Denver Center Theatre Company, the Tony Award-honored resident troupe in Colorado, will stage the world premiere of Nagle Jackson's Bernice/Butterfly: A Two Part Invention in its 11-play 2002-2003 season, the company announced Feb. 5.
The new play, part of artistic director Donovan Marley's ongoing commitment to new works, runs Jan. 15-March 1, 2003, under the direction of the playwright. Bernice/Butterfly was written with DCTC company members Kathleen M. Brady and Jamie Horton in mind.
According to the season announcement: "Bernice works the breakfast shift at the O-Kay Diner; Randall delivers an address to the American Philosophical Society. What could these two possibly have in common? That is the surprise and source of both humor and pathos in this original work..." Performances are in the Ricketson Theatre, one of four venues used by DCTC within the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Jackson's previous Denver Center world premieres include Taking Leave, A Hotel on Marvin Gardens and The Elevation of Thieves.
The upcoming 24th DCTC season includes 10 more works, including a new James Warnick adaptation of Chekhov's The Three Sisters, set in the Civil War American South; the Denver premieres of Broadway's King Hedley II by August Wilson and Copenhagen by Michael Frayn.
DCTC finishes off its Martin McDonagh's Leenane trilogy with The Lonesome West, opens the season with Thornton Wilder's the Skin of Our Teeth and tickles the ivories with 2 Pianos, 4 Hands, the Ted Dykstra-Richard Greenblatt specialty play (a smash hit in Canada) featuring a pair of pianos and a couple of jazzed-up actor-musicians. Shakespeare is represented with Love's Labour's Lost, while contemporary poets get their due with the regionally- popular Behind the Broken Words, created by and starring Roscoe Lee Browne and Anthony Zerbe (who also directs). Moliere's raucous comedy, Scapin, closes the season. The season at a glance:
• The Skin of Our Teeth, the comedy about humanity's capacity to survive, by Thornton Wilder, Oct. 10-Nov. 9, directed by Laird Williamson, The Stage Theatre.
• Behind the Broken Words, with the poetry of St. Vincent Millay, W.H. Auden, William Butler Yeats, e.e. cummings, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and more, created by and starring Roscoe Lee Browne and Anthony Zerbe, Oct. 14-Nov. 23, directed by Anthony Zerbe, The Ricketson Theatre.
• The Lonesome West, the dark comedy of sibling tension, by Martin McDonagh, Oct. 17-Nov. 23, directed by Anthony Powell, The Space Theatre.
• A Christmas Carol, based on the novel by Dickens, adapted for the stage by Laird Williamson & Dennis Powers, Nov. 29-Dec. 28, directed by Laird Williamson, The Stage Theatre.
• King Hedley II, the drama of black families facing crime and unemployment in 1985 Pittsburgh, by August Wilson, Jan. 9-Feb 15, 2003, directed by Israel Hicks, The Space Theatre.
• Bernice/Butterfly: A Two Part Invention, by Nagle Jackson, Jan. 15-March 1, 2003, directed by Jackson, The Ricketson Theatre.
• Love's Labour's Lost, the Shakespeare comedy about abstinence, Jan. 30-March 1, 2003, directed by Anthony Powell, The Stage Theatre.
• Copenhagen, the drama of the meeting of rival physicists who carry secrets, professional and personal, by Michael Frayn, March 12-May 10, 2003, directed by Anthony Powell, The Ricketson Theatre.
• The Three Sisters, by Anton Chekhov in a new adaptation by James Warnick, March 20-April 26, 2003, directed by Donovan Marley, The Space Theatre.
• 2 Pianos, 4 Hands, by Ted Dykstra & Richard Greenblatt, March 27-April 26, 2003, directed by Bruce K. Sevy, The Stage Theatre.
• Scapin, by Jean Baptiste Moliére, in a new translation and adaptation by Nagle Jackson, May 8-June 7, 2003, The Stage Theatre.
Season tickets, ranging $83-$335, are available for renewal March 4 by phone, fax (303) 595-9634 or on-line, and new season tickets will be available later this spring. Single tickets for individual productions, ranging in price from $16 $46, will be available about six weeks prior to the play's first performance date.
For information, call (303) 893-4100 or (800) 641-1222. Visit denvercenter.org.
— By Kenneth Jones