A Once and Future Art

By Deanne Gertner

[Colony 933] smartly conflates religion and capitalism through wordplay and symbols. Profits, for example, guide the recruits through the space while also serving as a homonym to prophet. The Corporation’s practices involve repetition, communal ritual, and sacred spaces. Colonists lead the mandatory dance/light rituals and the High Profit appears to pray to a plush eye made by Toan and graphic mural painted by Forrestal in the Profit Office. Fun, thoughtful, and complex, [Colony 933] raises issues surrounding group think, individual agency, and the cost of capitalism not only on the environment but also on humanity. Read more…

Making Widgets Not Revolution: Experimental Theater Mirrors Life

by Kealey Boyd

The rendezvous point was a small coffee shop and bar. Along with about 30 other recruits (participants) I was given a lanyard containing a welcome letter and a schematic of Colony 933. I almost missed a small tightly-rolled scroll that outlined a brief modern history of Earth and the colony. It made claims contradictory to the ones in my welcome letter. Directed by Kate Speer, an artist-in-residence at Denver’s RedLine Contemporary Art Center, Colony 933 is an immersive experimental theater of a post-apocalyptic world which mirrors an authoritarian society. Read more…

Get Lost in Colony 933’s Immersive Mystery Dance Theatre

The world certainly ends with a bang at Colony 933, an immersive mystery dance theatre event produced by Control Group Productions and directed by Kate Speer, the resident artist at RedLine Contemporary Art Center. Local experimental artists who work in music, dance and visual art interpret post-apocalyptic Earth at this show, which runs through January 20.

The 21 Best Events in Denver, January 9-15

To start the new year, Patrick Mueller of Control Group Productions is ceding the stage to RedLine resident Kate Speer for [Colony 933], an intimate, multi-disciplinary immersive mystery event that Speer designed in collaboration with RedLiner F.E. Toan, who penned the post-apocalyptic plot. Be prepared to step outside and into the mystery at the fictional Colony 933; at every show, the audience will determine the story’s outcome as it’s entertained by a mixture of dance, theater, installation art and music. Read more…

100 Colorado Creatives 4.0: Kate Speer

The best choreographers are pioneers in space, intellectually binding movement and ideas in a singular sweep through time. It takes a dynamic, malleable mind to do that, while staying just ahead of trends in the outer reaches of the dance universe. Kate Speer [Colony 933 Artistic Director] — a consummate collaborationist, recent PlatteForum resident and a member of RedLine’s newest class of artist/residents — has got that down, and you can see her talent at work this month in Colony 933, an immersive mystery that’s also a participatory journey for artists and audience alike. Read more…

Denver: Colony 933

From one of the performers/creators behind The Wild Party and Sweet & Lucky, comes Colony 933, a mystery immersive dance-theatre piece set in a strange post-disaster world where the sun no long rises. Attendees will find themselves welcomed as newcomers to ‘Colony 933’. Read more…

Create Award Resident Artist Rowan Salem on the Blurred Lines between Choreography and Improvisation and the Fleeting Nature of Movement

Rowan Salem [Colony 933 Performer] is a modern dancer, choreographer and teacher. She moves like a ninja in a pullover sweater, deft and quiet. Her wide eyes keenly take in her surroundings, as if she’s listening to everything, even things she cannot see with her eyes. One of her great loves is improvisation in dance–which, she says, requires sensitivity to your environment and the ability to always be noticing, noticing, noticing. Read more…

Press Release

For Immediate Release:           

November 13, 2017                   

Hi-res digital images available on request


Control Group Productions presents [Colony 933], An Immersive Mystery Dance-Theatre

Set in a Post-Apocalyptic World, the Audience Uncovers the Clues and Decides the Outcome


WHAT: [Colony 933]

WHEN & WHERE: Novo Coffee

1700 E 6th Ave, Denver, CO 80218

January 11, 12, 13 & 18, 19, 20, 2018 at 7:30pm

ADMISSION:  $20 online | $25 at the door

INFO:  www.colony933.com


DENVER – Control Group Productions presents a new immersive performance experience, [Colony 933], coming this January 2018. Six performances will be held January 11, 12, 13 & 18, 19, 20, 2018 at 7:30pm. Performances begin at Novo Coffee, 1700 E 6th Ave, in Denver from which the audience will be led to an undisclosed nearby bunker. Arrive early to enjoy Novo Coffee’s selection of coffee, wine, and beer prior to the show.

[Colony 933] is produced by Control Group Productions and directed by Kate Speer (Resident Artist at RedLine Contemporary Art Center). The work is conceived of and created collectively by Denver’s best experimental artists in music, dance, and visual art. The creative team has crafted an immersive mystery dance-theatre set in a post-apocalyptic world where the sun hasn’t risen in years. The audience will find themselves welcomed as new arrivals recently incorporated into the Colony 933. As they figure out this new world, there will be a choice: whether to embrace this new existence or stage the revolt. Only the audience can decide.

