Founded in 1979 as the “Colorado Theatre Producers Guild” by Henry Lowenstein, Ed Baierlein, Al Brooks and Maxine Munt, the Guild was initially created to bring producers of live theatre in Colorado together to communicate and share information. In 1999, the organization adopted a new trade name and broadened the scope of its membership to include both theatre production companies and individuals in the theatre community. That year The Colorado Theatre Guild, or “CTG,” grew to over 80 members; new committees were formed, and CTG began to develop a broad pallet of new programming to serve its growing community.
In 2001, the CTG received preliminary approval for 501(c)(3) status, with final approval confirmed in early 2006. In 2003, CTG launched its website which has become a comprehensive resource and communication tool for connecting and enhancing all things theatre in Colorado. 2003 was also the first year CTG collaborated with the Denver Center Theatre Company to allow area producers and directors to participate in the Denver Center’s annual non-equity auditions. That collaboration continues today and is the largest combined audition in the state.
In June of 2006, CTG produced the first annual “Henry Awards” at the Denver Civic Theatre. Named for legendary Colorado theatre producer Henry Lowenstein, the Henry Awards honor achievements in acting, directing and design, as well as production and season of work. In 2008, the Henry Awards were co-sponsored by Actor’s Equity Association, the labor union representing more than 48,000 Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. In 2010, the Henry Awards were held at the “Space” Theatre at the Denver Center Theatre Company’s performing arts complex in downtown Denver.
Today, the CTG is a completely unique organization with the dual mission of supporting the theatre community while at the same time providing the public with information, access and opportunities relating to live theatre events statewide. Currently, CTG has nearly 250 individual and organizational members, and CTG member organizations range in size from large theatre companies, such as the Denver Center, to smaller community theatre groups from across the state. In addition to managing and producing the Henry Awards, CTG offers a weekly e-newsletter, website, workshops and panel discussions on topics of concern to the Colorado theatre community, the New Ventures Series promoting new playwrights, and “Theatre Night Out” – a unique subscription package which offers an affordable sampling of plays from area theatres.