity Defied Theatre Company by Rabin, Adams and Reace Daniel, with initial support from the Rocky Mountain Arts Association, home of the Denver Gay Men's Chorus and others. But the driving artistic force was always Rabin, who is co-directing the farewell production of The Wiz.

    “I am so lucky,” Rabin said. “I don’t really know how many people get to say, ‘I wanted to start something new and different and make an impact in my community.’ Well, I get to say that.”

    Ignite was started as a musicals-only company that would introduce regional premieres and revisit groundbreaking musicals of the past. And from its opening staging of bare: the musical, the story of two gay high-school students and their struggles at a Catholic boarding school, Ignite didn’t just push the envelope. It pushed the envelope over the edge and into the fire.

    “No, we were never afraid to be overtly sexual,” Adams said with a laugh. “And the further we pushed the sexuality, the more successful we were for our audience.”

    Rabin told Westword early on that Ignite intended to do shows that no other companies would want to touch because they might have too many f-bombs, or too much sex or drugs. “Those are the types of shows we like to do," Rabin said, “more risqué shows, definitely stuff that nobody has been beating the hell out of. “

    Gravity Defied distinguished itself from all other companies from the start by writing into its mission statement a commitment to donating a portion of its ticket revenues to a designated local charity. While the service commitment was ultimately unsustainable for a bare-bones non-profit, the company did raise $2,000 for Phamaly Theatre Company, which creates performance opportunities for actors with disabilities, and $1,500 for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, among others, before giving up the ghost. In 2011, the Rocky Mountain Arts Association ended its partnership with Rabin, which is what had made Gravity Defied eligible for public funding. So after five productions, Rabin and Adams created their own nonprofit called Lucent Performing Arts and changed the name of the theatre company to Ignite. Their new mantra: "Ignite the night." 

    Even with a new name, the theatre continued to live up to its original moniker by defying the odds, if not gravity. “This was always a very unlikely proposition,” Adams said. But Ignite slowly made its name and reputation presenting highly sought regional or Denver premieres like Next to Normal, Spring Awakening, Heathers and American Idiot alongside provocative classics like Pippin, A Chorus Line, Cabaret and Rent - with the occasional You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Into the Woods thrown into the mix to keep audiences off-balance. But Ignite’s bread and spicy butter was a regular stream of smaller cutting-edge titles for the Smash generation like bare, The Wild Party and [title of show]. Ignite's only non-musical title ever was 2011’s The Busy World is Hushed

    (Pictured above and right: Seph Hamilton as Edgar Allan Poe in 'Nevermore.' Photo by Olga Lopez.)

    Adams cites two seminal productions as Pippin (which was somehow accompanied by a 21-piece orchestra) and Green Day’s in-your-face American Idiot.

    “American Idiot was just bad,” Adams said, “And I mean that in the best possible way. It was a risky production, and I think it really sums up what Ignite Theatre can do.” (Story continues below.)

    Photo retrospective: A look back at Ignite Theatre Productions

    Ignite Theatre: A retrospective

    "bare: the musical" was Ignite Theatre's inaugural staging in 2009. To see more photos, click the forward arrow on the image above.


    Although Ignite was never a bricks-and-mortar company, it staged 30 of its 31 productions as a tenant of the Aurora Fox. Adams would like to believe Ignite made the Fox  a more energized and vital force in the growing Aurora Cultural Arts District, which includes the two stages at the Aurora Fox and two more at the nearby Vintage Theatre. And Aurora Fox Executive Producer Charles Packard could not agree more.

    "Ignite attracted people to the neighborhood I was not as focused on with their programming, so that is fantastic,” Packard said. "It’s been great to watch them grow and fill a niche we weren’t filling. That allowed me focus on other under-represented audience groups with mainstage shows like Black Elk Speaks and Porgy and Bess. The same is true with Vintage. When you have a variety of  different companies performing within a few blocks of each other, you are naturally going to attract a wider span of potential audiences." 

    But the partnership hit a hiccup last summer when Aurora city officials informed the Fox it could no longer present simultaneous shows on its mainstage and in its busy studio theatre next door if both were going to require dressing-room space for the actors. That's too many people in too small of spaces. That forced Ignite to move or cancel three upcoming productions. Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allen Poe became the first Ignite show ever hosted outside the Fox when it was staged instead at the Crossroads Theatre in Five Points.

    The job to expand the Aurora Fox dressing rooms went to bid just this week, Packard said, and he expects the work to be completed by the end of May. He said he is sad to see Ignite go, “but they have come to the end of a great run.”

    Adams emphasized that Ignite was not in financial straights, but acknowledged the board and artistic leadership could no longer dedicate the time and necessary resources to continue operating a semi-professional theatre company at its current pace. He said Lucent Performing Arts will remain in operation, “and that leaves us open to the possibility of future programming that would carry on in Ignite’s footsteps, such as educational workshops, guerilla theatre or remounts of past productions."

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Adams said he can move on with his head held high knowing Ignite Theatre has made a difference in the Denver-area theatre community.

    “Ignite Theatre has positively impacted the lives of many thousands of audience members, as well as hundreds of the actors, directors, designers and musicians who have passed through our doors, many when they were just starting out and have moved on to much bigger things." Adams cited Denver Post Ovation Award winner Rebekah Ortiz, Norrell Moore, Anna High and Lindsey Falduto, among others.

    “This company began as Keith Rabin’s dream,” Adams said. “And I feel very proud that I helped make his dream happen. We made some amazing theatre as a result of that dream."

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



    A Ignite Theatre. Lysystrata Jones. Cast of Lysistrata Jones in 2013. Suzanne Simone Poshtography. 

    The Wiz: Ticket information

    • Through Jan. 29
    • Presented by Ignite Theatre at the Aurora Fox
    • 9900 E. Colfax Ave.
    • Performances 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and Monday, Jan. 16.; 2:30 p.m. Sundays
    • Tickets are $20-28
    • 866-811- 4111 or ignitetheatre.com

    Ignite Theatre: Production history
    2009
    bare: the musical*

    2010
    You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
    Totally Electric*
    The Wild Party*
    [title of show]*

    2011
    Seussical
    The Last 5 Years
    Pippin
    A Chorus Line

    2012
    The Busy World is Hushed*
    The Great American Trailer Park Musical
    Spring Awakening*
    Sweeney Todd
    Next to Normal

    2013
    Cabaret
    Lysistrata Jones*
    Avenue Q
    Aida

    2014
    See What I Wanna See*
    35MM*
    Rent
    Into the Woods

    2015
    Dreamgirls*
    tick … tick … BOOM!
    La Cage Aux Folles
    Dogfight*

    2016
    Green Day’s American Idiot*
    Heathers The Musical*
    The Wild Party (Aurora Fox and Brighton Armory)
    Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe*

    2017
    The Wiz

    *Regional premieres

     

