After Orlando: Colorado theatre will respond Nov. 14-15

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

More media coverage of After Orlando:
American Theatre
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

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