Curious Theatre Company just announced its fifteenth season, which includes five regional premieres as well as Yasmina Reza's Tony award-winning God of Carnage. Artistic director Chip Walton says he uses two criteria in making his selections: "I need to be moved intellectually and not just emotionally, provoked as well as entertained. I can be provoked by a mysterious quality or a play with politically charged content."
"And the other thing, we like things that challenge us when it comes to production elements," he continues. "You don't see a lot of kitchen sink realism at Curious. Always, when I read a play, I think, 'How would we do that?' We like to do things that have a theatricality to them, that stretch our imagination and creativity, things that nobody would produce in Denver if Curious didn't. An example from the upcoming season is Kristoffer Diaz's The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, a play about television wrestling described by the New York Times as coursing 'with the vital sap of an able-bodied satire enjoying a rollicking love-hate affair with its subject,' and that requires cast members to get thrown around the stage like 'sweaty rag dolls.'
"It's absolutely a home run in terms of those two criteria," muses Walton. "And you could say that about every play we're planning."
One of the things that makes plays like Chad Deity possible is Curious's very strong tech team. "We've been working with some of the designers almost since the start," says Walton. "You always hear about directors and actors who develop long-term relationships: We do that here, but we've also done that on a high level with our designers; design was in our DNA from the beginning."
Curious's mission statement has two parts: to bring the best new plays to Denver audiences and to use theater as platform for community dialogue around important issues. For first ten years, the focus was primarily on new work. Three or four years ago, "We made a conscious choice to flipflop that," says Walton. "A lot of plays I think are really good, well-written and entertaining get crossed off the list because there's not enough meat to chew on." He laughs. "Though there are plays -- like Becky Shaw [opening March 10] that don't have some grand moral issue -- because audiences do need a little bit of a breather once a while."
Here's the official Curious release on its next season:
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CURIOUS THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES SEASON 15 WITH FIVE REGIONAL PREMIERES INCLUDING THE TONY AWARD-WINNING GOD OF CARNAGE BY YASMINA REZA
Denver, CO: Curious Theatre Company proudly announces its 2012/13 Season, marking the 15th Anniversary of producing acclaimed new work, regional and world premieres in the Denver area. Season 15 features five regional premieres, including live wrestling, a love story, a sweeping Southern story, a parallel universe between the present and the 1950ʼs, concluding with an epic Tony Award-winning battle. "Weʼre bringing the work of Kristoffer Diaz, Tarell McCraney and Jordan Harrison, three of the most exciting young playwrights in American theatre for the first time to the Rocky Mountain region," says Producing Artistic Director Chip Walton.
2012/13 SEASON: Curious Theatre Company and THEATREWORKS present! Regional Premiere THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY By Kristoffer Diaz Directed by Producing Artistic Director Chip Walton September 1 - October 13, 2012! A Puerto Rican professional wrestler is frustrated with his lot in life--which is being the guy who loses to cocky megastar Chad Deity. But when he and his Indian-American partner reinvent their wrestling personas as Muslim fundamentalist enemies to America, his career suddenly becomes very interesting indeed. Diaz creates a unique theatrical experience (including live wrestling!) that forces the audience to question the disturbingly persuasive power of ethnic stereotypes in our entertainment. This physically ambitious and energetic comedy has been produced across the country, placing as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The play also won the 2011 The New York Times Play Prize, an OBIE Award for the Best New American Play, and a Lucille Lortel Award for Best New Play.
Regional Premiere TIME STANDS STILL By Donald Margulies November 3 - December 15, 2012 Sarah, a photojournalist recently injured while on assignment in Iraq, returns home to Manhattan, where her partner James anxiously tries to nurse her back to health. But despite Jamesʼs efforts to keep her home (bolstered by their newly-married friend Richard, whoʼs also interested in keeping her stateside), Sarah never feels completely comfortable staying in one place. An intimate, character-focused drama about a couple at a crossroads, Marguliesʼ play was a hit at Manhattan Theatre Club before transferring to Broadway, including two Tony Nominations, including for Best New Play.
Regional Premiere MAPLE AND VINE By Jordan Harrison January 12 - February 23, 2013 Katha and Ryu, a modern-day couple stuck in a modern-day rut, see a way out of the troubles theyʼve been having--moving to a planned community perpetually located in 1955. Will going back to this not-so-simpler time be the answer to all their problems? Harrisonʼs audacious premise takes the audience into a parallel universe that is hilarious in its attention to detail, and surprisingly seductive in its artifice. Have we made progress as a society? Is it possible to forego the values of the present for the mores of the past? Do we even want to? Recently produced at Playwrights Horizons, this play debuted at the Humana Festival of New American Plays.
Regional Premiere BROTHERS SIZE By Tarell McCraney March 9 - April 13, 2013 Two brothers, the Louisiana bayou, and West African mythology swirl together in this unforgettable theatrical event that will leave you breathless. Even though Oshooshi Size is out of jail, heʼs hardly free. In this taut, rhythmic and playful drama, two brothers walk the line between law and liberty, locked in a fierce tug-of-war for their own souls. "The greatest piece of writing by an American playwright under 30 in a generation or more" (Chicago Tribune), THE BROTHERS SIZE is a hot-blooded, music-filled drama from one of the countryʼs most exciting new voices.
Regional Premiere GOD OF CARNAGE By Yasmina Reza April 27 - June 8, 2013 A playground scrap between two boys brings together their parents--Alan and Annette, Michael and Veronica. These couples meet to iron out the details of the peace accord, but the adultsʼ differences soon come to mirror the conflict of their children. Reza, who won Tony Awards for both this play and the 1998 hit ART, once again displays her considerable gifts for wringing big laughs out of the entitlement and narcissism of her upper-class characters. Anyone who has gritted their teeth through a polite conflict will see themselves in this contemporary comedy of manners. GOD OF CARNAGE won the Tony and Olivier Awards for Best New Play, as well as five additional Tony Nominations, and stands as the third longest-running Broadway.
Subscriptions are on sale for the 2012/13 Season at curioustheatre.org. Prices range from $65 - $200. Performances will be held at Curious Theatre Company, at 1080 Acoma Street, Denver.