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DCPA Slates Dates, Details for 12th Annual Colorado New Play Summit


The Theatre Company at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) has announced dates and details for the 2017 Colorado New Play Summit. The 12th annual festival will feature readings of new works by Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Rogelio Martinez, Eric Pfeffinger, Robert Schenkkan, and Lauren Yee alongside World Premiere productions by Lauren Gunderson and Tira Palmquist.

The Colorado New Play Summit has introduced 48 new plays, over half of which returned to the stage as full Theatre Company productions. Recent Summit World Premieres include Matthew Lopez's The Legend of Georgia McBride (which made it's Off-Broadway debut at the MCC Theater), Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale, Theresa Rebeck's The Nest, Tanya Saracho's FADE, Eric Schmiedl's adaptation of Kent Haruf's Benediction, Marcus Gardley's black odyssey, Karen Zacarias's Just Like Us, Jeffrey Haddow and Neal Hampton's Sense and Sensibility The Musical, and Dick Scanlan's reimagined version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown.


Last Night and the Night Before by Donnetta Lavinia Grays

When Monique and her 10-year-old daughter Samantha show up unexpectedly on her sister's Brooklyn doorstep, it's the beginning of the end for Rachel and her partner Nadima's orderly New York lifestyle. Monique is on the run from deep trouble, and her husband Reggie is nowhere to be seen. The family's deep Southern roots have a long reach, and they grab hold of Rachel's life stronger than she could have ever imagined. The play was featured in the 2015 National New Play Network's National Showcase of New Plays and won the Todd McNerney National Playwriting Contest the same year.

The Book of Will by Lauren Gunderson

World Premiere

Developed at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit

Without William Shakespeare, we wouldn't have literary masterpieces like Romeo and Juliet. But without Henry Condell and John Heminges, we would have lost half of Shakespeare's plays forever! After the death of their friend and mentor, the two actors are determined to compile the first Folio and preserve the words that shaped their lives. They'll just have to borrow, beg and band together to get it done. Lauren Gunderson weaves a hilarious and heartfelt story inspired by the true story of Shakespeare's First Folio.

Blind Date by Rogelio Martinez


Theatre Company Commission

Before the advent of and eHarmony, Ronald Reagan and Michael Gorbachev try to build a relationship old school when they sit down to open up channels between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Though members of their cabinets try their hardest to keep them on track, the leaders steer the conversation to pop culture and films. While the men chip away at the mistrust between their countries, Nancy Reagan and Raisa Gorbachev play out a passive-aggressive tango that mirrors their husbands' negotiations in this conclusion to Martinez's Cold War trilogy where "edgy comedy and sudden sorrow intertwine" (American Theatre).

Two Degrees by Tira Palmquist

World Premiere

Developed at the 2016 Colorado New Play Summit

The smallest changes can lead to the biggest impact, and no one knows that better than Emma, a scientist studying climate change in Greenland. Still grappling with the unexpected death of her husband, she is invited to the nation's capital to share her findings at a Senate hearing that could define her career and her cause. But if she can't overcome her tumultuous inner struggle, her dedication and sacrifices may not be enough to make the difference in the world that she's always wanted.

Human Error by Eric Pfeffinger

Madelyn and Keenan are NPR-listening, latte-sipping, blue-state liberals, while Heather and Jim are NRA-cardholding, truck-driving, red-state conservatives. After an unfortunate mix-up by their blundering fertility doctor, Heather is mistakenly impregnated with the wrong child. Now the two couples face sharing an uproarious nine-month's odyssey of culture shock, clashing values, changing attitudes and unlikely - but heartfelt - friendships. American Theatre has said, "Pfeffinger's social conscience is matched by his amazing comic sensibilities" and his new play is no different.

Hanussen by Robert Schenkkan


Theatre Company Commission

In 1930s Berlin, the brilliant "mentalist" Eric Jan Hanussen captivates German audiences with his ability to read minds and his uncanny predictions of the future. His reputation brings him to the attention of avid occultist Adolph Hitler. While his star seems to be on the rise, the consequences of his next major prediction (and his own true identity) may break his spell. A new drama from Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan. Based on true events.

Manford From Half Court, or The Great Leap by Lauren Yee


Theatre Company Commission

When an American college basketball team travels to Beijing for a "friendship" game in the post-Cultural Revolution 1980s, both countries try to tease out the politics behind this newly popular sport. Cultures clash as the Chinese coach tries to pick up moves from the Americans and Chinese American player Manford spies on his opponents. Inspired by events in her own father's life, Yee "applies a devilishly keen satiric eye to...her generation (and its parents)" (San Francisco Chronicle).

The 12th Annual Colorado New Play Summit will celebrate its Launch Weekend. February 18-10, 2017. Festival Weekend is slated for February 24-26, 2017. More details at

As the nation's largest non-profit theatre organization, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts is dedicated to creating unforgettable shared experiences through beloved Broadway musicals, world-class plays, educational programs and inspired events. Programming at the DCPA is made possible through the generous support of the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District; Broadway sponsor United Airlines, Murray BMW; Theatre Company sponsors Wells Fargo, Larimer Square, The Steinberg Charitable Trust 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. Tickets may be purchased at, 303-893-4100 or in person in the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex at 14th and Curtis. Follow the DCPA on social media @DenverCenter and through the Denver Center for the Performing Arts News Center.

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