Updates from around the state


Welcome back to "Straight Talk," our ongoing series with artistic leaders from the local theatre community about the unique challenges they face during this unprecedented time.

By John Moore, Senior Arts Journalist


The economic damage the coronavirus is doing to the leading regional performing-arts center between Chicago and Los Angeles is, if not incalculable, then very nearly incomprehensible.

The DCPA presents visiting Broadway tours, while also producing its own homegrown programming under four different divisions: The Tony Award-winning DCPA Theatre Company, its hipster Off-Center wing, cabaret musicals at the Garner Galleria Theatre, and Theatre for Young Audiences. Consider that the DCPA welcomes about 1 million people a year, including more than 100,000 students of all ages through its Education classes.

The coronavirus has brought it all to a standstill.

The DCPA reported a $193 million economic impact in 2018 through ticket sales alone, so the ripple effect from the shutdown is going to be more like a tsunami.

The DCPA has officially canceled or postponed 25 shows and two major fundraisers to date, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of lost revenue. On May 28, the word came down that the entire 2020-21 Theatre Company season is canceled.

"Recently, the DCPA announced it would delay and reduce the Theatre Company lineup," said Director of Communications Suzanne Yoe.  "However, after further evaluation and extensive scenario planning, it was determined that the most responsible decision was to protect the DCPA’s resources now in order to return for a robust and resilient 2021-22 season. The DCPA’s Board of Trustees will revisit this decision in October and, if circumstances allow, make every effort to return to the stage this coming spring." 

Artistic Director Chris Coleman (pictured) had been quoted this week in The New York Times saying bluntly: “We won’t have programming this fall. Part of it is the uncertainty of when it’s going to be safe to gather, and part of it is economic — we’ve thought about social distancing, but it makes zero economic sense.”

Today, he elaborated in an email to company members, calling the decision excruciating but necessary:

"Ticket sales only account for 36 percent of what it takes to produce our Theatre Company season, which requires months of advance work and upfront costs that are only partially recouped once performances take place. Unlike Broadway shows that arrive ready to assemble, our productions utilize local artists to create the incredible productions to which you’ve become accustomed. Plus, we endeavor to keep our ticket costs as low as possible so that we can be more accessible to everyone in our community.

With no indication of when theatres will reopen, we reviewed many scenarios for our season, all of which include tremendous financial risk. Ultimately, we have chosen to protect our resources now so that we can come back, resilient, in our 2021-22 season."

In one fell swoop, the DCPA has gone from what promised to be surely the most commercially successful year in its 41-year history, to its absolute worst. The lineup of lost shows is mind-boggling, led by what certainly would have been 10 sold-out weeks of “Hamilton,” as well as sure-fire hits “Mean Girls,” “The Lion King,” “The Book of Mormon, “My Fair Lady” and the 2018 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, “The Band’s Visit.” With more to (not) come.

John Ekeberg, the DCPA's Executive Director of Broadway, said in the email announcing the “Hamilton” postponement: “The challenges and uncertainties around this health crisis have had an enormous impact on all of our communities, and the theatrical community has been uniquely challenged. … It is our sole focus to plan for that day in the future when we welcome you back to the theatre in a manner that is healthy and safe.”

Meanwhile, Off-Center had no choice but to delay its developing David Byrne immersive project “Theater of the Mind,” which was to have opened in August. The Galleria has lost four shows so far, including a puppet parody of “The Golden Girls” and another (without puppets) of “The Crown," as well as a planned return engagement of “Dixie’s Never Wear a Tube Top..." And the Theatre for Young Audiences program that just treated 40,000 to “Goodnight Moon” is taking the fall off.

The DCPA already has three two rounds of layoffs, furloughs and prematurely terminated contracts, and on May 27, a significant percentage of the full-time staff were put on furlough until at least next March. “It’s tough right now,” Yoe said.

As a not-for-profit arts organization, she added, “these devastating losses have a tremendous and lasting financial impact on our organization, staff and artists. We are turning to you for help. We need your support in order to re-open our doors. Gifts of any size are appreciated.”