  • January: Colorado theatre listings

    by John Moore | Jan 04, 2017
    Becky's New Car, Firehouse Theatre,

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

    Five intriguing titles for January:

    NUMBER 1Red Hot and Cole. The Cherry Creek Theatre begins its seventh season with a big move out of the Shaver-Ramsey Gallery and into the Pluss Theatre at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center. The cast includes Jeremy Rill, Seth Dhonau, Damon Guerasio, Stephen Day, Matt LaFontaine, Sharon Kay White, Lauren Shealy, Shannan Steele, Susannah McLeod and Olivia James. The director is Susan Draus, music director for the tour of Beautiful - The Carole King Musical and creator of last year’s fun romp at the Lone Tree Arts Center Reunion ’85. Jan. 26-Feb. 19 at 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-800-6578 or cherry creek theatre’s home page

    NUMBER 2The Wiz. Ignite Theatre’s 31st production will be the 1975 Broadway musical that tells the story of The Wizard of Oz from an African-American perspective. Ignite intended to ease on down this road last summer, but issues involving the use of the Aurora Fox as a host venue forced the postponement. Featuring Clarissa DuBose as Dorothy. Jan. 7-29  at the Aurora Fox, 9900 E. Colfax Ave., 720-362-2697 or ignite’s home page

    NUMBER 3Peter TrinhComing to America. Theatre Esprit Asia returns with a compelling collaboration with the Theatre Company of Lafayette: Two monologues addressing issues of immigration. In Boat Person, Peter Trinh recounts the bloody fall of Saigon. In Antecedents, Maria Cheng recollects the Americanization of a precocious Chinese teenager. Jan. 13-22 at the Mary Miller Theater in Lafayette, 300 E. Simpson, 720-209-2154 or www.tclstage.org

    NUMBER 4RFK: A Portrait of Robert Kennedy. James O’Hagan Murphy returns to his signature role as a tribute to his recently departed director, Terry Dodd. Presented by Vintage Theatre Jan. 6-8 at the Dairy Center in Boulder, 2590 Walnut St., 303-440-7826 or thedairy.org; and Jan. 13-22 At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive in Evergreen, 303-674-4934 or evergreenplayers.com

    NUMBER 5The Happiest Song Plays Last. Curious Theatre presents the final chapter of its Elliot Trilogy of plays by Quiara Alegría Hudes. In a cozy North Philadelphia kitchen, a matriarch takes a stand in her new role as the heart and voice of a crumbling community. Halfway around the world in Jordan, her cousin (Elliot) finds that his wartime nightmares have followed him into his new life as a film star. Punctuated by live music from Puerto Rico and the Middle East. Jan. 14-Feb. 17 at 1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org

    THIS MONTH'S THEATRE OPENINGS IN COLORADO:

    (Submit your listings to jmoore@dcpa.org)

    Jan. 5-Feb. 4: OpenStage Theatre & Company’s Bright Ideas
    Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org

    JANUOARY OPENINGS DCPA 1Jan. 6-28: Breckenridge Backstage Theatre's Red
    121 S. Ridge St. 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org

    Jan. 6-22: Performance Now's Man of La Mancha
    Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway, 303-987-7845 or performance now’s home page 

    Jan. 6-March 18: Midtown Arts Center's Million Dollar Quartet
    3750 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    Jan. 6-8: Vintage Theatre's RFK: A Portrait of Robert Kennedy
    At the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or thedairy.org

    Jan. 6-29: Jesters Dinner Theatre's Godspell
    224 Main St., Longmont, 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com

    Jan. 7-Feb. 4: Firehouse Theatre Company's Becky’s New Car
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or firehousetheatercompany.com

    Jan. 7-29: Ignite Theatre's The Wiz
    At the Aurora Fox, 9900 E. Colfax Ave., 720-362-2697 or ignite’s home page

    Bright IdeasJan. 10-22: National touring production of Fun Home
    Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Jan. 12-March 12: Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s Forever Plaid
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970-744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com

    Jan. 12-29: Thingamajig Theatre Company's Buyer & Cellar
    Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org

    Jan. 13-Feb. 26: DCPA Theatre Company's The Book of Will
    Ricketson Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Jan. 13-Feb. 12: The Edge Theatre's Burn This
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or theedgetheater.com

    Jan. 13-22: Theater Esprit Asia and Theater Company of Lafayette’s Coming to America
    At the Mary Miller Theater, 300 E. Simpson, 720-209-2154 or www.tclstage.org

    Jan. 13-Feb. 4: Town Hall Arts Center's Avenue Q
    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or townhallartscenter.org

    Jan. 13-Feb. 12: The Avenue Theater's Almost, Maine
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or the avenue’s home page


    Jan. 13-Feb. 4: Equinox Theatre Company’s The Who’s Tommy
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page

    Jan. 13-22: Vintage Theatre's A Portrait of Robert Kennedy
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreenplayers.com

    Jan. 13-22: Vintage Theatre's A Portrait of Robert Kennedy
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreenplayers.com

    Carter NovingerJan. 13-March 5: Vintage Theatre's Brilliant Traces
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintage’s home page

    Jan. 13-29: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's WYNOT Radio Theatre in The Other Coast Caper
    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

    Jan. 13-22: Longmont Theatre Company's Leading Ladies
    513 Main St., 303-772-5200 or longmonttheatre.org

    Jan. 13-March 18: Midtown Arts Center's Forbidden Broadway (Studio Theatre)
    3750 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, 970-225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com

    Jan. 14-Feb. 17: Curious Theatre's The Happiest Song Plays Last
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org

    Jan. 20-Feb. 19: Aurora Fox's Myth
    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org

    Jan. 20-Feb. 12: Parker Arts Center and Inspire Creative's Disney's Beauty and the Beast
    20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, parkerarts.org

    RFK VintageJan. 26-Feb. 19: Cherry Creek Theatre's Red Hot and Cole
    At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center's Pluss Theatre, 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver, 303-800-6578 or cherry creek theatre’s home page

    Jan. 27-Feb. 26: DCPA Theatre Company's The Christians
    Stage Theatre, Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org

    Jan. 27-March 5: Miners Alley Playhouse's Hir
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or minersalley.com

    Jan. 27-Feb. 12: Something’s Afoot
    27357 Conifer Road, Conifer, 303-886-2819, 800-838-3006 or stagedoor’s home page


    CONTINUING CURRENT PRODUCTIONS:

    Through Jan. 8: Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's Shrek: The Musical
    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

    Through Jan. 8: Vintage Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com READ MORE

    Through Feb. 19: BDT Stage's Thoroughly Modern Millie
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

    Through March 12: DCPA Cabaret's An Act of God
    Galleria Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or denvercenter.org READ MORE

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter


    ONGOING, MONTHLY or ONE-TIME PROGRAMMING:

