Theatre news of the week


By John Moore, Senior Arts Journalist

The racial and social unrest unleashed by the police killings of Black Americans Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Aubery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and many more has led to a racial reckoning in every corner of everyday American life. All over, industries that have either subtly or overtly benefited from decades of white male patriarchy, including the American theatre, are being called to task like never before. Make that called to “a task”: The task of re-examining, reinventing and, once the coronavirus subsides, reopening in a way that marks a real new commitment to inclusion, diversity and access on all American stages. And on their payrolls.

In Colorado, actor and director Lisa Young has launched IDEA Stages as an urgent new initiative with a mission “to galvanize theatremakers to take demonstrable action toward inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility." Her start-up team is made up of six other powerful Colorado theatre leaders:

How do the founders plan to affect change in the Colorado theatre community, and upon whose authority? We will be talking about that and many other events and issues that brought IDEA Stages to life in a free and free-wheeling livestream beginning at 7 p.m. Monday, August 24. The broadcast will be hosted on the John Moore Theatre Coverage Facebook page. To learn more about IDEA Stages, click here.


It’s got to be wonderfully strange to see your name listed alongside Tom Hanks, Bill Murray and Denzel Washington. … AND Ben Affleck, Timothée Chalamet and Willem Dafoe. … AND Jessie Eisenberg, Michael Fassbender and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. … AND Gary Oldman, Dev Patel and Eddie Redmayne. But there it is: Denver actor Brian Landis Folkins is mentioned as one of the leading Best Actor contenders for the 2020 Oscars by “Awards Ace,” self-described as Hollywood’s leading source for OscaBrian Landis Folkinsrs predictions.

Granted, there are 33 names on the list, but Folkins also has a red diamond next to his name, making him one of only eight personally recommended in the category by “Awards Ace” Editor Erick Weber.

“That moment that changes your life forever,” Folkins wrote on his Instagram page.

(Side note: The list also includes Delroy Lindo, a founding member of the DCPA Theatre Company in 1980, for the Spike Lee film "Da Five Bloods.")

Folkins, who won a 2018 True West Award for his performance as Senator Charles Whitmore in the Fine Arts Center at Colorado College’s “Church and State,” stars in the new horror film “Rent-A-Pal,” opening in theaters and on-demand on September 11. Folkins plays a creepy 40-year-old virgin who lives with his mother (longtime DCPA Theatre Company actor Kathleen M. Brady). Things get creepier when he discovers a strange VHS tape called “Rent-A-Pal” whose charming host Andy (TV and film star Wil Wheaton) offers him much-needed friendship – at a cost. The director is Jon Stevenson, a 2010 graduate of the University of Colorado Denver.

Folkins is a longtime DCPA Teaching Artist whose stage credits include Curious Theatre’s "Gloria” and “The Intelligent Homosexuals Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scripture.” In “Church and State,” he played a republican Senator from North Carolina who is up for re-election just weeks after a gun massacre at a nearby school. His film resume includes “Hoax,” starring Adrienne Barbeau about a camping trip gone wrong. Read more about 'Rent-A-Pal.'

Awards Ace Brian Landis Folkins


Margo LongMany in the local theatre community are at a loss over news that Margo Long has retired after 15 years as Account Manager at IPG Rental & Sales, an Arvada-based company that rents lighting, audio, video, rigging and scenic equipment. To many, Long was the friendly face of the company. If you ever needed a weird gobo or a case of gaffe tape, you just called Long.

“Margo has had a huge impact on theatre and the performance industry in Colorado,” said Arvada Center Lighting Director Jon Olson. “The friendship, tutelage and resource she has provided to this arts community, schools, churches, banquet halls – anyone who does any type of production – is unprecedented.”

Long summed up her own career pretty well on her LinkedIn page, saying: “I set out every day to do the best job at any and everything that might be sent my way.” 


That's a wrap! The Denver Actors Fund's temporary DEAR Fund for emergency artist relief has run its course, having provided critical, short-term income replacement for nearly 300 Colorado theatre artists who were denied the opportunity to work on a musical or play that was postponed or canceled by the COVID19 shutdown. In all, the emergency fund sent out $101,731 to Colorado theatre artists working for 60 different theatre organizations in 45 cities and in 23 different professions. The DEAR Fund also made space for "theatre-adjacent" workers including teaching artists, box-office workers and front-of-house staff. While the primary reason for The Denver Actors Fund's existence is to provide financial and neighborly assistance for theatre artists in immediate medical need, the unprecedented theatrical shutdown has the nonprofit continuing to explore new ways to support affected artists with everyday expenses as this crisis grinds on....

