Arvada Center Blog

2017 True West Award Recognitions

Every year, the True West Awards recognize 30 achievements in Denver’s theatre community – and the Arvada Center was finely represented this year with six awards! Congrats to everyone recognized this year!
2017 True West Awards
Timothy McCracken and Sam Gregory, Matt Gale Photography

Timothy McCracken and Sam Gregory, Matt Gale Photography

Emily Van FleetBus Stop and The Drowning Girls

Jenna Moll Reyes and Emily Van Fleet in Bus Stop Matt Gale Photography

Emily Van Fleet in The Drowning Girls, Matt Gale Photography

Emily Van Fleet in The Drowning Girls, Matt Gale Photography

Sammie Joe KinnettThe Foreigner
Sammie Joe Kinnett in The Foreigner Photo by Zachary Andrews

Sammie Joe Kinnett in The Foreigner
Photo by Zachary Andrews

Stage Manager Maegan Burnell – Black Box Repertory season
Emily Van Fleet, Kate Gleason and Jessica Robblee in The Drowning Girls M. Gale Photo

Emily Van Fleet, Kate Gleason and Jessica Robblee in The Drowning Girls
Matt Gale Photo

Lighting Designer Vance McKenzieThe Foreigner
Set for The Foreigner, Matt Gale Photography

Set for The Foreigner, Matt Gale Photography

Composer and Music Director David Nehls
I'll Be Home for Christmas, P. Switzer Photography

I’ll Be Home for Christmas, P. Switzer Photography

About the True West Awards

The True West Awards, now in their 17th year, began as the Denver Post Ovation Awards in 2001. DCPA Senior Arts Journalist John Moore — along with additional voices from around the state — celebrate the entire local theatre community by recognizing 30 achievements from 2017 over 30 days, without categories or nominations. You can read through the complete list of winners here!

Help DreamWise Marketing celebrate 20 years!


In honor of their 20th Anniversary, the Arvada Center’s community partner DreamWise Marketing is giving one lucky nonprofit in Denver a donation! They’re asking for the community’s help in choosing one – and they’ve selected the Arvada Center as part of their celebration.

Their 20th anniversary falls on the same year as our 40th, an exciting milestone to share! Twenty years ago, the Arvada Center was DreamWise Marketing’s very first client.

Based in Denver, DreamWise is a women-owned, full-service marketing firm. DreamWise started in the owner’s basement and has expanded over the years to its current 24,000 square foot warehouse. They’ve been on ColoradoBiz Magazine’s Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses in Colorado list for the past four years, and have been recognized by the Denver Business Journal and the Business Marketing Association for their philanthropy.

The organization has a proud history of giving back to the community and is using their 20th as an opportunity to support one Denver nonprofit in a big way. They’ve selected a list of six, and community votes will determine who the donation goes to.

We’d love it if you support the Arvada Center and vote for us! If we win, the donation will go toward supporting arts education programming. Donations will help us purchase paints, clay, colored pencils, paper, glue, beads, scissors, easels and many other art supplies used in our classes.

The organization with the most number of votes wins. Vote often! The last day to vote is September 23, and the winner will be announced October 4. Follow this link to cast your vote: Read more about the contest here!

Colorado Parent Magazine recognizes children’s productions!


For the fifth year in a row, Colorado Parent Magazine’s readers have voted the Arvada Center’s children’s theatre productions #1 in the state!


Colorado Parent Magazine readers vote on a list of family fun favorites every year – and the Arvada Center is honored they’ve recognized us as #1 location for Children’s Theatre Productions!

Last year’s children’s productions included Junie B. Jones, the Musical and Charlotte’s Web, both musical theatre adaptions of beloved children’s books. We cast fun and talented adult actors in our children’s productions, which gives kids an introduction to the world of theatre!

There are two children’s theatre productions this upcoming season. This fall, everyone’s favorite first grader returns to the stage in a production of Junie B. Jones, the Musicaladapted from the beloved series of books by Barbara Park. It will be directed by David & Julie Payne, with musical direction by Keith Ewer and choreography by Piper Arpan.

And this spring, A Year With Frog and Toad follows the woodland adventures of two amphibious friends, a worrywart toad, and a perky frog. The musical broke new ground by bringing professional children’s theatre to Broadway and was nominated for 3 Tony Awards – including Best Musical!


Junie B. Jones, the Musical opens Thursday, October 13, and A Year with Frog and Toad opens February 2. Tickets for both performances are on sale now!

Additionally, the Center is holding replacement auditions for several roles in Junie B. Jones, the Musical on August 22 – come be part of the fun!


Congratulations to the cast and crew of our children’s theatre productions!


