Photos: 'The 12' opens rehearsals with a mandate to 'dig deep'

First rehearsals for the DCPA Theatre Company’s ‘The 12’. All photos by John Moore for the DCPA’s NewsCenter.

When Producing Artistic Director Kent Thompson was considering The 12 to fill the final slot of the DCPA Theatre Company’s 2014-15 season, he knew the new musical would make for a unique and unusual choice and that the story would be compelling, and the music engaging.

“And, I figured it would be great to rock out at the end of our season,” he told cast members to cheers as they gathered last week to begin rehearsals for the upcoming world premiere of this highly anticipated new rock musical.

Christina Sajous, Tony Vincent and Colin Hanlon of 'The 12.' Photo by John Moore.  The 12, with a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Schenkkan and composer Neil Berg,imagines what might have happened in the three days after Jesus’ crucifixion from the point of view of the disciples, along with Mary Magdalene. (Pictured above right: Christina Sajous, Tony Vincent and Colin Hanlon. Photo by John Moore.) 

“Although it picks up where Jesus Christ Superstar ends up in terms of the story,” Thompson said, “very little information is known about what happened between the crucifixion, the tomb opening and the resurrection.”

Schenkkan told the gathering of artists, crew, staff, ambassadors and Theatre Company fans that the journey to The 12’s first preview performance on March 27 has been a long one. “And while I am not necessarily one who believes that everything happens for a reason, I am sure that we are in the right place with the right people here at the Denver Center,” he said.  

“We have a lot to say with this piece,” Berg added. “Why do we lose faith? How you get it back? This is an exploration of the story that has become the biggest revolution that mankind has ever known.”

Schenkkan introduced The 12 by saying: “Act I begins with a famous tableau in which one essential figure is missing, indicated by a chair. The pain of that absence haunts everyone. In Act II, a new absence is announced — the empty tomb — and, it, too, haunts everyone. It is between these two poles — between despair and the possibility of hope – that The 12 lives. And, I would argue, that all of us live.”

Schenkkan pointed out that the 12 disciples  were ordinary men living ordinary lives that they abandoned completely in service to … something unknown.

The 12 quote. “They weren’t entirely sure what that was, but it promised them something greater, and it raised them to exalted heights,” Schenkkan said. “And then, as we see at the beginning of The 12, it came crashing down upon them.

“You don’t have to be a believer to have experienced disappointment, betrayal and despair. You only have to be human. What is yours? How did you pull yourself out from that?”

Berg said rock was the natural musical vehicle for The 12 because, “for me, rock music is a natural voice of revolution.. So it’s a great vernacular to use. It’s also great for (expressing) anguish and pain.”

Schenkkan closed by saying, “Every new theater piece exists between the tension of each artist’s individual exploration, which is intensely private, intensely personal and simultaneously and ironically, the giving over of that to the creation of a new community.

“That’s especially true of The 12. In this journey that we begin today, our mandate is to dig deeply and to love one another.”

The 12 performance schedule:

  • Opens for previews March 27. Opening night April 3. Runs through April 26
  • Performances 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; plus 1:30 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday.
  •  Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at 303-893-4100 or at Denver Center Ticket Services in the lobby of the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex. No children under 4 admitted.

Our previous coverage of The 12:
Full casting announced for The 12
Final offering of Theatre Company season: Rock musical ‘The 12’

THE 12:
Cast list

Written by Robert Schenkkan and Neil Berg
Director: Richard Seyd

Terence Archie (John)
Mike Backes (Swing)
Jeannette Bayardelle (Mother Mary)
Anthony Fedorov (Andrew)
Colby Foytik (Jimmy)
Colin Hanlon (Pete)
Jordan Leigh (Matt)
Andrew Mayer (Bart)
Christina Sajous (Mary Magdalene)
Maximilian Sangerman (Thad)
Heath Saunders (Swing)
Jordan Barbour (James)
Brad Standley (Phil)
Gregory Treco (Simon)
Tony Vincent (Tom)
Erin Willis (Swing)

Choreographer: Connor Gallagher
Music Director: Michael Mancini
Music Supervisor: Wendy Bobbitt Cavett
Scenic Designer: John Iacovelli
Costume Designer: Denitsa Bliznakova
Lighting Designer: Lap Chi Chu
Sound Designer: Zach WilliamsonDirector: Richard Seyd
Choreographer: Connor Gallagher
Music Director: Michael Mancini
Music Supervisor: Wendy Bobbitt Cavett
Scenic Designer: John Iacovelli
Costume Designer: Denitsa Bliznakova
Lighting Designer: Lap Chi Chu
Sound Designer: Zach Williamson

The 12. Photo by John Moore.

The cast of ‘The 12’ at the first read-through, above and below. Photo by John Moore.

'The 12' rehearsal. Photo by John Moore.