Theater Threads puts costumes center stage for arts education

Unless you are the star of a Broadway production, you may never be this close again to the fabric that weaves a theatrical fantasy. Today the Denver Center Theater Company will host Theater Threads, a luncheon that's a fundraiser for its arts education program. Diners will be treated to an up-close look at costumes from some of the DCTC's winning productions, modeled by a few of Denver's business elite.

John Farnum, a Theater Threads model two years running (as Amadeus the first year and a Major General the second), is in his third round as co-chair for this event -- which means he won't be on the runway this year. He took a break from planning to fill us in on other details about the event.

See also: Art From Scratch

Westword: What makes the Theater Threads luncheon so spectacular?

John Farnum: The original idea for this luncheon was years in the making. To get a glimpse of some of the costumes from your favorite theater shows is what makes the luncheon spectacular. We bring the costumes to life using well-known, philanthropic and civic-minded people from the Denver community. Of course, we are doing all this to raise funds for our education program. Last year Theater Threads didn't happen. Why?

Last year we took a break from the luncheon because the HVAC system where the costumes are stored required an upgrade. So this meant the costumes had to be stored, and they were farmed out everywhere for safekeeping. So we will be reintroducing the costumes after having a break. It is unbelievable that they continue to give us such wonderful access to allow us to show some of our greatest treasures.

Why is the DCPA Education Fund so important?

With the tightening of school budgets, programs involving the arts are most vulnerable and are typically the first to go. We fill the gap for art education. We have provided art education of over 50,000 classrooms K-12 and we want to make sure that we continue to contribute.

Are you training the kids to produce Broadway productions?

We have wonderful teams of people who go into the classroom and teach the children about staging, production, sets and costumes, everything you could ever want to know about the theater. Another big part of our program is that we host about 17,000 students to a matinee performance during the season.

The DCPA Theater Threads Luncheon runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 23, in the Seawell Grand Ballroom. Individual tickets are $100; a portion of the ticket is tax-deductible. For ticket information, go to

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Tracie Keesee