Aurora Fox Arts Center Announces 2017-2018 Season

Aurora Fox Arts Center Announces 2017-2018 Season

New this season, a Cabaret Series and shows on Thursdays

AURORA, Colo. – The Aurora Fox Arts Center is proud to announce the 2017-2018 season featuring five outstanding productions, “Company,” “Hi-Hat Hattie,” “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” “Real Women Have Curves” and “Passing Strange,” as well the introduction of a Cabaret Series and the addition of Thursdays performances.

Kicking off Season 33 is Stephen Sondheim’s contemporary musical classic, “Company,” running Sept. 22 – Oct. 22. Winner of seven Tony Awards, “Company” has been lauded as the show that redefined modern musical theatre and promises to be a laugh-out-loud season opener featuring some of Sondheim’s best known songs.

Then comes “Hi-Hat Hattie,” playing Nov. 24 – Dec. 23. This musical tour-de-force soulfully examines the life of Denver legend Hattie McDaniel and will feature local favorite, Anna High (“The Color Purple” and Porgy & Bess”).

Rounding out the latter portion of the season will be the cult favorite musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” (Jan. 19 – Feb. 10), the lauded Latina immigrant comedy-drama “Real Women Have Curves” (Feb. 23 – Mar. 18) and the high-energy Tony Award-winning musical “Passing Strange” (Apr. 13 – May 13).

A new exciting addition to The Fox programming is the Cabaret Series, which will feature a dynamic program in the intimate setting of the Fox’s Studio Theatre. Also new for Season 33 is the addition of Thursday night performances to the entire season, allowing more options to enjoy the first-class entertainment at The Aurora Fox.

The Annual Fox Fundraising Gala will be held in April this season, once again featuring pre-show dinner, select wines, a silent auction and a full performance of the Season 33 closing musical, “Passing Strange.”

The entire Season 33 can be found online at or by calling the box office at 303.739.1970 to request a brochure.

The Aurora Fox Arts Center is a program of the city of Aurora’s Library and Cultural Services. Additional support provided by the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).

Charles Packard

Every great Broadway show eventually closes. Cats, Les Miz and even Hamilton will someday grow tired, then exhausted, and then close.

             When they are gone we remember what was amazing and how we felt in the audience, how those stories changed our hearts. They become part of theatre history. Our future efforts will all build on their innovations in theme, composition, style, technique and technology. The theatre’s achievements next season are not possible without the closings of this season. We learn, we grow, and as an industry and art form, we shift and develop as the years go by.

             I have grown tired, then exhausted and it has come time to close. In the 19 years I’ve been at the Fox we have had a few failures, many successes and tremendous growth. The audience has changed and the neighborhood has changed. I have grown as an artist.

            I will be spending the next few months “in the sandwich”. My parents are aging and my kids are growing fast. I will be with them while my artistic and public servant batteries recharge.

             The City of Aurora has not yet identified a successor. No arts organization should become dependent on the presence of any single mind. That is true of The Fox. Gary, Jen, Beau, Brandon, Jeremiah and dozens of artists are still here working hard on the 33rd season. Soon a new Producer will emerge and he or she will build on our accomplishments. He or she will find their own innovations and growth. To that person I say Break A Leg! and to you I promise that you can continue to expect great things from The Aurora Fox.


Charles Packard

former Executive Producer, The Aurora Fox

Finding Your Passion

I recently had an opportunity to meet with high school students considering careers in the arts. It’s not hard for 17-year-old kids to tell you what they are passionate about. And, at their age, I believe in feeding that passion, let them try everything until they are certain what their thing is. Science, business and art are all the same at that point in the process of pinpointing their passion.

Next, I told them to make sure they are good at it. That could mean college or apprenticeships or a whole lot of auditioning. This is when it’s necessary to be brutally honest with themselves. Are they good at it?

Finally, can they get paid doing what they are passionate about? They shouldn’t have to answer that question too early. There are subtleties and branches in any given field that won’t be evident for many years.

Then, they should ask themselves (often!): “Do I have passion for this? Am I good at it? Can I get paid?” If the answer is consistently “yes” they have likely found the perfect career and, ideally, happiness.

Here’s the rub. Things change. So I also told them this: “If at any point in your professional life any one of those areas starts to drift; you discover you aren’t good at it because you haven’t kept up with the new technology, or you lose passion because the popular style has changed, or you’re no longer getting paid (as is the case of 1,000’s of passionate journalists and song writers), you must re-tool. You must adjust your focus until all three are true again.”

Are you passionate about this? Are you good at it? Will you get paid?

by Charles Packard, Executive Producer

Stage vs. Screen

Are movies better than live theater?

Ask this one ‘innocent’ little question in mixed company (“mixed” meaning two humans or more) and you’ll ignite a lively (if not heated) debate. But rather than re-write what has been written countless times, let’s defer to wiseGEEK to start this discussion from the audience point-of-view. (Remarks in parentheses are our own interjections!)

“A constant debate between fans of both art forms is whether movies are better than live theater. Some consider theater productions to be outdated and out-stripped by the technological capabilities of film. Others believe that film is too often a sell-out, pawning substandard plots and writing through excessive special effects and gimmicks to draw a crowd. Yet both forms have the ability to attain astounding levels of quality and to affect their audience on an intensely personal level, using different methods.

