The Denver Center for the Performing Arts has announced part of its theater lineup for 2022-23: the seven local plays and musicals to be staged by the 42-year-old DCPA Theater Company.
DCPA Off-Center’s previously announced “Theater of the Mind,” an immersive semi-autobiographical journey co-created by Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and writer Mala Gaonkar, will premiere on August 3. It will unfold, with only 16 audience members at a time, across multiple performance areas in a 15,000-square-foot warehouse at 3821 Steele St. Pre-sales open May 6.
The season includes a musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple,” William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” and a new staging of “The 39 Steps,” a playful parody of Alfred Hitchcock’s spy thriller hosted by first time for the company. in 2010.
The new season officially opens with “The Chinese Lady” by Lloyd Suh, who previously premiered his turn-of-the-century war story “The Great Wall” at Denver Center in 2011. His new play, set in 1834, follows Afong Moy , is believed to be the first Chinese woman to reach mainland America.
The DCPA theater company typically selects two or three featured selections from its annual Colorado New Play Summit for a full production in a later season. None of the four featured works from the 2022 Summit were included in the new season, but artistic director Chris Coleman has stated his desire to slow down the new production process by giving the works at least two years of additional development before production. complete.
The new season includes “Hotter than Egypt,” which was first presented to local audiences as a reading at the 2020 Colorado New Play Summit. The story of Yussef El Guindi follows an American couple experiencing marital difficulties while traveling in the context of the 2011 Egyptian uprising, and is currently having its world premiere at a theater in Mill Valley, California.
The only world premiere on the new slate isn’t a homegrown Summit opus. It’s Alexis Scheer’s “Laughs in Spanish,” described as “a comedic snapshot of Cuban and Colombian-American culture in the heart of Miami’s Wynwood arts district.”
“The Color Purple,” written by Marsha Norman, is a musical far more faithful to the conventions of musical theater than to its sparse and gritty source book. It is something entirely different that deserves to be judged on its own terms.
The popular immersive “Camp Christmas” vacation experience, from the singular mind of Lonnie Hanzon, will return for the third year in a row and second at Lakewood’s Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park.
The perennial favorite “A Christmas Carol” will return with a new director: Anthony Powell, who was Associate Artistic Director of the DCPA Theater Company for 18 years and now directs Stories on Stage. He last directed “Lord of the Flies” and “All the Way” for DCPA in 2015-16.
“Audiences will be able to experience classic productions they know and love, as well as new stories from emerging playwrights,” said Coleman.
The plays will be performed in the company’s renovated (and renamed) Wolf, Singleton and Kilstrom theatres. DCPA Education’s popular Theater for Young Audiences program will return from the pandemic with “Little Red,” an original musical retelling of the story of Little Red Riding Hood, at the Randy Weeks Conservatory Theatre.
The company still has two upcoming offerings in its current season: “Choir Boy,” which opens April 22, and “Quixote Nuevo,” which opens May 13.
No date has been released for the announcement of Downtown Denver’s 2022-23 Broadway touring season.
New season and renewal subscribers can purchase packages now at denvercenter.org/theatrecompany. Single tickets will go on sale at a later date.