Lynne Collins was announced as the new Artistic Director of Arvada Center Theater following the departure of Rod A. Lansberry.

Collins, the current Artistic Director of Plays, first joined Arvada Center in 2016 and has overseen the growth of Black Box Theater and its repertory company.

“Lynne is an enormously talented artist and a passionate advocate for inclusion in the arts,” said Philip Sneed, President and CEO of the Arvada Center. “Her commitment to the Arvada Center and the entire Denver theater community, as well as her innovative artistic vision, make her the ideal choice to lead our theater program into the next chapter of our journey.”

We spoke to Collins about her new role and what’s next.

The interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Tell me how you become the new artistic director of the theater?

We’ve had some internal discussions about what to do now and where we’re going. After talking it through, it became clear that we couldn’t dwell on the fact that the season is about to start for too long. They came to me and I said okay. I know the place well and have all the information and I’m also looking at the end of my career which means I’m in a nice transitional situation as a leader. What we have to do is rethink everything – there are many questions about how we do the work as a theatre. I want to do great work here and be the leader of the next phase of the Arvada Center.

Where do you see theaters in the Arvada Center now?

We are still recovering from COVID and next year will likely still be a year of recovery. And that raises a lot of questions that we don’t yet have the answers to. We don’t yet know if this is a permanent change – will people’s comfort zone in a closed space change in the long term? And how do you plan that? There are more questions than answers right now, and while we know the questions, we don’t know how to address them.

What are you looking forward to in the new season?

I’m really looking forward to directing Into the Woods – I’ve never done a musical at Arvada Center, so that’s exciting. I’m generally excited about how to make this transition – there’s a lot of intuitive knowledge here at Arvada Center, which is really a godsend for me.

What would you like to share with the Arvada community about your goals in theatre?

People won’t see a big change in the coming season, but stay tuned for the season after. That might look a little different. The gift of a veteran leader is continuity, and the gift of change is being able to look at how we’re doing things and ask ourselves if we should or want to do it. It opens up many possibilities.

Meet at the corner of `The Holly’

KGNU, a local volunteer radio station, will be hosting a community talk Julian RubensteinAuthor of The Holly: Five Bullets, One Gun, and the Struggle to Save an American Neighborhood at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 21 at The Buell Media Center2101 Arapahoe St. in Denver.

In addition to author Terrance Roberts, the central figure of the events will be on site and the audience will see excerpts from the upcoming documentary The Holly. Secure your ticket for this impressive event at

Start mySummer at Wright Farms

It’s entirely possible Artist Helen Hiebert has created the perfect summer picture with her new one mySummer installationwhich will be seen Sort of Wright Farms, 5877 E. 120th Ave. in Thornton. As artist-in-residence, Hiebert will build an interactive, large-format paper lantern in the library, which can be viewed in person from Friday, May 20 and is on display throughout the summer.

There will also be a mySummer finale with Hiebert on Saturday, July 30 from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the backyard of Anythink Wright Farms. Visit for more information on the mySummer program.

Clarke’s Concert of the Week – Kurt Vile at the Ogden Theatre

Sometimes you just have to get lost in a whirl of guitars, don’t you think? And when that happens, the music of Kurt Ville is one of the best sources for indie guitar-based jamming. His latest album (watch my move) is one of his strongest releases to date.

In support of his amazing record, he and his band The Violators will be at the Ogden Theatre935 E. Colfax Ave. in Denver at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, May 23. Get your tickets at

Clarke Reader’s culture column appears weekly. He can be reached at [email protected].

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