theater company in Boulder is back in full force this summer with a lineup of plays that starts this weekend, including Firebringer, Little Shop of Horrors
one of Colorado's first productions of The SpongeBob Musical.
Spark co-founder and executive director Dillon Kenyon describes SpongeBob as
“a fun show with a great message. The cartoon has a dedicated following, and what is wonderful about this version is that it goes beyond the cartoon and really reaches all audiences.”
Her company will offer a sensory-friendly production of SpongeBob
on August 4 — a show tailored to young children, kids visiting the theater for the first time, and audience members with sensory disorders.
“The sensory-friendly show is modified slightly to make this show a safer place for those who do better with a less stimulating sensory experience,” Kenyon explains. “The sound will be lower than normal, and there will be no big flashes or sudden changes in lights. Audience members can comfortably get up and leave or talk as needed, and the actors and crew will not be distracted by this less-traditional audience.”
Firebringer focuses on prehistoric women-led tribes.
tells the story of a group of women leading prehistoric tribes. “Firebringer
does a great job of illustrating how gender is a modern construct and is less important than who the person is and what the person is feeling,” Kenyon says. “There are LGBTQ relationships and storylines, but really, it’s about a tribe coming together and learning to adapt.”
Coming out of COVID-19 closures, Kenyon wanted the Spark’s actors to have as much work as possible this summer.
“We want to be a place for artists on all legs of their journey, whether it be someone just starting out and exploring the arts or a seasoned artist, to be inspired and safe to create," Kenyon says. "We also want to serve the community by being an accessible venue for anyone to use. We know there is a lack of space in Boulder for artists to use, so we hope the Spark can fill some of that need."
The company rents out its space at 4847 Pearl Street to other performers and groups that need a venue.
“Additionally, we saw a need for a musical theater company that combined education with professional-level theater and theater artists,” Kenyon adds. “We are a nonprofit, because the heart of our organization is serving the community.”
That community includes the audience.
“We hope they walk away feeling inspired and excited to come back for more,” Kenyon concludes.
The Spark performs Firebringer on Friday, July 30, and Friday, August 13, at 8 p.m. Little Shop of Horrors runs at 1 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, and Saturday, August 7. The sensory-friendly version of The SpongeBob Musical is at 1 p.m. August 4; there's a standard show at 8 p.m. August 6. All productions take place at 4847 Pearl Street, Suite B4, in Boulder. Tickets range from $16 to $22 and are available on the Spark’s website.