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Reader: We Will Need Theater More Than Ever in the Days to Come

John Moore offers more than words of support for the theater community.
John Moore offers more than words of support for the theater community.
Denver Actors Fund Facebook

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Denver theater season is imploding, with companies canceling spring seasons and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival just announcing that it will be dark this summer. And late last week, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts announced that, as it looked at a deficit of millions of dollars, it had just taken a number of cost-cutting measures: "In total, this is a loss of five shows, 523 educational classes and school programs, 19 rental events and two fundraisers," the DPCA reported.

It also includes the loss of John Moore, DCPA senior arts editor, whose position was eliminated. "For many decades," Juliet Wittman reported, "he has been an indispensable figure in the Denver arts scene."

And readers agree. Says Diana:

 Such sad news - love his coverage of the theater world!!

Responds Brett: 

Well, it’s crappy news but a lot of people have lost their jobs as well due to something we cannot control.... We need to keep the faith...help others....We can get through this...I lost my job as a restaurant manager... I’m not the only one....

John Moore...bartenders... servers...and many more...yes, a lot of bad news all over.

Notes Rachel: 

He wrote a wonderful farewell, and let the whole world know how much he still loves the DCPA. The center has to cancel five shows. They were in one of the strongest positions they’ve ever been in...now they are millions of dollars in debt. 

Comments Richard: 

Please watch Amanpour from a few nights back. Guy that wrote the new book Shakespeare in a Divided America. We will need theater more than ever in the days to come. Yer souls will need it.

Notes Carolyn:

 Nooooo!!! His work was my go-to for theater news. A great writer. What a loss for DCPA. I am stunned.

And then there's this from Bill:

Juliet, that piece is such a great and thoughtful tribute to John. Can one hope that DCPA will change its mind?

In many ways, Denver was lucky to have Moore in this spot at all: These days, few local media outlets, much less arts organizations, support full-time arts journalists. From his senior arts journalist position, Wittman notes, Moore not only covered DCPA work, but "used his platform to shine a light on the metro scene and support the work of artists all over town."

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He also pushed the Denver Actors Fund, an organization he set up in 2013 that continues to give money to theater people in need — to date, some $500,000 has been made available — and also coordinates volunteer offers for shopping, house cleaning, transportation and other help. And these days, that's needed more than ever.

What do you think should be done to help the local theater community during these dark times? Post a comment or email your thoughts to editorial@westword.com.

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