• Photos: Phamaly Theatre Company's amazing Opening Night tradition

    by John Moore | Aug 01, 2017
    Phamaly: Opening Night of 'Annie' Photos from Opening Night of Phamaly Theatre Company's 'Annie,' playing through Aug. 6 at the Denver Center's Stage Theatre. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewsCenter.


    The pre-show ritual is called 'Zap,' and it infuses the cast and crew with energy and focus.

    By John Moore
    Senor Arts Journalist

    In the minutes before the opening performance of Phamaly Theatre Company's Annie, actor and founding company member Mark Dissette gathers the cast of 36 actors, each with widely varying disabilities, along with crew and volunteers, for one of the most electrifying pre-show rituals in the local theatre community.

    They form a circle. Those who can stand, stand. Those who cannot roll up in their wheelchairs. Those who can clasp hands, clasp hands. Those with missing or disfigured hands make contact with their neighbors as best they can. They all close their eyes in reverence as Dissette calls out from memory the agonizingly long list of company members who have passed away during the 28 years that this unique company has been creating performance opportunities for actors with disabilities.

    More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

    Dissette then begins the ritual they call "Zap." As if there weren't enough energy in the air already, the group begins to buzz. Literally. "This is our dream - get a little louder," Dissette orders. And they do. "Bzzz." "This is our vision - get a little louder." And they do. "BZZZ." After more exhortation, the vibration builds to a deafening climax.

    "1-2-3 ..." Dissette shouts, and all voices scream in unison, "ZAP!"

    Now there is nothing but sudden, solemn silence. The next spoken word is not to be uttered until the actors hit the stage. For a company whose actors are blind and deaf, with disabilities ranging from stroke to spina bifida to multiple sclerosis to AIDS, it is both the beginning and the culmination of an extraordinary opening-night journey. 

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

    Phamaly Theatre Company's Annie: Ticket information
    • Through Aug. 6
    • Stage Theatre Denver Performing Arts Complex
    • Tickets: $20-$37
    • Call 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
    • Accessible performance: Aug. 3

    Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of Phamaly:
    The triumph of Phamaly's not-so-horrible Hannigan
    Pop-culture Annie, from comics to Broadway to Jay-Z
    Phamaly gala, campaign raise $200K, ‘save the company’
    Phamaly launches emergency $100,000 fundraising campaign
    Regan Linton accepts Spirit of Craig Award
    Regan Linton returns to lead Phamaly in landmark appointment

    Phamaly
  • Photos: Phamaly gala, campaign raise $200K, ‘save the company’

    by John Moore | Jun 12, 2017
    Phamaly 2017 gala
    Photos from Phamaly Theatre Company's annual gala on June 3 hosted by Kyle Dyer of Channel 9 and former Denver Bronco Reggie Rivers (pictured below and right with Phamaly's Regan Linton). To see more photos, hover your cursor over the image above and click the forward arrow. Photos by John Moore for the DCPA NewCenter.

    Phamaly's mission to transform the public perception of disability will continue with Annie at the Denver Center

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    Phamaly Theatre Company's emergency "Sunny Tomorrow" fundraising campaign has reached its $100,000 goal, and the company's subsequent annual company gala at the Wings Over the Rockies Museum on June 3 raised a record $101,000 in addition, company officials announced. 

    "We are still blown away by the overwhelming energy that we felt in the room," said Phamaly Development and Marketing Manager Tamara Arrenado. "Phamaly has so much momentum and enthusiasm moving forward."

    Annie gala PhamalyPhamaly, a rare and internationally acclaimed theatre company that exclusively provides performance opportunities for actors with disabilities, faced the real prospect of bankruptcy before the fundraising initiatives were launched by Acting Executive Director Regan Linton. The company had undergone unprecedented recent expansion, "and this level of operation has unpredictably strained our organization," Linton wrote in an open letter to Phamaly supporters.

    At the gala, a moment was taken to thank Linton for her efforts. "You saved the company," Production Manager Paul Behrhorst said bluntly. 

    For 27 years, Phamaly's mission has been to produce professional plays and musicals that empower its performers and transforms the public's perception of disability.

    Phamaly's annual summer Broadway musical presentation will be Annie, opening July 15 at the Denver Center's Stage Theatre. Members of the cast performed at the gala. See the photos above.

    Annie: Ticket information
    annieAt a glance: You may know the story of Annie, but Phamaly's approach to this familiar story will be more raw and humanistic. "These are hardened orphans who have faced a lot of adversity in their lives, just like the actual young actors in our cast who are going to be playing these roles,” said co-director co-Director Regan Linton.

    Presented by Phamaly Theatre Company
    July 15-Aug. 6
    Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex
    Directed by Regan Linton and Steve Wilson
    Call 303-575-0005 or go to the Denver Center's web page

    Phamaly, Denver Actors Fund benefit screening of Annie film
    Glance: The Denver Actors Fund hosts a monthly film series at Alamo Drafthouse Denver showing a movie both inspired by a Broadway musical and is also currently  being presented by a local theatre company somewhere in the area. This month:  Get a sneak peek at Phamaly's upcoming production of Annie with a live performance by members of the cast before the classic 1982 Carol Burnett film is shown in TWO Alamo theatres simultaneously. All tickets $10. 

    Presented at Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake
    4255 W. Colfax Ave.
    6:30 p.m. live entertainment, 7 p.m. film
    Choose your preferred seating here.

    Note: Choose 6:30 start time to be in a fully accessible Theatre 4: The Phamaly performance will be interpreted, and the movie will be captioned on screen. This performance is also designated as public singalong. Choose the 6:35 p.m. screening if you want listen to the movie in quiet adulation in Theater 5. You won't miss the live performance by Phamaly. We will livestream the performance next door right onto the screen in Theater 5. This will be the screen with NO captions.

