Curious, Aurora Fox seasons bring trilogies, 'Black Elk Speaks' and Laura Eason

Black Elk Speaks at the DCPA, 1993.
Black Elk Speaks at the DCPA in 1993.

Black Elk Speaks, which had its world premiere by the DCPA Theatre Company in 1994 and was remounted a year later, will be presented on the Aurora Fox’s 31st season, it was announced today. And Curious Theatre Company has announced an expanded commitment to serial programming over several seasons.

On March 7, Curious opens In the Red and Brown Water, the first chapter of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brother/Sister Plays, a trilogy set deep in the Louisiana Bayou. The Brothers Size  will be performed later this season and the final chapter, Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet, will be staged in the 2015-16 season.

Quiara Alegría Hudes Now comes the announcement of a second trilogy, this one called The Elliot Plays, by Pulitzer Prize-winner Quiara Alegría Hudes (26 Miles). Curious Theatre will become the first theatre in the world to produce Hudes’ trilogy consecutively and in its entirety. It focuses on Elliot Ortiz and his experiences as a Marine in Iraq. The trilogy is described as “a moving exploration of war, the strength and sorrow of our soldiers and the power of heritage and family. Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, will debut next spring while Water by the Spoonful and the The Happiest Song Plays Last will follow in 2016-17.

“This innovative audience experience immerses patrons into the world of a series of plays that span multiple seasons, fostering a deeper connection to the playwrights, the characters and the stories,” said Curious founder Chip Walton. The idea, he added, is to

“expand the Curious experience to much more than just attending an individual production in a single night.”

Curious’ new season also includes the comedy Sex with Strangers, written by Cherry Creek High School graduate Laura Eason, who is now Chicago-based and has risen to national prominence with Sex With Strangers,

Eason is a commissioned DCPA playwright whose The Vast In-Between was read at the 2013 Colorado New Play Summit. Her adaptation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was produced on the 2011-12 mainstage season.

Curious has also slated Annie Baker’s opus The Flick, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The Aurora Fox season announcement always includes word of a shared production with the handicapped Phamaly Theatre Company, which will present Fuddy Meers at the Fox from Feb. 6-Feb. 21.

No local company has taken on Black Elk Speaks since the DCPA introduced it. Lakota visionary and healer, Nicholas Black Elk, grew up during the closing decades of the 19th century when white settlers were invading the homeland of the Lakota Sioux, decimating buffalo herds and threatening to extinguish the tribe’s way of life. As presented onstage, Black Elk recounts the history of his people to his government-educated grandson, Hoksila, as members of the ensemble play Indian Warriors and American Generals re-enacting many fierce battles leading up to the massacre at Wounded Knee.

Fro the L.A. Times: “Black Elk was an Oglala Sioux uniquely situated to tell the story of his people’s genocide. His father participated in the Fetterman Massacre in 1865, in which the Native Americans left not even a dog alive. Black Elk fought as a child at Little Bighorn and as a man at Wounded Knee. He was cousin to Crazy Horse. He lived to be quite old in the hills of South Dakota, and that is where John Neihardt found him and published his tale in 1932.”

(Exact dates to be determined)

The Flick
(Fall 2015)
By Annie Baker
Directed by Chip Walton
At a once grand movie theater in a nowhere town in Massachusetts, young employees Avery, Sam and Rose search for meaning and connections in their mundane lives. Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet (Fall 2015)
By Tarell Alvin McCraney
Directed by Dee Covington
Sixteen-year-old Marcus is haunted by his father’s mysterious legacy, his own sexuality, and his dreams of torrential downpours. A beautiful portrait of a boy coming to grips with his identity and finding the bravery to become a man.

Sex with Strangers
By Laura Eason
A one-night-stand transforms into something deeper when art, generations, success and online personalities collide, creating real-life complications.

Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue (spring 2016)

By Quiara Alegría Hudes
Directed by Chip Walton
A young boy, Elliot Ortiz, leaves his home and his family behind to fight the war in Iraq, and returns a hero and a man. But his search has just begun to better understand his Puerto Rican heritage and the meaning of heroism

To be announced: Final play of the 2015-16 season

Info: 303-623-0524, or click here to go to Curious’ web site

Sept. 18-Oct. 11: Jekyll and Hyde, The Musical
Based on the classic story by Robert Louis Stevenson and featuring a pop-rock score from Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse.

Nov. 27-Dec. 27: Little Women, The musical
An all-new version based on  Louisa May Alcott’s 19th century novel about the March family of Concord, Massachusetts. Music by Kim Oler and Alison Hubbard; book by Sean Hartley.

Jan. 8- Feb. 14, 2016: The Arabian Nights
(in the Studio Theatre) 
Mary Zimmerman of Metamorphoses fame brings her take on the classic tale of Scheherazade, whose cliffhanger stories of the 1,001 nights prevent her husband, the cruel Shahryar, from taking her life.

March 18-April 10, 2016: Black Elk Speaks
Based on the book by John G. Neihardt, adapted by Christopher Sergel

April 22-May 15, 2016: Catch Me If You Can
Based on the hit DreamWorks film and the story that inspired it about Frank W. Abagnale, Jr., a teenager who runs away from home and lives the glamorous life funded by millions of dollars in forged checks. Book by Terrance McNally and  score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

February 6- 21, 2016: Fuddy Meers
Presented by Phamaly Theatre Company
This quirky play by David Lindsay-Abaire tells the story of an amnesiac, Claire, who awakens each morning as a blank slate on which her husband and teenage son must imprint the facts of her life.

Info: 303-739-1971 or go to the Aurora Fox web site

Note: The DCPA Theatre Company will release its 2015-16 season in mid-March.