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The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) is an organization in Denvermarker, Coloradomarker which provides a showcase for live theatre, a nurturing ground for new plays, a preferred stop on the Broadway touring circuit, a graduate-level training school for actors, acting classes for the community and spectacular rental facilities. It was founded in 1972 and dedicated to excellence in the arts.

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is the largest tenant of the Denver Performing Arts Complexmarker which is a four-block, site containing ten performance spaces with over 10,000 seats. It is owned and partially operated by the City and County of Denvermarker’s Theatres and Arenas Division.

Both organizations were the vision of Donald Seawell. Finding himself at 14th and Curtis streets in downtown Denver one day and looking at the old Auditorium Theatre and the surrounding four blocks, Seawell had an idea for a first-class arts complex.

Ground was broken in December 1974. By 1978 Boettcher Concert Hall — the nation's first in-the-round concert hall — was completed, along with an eight-story, 1,700-space parking garage. By 1979 the Auditorium Theatre had been renovated (and was completely renovated again in 2005, creating the state-of-the-art Ellie Caulkins Opera Housemarker inside of the historic Auditorium), two cabaret spaces had been added and the Helen G. Bonfils Theatre Complex opened with its four theatres: The Stage, Space, Source (now Jones) and Ricketson. The Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre was completed in 1991, the Seawell Grand Ballroom was added in 1998 and The Conservatory Theatre opened in 2002.

Entities of the Performing Arts Center

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is currently the largest tenant of the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The Denver Center organizes, oversees, and presents work by the following entities:

  • The Denver Center Theatre Company (DCTC) was created in 1979 as the region's largest resident, professional theatre company. Under the leadership of Edward Payson Call (1979 to 1983), Donovan Marley (1984 to 2005) and Kent Thompson (2005 to the present), the Theatre Company has created an impressive body of classic and contemporary drama and world premieres. In acknowledgment of this work, the DCTC received the 1998 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.


  • Denver Center Attractions (DCA) was created by Robert Garner, presenter of national touring companies since 1961, and joined the Center in 1979. When Garner retired in 1992, his hand-picked successor was Randy Weeks (current DCPA president and executive director of DCA). Center Attractions presents Broadway touring shows and its impressive attendance record has made Denver a "pick" city. Disney selected Denver Center Attractions to host its pre-Broadway debut of The LIttle Mermaid, plus Disney's The Lion King, August: Osage County, Sunset Boulevard and the revival of Hello, Dolly starring Carol Channing among many others have chosen Denver to launch their national tours. DCA also produces cabaret including the original Denver-based comedy, Girls Only: The Secret Comedy of Women, and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, which ran for more than four years making it Denver's longest-running musical.


  • The Denver Center’s Education Department was started in October 1984 when the DCPA and the American National Theatre and Academy joined together to establish the National Theatre Conservatory, a three-year graduate acting program. The Denver Center Theatre Academy was added in 1991 as a community school for children and adults in a professional setting.


  • The Seawell Grand Ballroom is a facility with a maximum capacity of 1,029 people. This pentagonal shaped room with panoramic views of the mountains can accommodate a variety of functions and features its own catering kitchen, freight elevator, tables, chairs, portable dance floor, moveable platform staging and a state-of-the-art lighting, audio, video and projection systems. Epicurean Culinary Group is the exclusive caterer for the Ballroom.


See also

List of concert halls

  1. Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre — 2,880 seats
  2. Ellie Caulkins Opera House — 2,225 seats
  3. Seawell Grand Ballroom — 1,095 capacity
  4. Stage Theatre — 750 seats
  5. Space Theatre — 550 seats
  6. Ricketson Theatre — 250 seats
  7. Garner Galleria Theatre — 210 seats
  8. Jones Theatre — 200 seats
  9. Conservatory Theatre — 185 seats


External links

Denver Center


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