Books become props and customers become extras when the Denver Central Library becomes a pop-up theatre on Sunday, June 9 at 1:30 p.m. The library is partnering with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) Off-Center to offer an immersive theatre experience where dozens of local theatre creators and performers will devise experiences that explore issues and stories of today’s library, putting customers and staff at the center of the action.
Denver Central Library is collaborating with DCPA’s experimental arm to showcase local talent and create interest in immersive-theatre experiences, a nod to the library’s mission to “connect people with information, ideas and experiences.”
“We’re all about experiences and this will be one to remember,” said Annie Kemmerling, the library’s manager of innovation and strategy. “Providing cultural experiences for our customers is very important to us and this partnership allows access to some of Denver’s best artists and actors in a new and innovative way.”
This first-of-a-kind program brings 10 directors and several volunteer actors together to create different immersive experiences throughout the library. Each performance is based on issues faced by the large urban library system. In preparation for the event, DCPA and library staff met to talk about challenges and opportunities, giving artists a roadmap for content as well as a look at spaces available for the performances.
The Denver Central Library and the DCPA have had a continued partnership to provide access to performances through ticket vouchers and DCPA Education’s Shakespeare in the Parking Lot. “The DCPA ticket vouchers go as fast as we put them on our website,” Kemmerling said. “There is tremendous interest in the theatre and cultural experiences, so we wanted to come up with something to bring the theatre directly to the customer.”
Library staff will post notices in areas to be used for the performances, giving customers the chance to self-select into or out of the action. Performances will take place throughout the library, located at Broadway and 14th Ave.