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The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities is kicking off its 41st season with something that can be hard to come by in the arts: stability.
For the first time, the Arvada Center will host a repertory of shows, featuring an ensemble of resident actors, directors, and designers who make up the newly formed Black Box Company. Fourteen actors—including six principals—will appear in one or more of this spring’s shows, which begin February 24.
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The new season is composed of three plays with very different subject matters and styles: the realist comedy Bus Stop; the chilling crime caper The Drowning Girls; and the philosophical classic Waiting for Godot. Lynne Collins, Arvada Center’s artistic director for plays, looked for variety when selecting the stories, but says she saw a thematic similarity among these three. “The thread that connects this whole season is the idea of looking for someone to save you,” she says. “Each of the plays features a character who has a problem to resolve in their life and they think the solution lies outside themselves.”
While she admits it can be difficult for actors to balance preparing for three shows at once, Collins says the collaborative nature of the repertory creates a strong relationship between the actors, allowing for more creative exploration. “You don’t make art by being frightened, you make art by being brave,” she says. “And it’s much easier to be brave when you know that we picked you for the whole season. There’s a safety in it that brings out great performances.”
Read on for more on the shows to catch this season:
February 24 to April 15
Directed by: Allison Watrous
Playwright William Inge’s tale of bus riders stranded in a diner during a snowstorm highlights the richness of lives in the often overlooked Midwest. Unlike the notorious Marilyn Monroe movie version, director Allison Watrous’ adaptation of this classic American comedy taps into the subtlety of human connection. Thursday to Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 1 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.
THE DROWNING GIRLS
March 17 to May 21
Directed by: Lynne Collins
This true crime tale of three sisters and one murderous husband offers reflections on life, marriage, and death that are just as relevant today as in the 20th century, during which it is set. The play takes place in what Collins describes as, “a cross between a Victorian bathroom and purgatory.” Thursday to Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 1 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.
WAITING FOR GODOT
April 21 to May 20
Directed by: Geoffrey Kent
Samuel Beckett’s darkly humorous story of two men waiting for someone who never arrives is one of the most adapted plays in history. “This is the essential play about thinking someone will save you,” Collins says. “Of being paralyzed by waiting for someone to tell you where to go and what to do.” Thursday to Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 1 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.
See it: All shows play at the Black Box Theater at The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd. Tickets are $45