In the Spotlife: Mark Collins of 'Lost Creatures'

Mark Collins. Lost Creatures
Photo of Mark Collins by Sara Harris.

(The DCPA NewsCenter regularly profiles actors performing in theatre productions throughout the state of Colorado.)


The former Boulder theatre critic is playing renowned theatre critic Kenneth Tynan in Melissa Lucero McCarl’s ‘Lost Creatures’ for And Toto too Theatre Company

  • Lulu Mark Collins Lost CreaturesHometown: Reidsville, N.C.
  • Home now: Denver
  • High School: Boulder High School
  • College: I have a BFA in Acting from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and an MFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • What have you done for us lately? I played Michael in God of Carnage at Miners Alley Playhouse
  • What is Lost Creatures all about? In 1978, former British theatre critic Kenneth Tynan visited reclusive former silent-film star Louise Brooks in her dingy one-room apartment in Rochester, N.Y. Tynan, a fan of Brooks’, was there to interview the 71-year-old for a profile he wrote that eventually ran in the New Yorker. Playwright Melissa Lucero McCarl imagines what happened when these two kindred spirits – two lost creatures – met and drank and talked and …?
  • Tell us about your character: Kenneth Tynan was a foremost drama critic, and a notorious and purposefully provocative sexual deviant; he suffered from emphysema and had a life-long stammer. As an actor, though, the big stretch for me has been that Ken speaks in complete and often flourishing paragraphs. I, on the other hand, have trouble speaking in complete sentences. So that’s been a challenge.
  • Lost CreaturesWhat do you love most about this experience? First, to get to work with this dynamite team – the supportive and miracle-making duo of (producers) Susan Lyles and Darren Smith; our onion-peeler-of-a-director Patrick Elkins-Zeglarski, our smokin’ hot writer Melissa McCarl, clever stage manager Lauren Myer, and the lovely tandem of Billie McBride and Annabel Reader – is a real treat. Billie will break hearts as Louise, I guarantee it. But one of the things I’m most looking forward to is how the audience responds to the character of Lulu, played by Annabel. She, as Louise Brooks’ iconic film character from the 1929 pre-talkie Pandora’s Box (you’ll recognize the hairstyle she made famous), is a silent character. She is (mostly) unseen by others on stage, yet Lulu is ever present and ever mischievous, and Annabel has created this fully realized character without words wonderfully.

  • From 2012: Moore & Collins: Two ex-theater critics having coffee

  • What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? I think many people in the local theater scene know I was a theater critic for the Boulder Camera for several years. Many don’t realize that was a freelance position, and my full-time work for much of that period was as a sports editor/writer for the (University of Colorado) Buffalo Sports News. Truth be told, I’m much more fluent on the history of the Colorado Buffaloes football than I am on, say, Bertolt Brecht.
  • What’s one thing you want to get off your chest? Um, so, as an audience member, my pet peeve is those increasingly present, but frustratingly intrusive post-curtain marketing speeches. Please don’t tell me to like you on Facebook when I’m absorbing and processing and feeling what’s just happened on your stage. Oh, but that’s a downer note to end on. So, I want to get this off my chest, too: Theater is filled with lost creatures, and I’m so grateful to be among that tribe here in Colorado!


Lost Creatures: Ticket information
• By Melissa Lucero McCarl
• Directed by Patrick Elkins-Zeglarski
• Nov. 3-19
• Presented by And Toto too Theatre Company at 1245 Champa St. (In the brand new performance space called The Commons.)
• Performances: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays 
• Tickets $15-25
• Info: 720-583-3975 or go to 

Cast List:

• Mark Collins as Kenneth Tynan
• Billie McBride as Louise Brooks
• Annabel Reader as Lulu

About the Next Stage NOW Project
Lost Creatures is supported in part by Next Stage NOW, a public initiative with a mission to enliven and diversify the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Denver Arts & Venues in partnership with the Boettcher Foundation and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts has made $200,000 available to support public performances, programming and place making initiatives at the Arts Complex in 2016.

More ‘In the Spotlife’ profiles:
Meet Seth Maisel of Town Hall Arts Center’s The Firestorm
Meet Jeff Jesmer of Spotlight Theatre’sThe Crucible
Meet Jessica Robblee of Buntport Theatre for All Ages’ Siren Song: A Pirate Odyssey
Meet Wayne Kennedy of BDT Stage’s Mid-Life 2
Meet Tim McCracken of Local Theatre’s The Firestorm
Meet Joelle Montoya of Su Teatro’s El Sol Que Tu Eres
Meet Sam Gregory of the Arvada Center’s Tartuffe
Meet Lauren Bahlman of Wide-Eyed West’s theMumblings
Meet Carley Cornelius of Colorado Springs TheatreWorks’ Constellations
Meet Emily Paton Davies of Miners Alley Playhouse’s God of Carnage
Meet Megan Van De Hey of the Arvada Center’s Sister Act
Meet Anne Oberbroeckling of Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s Ripcord
Meet Petra Ulyrich of Germinal Stage-Denver’s Johnny Got His Gun

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

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