    Selected recent NewsCenter coverage of Phamaly:
    Phamaly launches emergency $100,000 fundraising campaign
    Regan Linton accepts Spirit of Craig Award
    Regan Linton returns to lead Phamaly in landmark appointment
  • Summertime in Colorado: A time for play ... and plays

    by John Moore | May 31, 2017

    Summer theatre
    Creede is one of Colorado's many hidden mountain gems that offers both recreational activities and some of the best live theatre in the region. Photo courtesy Creede Repertory Theatre.


    By Avery Anderson
    For the DCPA NewsCenter

    Colorado offers a plethora of summer activities such as hiking, camping, white-water rafting and iconic nights at landmarks such as Red Rocks or Coors Field. But there are also a surprising number of live theatregoing opportunities across the state.

    Summer is when summer repertory companies open from GraBenjamin Cowhick 2 nd Lake to Dillon to Creede to Breckenridge to Boulder to Greeley to Pagosa Springs and beyond. The statewide lineup holds an array of offerings from BDT Stage's re-envisioning of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat to lesser-known contemporary musicals such as [title of show] in Trinidad. But the most popular title of the summer is the musical S ister Act, which is being staged in Greeley, Dillon and Pagosa Springs.

    A busy upcoming summer at the Denver Center includes a new weekly collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art called Mixed Taste; the original drag-meets-Comic Con party DragOn; and, of course, the pre-Broadway run of Frozen

    But here we focus on 10 intriguing titles for summer from throughout the state, in order of opening, followed by every Colorado theatre company’s current schedule. (To update or correct your company’s schedule, email jmoore@dcpa.org).

    As you travel the state this summer, remember to combine theatre with your tourism experience.

    (EDITOR'S NOTE: As the summer progresses, we're deleting our featured choices below that have already closed.)

    NUMBER 2Colorado Shakespeare Festival
    Boulder
    Through Aug. 13

    Summer theatre 800 5The Colorado Shakespeare Festival is celebrating its 60th season with The Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, Hamlet and Henry VI Part 3. The nation's second-oldest Shakespeare festival will continue its recent deep-dive into gender fluidity by casting a female Hamlet, and she's an actor familiar to DCPA Theatre Company audiences. Lenne Kingaman, who played Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and two roles in Appoggiatura, will be mulling the meaning of her existence on the University of Colorado's intimate indoor stage. (Read our full interview.) 
    At the Mary Rippon Amphitheatre and University Mainstage, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or colorado shakes’ home page

    NUMBER 4Disney’s Newsies
    Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre

    Through Aug. 24

    The venerable Rocky Mountain Rep celebrates its 50th anniversary season in Grand Lake with Disney’s hit stage production that follows the 1899 Newsboy Strike from the eyes of fictional paperboy Jack Kelly. Based on the 1992 movie, this musical stage adaptation features music by Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) and a book by Harvey Fierstein. The original production was nominated for eight Tony Awards, and won two.
    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com

    NUMBER 5Ring of Fire
    Vintage Theatre

    Through Aug. 6

    What’s better than country music on a summer day? How about an entire musical filled with country music? Ring of Fire features the music of Johnny Cash, including such as “Folsom Prison Blues,” “I Walk the Line” This tribute to “The Man in Black” is directed by Kelly Van Oosbree.
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintage’s home page

    Summer theatre 800 3

    NUMBER 6Ghost
    Lake Dillon Theatre Company

    July 1- Aug. 24

    Lake Dillon Theatre Company moves into its new $9 million, 16,000 square-foot Silverthorne Performing Arts Center with the musical stage adaptation of the popular '90s movie. Just as in the movie, a woman struggling to accept the death of her lover enlist the help of  a psychic to help the two communicate. SPAC will include multiple theaters and an arts education lab. READ OUR COVERAGE OF THE OPENING
    460 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne,  970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org

    NUMBER 7Sex With Strangers
    Theatre Aspen

    July 6-Aug. 12

    Robblee, JessicaIn this provocative contemporary romance written by Cherry Creek High School alumna Laura Eason, two people are forced together in a secluded B&B with no TV or Internet. Denver actor Jessica Robblee (DCPA Theatre Company’s Frankenstein) stars alongside New York actor Patrick Ball. The Director is Christy-Montour Larson (DCPA’s Two Degrees).
    The Hurst Theatre  470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org

    NUMBER 8Annie
    Phamaly Theatre Company

    July 15-Aug. 3

    You may know the story of Annie, but you have not seen America’s favorite orphan through the lens of Phamaly, Denver’s acclaimed theatre company that makes performance opportunities available to actors with disabilities. Phamaly’s approach to this well-worn story will be more raw and humanistic, says Phamaly Artistic Director Regan Linton. “These are hardened orphans who have faced a lot of adversity in their lives, just like the actual young actors in our cast who are going to be playing these roles,” Linton said. READ MORE
    At the Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 303-575-0005 or phamaly’s home page

    NUMBER 9Much Ado About Nothing
    July 27-Aug. 19

    Colorado Springs TheatreWorks
    At Rock Ledge Ranch

    Summer theatreThe Colorado Shakespeare Festival is not the only company tackling the Bard this summer. Audiences can once again experience the Bard at the stunning outdoor Rock Ledge Ranch at the base of the Garden of the Gods with a new staging of Much Ado About Nothing. This Colorado Springs tradition was started by Colorado Springs TheatreWorks founder Murray Ross, who died in January. The company has dedicated the upcoming season to him.
    3105 Gateway Road, Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org

    NUMBER 10General Store
    Creede Repertory Theatre

    Aug. 18-Sept. 16

    In this world premiere, the owner of the local general store is determined not to let anything stop him from holding onto his small piece of the America Dream. This big-buzz new play, which actually kicks off the fall sesaon, is written by Colorado native Brian Watkins and will star Logan Ernstthal (Miners Alley Playhouse’s A Skull in Connemara) and be directed by Christy Montour-Larson. Summer titles include She Loves Me, The Syringa Tree and Arsenic and Old Lace.
    124 Main St., 719-658-2540 or creederep.org


    COLORADO SUMMER THEATRE SCHEDULES

    (The following listings are through September 2017. Send updates or additions to jmoore@dcpa.org.)

