DCPA Suffers More Layoffs and Cancellations Through Spring 2021

The DCPA Theatre Company's production of You Lost Me.
The DCPA Theatre Company's production of You Lost Me. Adams VisCom
Even as Colorado gradually reopens, performing arts organizations are still being pummeled by the pandemic.

On May 28, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company announced that it would be scrapping the rest of its 2020/2021 season. That comes on top of the previously announced cancellation of 25 other DCPA shows, two fundraisers, hundreds of classes and dozens of events.

The most recently canceled plays include Angry, Raucous & Shamelessly Gorgeous, The Children, A Christmas Carol, Emma, In the Upper Room, Light Up the Sky, Mojada, Rattlesnake Kate and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, all of which were going to be produced by the DCPA's resident company.

"Our DCPA Theatre Company season was scheduled to run September 18, 2020, through June 13, 2021," says DCPA Director of Communications and Cultural Affairs Suzanne Yoe. "Our team of artists would have been working now to prepare for the season ahead, as it normally takes six to months to design, cast, build and rehearse our shows."

All this means more cuts at an organization that has already seen layoffs and lost more than half its budget for staff in 2020.

"We had previously announced a 55 percent reduction in staffing costs, which took us through the end of our fiscal year" on June 30, notes Yoe. "Those reductions have now been extended into our full FY21 season [through June 30, 2021]. The cost reductions are accomplished through additional layoffs, extended furloughs and reduction in work hours."

Subscribers to the 2020/21 season will be given the chance to receive a credit, request a refund or donate the value of their package.

"I will say that we really are optimistic that we can re-evaluate our decision at our October board meeting and consider adding a few titles back in spring," adds Yoe. "But with the uncertainty of when theaters will be allowed to reopen, when the public will feel confident in returning and what safety measures will be required, it’s hard to know."

Visit the Denver Center website for more information. 
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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris

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