7Everyday Hero takes guests behind the scenes at the Denver Performing Arts Complex

Barbara Thorngren is a volunteer tour ambassador
Posted at 9:16 AM, Aug 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-16 09:25:56-04
The Denver Performing Arts Complex is the world's largest performance facility under one roof. It covers 12 acres. And 7Everyday Hero Barbara Thorngren can take you behind the scenes. 
"I am a tour ambassador," said Thorngren. 
Each month, she pulls back the curtain on the DPAC, taking tour groups behind the scenes of the massive theater complex. 
There are many skilled tour ambassadors, but Thorngren has given her time here for eight years. 
"They are really, truly the historians of this complex," Jill Schwager of the DPAC said of the tour guides. 
"I was a teacher for a long time.  So, it is another form of teaching," said Thorngren. 
Thorngren leads guests through the maze of magic behind each local production. They go right past the sewing machines in the costume department, through the props department with its drawer of "miscellaneous body parts,"  and they visit the massive set shop. 
"They can work on three sets at a time here," explained Thorngren. 
And the tour takes guests onto the massive stage of the Buell Theater. 
"So, how does it feel to be on the other side of the foot lights?" Thorngren asked her guests. 
No two tours are the same, but a favorite spot behind the scenes at the Buell is "actors alley." 
"The custom at this theater is, while the show is going on, the poster gets painted on the wall.  And then the cast and crew sign it during the show," said Thorngren. 
And there to document it all are volunteer tour guides likeThorngren. 
"I volunteer because I want to promote the things that I love," said Thorngren. 
Backstage tours of the Denver Performing Arts Complex cost $12. They last 90 minutes and begin each Monday and Saturday at 10 a.m. You can sign up on line.
Mitch Jelniker anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30 to 7 a.m. He also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on 7NEWS. Follow Mitch on Facebook and Twitter. Nominate a 7Everyday Hero here.