Denver Actors Fund in Action: Caleb Reed

Young actor was getting a COVID test when doctors discovered a cancerous tumor in his abdomen

Aid recipient Caleb Reed: Caleb has been acting on various area stages since 2016, including twice playing Will in “American Idiot” (for Ignite Theatre and Town Hall Arts Center) and twice playing the lead role of Robbie Hart in “The Wedding Singer” (for the Aurora Fox and Performance Now). He most recently appeared in the chorus of “9 to 5” for Inspire Creative at Parker Arts. He also has performed at Breckenridge Backstage Theatre and for a year on an international tour with Up With People. Caleb, who is from Lindsey, Ohio, graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Theatre Performance and moved to Colorado in 2016.

Caleb Reed and Shelby Varra in Town Hall Arts Center’s ‘American Idiot.’ Photo by Ray Bailey.

His medical story: Caleb, who is only 33, was recently diagnosed with an 11-centimeter cancerous tumor that has likely been growing in his abdomen for more than a decade. Doctors discovered it when he went in for COVID testing. He’s now looking at a major surgery, followed by a month of bed rest, which means time away from his job as a teacher at Denver Language School. His long-term treatment plan may eventually include the need for a high-powered monthly shot that, if necessary, could cost up to $700 each – after insurance. Meantime, Caleb hopes to be well enough to perform in Forge Light Theatreworks‘ “Bare, the Musical” in January.

How we have helped: Caleb has insurance but, to date, he already has been billed just more than $6,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. The Denver Actors Fund will treat Caleb’s case as an ongoing one, but the Board of Directors has approved an initial compensation of $6,000. Combined with $1,805 in community contributions, The Denver Actors Fund’s overall support for Caleb is now $7,805.

How you can help us help Caleb more: Caleb is at the beginning of his cancer journey, and it is going to be a very expensive one. If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give Caleb some breathing room and focus on healing, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Caleb Reed’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is targeted for Caleb Reed. (He will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, your donation will be applied to the replenishment of the Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

‘I’m scared right now. But my concerns in this moment have lessened, and my heart has been brighter, because of you all.’

A message from Caleb:

“To start off with the only appropriate message – I can’t be thankful enough to The Denver Actors Fund. It’s hard to understand what this type of ‘need’ might feel like until you are put into the situation yourself. I’ll admit that I never imagined I could possibly be going through something this intense. It’s a cliche … but when you are young, you feel invincible. Obviously that’s naive.

“There’s an internal desire to say ‘I wish I planned better’ or ‘I shouldn’t ask for help.’ To think that I should shoulder this all alone, or keep it private. But that’s not who I am. I believe with 100 percent of my being that we are a social species. That we all elevate each other. That it’s healthy, and natural, and better, to depend upon each other.

The Denver ACTORS Fund, not actor’s (possessive), is well-named. The pluralization of actors is on purpose, because this fund belongs to all of us. We create it, we support it, we build it, and we all may need it at one time. It’s not any one ‘actor’s’ possession.

“I’m scared right now. My present is scary, and my future is unknown and scary. But because of The DAF I can worry less. My concerns in this moment have lessened, and my heart has been brighter, because of you all.

“I’ve participated in fundraising for The DAF in the past. But feeling it now, it’s not been enough. I will do more, because you all deserve that commitment from me. To quote my favorite musical, “Les Miserables”:Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” I believe that. I have to.

“Thank you, once again, and forever, to everyone who’s ever given or helped or supported The DAF in any capacity. It’s an honor to be a member of this community.”

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

The Denver Actors Fund has now made $637,000 available to Colorado theatre artists.

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $637,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


NEW: AFFORDABLE MENTAL HEALTH CARE

The Denver Actors Fund has announced a major new collaboration with the Maria Droste Counseling Center of Colorado to provide affordable, professional health care to any qualifying Colorado theatre artist who needs it. CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION


GET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF.

 


MISCAST IS NOW ‘CAST’

This year “Miscast,” the major annual fundraiser for The Denver Actors Fund, will pivot to “CAST 2020,” a professionally produced video concert featuring Colorado theatre artists performing in roles they WERE cast to perform in before the coronavirus shut down their shows. “Tickets” (meaning access to the video) are now on-sale. The concert drops the week of October 5. Reserve your spot at the party with a $20 donation today today.


“QUARANTINE WEEK BY WEAK”

When shelter-in-place orders were issued by the state of Colorado, photographer and actor Susannah McLeod and her wife, fellow actor Chloe McLeod, joined the thousands of people whose livelihoods were impacted by COVID19. With theaters closed and events on hold, much of the couple’s income was impacted. To stay creatively engaged and bring some lightheartedness to a challenging situation, the couple started a photography project documenting their lives during quarantine. They produced more than 35 sets of humorous photos comparing the beginning of quarantine to later in the “stay-at-home” period. As popularity for the series grew on Instagram and after a feature in Westword, the couple decided to publish the series as a coffee-table book to benefit The DAF. Thanks to generous sponsorship to cover the printing cost, “Quarantine Week by Weak” is now available. To order and learn more visit mcleod9creative.com


ONGOING:Waiting for Obama,” the audio version of a play that was an official selection at the 2016 New York International Fringe Festival, has been released as a (free) fundraiser for The Denver Actors Fund. A Colorado Springs family is convinced that Barack Obama is coming for their guns in the final weeks of his presidency – and they’re right.) The play features Laurence Curry, Drew Horwitz, Chris Kendall, Leslie O’Carroll, Jenna Moll Reyes, Jessica Robblee, Luke Sorge and Mare Trevathan. It was recorded by the staff of Parker Arts at the PACE Center as an in-kind donation to The Denver Actors Fund. Listen for free on all major podcasting platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Podbean. Just by listening, you will be raising revenue for The DAF!

‘Waiting for Obama’ was recorded by the staff of Parker Arts at the PACE Center and edited by Ray Bailey TV as in-kind donations to The Denver Actors Fund. The actors also performed for free.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Alicia K. Meyers

COVID took away her employment. Then came a breast-cancer diagnosis. Here’s how the community is supporting BDT Stage favorite Alicia K. Meyers.

Alicia K. Meyers as Velma Kelly in BDT Stage’s ‘Chicago.’

Aid recipient Alicia K. Meyers: Alicia has been an actor, director and choreographer at BDT Stage since 1995, winning a 2019 True West Ward as co-director and co-choreographer of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Mamma Mia.” She was playing the consequential role of Emma Goldman in “Ragtime” when the COVID shutdown began the day after opening night. Meyers, a native of Houston and resident of Longmont, has worked as an actress, choreographer and director in the Denver metro area for 25 years. She also has worked as the director/choreographer for Platte Middle School and Silver Creek High School, and as part of Candlelight Dinner Theatre’s musical-theatre education program. As a performer, favorite roles have included Ursula in The Little Mermaid and Velma Kelly in Chicago. Other credits have included Disenchanted!, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Addams Family, Always Patsy Cline, Hairspray, Spamalot, Hello, Dolly!, CATS, Cabaret, Gypsy and Singin’ in the Rain.

Her medical story: When COVID closed BDT Stage in March, it took most of the theatre’s performing opportunities with it. Last month, Alicia was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer, and she began chemotherapy today (September 21). After six months of treatments, Alicia will undergo a mastectomy. Her husband was furloughed from his job in April (also because of COVID), forcing the couple to sign on to an expensive but essential COBRA health-insurance policy costing $1,403 a month. Alicia had just started a new part-time retail job when she was diagnosed, but her doctor said she cannot work with the public while undergoing chemo. To date, Alicia has been billed more than $1,600 in out-of-pocket medical expenses, at a time when the only income her family has coming in at present is unemployment.

How we have helped: Because Alicia’s continuing treatment depends on the continuation of her health-insurance policy, The Denver Actors Fund has pledged to pay the monthly premium through the end of the year, or $2,806. In addition we have paid $1,639 in additional out-of-pocket expenses. The community has since contributed $1,540 in targeted donations from the community.

And then there is BDT Stage: Over the past two weeks, BDT Stage Artistic Producer Michael J. Duran collected contributions from audiences at performances of “Take to the Highway,” a concert tribute to James Taylor, Carole King and Carly Simon. BDT Stage just made the painful decision to cease operations until after it is again safe to bring audiences indoor for fully staged theatrical productions. But before temporarily closing they doors, BDT Stage raised another $2,695 for Alicia. That brings The Denver Actors Fund’s overall support for Alicia to date to now $10,084.34. (See how you can target a donation to Alicia below.)

‘There are days when I feel like my legs are too weak to stand upon, and all these people are there to lift me right up.’

A message from Alicia: “Without The Denver Actors Fund, I would be beyond screwed. I am honored and appreciative, not only for the financial support but for the emotional support as well. I am so very grateful to be part of this amazingly unique theatre community. This morning I received 20 text messages from people sending me love and well-wishes before I even got to the hospital for my first chemo treatment. There are too many people to try to thank individually at BDT Stage, but my love goes out to Michael J. Duran, Giana Giraldi and every single other person there. There are days when I feel like my legs are too weak to stand upon, and all these people are there to lift me right up. I know I am not alone on this journey, and it is because of my amazing family – and my amazing BDT Stage family. My parents and husband and my daughter have been incredible. Your arms and hearts are wide open, and I feel your love every single day.

How you can help us help Alicia more: Alicia is at the beginning of her cancer journey, and more bills will be following her every step of the way. If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give Alicia some breathing room and focus on healing, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Alicia Meyers’ name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is targeted for Alicia Meyers. (She will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, your donation will be applied to the replenishment of the Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION

The cast of BDT Stage’s ‘Take to the Highway’ raised another $2,700 for Alicia K. Meyers.


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $626,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


NEW: AFFORDABLE MENTAL HEALTH CARE

The Denver Actors Fund has announced a major new collaboration with the Maria Droste Counseling Center of Colorado to provide affordable, professional health care to any qualifying Colorado theatre artist who needs it. CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF.

 


MISCAST IS NOW ‘CAST’

This year “Miscast,” the major annual fundraiser for The Denver Actors Fund, will pivot to “CAST 2020,” a professionally produced video concert featuring Colorado theatre artists performing in roles they WERE cast to perform in before the coronavirus shut down their shows. “Tickets” (meaning access to the video) are now on-sale. The concert drops the week of October 5. Reserve your spot at the party with a $20 donation today today.


“QUARANTINE WEEK BY WEAK”

When shelter-in-place orders were issued by the state of Colorado, photographer and actor Susannah McLeod and her wife, fellow actor Chloe McLeod, joined the thousands of people whose livelihoods were impacted by COVID19. With theaters closed and events on hold, much of the couple’s income was impacted. To stay creatively engaged and bring some lightheartedness to a challenging situation, the couple started a photography project documenting their lives during quarantine. They produced more than 35 sets of humorous photos comparing the beginning of quarantine to later in the “stay-at-home” period. As popularity for the series grew on Instagram and after a feature in Westword, the couple decided to publish the series as a coffee-table book to benefit The DAF. Thanks to generous sponsorship to cover the printing cost, “Quarantine Week by Weak” is now available. To order and learn more visit mcleod9creative.com


ONGOING:Waiting for Obama,” the audio version of a play that was an official selection at the 2016 New York International Fringe Festival, has been released as a (free) fundraiser for The Denver Actors Fund. A Colorado Springs family is convinced that Barack Obama is coming for their guns in the final weeks of his presidency – and they’re right.) The play features Laurence Curry, Drew Horwitz, Chris Kendall, Leslie O’Carroll, Jenna Moll Reyes, Jessica Robblee, Luke Sorge and Mare Trevathan. It was recorded by the staff of Parker Arts at the PACE Center as an in-kind donation to The Denver Actors Fund. Listen for free on all major podcasting platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Podbean. Just by listening, you will be raising revenue for The DAF!

‘Waiting for Obama’ was recorded by the staff of Parker Arts at the PACE Center and edited by Ray Bailey TV as in-kind donations to The Denver Actors Fund. The actors also performed for free.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Andy Anderson

THE LAST THING YOU WANT TO HEAR IN A PANDEMIC: ‘YOU NEED SURGERY’

Aid recipient Andy Anderson: I grew up in a small town in Minnesota and went to college at the University of Minnesota. While acting off and on, I was employed in various fields, including News Director for a radio station, Traffic Director for an ad agency, Communications Director for the Governor of Minnesota, and Government Relations Director for the Minnesota State Arts Board. (With all those “director” positions, you would think I would direct in theatre, but save for one endeavor, it’s all been acting!) I moved to Denver to take a completely new direction in life by working for a year for Americorps NCCC, a national community-service organization that serves like the Peace Corps, only domestically. After my year of service, I had fallen in love with Colorado and decided to stay. I then began an acting career that has spanned almost 20 years in Denver, beginning with my first show Bent with Hunger Artists, through my latest show, Marvin’s Room at Vintage Theatre. While I have had the opportunity to play nearly 60 stage roles in Denver, I would have to say some of my favorites include George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird and Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey.”