    5th WALL PRODUCTIONS
    At The Bakery 2132 Market St., ticketleap.com
    July 13-28: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

    ADAMS MYSTERY PLAYHOUSE

    Presented by Marne Interactive Productions, 2406 Federal Blvd., 303-455-1848 or adams’ home page
    Ongoing events and rotating shows

    AND TOTO TOO
    44th and Tennyson Street, 720-583-3975 or andtototoo.org
    No summer events scheduled

    ARVADA CENTER
    6901 Wadsworth Blvd., 720-898-7200 or arvadacenter.org
    Sept. 12-Oct. 1: A Chorus Line

    AURORA FOX ARTS CENTER
    9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, 303-739-1970 or aurorafox.org
    Season 33 to be announced July 10

    THE AVENUE THEATER
    417 E. 17th Ave., 303-321-5925 or the avenue’s home page
    No summer events scheduled

    BAS BLEU THEATRE
    401 Pine St., Fort Collins, 970-498-8949 or basbleu.org
    July 27-30: Theatre Esprit Asia’s Coming to America: Boat Person & Antecedent

    BENCHMARK THEATRE
    benchmarktheatre.com
    No summer events scheduled

    BiTSY STAGE
    720-328-5294 bitsystage.com
    No summer events scheduled

    BOULDER ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY
    Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., 303-440-7826 or betc’s home page
    Sept. 14-Oct. 8: The Revolutionists

    Jack BartonBDT STAGE
    5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdt’s home page
    Through Aug. 19: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat READ MORE
    Aug. 25-Nov. 11: Rock of Ages

    BOULDER INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL
    boulderfringe.com
    Aug. 18-27 at venues around Boulder

    BRECKENRIDGE BACKSTAGE THEATRE
    121 S. Ridge St., 970-453-0199 or backstagetheatre.org
    Through Aug. 6: The Producers
    July 7-Aug. 12: Buyer and Cella
    Aug. 25-Sept. 4: Billy Elliot (at the Riverwalk Amphitheatre)

    BUNTPORT THEATER
    717 Lipan St., 720-946-1388 or buntport’s home page Buntport.com
    No new productions scheduled - check web site for monthly offerings

    CANDLELIGHT DINNER PLAYHOUSE
    4747 Marketplace Drive, Johnstown, 970) 744-3747 or coloradocandlelight.com
    Through Aug. 27: The Slipper and the Rose
    Sept. 7-Nov. 5: The Music Man

    THE CATAMOUNTS
    At the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-440-7826 or thecatamounts.org
    Sept. 8-30: You On the Moors Now

    CENTERSTAGE THEATER COMPANY

    Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, or tickets.thedairy.org
    Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant St., Louisville (see below)

    July 15-24, 2017: In the Heights (Youth performers) (At Dairy Center, Boulder)
    303-444-7328 or thedairy.org

    July 27-Aug. 6, 2017: Godspell (Youth performers) (At Louisville Center for the Arts) ticket info

    CENTRAL CITY OPERA
    124 Eureka St., 303-292-6700 or centralcityopera.org
    July 8-Aug. 6: Carmen
    July 15-Aug. 6: Così fan tutte
    July 26-Aug. 6: The Burning Fiery Furnace
    July 26-Aug. 6: Cabildo
    July 26 through Aug. 6: Gallantry

    COAL CREEK THEATRE OF LOUISVILLE
    Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant St., 303-665-0955 or cctlouisville.org
    No summer events scheduled

    COLORADO SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL
    At the Mary Rippon Amphitheatre and University Mainstage, CU-Boulder campus, 303-492-0554 or colorado shakes’ home page
    Through Aug. 13: The Taming of the Shrew, outdoors
    Through Aug. 13: Hamlet, indoors
    July 7-Aug. 12: Julius Caesar, outdoors
    July 21-Aug. 13: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, indoors
    Aug. 6-8: Henry VI, Part 3 (Original Practices), outdoors

    COLORADO SPRINGS FINE ARTS CENTER
    30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581 or www.csfineartscenter.org
    Sept. 8-Oct. 1: Parallel Lives
    Sept. 16: An Evening with Jim Breuer

    CREEDE REPERTORY THEATRE
    124 Main St., 719-658-2540 or creederep.org
    Through Aug. 11: Pants on Fire
    Through Aug. 10: She Loves Me
    Through Aug. 26: The Syringa Tree
    Through Sept. 9: Boomtown
    June 30-Aug 9: Arsenic and Old Lace
    July 14-Sept. 15: Talley’s Folley
    Aug. 18-Sept. 14: General Store

    CURIOUS THEATRE
    1080 Acoma St., 303-623-0524 or curious’ home page 
    Sept. 2-Oct. 14: Appropriate

    DAIRY ARTS CENTER

    Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-444-7328 or tickets.thedairy.org
    June 3-July 23: Tommy Koenig’s Baby Boomer Baby