Jesters, one of Colorado's final five remaining dinner theatres, is housed in Longmont, 35 miles northwest of Denver. In addition to family friendly musicals such as the now shuttered “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” Jesters offers classes and is home to The Front deRanged Improv Comedy Troupe.

“This is certainly a challenging time, but in some respects, it's been a blessing,” said owner Scott Moore. “We have been able to do some things around the theatre that we frankly wouldn't have gotten to otherwise. My wife, Mary Lou, has organized the costume shop, mended a huge pile of costumes and thrown out items that just aren't needed. And I've painted almost the entire interior of the building.  We have new carpet coming in at the end of the month, and we're putting new tile in the bar.” 

Like others, Moore will take his cue for re-opening from local authorities – which means not only government officials but his cast, crew and customers. “It's really just my wife and me who rely on the theatre income to survive,” he said. “We're fortunate that we don't have people relying on us for their livelihoods. If that were the case, we'd certainly be feeling the pressure to get back to business more quickly. 

“Our main concern is simply not knowing when we'll be allowed to re-open and how many of our creditors will continue to defer payments. Much of the economy will be back in business before theatres will, so I think creditors may lump us in with other types of businesses and make us start paying again even though we're still closed."

Another concern is that, while Moore thinks he can easily socially distance his audience members, that's not so easy with actors and crew. "Seven Brides," for example, had 21 cast members. “I don't see a viable way to do that,” he said.


Read more: Survey says most local theatregoers aren't coming back in the next few months


For 10 years, the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue dinner theatre has presented family friendly musical revues – comedy skits, groan-worthy jokes and fun dance numbers – for the residents of the Roaring Fork Valley 160 miles west of Denver. And occasionally, he mounts full-fledged musicals. The food is prepared by nearby Glenwood Springs restaurants.

“We were in the middle of our biggest and most expensive production ever with ‘Into The Woods’ when we were shut down," said owner and Artistic Director John Goss. "We had an excellent cast and a beautiful set that I hired an artist from England to paint. As soon as I can, I’ll be opening a smaller revue show with social distancing to be able to at least open the doors with small crowds until I can continue ‘Into The Woods’ for a larger audience.

“I’ll need to do this before Thanksgiving so that I can put up another holiday show that brings in the majority of the revenue for the year. If I can’t have full crowds by Thanksgiving, I honestly don’t know if the theatre will survive or not. We’ll see. If anyone has any ideas, please email me.”


'Anyway, it was a good 46 years.' – Ed Baierlein


The never-say-die beatnik rebels at Germinal Stage-Denver, who have tried and failed to retire multiple times over the past decade, have been officially "on hiatus" since November, when the company staged “Mrs. Warren's Profession” at the John Hand Theatre.

“However, the way things stand now, what with COVID-19, the scarcity of performance spaces and getting old and all, it wouldn't surprise me if we've done our final production,” said co-founder Ed Baierlein, 76. "Although the drive-in ‘Sound of Music’ sounds really tempting,” he added, referring to an idea currently being floated by BDT Stage in Boulder.

“Anyway, it was a good 46 years.”


Tomorrow: Straight Talk with artistic leaders from four more Colorado theatre companies

Contact John Moore at culturewestjohn@gmail.com


• Straight Talk with Local Theater Company, Theatre 29, The Source and Equinox READ IT HERE

• Straight Talk with Su Teatro, Vintage, Breckenridge Backstage and Counterweight Theatre Lab READ IT HERE

• Straight Talk with Aurora Fox, BDT Stage, Cherry Creek Theatre and Misfits Theater READ IT HERE

• Straight Talk with Creede Rep, Town Hall, Candlelight and Theatre Company of Lafayette READ IT HERE

• Straight Talk with Phamaly, Buntport, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre. READ IT HERE

• Straight Talk with Rod Lansberry, Arvada Center Artistic Director of Plays. READ IT HERE

• Straight Talk with Lynne Collins, Arvada Center Artistic Director of Plays. READ IT HERE

• Straight Talk with Philip C. Sneed, Arvada Center President and CEO. READ IT HERE

• Survey: Most theatregoers aren't coming back anytime soon. READ IT HERE

• COVID-19's toll on Colorado theatre: 224 productions and counting. READ IT HERE


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