'Vanya' actor Lesley Shires donates hats to cancer kids at Children's Hospital

Vanya_Lesley_Shires_Hats_For_Zoe_800_1Lesley Shires visits the Children’s Hospital in Aurora on Friday. Photos by John Moore.

Actor Lesley Shires, who plays the lovable aspiring actress Nina in the DCPA Theatre Company’s hit production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, spent Friday delivering specially designed hats she made to children in treatment for cancer at the Children’s Hospital in Aurora.

Shires, who grew up in a military family, created a nonprofit organization called Hats for Zoe after her young niece was diagnosed with leukemia. Hats for Zoe provides comfortable, creative caps to kids who have lost their hair to chemotherapy. Shires brought a shopping bag filled with her hats to the Children’s Hospital on Friday, along with crafts and games. The hats are specially designed to be kind to the young patients’ sensitive skin.

Shires launched Hats for Zoe after grad school as a way of being mindful about life’s true priorities. Shires’ niece is now cancer-free. Still, she makes a point to visit the local children’s hospital in every city where she performs in a regional theatre production.

Christopher Durang’s celebrated comedy, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play. It’s about adult siblings whose lives are disrupted by a visit from their Hollywood star sister … and a boy named Spike. It plays in Denver through Sunday (Nov. 16) in the Ricketson Theatre. Call 303-893-4100, or go to www.denvercenter.org.

The Colorado Children’s Hospital has a Hat Tree on its oncology floor. Fashionable hats designed and donated by Lesley Shires will hang from the Hat Tree for young patients to choose from. Painted wooden birds act as hat hangers on the wall. Photos by John Moore

Lesley Shires, right, with Colorado Children’s Hospital media relations coordinator Melissa Vizcarra, left, and volunteer Erin McGonagle.

Video: Meet Lesley Shires

Donations information:

To make a donation, mail checks made out to “Hats for Zoe” to:
Hats for Zoe
c/o Lesley Shires
728 West 181st Street No. 23
New York, NY 10033

For more information, email hatsforzoe@gmail.com or go to Hats for Zoe on the web.

‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike: Ticket information

Performances run through Nov. 16
Ricketson Theatre
303-893-4100, or go to the Denver Center’s web site at www.denvercenter.org

‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’: Previous coverage:

    Vanya: Opening night photo gallery
    Video: Watch a montage of scenes from the production
    Cold coffee, hot popcorn make for a good stew
    Durang strikes an unexpected peace with an indifferent Broadway
    Vanya … is the most popular play in America
    Vanya: First rehearsal photos
    Video: Eddie Lopez works out with Fox’s morning ‘Everyday’ team
    Check out our Study Guide

    ‘Meet the cast’ videos:

    Sam Gregory
    Eddie Lopez
    Socorro Santiago
    Lesley Shires


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