By John Moore
It seems hardly a day goes by when the media isn’t calling our attention to yet another unspeakable act done by someone onto someone else … somewhere. Most often, such headline-grabbing crimes serve only to make us search in vain for an understanding of reprehensible human behavior. Kirsten Greenidge’s Zenith humanizes one such shocking crime, and explores the complex reasons why we do what we do.
Greenidge, who wrote “Zenith” as a Denver Center commission, was drawn to the real-life story of a woman who drove nearly 2 miles down the wrong way of a highway, causing a head-on collision that killed eight people, including herself and her children.
"I started to think abut piecing together that life, and what happened, and why someone would decide to do that," Greenidge said. "No one knows exactly what went wrong, but it seems like it was a conscious decision on some level."
She added, however: “This is not her story. I just borrowed from that and put my own Kirsten Greenidge spin on it.”
Here’s our inside look at the making of this gripping new work that debuts with readings at the 2014 Colorado New Play Summit Feb. 7-9, 2014. Featured are Greenidge and actors April Matthis, Gabra Zackman, Candy Brown, Jason Bowen, Tony Todd and Allison Watrous.
Favorite line: “Glug, glug. That’s you drinking the Kool-Aid. That’s you dying the slow death of the mini-van.”
Video by John Moore.
Please enjoy our other 2014 Summit Spotlight videos:
By John Moore
Today, we debut “Summit Soliloquies,” a week-long video series leading up to the upcoming 2014 Colorado New Play Summit where playwrights past and present will talk to you about writing, the Denver Center, the Summit and more.
Part 1: Three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee James Still, whose “Appoggiatura” is a scheduled 2014 reading for the Feb. 7-9 Summit.
"Georgia McBride" Choreographer Will Taylor, left, and Director Mike Donahue.
By John Moore
On opening day of the Denver Center’s world-premiere comedy, we took some time with director Mike Donahue and choreographer Will Taylor to talk about staging the story of a straight Elvis impersonator in the Florida Panhandle who turns to the world of drag to support his growing family. It plays through Feb. 23 in the Ricketson Theatre.
John Moore: What did you guys think months ago, before rehearsals had even started, when you saw the video that showed 82-year-old Dan Ritchie, CEO of the largest performing-arts organization between L.A. and Chicago, undergoing a public drag transformation just to bring attention to this play? That video has had nearly 3,000 hits, and I just don’t think there are many other CEOs out there who would have done it.
By Rob Weinert-Kendt
The playwright Jon Robin Baitz walks healthily among the living, but in some ways his articulate, carefully constructed plays feel like throwbacks to a more literate, less cynical age. Plays such as The Substance of Fire, Three Hotels and The Paris Letter, map out internecine battles of love and loyalty among family, friends and lovers with a comic clarity that evokes Shaw, and a fraught psychological texture, thick with explosive secrets and lies, that recalls Ibsen.
Given those antecedents, it’s surprising that his career until last year was bookended by two formative West Coast experiences that would seem to belie his plays’ well-made classicism.