    Dixie Longate Photo by Bradford RogneDENVER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
    Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, 303-893-4100 or the denver center’s home page
    July 5-Aug 23: Mixed Taste, Seawell Ballroom
    July 15-Aug. 6: Phamaly Theatre Company’s Annie, Stage Theatre
    July 19-Aug. 6: Dixie's Tupperware Party, Garner Galleria (Photo at right)
    Aug. 9-27: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus Live!, Garner Galleria Theatre
    Aug, 17-Oct. 1: Frozen, Ellie Caulkins Opera House
    Sept. 21-Oct. 22: Girls Only - The Secret Comedy of Women, Garner Galleria

    THE EDGE THEATER
    1560 Teller St., Lakewood, 303-232-0363 or the edge’s home page
    Through July 2: Mud Blue Sky
    July 14-Aug. 6: Bad Jews
    Aug. 25-Sept. 17: Dinner

    EQUINOX THEATRE COMPANY
    At the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St., 720-984-0781 or equinox’s home page
    Through July 1: The Rocky Horror Show
    July 28-Aug. 19, 2017: Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story

    EVERGREEN PLAYERS
    At Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, 303-674-4934 or evergreen players’ home page
    July 15-Aug. 6: Monty Python's Spamalot
    Aug. 25-26: EPiC summer improv

    FIREHOUSE THEATER COMPANY
    At the John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. 1st Place, 303-562-3232 or firehouse’s home page  Through July 15: Rock of Aging

    FUNKY LITTLE THEATER COMPANY
    2109 Templeton Gap Road, Colorado Springs, 719-425-9509 or funkylittletheater.org
    No summer events scheduled

    GERMINAL STAGE-DENVER
    At Westminster High School, 69th Avenue and Raleigh Street
    303-455-7108 or www.germinalstage.com
    July 28-Aug. 20: Seascape
    Sept. 22-Oct.15: The Master Builder

    INSPIRE CREATIVE
    At the PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, parkerarts.org
    July 14-Aug. 6: Hairspray (with Parker Arts)

    JESTERS DINNER THEATRE

    224 Main St., Longmont, 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com
    Through July 2: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

    LAKE DILLON THEATRE COMPANY
    At the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, 460 Blue River Parkway, Silverthorne, 970-513-9386 or lakedillontheatre.org
    Through Aug. 13, 2017: Sister Act
    June 30-July 9: Buyer and Cellar
    July 1-Aug. 24: Ghost
    Aug. 11-20: Grounded
    Sept. 1-17: Noises Off
    Sept. 15-24: Pretty Fire
    Nov. 24-Dec. 17: Murder for Two

    LITTLE THEATRE OF THE ROCKIES
    University of Northern Colorado campus, 970-351-4849 or littletheatrerockies.com
    Through July 16: Baby
    Through July 23: Simply Simone
    June 29-July 21: Proof
    July 27-July 30: Sister Act

    LONE TREE ARTS CENTER
    10075 Commons St., 720-509-1000, lone tree’s home page
    June 10: An evening with Betty Buckley

    LONGMONT THEATRE COMPANY
    513 Main St., Longmont, 303-772-5200 or longmont’s home page
    July 15-Aug. 6: As You Like It (multiple locations)  

    LOWRY SPOTLIGHT THEATER COMPANY
    John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. First Place, 720-880-8727 or thisisspotlight.com
    Through July 30: It's Only a Play (At Vintage Theatre)
    July 29-Aug. 26: On Golden Pond

    MIDTOWN ARTS CENTER
    3750 S. Mason St, Fort Collins, (970) 225-2555 or midtownartscenter.com
    Through Aug. 26: Hair

    MILLIBO ART THEATRE
    1626 S. Tejon St. Colorado Springs, 719-465-6321, themat.org
    July 21-Aug. 26, 2017: Circus of the Night

    MINERS ALLEY PLAYHOUSE
    1224 Washington St., Golden, 303-935-3044 or map’s home page
    July 14-Aug. 20: Broadway Bound
    Sept. 8-Oct. 15: Les Liasons Dangereuses

    OPENSTAGE & COMPANY
    Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or openstagetheatre.org
    Through July 1: The Three Musketeers              
    Sept. 21-Oct. 14, 2017: Ideation (At ArtLab, 239 Linden St., Fort Collins)

    PACE CENTER
    20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, parkerarts.org
    July 14-Aug. 6: Hairspray (with Inspire Creative)

    PERFORMANCE NOW
    Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway, 303-987-7845 or performancenow.org

    PHAMALY THEATRE COMPANY
    At the Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 303-575-0005 or phamaly’s home page
    July 13-Aug. 6: Annie 

    ROCKY MOUNTAIN REPERTORY THEATRE
    800 Grand Ave, Grand Lake, 970-627-3421 or rockymountainrep.com
    Through Aug. 26: Mamma Mia
    Through Aug. 24: Newsies
    June 30-Aug. 25: West Side Story
    Sept. 1: Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver

    SENIOR HOUSING OPTIONS
    The Barth Hotel, 1514 17th St. seniorhousingoptions.org
    Stella and Lou (presented by Vintage Theatre)

    SOUTHERN COLORADO REPERTORY THEATRE
    At the Famous Performing Arts Center, 131 W Main St., Trinidad, 719-846-4765 or scrtheatre.com
    Through Sept. 1: [title of show]
    July 1-Sept. 2: Dames at Sea
    July 21-Aug. 18: The Murder Room

    SPRINGS ENSEMBLE THEATRE
    1903 E. Cache La Poudre St., Colorado Springs, 719-357-3080 or springsensembletheatre.org
    July 20-Aug. 6: Gidion’s Knot

    SQUARE PRODUCT THEATER
    At the ATLAS Black Box Theater on the University of Colorado Boulder campus, 1125 18th St., Boulder, squareproducttheatre.org
    July 29-Aug. 12: House of Gold

