Every year, director Terry Dodd finds a play perfectly suited to the historic lobby of the Barth Hotel, with its long central desk and gleaming wooden furnishings, and stages it as a benefit for Senior Housing Options, an organization that provides humanistic, caring homes for indigent seniors in several facilities around the state — including the Barth. Each production raises as much as $50,000, a life-saver in this time of cutbacks, and serves as a terrific example of the vital role that theater can play in a community. The setting influences the action, with residents sometimes strolling across the acting space, but there are other important aspects to this endeavor: the way local businesses pitch in to help; the trust and understanding that develop among SHO staff, Barth residents and the acting company; and the primacy of the location. In most thriving cities, a facility like the Barth would be pushed to the margins; in Denver, it sits in the heart of LoDo, amid art galleries, restaurants, nightclubs and brewpubs and a stone's throw from the bustling Denver... More >>>
Billie McBride, right, and Carol Bloom, center, with a resident of the Barth Hotel.