Denver Center to Premiere 1001, a Nod to "Arabian Nights," in Varied 2006-07 Season

News   Denver Center to Premiere 1001, a Nod to "Arabian Nights," in Varied 2006-07 Season Denver Center Theatre Company, the Tony Award-honored resident company in Colorado, will stage the world premiere of Jason Grote's 1001 in an eclectic 2006-07 season of classic and contemporary works.

DCTC artistic director Kent Thompson announced the titles of the upcoming season March 7.

The slate will include Lisa Loomer's Living Out, Shakespeare's King Lear, Stephen Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Peter Shaffer's Amadeus, Caryle Brown's Humana Festival play Pure Confidence, Rebecca Gilman's The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, Bernard Shaw's controversial Mrs. Warren's Profession, Martin McDonagh's gruesome The Pillowman, Richard Hellesen's adaptation of A Christmas Carol (the second annual staging) and Alan Ayckbourn's Season's Greetings.

Thompson and director of new play development Bruce K. Sevy have commissioned playwrights to write scripts for the 2007 Colorado New Play Summit, scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 9-10, 2007, underlining DCTC's commitment to new play development.

The Denver Center world premiere of 1001 by Jason Grote (Jan. 18–Feb. 24, 2007, at The Space Theatre) had its start at the inaugural 2006 Colorado New Play Summit, where it had a public reading.

According to DCTC, "1001 spins themes and variations from the classic 'A Thousand and One Arabian Nights' to explore the incarnations of love, sex, religion, cruelty and war from ancient Baghdad to the post-9/11 era. Playwright Jason Grote combines savage wit, political insight, Borgesian time-warping, and theatrical ingenuity in a dazzling tour de force that Sheherezade herself would envy." Caryle Brown's Pure Confidence, about slavery and Reconstruction, is a recent American play (seen at Louisville's Humana Festival of New American Plays in 2005 and Alabama Shakespeare Festival in 2006) set in "the high stakes world of Civil War-era horse racing."

In it, "both Simon Cato, a smart, cocky 'colored' jockey, and his horse, Pure Confidence, are owned by Colonel Wiley Johnson. Cato uses his wits and his championship winnings to buy his and his wife's freedom. But the Civil War changes everything and the passage of time doesn't bring Cato the success he expects."

It's billed as "a surprisingly funny, daring and emotionally moving look at the complexity of race, humanity, love and dignity in the second half of the 19th century."

DCTC will be one of the first resident companies to stage McDonagh's London and Broadway play, The Pillowman, the dark, funny and harrowing work about creativity and the forces that encourage, suppress and pervert it.

For more information, visit www.denvercenter.org.