Emily Tarquin accepts position with Actors Theatre of Louisville


Photo by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

Artistic Producer Emily Tarquin will be leaving the Denver Center for the Performing Arts after seven years to take the same position with Actors Theatre of Louisville, which is home to the acclaimed Humana Festival of New Plays.

Emily TarquinTarquin and Charlie Miller created and developed Off-Center, the DCPA Theatre Company’s testing ground, building it from a small, experimental program through last season’s Sweet & Lucky. That was the company’s head-long dive into the emerging world of immersive theatre that became the largest physical undertaking in the nearly 40-year history of the Denver Center. Almost every available audience slot was filled throughout the extended run of the play, held in a 16,000-square-foot warehouse north of downtown. It was also Tarquin’s idea to pair the Theatre Company’s critically hailed production of Sweeney Todd with Denver’s beloved underground band DeVotchKa reimagining Stephen Sondheim’s classic score.

“Emily has been an incredibly productive, talented and collaborative coordinator, curator and then leader within the Theatre Company, as well as the entire Denver Center,” said Producing Artistic Director Kent Thompson. “It’s no surprise she would be sought out by another major theatre in the U.S. She will be sorely missed.”

Kent Thompson Emily TarquinTarquin started at the Denver Center in 2009 as a seasonal coordinator of the Colorado New Play Summit, casting assistant and assistant company manager – but quickly earned more and more responsibility.

For Off-Center, Tarquin devised the original concept for the long-form improv show Cult Following, which starts its sixth year Oct. 7-8 at the Jones Theatre. She wrote the Lord of the Flies parody Lord of the Butterflies and co-created Drag Machine with Stuart Sanks. For their work programming the Off-Center series, Tarquin and Miller were honored with a 2015 True West Award.

“I went to a school where almost all theater was non-traditional,” said Tarquin, who grew up in upstate New York and graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in Media and Performing Arts. “I got to experiment a lot. It was amazing to find a regional theater that was welcoming of that kind of experimental work. If I had graduated 10 years earlier, that wouldn’t have even been an option.”

For the Theatre Company, Tarquin was the Assistant Director for Sweeney Todd, The Most Deserving and the world premiere of Sense & Sensibility The Musical. She eventually became the Theatre Company’s in-house casting director, which led to dozens of local actors getting their first opportunities to perform for the Denver Center – 16 through Sweet & Lucky alone. “It’s been a passion of mine to connect with the local artistic community, whether that is working with local actors or bringing in non-traditional artists,” she said.


More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

For 13 years, Tarquin has been producer of the Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival in Steamboat Springs, where many national theatre companies including the DCPA come each summer to workshop emerging works. She also was director of the theatre program there the past two summers.

“I’ve been most inspired by new work and new plays and seeing the creative team in the room,” Tarquin said. “Getting to see the creative process happening in front of you is part of what I get the most excited about. That can be in any form.”

Outside of the Denver Center, Tarquin last year directed Fuddy Meers for the Phamaly Theatre Company, which creates performance opportunities for actors with disabilities.


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.

Emily Tarquin: DCPA photo gallery

Emily Tarquin

To see more photos, click the forward arrow on the image above.

Read more about Emily Tarquin in the NewsCenter:
Tarquin directs Phamaly Theatre’s comedy, Fuddy Meers
2015 True West Awards: Charlie Miller and Emily Tarquin
Off-Center’s exploration of online dating debuts at Avenue Theater
10 Ways Georgia McBride is Going to Blow Your Theatregoing Mind

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