Introducing DCPA Theatre Company's 2016-17 season artwork

Kyle Malone Season Artwork 2016-17

EDITOR’S NOTE: DCPA Art Director Kyle Malone has been with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts for 16 years, and he has had a profound influence on how audiences have experienced every DCPA Theatre Company production since 2013. Malone owns the prestigious – and high-stakes – assignment of creating the art campaign that serves as theatregoers’ first exposure to the look, feel and content of every Theatre Company production. Here, Malone reveals his artwork for 2016-17 season, and explains a little about the process.


By Kyle Malone
For the DCPA NewsCenter

The goal in creating the singular images you see before and throughout any DCPA Theatre Company theatre season is to bring raw, emotional characters to vivid life that will linger in the eye and mind of the beholder.

These images are a vitally important first step in the creative process because, months in advance, they serve as our audiences’ first associations with the actual, eventual theatrical experience. So these images must serve as an effective, fair and visceral visual introduction to each of the plays. That’s a lot to ask of a single image.

Kyle MaloneFor the second straight season, we have chosen to render each of these images by hand using charcoal and ink and combined with modern, colorful support elements. It’s a look that is unique to the Theatre Company, continuing a familiar visual identity we hope is equal in in professionalism and quality to the work that goes into the incredible shows on our stages.

Much as a play best tells a story when all of its ingredients work together, the DCPA Design Team uses our own set of ingredients in our work. Of course, we cannot tell any entire story in a single image, so what we try to do is we boil each story down to its essence – hopefully by capturing one simple, moving moment.

A look back at Kyle Malone’s 2015-16 season artwork

In terms of style, these images must engage and connect with people, using consistent unifying elements. We start with the hero of each piece and then focus on the emotion each of these characters evoke. We then depicted each one using rough charcoal and ink on illustration board – a choice we made to echo the hand-made work of the artists who work directly on the actual stage productions. The illustration is then rounded out with colorful and modern support elements to push the narrative of the story further. The final piece of the puzzle is designing a title treatment that uses lettering to both complement the overall story and add strength to the tone of the illustration.

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

Overall, each one is designed to be simple and bold and play well with surrounding messaging, and in many different sizes. Our team is constantly evaluating the images as they are used in everything from TV spots to mobile advertisements to posters, billboards and more.

Today, these images are ready to be released to the wild.

It is an honor to be a part of such a creative team in a creative organization. A big thank you to everyone who helped with this campaign, it wouldn’t be possible without the tireless efforts of these talented individuals: Rob Silk, Carolyn Michaels, Adam Obendorf, Kim Conner, Brenda Elliott, Nathan Brunetti, Adam Lundeen, Brianne Firestone, Kent Thompson, Emily Kent and David Lenk.

A look at the progression of The Secret Garden:


Editor’s Note: The DCPA NewsCenter offers a regular guest column from a variety of local and national voices covering a wide range of theatre topics. To submit a proposed guest column, email your name and topic to

About our Guest Columnist

DCPA Art Director Kyle Malone is an Arvada native who graduated from Arvada West High School and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Colorado State University, majoring in drawing, painting, sculpting and graphics. His email is

Selected previous Guest Columns:
Students Aleksandra Kay and Alice Zelenko on The Secret Garden in NYC
Student Nik Velimirovic on A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
Douglas Langworthy: On translating Shakespeare for Oregon Shakes
David Nehls: Live theatre returns to Elitch Gardens after 24 years
Gillian McNally: Colorado’s oldest theatre celebrates Artistic Director Tom McNally
Margie Lamb on the Henry Awards: Something doesn’t add up
Bryan VanDriel on Lloyd Norton: A name that will live on in Greeley
Jessica Jackson on Creede Repertory Theatre’s 50th anniversary season
Susan Lyles on 10 years of staging plays for women in Denver

A look at the progression of Frankenstein:

Kyle Malone Progession Frankenstein