Jessica Austgen being a big bully in February’s “Cult Following.” The next performance is April 10.
By John Moore
Jessica Austgen is the At-Risk Coordinator and a Teaching Artist for the Denver Center’s Education Department. She heads up the STArt (Skills Through Art) Program, which teaches life skills through dramatic learning and targets at-risk and underserved populations.
She is also a geek. Seriously, a total Lord of the Rings, Veronica Mars, Lost, Benedict Cumberbatch, karaoke, Firefly geek. Which makes her the perfect addition to the cast of Off-Center @ The Jones’ Cult Following, a live, long-form improv comedy evening that returns Thursday, April 10. If you don’t know Jessica … well, you’re about to know more about her than you know about anyone named Kardashian.
A musical based on Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility?
Makes perfectly sensible sense
By Sylvie Drake
There is an undeniable fascination with the works of Jane Austen that has propelled itself into some strong film and television adaptations of many of her novels. These range from Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice (many versions) to Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, Emma and Sense and Sensibility, her first published novel.
Remarkable? Not entirely. There are good reasons. These 19th-century novels resonate in any age because they were the elegantly written soap operas of their day—and we’re all in love with love—at any age and in any age.
Now comes a first: a musical version of Sense and Sensibility. While several stage adaptations of Austen’s works have been attempted, “It’s the first time that a musical of Sense and Sensibility has been done on this scale,” said Marcia Milgrom Dodge, the director of Sense & Sensibility The Musical, adding, “I do try to keep up with everything Jane Austen.”
Our second day of readings (more if you are in a cast) wrapped up with the world premiere of Samuel D. Hunter’s THE WHALE. Read last year during the COLORADO NEW PLAY SUMMIT, this new, riveting play was recently extended for an additional week.
This moving play about a man who has dealt with adversity by eating his way to the brink of death, had the 250-person crowd riveted. Determined to reconcile with his estranged daughter and sacrifice his own health so that he can leave her all that he has, this play is what the Summit is all about - development, hard work and dedication to the craft of playwriting.
Tomorrow the Summit concludes with brunch followed by a reading (or shall we say singing) of SENSE & SENSIBILITY THE MUSICAL by Jeffrey Haddow and Neal Hampton. Jane Austen fans - be ready!
And we’re off! More than 100 playwrights, directors, dramaturgs, actors, stage managers and other key staff gathered this morning to kick off the DENVER CENTER THEATRE COMPANY's seventh COLORADO NEW PLAY SUMMIT.
Five readings of new works in development, plus two full productions of new plays and the ever-popular Playwrights’ Slam will be experienced by theatre industry representatives from across the nation, local and national press, and local theatre patrons.
The casts are assembled and the work has started on the second floor of our Newman Center. Here’s what you can expect coming up Feb 10-12:
SENSE & SENSIBILITY
Based in the novel by Jane Austen
Book and Lyrics by Jeffrey Haddow Music by Neal Hampton
Directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge
Music Direction by Ethyl Will
by Michael MItnick
Directed by Sam Buntrock
Dramaturgy by Douglas Langworthy
Multimedia Design by Charlie I. Miller
THE HAND OF GOD
by Richard Dresser
Directed by Pam MacKinnon
by Lisa G. Loomer
Directed by Justin Zsebe
Dramaturgy by Liz Engelman
GRACE, OR THE ART OF CLIMBING
by Lauren Feldman
Directed by Mike Donahue
Dramaturgy by Liz Frankel
Stay tuned for a daily recap of our work in development.