His medical story: Andy has had worsening gum disease for several years, exacerbated by other health issues. During the pandemic, he learned he would need laser oral surgery. (This is not the kind of surgery DAF partnering dentist Dr. Brian Kelly provides.) The cost of the surgery after insurance was $3,329.50.

How we have helped: After the COVID shutdown, The Denver Actors Fund board of directors adopted a conservative, temporary, “70 percent of normal” survival strategy, unanimously approving payment of $2,331 toward Andy’s overall bill. Combined with targeted donations from the local theatre community, The Denver Actors Fund’s overall support for Andy is now $2,576.

‘I cannot thank The Denver Actors Fund enough for all the help it has provided the Colorado theatre community over the years.’

A message from Andy: While I was fortunate to remain employed throughout the COVID crisis, my dental insurance only would pay a small portion of my surgery. The Denver Actors Fund came through with a generous amount that allowed me to have the surgery and not go into huge debt. I cannot thank The DAF enough, not only for its help in my particular circumstance, but for ALL the help it has provided the Colorado theatre community over the years. At a time when health care seems to be a luxury in this country (when it should be a right), having an organization like The DAF can literally be a lifesaver. My most sincere gratitude goes out to all of you who have supported The DAF over the years!”

How you can help us help Andy more: If you would like to direct a specific donation to help Andy pay down the remaining $998 on his dental bill, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Andy Anderson’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is targeted for Andy Anderson. (He will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, your donation will be applied to the replenishment of the Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

Andy Anderson and Darrow Klein in Spotlight Theatre’s 2015 production of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $623,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


NEW: AFFORDABLE MENTAL HEALTH CARE

The Denver Actors Fund has announced a major new collaboration with the Maria Droste Counseling Center of Colorado to provide affordable, professional health care to any qualifying Colorado theatre artist who needs it. CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION


GET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF.


“QUARANTINE WEEK BY WEAK”

When shelter-in-place orders were issued by the state of Colorado, photographer and actor Susannah McLeod and her wife, fellow actor Chloe McLeod, joined the thousands of people whose livelihoods were impacted by COVID19. With theaters closed and events on hold, much of the couple’s income was impacted. To stay creatively engaged and bring some lightheartedness to a challenging situation, the couple started a photography project documenting their lives during quarantine. They produced more than 35 sets of humorous photos comparing the beginning of quarantine to later in the “stay-at-home” period. As popularity for the series grew on Instagram and after a feature in Westword, the couple decided to publish the series as a coffee-table book to benefit The DAF. Thanks to generous sponsorship to cover the printing cost, “Quarantine Week by Weak” is now available. To order and learn more visit http://mcleod9creative.com/shop/quarantine-week-by-weak-photo-book


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Candice Andrews

Among Fort Collins Director Candice Andrews’ many credits has been “Bullshot Crummond” for OpenStage Theatre.

For Fort Collins director and single mom, the struggle is ongoing

Aid recipient: Estes Park Director Candice Andrews has directed throughout Northern Colorado for the past 20 years. Most recently, she was slated to direct Ken Ludwig’s “Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood” for OpenStage Theatre Company in Fort Collins before the statewide COVID19 shutdown. Previous OpenStage productions include “Bullshot Crummond,” “Scapin” and “Spring Awakening,” as well as titles for Colorado State University, Bas Bleu Theatre Company, Fort Collins Children’s Theatre and more. Currently, Candice serves as the district administrator for an arts-integrated school in Loveland.

Her medical story: In 2018, Candice was diagnosed with Stage 3 uterine cancer as well as an autoimmune blood disorder called Pholosiphliped Antibody Syndrome. When antibodies attack phospholipids, cells are damaged. This damage causes blood clots to form in the body’s arteries and veins and can lead to stroke. Candice has incurred thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical expenses to date.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund has provided Candice with $1,535 for reimbursement of eligible expenses incurred within the past 12 months. Candice also received $75 in targeted donations from the community and qualified for a $500 DEAR Fund income-replacement stipend for an overall gift of $2,110 to date.

‘The medical bills keep coming and my biggest struggle is the emotional impact of knowing that this is a lifelong condition.’

A message from Candice: “Over the past two years, I have received beyond loving support from my OpenStage Artistic Director, Sydney Smith. I have met my insurance out-of pocket max totaling $9,400, along with at least another $5,000 in living expenses. The medical bills keep coming, and my biggest struggle is the emotional impact of knowing that this is a lifelong condition that will accumulate more medical debt, and my health outcome is unknown. For the last three years I have been a single mom, and on multiple occasions I have feared having enough money for gas. I have frequently visited the local food bank. My two little munchkins keep me going and laughing. One positive, exciting devlopment for me is that I am now a newlywed. This summer, I married my best friend, Seth. I now have a supportive husband who is my rock, and he does his best to hold us all together. I don’t know what I would do without him. I am forever grateful to The Denver Actors Fund for the help it has afforded my family so far. Any future donations we receive from the Denver Actors Fund or the local community would significantly lift our spirits. Every penny fills our hearts with love. I hope to be able to pay it forward someday when I am in a better financial position to help someone else in need.”

How you can help us help Candice more: If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give Candice some additional breathing room as she continues her ongoing treatments, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Candice Andrews’ name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is targeted for Candice Andrews. (She will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, your donation will be applied to the replenishment of the Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $616,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


NEW: AFFORDABLE MENTAL HEALTH CARE:

The Denver Actors Fund has announced a major new collaboration with the Maria Droste Counseling Center of Colorado to provide affordable, professional health care to any qualifying Colorado theatre artist who needs it. CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Robert Michael Sanders

COVID19 brought on the perfect dental storm: An infection, no money, no dental insurance and closed offices. Dr. Kelly to the rescue.

Aid recipient: Actor, Producer and Director Robert Michael Sanders may be the best friend The Denver Actors Fund ever had. He’s given hundreds of volunteer hours producing and presenting fun, high-quality events on our behalf, most recently “Miscast 2019,” which returne this September. In six years, Robert has helped raise $47,498 for The DAF. Other recent projects have included his Henry Award-nominated turn as Amos in Phamaly Theatre Company’s “Chicago”; and directing Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s “Jekyll & Hyde” and 19K Productions’ “In the Trenches: A Parenting Musical.” He was recently named Education Director at Town Hall Arts Center, and last week co-produced the first-ever online Henry Awards with Betty Hart. He is a graduate of Broomfield High School and can be found on Spotify as Robert Michael. His wife is the actor Megan Van De Hey.

His medical story: Robert was recently in need of major dental surgery that included grafts, crowns, bone replacement and more.

How we helped: The Denver Actors Fund has a partnering dentist in Dr. Brian Kelly DDS, who accepts a limited number of emergency cases each year as his personal, in-kind donation to The DAF with his associates at the Dental Center at Thornton Plaza. Dr. Kelly performed all of the necessary work Robert needed over several visits. The value of Dr. Kelly’s services to a regular patient would have come to $5,193. Instead, no money changed hands, other than a $297 outside lab bill that The DAF has covered. Robert paid nothing, making the overall value of his treatment $5,490. To date, the total value of Dr. Kelly’s service to the Denver Actors Fund is more than $60,000 since 2017. It’s no wonder that, last month, 5280 Magazine included Dr. Kelly among Denver’s top dentists as chosen by his peers for the 12th year in a row. He is himself a dancer and a veteran of four Broadway productions.

A message from Robert:

“Like most people, I fear the dentist. I always have. I also tend to put off going until there is a reason. Of course, timing is everything, right? Prior to the pandemic lockdown, I had a tooth that was acting up. I knew it needed to be fixed, but I thought I would wait a little longer to see how the lockdown played out. In hindsight, that was not my best idea. No thanks to COVID, my Actors Equity (union) health insurance expired in April. Then my tooth became infected and created a perfect storm of problems. No money, no dental insurance – and all medical offices closed indefinitely. Well: Dr. Brian Kelly to the rescue. He scheduled me for the first opportunity to come in, and I never felt safer. He tackled a huge problem that had gotten out of control. He put me at ease as a human and a dentist. Two oral surgeries, one root canal, two crowns and a bridge later, everything is in good shape. Dr. Kelly brought his sense of humor and expertise to the chair every time, and made me feel comfortable. When he said, ‘Don’t you worry about the expense,’ he meant it. Dr. Kelly continues to give selflessly to The Denver Actors Fund (and others) as his gift to this community of performers – of which he is a member himself. Please go see Dr. Kelly as a regular patient when you can. Ask him to tell you old Broadway stories while he works on you. I have deep gratitude for this human being. Please celebrate what he does for us.”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $600,000 available to Colorado artists in need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $538,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


NEW: AFFORDABLE MENTAL HEALTH CARE:

The Denver Actors Fund has announced a major new collaboration with the Maria Droste Counseling Center of Colorado to provide affordable, professional health care to any qualifying Colorado theatre artist who needs it. CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


King Soopers LogoSHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund makes affordable health care available to theatre artists

New collaboration will pair Maria Droste Counseling Center’s 60 independent practitioners with qualifying artists

By John Moore

The Denver Actors Fund today announced a major new collaboration to help Colorado theatre artists struggling with anxiety, depression and prolonged stress as the unprecedented COVID19 shutdown drags on.

Beginning today, The DAF is working with the Maria Droste Counseling Center of Colorado to provide affordable, professional health care to any qualifying local artist who needs it. “Our driving goal is to eliminate affordability as a barrier to getting mental-health care,” said DAF Board President Chris Gibley.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

Maria Droste is a cohort of about 60 independent and affiliated therapists from a wide range of  disciplines who provide access to mental health care for the underserved, while also serving as a training institute for newly licensed graduate interns.

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered at least two simultaneous public-health emergencies: The lethal virus, and a longer-term mental-health crisis. The virus has unleashed a perfect storm of mental-health challenges that are impacting Americans from every walk of life, said Boulder psychotherapist Nancy Portnoy. At a time when people are feeling anxious about their own health, their job security and the well-being of loved ones, necessary social distancing has separated many from their critical emotional support systems.

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Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, professional identities and income, leaving many experiencing everything from extreme isolation to anger to sleep deprivation to suicidal tendencies. Many metropolitan areas are reporting spikes in domestic abuse. Isolation, experts say, also leads to increased alcohol and drug abuse.

That’s why it’s not just nice to have someone to talk to right now, said Portnoy. It’s essential.

“It is natural for people to be feeling angry or hopeless right now, “Portnoy said. “The problem is that people usually wait until everything is on fire to get help. It’s always better to go and unload with someone who will listen in a safe environment.”

In a recent statement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said: “Coping with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.”

Under the initial year-long pilot program, called CATS (Co-Pay Assistance for Therapy Service), artists need only fill out a brief application form on The Denver Actors Fund website. Any artist who has worked in a creative capacity on the making of a play or musical for a credible Colorado theatre company in the past five years, and has lived in Colorado for at least six of the past 12 months, will qualify. The DAF will then refer the qualifying artist to Maria Droste for initial screening and pairing with an appropriate mental-health professional. Maria Droste will assess the patient’s financial means and insurance coverage and then determine how much of the counseling fee each individual patient is able to pay. The DAF will cover the rest. Sessions may take place in-person or via teledoctoring, depending on a variety of factors.

Maria Droste encourages anyone with family members who otherwise would not qualify for the DAF program to reach out directly to Maria Droste for possible assistance. (call 303-867-4600 or email intake@mariadrsote.org.)

“We are committed to providing high-quality mental-health services for everyone regardless of ability to pay,” said Maria Droste CEO Sandra Mann. “Mental health is not a luxury.”

FULL DETAILS ON THE NEW DAF COLLABORATION

This new collaboration grew out of a brainstorming session between Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company Producing Ensemble Director Stephen Weitz and two of his most loyal supporters – Portnoy and her husband, Joel Silverman, who is a member of Maria Droste. Both are also actors in the local theatre community; Silverman recently played Grandpa in the Aurora Fox’s “Caroline, Or Change,” and Howard in Firehouse Theater Company’s “The Mystery of Love and Sex.”

“We had been talking before COVID about how The Denver Actors Fund can play a part in helping those in our theatre community who are struggling with mental-health issues,” said Gibley. “Now, during these very trying times, there has never been a more pressing need to help. Then, all of a sudden, Maria Droste reached out to us to help. These are professionals who love the theatre and the talented people who fill our lives with emotion, remembrance and hope. We are so grateful.”