Live theater has an air of controlled chaos about it that is impossible to replicate (ain’t that the truth?!) Each performance will be subtly different, depending on a variety of factors…”.

“It is precisely this uncertainty that makes theater appealing to many. The audience can be drawn in simply through the recognition that they are not watching a recorded performance but live people (even better than HD 3D).

Film, in many ways, is a safer medium. Performances are recorded and a single line or scene may be filmed ten or fifteen times. The work then gets further review and selection in the editing process, allowing the editor and director to choose the best versions that complement the whole of the film (which is why we don’t understand how a film can win BEST PICTURE without also winning BEST EDITING and BEST DIRECTOR)”.

From an actor’s standpoint, Conor McPherson gives a well-reasoned commentary in an article for The Guardian:

“What the actor must achieve in a film is getting each moment right. They move from moment to moment in no particular order that makes sense and often without any time to rehearse properly. scary thing about theatreIronically, film actors can work very quickly to put a scene together in a film that then exists forever while theatre actors may work for months to achieve a performance that only lasts as long as the run of the show.

Of course a poor performance in a film can be made to look a lot better. With judicious editing and good music, suddenly you can seem like a star on the screen. But in the theatre, there is nowhere to hide. If your performance is bad or lazy, you stick out like a sore thumb.

Ultimately the difference between making films and putting plays on is analogous to the band of musicians who go into the studio to record an album and the completely different world of performing the music live to an audience. The band can spend months perfecting their recording in the studio, and edit it and shape it into a kind of coherence, just like a film. Only the best takes are used.

But if you want to play live, you’d better be able to play well. Even though the music is available on a CD, the fans want to see it being performed. It’s a great feeling to see a talented person perform live in front of you. Curiously, the live experience both demystifies the performer and at the same time creates a whole other set of mysteries: “How do they do that?””

Ok, so we don’t agree with everything Mr. wiseGEEK has to say (and we might have said it more eloquently), and Mr. McPherson might be a little dramatic, but we ALL agree that some stories are best told on film and some stories are best told on stage. We think we’re pretty good at picking the right ones for our stage.

Feel free to weigh in.

Doin’ the Theatre Shuffle

Ever wonder what’s going on at this sleepy old movie theatre on East Colfax? Well, there’s a whole lotta shakin’ (and loadin’ and strikin’ and rehearsin’) going on.

Here’s a little snapshot for you …

December at The Fox:

11/28/14 – Red Ranger Opens, Fully Committed performs

11/29/14 – Red Ranger Performs, Fully Committed Performs, Guys On Ice rehearsal

11/30/14 – Red Ranger Performs, Fully Committed Performs, Guys On Ice rehearsal

12/1/14 – Guys On Ice Final Dress

12/2/14 – Load-in Guys On Ice at the Aurora Municipal Center, Performance, Load out immediately after

12/4/14 – Red Ranger Put-In Rehearsal

12/5/14 – Red Ranger Performs, Fully Committed performs

12/6/14 – Staged Reading rehearsal and conference in the afternoon, Red Ranger and Fully Committed performs in the evening.

12/7/14 – Red Ranger, Fully Committed Performs; She Kills Monsters auditions (70 people)

12/8/14 – Staged Reading performance, She Kills Monsters audition (70 people)

12/9/14 – Loaded out Red Ranger set for Nutcracker performance

12/10/14 – 2 Nutcracker performances

12/11/14 – 2 Nutcracker performances, Dance Academy rehearsal

12/12/14 – Load Red Ranger back in to main stage, Red Ranger & Fully Committed Perform, load out entire Fully Committed set AND studio seating overnight

12/13/14 – Choir/Dinner Rehearsal in Studio in the afternoon, Red Ranger & Fully Committed perform, Guys On Ice performs at a private party in south Parker

12/14/14 – Red Ranger Performs, partial strike immediately after, Choir/Dinner Performance in Studio, Dance Academy performance on main stage

12/15/14 – She Kills Monsters Callbacks (80 people)

12/16/14 – She Kills Monsters Fight Call Callbacks (24 people)

12/17/14 – Cultural Concert

12/18/14 – Load Guys On Ice into Dairy Center in Boulder, Tech rehearsal

12/19/14 – Guys On Ice Performs in Boulder, Fully Committed & Red Ranger Perform, Beets 1st Rehearsal

12/20/14 – Guys On Ice Performs in Boulder, Fully Committed & Red Ranger Perform

12/21/14 – Beets Rehearsal, Fully Committed Performs, Red Ranger Closes, Guys On Ice performs in Boulder. Load out Guys On Ice from Boulder back to Fox, load out Red Ranger, Ignite Loads in Dreamgirls

12/22/14 – Beets Rehearsal, Dreamgirls Rehearsal

12/23/14 – Beets Rehearsal, Dreamgirls Rehearsal

12/24/14 – Dreamgirls Rehearsal

12/25/14 – Christmas Day

12/26/14 – Fully Committed Performance, Dreamgirls Final Dress

12/27/14 – Dreamgirls Opening, Fully Committed Performs

12/28/14 – Beets Rehearsal, Dream Girls Performs, Fully Committed Closes, Fully Committed set struck after performance, Beets load-in

… and so forth!

Whew, we made it! And we look forward to another 365 days of doing the same “theatre shuffle.” We wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s an honor and a privilege to make artistic contributions to this community… to you.

Happy New Year!