Photos: DCPA demonstrates 'The Magic of Theatre' for Denver Arts Week

The Magic of TheatreAll photos are downloadable for free. To see more, just click the forward arrow on the image above. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.

More than a dozen Denver Center artisans both onstage and off treated a near-capacity crowd at the Ricketson Theatre to a free demonstration of insider tricks of the trade on Monday night. This special evening, titled The Magic of Theatre, was the DCPA’s contribution to the community-wide celebration of Denver Arts Week.

"The Magic of Theatre" blood demonstration from "Sweeney Todd." Photo by John Moore. Ever wonder how it rains on stage? Snows inside? Or how they sliced so many necks in Sweeney Todd without anyone getting hurt? DCPA experts in lighting, sound, multimedia, scenic design, costumes, wigs, painting and props made brief demonstrations in each of their respective crafts. The artists made real fire on stage, and showed how some of the bulkiest-looking set pieces are actually as light as styrofoam. 

(Pictured above right: Director of Scenic Arts Jana Mitchell is just fine after having her throat slashed and eye gouged out. It’s magic!) 

The hosts were actors Steven J. Burge (An Act of God) and Napoleon M. Douglas (A Christmas Carol). Audiences were welcomed by actors Michael Bouchard (The SantaLand Diaries) and Sam Gregory (A Christmas Carol). Jenna Moll Reyes and John Hauser performed a scene from DCPA Education’s traveling  “Shakespeare in the Parking Lot” production of Romeo and Juliet, and Colorado native Matthew Dailey took questions about his current assignment playing Tommy DeVito in the Denver-bound national touring production of Jersey Boys. He welcomed about The Magic of Theatre. Jersey Boysa dozen audience members (including the boy pictured at right) onto the stage to learn how to “walk like a man.”

Some of the DCPA artisans who contributed to the program included Lisa Orzolek, Bob Orzolek, Meghan Anderson Doyle, Charles MacLeod, Robin Payne, Jana Mitchell, Doug Taylor and Topher Blair.

They also took a wide range of questions from the audience, ranging from stage injuries to actor salaries power outages to whether crews use real black powder in their stage explosives.

Among their pearls of wisdom:

  • The DCPA Theatre Company employs about 80 craftspeople
  • One dress can take up to 60 hours to construct
  • It takes about 20 backstage crew at every performance to keep A Christmas Carol running smoothly

Information on the shows:
Jersey Boys
A Christmas Carol
The SantaLand Diaries
An Act of God

The Magic of Theatre. Michael Bouchard and Sam Gregory. Michael Bouchard (“The SantaLand Diaries”) and Sam Gregory (“A Christmas Carol”) at Monday’s “The Magic of Theatre” gathering. Photo by John Moore. 

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