Watching a play spring to life on stage might make you believe in magic. But before a story can sweep you off into another world, it takes a whole lot of humanity to make it possible. After coaxing an idea into a script, playwrights can rely on the eyes of dramaturgs, directors and other writers to guide and edit. But nothing compares to presenting a piece to a live audience, where the real-time reactions of theatre lovers elevate words into something more.
At the Colorado New Play Summit, it’s your time to shine as you meet some of theatre’s most ambitious writers while helping them fine-tune their newest works. Listen to play readings by fabulous actors and give your feedback on where you think the story should go, and enjoy fully-produced Theatre Company world premieres of Last Night and the Night Before (a featured reading at the 2017 Summit) and The Whistleblower by Tony Award winner Itamar Moses (The Band’s Visit). Plus, be a part of a special concert reading of Rattlesnake Kate, a concept-album-turned-musical by The Lumineers’ Neyla Pekarek and playwright Karen Hartman.
The inspiration doesn’t stop with the performances. Talk with the featured playwrights, directors, actors and other creatives about their plays over tasty meals and at special events like the Summit Party. It’s your chance to meet the brightest minds in the craft and play an integral part in the future of Colorado theatre.
What is a reading?
New play readings are how we showcase the essence of a story without production elements like scenery, staging, lights and costumes. Think of it like watching a live radio program being recorded. Our actors stand on stage, scripts handy, and perform the lines with all of the passion of a final production. The audience gets all of the emotion of a fully-produced performance, just stripped down. This allows the playwright, director and audience to focus entirely on the language and story.
Which weekend should I choose?
Everyone is invited to both of our weekends, and each one has distinctive opportunities that may draw you one way or another. The Launch Weekend is lower key and has fewer events, and tickets are just $10. It’s ideal for first-timers and students who want a taste of the Summit with less commitment. The Festival Weekend has more of everything – it’s two-and-a-half jam-packed days of readings, World Premieres, meals and events. It’s perfect for industry professionals who want to discover new work and mingle with new contacts, students looking to make their first contacts in the field, and hardcore theatre fans who want to be a part of it all.
Who are the industry attendees?
Every year the Colorado New Play Summit attracts theatre industry leaders and artists from over 20 states. This includes playwrights, directors, actors, dramaturgs, artistic directors, literary managers, casting directors, managers, agents and other representatives from theatre companies throughout the country. View the 2019 industry attendee list
How can I submit a play to be considered for the future?
We accept unproduced original, full-length plays and musicals, which must be submitted by a literary agent. Playwrights residing in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico or Utah may send plays directly without an agent. We have a special interest in plays written by and for diverse voices, plays written by women playwrights and we are also interested in plays written for young audiences. Adaptations will be considered if you have secured underlying rights. Scripts may be sent by email or mail without prior synopsis or dialogue sample. Plays can be submitted year-round. Plays should be sent digitally to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Plays may also be mailed to:
Attn: New Play Development
DCPA Theatre Company
1101 13th St.
Denver, CO 80204-5319
Due to the number of submissions we receive, we will only respond if we are interested in a particular script or playwright.
What are tracks? Which one should I choose?
You will notice that Festival Weekend has an orange track and a blue track. Our tracks are simply the order in which you’ll see the readings. Both tracks will see all readings and attend all events but due to the sizes of our theatres, not everyone can see the same readings at the exact same time. If you’re attending the Summit with a group, make sure you buy tickets to the same track so you can coordinate readings. Even if you are on separate tracks, you will still have the same meal and World Premiere schedule. The Launch Weekend has a simpler schedule with just one reading of each play, so you will not see any track options for Launch Weekend.
Do I get to choose a seat?
Readings, meals and events are general admission, so you will get to choose your seat when you arrive. Our theatres are intimate enough that every seat will give you a great view of the action, but if you’d like to find somewhere to sit with a group, we recommend arriving at the reading at least 15 minutes early. The world premieres will have assigned seats; all of the tickets in your order will be sat together.
Will I get physical tickets or is there Will Call?
For Launch Weekend and A La Carte Festival Weekend tickets, you will be able to select how you want to receive your tickets: digitally by email, physically by snail mail or at will call. NEW THIS YEAR: A La Carte Festival Weekend buyers may opt-in to receive a name badge, but will still receive individual tickets for their events.
For Festival Weekend, those with all-inclusive passes may pick up their badges and world premiere tickets at registration upon arrival. Please wear your badge to gain entry to all events. Registration will be located inside the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex, and will be open on Fri, Feb 22 at 11am to pick up badges. If you are arriving late for Festival Weekend or have any questions during the Summit, please see a box office agent. The main ticket counter is located inside the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex, and we also have counters in The Jones and Ricketson theatres.
How do I get to the Summit?
All of our events will be located in the Denver Performing Arts Complex in downtown Denver. The intersection of 14th and Curtis streets is a good pick-up and drop-off location for all venues. Most Summit events take place in the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex. Using a map app? Our exact address is 1400 Curtis Street, Denver, CO 80204.
Where should I stay for the Summit?
As a Summit attendee, you get exclusive Summit discount rates at nearby partner hotels. Check back here in the months leading up to the Summit for additional rates.
Homewood Suites & Hampton Inn Denver Downtown 550 15th St – .5 mile from DCPA
How can I get around Denver?
Avoid the cost and hassle of parking downtown with these options: Taxis: A taxi stand is available just across 14th Street at The Curtis Hotel. Or, our staff is happy to call a cab from the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex. Bus: RTD offers more than 15 bus routes that pick up and drop off within one block of the Denver Performing Arts Complex. When planning your route to the Complex, put in “Speer Boulevard and Arapahoe Street” as your cross streets to get the best results. Light Rail: RTD Light Rail lines D, F and H all make stops at 14th & Champa, beneath the Colorado Convention Center. When planning your route to the Complex, put in “Speer Boulevard and Arapahoe Street” as your cross streets to get the best results. Ride-sharing Services: Both Uber and Lyft operate in Denver, but if you want to drive yourself (and still avoid parking), one-way point-to-point car rental memberships like Car2Go and Zipcar are also available. Bike Sharing: For the casual night out, Denver is host to a B-cycle bike sharing program, with more than 80 bike stands located around the Denver metro area. The closest bike pick-up and drop-off to our theatres is located right next door at the Convention Center.
News and media
See photos and read more about the Colorado New Play Summit from local and national writers who have experienced it.
Have a question about the Summit that’s not answered here? First-timer and not sure where to start? We’re here to help. Let us know what’s on your mind and our Summit Producer Grady Soapes will get back to you soon.
Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors
2019 Producing Partners
AT&T, The Joy S. Burns Commission in Women’s Playwriting, Daniel L. Ritchie, Robert & Carole Slosky, Transamerica
Sheri & Lee Archer/New Wave Enviro