As lifelong proponents of the performing arts, Silverman and Portnoy quickly realized artists would make for a particularly vulnerable community when the national shutdown on public gatherings began. Most artists not only lost potential income from their theatre projects, but also their supplemental income sources from part-time jobs in bars and restaurants.

“Theatre artists are experiencing a sense of trauma, of grief, of shock, of a loss of identity and a loss of community,” Portnoy said. “All of that came to a screeching stop on March 13. And now they are struggling with a real fear of the unknown, with no real sense of how to keep going.”

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

To request further information, please email denveractorsfund@gmail.com.

John Moore is a longtime local arts journalist and the co-founder of The Denver Actors Fund, which in seven years has made $600,000 available to Colorado theatre artists in need since 2013.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR COPING WITH COVID STRESS

  • Sleep. Figure out a way to have a balanced sleep cycle so you’re not staying up late and sleeping too late into the day.
  • Move. Include physical activity during the day to engage with the outside world.
  • Monitor your consumption of the news. Decide which two or three sources of information you are willing to trust, but modulate them so that you’re not constantly looking at the news all the time.
  • Social distancing does not have to mean social isolation. Find a way to schedule calls, have conversations with friends, families, call your grandmother, call your grandkids, call your siblings and make an appointment so that you are doing those kinds of things regularly.
  • Support your seniors. Older people are having the hardest time, because their capacity to even go out for a walk is limited, and they’re not getting visitors. It’s important for seniors to connect with family and friends on a regular basis by phone or through safe, socially distanced get-togethers. Friends of seniors should look for depression warning signs, including a drop-off in communication or excessive sleep.
  • Check on your teen. Parents should also not be afraid to ask their children and teens if they are having problems with stress, anxiety or depression. Asking never introduces that thought in the person’s mind, experts say. Most often, if a teen is experiencing these things and the parent asks, they feel relieved; they feel like they’re being heard.
  • Beware of channeling your anxiety onto small children. Maintain a routine, including regular bedtimes and regular socially distant or virtual playdates. Reassure small children their parents are there to protect them. Conversations are better than lectures. Young people pick up on their parents’ anxiety. So be careful about how much they’re picking up on.
  • Acknowledge your own sense of loss.

– Dallas Morning News

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Dana Hart Wright

After a devastating miscarriage, a focus on healing

Aid recipient: Evergreen actor Dana Hart Wright (formerly Lubeck) has performed throughout the metro area for years, most recently in Ovation West’s “Lend Me a Tenor”; a reading of Laurie Scalf Scoggins’ “Polished Pieces” for And Toto Too Theatre Company; and in Benchmark Theatre’s 2019 Fever Dream Festival. Assorted prior credits include The Edge Theatre’s “The Graduate,” Equinox Theatre Company’s “Carrie: The Musical,” and she guest-starred in Magic Moments’ 2013 production of “Spirit and Soul.” Magic Moments is an annual pop-music revue that integrates up to 150 disabled and able-bodied cast members of all abilities, ages and experience levels. Originally from New York, Dana has appeared Off-Broadway and in national tours. She has a bachelor’s degree from New York University, a master’s degree from and Naropa University in Boulder and a teaching license from Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Dana Hart Lubeck in ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’ for the Lower East Side Shakespeare Company in New York.

Her medical story: Dana and her husband, Jono Wright, began 2020 more than $8,000 in the hole following surgery to try to save their 8-month old puppy, who died after a fluke illness. In March, Dana suffered a devastating miscarriage, and a month later needed two operations to remove a cyst. Like most, Dana has insurance – only it’s bad insurance with a very high deductible. The Wrights paid off the vast majority of what they owed from these medical incidents themselves, but sent along two surgical bills to us totaling $685.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund has paid the full $685 requested by the couple.

A message from Dana: Over the years, I have seen countless people I love receive support from The Denver Actors Fund when faced with unexpected medical costs. I have always been incredibly grateful that such an entity, run by such amazingly generous people, exists. My husband and I have faced many financial challenges this year. My insurance that I pay for monthly through work is not nearly as comprehensive as I thought it was when I chose this particular plan. Even after paying an extra monthly fee, I still found myself paying considerable out-of-pocket expenses for my procedures. The Denver Actor Fund’s support has taken away our financial worry. But The Denver Actors Fund doesn’t only provide that needed monetary support – it provides emotional support in the form of care. There are so many reasons I have found myself longing for the Denver theatre community when living out of town, but the biggest reason is the people. We can never know when life will throw us a curveball, but we can always know that there are people out there to lift us up. Denver Actors Fund: Thank you for lifting me up when I needed it most.”

One more thing: The Denver Actors Fund only makes known however much of our beneficiaries’ personal medical stories as they feel comfortable sharing. In Dana’s case, after great consideration with her husband, she decided she wanted her miscarriage to be part of her public story. “Although it is hard to be so vulnerable,” she said, “I want the stigma around talking about these types of things to lessen. Jono and I agree that mentioning the miscarriage may help someone else feel better about their own. When it happened to me, and I started telling close friends, I heard so many stories of miscarriages, and they comforted me in a surprising way. It’s more about helping another woman than it is about the perceived stigma.”

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $578,000 available to Colorado artists in need. The DAF paid out a record $150,000 in direct relief in the first five-plus months of 2020 alone, including more than $80,000 through our new DEAR Fund to support Colorado theatre artists who have lost the ability to earn income during the COVID-19 shutdown. If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund at P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

‘We can never know when life will throw us a curveball’

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $578,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


GET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Becca Greer

Becca Greer

A baby, a pandemic and a frightening complication

Aid recipient: Local actor, choreographer and Littleton native Becca Greer, a graduate of Heritage High School and Saint Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota, moved back to Colorado five years ago and last appeared in Inspire Theater Company’s 2018 staging of “The Little Mermaid,” directed by Tanner Kelly. Other musical credits include “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Mary Poppins,” “Monty Python’s Spamalot” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Choreography credits for Inspire include “Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr.,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” “High School Musical Jr.” and “Freaky Friday.” She also has choreographed productions at Legend and Lutheran high schools. Becca is currently a teaching assistant at Parker Performing Arts. She married Dallas Greer in 2018.

Becca GreerHer medical story: On March 1, Becca gave birth to her first child, Clara, via C-section. Two weeks later, COVID19 shut down the globe. And on March 18, Becca was rushed back to the hospital for emergency surgery to repair a hole in her stomach that risked making her septic. As she recovered for two weeks following the operation, she had to be fed through a pic line. Becca and Dallas paid as many bills as they could after insurance, but when they kept coming in, they submitted the final four to The Denver Actors Fund totaling $1,284.81 for our consideration of compensation.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors has voted to pay the fully requested remaining $1,284.81 the couple owes (to date) for this medical incident.

A message from Becca: “The Denver Actors Fund gave my family such a sense of relief with their financial aid. After the birth of our daughter two weeks before COVID19 turned the world right side down, my husband and I were both without income. This unexpected medical expense would have been so detrimental without the Actors Fund’s help. My family is forever grateful, and we can’t say ‘thank you’ enough.”

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $578,000 available to Colorado artists in need. The DAF has paid out a record $145,000 in direct relief in the first five-plus months of 2020 alone, including more than $78,000 through our new DEAR Fund to support Colorado theatre artists who have lost the ability to earn income during the COVID-19 shutdown. If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund at P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $578,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


GET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Peter Trinh

Actor runs out of medication, into expensive hospital stay

Aid recipient: Peter Trinh is a longtime Denver-based actor, playwright and budding stand-up comedian who most recently appeared in Colorado Springs TheatreWorks’ “Around the World in Eighty Days” and The Catamounts’ “Everybody.” Before that, he was the Assistant Artistic Director for Theatre Esprit Asia, where he starred in “Dust Storm” and has twice performed his one-man play, “Boat Person,” based on his parents’ escape from Vietnam in 1982. He also performed “Boat Person” at Bas Bleu Theatre in Fort Collins. Peter is the first person on either side of his family to be born on American soil.  Peter also has appeared with the Aurora Fox (“Chinglish”), Vintage Theatre (“The Oldest Boy,” “Joy Luck Club”) and others. Peter graduated from Arvada West High School and Metropolitan State University, and is the father of two boys.

Peter Trinh performs his one-man play ‘Boat Person’ for Theatre Esprit Asia.

His medical story: Peter was diagnosed with hypertension when he was 27, but the blessing and the curse of having recently graduated to a full-time life as an actor included no longer having a job with health insurance. At the end of 2019, having been off his medication for a time, Peter landed in the hospital with dangerously high blood pressure. He is now better and on a new prescription, but after paying a number of bills on his own, he was still left with an unpaid out-of-pocket obligation for prescriptions and services that added up to $1,049.14.

How we helped: The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors has voted to pay the $1,049.14 in direct medical expenses Peter presently faces.

A message from Peter: “Thanks to The Denver Actors Fund, my bills will not spiral and pummel my credit as I scramble to chip away at them, bit by bit. My gratitude swells, knowing that The Denver Actors fund provides answers where people in our industry usually find dead-ends. The Colorado theatre community is blessed to have The Denver Actors Fund.”

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $552,000 available to Colorado artists in need. The DAF has paid out a record $130,000 in direct medical relief in the first five months of 2020 alone, including more than $55,000 through our new DEAR Fund to support Colorado theatre artists who have lost the ability to earn income during the COVID-19 shutdown. If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

From left: Bernadette Sefic, Jason Maxwell, Hossein Forouzandeh and Peter Trinh in The Catamounts’ ‘Everybody.’ Photo by Michael Ensminger.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $552,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


GET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Survey: Most Denver theatregoers aren’t coming back anytime soon

John Hauser in Miners Alley Playhouse’s ‘Once.’ Photo by John Moore.

Audiences, and artists, express deep concerns over going on with the show

By John Moore
Senior Arts Journalist

The spirit is ready and willing, but when it comes to returning to our local theatre stages during an ongoing pandemic, the flesh is weak.

Local theatre companies are all wondering when they will be allowed to re-open as the  coronavirus rages on. But a major new survey of local theatregoers emphatically shows the profound challenge all theatre companies will face when they do. Because not only are audiences not coming back right away – neither, say the artists, are they.

Golden’s Miners Alley Playhouse polled more than 700 theatregoers last week, and 74 percent told them they aren’t coming back to the theatre – at least not for the next few months. And a full 35 percent said they will return only when there is a vaccine – if ever.

But MAP Producing Artistic Director Len Matheo found hope in the 40 percent who said that “within a few months,” they probably would join the 25 percent who say they are willing to come back right now. That would indicate a potential audience base of about 65 percent of normal if live theatre programming were to return to the metro area in the fall.

“I think that the short-term future is going to be smaller audiences and hopefully some kind of streaming option for our more vulnerable patrons,” Matheo said.

Perhaps even more telling: In a separate survey of more than 100 Denver metro actors, only 34 percent said they would feel comfortable going to work on a play or musical right away, even after all governmental “shelter in place” orders are lifted.

Matheo modeled his survey on a national questionnaire recently issued by the Alamo Drafthouse, which is similarly seeking to learn not only when patrons might be willing to return, but what it will take to make them feel safe coming back into an enclosed and crowded auditorium for an extended period of time. The survey asked patrons what potential new safety procedures they would support, from employees undergoing daily COVID screening (87 percent want this), to requiring all patrons to wear masks (89 percent) to enforcing a tough “no coughing or sneezing” policy (a proposal favored by a whopping 58 percent of respondents). A full 92 percent of audiences said they would be willing to have their temperature taken with a touch-free thermometer upon arriving at the theatre.

But the inherent disconnect between safety and economics was laid bare in one question that revealed 88 percent of all audiences would prefer for theatres to maintain at least 6 feet of empty space between patrons – which would essentially make producing most any live theatre fiscally impractical. However, when MAP asked patrons if they would be willing to pay $20 more per ticket to make up for the theatre’s reduced capacity, a perhaps surprisingly high 50 percent said they would be willing to pay up, at least once.

Respondents were allowed to comment as part of the survey, and here are a few representative opinions:

  • “I’m over 70 and as much as I love live theatre, and Miners Alley Playhouse in particular, I’m simply not planning to go to any theatre in the foreseeable future, sadly.”
  • “I love the arts but with this pandemic, I must stick with the science. I will not be returning to the theatre until there is a vaccine.”
  • “I would want to know what procedures are in place for actors so that we as audience can feel that they are also safe.”

  • “We’re certainly anxious to get back, but we’re very cautious. Cost has little to do with it. We want the family together again.”
  • “These are tough times for everyone. Things are never going back to normal as we knew them yesterday.”

