ADV – Leaderboard

Featured Contributors, January 2018

A look behind the scenes of an immersive musical, and a survey of generative directors.

Lisa Kennedy. (Photo By John Leyba/The Denver Post)

Critic and journalist Lisa Kennedy has covered film and theatre for decades, including at The Village Voice and The Denver Post, and she says she’s “always been struck by the way in which live performance creates a different, often more demanding contract between performers and audience members,” a “compact of attention and connection.” So in writing about Denver Center’s immersive production of the musical The Wild Party, she says she relished “the fresh wrinkles,” both institutional and aesthetic, the production wrought on this favorite theme. “Because the Denver Center is still early in its journey with immersive theatre, everyone I spoke with for this piece was wrestling, embracing—both—those same considerations. The whole process once again underscored how deeply layered and philosophically rich theatremaking can be.”

Pamela Newton. (Photo by Will O’Connor)

Writer/teacher Pamela Newton was struck by a few common themes that emerged in her reporting on “generative” stage directors—i.e., those who make their own work, in a variety of ways and forms. Many spoke about the fearlessness and grit it takes to start fresh each time, minus a proven text, and about the unique opportunity they have for self-expression. With a master’s in English under her belt, Newton confessed, “I have always had great reverence for the text. But talking to these directors, I developed a new appreciation of the courage it takes to approach theatre this way, and of the beauty in the fact that anything can happen.”

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ADV – Billboard