DCPA's Off-Center Announces Full Casting For BITE-SIZE

Off-Center, the most unconventional line of programming at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) is proud to announce full casting for Bite-Size, an evening of original, short plays and performance pieces by Colorado artists, performed off-site at BookBar and directed by Meridith C. Grundei.

Bite-Size is a 360-degree experience where audience members will journey through a variety of spaces in and around BookBar, encountering each new play in an intimate group of just 10 other audience members. Bite Size will run for 24 performances at BookBar (4280 Tennyson St.) October 23 - November 18, 2018. This event is conceived and led by Meridith C. Grundei, who was featured as one of Westword's 2017 100 Colorado Creatives.

A Pocket Full of Dandelions
By Kristen Adele Calhoun and Theo E.J. Wilson

Directed by Ashley Hamilton

While rebellion thrashes outside, in the library of Denver's maximum security prison, two women struggle to decide if liberty and justice is indeed for all. Along the way, they find an unlikely accomplice in this powerful and poetic drama.

A Pocket Full of Dandelions will feature Alicia Starr Schomer (Colorado theatre debut) as Major and Kenya Fashaw (5280 Artist Co-Op's Colorism) as Arminta aka Minty.

Holy Couch
By Edith Weiss

Directed by Geoffrey Kent

The face of none other than Jesus Christ appears on the couch of a well-to-do suburban couple in this hilarious and surprisingly relevant comedy.

Holy Couch will feature Diana Dresser (Off-Center's The Wild Party) as Judy and Matthew Schneck (Colorado Shakespeare Festival's Love's Labour's Lost) as Jim.

Marginalia

By Jeffrey Neuman

Directed by Mare Trevathan

In this charming, intimate and sly play, a reticent customer at a used bookstore is confronted by the shop's manager when caught defacing some books.

Marginalia will feature performances by Regan Linton (Phamaly Theater Company's Into the Woods) and Emma Messenger, (Curious Theatre Company's The Cake) alternating the roles of J & M.

Outside the Room

Created by Theatre Artibus (Buba Basishvili & Meghan Frank) and Grapefruit Lab (Julie Rada, Kenny Storms, & Miriam Suzanne)

Conceived with writing by Larry Mitchell

A family struggles to find humanity and normalcy in a world made uncertain and strange after the transformation and "othering" of one of their own. This physical theatre piece imagines what happens on the other side of the iconic room in Kafka's Metamorphosis.

Outside the Room will feature performances by Buba Basishvili, Meghan Frank (Theatre Artibus' Oops),and Julie Rada. (Grapefruit Lab's Jane/Eyre)

Toxoplasmosis (or) High Strangeness

By Sean Michael Cummings

Directed by Meridith C. Grundei

After the (maybe) accidental cremation of a cat and the discovery of a mysterious book, Ali and Hannah are thrust into quantum uncertainty. They'll have to bridge social, generational and metaphysical chasms if they want to escape this veterinarian's office intact.

Toxoplasmosis (or) High Strangeness will feature Rakeem Lawrence (Colorado Springs TheatreWorks' A Raisin in the Sun) as Ali, Bernadette Sefic (Curious New Voices) as Hanna, and K Woodzick (Founder of the Non-Binary Monologues Project) as Veterinary Assistant.

About Bite-Size

This evening of micro theatre will feature five original, short works by local artists. It will be performed environmentally at BookBar, with each piece performing in a different space simultaneously. The evening will accommodate 70 audience members; groups of ten at a time will see each piece in different orders. During scheduled breaks between performances, audiences will have the ability to purchase wine/tapas and socialize.

"Micro theatre is a unique approach to performance that is popular internationally, and we are excited to produce it with local artists in Denver," said Charlie Miller, Off-Center Curator. "Meridith was inspired by the micro theatre she experienced in Mexico. Her passion was infectious and it was clear that this format would be a perfect fit for Off-Center as a different kind of site-specific theatrical experience."

"I'm looking forward to the ways that this project will engage the larger Denver artistic community. In addition to Colorado-based playwrights/creators, Off-Center also plans to hire all performers and other collaborators locally. The idea of presenting these new works in a non-traditional setting also brought about a new partnership with BookBar, a local business that we admire. They regularly host literary events that bring the community together over food and wine and we can't wait to activate their spaces with new stories by Colorado creatives," Miller said.

Bite-Size: An Evening of Micro Theatre

Created and Directed by Meridith C. Grundei

Dramaturgy by Heidi Schmidt

October 23 - November 18, 2018

BookBar, 4280 Tennyson St.

Tickets for Bite-Size may be purchased at denvercenter.org, 303-893-4100 or in person in the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex at 14th and Curtis.

