At The Theater

Amy called me yesterday with an extra ticket to the theater. I gladly accepted the invitation. It had been so long since I attended a show, I didn’t even think to ask what was playing. We arrived at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts with just enough time to park the car, pick up the tickets at the box-office, walk up the stairs to the fourth floor, catch our breath, and find our seats.

In the two minutes we had to spare before the lights dimmed, I looked around the expanse of the Ellie Caulkins Theater. The stage set before us with giant lush-red curtains flowing down to the ground. Moments later, they would pull open like hands from our eyes, marking that instant of surprise to reveal a simple, effective set design. I observed the theater’s shape. The intentional placement of wood, lights and beams. The dampened acoustics creating a sanctuary of silence. Everything crisp and well thought out. The lights dimmed and I delighted in the atmosphere as the focus gravitated toward the stage.

The performance was a one-man act that grew on me as it progressed. After the characters were established, the movement of the story became more fluid, and an array of impressions ensued along with the selling of the act itself- all took their time to weave a spell that transfixed me in the end. It was an impressive ninety-minute monologue that clearly won over the rest of the audience too. The lights came on and we all stood up and applauded as the actor returned to the stage to soak it all in.

Amy and I departed at a leisurely pace, roaming to explore the sculptures and giant murals that adorned the theater’s periphery. This is what it’s about, I thought to myself. The care and attention to details! Everything was about the presentation- from the exterior architecture, to the lobby, to the heart and soul of it all – the stage and performance itself. And because of that, the experience had an impact. I considered my artwork- where it’s going, what I want it to be and went on to think about possibilities…