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

    THE AVENUE THEATER
    Jan. 26: Scriptprov (improv comedy and theatre actors working together)
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or the avenue’s home page

    BUNTPORT THEATRE
    Jan. 14: Siren Song: A Pirate Odyssey (Monthly theatre for young audiences at 1 and 3 p.m. the second Saturday of each month, through May 13)
    Jan. 17: The Great Debate
    Jan. 18: The Narrators (a live storytelling show and podcast)
    Jan. 27: Untitled (in the freight elevator at the Denver Art Museum)
    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport.com

    THE CATAMOUNTS
    Jan. 27: FEED: Darkness
    An examination of why we need darkness in order to see the light through a  short performance piece and live music. With a four-course meal and drink.
    At Still Cellars, a distillery and arthouse, 115 Colorado Ave., Longmont


    Paula Poundstone

    COLORADO SPRINGS FINE ARTS CENTER

    Jan. 13-14: Staged concert of Next to Normal with Broadway veteran Susan Dawn Carson
    Jan. 27, 2017: An Evening With Paula Poundstone
    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or csfineartscenter.org

    CURIOUS THEATRE
    Jan. 8: Gabriella Cavallero host an evening of music and conversation with the Harlem Quartet. The program will spotlight the music in Quiara Alegría Hudes’ plays.
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curioustheatre.org


    Waiting for Obama

    DENVER ACTORS FUND

    Jan. 19: Staged reading of John Moore's play Waiting for Obama
    The Edge Theatre 1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 720-231-7547 email denveractorsfund.org
    (Free, no advance ticketing. Drop in.)

    Jan. 22: Billy Elliot (the movie)
    Denver Actors Fund monthly film series in partnership with local theatre companies)
    Pre-screening entertainment by cast of Vintahe Theatre's upcoming production of Billy Elliot, The Musical
    At the Alamo Drafthouse, Aspen Grove, 7301 S Santa Fe Dr, Littleton, 720-588-4107 or BUY TICKETS

    LANNIE’S CLOCKTOWER CABARET
    Jan. 6: The Jerseys sing the Four Seasons and more
    D&F Clock Tower, 16th and Arapahoe streets, 303-293-0075 or clocktowercabaret.com

    THE SOURCE THEATRE COMPANY
    Every third Monday: Monday! Monday! Monday! Cabaret
    At Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 720-238-1323 or thesourcedenver.org

    STORIES ON STAGE
    Jan. 14: Leaps of Faith
    "The Conversion of the Jews” by Philip Roth Young, performed by Michael Bouchard
    "The Blue Hole” by Erika Krouse, performed by Jessica Austgen
    "A Fable with Slips of White Paper Spilling from the Pockets” by Kevin Brockmeier, performed by Cajardo Rameer Lindsey
    1:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at At the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-494-0523 or storiesonstage.org

  • 2016 True West Award: John Hauser

    by John Moore | Dec 25, 2016
    True West Awards John Hauser


    30 DAYS, 30 BOUQUETS

    Day 25: John Hauser

    If you were to call him Doogie Hauser, you would only be the latest. But given how well former child TV star Neil Patrick Harris’ career has turned out, John Hauser would surely take the compliment.

    We’re not saying Hauser is a kid. But his Biloxi Blues director Kate Gleason is saying that “as soon as John is potty-trained … he's gonna make a great actor.”

    True West Awards John Hauser QuoteSo he’s young. But there was nothing embryonic about his fully formed year on local stages: He starred in Biloxi Blues at Miners Alley Playhouse, and in Hand to God for Curious Theatre. He made a key appearance in Vintage Theatre's Rabbit Hole, and he performed as Romeo before 10,000 high-school students for DCPA Education.

    That’s a U.S. Army private who comes of age at Basic Training in Neil Simon’s 1943 Mississippi. A grieving, God-fearing teen in possession of (or possessed by) a devilish hand puppet. A guilt-wracked teen who plowed his car into a 4-year-old. And only the most famous lover in all of literature. Plus, he joined the cast of Off-Center’s immersive freakout Sweet and Lucky, and later understudied several roles in the DCPA Theatre Company’s Frankenstein.

    John Hauser may not be old. But as an actor, he grew up in 2016.

    “He’s so good, you forget how young he is,” said  Gleason, herself a 2014 True West Award winner. “I mean, he's barely teething, and yet he manages to find humanity in all his roles.”

    When DCPA Education Director Allison Watrous launched a new pilot program called Shakespeare in the Parking Lot in May 2015, she turned to Hauser first. A team from DCPA Education perform an abridged version of Romeo and Juliet on and around a beat-up old truck in school parking lots - sometimes four times a day. Meaning four times a day, students who otherwise might never be exposed to Shakespeare (or live theatre) crush on the Bard, crush on live performance and, invariably for some, crush on the actor who could win Prom King at just about every school he visits.

    “John is stunning as Romeo,” Watrous said. “He connects to the hearts and minds of the students through authenticity, vulnerability, humor, kindness and depth.” (Pictured below and right: John Hauser as Romeo. Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.)

    Read our recent profile on John Hauser

    Hauser and his castmates, all skilled DCPA Education Teaching Artists, return to each school the next day for classroom workshops and ask students tough, ethically ambiguous questions that revolve around teenagers, their parents and issues of privacy and personal responsibility. The point is to help them better understand the issues at the heart of Romeo and Juliet. Because being a teen hasn't changed as much as you might think.

    True West Awards John Hauser Shakespeare in the Parking Lot"I am so grateful for John's energy and impact,” Watrous said. “He is a true talent.”

    Next semester, the team will tackle A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

    Hauser did not just turn a finger up at his squeaky-clean image, but his entire right hand with Hand to God, Robert Askins’ profanely dark comedy about a troubled teen who is forced to join his mother’s church-led puppet group after his father dies. But when his foul-mouthed sock puppet Tyrone takes on a life of its own and begins to encourage all those around him to give in to their carnal desires, the teen starts to question everything he's been taught. 

    “John brings a true lightness to the room,” said Hand to God Director Dee Covington. “He is generous, reflective and tireless in his determination to not only conquer but totally devour the creative task at hand. He knew the mountain was steep and arduous, but I was so impressed by his ability to temper that slightly self-effacing inner critic with humor and fearlessness. His grit and heart are inspiring.”

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Westword theatre critic Juliet Wittman wrote: “Hauser does brilliantly in the schizophrenic role of Jason, fully inhabiting both the teen’s innocence and Tyrone’s savagery, skillfully manipulating the intransigent puppet.”

    True West Awards John Hauser Rabbit Hole In July, Hauser and his Rabbit Hole cast were honored with the Colorado Theatre Guild’s Outstanding Ensemble Henry Award (with Haley Johnson, Marc Stith, Maggy Stacy and Deborah Persoff). As the accidental grim reaper who devastates a family when their son runs in front of his car, “John Hauser manages to deliver a handful of wallops in his limited scenes,” wrote the Aurora Sentinel’s Quincy Snowdon.