About the Selected Writers

Kristen Adele Calhoun (A Pocket Full of Dandelions) is an actor, writer and organizer. She is currently co-writing Canfield Drive, a play about Ferguson, Missouri under the commission of 651 ARTS and The St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre through the support of the National Performance Network. Other writing credits: "Aint Gonna Let Nobody: Songs and Stories of the Civil Rights Movement" under the commission of the NAACP; and "With These Hands - The Dr. Justina Ford Story" under the commission of Denver's Black American West Museum. A native of Dallas, Texas, she is a graduate of the University of North Texas and Rutgers University. www.KristenAdele.net

Sean Michael Cummings (Toxoplasmosis (or) High Strangeness) is a playwright, actor, director, juggler, comedian and native of Colorado. Sean's plays have been produced by Colorado State University, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Zing! Theatre Company, Poudre High School, Denver Academy and Noco Arts Alliance. Recent acting credits include District Merchants, The 39 Steps, (Miners Alley Playhouse) White Rabbit Red Rabbit (Pipedream Productions, True West Award), and Tommy Wiseau's The Room (Alamo Drafthouse Littleton). Sean is a proud alumnus of the KC/ACTF Playwriting Intensive and the Orchard Project Core Company, and was the 2017 recipient of the Orchard Project Fellowship for Playwriting.

Grapefruit Lab (Outside the Room) is the combined vision of long-term collaborators Julie Rada, Kenny Storms, and Miriam Suzanne - creating cross-media and community-embedded performance. Grapefruit Lab made its debut in February 2018 with Jane/Eyre- a queer adaptation of the classic novel, featuring music by Teacup Gorilla and members of Artibus. Previous works (performed as Vicious Trap) include: The In-Between (2016), Glass (And Other Imponderables) (2011), Missa Populi (2010), and A Murder One Less(2009).

Jeffrey Neuman (Marginalia) is an award-winning playwright whose work has been performed at theaters and festivals across the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. His plays have been produced and/or developed by Emerging Artists Theatre, LaMaMa, National Public Radio, Edinburgh Fringe, FUSION Theatre Company, and the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival, among others. He is a Heideman Award Finalist, cofounder of Rough Draught Playwrights, and a member of the Dramatists Guild of America. www.theaterbyjeff.com.

Theatre Artibus (Outside the Room), founded in 2017 by Meghan Frank and Buba Basishvili, is an international team of theatre makers dedicated to strengthening community through the experience of live performance. Through laughter, wonder and curiosity, Artibus strives to dissolve barriers and create connection. Current original works include:Oops, a family show about the glories of failure, and Tea Time, an absurdist comedy that explores power and the folly of hope.

Edith Weiss (Holy Couch) was hired in the 1982/83 season as a writer and actor for the original show produced by the Denver Center, Is Denver Burning? No need to do the math, who's got time for that? Suffice it to say that from then to now she has been acting, directing, and writing in theaters all over Denver. She's done improvisation professionally in Denver and around the country, and toured with her stand up around the country and internationally for the military. Her plays for children, for educational theater, and for community theaters have been published by Dramatics, Pioneer, Brooklyn, Heuer, Eldridge, and Big Dog Publishers. Her short plays have been produced in competitions in New York, Chicago, Kansas City, and Boston.

Theo E.J. Wilson (A Pocket Full of Dandelions) is a founding member of the Denver Slam Nuba team, who won the National Poetry Slam in 2011. Theo attended Florida A&M University, where he obtained his B.A. in Theater Performance. He returned to Denver and is now the Executive Director of Shop Talk Live, Inc. In 2013, Theo began speaking with "Rachel's Challenge." In 2015, Theo went undercover online in the Alt-Right to investigate the roots of racial hatred in millennials. His TED talk on the topic has since received over 11 million views.

ABOUT BOOKBAR

BookBar is a community bookstore wine bar for the whole family, featuring a highly curated selection of titles for all ages. Enjoy many local and house crafted hors d'oeuvres, wine, beer, coffee, tea and desserts at our bar. We are proud to host hundreds of literary events per year including author readings, story times, and book clubs.

ABOUT THE DENVER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

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.

As the most unconventional line of programming of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Off-Center specializes in unexpected experiences such as Sweet & Lucky, the first large-scale immersive show in Denver and The Wild Party, a decadent 360° party set in the Roaring 20s. An Off-Center show is like no other theatre experience-by design. Off-Center focuses more on connecting people and upending expectations than on adhering to tradition. If you leave the show thinking "I've never seen anything like it," then Off-Center has done its job. We want you to lose yourself, to welcome surprise and to remember that life is better when you live it Off-Center.

Programming at the DCPA is made possible through the generous support of the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District; Theatre Company sponsors 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.

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