The results from the Golden survey cannot be assumed to translate to all Colorado theatregoers, but they strongly resemble other surveys that have revealed the profound wariness Americans are feeling about spending any prolonged time in enclosed spaces with other people. Shugoll Research recently conducted a study of theatregoers in New York City, and another of theatregoers nationwide, which both showed that well less than half (41 percent) of regular New York theatregoers, and only a little more than a third (36 percent) of theatregoers nationwide, say they plan to return to their previous theatregoing habits when theatres reopen, with the vast majority opting to wait between three and six months before attending plays again.

“The bottom line is we will be back making great theatre in some form or another,” Matheo said. “And our patrons will be able to engage with us safely, in whatever way they feel most comfortable.”

AUDIENCE SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS

Right away 26 percent
Not right away, but probably within a few months 39
Not until there is a vaccine in place 17
I’m not sure when I’d return 18

Go to the next page to see more survey results:

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Tim Fishbaugh

Even with insurance, the bills were overwhelming

Denver Actors Fund aid recipient: Longtime local actor Tim Fishbaugh recently played bossman Mr. Hammerschmidt in Benchmark Theatre’s “Parfumerie.” OnStage Colorado‘s Lane Ware called Fishbaugh the anchor of the production, “deftly moving from the autocratic businessman at the start to a bewildered and broken-hearted man emerging from his soul searching to discover what truly matters.” Before that, he played three roles in Miners Alley Playhouse’s “Our Town,” Mr. Mushnik in “Little Shop of Horrors” and Herr Schultz in “Cabaret.” He will be playing Richard Maynard if and when Miners Alley can ever stage “Moon Over Buffalo.” Tim works in Facilities Management at Colorado School of Mines in Golden and describes himself as “and ne’er-do-well actor about town.” Tim doesn’t broadcast this, but he also organizes monthly drive-by drop-off sack lunches for area homeless people, including sandwiches, bottled water, food and a pair of sturdy white men’s crew socks – mostly at his own expense. (Send socks or donations to “The Joy of Sox,” c/o Carla Kaiser Kotrc, 6501 W. 64th Ave., Arvada, CO 80003)

Tim Fishbaugh in Miners Alley Playhouse’s ‘Our Town.’ Sarah Roshan Photography.

His medical story: In February, Tim fell down a flight of stairs and was knocked unconscious, necessitating an ambulance ride, many CT scans and time spent in both the E.R. and ICU. Although he has medical insurance, he was left with a sizeable out-of-pocket bill that he has paid down to his present obligation of $4,907.03

How we helped: The Denver Actors Fund has been experiencing an unprecedented run on our reserves in 2020, having sent out more than $58,000 in direct medical relief in the first four months of the year alone – not including the more than $50,000 in emergency funding we have paid out through our new DEAR Fund to support Colorado theatre artists who have lost the ability to earn income during the COVID-19 shutdown. So the Board has instituted a slightly more conservative, temporary reimbursement formula. Essentially, until we can start replenishing our general fund through live performance fundraisers, the Board is compensating qualified applicants at a level that is about 70 percent of normal. In Tim’s case, the Board has voted to reimburse him with $3,435, or 70 percent of his remaining obligation.

How you can help us help Tim more: Even after our assistance, Tim has about $1,500 remaining on his balance. If you would like to direct a specific donation to help Tim pay down his remaining bill, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Tim Fishbaugh’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is targeted for Tim Fishbaugh. (He will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, your donation will be applied to the replenishment of The Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

A message from Tim: “The Denver Actors Fund kept us from suffering a financial crisis in our home. Even with insurance, the bills were overwhelming. Thanks to this great organization, our life is back to normal.”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $543,000 available to Colorado artists in need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $543,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Costume Designer Kevin Brainerd was epitome of class and panache

Kevin Brainerd designed costumes for 18 productions at Denver’s Curious Theatre Company. Photo courtesy Markas Henry.

 

Death at age 58 has theatre community’s heart on its linen sleeve

By John Moore, Senior Arts Journalist

The clothes may not make the man, but under his meticulous eye, Kevin Brainerd’s clothes made hundreds of fictional characters come to vivid life on stages from Broadway to Boulder.

Brainerd, an acclaimed theatrical costume designer who wrapped a remarkably wide swath of the Colorado theatre, dance and opera communities in both his attire and acerbic wit, died April 27 from pancreatic cancer. He was 58.

Kevin Brainerd won the 2019 Henry Award for designing Theatre Aspen’s ‘Ragtime’ costumes. Photo by Austin Colbert.

“I have yet to allow myself to wrap my mind around not having him in my next production meeting,” said Curious Theatre Producing Artistic Director Chip Walton. “He will be missed in ways beyond words.”

Brainerd the costume designer is being remembered for his slavish devotion to detail and historical accuracy. “As a costumer, Kevin just gets you better than you get yourself,” said actor and producer Ami Dayan of Maya Productions. Actor Karen Slack added simply: “He always made me look better than I had any business looking.”

Brainerd the man is being remembered for his own impeccable fashion style, a mischievous smile, the ever-changing iterations of his facial hair and his love for the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle.

Brainerd also was known for his hit-or-miss double-entendres, which often made some reference or another to a bishop or a wife. Paige Price, Producing Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Theatre Company by way of Theatre Aspen, calls Brainerd “the master of the drive-by quip.” Depending on your own sense of humor, you might say Brainerd was “situationally funny,” said his husband, Scenic and Costume Designer Markas Henry, also Director of Theatre at the University of Colorado Boulder.

“He could not tell a joke to save his life … but he was funny as hell.”

Curious Theatre Education Director Dee Covington organized a ‘Yard Bomb,’ encouraging friends to leave art on the front yard of Markas Henry’s home overnight May 2. The idea, she said, “was for Markas to wake up and see that we had been there – and that we are always here. Marking time and holding space with him.”

Brainerd also was a skilled croquet player, which suited not only his domestic landscape (the couple’s home sits directly across from City Park), but also his demeanor and fashion sense. Henry describes his style as “playfully classic … but with a flair.”

Imagine, if you will, Brainerd sporting his summer look of Bermuda shorts with a fitted T-shirt; a white, long-sleeved linen shirt (with the sleeves rolled up); and his essential Converse tennies.

“Oh, yeah, we’re both Converse whores,” Henry said with a laugh.

Now imagine Brainerd slinging a croquet mallet over his shoulder with one hand and holding a martini in his other. Brainerd was known for a mean martini, Henry said. “But just to clarify,” he added winkingly: “He could drink them – not make them.”

Brainerd also was capable of making swift and necessary decisions – like the morning after Dayan, in preparation for a production of his play “Conviction,” embarked on an ill-conceived, late-night experimentation with hair coloring, leaving Brainerd with no choice the next morning but to shave Dayan’s head clean.

“The beauty of that story is Kevin had so much compassion and appreciation for my childish inspiration,” Dayan said. “But make no mistake: He was decisive: ‘Off with the hair!’ And I have to admit it looked better than it did before.”

I didn’t know I had everything. But now I know I’ve lost everything.”  – Markas Henry

Over his 30-year career, Brainerd designed costumes for dozens of stage productions and assisted on many TV shows, films and no fewer than six Broadway musicals spanning 1993 to 2008. His Broadway break came serving as an assistant to the costume designers on “Bells are Ringing.” The pinnacle of his pre-Colorado professional life came while working on Martin Pakledinaz‘s costume design team (which included Henry) that won the 2002 Tony Award for “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

Brainerd’s credits also spanned the Santa Fe Opera, The Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepardstown, W.V., Opera Colorado, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, Theatre Aspen, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Phamaly Theatre Company, CU-Boulder and Curious Theatre Company, where he and Henry became full artistic company members in 2012. Brainerd designed 18 shows for Curious Theatre, from Michael Hollinger’s “Opus” in 2010 to Tony Kushner’s “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures” in 2018.

“Kevin was the consummate collaborator — an artist with a clear vision, yet driven in ways that pushed the entire production toward greater clarity and excellence,” said Walton. “His attention to detail was painstaking and brilliant.”

Brainerd had a unique ability to visualize an instant understanding for each of his characters, Curious Theatre Managing Director Katie Maltais wrote in a 2017 essay. “His meticulous process was to fully psychoanalyze each of his characters to decide who they were, what type of clothes would fill their closets and what they would choose to wear both for big, important moments and simple, everyday ones.” Brainerd’s clothing choices communicated his characters’ cultural identities, professions and economic statuses, while also revealing subconscious clues about their inner worlds.

He will be missed in ways beyond words.” – Chip Walton

While Brainerd was known for researching his characters months before his directors would even decide who would be playing them, one of his defining characteristics as a costume designer was to never purchase a single piece of clothing until after he knew exactly what actor would be wearing them. He customized his designs to his actors’ skin tones, hair colors and character choices. That was a quality Slack deeply appreciated.

Karen Slack in Curious Theatre’s ‘Venus in Fur.’ Photo by Michael Ensminger.

“It doesn’t matter how much preparation you do. The moment you put Kevin’s clothing on your body, it changes everything,” said Slack. “You look at yourself and you see things differently.”

Slack had to leave her comfort zone in 2014 to play a scantily-clad human goddess in Curious Theatre’s “Venus in Fur,” fully revealing a back visibly scarred by multiple spinal surgeries. “I don’t have a normal body to work with,” she said, “but Kevin always got it just right.”

For “Venus in Fur,” she added with a laugh, “Kevin knew I was going to be mostly in my undies for the entire play, so it was really important that we had something that was revealing and sexy but also maintained some level of modesty – and made sure my lady bits were covered. Kevin taught me that double-sided tape is my dear friend.”

For “Maple and Vine,” a story that evoked 1950s Americana, Brainerd dressed Slack in some of his own mother’s period dresses. “I felt so honored. They were so beautiful and special,” Slack said. “He also taught me how to do a French twist for ‘God of Carnage.’ He did all this while always making me laugh and being my friend.”

The costumes, Brainerd told Maltais, should never overshadow the actors’ performances. “If the audience is unaware of my design,” he said, “then it is successful.”

Mayberry beginnings

Kevin F. Brainerd swelled the population of Vega, Texas, all the way to 670 when he was born on June 24, 1961, in the rural Texas Panhandle town situated on the original Route 66 about 35 miles west of Amarillo. Vega is known for roadside attractions like Dot’s Mini Museum, with its Avon perfume bottle collection and Cowboy Boot Tree.

“The Brainerds were the Cleavers of Vega,” said Henry, referencing the all-American family from TV’s “Leave it to Beaver.” Richard Brainerd was the town’s beloved District Attorney; Dorothy was a nurse for High Plains Baptist Hospital. They remain there and now have been married for 64 years.

Kevin, the third of their four children, was the smallest member of his high-school marching band – so naturally, he played the tuba.

“Kevin was a crazy, voracious reader, even as a boy,” Henry said. “When it was time for lights out, Kevin was the kind of kid who had a flashlight under his sheets reading ‘Dracula.’ He would climb a tree just to read a book, usually with his cat right by his side. He was a doodler and a drawer, and he began his career as a professional costume designer making clothes for his sister’s Barbie Dolls.

Growing up as the son of an attorney, Henry said, not only gave Brainerd a strong moral and ethical sense, it made him incapable of suffering dishonesty or fools. Which means “Kevin could gravitate toward the litigious,” Henry said with a laugh. “God forbid you ever pissed him off.”

He graduated from the University of Dallas and briefly attended SMU for graduate school before making his way to New York City and embarking on his career in costume design.

Kevin just gets you better than you get yourself.” – Ami Dayan

His early professional work included designing costumes at storefront theatres and Off-Broadway – and Off-Off-Broadway – theatres.

His life changed forever, as it did for … perhaps no one else on the planet, while attending a performance of the Broadway musical adaptation of “The Goodbye Girl.” That was a short-lived bust about which New York Times critic Frank Rich carped: “How good can a musical be when sneering drama critics get the best lines?”

Markas Henry and Kevin Brainerd

Markas Henry, left, and Kevin Brainerd have been together for 27 years. Photo courtesy Markas Henry.

Henry and Brainerd had met only peripherally, given that both were designing costumes for the New York theatre community. “We are a specific-looking lot,” Henry said. “The swatch rings, the shipping tags, the scissors and the staplers in our pockets give us away.”

The two were being initiated into the United Scenic Artists Local 829 union when Henry mentioned to Brainerd that he had an extra ticket the next night to see “The Goodbye Girl,” starring Bernadette Peters and Martin Short. Of the musical, Henry remembers only that it was kind of terrible. But he does remember the important stuff. “I remember that he had the most adorable twinkly eyes, a mischievous smile and an infectious laugh,” Henry said. “I remember that we liked the same foods, and we hated the same foods. And I remember  that he had amazing hands – and great calves.”

That it was June 8, 1993.

“We were an instant thing,” Henry said, “and we saw each other every day forward.”

The couple had a civil-union ceremony celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2013, and they were legally married in Denver in 2015.