    But perhaps the most impressive evidence of Hauser’s stellar year is simply his dream team of directors: Kate Gleason, Allison Watrous, Dee Covington, Bernie Cardell  (Rabbit Hole), Zach Morris (Sweet and Lucky) and Sam Buntrock (Frankenstein).

    “He is a lovely human being,” Covington said, “and he makes the world a more artful place.”

    And he's not slowing down in 2017. In January, Hauser will be playing Ken in John Logan’s acclaimed Red, the story of the temperamental genius artist Mark Rothko and his apprentice, at the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre.

    (Pictured above and right: Haley Johnson and John Hauser in Vintage Theatre's 'Rabbit Hole.' Photo by Denver Mind Media.)

    John Hauser/At a glance

    • Hometown: Cocoa, Fla.
    • Home now: Denver
    • High school: The Classical Academy in Colorado Springs
    • College: Adams State University in Alamosa
    • Selected additional credits: The Few and Ambition Facing West for Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company; Jerusalem for The Edge Theatre Company
    ABOUT THE TRUE WEST AWARDS
    The True West Awards, now in their 16th year, began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001. DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore — along with additional voices from around the state — celebrate the entire local theatre community by recognizing 30 achievements from 2016 over 30 days, without categories or nominations. Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center's Senior Arts Journalist. His daily coverage of the DCPA and the Colorado theatre community can be found at MyDenverCenter.Org

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

    by John Moore | Dec 15, 2016
    Daniel Langhoff

     



    30 DAYS, 30 BOUQUETS

    Day 16: Daniel Langhoff

    When a man is diagnosed with cancer, he tends to take stock. Make a bucket list. Daniel Langhoff made a bucket list of dream roles - both of them dreamers: Tateh, the immigrant single father in the epic musical Ragtime, and the chivalrous knight Don Quixote in the epic musical Man of La Mancha.

    Both characters are kind, inventive men who see the world not as it is, but how it should (or could) be. “They are both Daniel,” said director Kelly Van Oosbree, the director of both productions for Performance Now Theatre Company in Lakewood.

    Daniel Langhoff picked the year he got his life back to have the year of his life as an actor.

    A Daniel Langhoff QuoteA year ago, when Langhoff was just beginning a six-month round of chemotherapy, he got word that Performance Now would soon be staging Ragtime. He called Van Oosbree to express his interest in playing Tateh, the poor inventor who rises to become one of the most prominent silent-film directors of the era.

    “I remember thinking, ‘How in the hell is this going to happen?’ ” Van Oosbree said. This was December, just a few months after Langhoff married, became a father and was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. Van Oosbree knew he had just begun chemotherapy.

    “I couldn’t wrap my brain around it because if were in the same situation, I wonder how I would even cope,” she said. “But Daniel did not let cancer stop him from doing anything.”

    Quite the contrary. Langhoff had surgery to remove the tumor and surrounding lymph nodes in October – then immediately joined the cast of the DCPA Theatre Company’s A Christmas Carol, fitting rounds of chemo into 10-show weeks at the Denver Center. Then, on to Ragtime.

    Langhoff, 41, had strong sentimental and professional reasons for wanting to play Tateh.

    He had played the homegrown terrorist known as “Younger Brother” in a remarkable production of Ragtime for the Arvada Center in 2011, and he now wanted to complete the circle by playing Tateh for Performance Now. Like Tateh, Langhoff was now a first-time father, having welcomed daughter Clara into the world with wife Rebecca Joseph earlier in the year.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    “As a father and a dreamer, Tateh was a role that speaks to him,” Van Oosbree said. As surely will the  imprisoned author Miguel de Cervantes, the chivalrous and blindly hopeful dreamer who sees beauty in brokenness and uses the power of storytelling to save his own life. Langhoff, in his own way, has used storytelling, insistent optimism, the love of family – and amazing advancements in medicine – to save his own.

    Arvada center 40. Daniel Langhoff. Provided by the Arvada Center, Matthew Gale Photography 2016.In July, he was declared cancer-free. He celebrated by performing as a featured vocalist in the Arvada Center's 40th anniversary concert outdoors alongside fellow big-time local musical-theater stars Megan Van De Hey, Lauren Shealy and Stephen Day, accompanied by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. (Picture above by Matthew Gale Photography). He then played the Rev. John Hale in Arthur Miller’s classic The Crucible for Firehouse Theater Company. The minister is the dupe who comes to Salem intent on seeing witchcraft at play. Currently he's appearing in the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's regional premiere of the madcap Every Christmas Story Ever Told though Dec. 24. After Man of La Mancha (Jan. 6-22), he will join the ensemble of Jesus Christ Superstar for the Arvada Center (March 24-April 16), then perform the music of Johnny Cash in Ring of Fire for Vintage Theatre (June 23-Aug. 6).

    Daniel Langhoff and Anna Eastland in Ragtime. Photo by Rachel D. Graham PhotographyVan Oosbree said it was a coup for her to get Langhoff to even audition for Ragtime. Not because Performance Now doesn’t do great work, but because it’s not a place where an actor makes a living. “And Daniel was making a living as an actor,” Van Oosbree said. “You come to Performance Now because you love it, and Daniel loved it. It really, really meant something for him to play Tateh – and it meant something to all of us that he wanted to do it here.

    “Daniel doesn’t care about the money. He cares about doing thought-provoking, meaningful theater.”

    But there’s no question, Van Oosbree said, that Langhoff’s battle with cancer enhanced his portrayal of Tateh. It made his performance somehow deeper and richer; sweeter and more soulful, she said.

    “I think anyone who goes through something like that realizes how important and brief our time is,” she said. “And that makes you more grateful for the time that you have.”

    Langhoff is not winning a True West Award for overcoming cancer. He’s winning a True West Award for overcoming cancer as a new husband and father, all while conquering one big role after another, and maintaining an uncommon kindness and humility throughout.

    (Photo above and right: Daniel Langhoff and Anna Eastland in 'Ragtime.' Photo by Rachel D. Graham Photography.)

    Daniel Langhoff/At a glance

    • High School: Cherry Creek
    • College: Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley
    • DCPA connection: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and Five Course Love at the Galleria Theatre; A Christmas Carol for the DCPA Theatre Company
    Daniel Langhoff and Lisa Kraai in The Crucible. Photo by Christine Fisk.
    Daniel Langhoff and Lisa Kraai in Firehouse's 'The Crucible.' Photo by Christine Fisk.