    STAGEDOOR THEATRE
    27357 Conifer Road, Conifer, 303-886-2819, 800-838-3006 or stagedoor’s home page
    No summer events scheduled

    STAR BAR PLAYERS
    The Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado, Colorado Springs or starbarplayers.org
    No summer events scheduled

    STEAMPLANT THEATRE
    220 W. Sackett Ave., Salida, 719-530-0933 or salidasteamplant.com
    No summer events scheduled

    SU TEATRO
    At the Su Teatro Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, 303-296-0219 or su teatro’s home page
    No summer events scheduled

    THEATRE ASPEN
    The Hurst Theatre  470 Rio Grande Place, 844-706-7387 or theatreaspen.org
    Through Aug. 19: Hairspray
    July 6-Aug. 12: Sex With Strangers
    July 13-Aug. 15: The World According to Snoopy

    THEATRE COMPANY OF LAFAYETTE
    Mary Miller Theater, 300 E. Simpson, 720-209-2154 or tclstage.org
    July 15-Aug. 6: As You Like It (Various locations)

    THEATRE ESPRIT ASIA
    teatheatre.org
    July 27-30: Coming to America: Boat Person and Antecedent (at Bas Bleu Theatre, Fort Collins)

    THEATREWORKS
    3955 Regent Circle, Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org
    July 27-Aug. 19: Much Ado About Nothing, at Rock Ledge Ranch (3105 Gateway Road)
    Sept. 7-24: Heisenberg, at the Bon Vivant Theatre

    THIN AIR THEATRE COMPANY
    Butte Theatre, 139 E. Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, 719-689-3247 or thinairtheatre.com
    June 2-July 28: A Cripple Creek Ragtime Revue
    June 23-Aug. 24: After Dark
    June 30-Aug. 26: Annie, Get Your Gun
    Sept. 1-23: The Nerd

    THINGAMAJIG THEATRE COMPANY
    At the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, 2313 Eagle Drive, 970-731-7469 or pagosacenter.org
    Through Aug. 25: Aida
    Through Aug. 26: Hairspray
    July 8-Aug. 27: Big River
    July 15-Aug. 26: Sister Act

    THUNDER RIVER
    67 Promenade, Carbondale, 970-963-8200 or thunderrivertheatre.com
    Through July 1: The Memory of Water

    TOWN HALL ARTS CENTER
    2450 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-794-2787 or town hall’s home page
    Sept. 8-Oct. 8: In the Heights

    THE UPSTART CROW
    Nomad Playhouse, 1410 Quince Ave., Boulder, 303-442-1415 or upstart’s home page
    No summer events scheduled

    VINTAGE THEATRE
    1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintage’s home page
    Through July 23: It's Only a Play (with Spotlight Theatre)
    Through Aug. 6: Ring of Fire
    July 13-23: Stella and Lou (with Senior Housing Options at the Barth Hotel)

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Avery-Anderson Avery Anderson is interning with the DCPA NewsCenter for the summer. He is the General Manager and producer of Met TV at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He was won two Heartland Student Emmy Awards for his work on The Met Report. He has a passion for local arts and culture and enjoys covering theatres across the Denver area and the state. Follow him on Twitter and @a_anderson64.
  • Video: Phamaly's Regan Linton accepts Spirit of Craig Award

    by John Moore | May 09, 2017

    The video above was played at the annual PUSH Gala for Craig Hospital with the announcement of Phamaly Theatre Company Executive and Artistic Director Regan Linton as the 2017 Dave and Gail Liniger Spirit of Craig Award winner. Video provided by Craig Hospital.


    By John Moore

    Senior Arts Journalist

    Phamaly Theatre Company Executive and Artistic Director Regan Linton was honored at Craig Hospital's annual PUSH Gala as the winner of the 2017 Dave and Gail Liniger Spirit of Craig Award on April 29.

    Craig is a world-renowned, non-profit rehabilitation hospital that specializes in treating patients with spinal cord injury  and traumatic brain injury. The award recognizes a Craig graduate who, through community service, professional achievement, and personal support of Craig’s patients, graduates, and mission, significantly brings to life the spirit of Craig to others in the community.

    Linton is an actor, educator, and prominent voice for disability inclusion in the national theatre community. The Denver East graduate was paralyzed in a 2002 car accident and went on to the University of California at San Diego, where she become the first paralyzed student ever accepted into any of the nation’s top masters acting conservatory programs.

    Story continues below the video:


    Video: Regan Linton accepts the Craig Hospital Award:


    After performing around the country for prominent companies including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Linton returned to Denver in August to lead Phamaly out of an imminent financial crisis. She will co-direct Annie with a cast made up exclusively of actors with physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities, opening July 13 at the Denver Center's Stage Theatre.

    Regan Linton Kelli JohnsonThe PUSH dinner raised more than $1.8 million to support Craig’s programs and research.

    The other major award of the night was the Inspiration Award, which went to Craig graduate Kelli Johnson in recognition of her work to encourage skier and rider safety in memory of her daughter, Elise.

    Johnson (pictured at right with her family) sustained a traumatic brain injury in a ski accident when she and her daughter were struck by a snowboarder. Elise died in the accident. Johnson and her husband, Chauncy, are working with the National Ski Areas Association on a campaign to encourage safety in memory of their daughter. (See video below.)

    The emcee of the PUSH gala was Kyle Clark of KUSA Channel 9.

    Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of Regan Linton:
    Phamaly launches emergency $100,000 fundraising campaign
    Regan Linton returns to lead Phamaly in landmark appointment
    Regan Linton works her magic in San Diego
    Video: Reagan Linton wins Colorado Rockies Inspiration Award
    Phamaly's historic goodwill tour to Japan
    The Regan Linton story: Performing for those who cannot


    Video: Kelli Johnson Inspiration Award:

    The video above was played at the annual Push Gala for Craig Hospital with the announcement of Kelli Johnson as the winner of the annual Inspiration Award. Video provided by Craig Hospital.


