Arvada Center Blog

The 2019 Henry Award Nominations Are…

The 2019 Henry Award Nominations Are…

by Amberle N.

The 2019 Colorado Theatre Guild’s Henry Awards have been announced, and the Arvada Center has received 17 nominations for awards that recognize our theatre season, directors, designers, actors and ensemble! Our adaption of The Diary of Anne Frank was notably recognized for direction, design, its ensemble cast, and the acting of 16-year-old Darrow Klein who starred as Anne. We were also nominated for Outstanding Production of a Play and Musical, for new work Sin Street Social Club by Jessica Austgen, and for lighting, choreography and set design.

Keep reading for the complete list, and congrats to everyone nominated!

Established in 2006, the Henry Awards serve as the Colorado Theatre Guild’s annual fundraising event. The awards are named for longtime local theatre producer Henry Lowenstein. Nominations are determined through a judging process conducted by more than 45 statewide theatre reporters, educators and assigned judges.

Outstanding Season for a Theatre Company

Outstanding Production of a Play – The Diary of Anne Frank, Directed by Christy Montour-Larson

Annie Barbour, Darrow Klein, Emily Paton Davies and Larry Cahn in The Diary of Anne Frank; Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Production of a Musical – ELF – The Musical- Directed by Gavin Mayer, Musical Direction by Christopher Babbage

Josh Houghton in Elf – The Musical; Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Direction of a Play – Christy Montour-Larson, The Diary of Anne Frank

The cast of The Diary of Anne Frank; Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Actor in a Play– Geoffrey Kent, Sin Street Social Club

Geoffrey Kent stole the show – and some hearts – as the rakish pirate Wilmore, and was also featured in The Moors, as well as choreographing fights for the repertory season. We’re excited for him to direct Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express this spring.

Geoffrey Kent and Lance Rasmussen; Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Actress in a Play– Darrow Klein, The Diary of Anne Frank

16-year-old Darrow Klein moved everyone night after night in her role as Anne.

Darrow Klein in The Diary of Anne Frank; Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical – Ian Coulter-Buford, Trav’lin – The 1930s Harlem Musical

Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Ensemble Performance –  The Diary of Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank starred Darrow Klein, Larry Cahn, Regina Fernandez, Annie Barbour, Emma Messenger, Abner Genece, Lance Rasmussen, Zachary Andrews, Daniel Crumrine and Emily Paton Davies.

Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Choreography Kitty Skillman Hilsabeck, Mamma Mia! and Elf – The Musical

Mamma Mia!; Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding New Play or MusicalSin Street Social Club by Jessica Austgen, Directed by Lynne Collins

This new work commissioned by the Center is a bold new take on Aphra Behn’s restoration comedy classic play The Rover, adapted by Denver playwright Jessica Austgen.

The cast of Sin Street Social Club; Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Costume Design, larger budget Clare Henkel, The Diary of Anne Frank

Annie Barbour, Darrow Klein and Daniel Crumrine in The Diary of Anne Frank; Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Lighting Design, larger budget – Shannon McKinney, The Diary of Anne Frank, & Jon Olson, Educating Rita

John Hutton in Educating Rita; McLeod Creative

Outstanding Scenic Design, larger budget – Brian Mallgrave, The Diary of Anne Frank

This season, his outstanding sets will be featured in Plaza Suite, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Small Mouth Sounds.

Matt Gale Photography

Outstanding Sound Design, larger budget -Jason Ducat, The Diary of Anne Frank, & Becca Pearce, Educating Rita

Emily Van Fleet and John Hutton; McLeod Creative


Winners will be announced at a gala event July 22 at the Lone Tree Arts Center.

Getting to Know Arts & Ales Festival Musical Acts

Getting to Know Arts & Ales Festival Musical Acts

By Leslie Simon

This year at our annual Arts & Ales Festival on August 24, patrons will be entertained by three great local acts- The Dylan Miles Experience, Rastasaurus, and The River Arkansas. Whether your musical style is classic rock, reggae or folk, the Arvada Center has everything you need for a full day of handmade art, handcrafted beer, homegrown entertainment and family fun. Get your tickets today and save – prices go up the day of the event!

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Dylan Miles Experience – Musical child prodigy Dylan Miles is no stranger to performing at festivals. This student of the guitar program at Denver School of the Arts has been playing on stage since he was only a few years old. As Dylan has gotten older, he has sat in with bands such as North Mississippi All-Stars and currently fronts his own group, the Dylan Miles Experience. Despite his age, Dylan has a wide range of musical influences that span decades- Talking Heads, The Rolling Stones, Phish and more. Like his idol Jimi Hendrix, this lefty wows audiences with his nimble guitar skills and effortless improvisation. Come and dance to covers of funk, punk, blues and rock classics this year at the Arts & Ales Festival when Dylan takes the stage at 10 am. Great for all ages, make sure to bring your kids and let them be inspired and influenced by the talented Dylan Miles.


Rastasauraus – One part reggae, one part rock and one part jam make Rastasaurus one of the premier acts in our thriving local reggae scene. Dubbing their style “New American Reggae,” Rastasaurus has been performing on stages across Colorado since 2011. Feel good reggae beats and vocals blend into psychedelic guitar solos creating music that promotes good times and a great message. Rastasaurus takes the stage at 12:30 pm, so grab a brew and get ready for an irie dance party.


