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Elitch Gardens Theater to Showcase Original Works

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For the first time since 1991, Elitch Gardens Theater will be showcasing live performances. For the weekend of August 20-22, six original works that will be performed by Denver theater professionals in the New Works Festival.

"The goal of the festival is to discover strong stories and foster them from the beginning stages of readings to a main stage production in the Elitch Theatre regular season programming," according to the Elitch Garden news page.

See also: A Look Ahead at Our Geeky 2015

The Elitch Gardens Theater was built in 1890 and hosted numerous stars, like Grace Kelly, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., Cybil Shepard and Vincent Price, before closing in 1991, just a couple of years before the Elitch Gardens Amusement Park, where the theater was located, closed and moved to the Central Platte Valley.

But since the creation of the Historic Elitch Gardens Theater Foundation in 2002, there have been strong efforts to re-open the historic building and "return to its heritage as a nationally renowned venue for the celebration of performing arts."

From February 1 to April 1, national theater artists can submit their original works, which can be theatrical or musical, for consideration by the festival. The submissions will then be judged by a panel of eight theater experts, including Broadway actress Billie McBride, bestselling author Christina Crawford, and New York State Theater director Richard Sabellico.

Six works will be selected by the panel to be read during the festival in August. The panel, as well as the audience, will then choose two of the original pieces to be workshopped. Finally, out of the two chosen to be workshopped, one will receive a full production and world premier in the theater's 2017 summer season.

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