DCPA’s next Theatre for Young Audiences title: ‘Corduroy’

Curduroy 5

DCPA Education to follow its staging of The Snowy Day with Don Freeman’s popular children’s story Corduroy this fall

The Denver Center’s fall Theatre for Young Audiences offering will be Corduroy, based on Don Freeman‘s popular children’s books about a department-store teddy bear, it was announced today.

DCPA Education will stage more than 100 performances tailored for pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade audiences in The Conservatory Theatre.

“Theatre for Young Audiences provides opportunities for our youngest audience members to experience live theatre for the first time,” Executive Director of Education Allison Watrous said. “Arts education allows children to connect their experiences to stories on stage and participate in activities designed to engage their imagination, critical thinking and socio-emotional intelligence.”

The Denver Center launched its new Theatre for Young Audiences last year to address a gap in its education programs for this  specific age group. Watrous believes it is crucial to introduce the vital force that live theatre can be in the lives of young people during those early years. Last fall, the DCPA welcomed nearly 20,000 Denver area students, teachers and families for 100 performances of The Snowy Day and Other Stories. Most remarkably, Watrous said, “79 percent attended on a full or partial scholarship.”

Don Freeman wrote Corduroy in 1968, and and the book was included on the National Education Association’s list of its top 100 books for children in 2007. Freeman, who died in 1978 was a painter, printmaker, cartoonist, children’s book author and illustrator. Frequent subjects included Broadway theatre, politics and the circus. He was also a jazz musician.

In the play, which also incorporates Freeman’s A Pocket for Corduroy, Corduroy is a teddy bear who has been patiently waiting on a department store shelf to find a home. A girl named Lisa thinks he’s just the teddy bear for her. But before she can convince her mom to let her take Corduroy home, he’ll have to go on a late-night hunt to find a missing button for his overalls. The ensuing chase becomes a sort of allegory for the universal search for happiness. And by the end, he finds both — the button and happiness. Curdoroy is a tender, enduring story about true friendship and the lengths we go to find it.


  • Based on the books by Don Freeman
  • Adapted by Barry Kornhauser
  • Directed by Allison Watrous
  • Oct. 5-Dec. 9
  • Conservartory Theatre
  • Tickets will go on sale in summer 2018
  • There will be a a sensory-friendly performance on Oct. 22
  • Weekday student performances will be $10 and weekend performances will be $15.

To receive an alert when tickets for weekend performances go on sale to the public, sign-up at denvercenter.org/corduroy.

All school groups are encouraged to participate in a no-cost, post-show workshop with DCPA Teaching Artists to give students an opportunity to explore themes and elements of the production. To receive an alert on Aug. 1, when reservations will begin being accepted for weekday student matinees, including post-show workshops and applications for scholarships, sign-up here.

Scholarships are available for student groups. Call 303-893-6085 for information on how to apply.

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