Denver has become a playground for immersive, interactive works in which the audience can disappear inside an entire environment. Control Group Productions is well known for cultivating rich immersive experiences responsive to their site, situation, and audience–from a multi-site bus tour in “Salon Romantik, op. 3: Fear & Prophets” (2013) to revamping an abandoned butcher factory in “SETTING FIRES” (2017). Artistic Director of Control Group, Patrick Mueller, has been part of Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ Off Center’s two recent immersive projects: “The Wild Party” as choreographer and “Sweet & Lucky” as a performer and creator.

[Colony 933] initiates a new type of programming by Control Group: a commissioned work by guest artist Kate Speer and her collaborative team, produced and mentored by the organization. The mystery theatre plot was developed by Frankie Toan, current Temple artist and former RedLine Resident Artist. Performers include dance and theatre artists Emma Acheson, Vanessa Ann, Amy Millennor, Sara Roybal, Rowan Salem, Kate Speer, Jessica Troppmann, and Rachel Oliver Young. Visual artists, Jessica Forrestal, Genevieve Waller, and Jess Webb, have painted murals and created immersive installations for the production. Musical artists, Michael Clark and Jake Wherry, complete the sensorial world with an original sound score.

[Colony 933] will be performed at Novo Coffee, 1700 E 6th Ave, January 11, 12, 13 & 18, 19, 20, 2018 at 7:30pm. Tickets are available online ($20 online and $25 at the door). Ages 12 and up are welcome. For more information, visit www.colony933.com.

About Control Group Productions

Founded in 2008 by artistic director Patrick Mueller, Control Group is a Colorado-based, globally-faced platform for contemporary performance research, production, distribution, and advocacy. With a revolving team of extraordinary artists, we pursue deep collaboration, rigorous research & development, and critical innovations in form and contents. Control Group has created 15 major works to date, ranging from stage performances to site-specific, installation, and film projects.

Control Group has received project and commissioning support from The Biennial of the Americas, Denver Theatre District, the Denver Office of Arts & Venues, and BINDERY|space; and its work has been presented by RedLine Gallery, Naropa University, Dance Initiative Carbondale, American Dance Festival’s MFA program, Boulder Fringe Festival, and others. Our work is supported by Colorado Creative Industries and the National Endowment for the Arts, Colorado’s Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, Broomfield Community Foundation, the Dugas Family Foundation, the Gilbert Family Trust, and other foundations, trusts, and individual donors. For more information, visit www.controlgroupproductions.org.

Kate Speer, Artistic Director

Kate Speer is a dancer, choreographer, and writer based in Denver, CO. Her own choreography has been supported by the Puffin Foundation and the Community Education Center’s New Edge Artist Mix Series (PA), and has been presented in Boulder International Fringe Festival (CO), Philly Fringe (PA), ETC Performance Series (PA), and FAB Dance Showcase (ME). Speer is also one fourth of XX, a Boulder-based collaboration with Ondine Geary, Lauren Beale, and Brook McNamara. Always seeking collaborative performance projects, she has had the pleasure to perform in work by Gesel Mason Performance Projects, Nathan Blackwell, Raja Feather Kelly, Tania Isaac, Patrick Mueller, and Willi Dorner. Currently a Resident Artist at RedLine Contemporary Art Center, Speer has had residencies at PlatteForum (CO), Middlebury College (VT), Swarthmore College (PA), and Mascher Space Cooperative (PA), all of which emphasize community engagement that is inherent in her dancemaking. She holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Colorado Boulder and a BA in Dance and Biology from Swarthmore College. For more information, visit www.katespeerdance.org.

Frankie Toan, Mystery Theatre Writer

Frankie Toan is an artist working mostly with craft and DIY materials and techniques to create large plush sculptures, interactive works, and installations. With an emphasis on labor and process, Frankie explores the complexities of touch, connection, and embodiment. Frankie holds a BFA in Craft/Material studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, with a minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s studies. Originally trained as a metalsmith and metal fabricator, Frankie has recently been following their love of fiber and all things soft. Frankie has participated in many group shows and collaborations nationwide. Having previously completed several residencies including a year at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, they have recently completed a two-year residency at Redline in Denver, CO. For more information, visit www.fetoan.com.

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100 Colorado Creatives 4.0: Genevieve Waller

A whole person with innumerable grassroots interests, Genevieve Waller [Colony 933 Visual Artist] dips her focus head-on into several scenes at once. She’s an analog camera-less photographer, a queer historian, a DJ for Radio 1190’s The Violet Hour, a silent-film aficionado with the Denver Silent Film Festival, and an installation and performance artist with the Secret Love art collective (and on her own) – and that’s just a fraction of what she does. Read more…