(Press release)

Wednesday, May 18, 2022. Denver, CO – At a celebratory event last night, Curious Theatre Company reflected on 24 years of incredible impact to our local, regional and national arts community and announced a succession plan for the next year. Founders Chip Walton and Dee Covington will be leaving the company at the end of the 25th season, after supporting a transition year, in which long-time company member Jada Suzanne Dixon will assume the role of Artistic Director.

Just some of the accomplishments of the vanguard company over the past 24 seasons include:

  • Curious has produced 21 World Premieres, 13 National New Play Network Rolling World Premieres, 82 Regional Premieres, and 4 Denver Premieres.
  • Over the last 10 years, 75% of Curious plays have been written by playwrights of color, LGBTQIA+ playwrights, or female playwrights.
  • Curious’ longstanding commitment to pioneering work; equity, diversity and inclusion; as well as artistic and professional excellence have been recognized with over one hundred local and national awards, including eight Best Theatre Season awards from Westword, four Denver Post Ovation Awards for Best Year by a Theatre Company, a Denver Mayor’s Award, and 5280 magazine’s Top of the Town Reader’s Choice: Best Theatre.
  • Notable firsts include introducing the region to the works of Tarell Alvin McCraney before he found world-wide recognition with the movie Moonlight, producing the region’s first play by an Indigenous woman writer:The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse, and producing new writers to the region such as Dominique Morisseau, Antoinette Nwandu and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.

As we celebrate this amazing history, Curious is also looking ahead to the future. The 25th season will include a diverse line up of plays that explore the question “what does it mean to be an American?” with four of the five shows written by BIPOC or female playwrights.

Intentional Succession Plan

Curious steps into the future with a conscious and intentional succession plan for its artistic leadership. After significant planning, Chip Walton and Dee Covington will be working in a collaborative capacity throughout the 25th season to support the leadership transition, as well as directing and acting in shows before stepping away from the organization to pursue their next great adventure.

The board of directors unanimously approved and appointed long-time Curious Artistic Company member, actor and director Jada Suzanne Dixon into the role of Artistic Director. Dixon, who is currently serving as Artist-in-Residence and Associate Producer, will assume the role of Artistic Director in August 2022.

Walton and Covington were part of a group of intrepid artists who started Curious in 1997 after working together in a groundbreaking production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. Over the past 24 years, Curious has become a major force for new plays in the Rocky Mountain region. Partners in both work and life, Walton and Covington married in 2011 and have two daughters.

Chip is known for his commitment to new plays and bold season selections focusing on world and regional premieres. He has directed more than 50 shows for Curious over the past 24 years and his work has garnered more than 100 local and national awards, he has served as the President of the National New Play Network, was in the inaugural class of Bonfils-Stanton Livingston Fellows, and brought Building the Wall to the Aspen Ideas Festival. Starting in August, he will work as an artistic and business consultant for the organization and will direct the final show of the season, On the Exhale.

“It’s been an amazing gift to have had the opportunity, along with Dee and so many other amazing Curious artists and supporters, to conjure, to create, and to cultivate Curious Theatre Company. And now, it is time to celebrate. Over 25 years and more than 100 shows, we’ve all created a remarkable body of artistic work together, through our shared vision, commitment to mission, and exceptional ensemble of artists, and that is an extraordinary opportunity for which I am deeply grateful.” said Walton.

“It’s also time to look towards the future, and it has been a privilege to help select and support Jada as my successor to lead Curious into the future. Jada is an amazing artist, as well as a core member of the Artistic Company at Curious, and I am excited about watching her lead the organization to continued success through her own distinctive artistic vision, as well as her commitment to our mission, culture and core values.”

Covington has served as Curious’ Education Director since the company’s founding and in addition to her featured acting and directing roles on stage, has been the passionate leader behind the company’s award winning youth playwriting program Curious New Voices. Audiences will recognize her from iconic roles such as Empty in The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide…., Toni in Appropriate, Roz in White Guy on the Bus, Margaret in Good People, Veronica in God of Carnage, Bev/Kathy in Clybourne Park (Denver Post Ovation Nominee, Supporting Actress in a Play), and The Homebody in Homebody/Kabul (Best of Westword, Best Contemporary Monologue). Curious directing credits include The Thanksgiving Play, The Humans, Your Best One, Hand to God, and the three-part The Brother/Sister Plays. She is also known for her hospitality, personally catering most of Curious’ opening night parties and teen night dinners over the years.

“I’ve dedicated my career to ensuring that Curious embraced the highest levels of artistry, to supporting the development of new voices for the theatre, to nurturing our future through young playwrights and to ensuring our company provided cultural communion for our artists and audiences alike.” said Covington.

She will continue to serve as Education Director for the majority of the season and will help to create a transition plan for the department. She will also direct Franklinland and star in the one woman show On the Exhale in the upcoming season.

Incoming Artistic Director Jada Suzanne Dixon

In announcing the leadership transition, Board President Jim Steinberg said, “We are truly grateful to Chip and Dee for their dedication to Curious Theatre and the relentless and amazing work they have crafted here over 24 seasons. Their vision and guidance have been instrumental to the success of Curious and we are excited they have chosen to take such a significant part in our celebratory transition year.”

“Jada is an accomplished artist and will be a stellar leader for the Company. The board is excited about the vision she brings to the organization and are looking forward to working with her to build the next generation of Curious Theatre.”

Dixon has been with Curious as an artistic company member for ten years, acting in notable productions such as Detroit ‘67, White Guy on the Bus and In the Red and Brown Water. This season she directed and acted in American Son and is currently on stage in Fireflies.

“I’m looking forward to leading Curious into the next quarter century of bold theatrical work,” said Dixon. “This is such an amazing opportunity to use both my artistic and leadership skills to build on the foundation created by Chip and Dee in collaboration with our amazing staff and team. I hope the community will join us for a very special 25th anniversary season filled with amazing plays, celebrations of our accomplishments and vision for the future.”

2022-2023 season

In collaboration with the current producing artistic director, Chip Walton and incoming artistic director, Jada Suzanne Dixon, Curious Theatre Company presents five plays centered around the theme of “What does it mean to be an American?”

With much of Curious work flowing from their unapologetically progressive stance towards social justice and contemporary issues, they might at times be said to be “preaching to the choir.” However in this 25th Anniversary season, they boldly take on two plays which lift the curtain on the conservative movement and white supremacy from inside those ideologies: Heroes of the Fourth Turning and Amerikin.

In a delicious change of pace, the funny and anachronistic Franklinland sends up the family li