QuarantineIn other DAF news, producers Robert Michael Sanders and Kenny Moten have announced that the major fundraiser they present each year for the benefit of the DAF will not be ‘Miscast’ for 2020, but rather “CAST.” In an acknowledgement of the national theatre shutdown and the performance dreams it has shut down with it, Sanders and Moten are putting together a virtual evening showcasing invited local actors performing showstopping numbers from roles they were cast to play this summer and fall but didn’t because of the coronavirus. A lineup and video launch date (likely October 4) will be announced soon …

The charming coffee-table book “Quarantine Week by Weak” is available for pre-order. This labor of love by married couple Chloe and Susannah McLeod takes a clever photographic look at life and love in the time of the coronavirus. It’s made up of 35 sets of humorous photos comparing the beginning of quarantine to later in the stay-at-home period, with all net proceeds going to the DAF. Click here to order


Performance Now Theatre Company is now planning to re-open next March with "The Drowsy Chaperone" at the Lakewood Cultural Center (March 19-April 4) and “Nunsense” (June 11-29). The previously announced shows "Nice Work if You Can Get It" and "West Side Story" are indefinitely postponed.


  • Denver dance legend Cleo Parker Robinson will revisit two seminal works she staged at the Arvada Center in the 1980s as part of a major streaming event that drops at 8 p.m. August 22 and will remain available for online viewing through August 28. Read more
  • The Colorado Theatre Guild will not be judging shows for Henry Awards consideration through the remainder of 2020 so that it can re-evaluate every aspect of the judging process while most of the theatre community is pressing pause. Read the full statement here
  • Broadway star and Colorado native Beth Malone, who returns to the Arvada Center to perform two concerts in the outdoor amphitheatre on September 4. Read our exclusive interview here
  • The Arvada Center's 'Amplify' performance series is now turning the mic over to local Black women. Read our interviews and watch the first new episode, featuring Colette Brown, Jasmine Jackson, Latifah Johnson, Marisa Hebert and Stephanie Hancock. Read and watch 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 on the arts community for ArvadaCenter.Org. Reach him at

