Theater and Theology brings members of Rocky Mountain Synod congregations in and near Denver to productions of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. After viewing a play, we do a talk-back discussion with cast members on theological issues raised in the play. The plays and these discussions can challenge and stimulate our faith, and, therefore, the mission of the Church, in a unique way. For more information, contact Rosalee Wanchisen (303-759-9836 or rwanchisen@gmail.com).

Check out all the Theater and Theology plays for the season below!


 

MacBeth

Tuesday, September 26, 6:30 p.m., Space Theatre, Tickets: $35
Registration with check payable to Rocky Mountain Synod and footnoted “T&T Augustana: MacBeth” must reach Augustana’s office by Tuesday, September 5.

Forget what you know about Shakespeare’s brutal tragedy. Director Robert O’Hara breathes new life (and death) into this raw reimagining for the grand reopening of our in-the-round Space Theatre.

To get what he wants, Macbeth will let nothing stand in his way — not the lives of others or his own well-being. As his obsession takes command of his humanity and his sanity, the death toll rises and his suspicions mount. This ambitious reinvention reminds us that no matter what fate is foretold, the man that chooses to kill must suffer the consequences.


Smart People

Tuesday, October 24, 6:30 p.m., Ricketson Theatre, Tickets: $35

Registration with check payable to Rocky Mountain Synod and footnoted “T&T Augustana: Smart People” must reach Augustana’s office by Tuesday, October 3.

Intelligence can only get you so far when it comes to navigating love, success and identity in the modern age. This biting comedy follows a quartet of Harvard intellectuals struggling to understand why the lives of so many people – including their own – continue to be undermined by race. But no matter how hard they research, question and confront the issue, their own problems with self-awareness make it difficult to face the facts of life. Fiercely clever dialogue and energetic vignettes keep the laughs coming in a story that Variety calls “Sexy, serious and very, very funny.”

Lauded as a “powerfully smart writer” (The New York Times), Playwright Lydia R. Diamond’s multi-award-winning plays have been produced throughout the country, including the 2011 Tony Award-nominated Broadway production Stick Fly.  DirectorNataki Garrett is the Associate Artistic Director for the DCPA Theatre Company. She was highlighted in American Theatre as “One to Watch,” and said she is attracted to “plays that impact us in tremendous ways, chasing us out of our comfort zones.”


Zoey’s Perfect Wedding

Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 6:30 p.m., Space Theatre, Tickets: $35
Registration with check payable to Rocky Mountain Synod and footnoted “T&T Augustana: Zoey’s Perfect Wedding” must reach Augustana’s office by Tuesday, January 9.

The blushing bride. The touching toast. The celebration of true love. These are the dreams of Zoey’s big day…and the opposite of what it’s turning out to be. Disaster after disaster follow her down the aisle, from brutally honest boozy speeches to a totally incompetent wedding planner. Even worse, her friends are too preoccupied with their own relationship woes to help with the wreckage around them. Like a car crash you can’t look away from, watch in awe as this wildly funny fiasco destroys her expectations with the realities of commitment, fidelity and growing up.

Author of The Whipping Man, one of the most-produced plays of the past several years, Denver audiences will remember Playwright Matthew Lopez for The Legend of Georgia McBride, one of the DCPA’s most popular (and fabulous) world premieres, directed by Mike Donahue. Their production went on to a successful Off-Broadway run, and we are thrilled to reunite the duo for another uproarious new play.


American Mariachi

Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 6:30 p.m., Stage Theatre, Tickets: $35
Registration with check payable to Rocky Mountain Synod and footnoted “T&T Augustana: American Mariachi” must reach Augustana’s office by Tuesday, January 23, 2018.

Lucha and Boli are ready to start their own all-female mariachi band in 1970s’ Denver. The only things standing in their way are a male-dominated music genre, patriarchal pressure from inside their families and finding the right women to fill out their sound. As they practice, perform and strive to earn the respect of their community, their music sparks a transformation in the lives of those around them – especially Lucha’s parents. This humorous, heartwarming story about music’s power to heal and connect includes gorgeous live mariachi music played on stage. González writes a passionate story about families and friendships that you should share with yours!

Denver favorite Playwright José Cruz González returns to the DCPA with another heartwarming story, following his lyrical magical realism piece September Shoes in 2005 and the laugh-out-loud comedy Sunsets and Margaritas in 2008.


