Examining historical documents is like reading a ghost story. When playwright and director Bonnie Metzgar came across a list of about 166 Irish people saved by 17-year-old Ann Harvey from a wreck off …
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Examining historical documents is like reading a ghost story. When playwright and director Bonnie Metzgar came across a list of about 166 Irish people saved by 17-year-old Ann Harvey from a wreck off Newfoundland’s Shipwreck Coast in 1828, she discovered the opportunity to tell a story about how people live with their ghosts.
“What happens when we lose people? Are there spirits still in their house? Or in this case, are these peoples’ spirits still in the sea?” Metzgar explained. “In my play, the survivors and the lost are caught together in this kind of dance for eternity.”
Metzgar’s play, “You Lost Me,” is making its world premiere under the direction of Margot Bordelon at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ Ricketson Theatre, 1400 Curtis St. in downtown Denver, from Jan. 17 through Feb. 23. Performance times vary, but during the week are typically at 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The show takes place 200 years after the famous rescue at the Harvey family’s home, which has become the Shipwreck Inn. Inn owner Ann Harvey is attempting to drum up new business with a tourist blog, while her nephew Joe-L is more than ready to get off the island.
Metzgar visited the small island town of Isle aux Morts twice while working on the show and wanted to bring that “island mentality” to the stage.
“There’s only about 800 people who live there now, but 80 percent of them can trace their lineage back to Ann’s father, George, and her brother, Tom,” she said. “We met a ferry boat captain there who has a painting of the rescue hanging in his home. It was a very lauded event at the time.”
As the story unfolds, time and surprise guests remind the characters of the imprint of the past on the future and show that powerful and loving relationships can be built anywhere.
The play started out as a project during Metzgar’s time in graduate school, and she was able to take the play to the Denver Center’s 2019 Colorado New Play Summit, where she was able to fine-tune the piece. Brittany Gutierrez, communications associate with the DCPA, said the company does at least one world premiere each season, and this year two are from the 2019 Summit.
Metzgar spent some time as the artistic director of Curious Theatre Company, so she’s excited to be an art advocate here and bring her show about redemption and moving forward to life on a stage in the Mile-High city.
“Loss is a part of life, and we all make terrible mistakes. But then there’s another day. And another day,” she said. “What can happen in the next day, none of us can know. But while we might not know what will happen, the sun comes up and we get another chance.”
Tickets can be purchased by calling 303-893-4100 or visiting www.denvercenter.org.
IMAX immerses audiences in Amazon, Pacific
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s Phipps IMAX Theater launched two new films for the bulk of the year: “Amazon Adventure 3D” and “Hidden Pacific 3D.”
Both films are about 45 minutes long and will be screened daily at the museum, 2001 Colorado Blvd. in Denver, through Aug. 31.
“Amazon Adventure” introduces viewers to explorer Henry Bates, an Amazon explorer who spent 11 years in the jungle during the 1850s. “Hidden Pacific” takes audiences to the gorgeous islands, atolls and coral reefs spread out through the Pacific Ocean. These remote locations feature a plethora of unique wildlife and stunning beauty, and they play an important role in the planet’s ecosystem.
Visit www.dmns.org/visit for information, tickets and more.
‘Cross That River’ to Lone Tree
The musical “Cross That River” aims to add another voice to the story of the American West, and is coming to the Lone Tree Arts Center.
Composed by and featuring Allan Harris, written by Allan and Pat Harris, and directed by Regge Life, the show blends fiction and historical fact while telling the story of Blue, a runaway slave who flees to Texas and becomes one of the first black cowboys.
The show plays at the center, 10075 Commons St., at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18. Purchase tickets at www.lonetreeartscenter.org.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Chris Farren at Globe Hall
There’s a lot to be serious about these days, which is why it’s a treat when a musician can do their thing with a sense of humor. Indie rock/pop auteur Chris Farren is just such an artist. His sophomore album, the delightfully titled “Born Hot,” was released late last year and proved a dependable source of fun, even while exploring some serious topics.
Farren will be stopping by the Globe Hall, 4483 Logan St. in Denver, at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 21 in support of the album. Score tickets at www.globehall.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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