The couple had moved to Denver at a time when Broadway was going big while the artisans’ time and resources were getting smaller. Henry, who had always wanted to teach, was hired as a temporary costume worker at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2004. He was soon made full-time and now runs the university’s Department of Theatre. The move gave the couple the opportunity to work on artistic projects together, relish in their complementary artistic aesthetics – and coordinate their calendars.

Life changes in an instant

Scenic Designer Markas Henry said Theatre Aspen’s 2008 production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ was one of the best experiences he and Costume Designer Kevin ever had working together. ‘That show fired on every single cylinder,’ he said. They revisited the show in Aspen last summer. It was their last collaboration together.

Brainerd, whom Price will remember for flashing “that impish smile that hid the cigarettes he was always quitting,” began feeling pains in his back two years ago. Then came a cough he couldn’t shake. At 8:05 a.m. the morning after Christmas 2018, a doctor called with the results of a CT scan that revealed both a small spot on one lung and a bigger mass in his pancreas. The next year was all about scans, biopsies, chemotherapy infusions and radiation treatments. Yet Brainerd and Markas managed one last summer designing Theatre Aspen’s “God of Carnage” and “Little Shop of Horrors” together.

In October, Brainerd had surgery that showed his cancer had spread to his stomach lining and was now inoperable. Henry says Brainerd approached his 16-month cancer journey with “resilience, strength and courage.”

It was in the early stages of that odyssey that Brainerd won his first major award since the Tony Award in 1993: The Colorado Theatre Guild’s 2019 Henry Award (regrettably, not named after Markas) for costuming Theatre Aspen’s “Ragtime.” It was an award, Henry said, that meant the world to Brainerd.

In the final 10 days of his life, when Brainerd wasn’t always cognizant through his morphine moments, another award was on Brainerd’s mind. Henry recalls Brainerd sitting at edge of his bed at home while drinking from a sippy cup. “Kevin pushed the cup away and reached out his hands,” Henry said. “I asked him: ‘What do you want?’ And he looked me in the eye and said, ‘Hand me my Oscar!’ ”

When the pain softens, Henry hopes he can look back at moments like those and smile.

“I didn’t know I had everything,” Henry said. “But now I know I’ve lost everything.”

Memorial service planned for future

In addition to his parents, Brainerd is survived by his sister, Becky Casso, her husband, jazz saxophonist Carlo Casso, and their children, Michelle and Daniel; his brother, Rick Brainerd, his wife, Gayla, and their children, Lauren and Trey; and his brother, Stephen Brainerd, and his husband, David. Kevin is also survived by his beloved Cat, Zeb, and was preceded in death by a pair of notorious felines named Theodore and Clifford.

Price equates Brainerd to a splash of paint. A force of energy. “Kevin was mischievous in that what he presented to you was only the part he wanted you to see,” Price said. “Those of us who knew his heart delighted in knowing that he was a deeply feeling person and he would deflect kindness with his sometimes wry, Eeyore-like personality that belied his absolute attention to whatever anyone needed from him.”

Donations can be made in Brainerd’s  name to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network or Curious Theatre Company, where a memorial celebration will be held at a later date.

Senior Arts Journalist John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theatre critics by ‘American Theatre’ magazine and has been covering the Colorado theatre community since 2001. He is the founder of The Denver Actors Fund and was the recent recipient of Actor’s Equity Association’s Lucy Jordan Humanitarian Award. Reach him at culturewestjohn@gmail.com.

Markas Henry says Curious Theatre’s 2013 production of ‘Maple and Vine’ was Kevin Brainerd’s sweet spot as a costume designer. ‘The 1950s section of that play, with Karen Slack and C. Kelly Leo (above) – that was his element,’ he said. Photo by Michael Ensminger.

KEVIN BRAINERD/Selected shows

Broadway

  • “She Loves Me,” Assistant to the Costume Designer
  • “Bells Are Ringing,” Assistant Costume Design
  • “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” Assistant Costume Design
  • “All Shook Up,” Associate Costume Design
  • “Ring of Fire,” Associate Costume Design
  • “Dividing the Estate,” Associate Costume Design

Off-Broadway

  • “Queen Bee’s Last Stand,” Urban Stages, Costume Design
  • “The Sweepers,” Urban Stages, Costume Design
  • “Seven Rabbits on a Pole,” Urban Stages, Costume Design
  • “Conviction,” 59E59, Costume Design

Film

  • “A Beautiful Mind”
  • “The Mirror Has Two Faces”
  • “Ghost Dog”
  • “Made”
  • “Requiem for a Dream”
  • “Exit Wounds”

Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company

  • “Seminar”
  • “Crime and Punishment”

Curious Theatre Company

  • “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures”
  • “Detroit 67”
  • “Appropriate”
  • “Building the Wall”
  • The Elliot Plays: “The Happiest Song Plays Last,” “Water by the Spoonful” and “Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue”
  • “Sex With Strangers”
  • “Charles Ives Take Me Home”
  • “Lucky Me”
  • “Venus in Fur “
  • “Rancho Mirage”
  • “God of Carnage”
  • “Maple and Vine”
  • “Becky Shaw”
  • “Clybourne Park”
  • “Homebody/Kabul”
  • “Opus”

Colorado Shakespeare Festival

  • “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Phamaly Theatre Company

  • “James and the Giant Peach”

Maya Productions

  • “A Happy End”
  • “Conviction”

Theatre Aspen

  • “The 39 Steps”
  • “Avenue Q”
  • “Ragtime”
  • “Dear Edwina”
  • “Buyer & Cellar”
  • “The Cottage”
  • “Becky’s New Car”
  • “Annie”
  • “God of Carnage”
  • “Little Shop of Horrors” (twice)

Lake Dillon Theatre Company

  • “The Underpants”

Byers-Evans House Theatre

  • “A Doll’s House”

University of Colorado Boulder

  • “Little Women, the Musical”
  • “You Can’t Take It With You”
  • “Twelfth Night”
  • “Peter and the Starcatcher”
  • “Cloud 9”

Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s 2009 production of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’

Back to Africa: My 2002 review of ‘The Lion King’ in Denver

‘The Lion King’ 2002 national touring production.

A journey to the heart of Julie Taymor’s imagination

By John Moore
Denver Post Theater Critic
Originally published April 28, 2002

It turns out “The Lion King” doesn’t bring Broadway’s most highly sought national tour to Denver after all. Instead, it transports the people of Denver nearly 10,000 miles away to the magical splendor of Africa. It is a journey deep into the incomparable imagination of director Julie Taymor.

Taymor promised the debut of her national tour in Denver would be better than Broadway, and her team has delivered – first-class.

From the opening guttural note, “The Lion King” viscerally explodes like a South African choral cannon shot, daring its expectant visitors to open their hardened hearts, inviting them along for a sensorial adventure unlike anything they have experienced before.

When the sweaty cast and crew finishes bestowing its profound, 2-hour-and-45-minute gift upon an exhausted audience, it seems inadequate that all the audience can do to reciprocate is stand and cheer.

‘The Lion King’ 2002 national touring production.

Actually, the audience spends much of its evening spontaneously moving its hands together, acknowledging disparate moments of wonder, such as balletic dance (“Be Prepared”), symphony-quality singing, and ingenious sets, masks and costumes.

But for all of its artistic and illusive splendor, “The Lion King” is a celebration of the extraordinary sophistication and elegance of … simplicity. Taymor uses every second of time and every inch of airspace to create worlds for us to explore. But she uses techniques so deceptively simple and traditional that the audience might think the opposite is true.

Of all her visual tricks, the greatest may be how she transforms 2,800 faces of all ages into the visages of children.

The opening number, “Circle of Life,” is a processional of human puppets dressed as jungle animals (the first of 232), from 12-foot giraffes to four-person elephants to lithe cheetahs to flocks of birds. As a saffron sun rises, so does the signal that this is a brand new day for all of us.

“The Lion King” is already a classic tale told on an epic scale.

The story is part “Hamlet,” part Cain and Abel, set in the African jungle. It is the story of Mufasa the lion king, who is put to death by his evil brother, Scar. Mufasa’s son, Simba, is led to believe he is responsible for his father’s death, but after a period of self-imposed exile, he returns to reclaim his rightful place on the throne.

With all due credit to the more than 100 actors and artisans who bring this story to life, it is Lebo M who makes “The Lion King” an incredible emotional experience. The South African composer’s chants, expressed in seven dialects, are what give the production its powerful spirit, and it is his rhythmic, percussive poundings that give it the pulse that moves its blood. More than anyone, Lebo M exemplifies theater’s power to topple borders. When Rafiki the baboon shaman cries in mourning over the death of Mufasa, you don’t have to be South African to understand the language of her words. You feel them:

“Spilled blood. Try courage so the beasts may fall. Those who defy mountains are in truth cowards.”

Much has been said of the spectacular, three-dimensionally staged scenes such as the wildebeest stampede. Such moments happily marry the hardware of machinery with the magic of wild imagination.

But one of the greater joys is watching how Taymor employs smaller, unexpected alternative storytelling techniques. Her influences come from Japan, China, Indonesia and beyond, and her techniques are as old as human communication itself. They include commedia dell’arte, miniature puppetry and simple shadows on a cave wall.

For example, when Mufasa takes his son for a walk, instead of the two actors walking across the stage, Taymor projects stick puppets of the two lions onto a cloth, and the figures are exaggerated by a receding flashlight. A drought is depicted by a sheet being slowly pulled through a hole in the raked stage, and a group of antelopes previously shown in the prime of their lives return in skeletal form. When a pride of lionesses erupts in grief over Mufasa’s death, ribbons, not tears, burst dramatically from their eyes. When Simba looks into a pond and sees his father in the reflection, the gigantic face of Mufasa forms from nowhere behind him, then dissipates like a settling ripple. These are solutions both simple and revolutionary for a commercial stage.

“The Lion King” is a multicultural family effort, from the nonstop, mind-altering sets by Richard Hudson to the orchestration of Jay Alger to the powerful lighting of Donald Holder to Taymor’s endlessly inventive costuming.

But if Lebo M gives “The Lion King” its signature sound, Michael Curry gives it its signature look with his detailed puppetry designs that emphasize the duality of the animals and their human conductors.

The cast yields superlative efforts, from the comedy of Fredi Walker-Browne’s Rafiki, Jeffrey Binder’s hornbill bird Zazu and John Plumpis’ meerkat Timon, to the powerful presence of Alton Fitzgerald White’s Mufasa (“They Live in You”) to the vocal supremacy of Josh Tower (Simba) and the graceful Kissy Simmons (Nala). Tower faces no small pressure to nail Taymor’s lone contribution to the score (“Endless Night”) and Simmons is simply spellbinding (“Shadowlands”).

Denver’s own Akil LuQman II, as cute as cute gets, plays Young Simba with overt exuberance. The 12-year-old was surely nervous in the first professional performance of his life, but he overcomes that with a magnetic smile and his cartwheeling, tail-wagging effervescence.

The central theme of “The Lion King” is the circle of life, a round-trip journey that may be a tad too long for some of its youngest passengers. But for those who go along for the ride, it is the trip of a lifetime. Words seem inadequate to describe an experience that is a visual and aural masterpiece.

“The Lion King”

****(Out of 4 stars)

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Melissa Lucero McCarl

Melissa McCarl.

Photo by Jeremy Rill.

 

‘I am a part of a community that takes care of its own in a profound way’

Aid recipient: Melissa Lucero McCarl is a prominent Denver playwright, director and actor. She is perhaps best known for writing the Denver Post Ovation Award-winning “Painted Bread,” about the fractured life of Frida Kahlo; “Poignant Irritations,” about Gertrude Stein; and “Lost Creatures,” which imagines the 1978 meeting between British theatre critic Kenneth Tynan and his longtime cinematic idol, Louise Brooks. As an actor she recently played Rita in Town Hall Arts Center’s “Casa Valentina.” Directing credits include the Aurora Fox’s “Anna in the Tropics,” “Real Women Have Curves” and “Hi-Hat Hattie”; Town Hall’s “Swingtime Canteen” and “The King and I”; and the Athena Project’s “Tell Martha Not to Moan.” Melissa attended Loretto Heights College and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

Her medical story: Melissa recently needed and an emergency-room visit requiring injection therapy and pathology. She was left with a post-insurance, out-of-pocket bill of  3,284.22. Like many in our community, Melissa has had all of her upcoming work canceled by COVID-19 and no significant sources of new income to take on this bill.

