DENVER — On Friday, after nearly two years on hiatus, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts will invite audiences back once again.
The first show on the roster is "Hip Hop Nutcracker."
"It's the first large-scale theatrical event we'll be doing in the murals since our shutdown, and we are incredibly excited about it," said John Ekeberg, the executive director of the Broadway Division at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. "If you come back on Friday, you'll see an incredibly bustling Arts Complex for sure."
Theaters have struggled more than most industries during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, with new protocol and health measures, leaders in the DCPA say they are confident they can bring people back safely.
"All four of the major resident partners here at the Arts Complex came together," said Ekeberg, discussing the partnership with the symphony, opera and ballet. "We made a mutual decision that to bring folks back safely. We would have a proof of vaccine requirement for those 12 and older."
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts will require all performance attendees over the age of 12 to show proof of vaccination. Children under 12 must bring a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the show. The theater has also gone through significant renovations to its HVAC system and new protocol are in place for cleaning to mitigate spread of COVID-19 on surfaces.
"If we provide a comfortable and healthy and safe environment for folks to come back to, they'll feel comfortable buying another ticket," Ekeberg said. "It's really going to protect the industry and bring it back incredibly strong."
Buell Theater has a blockbuster list of Broadway shows in its lineup this winter, including The Lion King and Hamilton — which was postponed because of the pandemic. The DCPA has maintained more than 25,000 subscribers to its season tickets through the pandemic, and producers are ready to welcome them back.
"We're going to bring it back and it's going to be as big and beautiful and fun and entertaining as you remember," Ekeberg said. "We're ready. It's time."
A full lineup of shows coming to The Denver Center for the Performing Arts can be found here.