    ABOUT THE TRUE WEST AWARDS

    The True West Awards, now in their 16th year, began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001. DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore — along with additional voices from around the state — celebrate the entire local theatre community by recognizing 30 achievements from 2016 over 30 days, without categories or nominations. Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center's Senior Arts Journalist. His daily coverage of the DCPA and the Colorado theatre community can be found at MyDenverCenter.Org

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

    Video: Daniel Langhoff presents Community Impact Award to Denver Actors Fund:

  • 2016 True West Award: After Orlando

    by John Moore | Dec 03, 2016
    True West Awards After Orlando


    30 DAYS, 30 BOUQUETS

    Day 3:
    After Orlando, Benchmark Theatre

        Presented by Colorado Theatre Guild Life Achievement winner Billie McBride

     

    The worst gun massacre in U.S. history left the gay community feeling not just vulnerable.


    Hunted.

    The terrorist may have thought leaving 102 dead or injured, most gay and/or Latino, on the floor of the Pulse nightclub would send "others" of all kinds back into hiding. He knows not artists, who realize full well that it is never more urgent than in the wake of tragedy for the raging and waging of peace in the world through art. As the Russian actor Vsevolod Meyerhold once said: "I want to burn with the spirit of the times."

    The international theatre community continues to mark the Florida massacre with "After Orlando," an ongoing series of gatherings in cities around the world to remember the victims; to start a dialogue on how mass gun violence has become so commonplace America; and to prove yet again the enormous role that live theatre can play in communal grief and transformation. 

    More than 50 "After Orlando" events around the U.S. began on Sept. 12 and will continue through Jan. 31. Each consists of a series of short readings of plays from among more than 70 contributed by celebrated playwrights for the project. In most cities, one local theatre company has hosted an "After Orlando" event on behalf of that city's entire theatre community.

    Our NewsCenter report on Denver's 'After Orlando' event

    The Denver gathering on Nov. 14-15 was different. The new Benchmark Theatre Company, which doesn't even debut until next year, presented Denver's "After Orlando" event as an opportunity to collaborate with local companies from Boulder to Colorado Springs. Participating companies included the Athena Project, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, Buntport Theater, Curious Theatre, Edge Theatre, Local Theatre Company, Phamaly Theatre Company, Funky Little Theatre Company (Colorado Springs) and Vintage, with a special appearance by The Denver Gay Men's Chorus. Dozens of local actors donated their time to participate in the readings.

    Benchmark not only gathered the community for a common cause on two sold-out nights at the Vintage Theatre, it raised $2,000 for the Human Rights Campaign. Benchmark is co-founded by Rachel Bouchard and Haley Johnson, and its "After Orlando" event was primarily organized by Denver School of the Arts Youth Facilitator Kate Folkins and playwright Jeffrey Neuman (Edge Theatre's Exit Strategies).
     

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    "We are humbled not only at the turnout of audiences who came to support this cause, but also the turnout of artists who volunteered their time and talents," said Johnson. "Because of them, we've contributed to an organization that fights for equality and human rights. That is what art is all about - coming together as one to raise each other up."

    The national curators of "After Orlando" are New York's Missing Bolts Productions artistic directors Blair Baker and Zac Kline; and NoPassport Theatre Alliance founder Caridad Svich, whose English translation of The House of the Spirits was premiered by the DCPA Theatre Company in 2010. The point of "After Orlando," Svich said, is "to make some healing art, some fiery art, and some work that just says we can rise up from and through collective mourning.”

    After Orlando Benchmark Theatre True West Awards

     

    ABOUT THE TRUE WEST AWARDS
    The True West Awards, now in their 16th year, began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001. DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore — along with additional voices from around the state — celebrate the entire local theatre community by recognizing 30 achievements from 2016 over 30 days, without categories or nominations. Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center's Senior Arts Journalist. His daily coverage of the DCPA and the Colorado theatre community can be found at MyDenverCenter.Org

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

    After Orlando in Denver: Our photo gallery:

    After Orlando: Denver
    To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter. Photos in the award certificate at the top of this page by Susannah McLeod for McLeod9 Creative.

  • In the Spotlife: Angela Mendez of 'Beauty and the Beast'

    by John Moore | Nov 25, 2016
    Angela Mendez in Beauty and the Beast. Photo by Christine Fisk
    Angela Mendez in Vintage Theatre's 'Beauty and the Beast.' Photo by Christine Fisk.

    (The DCPA NewsCenter regularly profiles actors performing in theatre productions throughout the state of Colorado.)

    MEET ANGELA MENDEZ

    Belle in Vintage Theatre's 'Beauty and the Beast,' running now through Jan. 15.

    • Hometown: Lakewood
    • Home now: Denver
    • High school: D’Evelyn
    • College: Regis University
    • Angela MendezWhat have you done for us lately? I played Jo in the Aurora Fox's Little Women, the Musical, and was part of the ensemble that traveled with Director Christy Montour-Larson to perform I Am Alive a musical about the Armenian massacre, at the Alex Theatre in Los Angeles.
    • At its core, what is Beauty and the Beast about? It's about getting to know people. Looking past what is on the outside and falling in love with what you find underneath. Well, that and dancing dinnerware.
    • Tell us about the challenge of playing your Belle: Like many of our audience members, I grew up watching the original animated version of Beauty and the Beast on endless repeat in my living room. If you say “Little Town, it’s a quiet village…” to a group of people, before long they will answer back every villager’s, “Bonjour!” and continue into Gaston’s “Right from the moment when I met her, saw her…”  without needing much prompting.  This is an iconic soundtrack that lives in our memory banks. With my character, Belle (originally voiced by Paige O’Hara), my determined task is to take what I loved about the original and then freshen her up and ground her in my life experiences. What is most important to me is to unearth what is not cartoonish in Belle’s story, but real and human and true.
    • What do you love most about the Colorado theatre community? Clay White, our director, has brought together the most warm and generous collective of people to bring this show to the Vintage stage. The production staff, crew and cast are all such exceptional people to be around. The glow they bring to a room is very real, and does not stop when we finish running a scene. When a room has that kind of palpable warmth, you get all the more excited to bring an audience into the experience.
    • Angela Mendez. Aurora Fox's Little WomenWhat's one thing most people don't know about you? I’m a bit of an ambivert - a person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert qualities. I love people, but I often forget to ask them out to coffee.  So, if you ever need a listening ear, or a friend, hit me up. I like you. 
    • What’s one thing you want to get off your chest? Denver theatre family: Love your actors. Develop their talent. Mentor them. Teach them. Put food in their bellies. Give them dollars for their time. Kindle the sparks in an actor and you are sure to see that magic reflected on the stage and in the world.

    (Pictured above right: Angela Mendez, far right, with Jenna Bainbridge, Katie Jackson and Chloe McLeod in the Aurora Fox's 2015 'Little Women.' Pictured below: Mendez with James Francis in Vintage Theatre's 'Beauty and the Beast.' Photo by Christine Fisk.).

    Angela Mendez in Beauty and the Beast. Photo by Christine Fisk.