How we helped: The Denver Actors Fund has been experiencing an unprecedented run on our reserves in 2020, having sent out more than $58,000 in direct medical relief in the first four months of the year – not including the $50,000 in emergency funding we have paid out through our new DEAR Fund to support Colorado theatre artists who have lost the ability to earn income during the COVID-19 shutdown. So the Board has instituted a more conservative, temporary compensation formula. Essentially, until we can start replenishing our general fund through live performance fundraisers, the Board is compensating qualified applicants at a level that is about 70 percent of normal. In Melissa’s case, the Board has voted to reimburse her with $2,300, or 70 percent of her obligation. With targeted donations from the community, The Denver Actors Fund’s total support for Melissa is now $2,475.

How you can help us help Melissa more: Even after our assistance, Melissa has about $984 remaining on her balance. If you would like to direct a specific donation to help Melissa pay down her bill, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Melissa McCarl’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is targeted for Melissa McCarl. (She will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, your donation will be applied to the replenishment of The Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

A message from Melissa: “Having to get an emergency procedure right as the pandemic hit was not ideal. Receiving the large bill after learning that I’d lost at least $5,000 worth of gigs felt catastrophic. Having The DAF come to the rescue so quickly and effectively felt nothing short of miraculous. Sometimes it can be tempting to think: ‘I’ve spend most of my life making theatre, but what do I really have to show for it?’ Being reminded that I am a part of a community that takes care of its own in this profound way makes me think that I have a lot to show for it indeed.”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $538,000 available to Colorado artists in need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION

Cast members from Town Hall Arts Center’s 2019 production of ‘Casa Valentina.’ Photo by John Moore.


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $538,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF.


COME TO OUR EVENTS

TUESDAY, MAY 5: Need some happy? The Happy Hour Foundation is partnering with CreativeMornings/Denver for a special virtual happy hour benefiting three local nonprfits including the Denver Actors Fund. How It Works: Step 1. Strap on your mask. Step 2. Buy some beer to go from Strange Craft Beer Company and FlyteCo Brewing between May 1 and 3. Step 3. Go home and wash your hands for 20 seconds. Step 4. Log on to our virtual happy hour on May 5. Step 5. Socialize while socially distanced. This event supports Prime Health, Denver Actors Fund and Culinary Hospitality Outreach & Wellness. Info: facebook.com/happyhourfoundation


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Sean Cronan

Sean Cronan

Dr. Kelly comes to the aid of BDT Stage lighting designer

Aid recipient: Sean Cronan of Lafayette (who also goes by Seann) recently served as the assistant lightning designer and light-board operator for BDT Stage’s production of “Mamma Mia.” Other credits include “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.” He also lends his talents to BDT’s youth productions. He went to Boulder High School and is the brother of longtime BDT Stage actor Brian Cronan.

Sean Cronan

His medical story: Sean recently procured his own dental insurance for the first time and went in for his first check-up in years. He was told that because of bone loss, three teeth would have to be extracted. Even with his insurance, he was quoted an out-of-pocket price of about $2,400. That’s when he contacted The Denver Actors Fund.

How we helped: The Denver Actors Fund has a partnering dentist in Dr. Brian Kelly DDS, who accepts a limited number of emergency cases each year as his personal, in-kind donation to The DAF through the Dental Center at Thornton Plaza. Dr. Kelly performed all of the necessary work, including tooth replacement. The DAF chipped in $135 for an outside lab bill, but otherwise no money changed hands and Sean paid nothing. But here’s the thing: Dr. Kelly reported to us that had Sean been an uninsured patient who walked in off the street, his combined total bill would have been just $2,010 – another indication of what Dr. Kelly believes is widespread price-gouging among corporate and franchised dental practices.

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $538,000 available to Colorado artists in need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $538,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


GET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Ashley Campbell

Ashley CampbellFrom training to trauma center: Life changes in an instant

Aid recipient: Ashley Campbell got into sound design as a theatre major at the University of Denver and was hooked. “I really enjoyed the process of creating sounds,” she says. “It was one of the most exciting classes I took throughout all of college.” So, she just kept doing it. Ashley recently designed the sound for Curious Theatre’s The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa Fasthorse and also worked on The Humans. For the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, Ashley was the sound designer for Tiny Beautiful Things and worked on other shows including The Revolutionists and The Wolves. Last year, she ran sound for the Denver Children’ Theatre’s The Little Prince. While at the University Ashley-Campbell of Denver, she was part of a True West Award-winning effort to stage the play White Rabbit Red Rabbit as the Associate Artistic Director of her company, Pipedream Productions. The play has been performed (exactly one time) by thousands of actors around the world. It involves a sealed script that the actor reads aloud while performing its specific tasks before a live audience.

Her medical story: “One day, I was training for my new job as box-office attendant at Curious Theatre and, before I knew it, I was on the floor and my head was pulsing,” Ashley says. “I had lost consciousness, hit my head on a wall and had a seizure. The ambulance was called and I was taken to Denver Health to be inspected for head trauma. Luckily, everything was good and I was fully recovered by the next day.” But while Ashley has modest health insurance, she was left with an out-of-pocket bill of nearly $5,000. She has paid it down to $2,888.

How we helped: The Denver Actors Fund has been experiencing an unprecedented run on our reserves in 2020, having sent out more than $58,000 in direct medical relief in the first four months of the year – not including the $50,000 in emergency funding we have paid out through our new DEAR Fund that we have paid to Colorado theatre artists who have lost the ability to earn income during the COVID-19 shutdown. So the Board has temporarily instituted a more conservative compensation formula. Essentially, until we can start replenishing our general fund through live performance fundraisers, the Board is compensating qualified applicants at a level that is about 70 percent of normal. So in Ashley’s case, the Board voted to reimburse her with $1,946.70 – or 70 percent of her remaining obligation. With targeted donations from the community, The Denver Actors Fund’s total support for Ashley is now $1,996.70.

How you can help us help Ashley more: Even after our assistance, Ashley has about $800 remaining on her bill’s balance. If you would like to direct a specific donation to help Ashley pay down her bill, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Ashley Campbell’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is targeted for Ashley Campbell. (She will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, your donation will be applied to the replenishment of The Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

A message from Ashley:  “I am so thankful to the Denver theatre community and The Denver Actors Fund for helping pay my medical bills from this day. Without you, I’d still be drowning in medical debt.”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $538,000 available to Colorado artists in need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $538,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Chris Casketta

Chris Cascketta‘My appearance and speech are as vital to my profession as my singing’

Aid recipient: Glenwood Springs actor and baritone Chris Cascketta appeared as the opera singer Rafael Bellini in “The Last Romance” for Thunder River Theatre Company in Carbondale. He is also Choir Director at Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church in Glenwood Springs. He is originally from Chicago and studied at the Oberlin Conservatory. Chris represents our first DAF beneficiary from Garfield County!

Chris Cascketta, left, in ‘The Last Romance.’

His medical story: Last year, Chris lost one tooth and nearly another in a freak accident. He went to a local dentist in Glenwood Springs, was given a partial denture and told that another tooth would need to be extracted. He made an appointment with another Glenwood Springs dentist for the implant surgery and was quoted a treatment plan of just more than $10,000. That’s when Defiance Community Players Co-President Chip Winn Wells referred him to The Denver Actors Fund.

How we helped: The Denver Actors Fund has a partnering dentist in Dr. Brian Kelly DDS, who accepts a limited number of emergency cases each year as his personal, in-kind donation to The DAF through the Dental Center at Thornton Plaza. Although Chris lives 150 miles from Thornton, he made the trip to see Dr. Kelly, who saved one tooth with a root canal (which also saved Chris more than $2,000) and gave him a deep cleaning that restored his gums to health. But because Dr. Kelly does not do implant surgeries himself, he worked with Glenwood Springs dentist Dr. John Murray on a plan where Dr. Murray would perform the implant and next, when dental offices re-open, Dr. Kelly will place the crown for free. The Denver Actors Fund paid Dr. Murray $2,195 for the surgery; Chris $530 for his expenses related to a CT scan and preparatory periodontal work; and Dr. Kelly made all of his services, presently valued at $2,008 (with more to come in June) his latest, greatest donation to the DAF. To date, Dr. Kelly has donated more than $50,000 in free dental care through the DAF. That brings our total support for Chris to date to $4,733 (not counting his savings from not going through with the originating dentist’s treatment plan.)

A message from Chris: “Because I’m a singer and an actor, my appearance and speech are as vital to my profession as my singing. Getting this implant frees me from having to wear a partial denture, which impedes both my speech and singing. I am so grateful to The Denver Actors Fund and Dr. Kelly for this assistance. I never would have been able to afford it on my own.”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $538,000 available to Colorado artists in need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $538,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Lindsay Fuller

Lindsay Fuller

For an actor who often plays princesses, a front tooth is an essential prop

Aid recipient: Lindsay Fuller has appeared in many local productions including most recently as Cinderella in Town Hall Arts Center’s “Disenchanted” and in the Arvada Center’s children’s productions of “The Velveteen Rabbit” and “Ella Enchanted.” Other prominent roles in recent years have included Penny in Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s “Hairspray” and Brenda Strong in the Aurora Fox’s “Catch Me if You Can.” Other local credits include the Springer Opera House and singing with The Denver Dolls.

LINDSAY FULLER

Lindsay Fuller

Her medical story: Lindsay had a dental emergency that took out her front tooth at the end of 2016, which The Denver Actors Fund helped her pay to fix. This past December, the repair failed – a half-hour before a two-show day for “Ella Enchanted.” Afterward, she was able to see The Denver Actors Fund‘s partnering dentist, Dr. Brian Kelly DDS, who accepts a limited number of emergency cases each year as his personal, in-kind donation to The DAF through the Dental Center at Thornton Plaza.

How we have helped: Over the course of several months, Dr. Kelly (himself a former Broadway dancer!) and his partners repaired Fuller’s teeth and restored her smile in a way that better befits her often princess-worthy roles. Including our payment to the initial dentist back in 2016, and a more recent lab fee, The Denver Actors Fund now has paid $1,438 for Lindsay’s dentistry, while Dr. Kelly has donated $1,395 of his firm’s services. Including a recent DEAR Fund emergency stipend for Colorado theatre artists who have lost the ability to earn income because of the COVID19 shutdown, The Denver Actors Fund now has provided Lindsay with $3,083 in overall support. MORE ABOUT THE DEAR FUND

Lindsay Fuller in Town Hall Arts Center’s ‘Disenchanted.’ Rachel D. Graham Photography.

A message from Lindsay: “I could not be more grateful to The Denver Actors Fund and their partnership with Dr. Brian Kelly. Dr. Kelly squeezed me in for an emergency dental visit within a couple hours of my injury, and he had me laughing and smiling from ear-to-ear the entire time – despite my missing front tooth. What could have been financially detrimental for me was taken care of in a way that I don’t have close to enough thank you’s for. The DAF and their partners are a true gift to our community.”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $528,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $528,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Laura Jo Trexler

Laura Jo Trexler When Medicaid would not help a local actor with Medicaid, we did

Aid recipient: Laura Jo Trexler, who grew up in Littleton and graduated from Heritage High School, last year performed her one-woman Shakespearean musical “Play On! A Musical Romp Through Shakespeare’s Women” for And Toto too Theatre Company at the Denver Performing Arts Complex’s Champa Studio. Previous Colorado credits include Bill Pullman’s “The Wild Hunt” for VisionBox Studios, Curious Theatre’s “The Flick” and “The Lieutenant of Inishmore”; the Arvada Center’s “The Ladies Man”; and Creede Rep’s “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

Laura Jo Trexler Her medical story: Laura Jo recently needed an emergency root canal. And while she qualifies for Medicaid, mystifyingly, Medicaid covers root canals in only 26 states – one of them NOT being Colorado. So she got stuck with a $1,755 bill from a local dental company in Lakewood. And that was before she had the new tooth crowned, which she could not pay for at the time. That’s when we heard from her at The Denver Actors Fund.

How we have helped: First, The DAF paid off the $1,755 bill to the Lakewood dental firm. Second, The DAF has a partnering dentist who accepts a limited number of emergency cases each year as his personal, in-kind donation through the Dental Center at Thornton Plaza. Dr. Brian Kelly DDS (himself a former Broadway dancer!) agreed to finish off Laura Jo’s case with a crown. Dr. Kelly’s intervention saved Laura Jo (and The DAF) from paying out an additional $1,431 to complete her treatment. There was also a $99 third-party lab fee, which The DAF has paid. All told, The DAF made $3,285 in medical assistance available to Laura Jo, of which $1,431 was Dr. Kelly’s in-kind donation to The DAF.

A message from Laura Jo: “At a time when it can be hard to remember the true goodness of humanity, I am humbly reminded it is out there. The Denver Actors Fund represents the best in humanity, and I am beyond grateful for the urgent care I was able to receive. Thank you from the bottom of my heart – and bank account!”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $480,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $480,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF.

