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

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

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