The Great Leap

Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 6:30 p.m., Ricketson Theatre, Tickets: $35
Registration with check payable to Rocky Mountain Synod and footnoted “T&T Augustana: The Great Leap” must reach Augustana’s office by Tuesday, February 13, 2018.

When an American college basketball team travels to Beijing for an exhibition game in 1989, the drama on the court goes deeper than the strain between their countries. For two men with a past and one teen with a future, it’s a chance to stake their moment in history and claim personal victories off the scoreboard. American coach Saul grapples with his relevance to the sport, Chinese coach Wen Chang must decide his role in his rapidly-changing country and Chinese American player Manford seeks a lost connection. Tensions rise right up to the final buzzer as history collides with the action in the stadium. Yee’s unexpected and touching story is inspired by events in her own father’s life.

Playwright Lauren Yee‘s fearless, modern plays have been produced by over 15 theatre companies, developed at over 17 and lauded by many. Most recently, her play King of the Yees won the Women’s Invitational at the Ashland New Play Festival, and is being produced by four regional theatres this season alone.


Native Gardens

Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 6:30 p.m., Space Theatre, Tickets: $35
Registration with check payable to Rocky Mountain Synod and footnoted “T&T Augustana: Native Gardens” must reach Augustana’s office by Tuesday, March 27, 2018.

Dealing with neighbors can be thorny, especially for Pablo and Tania, a young Latino couple who have just moved into a well-established DC neighborhood. Though Frank and Virgina have the best intentions for making the new couple feel welcome next door, their newly budding friendship is tested when they realize their shared property line isn’t where it’s supposed to be. Frank is afraid of losing his prized garden, Pablo wants what is legally his, Tania has a pregnancy and a thesis she’d rather be worrying about, and Virginia just wants some peace. But until they address the real roots of their problems, it’s all-out war in this hilarious and heartfelt play about the lines that divide us and those that connect us.

Playwright Karen Zacarías (Just Like UsThe Book Club Play) is one of the most-produced Latina playwrights in the nation and the creator of multiple award-winning plays. She is a core founder of the Latino/a Theatre Commons, alongside Director Lisa Portes. Primarily tackling new plays and musicals, Portes serves on the board of Theatre Communications Group, heads the MFA directing program at DePaul University and has directed at dozens of theatres around the country.

Producing Partners:  Margot & Allan Frank and Robert & Judi Newman


The Who’s Tommy

Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 6:30 p.m., Stage Theatre, Tickets: $35
Registration with check payable to Rocky Mountain Synod and footnoted “T&T Augustana: The Who’s Tommy” must reach Augustana’s office by Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

Based on The Who’s iconic 1969 rock concept album, Tommy is an exhilarating musical about the challenges of self-discovery and the resilience of the human spirit. When young Tommy retreats into a world of darkness and silence after a deeply traumatic incident, he must navigate a harsh and unforgiving world with no hope of recovery. But when he discovers a newfound talent for pinball, he’s swept up in the fame and fortune of his success. Tommy and his family give new voice to The Who’s classic stadium rock as they navigate the troubles and joys of being alive.

The Who are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, and together with La Jolla Playhouse’s then-Artistic Director Des McAnuff, they wrote the Tony Award-winning Tommy. Director Sam Buntrock has been nominated for Tony, Olivier and Drama Desk awards for his innovative work in theatre, film and animation. His edgy style was last seen on our stage when he directed Frankenstein in 2016, and he will reunite with Frankenstein Scenic Designer Jason Sherwood for this musical.

Human Error

Tuesday, May 29, 2018, 6:30 p.m., Garner Galleria Theatre, Tickets: $35
Registration with check payable to Rocky Mountain Synod and footnoted “T&T Augustana: Human Error” must reach Augustana’s office by Tuesday, May 8, 2018.

Madelyn and Keenan are NPR-listening, latte-sipping, blue-state liberals, while Heather and Jim are NRA-cardholding, truck-driving, red-state conservatives. After an unfortunate mix-up by their blundering fertility doctor, Heather becomes pregnant with the wrong family’s embryo. Now the two couples face sharing an uproarious nine-month odyssey of culture shock, clashing values, changing attitudes and unlikely – but heartfelt – friendships.

The Chicago Tribune said Playwright Eric Pfeffinger’s Accidental Rapture tackles “the gaping communication gap between red America and blue America, liberal humanists and the conservative right.” His hilarious 2017 Colorado New Play Summit debut is no different!