AEA Logo
American Stage Actors
AEA home page
News and Media

Member Portal

  Communication Dept.
  Press Room
  News Links
  Filming & Taping
  Annual Study

    Posted July 15, 2008

< Return to 2008 Archives

Sound the (76) Trombones:

Curtain Rises on the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, Colorado's New Equity Dinner Theatre

By David Lotz, National Communications Director

Candlelight Dinner Playhouse

Colorado Actors and theatre-goers have something to sing about: the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, a brand-spanking new, state-of-the-art Equity dinner theatre has opened in Johnstown, CO, 40 miles north of Denver. The Candlelight opened with a production of THE MUSIC MAN on June 6, 2008, and has announced an ambitious year-round season of musical fare including NUNSENSATIONS and SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, using a full Equity Dinner Theatre Contract. The opening was particularly noteworthy, given the recent demise of the Country Dinner Playhouse.

"The opening of Candlelight creates a much-needed opportunity for our local membership to pursue year-round employment," says Lindsey Hanahan, Chair of the Denver Area Liaison Committee. "It is truly a first-class facility with a commitment to hiring local AEA talent, and we look forward to supporting their growth and success."

With scenic views of the Rocky Mountains, the Candlelight sits on a knoll overlooking I -25 within comfortable driving distance of Denver, Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Longmont, Wyoming and their surrounding areas. The 380-seat, $6 million dollar facility boasts a state-of-the art kitchen, elegant lobby, and a 50 seat private balcony which includes VIP rooms, separate dining areas and mezzanine theater seating. Backstage are spacious air-conditioned dressing rooms with showers and plenty of wing-space for entrances and exits.

Front Row, Left to Right: Gina Schuh-Turner*, Kenny Moten*, Jessica Laulhere*, Jill Nacke*, Craig Lundquist*, Jordan Leigh*, Matthew Campbell*.
Second Row: Barb Reeves, Eric Mossman, Ben Roeling, Megan Wolfelt, Marnie Ward, Rachel McGaha Miller.
Third Row: Sharon Sheets, Bren. Eyestone Burron, Rob Bowling, Nancy Conover.
Fourth Row: Brian Burron, Ted Reedy, Ben Reitz.
(* AEA)

The Candlelight Dinner Playhouse is the brainchild of producer Nick Turner, who, with his business partners Gina Schuh-Turner, Troy Schuh, and , set out to do it right. "We wanted to take everything you don't like about dinner theatre and fix it," says Turner, who has a strong theatre producing background. "Our goal is to bring our patrons high quality family entertainment, using the most cosmopolitan amenities, including fine dining, high production values, and of course, professional actors, stage managers and musicians."

All of this costs money, of course. The theatre has an annual operating budget of $2.5 million, with a $350,000 lighting and sound system, and a state-of-the-art $150,000 kitchen. To this theatre-goer's eye and palate, their investment has definitely paid off.

For its inaugural production, the Candlelight hired AEA actors from both Denver and the Ft. Collins area, including Jordon Leigh, Kenny Moten, Craig Lundquist, Gina Schuh-Turner, Jessica Laulhere, Jill Nacke, and Stage Manager Matthew Campbell. The production is directed by AEA member Marcus Waterman and runs through August 31st.

For more information about the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, visit

Home | Members Only | About Equity | Member Benefits | Document Library
FAQ | News and Media | Membership Department | Contact

© 2018 . Actors' Equity Association. Terms of Use | Privacy