DENVER (CBS4) – The challenge for any artistic director at a theater company is drawing in new audiences, and Chris Coleman is exception. He joined the DCPA Theatre Company in November of 2017. He came to Denver after an 18-year stint at Portland Center Stage, where annual attendance nearly double.
“When I’m thinking about connecting to new communities, there are a couple of things. One, what shows do we choose? Are we creating the possibility of bridges through the programming that we choose, but then it’s also about creating authentic relationships out in the community. But, if the folks in that community don’t already feel this is a place where they feel welcome and comfortable, and their presence is desired, then those marketing dollars fall on deaf ears. And then it’s being really mindful about the shows we choose,” Coleman told CBS4.
Coleman has proven he’s ready to make some big decisions and take some chances. He directed a production of “Oklahoma” last year, in which the whole cast was African American. He’s also taken on the staging of “Anna Karenina”, one of literature’s densest novels.
The 2019 season of the theatre company opened with “Indecent”, a play about a controversial play. Coleman is also staging “A Doll’s House” and “A Doll’s House, Part 2” at the same time.
“I don’t think every show is ever going to speak to everyone, but what I want to make sure is that we’re taking really good care of the folks that have gotten us here, the folks that have been really loyal to the Denver Center,” Coleman explained.