From the audacious playwright of White Guy on the Bus

In the world of Division 1 football, there is no room for scandal and no tolerance for losing. As the Cats come off sanctions, accusations have the staff battling out how far they are willing to bend the rules and look the other way to ensure a win. It’s academics vs. football. It’s money vs. integrity. It’s #metoo vs. #gocats. It’s a collision of cover-ups in this aggressive new play diving into a world where players are pawns and the world stands still every Saturday afternoon.

Dates & Times

DateTimeAdditional Information

Diana and Mike Kinsey
The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust

Brent & Christine Case
Ann Corrigan & Kent Rice
Laura Cowperthwaite & LiveWork Denver
Jeremy & Susan Shamos

Jon & Lynne Montague-Clouse

Richard & Joanne Akeroyd
Kirsten & Tim Collins
Lee Ann Huntington & Neil Toribara
David Price

Sanctions Playbill:  An online version of the playbill given to attendees may be viewed here.


Athletics are a gigantic source of revenue for most universities and, because of this, there is an even bigger pressure to make sure that these programs thrive. Read on to understand how this pressure often leads to illegal practices being performed off the field.

“College Football is a Moneymaking Scam”
The world of Division I football is full of scandal, cover-ups, and money. Champions Way, a new book by New York Times reporter Mike McIntire, is the latest inquiry into the seedy underbelly of college sports. In this sweeping interview, Vox reporter Sean Illing and McIntire cover many of the topics highlighted in Sanctions.

“The NCAA Is Prioritizing Monetizing Player Statistics Over Protecting Student-Athletes”
A Forbes article that critically examines the NCAA decision to move forward on an initiative to monetize player’s statistics over an initiative to further benefit players’ safety.

“UCF Kicker Controversy Wouldn’t Happen if NCAA Gave Athletes the Rights They Deserve”
This USA Today article covers the story of a UCF kicker who had lost his scholarship for speaking up on his YouTube channel. It offers insight into the world of a college athlete who brings so much into the school with little to no return.

The new and powerful #MeToo movement has sparked a platform for activism regarding sexual assault in America, read about how these conversations appear on college campuses and what institutions have been doing in response to, and even prior to, the newfound attention on the issue.

“How Colleges Foretold the #MeToo Movement”
The current attention to sexual assault highlights what many schools have known for years, this Atlantic article showcases how colleges have been reckoning with for a long time.

“Three Decades Before the #MeToo movement, UC San Diego Led the Way Against Sexual Assault”
This LA Times article presents the history of an anti-sexual assault center that paved the way for colleges 30 years ago.

“#MeToo Movement Inspires Similar Campaigns Among Colleges”
This short article provides information on the reinvigoration of anti-sexual assault missions that are being felt on college campuses following the #MeToo movement.

“Penn State Administration, Joe Paterno Covered Up Jerry Sandusky’s Child Abuse”
A Huffington Post article that uses FBI director Louis Freeh’s report to dissect why Sandusky’s sexual assault took so long to be brought to light and also discusses the systems of power in place in college football that allows scandals to occur.

In recent investigations, there have been an outpouring of news articles that shed light on the issue that college athletes are granted special privileges over the rest of the student body. This section explores those accusations in-depth.

“Lawyers, Status, Public Backlash Aid College Athletes Accused of Crime”
This ESPN article critiques the rate at which college athletes are accused of crimes that end up miraculously going off of their record.

“Student Athletes Are Still Students”
This blog post compiles various sources to create the claim that shines a light on just how much student athletes are disproportionately aided academically as compared to their non-athletics colleagues.

What is the runtime of this show?
Sanctions runs approximately 90 minutes without an intermission.

Is there an intermission?
There is no intermission.

Are there any advisories I should know about?

Sanctions includes references and description of sexual assault.

Curious offers an advisory about any stage effect of potential concern to patrons’ health. We typically don’t offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any concerns about content or language, please contact the box office.

Can I bring my kids?
We require that audience members find alternative activities for children under 6 years of age. In addition, our material may not be appropriate for young people under 14 years of age. We will gladly discuss subject matter with parents or guardians before the performance in order to make an informed decision for you and your child. Before purchasing tickets, please email or call our Box Office at 303.623.0524.

Where can I park?
Curious is pleased to offer various options for complimentary parking on performance days: the Denver Community Credit Union parking lot directly across the street; the lot directly adjacent to our theatre; on-street parking along Acoma. Please make sure to pick up a parking permit from our Box Office if you wish to park in either lot. Note that these lots are only available for the two hours before a performance and one hour following; Curious does not own either lot and the owners will tow vehicles left past midnight.