 


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund: Sarah Grover

A move, a wedding … and an expensive medical diagnosis

Aid recipient: Sarah Grover of Johnstown is a busy local actor who most recently  appeared in the ensemble of “Jekyll and Hyde” at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse. Before that, she played Esmerelda there in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” “Sarah Grover is everything you could want in Esmerelda – lively, free-spirited and sassy, while also empathetic and loving,” wrote Brian VanDriel for the Greeley Tribune. She also has credits at BDT Stage, Sarah Grover Quote Arvada Center, Performance Now, Midtown Arts Center, Original Dickens Carolers, Starkey Theatrix and more. She is originally from Virginia Beach.

Her medical story: Last October, Sarah experienced sudden and severe stomach pain that took something of a medical odyssey to properly diagnose. Sarah missed eight performances during this time and was inundated with a dozen bills that came to a comparably modest $1,965.38 in out-of-pocket expenses. But the other shoe dropped when Sarah received one additional straggler of an E.R. bill totaling $4,060.40 from Banner Health for her visit to the Northern Colorado Medical Center. It’s worth noting here that Sarah does have (lousy) insurance, and UnitedHealthcare Golden Rule paid just … $400 of this new bill. Yes, leaving Sarah with 90 percent of the bill to pay herself, or an additional $3,660.40. (Why do we even have insurance again?)

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund board of directors voted unanimously to gift Sarah with $6,145.75 to cover her medical expenses and some lost wages. 

A message from Sarah: “I have no hesitation in saying that The Denver Actors Fund has saved my life. My fiancé and I just bought a new home and we are planning our wedding, so when this stream of medical bills kept arriving, the stress and worry of finding a way to pay for them grew by the day. With all the crazy and uncertainty in the world right now, it was so comforting to learn that we now have this incredible weight off our shoulders. There is so much good still in the world. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. I am out of words and filled with hope.”

Note: Like most every other theatre production in Colorado, ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ has ceased performances because of CoVid-19, leaving Sarah Grover and the entire Candlelight ensemble without pay for the final two weeks of scheduled performances.

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $477,000 available to Colorado theatre artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: Simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. Your donation will be applied to the replenishment of the Denver Actors Fund’s general fund, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $477,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF!


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Scott Hurst

Neither Jekyll, nor Hyde, nor the actors who played them were spared the flu

Aid recipient: Windsor actor Scott Hurst recently shared the title roles in Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s ‘Jekyll and Hyde,’ his eighth production as an actor at the Johnstown theatre. Other roles there have included Fred and Petruchio in ‘Kiss Me Kate’ and Phoebus in ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame.’ He is originally from Flintridge, California.

Hippo Health LogoHis medical story: A flu-like wave swept through the ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ cast when the show opened in late January, prompting many members of its ensemble to take advantage of a free teledoctoring service offered by The Denver Actors Fund through Hippo Health. Hurst was one of them. The other actor trading performances with Hurst also fell ill, and Hurst was left to power through despite his own worsening condition. He was advised by his teledoctor to take Tamiflu and seek direct medical attention from an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist, who performed a diagnostic scope. All told, Hurst incurred $496 in medical expenses.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund board of directors voted uninmously to pay Hurst’s medical expenses. Combined with the fee for the Hippo service that The DAF makes available to all qualified members of the Colorado theatre community, Hurst received $521 worth of medical assistance from the DAF.

A message from Scott: “The Denver Actors Fund came through for me when I didn’t know where else to turn. As a singer, vocal health can be often invisible. The DAF provided aid and peace of mind to me when I struggled to afford a simple diagnostic procedure. Thank you to this incredible community for enabling me to protect myself. I have never been more grateful.’

Note: Like most every other theatre production in Colorado, ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ has ceased performances because of CoVid-19, leaving Scott Hurst and the entire Candlelight ensemble without pay for the final two weeks of scheduled performances.

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $477,000 available to Colorado theatre artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: Simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. Your donation will be applied to the replenishment of the Denver Actors Fund’s general fund, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION

Scott Hurst as the dastardly Mr. Hyde. Photo by Rachel D. Graham.


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $477,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


King Soopers LogoSHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF!


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Mike Martinkus

Mike Martinkus ‘When I learned that my application was approved, I started crying from relief’

Aid recipient: Mike Martinkus, a Fort Collins native now living in Lakewood, most recently appeared in the title role of Theatre Company of Lafayette’s “Pippin, as Rich in Equinox Theatre’s “Be More Chill” and in the ensemble of Town Hall Arts Center’s “American Idiot.” His many other credits span productions with the Firehouse Theater Company, Miners Alley Playhouse, Vintage Theatre, OpenStage Theatre & Company, and Front Range Community College. He graduated from Fort Collins High School and earned his acting degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

Mike Martinkus and Michaela Lamb in Theater Company of Lafayette’s ‘Pippin.’

His medical story: Mike diagnosed with a large kidney stone during an E.R. visit in January, which required surgery and resulte in a lot of time missed from his day job at the University of Denver. After insurance, Mike was left with $1,354.80 in out-of-pocket medical bills.

How we have helped: The board of The Denver Actors Fund voted unaimously to pay Mike’s portion of the bill, or 1,354.80.

A message from Mike: “For all of 2019, I was dealing with some major health issues, and already had a few procedures done, which was making it hard for me to work. Then in January my body decided to throw a kidney stone in there at the same time for good measure, making me miss even more work. I was already running out of medical-leave time at my job, so my paychecks were reduced. My parents are retired and they’re already helping me with medical and everyday expenses since I haven’t been able to work as much. So when I had to have surgery and got a bill for more than $1,300 – all due just a couple of weeks later, I panicked. The DAF was there to ease this burden on me and my parents. When I learned that my application was approved, I started crying from relief. The DAF is a truly amazing organization that really is here to help us out in times of need, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Thank you to DAF, and to all Colorado artists who contribute. We’re a family, and need to continue treating each other as such. Thank you!”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $477,000 available to Colorado theatre artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: Simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. Your donation will be applied to the replenishment of the Denver Actors Fund’s general fund, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $477,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF!


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Kevin Ahl

KEVIN AHLDAF purchases portable respiratory equipment for Phamaly co-founder

Aid recipient: Denver native Kevin Ahl, who has had cerebral palsy since birth, is one of the founders of Phamaly Theatre Company, which for more than 30 years has been a creative home for theatre artists with disabilities. He and fellow founders Kathleen Traylor, Gregg Vigil, Teri Wagner and Rick Britton were schoolmates at the Boettcher School, which at the time was seriously called “The Boettcher School for Crippled Children.” Since then, Kevin has performed in dozens of their shows, most recently in “Annie” in 2017 at the Denver Center’s Stage Theatre. Other Phamaly titles have included “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and the sketch comedy “Vox Construction.” Kevin also has appeared in the annual Magic Moments musical revues. He attended Red Rocks Community College.

Kevin and Pamela Ahl

His medical story: Kevin and his wife, Pamela, are both in wheelchairs, and Kevin is recovering from surgery in November. On top of all that, he has recently become a full-time oxygen user – and his insurance company refused to cover the cost of a Portable Oxygen Concentrator. “When you are in a wheelchair full-time, carrying oxygen tanks is very difficult,” Kevin told us.

How we have helped: Working by the recommendation of Kevin’s doctor, The Denver Actors Fund purchased an Onogen One G3, 16-cell Portable Oxygen Concentrator at a cost of $2,465, with accessories.

A message from Kevin: “Thank you, Denver Actors Fund. This new Oxygen Concentrator will make me able to get out in the community again and not be forced to stay home because of how many oxygen tanks I have. Your continuous generosity is amazing. Thank you for letting us continue to live our lives to the fullest.”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $475,000 available to Colorado theatre artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give Kevin and Pamela some additional breathing room as he continues his surgical recovery treatment, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Kevin Ahl’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is targeted for Kevin Ahl. (He will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, your donation will be applied to the replenishment of the Denver Actors Fund’s general fund, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $475,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


GET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF!


COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US*:

SUNDAY, APRIL 26: True story: A few months ago, the local band Gin & Tonix did a show at the Clocktower to benefit the DAF, and I wasn’t sure I could make it so I didn’t book in advance. I dropped in just before the show began to buy a ticket at the door, and the woman looked at me like I was trying to walk in on Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, BTS, Shawn Mendes and the Wu-Tang Clan all at once. The look on her face was priceless. The event was was way sold out. “Gin & Tonix sells out every time,” she said. Point taken. So who is Gin & Tonix? A group of talented musician friends and family who have made music together on and off for many years. The band features vocal the harmonies of Morgan Griego, Kacie Thomas, Trinity Thomas, and Eileen Adair, by Madi Spillman on guitar, Ian Spillman on drums and vocals, and Jason Spillman on bass and vocals. The group plays songs by artists ranging from The Indigo Girls, The Eagles, The Avett Brothers and many more. The band will again be donating 10 percent of ticket sales for The Denver Actors Fund and taking a collection as a tribute to the late Amy Malmgren – an original DAF board member, and Jason Spillman’s sister. last time the total was a lucky $777. Gin and Tonix is as passionate about their community and family as they are about their music, which is touching. Now take the advice that is splased across the Clocktower’s web page: BOOK EARLY! GIN & TONIX *WILL SELL OUT IN ADVANCE!* Get your tickets here.

JULY 9-18: Stage Left Productions has announced that it will donate ALL NET PROFITS from the entire run of its upcoming summer musical “Ordinary Days” to The Denver Actors Fund! “We are so excited to work with DAF on such an amazing cause,” says Stage Left Productions Owner Sophia Johnson-Grimes, who founded her company as a place for young theatre artists ages high school through college to let their talents shine, to collaborate, create, build leadership skills and give back to their communities. Every production has a designated philanthropic benefactors. “Ordinary Days” is a refreshingly honest and funny musical by Adam Gwon about four young New Yorkers whose lives intersect as they search for fulfillment, happiness, love and cabs. Through a score of vibrant and memorable songs, their experiences ring startlingly true to life. For more information, go to https://stageleftdenver.com

*All events subject to change


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Damon Guerrasio

‘I might have had thousands of dollars worth of unnecessary and overpriced work done on my teeth’

Aid recipient: Busy actor Damon Guerrasio is currently playing Mark “Facebender” Lender in Benchmark Theatre’s regional premiere comedy “Airness,” a love letter to competitive air guitar running through February 29 in Lakewood. Other recent credits include the Arvada Center’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Saturday Night Fever”; Curious Theatre’s “Water by the Spoonful”; and multiple roles at Cherry Creek Theatre, Miners Alley Playhouse, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre, Littleton Town Hall Arts Center and Midtown Arts Center in Fort Collins. He is also a veteran children’s theatre performer, presently playing Father/Bird in Miners Alley Playhouse’s “Hansel and Gretel,” through February 29. Damon’s Arvada Center credits include “Ella Enchanted,” “Junie B. Jones,” “Charlotte’s Web” and “Lyle the Crocodile”; his Denver Children’s Theatre’s titles include “Sleeping Beauty” and “Rumpelstiltskin”; and at Miners Alley Playhouse: “The Pied Piper,” “Robin Hood,” “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” “The Nutcracker” and “The Little Mermaid.” Damon is a Littleton native who graduated from Highlands Ranch High School. He co-hosted “Miscast” in 2015 and ’16, helping to raise more than $10,000 for The Denver Actors Fund.

Damon Guerrasio and Brenna Larsen in the Arvada Center’s ‘Lyle the Crocodile.’ Matthew Gale Photography.

His medical story: Like most theatre artists, Damon does not have dental insurance. But when he knew he had a pretty serious situation with his teeth, he made an appointment with a dentist based on location convenience. He was told four of his teeth were in danger of completely falling apart. We’ll save the rest of Damon’s story for him to tell below.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund has a partnering dentist who accepts a limited number of emergency cases each year as his personal, in-kind donation through the Dental Center at Thornton Plaza. Dr. Brian Kelly DDS (himself a former Broadway dancer!) crowned two of Damon’s teeth. The cost of Damon’s treatment would run him $1,409 had he not been referred through the The Denver Actors Fund. Of that total, The DAF paid $99 to a third-party lab for the cost of making two custom-fit prosthetic splints for Neal. The remainder – $1,310 – was Dr. Kelly’s in-kind donation to the DAF.