Home,Reignite the Arts,Art at Home,Support Arvada Center Artists,Virtual Auction,Donate Now,Corporate Giving,Subscribe,AC Flex Package,YP Access,Four Play Package,Visit Us,COVID-19 Entry Policies,View All Events,Gift Certificates,Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express,528.0 Regional Juried Printmaking Exhibition,Imprint: Print Educators of Colorado,Pink Progression: Collaborations,Stories and Songs to Celebrate the Season,Black in Denver,Carley Warren: Three Pieces,Wood.Works,Small Mouth Sounds,Race and the Myth of Rock'n'Roll,Million Dollar Quartet,Amplify with Cleo Parker Robinson,Viral Influence Art in the Time of Coronavirus,Brady Smith: (Don’t be embarrassed by) your trouble with living,Melody Epperson: 100 + 1: Women and the Vote,Simply Swingin’: Great American Crooners,Brazil Calling: Featuring the Music of Antônio Carlos Jobim,Big Band Royalty: Dukes, Counts and Barons of Jazz ,Colin Hay Testing,Kinky Boots,Rockley Piano Sale,Coffee Concerts: Moonlight Sonata,Keyboard Conversations: The Glorious Music of Chopin,Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema,Word Play,I Do! I Do!,Roland Bernier: In Other Words,Jazz Classics: The Music You've Been Missing,Amplify: A Breakbeat Testimony,Sylvia,Stick Fly,Animal Farm,The Liar,Elf - The Musical,Conversation with the Curators: In Other Words,Dining Partners,Amplify,Amplify Performers,Theatre,main stage musicals,Black Box Plays,Theatre for Children,Auditions,Million Dollar Quartet Auditions,Holiday Plays,Galleries,Current Exhibitions,Wood.Works Know Before You Go,Gallery Events,Upcoming Exhibitions,Art Sales,Art Market,Art Submissions,Viral Influence Call for Entry,Sculpture Field,History Museum,Education,Dance Class FAQ,View All Classes,Summer Camps,FAQ,Full Day,Summer Camp Performances,Classes for Kids,Classes for Adults,Ceramics,Front Range Youth Symphony,Dance Academy,For Educators and Community Groups,Arts Day,Arts Day Outreach,Ageless Adults,Scholarships,Teen Intensive 2021,Yesterado,Music and Dance,Jeffrey Siegel,Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra,AEDA Summer Concerts,Humanities,On Their Shoulders We Stand,Private Event Rentals,Humans of the Arvada Center,Straight Talk Series ,Straight Talk with Philip Sneed,COVID’s toll on Colorado theatre: 224 productions and counting ,Straight Talk with Lynne Collins,Straight Talk with Rod Lansberry,Straight Talk with Phamaly, Buntport, Colorado Shakes and Rocky Mountain Rep,Straight Talk with Creede Rep, Town Hall, Candlelight and Theatre Company of Lafayette,Straight Talk with Aurora Fox, BDT Stage, Cherry Creek Theatre and Misfits,Straight Talk with Su Teatro, Vintage, Backstage and Counterweight,Straight Talk with Local Theater Company, Theater 29, The Source and Equinox,Straight Talk with the Denver Center, Jesters Dinner Theatre, Glenwood Vaudeville Revue and Germinal Stage-Denver,Actors' union issues safety guidelines for re-opening,Straight Talk with square product, Forge Light, Springs Ensemble Theatre and Coal Creek Theatre of Louisville,Straight Talk with the Fine Arts Center, Miners Alley Playhouse, Dangerous Theatre and Lone Tree Arts Center ,Straight Talk with Lake Dillon Theatre Company, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company and Northglenn Arts,Straight Talk with The Catamounts, Bas Bleu and Thingamajig,Straight Talk with Curious Theatre Company,Straight Talk with OpenStage, Firehouse and Adams Mystery Playhouse,Straight Talk with Platte Valley Players and Theatreworks,Straight Talk with Parker Arts, Stories on Stage and Thunder River ,Staight Talk 2 with Philip Sneed: This much is uncertain,Pivoting With,Pivoting with The Black Actors Guild,Pivoting with ... Emily Van Fleet and Nathan Jones,Pivoting With ... Tammy Franklin and the Curtain Playhouse,Pivoting With Nick Sugar and the Town Hall Arts Center,Pivoting With Helen Murray and the Aurora Fox,Pivoting with Edith Weiss and Christy Montour Larson,Pivoting With Scott RC Levy and the Fine Arts Center Theatre Company,Pivoting with Todd Debrecini for Halloween,Pivoting with Ashley Campbell,Pivoting with Meghan Anderson Doyle,Pivoting with Jenna Moll Reyes,Pivoting with Erik Fellenstein,Pivoting with Ray Bailey ,Pivoting with Tara Falk,Community News,Inside the Arvada Center,Barbra Streisand,Governor's mask mandate does not apply to Candlelight actors,Pink Progression: Collaborations: Grow Love and Moe Gram,Director's Notes: A Midsummer Night's Dream,All About Printmaking Techniques,Watercolor Class,Humans of the Arvada Center: Meet Collin Parson ,Arvada Center Makes Masks,Earth Day Craft,Christina Noel-Adcock,"Bright Star" cast unveils video as message of hope,Podcast: B+ with Geoffrey Kent and Jessica Austgen ,Humans of the Arvada Center: Meet Christine Moore,Humans of the Arvada Center: Steven Cogswell,Humans of the Arvada Center: Ashi K. Smythe,City of Arvada to install new sculpture in Hoskinson Park,Humans of the Arvada Center Jessie Page,Here are the 2019-20 Henry Award nominations,Arvada Center to Offer Students World’s First Zoom Musical,Humans of the Arvada Center Cal Meakins,Humans of the Arvada Center: Adam Stolte,Supreme Court workplace ruling hits home for Lisa Leafgreen,'Time