Theatre Aspen names Markus Potter interim Artistic Director

Markus Potter. King Lear. Photo by Terry Shapiro
Markus Potter played Edgar, who disguises himself as wild beggarman Tom O’Bedlam in the DCPA Theatre Company’s ‘King Lear.’ Photo by Terry Shapiro.

Markus Potter
, a New York-based actor and director who has performed with the DCPA Theatre Company, will serve as the interim Executive Artistic Director at Theatre Aspen through the upcoming summer season, it was announced this week.

Markus PotterPotter will (at least temporarily) succeed Paige Price, who resigned in February after 10 years to become the next Producing Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Theatre Company. At the same time, Potter was named Theatre Aspen’s new Associate Artistic Director to oversee the apprentice program and bring new focus to the Theatre Aspen School. 

“Theatre Aspen is a truly majestic place with an incredibly smart and inspiring staff and board of directors,” Potter told the DCPA NewsCenter. The love, joy and passion is infectious from the moment you enter the room. I couldn’t be more honored and thrilled to join this dynamic and passionate team.”

In 2006-07, Potter played Edgar in the Theatre Company’s King Lear, directed by Kent Thompson. Edgar’s life is made miserable by his bad-seed half-brother, Edmund. From my review in The Denver Post

Potter leaves an indelible impression as Edgar’s wild and naked alter ego Tom O’Bedlam, who allows his blinded pop (Mike Hartman) to believe he’s about to hurtle himself off a cliff – which instills in him an appreciation for what is left of his life. Only in their madness and blindness are these two old fools made whole – however briefly.”

Now entering its 36th summer repertory season, Theatre Aspen presents Broadway-caliber productions in the tented Hurst Theatre, which is located smack in the center of Rio Grande Park. The 2017 season includes Sex With Strangers, Hairspray and the children’s offering The World According to Snoopy.

Sex With Strangers, written by Cherry Creek High School alum Laura Eason, follows two strangers who meet at a snowbound mountain cabin. It will star Denver’s Jessica Robblee (DCPA’s Frankenstein, All the Way), who is currently starring in the Arvada Center’s The Drowning Girls (through May 21) and also heads Buntport Theater’s monthly pirate-themed serial, Siren Song for young audiences; and Irish actor Patrick Ball. (TV’s Fair City). Price starred Sex With Strangers herself when it was presented last year at Curious Theatre.

a-paige-price-160During a decade under Price’s leadership, Theatre Aspen increased revenue by 127 percent, conducted a capital campaign to build a new Hurst Theatre, instituted the apprentice program and launched the Aspen Theatre Festival for new work. Last year, Theatre Aspen won eight Henry Awards from the Colorado Theatre Guild, including Outstanding Season by a Theatre.

“I have never been so confident in the vitality of Theatre Aspen,” said Price (pictured at right). “That’s because I know the organization is incredibly well-positioned for success.”

The process to name Price’s permanent replacement will begin after the season convenes in June.

Markus Potter’s bio on the Theatre Aspen web site:

Markus Potter is a New York-based director and producer. He recently directed Stalking the Bogeyman off-Broadway at New World Stages (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination, New York Times critics’ pick). Other productions include the same at London’s Southwark Playhouse (Off West End Award nomination for best production and direction), Lost Boy Found In Whole Foods by Tammy Ryan at The Portland Stage Company, Why You Beasting by David Don Miller (Best of FringeNYC, Time Out NY critics’ pick), Weston Playhouse, North Carolina Stage Company, Pasadena Playhouse and New Jersey Rep.

As an actor, he worked at the Guthrie Theatre, Long Wharf, Berkeley Rep, American Conservatory Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the tour of Death of a Salesman with Christopher Lloyd and many more. As producer: The Velocity of Autumn by Eric Coble (Estelle Parsons, Tony Award nomination). Potter is the founder and Producing Artistic Director of NewYorkRep, dedicated to producing innovative new plays and musicals that inspire social change. Potter received his MFA from Columbia University and has taught and guest directed at many MFA/BFA programs around the county including the Guthrie, Denver Center and Adelphi University. He is a mentor to the MFA playwrights at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. 

Potter is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, where he was raised by his mother who emigrated from Germany, and his step-father, a civil rights activist who was among the first African Americans to serve in the Marines, and was recently presented the Congressional Gold Medal for “outstanding perseverance and courage that inspired social change in the Marines.” He lives with his wife and children on the Upper East side of Manhattan.

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