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Denver Performing Arts Complex facts for kids

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Denver Performing Arts Complex front view
Denver Performing Arts Complex
Denver Performing Arts Complex
Denver Performing Arts Complex back view

The Denver Performing Arts Complex (sometimes referred to locally as "The Plex," "The DCPA " or simply, "Arts Complex") located in Denver, Colorado, is one of the largest performing arts centers in the United States. The DCPA is a four-block, 12-acre (49,000 m2) site containing ten performance spaces with over 10,000 seats connected by an 80 ft (24 m) tall glass roof. It is home to a theatre company, Broadway touring productions, contemporary dance and ballet, chorales, a symphony orchestra, opera and more.

The City and County of Denver’s Arts & Venues owns and operates the three largest theatres in DPAC, the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, the Buell Theatre and Boettcher Concert Hall. The Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex within DPAC is managed and operated by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA).

Performing arts organizations which regularly appear in one or other of the performance spaces include the Colorado Ballet, the Colorado Symphony, Opera Colorado and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ theatrical divisions — Denver Center Broadway and Denver Center Theatre Company.

Performance and other facilities

The Denver Performing Arts Complex houses the following performance spaces:

  • The Ellie Caulkins Opera House, colloquially known as “the Ellie,” is the main venue inside of the Quigg Newton Denver Municipal Auditorium. The Ellie is one of only three opera houses in the United States, one of nine worldwide, with seatback titling at every seat in the house. Its seating capacity is 2,225.
  • The Buell Theatre is designed for amplified musicals, dramatic plays and comedy acts. Its seating capacity is 2,884.
  • Boettcher Concert Hall is the nation's first symphony hall in the round designed to place the audience close to the stage – 80% of the seats are within 65 feet (20 m) of the stage. Its seating capacity is 2,679.

The Stage, Space, Ricketson, Jones, and Garner Galleria, as well as the Seawell Grand Ballroom are managed by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

  • Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex
    • The Stage Theatre features 778 seats and a thrust stage.
    • The Space Theatre has 450 seats in-the-round.
    • The Ricketson Theatre has 250 seats in a proscenium theatre.
    • The Jones Theatre features 200 seats and a thrust stage.
    • The Donald R. Seawell Grand Ballroom is a pentagonal shaped room with panoramic views of the mountains. This 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) facility holds a maximum capacity of 1,029 people. It can accommodate a variety of functions and performances, featuring its own catering kitchen, freight elevator, tables, chairs, portable dance floor, moveable platform staging and a lighting, audio, video and projection systems.
  • The Garner Galleria Theatre has 210-seats.

Sculpture Park

Sculpture Park is located at the southwest corner of the complex at N. Speer Blvd. and Champa St.

  • Dancers by Jonathan Borofsky are two 60 foot dancers made of steel and fiberglass
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