Curious Theatre Hosts 'Curious New Voices National Collective' Week-Long Playwriting Intensive; Performance Set for 6/28

Curious Theatre Hosts 'Curious New Voices National Collective' Week-Long Playwriting Intensive; Performance Set for 6/28

Curious Theatre Company announces their newest program for young playwrights: The Curious New Voices National Collective. Building on the 10-year success of their month-long local Summer Writing Intensive, this summer Curious will be piloting a week-long intensive open to young playwrights selected by regional theatres across the country.

"There are quite a few theatres that offer playwriting opportunities for young people and, while we are all different in our scope, we are all really unique and ultimately support new playwrights in the field," said Education Director Dee Covington. "I wanted to make a place where connections can be made - not just between regional theatres, but among young playwrights across the country as well. Our hope is that these writers engage in artistic opportunities and peer-to-peer exchanges that they can carry back to their representative theatres. With these fresh ideas and new connections they can form a peer group of writers dedicated to becoming the next generation of great American playwrights.

Curious Theatre Company has tapped New York playwright Lisa D'Amour to teach at the National Collective. D'Amour, whose work as a writer has earned her two Obies and a Pulitzer nod, has taught playwriting at prestigious institutions throughout the country. Her Pulitzer Prize finalist play Detroit will receive a production at Curious in June of 2015.

The National Collective will culminate in a one-night-only festival of students' plays produced, acted and directed by theatre professionals from the Denver area. The Curious New Voices National Collective is on June 28, 2014. Curtain time is at 7pm. A $10 donation is suggested. Ticket are available at the Box Office, 1080 Acoma Street, Denver; 303.623.0524 or online at curioustheatre.org.

Participating theatres to date include Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Curious Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage and Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Chicago).

Dee Covington is a founding Artistic Company Member and Education Director of Curious Theatre Company where she mentors youth through the creative process of playwriting. Dee has been working with teenagers combining theatre and education for more than 24 years. She taught and directed for several summers at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts Camp, as well as directed youth ensemble-based teen theatre companies through homeless and youth serving agencies. The combination of traditional and at-risk settings, as well as scripted and company-generated material, allows her to bring vast knowledge to the field of youth and the creative process. It is her belief that all young people deserve a creative home where they can be guided to their brightest and most innovative potential.


Lisa D'Amour is a playwright and interdisciplinary artist. With Katie Pearl, she is co-artistic director of PearlDamour, a company that makes collaborative, often site-specific performances. PearlDamour's work has been presented at PS122, HERE Arts Center and the Walker Arts Center and The Kitchen, among others. They received an OBIE award in 2003 for Nita & Zita, a collaboration with Katie Randels/Artspot Productions. Ms. D'Amour's plays have been produced by theaters across the country, including The Women's Project, Clubbed Thumb, Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf, New Georges, Salvage Vanguard Theater and Children's Theater Company. Her latest play, Detroit, premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre in 2010, directed by Austin Pendleton. Detroit was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Drama and the 2011 Susan Smith Blackburn prize. She has received commissions from Playwrights' Horizons, Steppenwolf, The Guthrie and, most recently, a Sloan Commission from Manhattan Theater Club. In 2008, Ms. D'Amour was awarded the Alpert Award for the Arts in theater and 2011, she received the Steinberg Playwright Award. As a playwright, she has received fellowships from the Jerome and McKnight Foundations through the Playwrights' Center, an independent artist commission from NYSCA (for Stanley 2006, created with her brother Todd D'Amour) and an NEA / TCG Playwrights' Residency (to create HIDE TOWN with Infernal Bridegroom Productions in Houston). With PearlDamour, she has received project funding from the MAP Fund and Creative Capital. She received her M.F.A. in playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin and her B.A. in English and Theater from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. She is a New Dramatists alumnus. She lives with her husband, composer Brendan Connelly, in Brooklyn and New Orleans.

Curious Theatre Company's ethos is embodied by "no guts, no story." Established 17 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 thinking and talking for days. 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.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to a national leader in innovative theatre. Known for its core values of imagination and excellence, as well as its educated and adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. With two stages, a school, and a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, Berkeley Rep is proud to premiere exhilarating new plays. In the last seven years, the company has helped send seven shows to Broadway. Eleven arrived off Broadway, two moved to London, two turned into films, and others have toured the nation.

Portland Center Stage (PCS), now in its 26th season, is the largest producing theater in Portland, Oregon, and is among the top 20 professional regional theaters in America. Established in 1988 as an offshoot of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, PCS became an independent theater in 1994 and has been under the leadership of Artistic Director Chris Coleman since May, 2000. PCS stages at least ten major productions annually in two theaters located inside the Gerding Theater at the Armory: the 590-seat Main Stage and the 190-seat Ellyn Bye Studio. An affiliate of the League of Regional Theatres, Actor's Equity Association and Theatre Communications Group, PCS produces a blend of classical, contemporary and premiere works in addition to its annual summer playwrights festival, JAW. In its home at the Portland Armory, PCS has more than 9,000 season ticket holders and attracts an annual audience of nearly 150,000 theater-goers of all ages.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company's ensemble first began performing in the mid-1970s in the basement of a Highland Park, IL church, the ambitious brainchild of three high school and college friends: Jeff Perry, Terry Kinney and Gary Sinise. Fast forward some 35 years and counting and the Steppenwolf Theatre Company has become the nation's premier ensemble theater-redefining the landscape of acting and performance. The ensemble has grown to 43 members who represent a remarkable generation of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling, powerful, groundbreaking productions from Balm in Gilead and Grapes of Wrath to August: Osage County-and accolades that included the National Medal of Arts and nine Tony Awards-have made the theater legendary. Steppenwolf's artistic force remains rooted in the original vision of its founders: an artist-driven theater, whose vitality is defined by its sharp appetite for groundbreaking, innovative work. Steppenwolf operates as a not-for-profit organization relying on community support to produce or present up to 16 plays and nearly 700 performances, readings and other events every year on our three stages. The theater's artistic and educational programs draw a multi-generational audience of nearly 200,000 from the greater metropolitan Chicago area, while its impact reaches well beyond this region with productions that tour nationally and internationally.

The one-night-only performance of plays from the Curious New Voices National Collective is on June 28, 2014. Curtain time is at 7pm. A $10 donation is suggested. Ticket are available at the Box Office, 1080 Acoma Street, Denver; 303.623.0524 or online at curioustheatre.org.

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