DCPA Announces Full Lineup For Theatre Company's 40th Anniversary Season
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) is proud to announce the 40th season of their Tony-Award winning Theatre Company, the first to be led by incoming Artistic Director Chris Coleman and the 8th season for their unconventional line of programming, Off-Center. The new season kicks off performances on July 11 and will feature 13 productions across seven different venues at the Denver Performing Arts Complex and beyond.
"It's incredibly exciting to imagine what you want your first season at an organization to be," said Chris Coleman, Artistic Director for the Theatre Company. "It's inspiring and energizing to look back on the extraordinary body of work that this company has brought to the region over the last 40 seasons. I look forward to using that as a launching pad for the future."
"As we step into the next chapter of the Theatre Company's history, I am particularly interested in producing work that connects us to humanity in a deeper way," said Coleman. "Throughout this season you'll see a collision of voices, something traditional next to something brand new and edgy. I'm thrilled at the lineup we've put together. These playwrights and directors are the cream of the crop and I look forward to the conversations these works will open up with the Denver community."
2018-19 Theatre Company Season
By Qui Nguyen
Original Music by Shane Rettig
Directed by Seema Sueko
August 24-September 30, 2018 (Opens August 31) | Ricketson Theatre
Bubbling with infectious energy, this rap-spitting, pop culture-crusted dramedy is an ode to the real-life courtship of Playwright Qui Nguyen's parents. Forced to leave their country during the height of the Vietnam War, two refugees find themselves at the same relocation camp in Arkansas - the land of Harleys, hot dogs and "howdy!" Before they find their way into each other's arms, they'll have to blaze a trail in their weird new world and leave behind the baggage they didn't pack. Jump on this emotional ride for an adventure that hums with excitement as it hops across time and around the globe through the highs and lows of love.
"The Denver Center has done a fantastic job of introducing new voices and new storytelling styles to this community. What Qui is on to with Vietgone is a beautiful continuation of that thread and I'm thrilled that it will kick off our 40th anniversary season," said Coleman. "Qui Nguyen is undeniably a fresh, irreverent voice in the American theatre and the exploration of his parent's saucy romance through rap music and hilarious dialogue takes us on a journey through a very different America than most of us grew up with."
Rodgers & Hammerstein's
Music by Richard Rodgers
Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Based on the play "Green Grow the Lilacs" by Lynn Riggs
Original Dances by Agnes De Mille
Directed by Artistic Director Chris Coleman (DCPA Directorial Debut)
September 7-October 14, 2018 (Opens September 14) | Stage Theatre
Dreams are ripe for the picking in Oklahoma! With a spring in their step and a song in their hearts, cowboys, farmers and travelling salesmen alike have chased their destinies to a land that promises everything they could hope for: love, opportunity and a brighter future. The first collaboration by the legendary team of Rodgers and Hammerstein became a landmark musical for its rollicking music and stunning dance numbers, and this joyful presentation will solidify why it has stood the test of time. Directed by Theatre Company Artistic Director Chris Coleman in his Denver debut and choreographed by Dominique Kelley (dancer in La La Land and Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk), our production will be set in one of the 50 all-African-American towns in the early days of the Oklahoma Territory. Discover an overlooked piece of American history as one small community stakes its claim on a place that is full of hope.
"I am honored to be making my Denver directorial debut with Oklahoma," said Coleman. "This gorgeous musical by Rodgers & Hammerstein is such a quintessential expression of what it means to be American. Oklahoma! is centered around a group of people on the verge of grabbing their part of the American dream and incorporating themselves into the fabric of the whole nation. Experiencing that drive and sense of possibility expressed by a community we haven't traditionally seen tell this story, opens up new windows on what it means to be a Westerner, what it means to be an American, what it means to 'stake your claim' in the land."
The Constant Wife
Directed by Shelley Butler
September 21-October 21, 2018 (Opens September 28) | Space Theatre
As the intelligent, charming housewife of a successful doctor, Constance Middleton cheerfully plays her traditional role. But she knows far more than she's willing to let on. This cheeky satire pokes holes in the expectations of relationships, fidelity and social roles that were just as relevant in the 1920s as they are today. Featuring an infectiously plucky heroine at the helm, The Constant Wife takes joy in the imperfections of life and applauds those who elude the strict confines of society to discover true happiness. DCPA alum Shelley Butler (Human Error, The Most Deserving) returns to direct this contagious comedy.
"I was knocked out the first time I read this play," said Coleman. "It's a hilariously witty, totally fresh, unbelievably modern look at marriage. It's almost 100 years old and it feels like it was written yesterday. This very privileged woman learns about her agency, her own ability to tackle the world on her own outside of any prescribed relationship. It's delicious to watch her make those discoveries and forge her own economic future."
