Denver Center Names Chris Coleman Artistic Director

Coleman will depart Portland Center Stage and join Denver Center in May.

DENVER: Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) has appointed Chris Coleman as its new artistic director, succeeding Kent Thompson. Coleman, who currently serves as the artistic director of Portland Center Stage (PCS), will step into the role in May of 2018.

Chris Coleman. (Photo by Jenna Saint Martin)

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Chris into our Denver family,” said president and CEO Janice Sinden in a statement. “His commitment to artistic excellence, community engagement, new-play development, crowd-pleasing musicals, and discovery of new voices will further the DCPA’s efforts to diversify its audience and resonate throughout the region.”

Coleman has served as artistic director of PCS for the past 17 years. During his tenure, Coleman led the design and construction of the company’s new home at the historic Portland Armory. He also led efforts to advance diversity and inclusion onstage and behind the scenes. Coleman’s commitment to community connections, artistic excellence, new-play development, large-scale musicals, and classic theatre helped to increase the company’s annual attendance to 139,000 patrons. He will direct Astoria: Part I and Astoria: Part II, followed by Major Barbara at PCS, before moving to Denver with his husband in May.

“I am eager to work with these great artists and administrators to connect with the larger conversation Denver is having about its future,” said Coleman in a statement. “Together we can continue to extend DCPA Theatre Company’s work onto the national stage. Through theatre, we can draw our neighbors into a dynamic relationship by telling the world’s big stories—those we’ve traditionally thought of as ‘the great plays,’ those from other cultures that haven’t found their way onto our stages and those big stories waiting to burst out of the mind of the young playwright down the street.”

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