100 Colorado Creatives: Charlie Miller and Emily Tarquin
#47: Charlie Miller and Emily Tarquin
Photo by Kyle Malone.
Charlie Miller and Emily Tarquin are multi-taskers at the Denver Center Theatre Company: Miller is a techno whiz for DCTC shows, while Tarquin coordinates new productions. But on the side -- the off-center, you might say -- they curate the DCTC's underground series Off-Center@The Jones, an alternative theater experience that blends improv, performance art, partying and a pinch of sheer madness for younger audiences looking for something sophisticated yet different to do on a budget. Together, the dynamic duo of Off-Center share an eye for what works, both onstage and behind the scenes, and put on smart productions that leave audiences happy -- and perhaps a bit tipsy -- when they leave the theater.
© Jennifer M. Koskinen | Merritt Design Cast of "Drag Machine."
Past productions have ranged from the long-running crowd-pleaser Cult Following, a movie-inspired improv mashup, to Stuart Sanks's Drag Machine, a history of drag and its glittery milieu; they've even hosted a show completely performed on bicycles. Off-Center@The Jones kicks off its third season at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, September 12 at 8:30 with a Season Opening Party that will unveil and preview new and returning shows. You'll have to be there if you want to be first to know -- but the event at the Jones Theatre, located on the backside of the Denver Performing Arts Complex, is free. For information visit the Denver Center online.
Miller and Tarquin are playing coy, then, about spilling the beans here, but they did tackle our 100CC questionnaire with aplomb. Continue reading for a look at life and culture from a pair of hilarious and sassy thinkers.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Emily Tarquin: Probably Salt-N-Pepa. I feel like all of my life lessons came from their CD Very Necessary...I'll definitely have my kids listen to it. So I would be interested in doing a theatrical version of it -- they are masters of verse, and I'd love to see them create live.
Charlie Miller: Buster Keaton. I have always been a fan of his work. I'm particularly interested in how his career went from vaudeville to silent film and then immediately ended with the advent of talkies.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
CM: Tim Brown, who wrote Change By Design, the book I just finished. I'm really interested in design thinking, which is a term I first heard two months ago, but we've been practicing it without knowing what it was called for years.
ET: Ed Iskander, the artistic Director of Exit Pursued by a Bear. One of the last times I was in NYC, a director I was working with said there was someone I had to meet and who I would really hit it off with. So with some serious blind trust, I ventured to a somewhat sketchy neighborhood to meet this guy at his apartment...which also happened to be the performance space of Exit Pursued by a Bear. They host five-hour experiences where you eat dinner, watch the actors get ready while laying around on pillows, see a full production and have dessert at intermission. I just loved what he is making happen.
Continue reading for more from Emily Tarquin and Charlie Miller.