Arvada Center Blog

Launching the Theatre Season in Style

Last week, the Arvada Center celebrated the upcoming theatre season with a special sneak peek with the donors that made it possible. The event, called LAUNCH, introduced the Center’s new Black Box repertory company, provided a look into the musical season, and invited attendees to enjoy food, drink and live performances.

Producing Director of Plays Lynne Collins introduces the Black Box season

Producing Director of Plays Lynne Collins introduces the Black Box season

LAUNCH kicked off the 2016/2017 season, and was the first time guests saw the Black Box rep company in action! Artistic Director of Musicals Rod Lansberry introduced the Main Stage Theatre’s 3-musical season, which includes Sister Act, the world premiere of I’ll Be Home for Christmas and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Director Geoffrey Kent discusses 'Waiting for Godot'

Director Geoffrey Kent discusses ‘Waiting for Godot’

Rep company actors performed scenes from the upcoming Black Box productions Tartuffe, Bus Stop, The Drowning Girls and Waiting for Godot. Directors Allison Watrous, Lynne Collins and Geoffrey Kent spoke about each of the productions.

The Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra’s music delighted the ears, and two live art demonstrations entertained the eyes. Artist Marcel Majid Kahhak painted live, and Center ceramicist Kazu Oba threw bowls.

The event was sponsored by the Benzinger Family Winery, Luke’s, A Steak Place, Oskar Blues Brewery and La Patisserie Francaise. It also included a silent auction, a wine pull, and a chance for guests to sponsor a Black Box rep member.

The Arvada Center 2016/2017 Black Box Theatre season begins on September 30 with the premiere of Tartuffe, starring Michael Morgan, Sam Gregory and Kate Gleason.

Actors Sam Gregory and Tim McCracken perform a scene from 'Waiting for Godot'

Actors Sam Gregory and Tim McCracken perform a scene from ‘Waiting for Godot’

This year’s musical theatre season has already begun – and it isn’t too late to catch the first production! Sister Act, with Brit West, runs until October 2 – and critics are loving it. After that, the world premiere musical I’ll Be Home for Christmas opens November 18. Tickets are on sale now!

Did you miss out? Find out more about becoming a donor!

Black Box rep members including Sam Gregory, Michael Morgan, Leslie O'Carroll, Sean Scrutchins, and Jessica Austgen, with Lynne Collins

Black Box rep members including Sam Gregory, Michael Morgan, Leslie O’Carroll, Sean Scrutchins, and Jessica Austgen, with Lynne Collins

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!

Black Box Repertory Company prepares to start the season!

There are many changes in the Arvada Center’s theatre season this year, and one of the most exciting is the introduction of a brand new repertory company performing in the Black Box Theatre!


The Black Box repertory company sets up for a photoshoot


Video for Waiting for Godot with Geoffrey Kent (director) and Sam Gregory (Vladimir)

The ensemble, headed by Lynne Collins, is filled with all-star local actors, directors, technical artists and designers who will appear in a variety of roles throughout the four-play season. For the past few weeks, they’ve been busy getting ready to open the season.

In July, the rep company met up for the first time for a photoshoot inside Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox. Rep company member Michael Morgan is directing a series of videos, filmed all around the Center, where company members discuss their rep experiences, their friendships and their weirdest theatre stories. Costume design and fittings are underway. And rehearsals for Tartuffe started this week!

Over the course of the season, audiences will see the Black Box used in new and creative ways in stories that travel to 17th Century France, Edwardian England, the American plains of the 1950s and a world that is both everywhere and nowhere.


Michael Morgan captures Geoffrey Kent and Sam Gregory on film

Tartuffe, which opens the Black Box theatre season, is the first chance to see the rep company in action. While Tartuffe is not performed in repertory, it introduces the company of actors who audiences will see throughout the theatre season in a variety of roles. The classic satire mercilessly and mirthfully skewers hypocrites and the fools who believe in them, and stars Michael Morgan, Sam Gregory, Leslie O’Carroll, Kate Gleason, Sean Scrutchins, Emily Van Fleet, Anthony Adu, Josh Robinson and Jessica Austgen.


Setting up to film the cast of Tartuffe – Kate Gleason (Elmire) and Sam Gregory (Orgon)

Tartuffe opens September 30, with preview performances September 28 – 29. To read more about the play and buy tickets, visit our website!

The season also includes Bus Stop, the regional premiere of The Drowning Girls, and the classic tragicomedy Waiting for Godot. Tickets for all shows are on sale now! (link here)

Tartuffe opens September 30 and runs until November 6. Attend a Talk Back with the cast, directors and designers on Friday, October 7 or Wednesday, October 19 following the matinee.

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!

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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!