for talk is over': Arvada Center launch 'Amplify' series to raise black male voices,Humans of the Arvada Center Jon Olson ,The 5 Most Screwed Job Titles in COVID-era theatre,June in Colorado Theatre: 'The Reckoning' has begun,New Arvada Center, Aurora Fox seasons reflect current complexities,It's virtually impossible not to have fun in our summer camps,News roundup: Who The Denver Actor's Fund DEAR Fund has helped,Humans of the Arvada Center: Abygail Rosales,Pink Progression Collaborations: Jina Brenneman and Margaret Kasahara,Pink Progression: Julia Rymer and Drew Austin,Revealing The Dialogue,Amplify Epiode 3 launches, series expanding to include black women,Colorado Springs reaches the Mountaintop at 2020 Henry Awards,Photo Blog: Sweeney Todd Rehearsals,Humans of the Arvada Center: Gabriel Morales,Deeper Dive: A closer look at Million Dollar Quartet,Deeper Dive: A closer look at Small Mouth Sounds,Pink Progression: Sangeeta Reddy and Jodie Roth Cooper,Deeper Dive: A closer look at Private Lives,Front Porch Series Kickoff,Cleo Parker Robinson dances back in the box with Arvada Center,Amplify turns the mic over to local Black women ,Beth Malone bringing 'joy bomb' to Arvada Center oon September 4,Theatre news: Live streaming panel Monday on a big new 'Idea',Deeper Dive: A closer look at They're Playing Our Song,Humans of the Arvada Center: Meet Emily King,Amplify Women Episode 2,Special Book Honors Special Dance Teacher,Arvada Center pivots to radio-play series for fall ,amplify-series-comes-to-powerful-conclusion,Denver Film moving forward with longer, smaller, virtual 2020 festival ,How COVID is impacting individual artists,Take a stroll through 'Sculpture in the Field',Arts In Education Week,Colorado Theatre News: Miscast pivots to CAST ,Essay: Was the Aurora Fox a safe house on Opening Night? ,Lessons from a summer of outdoor theatre in the time of COVID ,Humans of the Arvada Center: John Hamilton,Theatre news of the week: DCPA launches Recovery Fund,Zachary Andrews take a one-man bite out of 'Dracula',Trick Art Treat coming to Arvada Center parking lot ,What to do? Theatre happenings for October 16,Spotlight Manos Soap,Doreen Montalvo in Denver: Compassion and grit,What to do: Theatre happenings for October 23,Betty Hart's presidential promise: Build a bigger tent,Theatre happenings October 30,Virtual theatre sprouts a new branch with Arvada Center's 'The Family Tree',Humans of the Arvada Center: Brenna Clendaniel and Sophia Koop,Theatre happenings November 12,the barnstormers are back,On being Black in Denver and all the colors that it brings,Getting to Know: Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales,Theatre happenings November 19: Companies entering cancellation mode,A Married Couple's Christmas in Wales,2021 in live theatre: A look into the Crystal Ball,Senior Art Kits,2020 True West Awards: Buntpivot ,2020 True West Awards: Lily Bradford,2020 True West Awards: The Scenesters,2020 True West Awards: Podcastic,2020 True West Awards: Phamaly takes 'Honk' to Japan,2020 True West Awards: Christine Moore,2020 True West Awards: Alive Inside,2020 True West Awards: Michael Ensminger,True West Awards: They Wrote the Book,True West Awards: Rent-A-Pals,True West Awards: Of Spacious Skies,True West Awards: Christopher Page-Sanders,2020 True West Awards: Suffer the little children,2020 True West Awards: Spirit of Giving,2020 True West Awards: Secret Gardeners,2020 True West Awards: Denis Berkfeldt,2020 True West Awards: Amplify,2020 True West Awards: Reclaiming One Star,2020 True West Awards: William Hahn and Jessica Robblee,2020 True West Awards: Lisa Wagner Erickson,'The Family Tree affords actors rare chance to work during pandemic,SCFD: New picture of COVID carnage on metro nonprofits,New Arvada Center video offers diverse slate of holiday stories,20 for 20,Meet the Frasers,Bev Newcomb-Madden: Colorado's feisty, ferocious fairy godmother passes away ,Lucy Roucis' final act is a gutpunch,Reunite the Arts Collin Parson,Jodie Steeves and Nancy Terry,International Women's Day,Reunite the Arts Lisa Leafgreen,The Con Must Go On,Clear Fork Cider Spotlight,Remembering John Gratkins,Reunite the Arts: From our CEO,Adapting the Great Gatsby,Small Mouth Sounds returns,Danielle Johnson Q&A,Reunite the Arts Lynne Collins,The Show Must Go On,Diana and Mike Kinsey,Get to Know Kazu Oba,Reunite the Arts Rod Lansberry,Meet Suzanna Champion,Getting to know Eric Many Winds Herrera and Red Feather Woman,The Gear of Million Dollar Quartet,Music for the Young and Young at Heart,FRYS and the Symphony,Get to Know Carlou D,Stories From the Studio,Hispanic Heritage Month: Meet Lares Feliciano,Arts Advocacy,Volunteer,About Us,Ticketing Policies,Contact Us,Ticket discounts,Accessiblity,Health and Safety,Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access,Digital Magazine,Careers,Entry,Tours,Art of the State Submissions,Adopt an Actor 2022,Dinner and a Show,Temp,Virtual Theatre FAQ,New Website ,Pink Progression Events,On Demand Troubleshooting,Blog,Lorem ipsum,Lorem ipsum 2,Newk’s,Steuben’s Arvada,The Family Tree FAQ,Home for the Holidays,Land Acknowledgement,Gala,Errors,404,The Family Tree Dining Offers,Privacy Policy