Denver Center Season Has New Plays Black Odyssey, The Most Deserving, Just Like Us and Georgia McBride

By Kenneth Jones
06 Mar 2013

In a major show of good faith toward the new American play, four of eight productions in the Tony Award-winning Denver Center Theatre Company's 2013-14 subscription season will be world premieres, giving voice to playwrights Karen Zacarías, Catherine Trieschmann, Matthew Lopez and Marcus Gardley.



All four works by these playwrights were seen in reading form in February at DCTC's 2013 Colorado New Play Summit. They now graduate to full productions. (There will also be a 2014 Colorado New Play Summit of readings yet to be announced.)

The new plays are Just Like Us, Zacarías' adaptation of Helen Thorpe's book; Catherine Trieschmann's comedy The Most Deserving; Matthew Lopez's The Legend of Georgia McBride; and Marcus Gardley's black odyssey, an adaptation of Homer's epic poem.

The slate also includes Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman (opening the season, starting Sept. 20); the musical Animal Crackers (closing the season, starting April 4, 2014); Shakespeare's Hamlet; and William Nicholson's tale of author C.S. Lewis' love and loss, Shadowlands. Two non-subscription titles were also announced on March 6: Steven Dietz's play about baseball's Jackie Robinson, Jackie and Me, and the return of Richard Hellesen's adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

Here's a look at DCTC's four world-premiere titles for 2013-14:

World Premiere
Just Like Us
By Karen Zacarías, based on the book by Helen Thorpe
Oct. 4-Nov. 3 (Opens Oct. 10)
Stage Theatre

"Based on Helen Thorpe's bestselling book, this documentary-style play follows four Latina girls in Denver — two of whom are documented and two who are not — through young adulthood. Their close-knit friendships begin to unravel when immigration status dictates the girls' opportunities, or lack thereof. When a political firestorm arises, each girl's legal status becomes increasingly desperate. Just Like Us poses difficult, yet essential questions such as what makes an American? A Denver Center commission."

World Premiere
The Most Deserving
By Catherine Trieschmann
Oct. 11-Nov. 17 (Opens Oct. 17)
Ricketson Theatre

"Tasked with awarding $20,000 to a deserving and needy local artist who 'demonstrates an under-represented American voice,' a small town arts council in Ellis County, Kansas, comically erupts into chaos. Should the award go to a high school teacher/painter of modest talent or to the self-taught African-American artist who creates controversial religious figures out of trash? The Most Deserving is a satirical, insightful look at how the arts collide with politics, self-interest, taste, relationships, egos and gossip."

World Premiere
The Legend of Georgia McBride
by Matthew Lopez
Jan. 10-Feb. 23, 2014
Opens Jan 16
Ricketson Theatre

"When a struggling Florida dive-bar changes its image, Casey, the headlining Elvis impersonator, finds himself unemployed, broke and with a baby on the way. When the bar owner brings in a B-level drag show to replace his act, Casey finds that he has a lot to learn about show business — and himself. From one of the most-produced playwrights of the year, The Legend of Georgia McBride is a joyous and bawdy comedy with a great big heart and music to spare."

World Premiere
black odyssey
By Marcus Gardley
Jan. 17-Feb. 16, 2014 (Opens Jan 23)
Space Theatre

"Playwright Marcus Gardley magically re-casts Homer's Odysseus as a black soldier returning home from a harrowing tour in the Gulf War. The great Greek archetypes reverberate with new world African-American culture as Gardley fuses modern reality with ancient myth in this gripping new play. A Denver Center commission."

For more information, including subscription information, visit dencercenter.org.