    Beauty and the Beast
    :
    Ticket information

    • Written by Alan Menken; Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Linda Woolverton
    • Directed by Clay White and Trent Hines
    • Through Jan. 15
    • Presented by Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St. in Aurora
    • Performances: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. Sundays; 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5
    • Tickets $28-$31
    • Info: Call 303-856-7830, or go to vintagetheatre.org 

    Cast List:

    • Angela Mendez (Belle)
    • James Francis (Beast/Prince)
    • Craig Ross (Maurice)
    • David Gordon (Gaston)
    • Ben Hilzer (Lefou)
    • Preston Lee Briton (Lumiere)
    • Caitlin Conklin (Babette)
    • Jeffrey Jesmer (Cogsworth)
    • Onna Poeter (Madame De La Grande Bouche)
    • Suzanne Connors Nepi (Mrs. Potts)
    • Sullivan McConell (Chip)
    • Ensemble: Michael Barlow, Court Clark, Jessica Clayton, Holly Joyce Dalton, Gina Eslinger, Katie Jackson, Kayla Mally, Jordan Manchego, Eli Stewart. and Ryan Walkoviak

    More 'In the Spotlife' profiles:
    Meet Lauren Bahlman of Wide-Eyed West's theMumblings
    Meet Mark Collins of And Toto Too's Lost Creatures
    Meet Carley Cornelius of Colorado Springs TheatreWorks' Constellations
    Meet Emily Paton Davies of Miners Alley Playhouse's God of Carnage
    Meet Sam Gregory of the Arvada Center's Tartuffe
    Meet John Hauser of Curious Theatre's Hand to God
    Meet Jeff Jesmer of Spotlight Theatre'sThe Crucible
    Meet Wayne Kennedy of BDT Stage's Mid-Life 2
    Meet Seth Maisel of Town Hall Arts Center's The Firestorm
    Meet Tim McCracken of Local Theatre's The Firestorm
    Meet Joelle Montoya of Su Teatro's El Sol Que Tu Eres
    Meet Anne Oberbroeckling of Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company's Ripcord
    Meet Jessica Robblee of Buntport Theatre for All Ages' Siren Song: A Pirate Odyssey
    Meet Petra Ulyrich of Germinal Stage-Denver's Johnny Got His Gun
    Meet Megan Van De Hey of the Arvada Center's Sister Act
    Meet Sharon Kay White of the Arvada Center's I'll Be Home for Christmas

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Last year at this time, Sharon Kay White was in another Arvada Center holiday production, 'Irving Berlin's White Christmas,' with Paul Page. Photo P. Switzer.
  • After Orlando: Colorado theatre will respond Nov. 14-15

    by John Moore | Oct 24, 2016

    This video captures how Erin Rollman of Buntport Theater addressed the 'After Orlando audience on the first night.

    The international theatre community is marking the worst gun massacre in U.S. history with After Orlando, an ongoing series of gatherings in cities around the world to remember the 102 who died or were injured in the Pulse nightclub, and to reflect on how mass gun violence has become so commonplace America.

    After Orlando in DenverMore than 70 celebrated playwrights have contributed short plays for the project, and organizing theatre companies are each choosing 12 to present in their home cities. Participating writers include Neil Labute (Reasons to be Pretty), Caridad Svich (DCPA Theatre Company’s world premiere of The House of Spirits), Israel Horovitz (Park Your Car in Harvard Yard), Deborah Zoe Laufer (Curious Theatre’s End Days, Local Theatre Company’s Informed Consent) and Brian Quijada, who as an actor appeared in the DCPA Theatre Company’s Victory Jones and the Incredible One-Woman Band at the Colorado New Play Summit.

    “We are making some healing art, some fiery art, and some work that just says we can rise up from and through collective mourning,” said Svich. She is also co-founder of the NoPassport Theatre Alliance, which is the national curator of the After Orlando project in partnership with New York’s Missing Bolts Productions

    More than 50 scheduled individual After Orlando events around the U.S. began on Sept. 12 and will continue through Jan. 31. The Denver collaboration is being headed by the new Benchmark Theatre Company and will be presented Nov. 14-15 at the Vintage Theatre in Aurora. After Orlando Rachel Bouchard Quote

    But unlike in other cities, Benchmark is organizing After Orlando as an opportunity to collaborate with local companies from Boulder to Colorado Springs. The list of participating companies includes Athena Project, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, Buntport Theater, Curious Theatre, Edge Theatre Company, Local Theatre Company, Phamaly Theatre Company, Funky Little Theatre Company (Colorado Springs) and Vintage. There will include a special appearance by The Denver Gay Men's Chorus.  

    New Benchmark Theatre plans to have a deep bench 

    Benchmark won’t even present its first play until next March, so the company recently co-founded by Rachel Bouchard and Haley Johnson made for an unlikely local organizer. But After Orlando will make a perfect introduction to the community, she said, “because this event aligns so perfectly with our artistic mission, as well as our commitment to community collaborations.

    "Our mission is to bring the universal human experience to life and bring meaningful discussions to the table,” Bouchard said. "This particular event will bring a lot of different local companies under the same roof, which really only happens otherwise at the Henry Awards.”

    Photo gallery: First night of After Orlando in Denver:

    After Orlando: Denver
    To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. Click on any photo for free download instructions. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    Benchmark has chosen the following 13 playwrights to be featured over the two days Nov. 14-15: 

    • After by Caridad Svich
    • After Orlando by Oliver Mayer
    • Orlando Monologue by Lindsey Ferrentino
    • The Human Traces by Anders Lustgarten
    • Gone Silent by Jennifer Maisel
    • Checkmate by Winter Miller
    • The 49 (Los 49) by Paul and Leesa Castaneda
    • Baby Sister: A Monologue Play by Jacqueline Goldfinger
    • Pistols (An Action in Six Parts) by Andy Field
    • These Wings are Meant to Fly by Zac Kline
    • Sauce by Sung Rno
    • Departure by Jordan Tannahill
    • Today is a Good Day by Katie Pearl

    Bouchard has read many of the submissions, “and many of these stories are so beautifully human,” she said. “They will really allow our community to experience them and discuss them in a safe and connected space.”

    Even though Benchmark is still growing its own seed money, it is presenting After Orlando as a fundraiser for the Human Rights Campaign, which is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality.

    In the wake of the Orlando shootings, the HRC announced a change in its typical organization priorities by saying it would begin pushing for tighter controls on guns.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    “Forty-nine members of our community were murdered because of a toxic combination of two things: a deranged, unstable individual who had been conditioned to hate LGBTQ people, and easy access to military-style guns,” HRC President Chad Griffin said. “It is imperative that we address both issues in order to mitigate safety risk to our community.”

    After Orlando, said the founders of Missing Bolts Productions, provides an opportunity for an artistic response as well.