A Christmas Carol*
Adapted by Richard Hellesen
Music by David de Berry
Directed by Melissa Rain Anderson
November 21-December 24, 2018 (Opens November 29) | Stage Theatre
Essential to the holiday season in Denver, A Christmas Carol promises to "warm your heart and renew your holiday spirit" according to the Examiner. Based on Charles Dickens' classic novel, this joyous and opulent musical adaptation traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge's triumphant overnight journey to redemption. A Christmas Carol illuminates the meaning of the holiday season in a way that has resonated for generations. Denver favorite Sam Gregory returns as Scrooge.
*Added attraction, not part of the Theatre Company subscription season.
"When I got to see this production last year, I was so excited about it. This company has put together a beautiful production and frankly, it was the best that I've ever seen of this story," said Coleman. "Clearly this version has resonated and it continues to resonate with Denver audiences and I think it's a fabulous way to celebrate the holiday season."
Last Night and the Night Before
Directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton
January 18-February 24, 2019 (Opens January 25) | Ricketson Theatre
When Monique and her 10-year-old daughter Samantha show up unexpectedly on her sister's Brooklyn doorstep, it shakes up Rachel and her partner Nadima's orderly New York lifestyle. Monique is on the run from deep trouble and brings their family's Southern roots with her, grabbing hold of Rachel's life more ferociously than she could have ever imagined. Poetic, powerful and remarkably funny, this 2017 Colorado New Play Summit featured play explores the struggle between the responsibilities that are expected of us and the choices we actually end up making.
"Last Night and the Night Before is another testament to the amazing works that have come out of the Colorado New Play Summit," said Coleman. "Donnetta Lavinia Grays is an incredibly special writer and the heart she brings to all of her work as an actress shines through in this beautiful play. The story is deeply human and I'm thrilled that we get to be the first to produce it. I'm sure that we will not be the last."
Directed by Artistic Director Chris Coleman
January 25-February 24, 2019 (Opens February 1) | Stage Theatre
Love holds the power to bind us together or tear us apart, and no one knows better than Countess Anna Karenina. As a noblewoman and socialite, her glamorous lifestyle shrouds her unhappy marriage. But everything changes when she meets the dashing army officer Count Vronsky. She risks her social status, marriage, friends and family for the thrill of forbidden love. Anna Karenina uses the romantic backdrop of Tsarist Russia to tell a turbulent tale of passion and betrayal, dreams chased and lost, and the consequences of getting swept off your feet. Helmed by Artistic Director Chris Coleman, this lush, modern adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's masterpiece brings the opulent setting and heart-wrenching story to life.
"We've seen time and time again that Denver audiences have a deep love and appetite for pieces that bring works of literature to life on stage," said Coleman. "I'm thrilled to direct this beautiful adaptation of Tolstoy's novel about a woman who risks everything for love. Kevin McKeon's highly theatrical adaptation provides us with gorgeous language that engages the imagination of the audience in a really vivid way, sweeping us alongside this strong female character across aristocratic Tsarist Russia through ballrooms, ice skating rinks, and horse races."
By Itamar Moses
Directed by TBA
February 8-March 10, 2019 (Opens February 15) | Space Theatre
For screenwriter Eli, an offer to finally create his own TV show should be the ultimate culmination of his goals, but instead shocks him into wondering why he had those dreams in the first place. Armed with a new sense of spiritual clarity, he sets out on a humorous and humbling quest to serve up some hard truths to his coworkers, family, exes and friends - even if they're not ready to hear them. As Eli questions whether having an authentic outlook actually works in today's world, his hard-hitting crusade reveals that the tiniest gestures we offer can have deep impact on those around us. This lively World Premiere production is written by Itamar Moses, the award-winning author of The Band's Visit, currently on Broadway.
"Itamar Moses is an absolutely brilliant playwright and an exciting voice to have on the season," said Coleman. "This play is hilarious, thought provoking and really kind of a spiritual journey. I read it and was absolutely knocked out. In The Whistleblower, Itamar takes us on a humorous exploration of our purpose and whether our actions have the power to affect others. I'm incredibly honored to produce it as our second World Premiere."
By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Nataki Garrett
April 26-May 26, 2019 (Opens May 3) | Space Theatre
For the people of Reading, Pennsylvania, work is so much more than a paycheck - it's the glue that holds the town together. The floor of their central factory is where lifelong friendships are made, where love blossoms and where family members work side-by-side. But as layoffs become the new norm and a cheaper workforce threatens the viability of the local union, the threads that once kept the community together begin to fray. Sweat is an "extraordinarily moving drama" (The New York Times) that powerfully contrasts life's happiest highs with the heart-wrenching struggles of survival. Using warm humor and deep empathy, this 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner from Lynn Nottage (Ruined) paints a moving portrait of today's working-class America in decline.
