By: Curious Theatre Company On: December 27, 2017 In: Uncategorized Comments: 0

When Janice Benning Lacek looks back on the inaugural years of Curious she recalls a small and scrappy team that enjoyed working together and embraced design. She remembers it fondly, “there was a spirit amongst the design teams that I have not experienced anywhere else since.” In the beginning, seasons were smaller, the passion was that of a young starter company, and the design team was mostly the same from show to show. Everyone worked, show after show, committed to excellence and collaboration.

Janice first met Producing Artistic Director Chip Walton at CU Boulder and worked on Curious’ very first production, How I Learned to Drive. By the second season, she was the resident costume designer. It wasn’t only the spirit of the designers that kept her around, she also loved Curious’ commitment to paying artists, as well as the plays Curious chose. Much like today, Curious chose plays to incite a deeper conversation, and Curious was taking on plays that no other company in Denver would.

Janice left Denver and the company in 2002. She had gotten married the same year and her husband, struggling to find work in Denver, was living in Memphis, TN. They lived apart briefly until the couple decided to unite in Memphis.

Though she lived in Memphis for 13 years, she was able to take time to come back and work at Curious. In 2009, she worked on Eurydice, which she describes as one of the highlights of her career. That time allowed her to work with former student and current company member, John Jurcheck, and hire collaborators she always wanted to work with.

When the University of Denver came calling with a costume design faculty position last Fall, she and her husband, who now had a daughter, returned to Denver.

Her time away has allowed her to see just how much Curious has changed. With her most recent work on The Body of an American, she can still see the passion, commitment to design, and work are all still there, but the spirit has evolved with the years and designers now rotate from show to show. She is glad we are still committed to plays that start conversations and she particularly loves the motto No Guts, No Story. She sees things that were always at Curious’ core more realized now.

We are so excited to have Janice back in Denver and are looking forward to seeing her work in the Your Best One this spring.