In addition to modern classics by Horton Foote, David Mamet, William Gibson, Michael Frayn and August Wilson, Colorado audiences will see the premieres of Michele Lowe's Inana (a DCTC commission) and Cusi Cram's Dusty and the Big Bad World in 2009.
Both those plays were read in the company's recent Colorado New Play Summit. Inana and Dusty will be part of the 2009 Summit, which will also include readings of new scripts yet to be announced.
The 2008-09 season will also include Shakespeare's Richard III and an adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, plus a revival of the pioneer-women musical, Quilters, which had its start at DCTC more than 25 years ago and was later seen on Broadway and had a wide life in regional theatres. It was nominated for a handful of Tonys in 1985.
An adaptation of John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany, about a unique baseball player, is also on tap.
Lowe's Inana (Jan. 16-Feb. 28, 2009 in The Ricketson Theatre), is billed this way: "On the eve of the U.S. invasion of Baghdad, an Iraqi museum director desperately plots to safeguard an ancient statue from the looting he fears will come. He flees to London with his young bride and before he can begin a new life there, he must reveal his own past and the fate of the statue of Inana, Goddess of War." Cram's Dusty and the Big Bad World (Jan. 23-Feb. 28, 2009 in The Space Theatre) is about Dusty, "the most popular animated PBS children's television show in America. But when Dusty — the genial hero of the program — goes to visit a family with two daddies, the big bad world brings the hammer down hard," according to DCTC. "Dusty and the Big Bad World is a hilarious, no-holds barred dramatization of the clash between freedom of speech, art (or at least children's TV), and politics."
The 2008-09 season will open with The Trip to Bountiful by Foote (Sept. 19-Oct. 25 in The Space Theatre). It will be followed by the backstage farce, Noises Off (Oct. 3-Nov. 1 in The Stage Theatre); Mamet's play about competition and avarice in a real estate office, Glengarry Glen Ross (Oct. 10-Nov. 22 in The Ricketson Theatre); and Gibson's tale of Helen Keller and teacher Annie Sullivan, The Miracle Worker (Nov. 14-Dec. 20 in The Space Theatre).
DCTC's March 20-April 25, 2009, production of August Wilson's Radio Golf at The Space Theatre "completes the Denver Center's production of August Wilson's titanic ten-play chronicle of the African-American experience in the 20th century with one director's singular vision," DCTC noted. With this production, director Israel Hicks will have curated all ten Wilson plays at DCTC. The drama concerns "the struggle to preserve a spiritually significant landmark house, as political deals and redevelopment threaten to destroy not only a neighborhood, but the history of a people."
Simon Bent's A Prayer for Owen Meany, based on the novel by John Irving, will play March 27-April 25, 2009, at The Stage Theatre.
One production has yet to be announced, to play April 3-May 17, 2009, in The Ricketson Theatre.
Ending the season will be Quilters by Molly Newman and Barbara Damashek, music and lyrics by Damashek (May 22-July 12, 2009 at The Stage Theatre).
"This Tony Award-nominated Denver Center original returns home in a shining new production," according to DCTC. "An international hit for more than 25 years, this rousing heritage musical was inspired by real life diaries and letters of American pioneer women, written as they braved the dangers and hardships of life on the frontier."
Despite running only a month on Broadway, the musical snagged 1985 Tony Award nominations in the following categories: Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Evalyn Baron, Lenka Peterson) and Best Direction of a Musical (Barbara Damashek).
For more information about the Denver Center season, which is presented in several venues within the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, visit www.denvercenter.org.