Denver Center Theatre Company pulls another world premiere out of its hat April 5, when Gary Leon Hill's unique Inna Beginning opens at the intimate Ricketson Theatre in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
Hill collaborates with director Jamie Horton and composer Lee Stametz to conceive the intellectual love story of Flo (played Devora Millman) and Dodge (Paul Michael Valley), who come from two different worlds. He's a successful corporate mogul from "the world of time and technology," according to production notes. She's from "the world of the spiritual and the healing."
The cast includes Keith L. Hatten, Shannon Koob, Michele Shay, Rodney Lizcano, William Denis and Gabriella Cavallero.
Hill came to theatre through photography and filmmaking, working early in his career with Robert Frank and Rudolph Wurlitzer on the films "Life Dances On" and "Energy and How to Get It" (funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting). His first play, Food From Trash, won the Great American Playwriting Contest at Actors Theatre of Louisville and premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays. Soundbite (directed by Donovan Marley) and Back to the Blanket (directed by Roberta Levitow) premiered at the Denver Center Theatre Company. Other plays include The Black Branch, Watch Your Back, The Real Cheese, The Perfect Skipper and 8 Bob Off.
Currently in residence at DCTC as recipient of a National Theatre Artists Residency Program Grant from TCG and the Pew Charitable Trust, Hill continues to collaborate with actor director Jamie Horton, lead the recently revived Playwrights Unit and work with National Theatre Conservatory students. Designers are Michael Granio (set), Kevin Copenhaver (costumes), Don Darnutzer (lighting) and David White (sound). Stametz and guitarist Neil Haverstick (live in the wings) fill in the musical world of the play. Inna Beginning was first read in the 1999 US WEST Theatrefest and later workshopped in Theatrefest 2000. The play is recommended for mature audiences.
Previews began March 28. Performances continue to May 19. Tickets range $23-$38. For more information, call (303) 893 4100 or (800) 641-1222 or visit www.denvercenter.org.
Concurrent with Inna Beginning, DCTC presents Wit at The Space Theatre and The Little Foxes at The Stage Theatre. The final world premiere of the DCTC season will be Pork Pie, May 17-June 16.
— By Kenneth Jones