DCPA Theater Company to stage ‘The Color Purple’ | Arts & Entertainment

A touring production of the Broadway musical ‘The Color Purple’ came through Denver in 2009. Now it will be locally staged by the DCPA Theater Company.

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts has announced part of its 2022-23 lineup of theater offerings – the seven homegrown plays and musicals that will be staged by the 42-year-old DCPA Theater Company.

DCPA Off-Center’s previously announced “Theater of the Mind,” a semi-autobiographical Immersive Journey co-created by Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and Writer Mala Gaonkar, opens Aug. 3. It will play out, with just 16 audience members at a time, over several performance areas in a 15,000 square-foot Warehouse at 3821 Steele St. Pre-sales open on May 6.

The 39 Steps 2010 Denver Center

The DCPA Theater Company last staged ‘The 39 Steps’ in 2010.

The season includes a musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple,” William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” and a new staging of “The 39 Steps,” a good-time spoof of the Alfred Hitchcock Spy thriller first staged by the company back in 2010.

The new season officially opens with “The Chinese Lady” by Lloyd Suh, who previously premiered his turn-of-the-century newspaper war story “The Great Wall” at the Denver Center in 2011. His new play, set in 1834, follows Afong Moy, believed to be the first Chinese woman to arrive in Mainland America.

Hotter Than Egypt

Kirsten Potter and Gareth Saxe in the Denver Center’s 2020 rerading of ‘Hotter Than Egypt.’

The DCPA Theater company typically taps two or three featured selections from its annual Colorado New Play Summit for full production in a subsequent season. None of the four Featured plays from the 2022 Summit were included on the new season, but Artistic Director Chris Coleman has stated his desire to slow the new-production pipeline down by giving plays at least two years of further development before full production.

The new season does include “Hotter than Egypt,” which was first introduced to local audiences as a reading of the 2020 Colorado New Play Summit. Yussef El Guindi’s story follows an American couple going through marriage difficulties while traveling against the backdrop of the 2011 Egyptian Uprising, and is currently having its world premiere staging at a theater in Mill Valley, Calif.

Yussef El Guindi talks with now Denver Gazette Senior Arts Journalist John Moore about “Hotter Than Egypt” at the 2020 Colorado New Play Summit.

The only world premiere on the new Slate is not a homegrown Summit play. It’s Alexis Scheer’s “Laughs in Spanish,” described as “a comic snapshot of Cuban and Colombian-American culture in the heart of Miami’s Wynwood arts district.”

“The Color Purple,” written by Marsha Norman, is a musical far more true to the musical theater Conventions than to its gritty, sparse source book. It’s something entirely different that deserves to be judged on its own terms.

The popular immersive holiday experience “Camp Christmas,” from the singular mind of Lonnie Hanzon, will return for a third straight year and second at Lakewood’s Heritage Lakewood in Belmar Park.

Perennial favorite “A Christmas Carol” will return with a new director: Anthony Powell, who was the DCPA Theater Company’s Associate Artistic Director for 18 years and now runs Stories on Stage. He last directed “Lord of the Flies” and “All the Way” for the DCPA in 2015-16.

“Audiences will get to experience classic productions that they know and love, as well as new stories from Emerging playwrights,” said Coleman.

Plays will be performed in the company’s refurbished (and Renamed) Wolf, Singleton and Kilstrom theaters. DCPA Education’s popular Theater for Young Audiences program will return from the Pandemic with “Little Red,” an original musical retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood story, in the Randy Weeks Conservatory Theater.

The company still has two upcoming offers on its current season: “Choir Boy,” opening April 22, and “Quixote Nuevo,” opening May 13.

No date has been released for the Denver Center’s 2022-23 Broadway touring season announcement.

New and Renewing season subscribers can purchase packages now at denvercenter.org/theatrecompany. Single tickets will go on sale at a later date.

Theater of the Mind

David Byrne, center, and the ‘Theater of the Mind’ creative team visited the site where the experience will play out in 2020.


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