    Photos from the 2017 PUSH gala:

    Regan Linton accepts Craig Hospital Award

    To see more photos, click the forward arrow on the image above.
  • Phamaly Theatre Company faces immediate $100,000 shortfall

    by John Moore | Apr 14, 2017

    Phamaly. Regan Linton

     
    UPDATE June 2: Update: Phamaly Theatre Company reports that it has reached its $100,000 goal to off-set its immediate budget shortfall thanks to 325 donors. Artistic Director Regan Linton: "Challenge is no stranger to the company members of Phamaly. For 28 years, Phamaly has persevered and triumphed in its mission to produce extraordinary theatre and transform the lives of people with and without disabilities. We are able to continue doing this because of the amazing humans who are part of our Phamaly family. We hope you will join us for Annie this summer and share in the joy, camaraderie and artistry that Phamaly continues to foster."

    Rapid expansion has put the acclaimed company that creates opportunities for actors with disabilities in danger.

    By John Moore
    Senior Arts Journalist

    The posters for Phamaly Theatre Company’s upcoming production of Annie don’t say “The sun will come out tomorrow,” as you might expect. Instead, they ask a far more ominous question: “Will tomorrow ever come?” It’s a reference to the original comic-book source. And that's the very question hanging over the internationally acclaimed Denver theatre company that has been providing performance opportunities for actors with disabilities for 27 years.

    Phamaly has launched an emergency $100,000 fundraising campaign to stay in operation past the summer. The deadline is July 1.  

    Phamaly quote“Phamaly is in a rough spot right now – maybe rougher than it has ever been in before,” said Artistic Director and actor Regan Linton, who rejoined Phamaly last August only to discover that the company was facing a potentially catastrophic revenue shortfall. The culprit: Too much expansion, much too fast.

    Phamaly now performs a full year-round season, offers a statewide children’s tour and stages a big Broadway musical each summer at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

    The first public sign of possible trouble at Phamaly was the successive departures of both new Artistic Director Bryce Alexander and new Executive Director Maureen Ediger within four months last year. In January, the previously announced upcoming staging of Peter Pan was scratched because of rising costs associated with flying special-needs actors. Annie took its place. But the full extent of the problem only became known when the company released an uncommonly transparent public statement on March 28.

    "We need your support like we never have before," it reads.

    Phamaly’s annual operating budget has more than doubled in seven years, from $350,000 in 2008-09 to $850,000 last year. This year’s budget was cut to $750,000, but still - without an immediate cash infusion, “bankruptcy is a scary possibility,” Linton told the DCPA NewsCenter.

    Read the full Phamaly letter to its supporters

    “I'm an optimist, but Phamaly is facing that possibility more realistically right now than it ever has before,” said Linton. “I'm hesitant to use that word, bankruptcy, but yeah, it is important to give people a sense of the stakes.”

    The Phamaly statement that also announced the launch of “The Campaign for a Sunny Tomorrow” was posted both to its website and sent out to the company’s full email list.

    Phamaly-Pygmalion“Phamaly significantly expanded programming a couple of years ago with the best intentions of serving more members of our community and making a greater impact,” it read. “This expansion included increasing the number of mainstage shows, offering educational classes, increasing outreach, moving into a new office with rehearsal space, and growing our staff. We expanded too much, too quickly." Added Linton: "I think at some point you have to be able to say, ‘No. There are certain things we can’t do,’ and be OK with that."

    (Pictured right: Phamaly's recent production of 'Pygmalion.') 

    Expansion also brought unexpected expenses, missed projections an overextended staff. And, Linton bluntly admits, that has had an inevitable impact on the quality of the company's productions over the past year.

    “Phamaly has not necessarily been producing the kind of theatre that I think we are capable of,” Linton said. “Our productions have not been optimally supported, and our ability to keep patrons fully engaged has been affected.”

    Phamaly’s closest supporters immediately responded to the company’s distress signal with $30,000 in pledges in the first 17 days of the drive.  The Harvey Family Foundation has agreed to match up to $35,000 of new donations for this campaign, although Linton said that money will not count against the overall goal "to raise $100,000 in new and different money from other fundraising activities,” Linton said, including the annual Phamaly gala, which is expected to raise a separate $35,000 on June 3.

    Click here to support the Phamaly fundraising campaign

    Hundreds of local theatre companies have come and gone since a group of disabled student actors, frustrated by the lack of opportunity to perform, began staging shows in 1989 in the basement of the Boettcher School. But there is much more at stake when the endangered company is the one and only company that presents professional plays and musicals cast entirely with performers who have physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities.

     “Phamaly is a unique company. There’s no other like it in Colorado, and really no other company exactly like it in the entire United States,” Linton said.

    Phamaly Gala 2016 Phamaly has built its reputation for creating performances that transform the lives of both the actors onstage and the audiences watching. The company has produced a treasure trove of indelible stage memories, including a production about circus freaks called Side Show, and a Man of La Mancha starring Linton as an Aldonza who is beaten and tossed from her wheelchair, forcing Linton to sing her guttural battle song while crawling across the stage by her elbows. These and dozens of other moments sear themselves into the consciousness of anyone watching.

    “I think a good theatrical experience is about so much more than how high your chorus kicks. It's about: Are you moved by what you see? Does it transform your way of seeing the world?” said Linton, the only Artistic Director leading a major U.S. theatre company from a wheelchair, according to the Theatre Communications Group.

