Arvada Center Blog

Sister Act rehearsals are underway!

We’re two and a half weeks away from the opening night of Sister Act on September 9, and the Arvada Center is full of cast, crew and designers all busy getting ready!


Rehearsals for this season’s opening musical began last week. It’s a title that maybe familiar to some, based on the hit 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg. The cast is rehearsing the music, which ranges from Motown to soul to disco, and designers and crew are building sets which include everything from a nightclub to a church!

Sister Act, with Brit West, is a delightful musical comedy that has audiences jumping to their feet! When a disco diva witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in a convent disguised as a nun. Using her disco moves and singing talent, she inspires the church choir and breathes new life into the community.

This uplifting musical is filled with powerful gospel music, outrageous dancing and a truly moving story. Sister Act is a sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship and gives reason to rejoice!

14068358_1256291927714792_6974084736586442592_o 14053752_1250013621675956_1480875669577871702_o

There are some new and exciting opportunities to meet with the cast and crew of Sister Act this year! Stay after a performance for drinks, snacks and a social hour with the cast during Happy Hour –Friday September 16, Sunday September 25 and Wednesday September 28 after the matinee. Or attend a Talk Back, where the cast, director and designers lead a discussion on interesting subjects about the production. Talk Backs take place Tuesday September 13, Thursday September 22, and Saturday October 1 in the evening.

Tickets for Sister Act are on sale now – including tickets for preview performances! Preview performances take place September 6, 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m. Regular performances are held Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., with Wednesday matinees at 1:00 p.m. and weekend matinees at 2:00 p.m.

Sister Act kicks off the Arvada Center’s 41st season with spirit and soul! The show opens on September 9 – we hope you come join us!


SCFD Renewal on the Ballot This November

If you’ve seen a concert at the Arvada Center this summer, you may have noticed a special visitor not dressed for warm weather. Popsicle the Polar Bear, the mascot for Denver’s Science and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), has been greeting visitors and getting the word out about an important upcoming vote – Yes on SCFD! 

Image courtesy of SCFD

Image courtesy of SCFD

SCFD is an essential element in today’s vibrant arts, science and cultural offerings across the Denver metro area. It funds over 300 organizations across metro Denver! A one penny on $10 sales tax raises funds, 99.25% of which go towards organizations like the Arvada Center.

This voter-approved tax is up for renewal on the November 2016 ballot — measure 4B. The measure will ask voters in seven counties, including Jefferson county, to keep the district going for another 12 years. The Arvada Center relies on funding from SCFD to provide excellent programming year in and year out.

In 1988, metro Denver voters approved a first-of-its-kind dedicated sales tax to supplement government support for science, art and cultural organizations in the state. Today, SCFD funding continues to be unique across the nation and it has a big impact.

SCFD by the numbers:

  • The Arvada Center received $1,122,316 in 2015 and 1,039,077 in 2014, providing a significant impact on the Center’s annual revenue.
  • SCFD organizations see 14.6 million visitors annually
  • 25 million students have access to educational and cultural experiences because of SCFD supported organizations
    • 25,000 schoolchildren participated in Arvada Center Arts Day and outreach programs – 28% of which were low-income students or students with disabilities
  • SCFD organizations generate $1.85 billion in annual economic activity
  • They create 10,205 jobs in the community and spur $520 million in tourism
  • SCFD funding allows cultural organizations to offer more than 100 free days a year

We hope you pledge to vote Yes! on SCFD in November 2016!

Matt Gale Photography

Matt Gale Photography

SCFD has many volunteer opportunities available – check out their website to learn more!


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!


Visitors ‘Catch ‘Em All’ at the Center


When you wander through the Arvada Center’s gallery or sculpture field this summer you might spot some beautiful watercolor, a breathtaking stone sculpture – or a Pikachu.

Over the weekend, the sculpture garden was filled with intrepid “Pokémon trainers” hunting down virtual creatures. That’s because the Arvada Center is a popular local spot for gamers to catch Pokémon, thanks to a game called Pokémon Go.

Screenshot_2016-07-12-12-36-03 Screenshot_2016-07-12-09-33-45

For those of us who weren’t kids in the 90’s, Pokémon Go is a game that turns people’s phones into camera that peek into the Pokémon universe, filled with mythical cartoon monsters. When you download the game you can find, chase down and “capture” Pokémon. The game is connected to a map, and stopping at real-life locations and landmarks gives players free stuff, or opportunities to fight in “gyms.”

Unbound: Sculpture in the Field is home to two gyms as well as a number of “Pokéstops.” They’re located at sculptures throughout the field, as well as the outside wall of the theatre and inside the Center itself. Pokémon have also been spotted inside the Summer of Watercolor gallery exhibition, and hanging around outside the Main Stage Theatre. 

IMG_5273 IMG_2016-07-12-12263138 IMG_2016-07-12-13352056

The game gives visitors a new way to engage with some of the Center’s incredible and free art exhibitions – hitting a sculpture’s “Pokéstop” offers some information about the work, as well as free stuff in the game! Come catch a few, and wander through our galleries at the same time.

We do ask that visitors be considerate of other Center patrons who may not be Pokémon hunting – and share their Pokémon-catching experiences with us! 

Read more about Summer of Watercolor and Unbound: Sculpture in the Field.

Take a look inside the workshop we held for our first original musical!


All photos by Matt Gale


A workshop performance for the Arvada Center’s first original musical brought Christmas to the Center — in the summer! On Wednesday, June 29, a cast of actors staged a workshop for I’ll Be Home for Christmas for Center donors and VIP’s.

This was the first time the show’s producers saw their work come to life on stage. Actors auditioned to perform in the workshop, and rehearsed for two days before the performance.

The musical features original music and lyrics by the Center’s longtime musical director David Nehls, and an original story written by Kenn McLaughlin. It will be directed by Gavin Mayer, with choreography by Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck. The Producing Artistic Director of Musicals is Rod A. Lansberry.


Set in 1969, I’ll Be Home for Christmas tells the story of the Bright family as they prepare for their annual Christmas variety show, one of the most-watched and anticipated television events of the year. I’ll Be Home for Christmas is set during the live TV broadcast, both on-stage and off.

Presented as a peek into the Bright family’s famous variety show, the musical features clever takes on familiar holiday songs, along with never-before-heard music!

Following the performance, audience members gave their feedback to the writers, producers, director and cast during a Q&A.

This feedback is an important step in the development process of this play, and now they’re working to polish the script before the show’s world premiere.


Stay tuned for more on the show as it takes shape! Single tickets go on sale on August 1. Don’t miss the world premiere of I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Nov. 18!