Resident theater companies have been on their way out for decades. One of the last was at the Denver Center under Donovan Marley, whose loyalty to his company meant that first-rate actors could actually make a home in Denver -- while audiences reaped the benefits. That's an economically unsustainable model these days, and the Denver Center has abandoned it, though some actors return regularly. We don't have much Equity work here, and many of our best talents have migrated to the coasts for steadier work.
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Now Curious Theatre Company, a midsize Equity ensemble and one of our most adventurous venues for over a decade, has received a $25,000 "A-ha! Program: Think It" grant from the MetLife Foundation and Theatre Communications Group to reinvent the resident company. Six company members, including artistic director Chip Walton, will be conducting research and visiting theaters around the country in search of viable ideas. This doesn't mean local actors will be able to stop selling shoes or drilling teeth for a living any time soon, but it's a start.