Art News

DCPA Announces Fourteen Plays in Its 2017-2018 Schedule

Nance Williamson, Kathleen McCall, Billie McBride, Zoe Delaney Stahlhut in Benediction.
Nance Williamson, Kathleen McCall, Billie McBride, Zoe Delaney Stahlhut in Benediction. Jennifer M. Koskinen
On April 3, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts announced the 39th season for the DCPA Theatre Company, as well as the lineup for the much newer Off-Center. The Theatre Company's roster includes Macbeth, perennial favorite A Christmas Carol and the world premieres of American Mariachi, Zoey’s Perfect Wedding, The Great Leap and more. The Off-Center's offerings range from The SantaLand Diaries to Mixed Taste, which it will co-host with MCA Denver.

“The 2017-18 DCPA Theatre Company season represents the microcosm at the heart of the American experiment,” said Nataki Garrett, associate artistic director for the DCPA Theatre Company, in a statement. “These writers, spanning across generations, cultures and genders, are exploring the ways in which our commonalities are more meaningful than our differences. Theater has the opportunity and the ability to help bridge our differences by offering performances that inspire us to seek deeper connections with one another. We are honored to provide a space for conversations and connections to the Denver community this year through this season's offerings.”

Below are the Theatre Company's offerings, with descriptions provided by the DCPA.

Robert O’Hara’s
By William Shakespeare
Sept 15-Oct 29, 2017 (Opens Sept 22) | Space Theatre (Grand Reopening)

To get what he wants, Macbeth will let nothing stand in his way – not the lives of others, the people of Scotland or his own well-being. As his obsession takes command of his humanity and his sanity, the death toll rises and his suspicions mount. Shakespeare’s compact, brutal tragedy kicks off the grand reopening of our theatre-in-the-round in a visceral re-imagining from visionary director Robert O’Hara, who is “shaking up the world, one audience at a time” (The New York Times). This ambitious reinvention of the classic tale reminds us that no matter what fate is foretold, the man that chooses the dagger must suffer the consequences.

Smart People
By Lydia R. Diamond
Directed by Nataki Garrett (DCPA Directorial Debut)
Oct 13-Nov 19 (Opens Oct 20) | Ricketson Theatre

Intelligence can only get you so far when it comes to navigating love, success and identity in the modern age. This biting comedy follows a quartet of Harvard intellectuals struggling to understand why the lives of so many people – including their own – continue to be undermined by race. But no matter how hard they research, question and confront the issue, their own problems with self-awareness make it difficult to face the facts of life. Fiercely clever dialogue and energetic vignettes keep the laughs coming in a story that Variety calls “Sexy, serious and very, very funny.”

A Christmas Carol*
By Charles Dickens
Adapted by Richard Hellesen
Music by David de Berry
Directed by Melissa Rain Anderson
Nov 24-Dec 24 (Opens Dec 1) | Stage Theatre

Essential to the holiday season in Denver, A Christmas Carol promises to “warm your heart and renew your holiday spirit” according to the Examiner. Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, this joyous and opulent musical adaptation traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption. A Christmas Carol illuminates the meaning of the holiday season in a way that has resonated for generations. Denver favorite Sam Gregory returns as Scrooge.
*Added attraction, not part of the Theatre Company subscription season.

Zoey’s Perfect Wedding
By Matthew Lopez
Directed by Mike Donahue
Jan 19-Feb 25, 2018 (Opens Jan 26) | Space Theatre

The blushing bride. The touching toast. The celebration of true love. These are the dreams of Zoey’s big day…and the opposite of what it’s turning out to be. Disaster after disaster follow her down the aisle, from brutally honest boozy speeches to a totally incompetent wedding planner. Even worse, her friends are too preoccupied with their own relationship woes to help with the wreckage around them. From the team that brought you The Legend of Georgia McBride, Matthew Lopez’ wildly funny fiasco destroys expectations with the realities of commitment, fidelity and growing up.

American Mariachi
By José Cruz González
Director To Be Announced
Jan 26-Feb 25, 2018 (Opens Feb 2) | Stage Theatre

Lucha and Bolie are ready to start their own all-female mariachi band. The only things standing in their way are a male-dominated music genre, patriarchal pressure from inside their families and finding the right women to fill out their sound. As they practice, perform and strive to earn the respect of their community, their music sparks a transformation in the lives of those around them – especially Lucha’s parents. This humorous, heartwarming story about music’s power to heal and connect includes gorgeous live mariachi music played on stage. González writes a passionate story about families and friendships that you should share with yours!

The Great Leap
By Lauren Yee
Director TBA
Feb 2-March 11, 2018 (Opens Feb 9) | Ricketson Theatre

When an American college basketball team travels to Beijing for an exhibition game in 1989, the drama on the court goes deeper than the strain between their countries. For two men with a past and one teen with a future, it’s a chance to stake their moment in history and claim personal victories off the scoreboard. American coach Saul grapples with his relevance to the sport, Chinese coach Wen Chang must decide his role in his rapidly-changing country and Chinese American player Manford seeks a lost connection. Tensions rise right up to the final buzzer as history collides with the action in the stadium. Yee’s “acute ear for contemporary speech” and a “devilishly keen satiric eye” (San Francisco Chronicle) creates an unexpected and touching story inspired by events in her own father’s life.