Is Curious wheelchair accessible?
Yes. However, due to the age of our building (1890s!), there are a few quirks to our accessibility. When buying tickets, know that Rows F & G are fully wheelchair accessible and all seats are removable. All seats on the orchestra level of the theatre are accessible to those with mobility concerns, however, the other rows of the orchestra do involve a small step up and the seats are fixed. The balcony of Curious is only accessible by stairs. Know that the bar for Curious is located in the balcony; however, Curious staff are eager to assist you by serving you from your seat should you have mobility concerns that prevent you from stairs.

The front entry of Curious is stairs-only, so those with mobility concerns or in a wheelchair may enter the building through the double red doors on the south side of the building (where you will also find accessible parking spaces) beginning 30 minutes before the show. Please let the ushers or staff know that you have arrived so we may greet you if we miss you slipping in.

May I eat/drink in the theatre?
You bet! Our bar is on the balcony level and carries wine, beer, and bourbon in addition to treats, chips, coffee, water, and soft drinks. All are permitted in your seats, although we ask that you unwrap any candy before the show begins.

Where do I pick up my tickets?
If you have selected Will Call for your tickets, they will be available at the Box Office one hour prior to the show. If you selected Print-at-Home, simply print out the PDF that was emailed to you or show that attachment on your phone to the ushers when you arrive, no need to see the box office.

Can I change my tickets to another performance?
Usually, yes. If you know your dates have changed, do contact us as soon as possible to ensure comparable seats are available for your new date. Sometimes our shows do sell out and occasionally an entire run will sell out. So it is always best to call early with a change.

What if I arrive late?
Patrons who arrive late will be seated at the discretion of the House Manager, and may not be seated in their assigned seats until intermission. In the event that a performance runs without an intermission, latecomers will be seated in a location that will not disrupt the performers or other audience members. We reserve the right to deny admission to latecomers when a performance has been running for 15 minutes or more.

Will the show go on in a snowstorm?
Curious will make every possible attempt to continue with a scheduled performance in inclement weather. However, in the VERY RARE case that local authorities deem it unsafe, we will alert all patrons of the canceled performance and reschedule you following our return to normal operations. Should you feel personally unsafe driving in weather, you are encouraged to call the box office to move to a later performance if one is available.

Is it cold/hot in the theatre?
While we make every attempt to ensure our patrons and performers are comfortable in our space, Curious is in a church built in the 1890s; we have no A/C or central air (although we do have two swamp coolers and radiant heat). Temperature control can be a challenge in the extreme cold or extreme heat of Colorado. We encourage you to wear light layers to ensure your comfort.

Do you offer group discounts?
Yes! Call the box office to get a quote for the performance you would like to attend. Discounts vary by performance. As a general rule, bigger discounts are given for Thursday evening performances early in the run of a show.

How can I become a volunteer?
Call or email the box office for information on joining our volunteer corps.

Can I get the program ahead of time?
Yes. About one week before the show opens, you can find our full program in the Go Deeper section.

In Media

  • REVIEW: “Sanctions” at Curious Theatre is a win-win

    You don’t have to be a sports fan to find “Sanctions” — at the Curious Theatre Company — compelling. In fact, if you’re suspicious of the collegiate and NFL “product,” you may find some vindication in Graham’s drama about a tutor at a disgraced Division 1 school who — along with its recruiter — is trying to play by the better set of rules that the NCAA, the college sports governing body, has imposed. (Or maybe they are just trying to bend them in less traceable ways.)

  • Curious turns spotlight on college football and sexual assault

    Some might say sports and theatre make for strange bedfellows, but Covington says Sanctions isn’t just a play about sports. “It’s also about inequity, both in sports and academia,” she said. “I hope everyone would just understand that this is our country’s responsibility – and our issue.”

  • Review: Curious Theatre's Sanctions Shows How the Game Is Played

    None of these people hews to a straight line: The righteous turn out to have flaws, the unrighteous possess virtues. Corruption and self-justification abound, and as the plot twists and turns, every facet of the fraught question of college athletics is illuminated. There are some overarching themes, too: It doesn’t take an intellectual leap to compare the way money distorts the workings and culture of this university to the way it distorts politics and our public life in the United States.

  • REVIEW: Colorado Drama

    Covington seamlessly transforms each radical transition into a series of emotionally natural choices...Mena imbues Ronald with all the confidence and swagger that make such programs tick...Smooth work by Mann in capturing Abby's transformation from a naive underclassman uninterested in sports to a savvy game player who withholds information and gets a raise...Gray is a firecracker as the irrepressible Tonya, keeping the pressure on Claire and Ronald, though she only succeeds in snaring a little fish while the big fish get away scot free.