    “I think that is something Phamaly does unlike any theatre company, and it’s because you have these extraordinary human beings doing these shows that make you think about the human condition and the human experience in a completely different way.”

    (Pictured above and right: Rob Costigan and Hannah Balmer dance at the 2016 Phamaly gala, which is coming up again on June 3.)

    But in recent years, Linton said, “I feel like some of our productions have been trying to fit into a mold that other theatre companies already fit. I don't think that's what we should be doing. I think we should be creating our own mold.”

    That starts with Annie, which Linton is co-directing with Steve Wilson, the longtime Phamaly Artistic Director who resigned in 2014 to focus on his full-time job as Executive Director of the Mizel Arts and Culture Center. Because the Space Theatre is undergoing a year-long renovation, Annie, opening July 13, will be Phamaly’s first-ever production in the Stage Theatre, which is nearly twice as big as The Space Theatre. That creates both  artistic opportunities and the chance to introduce Phamaly to new audiences, and Linton plans to take full advantage of both. “This will be unlike any production of Annie you've ever seen," she promises.

    “I don't want to do the same old Annie,” she said. “I don't even want the red wig. I don't want any of the little girls in dresses. These are hardened orphans who have faced a lot of adversity in their lives, just like the actual young actors in our cast who are going to be playing these roles. We want to give the audience characters who are grounded in something real. And one thing our actors do better than anybody is present something authentic and real onstage.”

    So what happens if Phamaly does not raise $100,000 in new money by July 1?

    “Phamaly is definitely in danger of not being able to do our programming, at least for the near future,” Linton said. “But I'm an optimist, so I feel like even if Phamaly gets to the worst possible state where we would have to close our doors, Phamaly will continue to exist in some form because it is such an important part of the community.

    “My hope is that we would always find a way to make it work, especially in keeping with the Phamaly spirit. We find ways to make things work. That’s what we do.”

    A note on Phamaly Theatre Company funding

    Ticket sales account for only about 20 percent of Phamaly’s funding. About 60 percent comes from a combination of foundations, government support and individual contributions. The company received $150,00 this year from the metro-Denver taxing district known as the SCFD, and it has applied for $70,000 in the coming year from the National Endowment for the Arts. That the agency is imperiled by President Trump’s announced intention to de-fund the NEA only creates further financial uncertainty for Phamaly.

    “When you cut back government funding, then you are putting more pressure on communities and individual donors to support the organizations they care about,” Linton said. “If the NEA is eliminated, that would put more strain on individual contributors to support Phamaly.”


    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

    annie phamaly

    Phamaly Theatre Company's upcoming offerings

    Staged reading of A Midsummer Night's Dream
    May 6-7
    At the Lone Tree Arts Center TICKETS

    Annie
    July 14-Aug. 6, 2017
    Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex TICKETS


    Selected previous NewsCenter coverage of Regan Linton and Phamaly:



    Regan Linton returns to lead Phamaly in landmark appointment
    NEA Chair champions Colorado, and arts therapies for veterans
    Phamaly will send wheelchairs flying in Peter Pan
    February 2015: Phamaly names Bryce Alexander to replace Steve Wilson
    Wilson resigns from Phamaly after 14 years
    Regan Linton works her magic in San Diego
    PBS podcast: Denver theater featuring disabled cast gains popularity
    Phamaly's historic goodwill tour to Japan
    Regan Linton: Performing for those who cannot
  • Linton returns to lead Phamaly in landmark appointment

    by John Moore | Aug 31, 2016

    Regan Linton


    Denver’s acclaimed Phamaly Theatre Company, which exists to provide performance opportunities for actors with disabilities, is saying goodbye – and hello – to two of its most familiar faces.

    Artistic Director Bryce Alexander has resigned to assume the same position with the Naples (Fla.) Players. Regan Linton, who performed with Phamaly for six years before becoming a leading advocate for the inclusion of actors with disabilities in the national theatre, will run the company for at least the next year.

    “We’re largely on the same page and have a shared vision for the company, so I anticipate a smooth transition,” Linton said Tuesday from her home in Bozeman, Mont. "Bryce has started a lot of great initiatives, and I get to pick up where he left off.”

    Bryce Alexander It is believed that Linton, 34, will become the only Artistic Director in a wheelchair to be leading a major U.S. theatre company, according to the Theatre Communications Group.

    Phamaly has produced professional plays and musicals since 1989, cast entirely with performers who have physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. While the company now performs a full year-round season, including a statewide children’s tour, its primary offering each year is a Broadway musical staged each summer at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Next up: Peter Pan in the Stage Theatre in July 2017.

    “Having a person with a disability in a leadership role is an important statement for any theatre company to make,” Linton said. “This gives me an opportunity to engage with Phamaly’s vision in a more proactive way, and to engage with actors with disabilities in a new way.”

    Linton, a graduate of Denver East High School, was paralyzed in a 2002 car accident while an undergraduate at the University of Southern California. After graduation, she won Denver Post Ovation Awards for her work in Phamaly’s productions of Side Show and The Man of LaMancha. Since then, her many “firsts” have included becoming the first paralyzed student ever accepted into one of the nation’s top masters acting conservatory programs (the University of California at San Diego), and Linton was the first actor in a wheelchair to be hired into the venerable Oregon Shakespeare Festival's year-round repertory company.

    “Regan brings a national artistic presence as a renowned professional actress, but she also brings her hometown knowledge of the actors, the company and the community,” Alexander said of his successor. “Anytime a prominent artist returns home to her roots, that can be a very powerful tool for the company. I think Regan will be able to take Phamaly to the next level as a major regional theatre in America.”