Native Gardens
By Karen Zacarias
Directed by Lisa Portes
April 6-May 6, 2018 (Opens Apr 13) | Space Theatre

Dealing with neighbors can be thorny, especially for Pablo and Tania, a young Latino couple who have just moved into a well-established DC neighborhood. Though Frank and Virgina have the best intentions for making the new couple feel welcome next door, their newly budding friendship is tested when they realize their shared property line isn’t where it’s supposed to be. Frank is afraid of losing his prized garden, Pablo wants what is legally his, Tania has a pregnancy and a thesis she’d rather be worrying about, and Virginia just wants some peace. But until they address the real roots of their problems, it’s all-out war in this hilarious and heartfelt play about the lines that divide us and those that connect us.

The Who's Tommy
Music and Lyrics by Pete Townshend
Book by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff
Additional Music and Lyrics by John Entwistle and Keith Moon
Directed by Sam Buntrock
April 20-May 27, 2018 (Opens April 27) | Stage Theatre

Based on The Who’s iconic 1969 rock concept album, Tommy is an exhilarating musical about the challenges of self-discovery and the resilience of the human spirit. When young Tommy retreats into a world of darkness and silence after a deeply traumatic incident, he must navigate a harsh and unforgiving world with no hope of recovery. But when he discovers a newfound talent for pinball, he’s swept up in the fame and fortune of his success. Tommy and his family give new voice to The Who’s classic stadium rock as they navigate the troubles and joys of being alive. This production reunites director Sam Buntrock and scenic designer Jason Sherwood, the team behind last season’s audience favorite Frankenstein.

Human Error
By Eric Pfeffinger
Director To Be Announced
May 18-June 24, 2018 (Opens May 25) | Garner Galleria Theatre

Madelyn and Keenan are NPR-listening, latte-sipping, blue-state liberals, while Heather and Jim are NRA-cardholding, truck-driving, red-state conservatives. After an unfortunate mix-up by their blundering fertility doctor, Heather is mistakenly impregnated with the wrong child. Now the two couples face sharing an uproarious nine-month’s odyssey of culture shock, clashing values, changing attitudes and unlikely – but heartfelt – friendships. “Up-and-coming scribe Eric Pfeffinger has the vital nerve to explore the gaping communication gap between red America and blue America, liberal humanists and the conservative right.” (Chicago Tribune)
And here is the upcoming season for Off-Center:

DCPA Off-Center and MCA Denver present
Mixed Taste:
Tag team lectures on unrelated topics
Wednesdays, July 5 – Aug 23, 2017 | Seawell Grand Ballroom

Even mismatched subjects will find common ground in a lecture series that can go pretty much anywhere. Two speakers get twenty minutes each to enlighten you on unrelated topics, but can’t make any connections to each other. Ideas start to blend afterwards when audience members ask questions to both speakers and anything goes.

The Wild Party
Music and Lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa
Book by Michael John LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe
Based on the poem by Joseph Moncure March
Directed by Amanda Berg Wilson
Oct 12 – 31 (Opens Oct 14) | The Hangar at Stanley

You’re invited to leave your inhibitions (and Prohibitions) behind for a decadent party in the Roaring Twenties. Indulge your inner flapper as you mingle with an unruly mix of vaudevillians, playboys, divas, and ingénues in a Manhattan apartment lost in time. Debauchery turns disastrous as wild guests becomes unhinged and their solo songs reveal the drama bubbling underneath the surface. Whether you’re a wallflower or a jitterbug, you’ll think this jazz- and booze-soaked immersive musical is the bee’s knees. Dress up in your finest pearls, suits and sequins – encouraged but not required.

DCPA’s Off-Center and Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company present
The SantaLand Diaries
By David Sedaris
Adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello
Directed by Stephen Weitz
Nov 24 – Dec 24 (Opens Nov 25) | The Jones

This disgruntled Macy's elf has the cure for the common Christmas show. Looking for a little more snark in your stocking? Crumpet the Elf returns for more hilarious hijinks in this acclaimed one-man show based on stories by David Sedaris. Crumpet’s twisted tales from his stint in Macy’s SantaLand are the cure for the common Christmas show. Release your holiday stress, get all of those obnoxious carols out of your head and check out even more late night options this year.

This Is Modern Art
By Kevin Coval and Idris Goodwin
Directed by Idris Goodwin
March 22 – April 15, 2018 (Opens March 23) | The Jones

Graffiti crews are willing to risk anything for their art. Called vandals, criminals, even creative terrorists, Chicago graffiti artists set out night after night to make their voices heard and alter the way people view the world. But when one crew finishes the biggest graffiti bomb of their careers, the consequences get serious and spark a public debate asking, where does art belong? This Is Modern Art gives a glimpse into the lives of anonymous graffiti artists and asks us to question the true purpose of art.

Remote Denver
By Rimini Protokoll (Kaegi/Karrenbauer)
Concept, Script, and Direction by Stefan Kaegi
Research, Script & Direction Denver: Jörg Karrenbauer
Spring/Summer 2018 | the streets of Denver
For tickets and more information about the DCPA Theatre Company shows, go to the Denver Center website or call 303-893-4100. Ticket information will be announced for Off-Center at a later date.
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