'AMPLIFY' TO RETURN IN AUGUST FEATURING ALL BLACK WOMEN
Video above: Watch 'Amplify,' Episode 3, featuring Owen Zitek, Preston Adams, Leonard Barrett, Cajardo Lindsey, and Christopher Page-Sanders.
'From the moment this series came out, people have been asking, "What about the women?"'
By John Moore, Senior Arts Journalist
Today, the Arvada Center launched the third and final original episode of “Amplify,” its summer-long video series giving voice to Black men through music, performance, dance and spoken word. Specifically: Black men whose voices have not yet been heard loudly enough, at the Arvada Center or beyond.
But now that the first 15 voices have been heard, series producer and True West Award-winning actor Betty Hart also announced that "Amplify" will resume in mid-August with a second season featuring all Black women.
"Because of the response from the people, the Arvada Center now has the great privilege of amplifying more Black voices," Hart said. "From the moment this series came out, people have been asking us, 'What about the women?' Because of how the audience has received this work, we have decided to continue, this time focusing on Black women."
While the list of the next 15 performers is still being determined, Hart said it will include local actor and directors Jada Suzanne Dixon and Adrienne Martin-Fullwood.
'I am here to challenge the Arvada Center to move past desire and want into action.' – Cajardo Lindsey
The "Amplify" video series is a proactive response to the racial reckoning in America that has arisen from the murder of George Floyd. All across the nation, individuals and organizations that may have counted themselves among those allied with the principles of equality and social justice suddenly find themselves taking long looks in the mirror – including the Arvada Center.
Featured in today's third episode are teenager Owen Zitek, along with Preston Adams, Leonard Barrett, Cajardo Lindsey and choreographer Christopher Page-Sanders. Zitek played one of the Tommys in the DCPA Theatre Company's 2018 production of "The Who's Tommy" and recently appeared in Vintage Theatre's "The Scottsboro Boys" alongside Adams. Here, Zitek has created his own variation on "Favorite Things" from "The Sound of Music." Barrett starred in Phamaly Theatre Company's "Chicago" a year ago.
Lindsey, a multiple award-winning actor and now screenwriter (the developing "Blackface"), recounts his onstage history at the Arvada Center, spanning "To Kill a Mockingbird" to "A Raisin in the Sun." Despite his gratitude for the on-stage opportunities afforded him over the past 20 years, Lindsey calls into questions the Arvada Center's historic seriousness when it comes to diversity, specifically in terms of staffing. "I am simply here to challenge the Arvada Center to move past desire and want into action," he says.
Hart has curated "Amplify" into three taped segments of about 25 minutes each. Watch them all here.
John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S. by American Theatre Magazine during his time at The Denver Post. He also is the founder of The Denver Actors Fund, and is now contributing reports for the local theatre community for ArvadaCenter.Org. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original ‘Amplify’ performers:
'Amplify' performers, top row from left: Abner Genece, AJ Voliton, Brandon Metoyer and Cajardo Lindsey and Christopher Page-Sanders. Second row: Dwayne Carrington, Joseph Graves, Kenny Moten, Lavour Addison and Leonard Barrett. Third row: Michael Peters, Owen Zitek,Preston Adams, Randy Chalmers and Trent Hines.