Denver Center For The Performing Arts elevates off-center line of programming, promotes Charlie Miller to executive director and curator

In 2010, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) announced the creation of Off-Center, a subset of its Tony-winning theater company. Now, having been experienced by nearly 320,500 people, Off-Center will be elevated to a separate, independent line of programming from the 43-year-old organization. Along with this announcement, Charlie Miller has been promoted to Executive Director and Curator of Off-Center and will join the DCPA leadership team.

Originally conceived by Miller and former DCPA Theater Company Artistic Producer Emily Tarquin, Off-Center produces unexpected theatrical experiences that put the audience at the center of the story. What began as a small theatrical test kitchen has since offered 52 productions and events totaling over 8,800 performances in just 12 years. His ties to local and national artists have helped establish Denver as a hub for immersive art and cement Off-Center’s growing reputation.

Thanks in large part to the support of the Doris Duke and Wallace Foundations, Off-Center has experimented with the size and scale of its productions, featuring everything from a boss/actor experience in Between Us to productions at large-scale, including Sweet & Lucky created with New York-based Third Rail Projects, Camp Christmas with artist Lonnie Hanzon, and the highly anticipated Theater of the Mind engagement created by David Byrne and Mala Ganokar, which is expected to seat 30 000 spectators during its 2,244 performances this fall.

The Off-Center “recipe” is clear. Each project must be immersive, convergent, connective, inventive and “now”. But no matter how good the “ingredients,” success in Off-Center requires a master chef.

“Charlie Miller embodies connectivity,” said Janice Sinden, President and CEO of DCPA. “His ability to identify talent, cultivate creativity, build partnerships, connect with the local artistic community and inspire our team is the ‘secret sauce’ that has led Off-Center to widespread success. Both the theater company that the full DCPA recognizes his artistry and sense of leadership Charlie’s vision will be a welcome and important addition to the leadership of our organization.

“Before joining the DCPA, I watched with envy the growth of Off-Center,” said Chris Coleman, artistic director of the DCPA Theater Company. “It’s truly unique in our field and has invited new audiences into our fold, while capturing attention across the country. We are extremely fortunate to have such a forward-thinking and daring leader as Charlie to drive this work.”

“As a Denver theater kid who grew up seeing shows at the DCPA, working at the Denver Center was always a dream come true,” Miller said. “Building Off-Center over the past 12 years has been a great joy and privilege, and its success is due to the hundreds of talented people I have had the pleasure of working with over the years. I am deeply grateful for this opportunity and I am thrilled to advance DCPA Off-Center as a national leader in creating unexpected theatrical experiences that put the audience at the center of the story.”

DCPA Off-Center has already announced plans for the return of Mixed Taste in partnership with MCA Denver which will take place on Wednesdays from July 13 to August 17 at the Holiday Theater or online, Theater of the Mind from August 31 to December 18 in York Street Yards, and Camp Christmas back at Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park from November 17 to December 24. Ticket information is available at denvercenter.org.

Under Miller’s leadership, Off-Center will have creative, financial and artistic decision-making power while benefiting from the centralized team of marketers, fundraisers, administrators and the many talented technicians, artists and artisans who support and build the productions. “This announcement is DCPA’s commitment to the future of immersive theater in our organization, in our community and on the National Theater stage,” Sinden said. “The future is as limitless as our imagination.”