    “As theatremakers, we have the ability to bring together many singular unique voices toward a common goal,” Blair Baker and Zac Kline said in a joint statement. “We have invited some of the most admired theatre artists worldwide to share our grief, our anger, our hope and our desire to combat the violence we are now living with on a daily basis.”

    After Orlando take place in its city of origin as well. The Orlando Shakespeare Theatre is hiosting an After Orlando event Nov. 5. Svich will give the keynote address.

    NoPassport, Daryl Roth Productions and Missing Bolts Productions are presenting  four benefit events in New York City on Nov. 13 and 20, and Dec. 4 and 11. MORE INFO

    Three After Orlando events will be held in the United Kingdom, including a special marathon event on Oct. 31 at Finborough Theatre in London.
     

    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.


    After Orlando
    : Denver

    • Nov. 14-15
    • Vintage Theatre, 1465 Dayton St., Aurora
    • Readings of 12 short plays
    • Includes reception and silent auction
    • BUY TICKETS

    More media coverage of After Orlando:
    American Theatre
    Howlround
    The Stage UK
    Orlando Sentinel

    Participating playwrights (subject to change):

    Oladipo Agboluaje
    Deborah Asiimwe
    Elaine Avila
    Mando Alvarado
    Jaisey Bates
    Rikki Beadle-Blair 
    Oana Cajal 
    Scottie Campbell
    Paul and Leesa Castenada
    Mia Chung
    J. Julian Christopher
    Cecilia Copeland
    Migdalia Cruz
    Nathan Davis
    Michael Dinwiddie
    Erik Ehn
    Georgina Escobar
    Andy Field
    Lindsey Ferrentino
    Eric Mayer-Garcia
    Mark Gerrard
    Dennis T. Giacino
    Ryan Gielen
    Leo Cabranes-Grant
    Jacqueline Goldfinger
    Garret Groenveld
    Dipika Guha
    Jeremy O. Harris
    Amina Henry
    Israel Horovitz
    Max Kolaru
    Zac Kline
    Alexander Kveton
    Neil Labute
    Deborah Zoe Laufer
    Jacqueline E. Lawton
    David Lee
    Andrea Lepcio
    EM Lewis
    Joan Lipkin
    Jessica Litwak
    Anders Lustgarten
    Jennifer Maisel
    Rohina Malik
    Oliver Mayer
    Tyler McCray
    David A. McElroy
    Jeff McMahon
    Chiori Miyagawa
    Winter Miller
    The House of the Spirits DCPAViet Nguyen
    Ryan Oliveira
    Matthew Paul Olmos
    Giovanni Ortega
    Solimar Otero
    Katie Pearl
    Monica Palacios
    Daryl Pickett
    Brian James Polak
    Brian Quijada
    Emilio Rodriguez
    Elaine Romero
    Ian Rowlands
    Sung Rno
    Anne Rumberger
    Rita Sachdeva
    Madeline Sayet
    Arturo Soria
    Saviana Stanescu
    Lisa Schlesinger
    Stephen Sewell
    Crystal Skillman
    David Solomon
    Caridad Svich (The DCPA's 'The House of the Spirits' pictured at right)
    Jordan Tannahill
    Aradhana Tiwari
    Korde Tuttle
    Ken Urban
    Leah Nanako Winker

  • Terry Dodd: A playwright, director who bled empathy

    by John Moore | Oct 13, 2016

    Video highlights from the Terry Dodd Life Celebration on Nov. 28.


    Terry Dodd will be remembered as one of the most prolific local directors in the Colorado theatre community, as well as an accomplished playwright and screenwriter known for exploring deeply personal family issues. But he also will be remembered as a proud advocate for local theatre, for actors, and certainly for the projects he took on. 

    Dodd was interested in real, down-to-earth human stories that often centered on characters working to reconcile past mistakes. Asked in 2013 to describe his directing philosophy, Dodd said: “Love the play, cast well, always have something for the ear or eye for the audience, and be the best cheerleader going. Keep the drama onstage. And have fun."

    In one word, he said he thought the most important personal attribute in any good director is empathy.

    Terry Dodd Services Dodd oozed empathy over four decades in the Colorado theatre community. He died Wednesday night of a massive heart attack at his apartment, according to his friend and neighbor, Bill Deal. Dodd, who had just turned 64 on Sept. 18, was taken to Denver Health Medical Center at about 6 p.m., but he did not survive emergency surgery, Deal said. The DCPA NewsCenter later confirmed the death with four independent sources, although Denver Health Medical Center said it was awaiting pathological identification through next of kin.

    "Terry was an exceptionally kind and brilliant guy who did a lot for the local theater scene,” said Veronica Straight-Lingo, his friend and also a tenant in the apartment building where Dodd was proctor. Residents of the Executive House Apartments on Capital Hill were individually informed of the news this morning by building management, she said.

    Terry Dodd QuoteDodd has directed dozens of local stage productions at the Arvada Center, Aurora Fox, Nomad Theatre and Bas Bleu, among many others. He considered a personal milestone to be his direction of the second half of the six-hour opus Angels in America, a 2004 co-production between Fort Collins’ Bas Bleu and OpenStage theatre companies.

    "Two of the milestone productions in the history of Bas Bleu were directed by Terry – Angels in America and Three Viewings," said Bas Bleu co-founder Wendy Ishii. “He made some major contributions to our theatre, and his willingness to come up from Denver to help us really elevated our place in the local theatre community.” 

    In 2008, Dodd came to the rescue of Bas Bleu when the director of The 1940s Radio Christmas Carol was hospitalized.

    Laura Jones, who directed the first half of Angels in America with Dodd, remembers a moment during the summer just before the 9/11 attacks. "My husband and I did a houseboat weekend with friends on Lake Powell," she said. "It was very hot, so we slept on the top deck under the stars. At one point, my husband said, 'I feel like I'm in a Terry Dodd play.' Terry loved that story."

    Dodd won the 2006 Denver Post Ovation Award for best year by a director for a lineup that included The Holdup; The Smell of the Kill; Private Eyes; The Caretaker; The Man From Nebraska; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and The Weir – all in one year.

    He originated the annual theatre productions that are still staged each summer in the lobby of the downtown Barth Hotel, a venture that specifically raises money for Senior Housing Options to provide housing and essential services to more than 500 special-needs seniors. Dodd was a big proponent of site-specific theatre, staging Stanton’s Garage in an actual auto-repair garage (until it got shut down for doing so!) and Hot’l Baltimore in the lobby of the Barth.

    “By seeing site-specific theater, I think the boundaries are opened up to an audience,” Dodd said in a Denver Post interview. “These plays greatly expand our ideas of where and how theater can happen."

    Dodd was nominated for a Henry Award for directing James O’Hagan-Murphy in the one-man RFK: A Portrait of Robert Kennedy, which began at the Vintage Theatre and was later re-staged at the Avenue Theatre and Town Hall Arts Center.