    Alexander has been with Phamaly since 2007 and became the company’s first full-time Artistic Director just 18 months ago. He said he would not be leaving now if he didn’t have full confidence in the company’s current course. He said he leaves Phamaly with a solid presence in the local national theatre communities, and solid relationships with the respective disability communities.

    Under Alexander, Phamaly has instituted year-round season programming, doubled its staff to six, significantly increased its funding from both the local Scientific and Cultural Facilities District and the National Endowment for the Arts, and made an international goodwill tour to Japan. In addition to directing The Glass Menagerie, Cabaret, Taking Leave and Evita, Alexander counts among notable accomplishments the introduction and implementation of sensory friendly performances.

    “All of that is clear proof that Phamaly is only on the way up,” Alexander said. “As bittersweet as it is for me to say, it is time for Phamaly to take the next step with someone who is living everyday with a disability and is able to truly connect with both the the disability community and the professional theatre community.”

    Alexander worked tirelessly to eradicate any perception of his company as an “other,” preferring instead for Phamaly to be considered and compared by the same standards as any other Denver-area theatre company.

    “I’ll miss the people the most,” Alexander said, “especially the actors who sacrifice and love far beyond any standard degree. Who so excellently explore our craft. I will never forget the passion they’ve taught me.” 

    A Linton much-ado-aout-nothingIn the Naples Players, Alexander will lead a venerable, year-round community theatre founded in 1953 in southwestern Florida. It performs mostly family friendly plays and musicals such as the upcoming Coney Island Christmas, Outside Mullingar and My Fair Lady. Alexander said the company services many socioeconomic backgrounds, has a strong arts-education program and subsists largely on 50,000 volunteer hours per year.

    The move will represent a significant increase in scope for Alexander. The Naples Players operate on a $3 million annual operating budget, compared to Phamaly’s $850,000. He will have a full-time staff of 16 in Florida, while Phamaly has four. And while Phamaly performs before about 12,000 a year, the Naples Players draw about 60,000.

    “The model of the Naples Players is one that large, regional professional theatres will be looking at," said Alexander, "not only concerning how to engage their audiences on a significant level, but the community as well."

    Alexander graduated from Cherokee Trail High School in Aurora and earned his graduate degree in Theatre Performance from the University of Colorado-Boulder. He was trained under the wing of DCPA Theatre Company Producing Artistic Director Kent Thompson, who hired Alexander as his Assistant Director for White Christmas in 2012 and Just Like Us in 2013. He worked summers at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival.
     
    “Bryce has raised the bar during his time with Phamaly Theatre Company," said Phamaly Executive Director Maureen Johnson Ediger. "His passion for including artists living with all disabilities, combined with his innate talent for nurturing thought-provoking theatre, made him a profound artistic leader for our company.”

    Alexander is married to local actor Katie Cross, who will be featured in the Avenue Theater's The Money Shot, opening Friday and running through Sept. 24. They will move to Florida in October.

    Linton’s interim position will be considered a part-time role while the executive staff defines  job roles moving into the future. That will allow Linton to continue her work as a national disability advocate, though she said there is a very good possibility that her role could transition into a full-time career change next year.

    “I'm thrilled, honored, and really excited to see how I can support the company to keep doing great things, but also move into new directions,” said Linton, who has recently acted with The Arson Theatre in Minneapolis and the Griot Theatre in Los Angeles. “I am still very passionate about performing and developing as an artist, so I am going to continue to perform when it is beneficial to the company as well."

    Ediger said Linton’s charge is to focus on actor development, season implementation and development, and to continue to build partnerships with the theatre and disability communities.

    “She is the ideal candidate to pick up the torch and seamlessly move the company forward with their mission to inspire people to re-envision disability through professional theatre,” Ediger said. 

    Phamaly is not currently accepting applications for the permanent position. 

    Photos above: Regan Linton appearing in Phamaly's 'The Man of La Mancha,' Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 'Much Ado about Nothing,' and Phamaly's 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.' Linton played a paralyzed Don Juan with Barret O'Brien in ' Much Ado,' - her understudy even had to learn to perform the role from a wheelchair. Photo by Jenny Graham.

    John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

    Phamaly Theatre Company' 2016-17 season
    Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach (touring)
    Opening Oct. 21-22, 2016, at the Lakewood Cultural Center

    Tiny Tim's Christmas Carol
    Dec. 1-18, 2016
    At the King Center on the Auraria campus

    Pygmalion
    By George Bernard Shaw
    Feb. 23-March 12, 2017
    At the Aurora Fox

    Staged reading of Spirits of Another Sort
    in collaboration with New York's Apothetae Theatre
    May 6-7, 2017
    At the Lone Tree Arts Center

    Peter Pan
    July 13-Aug. 6, 2017
    Stage Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex

    For further information, click here

    Selected previous coverage of Regan Linton and Phamaly:



    Phamaly will send wheelchairs flying in Peter Pan
    February 2015: Phamaly names Bryce Alexander to replace Steve Wilson
    Wilson resigns from Phamaly after 14 years
    Regan Linton works her magic in San Diego
    PBS podcast: Denver theater featuring disabled cast gains popularity
    Phamaly's historic goodwill tour to Japan
    Regan Linton: Performing for those who cannot
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ABOUT THE EDITOR
John Moore
John Moore
Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as the DCPA’s Senior Arts Journalist. With The Denver Post, he was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the US by American Theatre Magazine. He is the founder of the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. John is a native of Arvada and attended Regis Jesuit High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow him on Twitter @moorejohn.

DCPA is the nation’s largest not-for-profit theatre organization dedicated to creating unforgettable shared experiences through beloved Broadway musicals, world-class plays, educational programs and inspired events. We think of theatre as a spark of life — a special occasion that’s exciting, powerful and fun. Join us today and we promise an experience you won't soon forget.