The River Arkansas– When The Haunted Windchimes member Mike Clark began penning a collection of songs about the human condition in 2014, he didn’t realize that it would turn into a new band with a life of its own. Good fortune and good timing brought the members of The River Arkansas together, and with a folk-Americana sound that sounds ready to tour with alt-country’s Sturgill Simpson, they have enchanted crowds across Colorado and beyond. Anchored by Clark’s soulful, gravelly vocals, the band is rounded out by some of Colorado’s best musicians- and it shows in the delivery and sound. Make sure to catch The River Arkansas when they hit the stage at 3:00 pm.


Find nature at the Center

Find nature at the Center

By Leslie Simon

The snow has melted, the flowers that made it have bloomed, dragonflies are buzzing and bunnies are everywhere as springtime finally hits the Arvada Center. Mother Nature returns for another season of bright colors, delicate smells (ok, the lilacs smell strong), refreshing morning dew, and of course….fuzzy bunnies! A trip around the Center grounds shows that spring is in full bloom, and we are eager to share some nature photos that will put a smile on your face and hopefully not stir up any allergies. Can you identify the flowers of the Arvada Center?


A look inside: Blurring The Line – Opening Reception

Blurring The Line at the Arvada Center

By Amberle N.

The Arvada Center opened its doors this past Thursday for its latest art exhibition, Blurring the Line: Form, Function, Design, featuring the work of thirty-four artists whose artwork plays on the intersections of form, function, and design. Around two-hundred guests and artists were in attendance, enjoying the galleries as they browsed between the upper and lower sections of the Center.

Ceramics, furniture, and interior lighting were the main features in the Lower Gallery exhibition.  Upon entering, one’s eyes are immediately drawn towards the vibrant colors of Knomad Colab’s Harlequin Night, which features an array of lamps decorating the wall with geometric patterns of many colors. Left of the entrance, the displays feature a plethora of works from elaborate cups to exaggerations and combinations of commonplace furniture.

Knomad Colab’s Harlequin Night

Everyday home items were created with transformative qualities that evoke questions of their form and function. Many works combine aspects of different furnishings into new forms. In the Lower Gallery, Michael Beitz’s Lies Bench invites guests to rest on the intricate and functional design, shaped in a cursive writing of the word “Lies.”

Michael Beitz, Lies Bench

Some artists were featured for their very first time. Emily Stevens spoke about her first Arvada Center gallery exhibit, 67, expressing her love of geometry and wanting to build a confluence of the geometric and organic. Comprised of 67 octahedrons, some of which are vases, the piece is a dynamic set intended to be rearranged according to the tastes of its owner.

Emily Stevens, 67

The Upper and Theatre Galleries feature wearable art. Some pieces, such as Kristin Stransky’s notion motion, were created to be interactive with guests, featuring lighting and symbols that respond to motion or touch.

Speaking to her work, Sarah Havens, a costume creator with the Arvada Center, commented on her six-piece set of hats. “Each piece was an opportunity for me to tell my story through costuming, [reversing] the normal use of theatre costuming which doesn’t often tell stories.” Each hat features a human body in some way, from the figureheads on her ship-like creations to tiny figures that express the action of the story, which details her life and travels by boat along the east coast of the United States.

Work by Sarah Havens

Other artists spoke to what inspires them. Jesse Mathes’ distinctive neck-pieces are inspired by paintings of Queen Elizabeth I of England, using many techniques such as Japanese basket weaving to create her unique radial designs. Mathes is an Arvada local, and this summer she will be teaching her techniques to the Colorado Metalsmithing Association.

Jesse Mathes, Japanese Basketweave Neckpiece One

Wearable art presents its own unique challenges. Ryan Gardner provided many insights on his work. “When creating wearable art, there’s [a lot of thought] that goes into making it practical as well. Some artists create elaborate pieces that aren’t really designed to be worn, but when you’re also making pieces for sale you’ve got to keep comfort and wearability in mind.” Ryan cited many architects as the source of his explorations into the limits of materials in his art. One of his fellow artists, Josiah Trujillo, provided an interesting contrast with jewelry inspired by organic shapes.

Ryan Gardner, Corvette and Aqua Ring

These are just a few of the artists and displays at the Arvada Center. Blurring the Line will be featured on display until August 25, 2019.

Getting to Know……. Riders In The Sky

By Leslie Simon

Giddyup to the Arvada Center this summer for a rootin’ tootin’ good time! On June 15, Grammy-winning western music and comedy group Riders In The Sky take to the Arvada Center outdoor amphitheatre. The “singing cowboy phenomenon” started in the 1970s, and Riders In The Sky continue this entertaining tradition for families everywhere.

While many fans have been following their career for decades, younger fans may know them from a less-expected place- Pixar’s Toy Story! It’s only fitting that this band of cowboys would create a medley of songs for the Woody’s Roundup: A Rootin’ Tootin’ Collection of Woody’s Favorite Songs Toy Story 2 album. With names like Joey the Cow Polka King, Woody Paul, Ranger Doug and Too Slim, Riders In The Sky sound like they would fit right in with Woody and his pals. This family-friendly night will see cowboy hijinks, classic country and western tunes, thrilling rope tricks and more!

Listen to Woody Paul, “King of the Cowboy Fiddlers,” as he fiddles faster than a hot knife through butter. Keep watching Woody Paul as he becomes “King of the Clothesline” and performs daringly silly rope tricks. Be astounded as Ranger Doug shows off his yodeling prowess and entertains with the song “That’s How A Yodel Was Born.” You’ve got Too Slim on the upright bass (that sometimes wears a bandana around its neck!), and Joey the CowPolka King bringing the party with his accordion. Or as he calls it- the “Stomach Steinway.”

Get your tickets today to see “America’s Favorite Cowboys” and get ready for a night of laughs, groans, one-liners and two-steppers!

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