Lynne Collins has been announced as the Arvada Center’s new Artistic Director of Theatre, following the retirement of Rod A. Lansberry.
Collins, the current Artistic Director of Plays, first joined the Arvada Center in 2016 and lead the growth of the center’s Black Box Theatre and its repertory company.
“Lynne is a tremendously talented artist and a fierce advocate for inclusion in the arts,” said Arvada Center President and CEO, Philip Sneed. “Her dedication to the Arvada Center and the entire Denver theatre community alongside her innovative artistic vision make her the ideal choice to lead our theatre program into the next chapter on our journey.”
We spoke to Collins about her new role and what comes next.
Interview edited for clarity and brevity.
Tell me about becoming the new Artistic Director of Theatre?
We had some internal meetings about what to do now and where we’re heading. After talking it through it became clear we couldn’t ponder for too long with the season starting soon. They came to me and I said okay. I know the place well and have all the information and I’m also looking toward the end of my career, which means I’m in a nice transitional place as a leader. What we need to do is rethink everything - there are lots of questions about how we do the work as a theater. I want to do great work while here and be the leader for the next phase of the Arvada Center.
Where do you see theater at the Arvada Center now?
We’re still in recovery from COVID and next year will probably still be a recovery year. And that starts to present a lot of questions we don’t have answers to yet. We don’t know if this is a permanent change yet - will people’s comfort zone in an enclosed space going to change in the long term? And how do you plan for that? There are more questions than answers right now, and while we know what the questions are, we don’t know how to address them.
What are you looking forward to in the new season?
I’m really excited about directing “Into the Woods” - I’ve never done a musical at the Arvada Center, so that’s exciting. I’m generally excited about how to make this transition - there’s a lot of intuitional knowledge here at the Arvada Center, which is really lucky for me.
What do you want the Arvada community to know about your goals at the theater?
People won’t see a big change this coming season but stay tuned for the season after. It might look a little different. The gift of a long-term leader is continuity, and the gift of change is we can look at how we do things and ask if that’s what we should or want to do. It opens a lot of possibility.
Meeting at the corner of `The Holly’
KGNU, a local volunteer-powered radio station, will be hosting a Community Conversation with Julian Rubenstein, author of “The Holly: Five Bullets, One Gun, and the Struggle to Save an American Neighborhood” at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 21 at The Buell Media Center, 2101 Arapahoe St. in Denver.
In addition to the author, Terrance Roberts, the central figure in the events will be on hand and audiences will see clips from the upcoming documentary “The Holly.” Get a ticket for this powerful event at www.eventbrite.com.
Get mySummer started at Wright Farms
It’s entirely possible artist Helen Hiebert has created the perfect summer image with her new mySummer installation, which will be on display at Anythink Wright Farms, 5877 E. 120th Ave. in Thornton. As an artist-in-residence, Hiebert will be constructing an interactive, large-scale paper lantern at the library which will be available to see in person beginning on Friday, May 20 and be on display throughout the summer.
There will also be a mySummer Finale with Hiebert at the Anythink Wright Farms backyard from 8 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 30. For more information on the mySummer program, visit anythinklibraries.org.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Kurt Vile at the Ogden Theatre
Sometimes you just need to get lost in a swirl of guitars, you dig? And when that happens, the music of Kurt Vile is one of the best sources of indie guitar-based jamming around. His most recent album “(watch my moves)” is one of his strongest releases yet.
In support of his great record, he and his band, The Violators, will be stopping by the Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave. in Denver, at 8 p.m. on Monday, May 23. Get your tickets at www.ogdentheatre.com/events/detail/426214.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.