"One of the things I love the most about Lynn Nottage is the way she takes an idea and makes it human," said Coleman. "Lynn is a significant voice in the American theatre and I'm thrilled we get to experience her work again. We're also incredibly lucky to have a powerhouse director like Nataki Garrett at the helm of this important drama and I look forward to taking the questions this play asks and diving deeper into conversations with the Denver community."
Off-Center 2018-19 Season
"We are thrilled to announce a season of unique Off-Center experiences that will take audiences into unexpected Denver spaces and showcase local artists, stories, and communities," said Charlie Miller, Curator of Off-Center. "From original micro plays to new theatrical experiments to a largescale immersive hip-hop show, our offerings complement the Theatre Company season and tell exciting stories in unconventional ways."
DCPA Off-Center and MCA Denver present
Tag team lectures on unrelated topics
Wednesdays, July 11 - August 22, 2018 | Seawell Ballroom
Even mismatched subjects will find common ground in a lecture series that can go pretty much anywhere. Two speakers get twenty minutes each to enlighten you on unrelated topics, but can't make any connections to each other. Ideas start to blend afterwards when audience members ask questions to both speakers and anything goes.
An evening of micro theatre
Created and directed by Meridith Crosley Grundei
October 23 - November 18, 2018 | BookBar
Bite-Size brings you five short plays with bookish twists performed in and around BookBar, an independent bookstore and wine bar in the Tennyson Street Arts District. Grab tapas and drinks between the 10-15 minute performances of original works by Colorado-based artists. There is no better way to see a variety of local playwrights and performers in one place. Whether you're a theatre geek, a bookworm, or on the hunt for an offbeat night out, this evening will leave you rearing to crack into a fresh hardcover and dream up some tales of your own.
DCPA Off-Center and Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company present
The SantaLand Diaries
Adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello
Directed by Stephen Weitz
November 23 - December 24, 2018 (Opens November 25)| The Jones
If your eggnog is curdled, you've got a stocking full of coal and you're on the Naughtiest List, Crumpet the Elf has got your back. Santa's not-so-helpful sidekick returns for more hilarious hijinks in this acclaimed one-man show based on the memoir by David Sedaris. Think holiday shopping is brutal? Try being on the receiving end of Macy's SantaLand madness in a pair of pointy shoes. This twisted tale is the cure for the common Christmas show and the perfect excuse to take a break from it all.
Powered By Off-Center
March 2019 | The Jones
Discover your next favorite Colorado performer as they debut brand new work at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Off-Center is offering the spotlight to local creators of all kinds as they get their projects off the ground with the support of our team. We're giving our local artistic community a new place to play and a platform to experiment, engage and excite us all. Performance dates and participating artists to be announced.
Untitled Immersive Hip-Hop Show
Written by Idris Goodwin
Directed by Jenny Koons
Following the hit experiential shows Sweet & Lucky and The Wild Party, Off-Center is cooking up its next largescale immersive adventure. Off-Center has commissioned playwright Idris Goodwin (This is Modern Art) and NYC-based director Jenny Koons (Burn All Night at American Repertory Theatre) to create a brand new, hip-hop-inspired, one-of-a-kind event. Title, location, dates, and details to be announced.
New and renewing subscribers have the first opportunity to reserve tickets. Subscription packages are now available online at denvercenter.org/theatreco or by calling 303.893.4100. Subscribers enjoy 30% off savings, free ticket exchanges, payment plans, priority offers to added attractions, discounted extra tickets, a dedicated VIP hotline, free events including talkbacks and receptions, and the best seats at the best prices, guaranteed. Single ticket on-sale date will be announced at a later time.
The single ticket on-sale date for all Off-Center productions will be announced at a later time. Subscriptions are not available for Off-Center shows.
Due to the nature of live performance, all productions, prices and dates are subject to change.
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) is the largest non-profit theatre organization in the nation, presenting Broadway tours and producing theatre, cabaret, musicals, and innovative, immersive plays. Last season the DCPA engaged with more than 1.2 million visitors, generating a $150 million economic impact in ticket sales alone. Additionally, DCPA Education serves more than 105,000 students of all ages and skill levels through classes, in-school programs, matinees and audience engagement opportunities. Follow the DCPA on social media @DenverCenter and through the Denver Center for the Performing Arts News Center.
Programming at the DCPA is made possible through the generous support of the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District; Theatre Company sponsors Wells Fargo, Larimer Square and Daniel L. Ritchie, and media sponsors The Denver Post and CBS4. Please be advised that the DCPA is the ONLY authorized ticket seller for Broadway tours and shows by DCPA Theatre Company, Cabaret and Off-Center. Tickets bought through secondary ticket vendors may exceed face value or be invalid.