Arts & entertainment

Edge Theater to set new ‘Benchmark’

Rick and Patty Yaconis to take half of 2018 off

Posted 8/29/17

In the seven years since The Edge Theater was founded, it’s put on 56 productions, including multiple regional premieres, a few world premieres, and even a musical.

But the next challenge for artistic directors Rick and Patty Yaconis is a …

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Arts & entertainment

Edge Theater to set new ‘Benchmark’

Rick and Patty Yaconis to take half of 2018 off

Posted

In the seven years since The Edge Theater was founded, it’s put on 56 productions, including multiple regional premieres, a few world premieres, and even a musical.

But the next challenge for artistic directors Rick and Patty Yaconis is a surprising one — taking some time off.

“We put a lot of thought into it, and decided we didn’t want to keep going at this pace,” Rick said. “We’ve loved every minute of our time at The Edge, but we needed to take a break and take some time for ourselves.”

The pair decided to finish out The Edge’s 2017 season, and do two shows in 2018, and in June, Benchmark Theatre Company will take over for the rest of 2018.

While the theater has become a hub of the 40 West Arts District, and receives a lot of support from neighbors and artists alike, building The Edge has been a full-time job. That’s in addition to full-time jobs, since the theater has never made enough to pay either of the Yaconises.

“We’ve worked so hard to build the theater community here, and we didn’t want it to go away,” Rick said. “We’ve worked with almost everyone in Benchmark, and thought this would be a great way to give them a space to get started.”

Benchmark was started by Haley Johnson and Rachel Bouchard in the summer of 2015, who spent the ensuing two years building up the company and making a home in the metro Denver artistic community.

“We both wanted to do more interesting work and unique scripts,” Johnson explained. “We’re really thrilled about the company of artists we have gathered together and what we can create.”

In 2017, Benchmark performed Jennifer Haley’s “The Nether” and hosted its annual Fever Dream Festival, which features science fiction, fantasy and horror stories. In December the company will perform Noah Haidle’s “Smokefall” at Denver’s Buntport Theater.

“We have four main stage productions planned at The Edge space. Three are regional premieres and one is a world premiere,” Johnson said. “Rick and Patty have grown a fantastic artistic family at The Edge, and audiences will see familiar faces at our shows.”

Family is certainly the feeling at The Edge, and both Rick and Patty have plans to get back into the theater community after getting some rest.

“We’ve talked about a lot of things, including maybe starting some kind of dinner theater in the area,” Rick said. “It’s important to have live theater in the community, and working with Benchmark will continue that for those who support us.”

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