Corduroy Jake Mendes and Jessica Robblee. Photo by Emily Lozow.

Denver Center’s next Theatre for Young Audiences title: ‘Goodnight Moon’

Corduroy Jake Mendes and Jessica Robblee. Photo by Emily Lozow.

Jake Mendes and Jessica Robblee in ‘Corduroy,’ which was seen by more than 27,000 last fall. Photo by Emily Lozow.

DCPA Education to follow its staging of Corduroy with beloved bedtime story Goodnight Moon this fall

The Denver Center’s rapidly expanding Theatre for Young Audiences program next will offer Goodnight Moon, a musical adaptation of the classic 1947 children’s book written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd. The beloved bedtime story features a bunny saying “good night” to everything around the room, such as, “Goodnight room. Goodnight moon. Goodnight cow jumping over the moon.”

Theatre for Young Audiences stagings are tailored for pre-kindergarten through second-grade audiences, many attending live theatre for the first time. DCPA Education will stage more than 200 performances of Goodnight Moon from October 4, 2019, through February 16, 2020, in The Randy Weeks Conservatory Theatre. That represents a two-fold expansion of the program since Corduroy. In all, more than 45,000 tickets will be available for Goodnight Moon, with 25,600 of those specifically set aside for school groups and student matinees.

“Theatre for Young Audiences provides opportunities for our youngest audience members to experience live theatre for the first time,” Executive Director of Education Allison Watrous said. “Arts education allows children to connect their experiences to stories on stage and participate in activities designed to engage their imagination, critical thinking and socio-emotional intelligence.”

For the past 72 years, families around the world have made Goodnight Moon a part of their bedtime ritual. The beloved children’s book next will come to life on stage as a musical adapted by Chad Henry. As the clock strikes seven o’clock, the final waking moments of Bunny’s day are filled with kittens and mittens, bears and chairs, a red balloon, a quiet old lady and – of course – the moon. The Denver Center’s magical stage production, presented in full partnership with the design team from the DCPA Theatre Company, will include music and dance.

The Denver Center launched its Theatre for Young Audiences program in 2017 to enhance its education programs for the pre-kindergarten through second-grade age group. Watrous believes it is crucial to introduce the vital force that live theatre can be in the lives of young people during those early years.

All school groups are encouraged to participate in a no-cost, post-show workshop with DCPA Teaching Artists to give students an opportunity to explore themes and elements of the production. To receive an alert on August 1, when reservations will begin being accepted for weekday student matinees, including post-show workshops and applications for scholarships, sign-up here.

Since its 2017 launch, Theatre for Young Audiences has presented The Snowy Day and Other Stories and Corduroy for audiences totaling more than 45,000. Highlights from last fall’s run of Corduroy include:

  • A total of 26,210 tickets were issued, representing 98 percent capacity in the Randy Weeks Conservatory Theatre
  • Students attended from 203 schools, including 88 Title I Schools
  • 56 percent of students attended on a scholarship
  • Over 8,700 students participated in 332 post-show workshops held both at the Denver Center and in schools
  • The run included two sold-out sensory friendly performances
  • One live Spanish translation performance was held

Goodnight Moon

  • Book, music and lyrics by Chad Henry adapted from the book by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
  • Directed by Allison Watrous
  • Dates: October 4, 2019, through February 16, 2020
  • Randy Weeks Conservatory Theatre
  • Tailored for pre-kindergarten through second-grade audiences
  • Tickets will go on sale on May 21
  • There will be a sensory-friendly performance on a date to be determined
  • Weekday student performances will be $10 and weekend performances will be $16-$20
  • Scholarships will be available for student groups

Tickets for weekend performances will go on sale to the public on May 21. To receive an alert, sign up at

Video bonus: Hear from the cast of Corduroy

Check out our conversation with the cast of last year’s ‘Corduroy.’ Video by John Moore and David Lenk.