Colorado theater companies join forces for military families

Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora.
Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora.


By John Moore

Oct. 18, 2012

A new national initiative will be announced tomorrow that will recognize “the profound contributions of military service families,” and seven Colorado theater companies are helping to lead the way.

The Blue Star Theatres program, founded by the national Theatre Communications Group service organization, will team 57 of its member companies around the country, offering creative ways for military personnel and their families to engage in the creative arts, and seeks to build stronger connections between theaters, military families and their communities.

Representing Colorado the Arvada Center, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Creede Repertory Theatre, Curious Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, TheatreWorks of  Colorado Springs and Theatre Aspen. That’s second only to California, with eight.

According to a TCG statement:

“Blue Star Theatres will build on the work already occurring at many theaters nationwide, including: playwriting classes to empower creative expression for veterans; community discussions on plays whose themes resonate with military families; free or discounted ticket programs; job postings and casting notices on military bases; and much more. TCG and Blue Star Families will connect theaters with local bases, and develop and disseminate best-practices for engaging with deployed personnel, veterans and service families.”


At 2:30 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 19), a press conference will be held at the Ricketson Theatre in the Denver Performing Complex as part of this week’s  League of Resident Theatre’s (LORT) annual conference. It will be conducted by TCG executive director Teresa Eyring, along with Sheri Lapan, senior director of  Blue Star Families LORT president Tim Shields and Denver Center Theatre Company artistic director Kent Thompson.

Representing the military will be Colonel Loren “Skip” Johnson of the Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora.

“We’re grateful that so many LORT and TCG member theaters  have stepped up to give back to our service members and their families,” Eyring said in a statement.  “Theater can provide an invaluable means of integrating military families into our communities while helping us process the consequences of these long years of war.”

Added Shields, who is also managing director of the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, N.J.: “I’m honored to represent the 39 LORT theaters that have signed on to participate. Theater remains a place in our communities where all can gather to have a common experience; to participate in an art form that through the stories it tells provides such deeply felt emotion and entertainment.

Participating Blue Star Theatres:

2nd Story (Rhode Island)
Actors Theatre of Louisville (Kentucky)
Alliance Theatre (Georgia)
American Conservatory Theater (California)
American Repertory Theater (Massachusetts)
Arena Stage (Washington, D.C.)
Arkansas Repertory Theatre
Artists Repertory Theatre (Oregon)
Arvada Center
Asolo Repertory (Florida)
Barter Theatre (Virginia)
Berkeley Repertory Theatre (California)
Burning Coal Theatre Company (North Carolina)
California Shakespeare Theater (California)
Center Theatre Group (California)
Childsplay (Arizona)
Cincinnati Playhouse
Cleveland Play House
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
Coterie Theatre (Missouri)
Court Theatre (Ilinois)
Creede Repertory Theatre
Curious Theatre
Dallas Theater Center
Denver Center Theatre Company
Florida Studio Theatre
Folger Theatre (Washington, D.C.)
Ford’s Theatre (Washington, D.C.)
Gamm Theatre (Rhode Island)
Geffen Playhouse (California)
Geva Theatre Center (New York)
Goodman Theatre (Illinois)
Hartford Stage (Connecticut)
HERE Arts Center (New York)
Kansas City Repertory Theatre
La Jolla Playhouse (California)
Lincoln Center Theater (New York)
McCarter Theatre Center (New Jersey)
Old Globe (California)
Penobscot Theatre Company (Maine)
People’s Light and Theatre (Pennsylvania)
Pittsburgh Public Theater
PlayMakers Repertory Company (North Carolina)
Portland Center Stage (Oregon)
Seattle Repertory Theatre (Washington)
Signature Theatre (Virginia)
South Coast Repertory (California)
Stages Theatre Company (Minnesota)
Syracuse Stage (New York)
TheatreWorks (Colorado Springs)
Theatre Aspen
Trinity Repertory Company (Rhode Island)
Two River Theater Company (New Jersey)
Virginia Stage Company (Virginia)
William Inge Center for the Arts (Kansas)
Wilma Theater (Pennsylvania)
Yale Repertory (Connecticut)


By John Moore

Award-winning arts journalist John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the United States by American Theatre Magazine during has 12 years at The Denver Post. Hen then created a groundbreaking new media outlet covering Colorado arts an culture as an in-house, multimedia journalist for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He also founded The Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that has raised more than $600,000 for theatre artists in medical need. He is now a journalist for hire as the founder of Moore Media Colorado. You can find samples of his work at MooreJohn.Com. Contact him at