“Lost productions in found spaces” is the mission of Lost & Found Productions, a new Denver theater company that’s bringing unknown or forgotten works to local audiences. “One thing I noticed when I moved here is a lot of plays are repeated in the same area and same theater,” says Kevin Rollins, artistic director. “We want to go out of our way to do things that aren’t being done, and [do them] differently.”
To accomplish this, Rollins and his co-founder Liz Neuhauser have extensively researched Denver’s theater scene to make sure their company’s projects stand out. But they even go a step further, twisting and changing well-known stories and casting nontraditional roles in an effort to make every production unique to Lost & Found.
For example, the company’s first production—a progressive take on William Shakespeare’s classic Taming of the Shrew, which wrapped in January—was set in the 1960s and featured a cast that was mostly female. Women stepped into all the male roles, and vice versa. Of this casting strategy, Neuhauser says, “You don’t see biases until they’re right in front of you.”
Lost & Found’s next show, which premieres May 12 at The Bug Theatre, is a lesser-known, risqué piece by English playwright David Hare, titled The Blue Room. The play moves through 10 different scenes of couples in their most intimate moments, and the audience meets 10 characters—all played by the same two actors. “The most interesting thing is a character from each scene continues into the next one,” Rollins says.
Take note, this play is R-rated (it’s marketed as for mature audiences only). The Blue Room is a rendition of the French play La Ronde, which was shut down by Vienna police in 1921. The writer was prosecuted for obscenity. “That was a very conservative time and place,” notes Rollins, “but I would still say it’s a little risqué now—most places don’t go where The Blue Room does.” But that’s why it fits into Lost & Found’s repertoire.
“We’re opening up the box and dusting off old plays that need to be done again,” Rollins explains. The idea is to create affordable theater (tickets run about $15 in advance) that makes you think. “Take your instincts, and depart from them,” Neuhauser says. While they have also slated a December show, they are keeping it under wraps until they secure the rights—but you can bet it’s something Denver’s theater scene hasn’t seen before.
Check it out: The Blue Room will run May 12–22 at The Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St.; $13–$15 in advance, $20 at the door, with a pay-what-you-can show on May 12