DENVER: The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) has announced the 2020-21 season for its theatre company, featuring nine mainstage productions, including a world premiere from Colorado’s own Neyla Pekarek.
“I love that this season brings American classics back into the mix, that several of these stories give us an opportunity to speak immediately to the moment we are living in, and that we continue stretching our relationships across this region,” said artistic director Chris Coleman in a statement. “And, of course, I’m personally excited to be part of the team that is bringing a new musical about a Colorado legend to life here at the Denver Center.”
The season will open with Pearl Cleage’s Angry, Raucous, and Shamelessly Gorgeous (Sept. 18-Oct. 25), a comedy about the tension between a playwright and an inexperienced actor working toward a staging of a play about the lack of female voices in August Wilson’s 10-play Century Cycle. Susan V. Booth will direct this production done in association with Arena Stage and Hartford Stage.
Next, DCPA Theatre Company will present Light Up the Sky (Oct. 2-Nov. 1), by Moss Hart. Set in the 1940s, this comedy follows a playwright and his collaborators after the audience reaction to the playwright’s first production isn’t what they expected. Coleman will direct.
After that will be the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol (Nov. 25-Dec. 27), adapted by Richard Hellensen, with music by David de Berry. Melissa Rain Anderson will direct.
Following will be The Children (Jan. 8-Feb. 14), by Lucy Kirkwood. Pesha Rudnick will direct this drama which follows two retired nuclear engineers as they’re faced with their responsibility as the world falls into chaos following a devastating series of events.
Up next will be the world premiere of Beaufield Berry’s In the Upper Room (Jan. 22-Feb. 28), directed by Gregg T. Daniel. This dark comedy follows a multi-generational family whose lives revolve around Rose, the family’s matriarch, until they eventually get fed up and make plans to break away from the household.
Another world premiere will follow in Rattlesnake Kate (Feb. 5-March 14), with a book by Karen Hartman and music and lyrics by Neyla Pekarek, former member of the Grammy-nominated folk-rock band The Lumineers. The musical follows Kate Slaughterback, who became a sensation after fighting off (and killing) 140 rattlesnakes to save her son. Coleman will direct.
The season will continue with Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Associate artistic director Rose Riordan will direct this Tony Award-winning classic about two couples whose attempt at a quiet drink together quickly turns into heated arguments.
Kate Hamill’s Emma (April 23-May 23), based on the novel by Jane Austen, will be next. Emma Woodhouse, who considers herself the best matchmaker in town, sets out to prove herself by finding the adorable Harriet a suitor. Meredith McDonough will direct.
Closing out the season will be Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles (May 14-June 13), by Luis Alfaro. Lisa Portes will direct Alfaro’s adaptation that follows a family after their harrowing immigration journey across the border.
In addition, the first national tour of Aaron Sorkin’s To Kill a Mockingbird (July 13-Aug. 1) adapted from the classic Harper Lee novel and directed by Bartlett Sher, will play at The Ellie.
Created in 1979, the DCPA Theatre Company has produced more than 400 productions. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts presents Broadway tours in addition to producing theatre, cabaret, musicals, and immersive plays.