The Denver Civic Theatre was formed by Miss Helen Bonfils and a small circle of friends in 1929. The inaugural program of the Bonfils Memorial Theatre, published in 1953, describes the early days of the DCT:

“The Denver Civic Theatre was organized with the cooperation of the University of Denver in 1929 as the University Civic Theatre.

“It began with two gifts and 700 members. The first gift was the auditorium, housed in Margery Reed Hall on the University Park campus and shared for twenty-four years with the theatre department of the university. That was the gift of the late Mrs. Verner Z. Reed.

“The second gift was of lighting and stage equipment, through the generosity of the late Mr. James H. Causey.

“The first years were a struggle and the infant community theatre was sadly in need of godparents. Born in prosperity it had to be fed while it grew through the depression years. The godparents were Miss Helen Bonfils, Mrs. Reed and Miss Florence Martin who time and again underwrote its deficits.”

Miss Bonfils and her stalwart group of supporters did prevail through those times and continued to produce five to six plays per year for 24 years.

Only three directors guided these productions: Maurice Gnesin for the inaugural season 1929-30, succeeded by Walter Sinclair, who led the group from 1930-51. Finally, Alexander Ivo directed all the plays for the last two seasons from 1951-53 and went on to be the producer and principal director at the Bonfils Memorial Theatre from 1953 until the 1963-64 season. He stayed on as producer at the theater until his retirement in 1967.

Here is a list of all the 147 productions* that were mounted in the original home of the DCT:

11929-30CANDIDAGeorge Bernard Shaw
21929-30WHY NOT?Jesse Lynch William
31929-30REDEMPTIONLeo Tolstoy
41929-30DEAR BRUTUSJames M. Barrie
51929-30THE ADDING MACHINEElmer Rice
61930-31THE SHIPSt. John Ervine
71930-31THE ROSE AND THE RINGHarris Deans
81930-31OUTWARD BOUNDSutton Vane
91930-31THE WHITEHEADED ROYLennox Robinson
101930-31CRAIG”S WIFEGeorge Kelly
111930-31HAY FEVERNoel Coward
121931-32THE ROAD TO ROMERobert Emmett Sherwood
141931-32THE SILVER CHORDSidney Howard
151931-32THE EMPEROR JONESEugene O’Neill
161931-32ONCE IN A LIFETIMEGeorge Kaufman, Moss Hart
171931-32RANCOURLynn Riggs
181932-33DISTANT DRUMSDan Totheroh
191932-33THESE FEW ASHESLeonard Ide
201932-33THE CRIME AT BLOSSOMSMordaunt Shairp
221932-33GOOD FRIDAYJohn Masefield
231933-34MURDER ON THE SECOND FLOORFrank  Vosper
241933-34HEAlfred Savoir
251933-34TWELFTH NIGHTWilliam Shakespeare
261933-34THE SACRED FLAMESomerset Maugham
271933-34THE WATCHED PLOTH. H. (Saki) Munro
281933-34SOLID SOUTHLawton Campbell
291933-34EAST LYNNEMrs. Henry Wood
Pre-Season Production
H. H. Davies
301934-35YOU NEVER CAN TELLGeorge Bernard Shaw
311934-35THE BARKERKenyon Nicholson
321934-35THE ROOFJohn Galsworthy
331934-35THE MAD HOPESRomney Brent
341934-35CRIMINAL AT LARGEEdgar Wallace
351934-35NOTHING BUT THE TRUTHJames Montgomery
361935-36YELLOW JACKSidney Howard
371935-36THE ROMANTIC YOUNG LADYG. Martinez Sierra
381935-36LADIES OF THE JURYFred Ballard
391935-36NOAHAndre Obey
401935-36LADIES IN WAITINGCyril Campion
411935-36GOODBYE AGAINGeorge Haight, Allan Scott
Pre-Season Production
T.S. Eliot
421936-37JUDGMENT  DAYElmer Rice
431936-37THE OLD LADIESRodney Ackland
441936-37IS LIFE WORTH LIVING?Lennox Robinson
451936-37THE SECOND MANS. N. Behrman
461936-37HAIL, NERO!Mary Stocks
471936-37THE POST ROADWilbur Daniel Steele, Norma Mitchell
481937-38THE DISTAFF SIDEJohn Van Druten
491937-38MINICKGeorge Kaufman, Edna Ferber
501937-38ABRAHAM LINCOLNJohn Drinkwater
511937-38NIGHT MUST FALLEmlyn Williams
521937-38GEORGE AND MARGARETGerald Savory
531937-38STAGE DOORGeorge Kaufman, Edna Ferber
541938-39SORORITY HOUSEMary Coyle Chase
551938-39THE FAR-OFF HILLSLennox Robinson
561938-39ARMS AND THE MANGeorge Bernard Shaw
581938-39DOUBLE DOORElizabeth McFadden
591938-39THE MARQUISENoel Coward
601939-40FAMILY PORTRAITLenore Coffee, William J. Cowen
611939-40BIG-HEARTED HERBERTSophie Kerr, Anna S. Richardson
621939-40DEAR OCTOPUSDodie Smith
631939-40THE GOOD HOPEHerman Heijermans
641939-40ART AND MRS. BOTTLEBenn W. Levy
651939-40JUNE MADFlorence Ryerson, Colin Clements
661940-41WASHINGTON JITTERSJohn Boruff, Walter Hart
671940-41WHAT A LIFEClifford Goldsmith
681940-41THROUGH THE NIGHTFlorence Ryerson, Colin Clements
691940-41BRIEF CANDLERobert Hare Powel
701940-41GASLIGHTPatrick Hamilton
711940-41TWO ON AN ISLANDElmer Rice
711941-42QUIET WEDDINGEsther McCracken
721941-42GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT HEREGeorge Kaufman, Moss Hart
731941-42BROTHER ORCHIDLeo Brady
751941-42THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESSAlan Child, Isabelle Louden
771941-42OUT OF THE FRYING PANFrancis Swann
781942-43YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOUGeorge Kaufman, Moss Hart
791942-43THE CRADLE SONGG. Martinez Sierra
801942-43RAINJohn Colton, Clemence Randolph
811942-43WESTERN UNION, PLEASEAlbert Hackett, Frances Goodrich
821942-43INCOGNITON. Richard Nusbaum
831942-43THE FIRST YEARFrank  Craven
841943-44CLAUDIARose Franken
851943-44MORNING’S AT SEVENPaul Osborn
861943-44PERSONAL APPEARANCELawrence Riley
881943-44KINGDOM OF GODG. Martinez Sierra
891943-44YOUR UNCLE DUDLEYHoward Lindsay, Bertrand Robinson
901944-45JUNIOR MISSJerome Chodarov, Joseph Fields
911944-45THE GREAT BIG DOORSTEPAlbert Hackett, Francis Goodrich
921944-45THEATREGuy Bolton, Somerset Maugham
931944-45LADIES IN RETIREMENTEdward Percy, Reginald Denham
941944-45MR. AND MRS. NORTHOwen Davis
951944-45JONESYAnne Morrison, John Peter Toohey
961945-46THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNERGeorge Kaufman, Moss Hart
971945-46SOLDIER’S WIFERose Franken
981945-46THE LITTLE FOXESLillian Hellman
991945-46THE MALE ANIMALJames Thurber, Elliott Nugent
1001945-46PAPA IS ALLPatterson Greene
1011945-46THE FIRST LEGIONEmmet Lavery
1021946-47YOU TOUCHED ME!Tennessee Williams, Donald Windham
1031946-47KISS AND TELLF. Hugh Herbert
1041946-47WHILE THE SUN SHINESTerence Rattigan
1051946-47ASMODEE, OR THE INTRUDERFrancois Mauriac
1061946-47MEET THE WIFELynn Starling
1071946-47SHADOW AND SUBSTANCEPaul Vincent Carroll
1081946-47ROOM SERVICEJohn Murray, Allen Bortez
1091947-48SUDS IN YOUR EYEJack Kirkland
1101947-48DEAR RUTHNorman Krasna
1111947-48I LIKE IT HEREA. B. Shiffrin
1121947-48THE WHOLE WORLD OVERKonstantin Siminov
1131947-48HER MASTER’S VOICEClare Kummer
1141947-48SUSPECTEdward Percy, Reginald Denham
1151947-48HEAVEN CAN WAITHarry Segall
1161948-49LABURNUM GROVEJ. B. Priestley
1171948-49DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAYAlberto Casella
1181948-49A BILL OF DIVORCEMENTClemence Dane
1191948-49LADIES OF THE JURY (Revival)Fred Ballard
1201948-49THE BAD MANPorter Emerson Browne
1211948-49IT’S A WISE CHILDLarry Johnson
1221949-50JENNY KISSED MEJean Kerr
1231949-50YEARS AGORuth Gordon
1241949-50AN INSPECTOR CALLSJ. B. Priestley
1251949-50CAROLINESomerset Maugham
1261949-50BELVEDEREGwen Davenport
1271949-50FOR LOVE OR MONEYF. Hugh Herbert
1281950-51BED OF ROSESFalkland L. Cary
1291950-51THE SILVER WHISTLERobert E. McEnroe
1301950-51MR. PIM PASSES BYA. A. Milne
1311950-51DOUBLE DOOR (Revival)Elizabeth McFadden
1321950-51SEE HOW THEY RUNPhilip King
1331950-51PETTICOAT FEVERMark Reed
1341951-52ACCIDENTALLY YOURSPauline Williams Snapp
1351951-52THE PERFECT ALIBIA. A. Milne
1361951-52THE VELVET GLOVERosemary Casey
1371951-52REBECCADaphne Du Maurier
1381951-52LIFE WITI-1 FATHERHoward Lindsay, Russel Crouse
1391951-52VILLAGE GREENCarl Allensworth
1401952-53DEAR BARBARIANSLexford Richards
1411952-53THE ZEAL OF THY HOUSEDorothy L. Sayers
1421952-53SPRING AGAINIsabel Leighton, Bertram Bloch
1431952-53THE SHOP AT SLY CORNEREdward Percy
1441952-53BLITHE SPIRITNoel Coward
1451952-53THE HAPPY TIMESamuel Taylor
*The list includes two “pre-season” shows that were not counted as regular season plays (the reason for this is unknown):