    “That was a really lovely experience,” Dodd said. “When I first read the play, I broke out crying at the end.”

    Listen in: Terry Dodd's 2006 podcast interview with John Moore

    Another personal favorite of Dodd’s was Picasso at the Lapin Agile, which imagines a chance meeting between a young Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in 1904.

    He also experienced some success as a screenwriter. "He co-wrote a screenplay in the late 1990s, and I remember the giddiness when he showed me the check for $200,000," said his friend, Dave Maddux. 

    Dodd graduated from George Washington High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He was a professor at the University of Colorado-Denver and a Teacher at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop. His plays were produced nationally, and he was a member of the DCPA Theatre Company's original Playwriting Unit in the 1980s alongside Molly Newman (Quilters) and Randal Myler (Love, Janis.) "Out of that came a script of mine called Goodnight, Texas, that in its original staged reading featured a young actress named Annette Bening," Dodd said in a 2006 interview.

    Terry Dodd Curious Theatre Home By Dark Michael Ensminger
    Terry Dodd considered his play 'Home By Dark' to be his favorite. It was staged at Curious Theatre in 2010 with Jake Walker, left, and Michael McNeill as Dodd's cop dad. Photo by Michael Ensminger for Curious Theatre Company.


    Dodd wrote 16 plays, "and he considered each of them his children," Bill Deal said. "Terry had a difficult childhood, and he rose above it. He used to say it was a good thing that he found the arts, because they saved his life. He went on to become a proud gay man and activist."

    Dodd frequently mined his own past as a writer to explore complex family relationships. His autobiographical coming-out story Home By Dark, which was produced by Curious Theatre in 2010, focused on a charged confrontation between a father and son who are both harboring secrets. It was based on a snowy 1974 morning when a state patrolman - Dodd's father - woke Terry with a pounding on his door. "It’s rare to see plays centering on father-son relationships," Dodd said, "and that's because men only talk when they are cornered ... And my dad was cornered.”

    Dodd’s Vaughn, NM, Christmas Eve, 1956, was a more sentimental memoir recalling a childhood trip to Roswell, N.M. in a raging snowstorm.

    Dodd’s Amateur Night at the Big Heart began as a DCPA commission that went on to be fully staged at the Arvada Center in 1992 with David Ogden Stiers of M*A*S*H fame directing. It was later revived at the Aurora Fox in 2012 with Rhonda Brown starring. The story focuses on a group of beautiful losers in a bar in Pueblo called Big Heart. Dodd said the script owes a nod to The Time of Your Life and the TV show “Cheers.”

    Dodd was also a voracious film buff who was working on a new play about Alfred Hitchcock called Hitchcock Dreaming.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    "Terry Dodd was an important playwright not only in our past, but also for Denver and Colorado," said DCPA Theatre Company Producing Artistic Director Kent Thompson. "He was really bright spirit." 

    Dodd was beloved at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop, says program director Andrea Dupree. "He was a real heart of our organization," said Dupree. "He was known for lovely quirks, like saying 'dynamite!' when students read their work aloud.

    "He was just someone who was in it for the love of stories, and he passed that on to anyone he worked with. He mentored many of our students into having their work published and produced. He made their dreams come true. He was just the most genuine, kind and generous person."

    Given that Dodd was an expert in nearly every facet of storytelling, Ishii says she once asked Dodd why he never tried his hand at acting. “I thought he would be great at it, because when he gives notes as a director, he sometimes immediately accesses the character in a really wonderful way,” Ishii said. “But I remember him saying, ‘I can't act. I'm too much in my head.’ ”

     

    Given his longevity, Dodd worked with hundreds of actors, designers and technicians in the Colorado theatre community of all experience levels. One of them was Cat DiBella Lindsey, who appeared in several stagings of Three Viewings, three monologues set in a funeral parlor.

    "I'm at a loss over this loss," DiBella said. "I did my first play in Denver with Terry, and my last play in Denver with Terry - and almost all of my plays in Denver with Terry. Now that he's gone, I feel like I'm mourning both the loss of Terry and the lost chances. I loved him, and I treasure the things we did get to do together."

    DiBella then added with a laugh, "Now who is going to hire me to play a hooker?"

    A celebration of Terry Dodd's life was attended by about 400 on Nov. 28 at the Arvada Center. Click here for video and photo highlights.


    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.


    Terry Dodd remembered

    A photo retrospective on the works of playwright and director Terry Dodd, left. To see more photos, click the forward arrow on the image above.


    Significant writings:

    Home By Dark (produced by Curious Theatre), 2010, play
    Stealing Baby Jesus,
    play
    Goodnight, Texas
    (1986 DCPA Prima Facia presentation, and Colorado Council on the Arts fellowship winner), play
    Vaughn, New Mexico, Christmas Eve 1956
    , play
    House Warming
    (was chosen as a semi-finalist for the Humana Festival), play
    Closer to Heaven
    (2002 Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship winner), film

    Selected seminal plays directed include:

    Angels in America, Bas Bleu and OpenStage, 2004
    A Raisin in the Sun
    , Arvada Center, 2005
    Twelfth Night
    (set in the 1960s), Victorian Playhouse, 2008
    RFK: A Portrait of Robert Kennedy,
    Vintage Theatre and others, 2013
    99 Histories, Theatre Esprit Asia, 2013
    A Steady Rain at the Edge Theatre, 2014 

    Additional reader comments:
    "Terry had such an understanding of the West, and he made me love it through his eyes. He was smart, visionary and funny." - Kathy Holt, Scenic Designer, Angels in America

    "Terry was my playwriting teacher at DU and a constant source of support and encouragement from that moment on. He will be greatly missed. "Meghan Anderson Doyle, Costume Designer, DCPA Theatre Company's 'The Glass Menagerie'

    My husband (Augustus Truhn) and I first met at the callback for Communicating Doors and were both cast, leading eventually to ... well ... our current lives together. Terry was always a friend to and cheerleader for us, personally and professionally. We will both miss him immensely." Karen LaMoureaux

    "Terry was one of the least pretentious people I’ve ever known about his art. He loved what he loved.  He’d fight for Shakespeare in Love or The Remains of the Day in a way that a lot of artists wouldn’t. I really got a kick out of that — and it humanized him to those who can feel left out of the discussions of “high art” (though he could talk about the highest of the highbrow, he loved it all).  His brand of artistic candor is rare, I think, and it was yet another of my favorite things about him. Andrea Dupree, Program Director, Lighthouse Writers Workshop
  • POPULAR POSTS
     
    ABOUT THE EDITOR
    John Moore
    John Moore
    Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as the DCPA’s Senior Arts Journalist. With The Denver Post, he was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the US by American Theatre Magazine. He is the founder of the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. John is a native of Arvada and attended Regis Jesuit High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow him on Twitter @moorejohn.

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