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Central City Opera and Curious Theatre Present RATED 'R' ON STAGE, 6/3

Central City Opera and Curious Theatre Present RATED 'R' ON STAGE, 6/3 Central City Opera and Curious Theatre Company present Rated "R" on Stage: Community Panel on Sex, Violence and Nudity in the Performing Arts. The free event will be presented June 3, 2014 from 6-8 pm at Curious Theatre located at 1080 Acoma Street, Denver. Cocktails, snacks and a video presentation featuring the play Venus in Fur and the opera Dead Man Walking will be offered from 5:30 to 6 p.m.



Join Central City Opera Director of Production Karen Federing, Curious Theatre Company Producing Artistic Director Chip Walton, Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret Emcee Selene Karavites-Valdez, Wonderbound Artistic Director Garret Ammon, and performing artists Karen Slack from Curious Theatre Company's Venus in Fur and Michael Mayes from Central City Opera's Dead Man Walking for an invigorating discussion on the high-stakes process of producing gutsy, risqué and sensual art in Denver. Emmy Award-winning FOX31 TV host Chris Parente moderates.



Garret Ammon (Artistic Director - Wonderbound) is an acclaimed choreographer who began his tenure as artistic director of Wonderbound (formerly Ballet Nouveau Colorado) in 2007. Since that time, Wonderbound has garnered national attention and praise for its daring work, including being named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" (2009). Ammon was also recently honored as a Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Livingston Fellow (2011); named one of Denver Westword's "Ten People to Watch in 2013″ and is the recipient of the 2013 Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Arts. A prolific dance maker, serial collaborator and self-professed tech geek; Ammon has created over 50 dance works over the past 14 years. He has conspired with artists across an array of disciplines and developed a trademark aesthetic that seamlessly blends tradition with adventurous new ideas. Ammon has forged a deep creative relationship with poet Michael J. Henry which has produced When the Power Goes Out (2009) and the multimedia, evening length production Intersection (2009). In 2014, Ammon and Henry will work with musician Ian Cooke to create the all new full length piece Gone West. He has also worked closely with director Chip Walton to create Curious Theatre Company's award-winning production of Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice (2009) and with painter/sculptor Mark Allen Henderson to create in pieces (2010).



Karen Federing (Director of Production - Central City Opera) Karen is beginning her 13th festival as Director of Production with Central City Opera. A native New Yorker, Karen just completed her first season as Production Manager for Gotham Chamber Opera, having previously worked with Gotham in 2013 and 2009. From 1992 to 2004 she was a Stage Manager with New York City Opera and stage managed over 45 productions, including seven Live From Lincoln Center telecasts. Karen has stage managed for many regional opera companies over her 20-year plus career and was also part of the stage management team for the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.



Michael Mayes (Joseph De Rocher in Central City Opera's Dead Man Walking) is a past Central City Opera Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Apprentice Artist and makes his debut in a leading role with the company this July in Dead Man Walking. Mr. Mayes is a baritone known for his consummate portrayals of iconic characters in the operatic repertoire. Originally from Conroe, Texas, Michael has performed with opera companies across the United States including the Metropolitan Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Kentucky Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Arizona Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, and Fort Worth Opera. Mr. Mayes has appeared internationally in conjunction with La Fenice in Castel-Franco Veneto, Italy. His honors include 3rd place winner at the Metropolitan National Council Auditions in Chicago, the Entergy Young Texas Artist Competition Vocalist Award, John Alexander Award, the John Moriarty Apprentice Artist Award, and an advanced division winner at the Anton Guadagno Vocal Competition.



Karen Slack (Vanda in Curious Theatre Company's Venus in Fur) is an Artistic Company Member and a member of the Artistic Council at Curious Theatre Company. She has appeared in several productions including The Long Christmas Ride Home, 9 Parts of Desire, Eurydice, Homebody/Kabul, 9 Circles, Maple and Vine, God of Carnage,Rancho Mirage and most recently Venus in Fur. Other favorite roles include Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (Colorado Shakespeare Festival and Listen Productions), Beatrice in Much Ado about Nothing (Colorado Shakespeare Festival), Frida Kahlo inPain (Theatre on Broadway), Piper Cummington in DNC Mediamockracy (Listen Productions), Berthe Morisot in Morisot Reclining (Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company) and The Syringa Tree (Alliance Stage @Buntport Theatre, TheatreWorks, Town Hall Arts Center, Backstage Theatre). She has received awards and recognition from TheDenver Post, Best of Westword and the Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Awards, among others. Slack received her training at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and HB Studio in New York.



