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

by NewsCenter Staff | Mar 08, 2016

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


THEATRE COMPANY 2016-17 SEASON/AT A GLANCE

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

THE SEASON/PLAY BY PLAY

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


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



4_christmas_carol_030716A Christmas Carol
(not part of subscription package)
By Charles Dickens, adapted by Richard Hellesen, music by David de Berry
Nov. 25-Dec 24
Stage Theatre
The 25th seasonal staging of A Christmas Carol will star longtime  Denver favorite Sam Gregory, replacing the legendary Philip Pleasants. The production is a joyous and opulent musical adaptation that traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption. A Christmas Carol illuminates the meaning of the holiday season in a way that has resonated for generations.



5_book_of_will_030716The Book of Will

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

READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN GUNDERSON



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




7_two_degrees_030716Two Degrees

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

READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH TIRA PALMQUIST


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


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



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

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

Tickets and Subscriptions

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

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

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

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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.

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