The Arvada Center receives 15 nominations for 11th annual Henry Awards!


Arvada Center productions, directors, actors and designers were recognized June 20 in the Colorado Theatre Guild’s list of nominees for the 11th annual Henry Awards.  The Center was nominated for 15 awards, including Outstanding Season for a Theatre Company, and Outstanding Production of a Musical.

The Mountaintop Photo credit P. Switzer Photography 2016

The Mountaintop Photo credit P. Switzer Photography 2016

More than 45 theatre reporters, educators and assigned judges are involved in choosing the nominations, which are named for longtime Denver theatre producer Henry Lowenstein. Winners of 11th Annual Henry Awards be announced July 18 at the PACE Center in Parker.

Death Takes a Holiday Photo P. Switzer Photography

Death Takes a Holiday Photo credit P. Switzer Photography

11th Annual Henry Award Nominations:

  • Outstanding Season for a Theatre Company
  • Outstanding Production of a Musical: “Death Takes a Holiday,” Rod Lansberry, Director; David Nehls, Musical Direction
  • Outstanding Direction of a Play: Gavin Mayer, “The Mountaintop”
  • Outstanding Direction of a Musical: Rod A. Lansberry, “Death Takes a Holiday”
  • Outstanding Direction of a Musical: Gavin Mayer, “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas”
  • Outstanding Musical Direction: David Nehls, “Death Takes a Holiday”
  • Outstanding Choreography: Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas”
  • Outstanding Actress in a Play: Betty Hart, “The Mountaintop”
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical: Paul Page, “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas”
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical: Sharon Kay White, “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas”
  • Outstanding Costume Design: Clare Henkel, “Death Takes a Holiday”
  • Outstanding Lighting Design: Seth Alison, “The Mountaintop”
  • Outstanding Lighting Design: Shannon McKinney, “Death Takes a Holiday”
  • Outstanding Scenic Design: Brian Mallgrave, “Death Takes a Holiday”
  • Outstanding Sound Design: Grant Evenson, “The Mountaintop”
Irving Berlin's White Christmas - Photo P. Switzer Photography 2015

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas – Photo P. Switzer Photography 2015

Congratulations to the casts and crew of last seasons shows for their nominations!

Happy New Year! Watch what we are starting the year with!

Happy *New* Year!

Welcome to 2013!

The Arvada Center is ready to tackle 2013 with a new art exhibition, a new children’s theater musical,  a new teen Theater Academy, and new education classes!

Art of the State: A Juried Exhibition of Colorado

Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities is proud to present Art of the State: A Juried Exhibition of Colorado. This statewide juried exhibition garnered 1,635 entries from 588 artists living and working in Colorado. Selections were made by Arvada Center Exhibition Manager and Curator, Collin Parson, and the Clyfford Still Museum’s Director, Dean Sobel. Parson and Sobel chose 191 works by 160 artists that represent a wide range of approaches from traditional to experimental.

Emphasizing the Arvada Center’s commitment to supporting Colorado artists, this exhibition will showcase the quality, depth and diversity of works being created in the state by emerging and established artists. This juried exhibition was open to all Colorado artists in all media. For the first time, all three of the Arvada Center’s galleries, over 10,000 sq. ft., will be dedicated to one exhibition, and there will certainly be something for everyone to enjoy.

<learn more>



No Dogs Allowed!

Written by “Maria” from Sesame Street – Sonia Manzano"No Dogs Allowed" Childrens Theater at Arvada Center
Music by Stephan Lawrence
Lyrics by Billy Aronson

Leaving the Bronx for a day at the lake is a real treat for Iris and her close-knit, extended family. Despite Papi’s instructions to pack light, Mami brings enough food for the tri-state region and Iris sneaks in the family dog.  After all, El Exigente is part of la familia. The trip is marked by memorable misadventure, but the family finally arrives at the lake, only to discover there are … No Dogs Allowed! Humor and cooperation save the day in this warm and cheery family venture.

<learn more>




Theater Academy

The Arvada Center Theater Academy offers talented youth, ages 13 – 18, a small-enrollment, high-level, in-depth program of theater Youth Teen Theater Academy Company instruction. This program is designed for serious actors who are interested in progressing as an artist and who desire a career in acting. Theater Academy Company actors perform in two productions each year and deepen their skills and knowledge in the areas of character work, scene study, auditioning, and production training.

<learn more>







Winter Education Classes

Enroll yourself, your family or a little one in one of our new arts education classes. We offer classes for ages 18 months and up! Choose from classes in pottery, dance, singing, improv comedy and more! And register now for our Spring Break Camps – these fill up fast!

<view our catalog>

and visit for more info!