Selene Karavites-Valdez (Emcee/Performer - Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret) currently emcees and performs at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret, where she has found a niche singing and joking in burlesque and variety shows, whilst never "revealing" herself. Having studied theatre, classical music, and musical theatre in Colorado and NYC, she can play the violin, make her puppy leap through circus hoops, and chug a full beer in less than 20 seconds.



Chip Walton (Producing Artistic Director - Curious Theatre Company) founded Curious Theatre Company in 1997, serving as Producing Artistic Director since its inception. Named Denver's "Theatre Person of the Year" in 2005, he has directed 37 shows for Curious over the past 16 years, and his work has garnered more than 50 local and national awards. In 2008, Curious was honored with the Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Arts. Walton has served as the President of the National New Play Network, a network of 25 theatres across the country dedicated to the development and production of new plays for the American theatre. Walton was also selected in the inaugural class of Livingston Fellows, as one of five individuals from across Colorado selected by the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation as exceptional non-profit leaders with significant potential for contribution, change and leadership in Colorado's nonprofit sector. He has directed in the National New Play Network Showcase of New Plays, the Kennedy Center's MFA Playwriting Festival in Washington, D.C., and accepted a National Theatre Company Award in New York for Curious from the prestigious American Theatre Wing. Most recently, Walton participated in the Visiting Professionals program at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, and is currently serving on the Leadership Group for Imagine 2020: Creating a Future for Denver's Culture.



Rated "R" on Stage will be presented June 3, 2014 from 6-8 pm. The event is free, however, an RSVP is requested by June 2, and available through the Curious Theatre Company Box Office, 1080 Acoma Street, Denver; 303-623-0524 or online atcurioustheatre.org.



About Central City Opera Celebrating its 82nd year in 2014, Central City Opera is the nation's fifth-oldest opera company, located just 35 miles west of Denver in one of Colorado's official National Landmark Historic Districts. The company continues to present artistically excellent professional opera in its annual summer festival; to offer career-entry training to young singers; to produce education and community engagement programs; and to preserve and maintain the Opera House and 30 other Victorian-era properties.

Central City Opera's 2014 Festival runs June 28 through August 10 featuring Mozart's beloved comic opera about the marriage of the famous barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro; Jake Heggie's opera Dead Man Walking, based on the true story and famous book written by Sister Helen Prejean about her relationship with Louisiana death row inmate Joseph De Rocher which was also an award-winning movie; and Rodgers and Hammerstein II's glorious family musical The Sound of Music performed in Denver at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Subscriptions to see all three shows in the 2014 Festival are available for purchase starting at just $56 and single tickets for each production are also now available starting at $20. For more information, visit www.centralcityopera.org/tickets or call the Box Office at 303-292-6700.



About Curious Theatre Company

"No guts, no story" embodies the ethos of Curious Theatre Company. Established 16 years ago by a vanguard Artistic Company that has since grown to 28 professional actors, designers, and directors at its core, Curious brings the best new theatre to Denver, producing thought-provoking plays designed to challenge ideas, stir emotions, and leave audiences talking.



Under the artistic leadership of founding Producing Artistic Director Chip Walton, Curious Theatre Company reaches more than 17,500 individuals each year through: five main-stage productions; the innovative Curious New Voices youth education program; the unique Denver Stories original play commissions that honor area luminaries; and a range of Curious 360º audience enrichment activities.



A recipient of more than one hundred local and national awards, Curious includes among its most prized accolades the 2011 Denver Post Ovation Award for Best Year by a Theatre Company, 5280 Magazine 2011 Top of the Town Editor's Choice for Best Theatre Company, Westword Reader's Choice for Best Theatre in 2012, and the 2013 Colorado Theatre Guild's award for Outstanding Season.



About Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret

Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret is located underground in the historic D&F Clocktower in the heart of the Denver theatre, hotel and shopping district. Sensual decor, cocktails, appetizers, dessert, and the most eclectic entertainment around, make Lannie's the coolest room in town.



About Wonderbound

Wonderbound uses dance to deepen humankind's common bond through uncommon endeavors of discovery and creation. At Wonderbound, we embrace the human form as a vehicle for invention and understanding. We cherish the human spirit as a catalyst for inspiration and creativity. And, we regard the human intellect as an escort for wisdom and character. We believe in the strength of the individual, the power of community, and the immeasurable potential of collaborative endeavors. We revel in the intersections of tradition and ingenuity, vulnerability and courage, and intimacy and openness. We value quality, rigorously pursued; passion, tenaciously engaged; and dreams followed, relentlessly.

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by Richard Sasanow