A message from Damon: “Not having a steady dentist, I chose one nearby to get a check-up and and unexpectedly high-priced cleaning. More disconcerting was this dentist telling me that at least four of my fillings were cracked, and they all would need to be crowned. The price I was quoted came to nearly $6,000. I bit the bullet and ponied up just a little over a grand to get one tooth done. Knowing there was no way I could afford the full treatment plan, I then asked The Denver Actors Fund for assistance. My case was accepted and I was referred to Dr. Brian Kelly at the Thornton Dental Center. Dr. Kelly and his associates are nothing short of amazing. Aside from being incredibly welcoming and accommodating, they exude an atmosphere of family and, dare I say – ‘fun’? … At a dentist office? … Yes, very fun. It turns out Dr. Kelly used to act, and he is actually pretty good chums with many members of the Colorado theatre community. Perhaps the best thing the good doctor and his friends gave me was a second opinion. Dr. Kelly determined that my teeth were not in need of a complete overhaul. It turns out, the most significant work I needed was on the tooth worked on by my previous dentist. She had left what Dr. Kelly called “a void” in the crown. So Dr. Kelly and The Denver Actors Fund did the work for free – and Dr. Kelly even tried getting me my money back from the first dentist by sending her a very professional email and X-ray of her mistake. The lesson? Always get a second opinion, especially when it comes to major dental work. If not for The Denver Actors Fund, I might possibly have had thousands of dollars worth of unnecessary and overpriced work done on my teeth. A valuable lesson learned. Thank you so much, Dr. Kelly and The Denver Actors Fund!! My only regret is not asking for help sooner.”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $462,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION

Damon Guerrasio and Eric Mather co-hosted ‘Miscast 2016’ for The Denver Actors Fund at the Town Hall Arts Center. Photo by John Moore.


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $462,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF!


COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

TONIGHT, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13: Our friends at Miners Alley Playhouse are once again donating ALL PROCEEDS from that evening’s performance of “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” to The Denver Actors Fund. Terrence McNally’s enduring working-class romance, starring Jessica Robblee and Bill Hahn, tells the story of a diner waitress and a short-order cook. After they meet for a night of momentary connection, they expect a return to loneliness, but their desire turns into the possibility of love. The play begins at 7:30 p.m. Miners Alley Playhouse is located at 1224 Washington Avenue. Golden. Call 303-935-3044 or buy online at minersalley.com. Thank you to Len Matheo, Elizabeth Scott-Mckean, Jonathan Scott-Mckean, Lisa DeCaro, Bryanna Scott, the cast, crew and whoever kindly works the bar. It’s nights like these that truy make what we do possible.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17: The Cherry Creek Theatre Company has announced that its Industry Night performance of “My Way – A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra” will be a benefit for The Denver Actors Fund. Let the music of Frank Sinatra transport you back in time to a swanky nightclub on the Las Vegas strip. Experience more than 50 quintessential hits from the Ol’ Blue Eyes collection. From The Lady is a Tramp to New York, New York, you can’t help but hum along with your favorite jazz standards on this trip down memory lane. Pack up, let’s fly away and fall in love all over again with the music of one of the most celebrated recording artists of all time. The director is Susie Snodgrass, with musical direction from David Nehls. The cast includes Sheryl McCallum, Stephen Day, Shannon Steele and Jeremy Rill. Tickets (normally $33) are $20. At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org

Kaden Hinkle and Darrow Klein

Kaden Hinkle and Darrow Klein.

FEBRUARY 28-29: CenterStage Theatre Company, which exists to create performance opportunities for students ages high school through college, will be collecting for The Denver Actors Fund following its February 28 and 29 performances of “Into the Woods” in Louisville. James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical gathers everyone’s favorite storybook characters “into the woods” and imagines what might have happened to them after all those fairy tales ended. CenterStage has long supported our efforts, and this collection is specifically being led by two of our longest-standing young supporters, Kaden Hinkle and 2019 True West Award winner Darrow Klein, both of whom appear in the show. The bad news is that all three designated DAF shows are already sold out. So if you are gong, bring your spar-change jar! CenterStage performs at 901 Front St. in Louisville. Information: centerstagetheatrecompany.org

SUNDAY, APRIL 26: True story: A few months ago, the local band Gin & Tonix did a show at the Clocktower to benefit the DAF, and I wasn’t sure I could make it so I didn’t book in advance. I dropped in just before the show began to buy a ticket at the door, and the woman looked at me like I was trying to walk in on Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, BTS, Shawn Mendes and the Wu-Tang Clan all at once. The look on her face was priceless. The event was was way sold out. “Gin & Tonix sells out every time,” she said. Point taken. So who is Gin & Tonix? A group of talented musician friends and family who have made music together on and off for many years. The band features vocal the harmonies of Morgan Griego, Kacie Thomas, Trinity Thomas, and Eileen Adair, by Madi Spillman on guitar, Ian Spillman on drums and vocals, and Jason Spillman on bass and vocals. The group plays songs by artists ranging from The Indigo Girls, The Eagles, The Avett Brothers and many more. The band will again be donating 10 percent of ticket sales for The Denver Actors Fund and taking a collection as a tribute to the late Amy Malmgren – an original DAF board member, and Jason Spillman’s sister. last time the total was a lucky $777. Gin and Tonix is as passionate about their community and family as they are about their music, which is touching. Now take the advice that is splased across the Clocktower’s web page: BOOK EARLY! GIN & TONIX *WILL SELL OUT IN ADVANCE!* Get your tickets here.

Stage Left Ordinary DaysJULY 9-18: Stage Left Productions has announced that it will donate ALL NET PROFITS from the entire run of its upcoming summer musical “Ordinary Days” to The Denver Actors Fund! “We are so excited to work with DAF on such an amazing cause,” says Stage Left Productions Owner Sophia Johnson-Grimes, who founded her company as a place for young theatre artists ages high school through college to let their talents shine, to collaborate, create, build leadership skills and give back to their communities. Every production has a designated philanthropic benefactors. “Ordinary Days” is a refreshingly honest and funny musical by Adam Gwon about four young New Yorkers whose lives intersect as they search for fulfillment, happiness, love and cabs. Through a score of vibrant and memorable songs, their experiences ring startlingly true to life. For more information, go to https://stageleftdenver.com


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Brandon Palmer

Brandon Palmer. Photo by Cody Schuyler

‘I never could have imagined the immense feeling of gratitude and relief’

Aid recipient: Thornton actor Brandon Palmer has been performing for a variety of local theatre companies since 2011, most recently appearing as Liam in Firehouse Theater Company’s “Calendar Girls.” Other recent credits include playing Little Charlie Aiken in Vintage Theatre’s “August: Osage County,” Milo Tindle in Vintage’s “Sleuth,” Ben in Miners Alley Playhouse’s “The Pitmen Painters,” Phillip Morgan in Lowry Spotlight Theater’s “Rope,” and in two separate productions of “You Can’t Take It With You” – as Tony Kirby for Spotlight and as Ed Carmichael for Miners Alley. Brandon also has performed with the Evergreen Players and Breckenridge Backstage Theatre, and was the artistic director of the Ripple Effect Theatre Company. Two years ago, he authored “Remember the Magic,” a book chronicling 40 years of history at Boulder’s Dinner Theatre (BDT Stage). He graduated from Coe College in Iowa with a double major in theatre and psychology, with a minor in creative writing.

Brandon Palmer in Vintage Theatre’s ‘Sleuth.’ RDG Photography.

His medical story: On September 8, Brandon was accompanying a co-worker who needed immediate care to a hospital emergency room when Brandon ended up passing out himself. He was admitted to his own room and treated for a condition called “convulsive syncope,” a brief loss of consciousness brought on by a shortage of oxygen to the brain. Brandon’s visit resulted in a post-insurance bill from UCHealth of $1,607.10.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors has voted unanimously to pay off Brandon’s share of the bill, or $1,607.10.

A message from Brandon: “Just, wow. I have admired what The Denver Actors Fund has done from the beginning of your efforts, but I never could have imagined the immense feeling of gratitude and relief you truly provide to your recipients. That is, until I got the notification that my bill had been paid in full. The words ‘thank you’ don’t seem to be enough. But with the utmost sincerity, I am awed, inspired and truly grateful for your support. The entire DAF team and our entire Colorado theatre community are a true testament to the goodness in people – something that can be hard to see during these turbulent times.”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $462,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

Brandon Palmer with Mark Collins in ‘The Pitmen Painters’ at Miners Alley Playhouse.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $462,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF!


COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

What’s The Denver Actors Fund? Well, Chris Hemsworth may have made $76 million to play Thor in “Avengers: Endgame,” but closer to home, Colorado stage actors often get paid tiny stipends to perform in plays and musicals at local theatres. They often sustain themselves by working a hodgepodge of flexible but low-paying jobs without health insurance. The Denver Actors Fund is a safety net for when Colorado theatre artists (on or off-stage) need help to pay for unexpected medical expenses. In six years, the Denver Actors Fund has made $435,000 available to help artists pay their medical bills or purchase wheelchairs, hearing aids and other essential medical supplies. In addition, an army of volunteers provides neighborly assistance ranging from rides to meals to snow-shoveling and personal company

Alamo Hollywood's Biggest Night 2020

HOLLYWOOD’S BIGGEST NIGHT: Sunday, February 9, is the biggest night for the movies! What better way to be a part of the action on the big screen than to join Denver7 at the Alamo Drafthouse Westminster? This year’s host is beloved local actor Steven Burge … and friends including GerRee Hinshaw, Shanna Steele, Jamie Grayson and Denver First Lady Mary Louise Lee. Dress your Hollywood best (formal evening wear suggested but not at all required!) Arrive around 5 p.m. in Pandora’s Box for your very own red carpet, paparazzi, and more before we open the doors for food, drinks and fun for everyone. Tickets are just $15 this year and ALL proceeds benefit The Denver Actors Fund! Reserve your seat now.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13: Our friends at Miners Alley Playhouse are once again donating ALL PROCEEDS from that evening’s performance of “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” to The Denver Actors Fund. Terrence McNally’s enduring working-class romance, starring Jessica Robblee and Bill Hahn, tells the story of a diner waitress and a short-order cook. After they meet for a night of momentary connection, they expect a return to loneliness, but their desire turns into the possibility of love. The play begins at 7:30 p.m. Miners Alley Playhouse is located at 1224 Washington Avenue. Golden. Call 303-935-3044 or buy online at minersalley.com. Thank you to Len Matheo, Elizabeth Scott-Mckean, Jonathan Scott-Mckean, Lisa DeCaro, Bryanna Scott, the cast, crew and whoever kindly works the bar. It’s nights like these that truy make what we do possible.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17: The Cherry Creek Theatre Company has announced that its Industry Night performance of “My Way – A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra” will be a benefit for The Denver Actors Fund. Let the music of Frank Sinatra transport you back in time to a swanky nightclub on the Las Vegas strip. Experience more than 50 quintessential hits from the Ol’ Blue Eyes collection. From The Lady is a Tramp to New York, New York, you can’t help but hum along with your favorite jazz standards on this trip down memory lane. Pack up, let’s fly away and fall in love all over again with the music of one of the most celebrated recording artists of all time. The director is Susie Snodgrass, with musical direction from David Nehls. The cast includes Sheryl McCallum, Stephen Day, Shannon Steele and Jeremy Rill. Tickets (normally $33) are $20. At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org

Kaden Hinkle and Darrow Klein

Kaden Hinkle and Darrow Klein.

FEBRUARY 28-29: CenterStage Theatre Company, which exists to create performance opportunities for students ages high school through college, will be collecting for The Denver Actors Fund following its February 28 and 29 performances of “Into the Woods” in Louisville. James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical gathers everyone’s favorite storybook characters “into the woods” and imagines what might have happened to them after all those fairy tales ended. CenterStage has long supported our efforts, and this collection is specifically being led by two of our longest-standing young supporters, Kaden Hinkle and 2019 True West Award winner Darrow Klein, both of whom appear in the show. The bad news is that all three designated DAF shows are already sold out. So if you are gong, bring your spar-change jar! CenterStage performs at 901 Front St. in Louisville. Information: centerstagetheatrecompany.org

SUNDAY, APRIL 26: True story: A few months ago, the local band Gin & Tonix did a show at the Clocktower to benefit the DAF, and I wasn’t sure I could make it so I didn’t book in advance. I dropped in just before the show began to buy a ticket at the door, and the woman looked at me like I was trying to walk in on Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, BTS, Shawn Mendes and the Wu-Tang Clan all at once. The look on her face was priceless. The event was was way sold out. “Gin & Tonix sells out every time,” she said. Point taken. So who is Gin & Tonix? A group of talented musician friends and family who have made music together on and off for many years. The band features vocal the harmonies of Morgan Griego, Kacie Thomas, Trinity Thomas, and Eileen Adair, by Madi Spillman on guitar, Ian Spillman on drums and vocals, and Jason Spillman on bass and vocals. The group plays songs by artists ranging from The Indigo Girls, The Eagles, The Avett Brothers and many more. The band will again be donating 10 percent of ticket sales for The Denver Actors Fund and taking a collection as a tribute to the late Amy Malmgren – an original DAF board member, and Jason Spillman’s sister. last time the total was a lucky $777. Gin and Tonix is as passionate about their community and family as they are about their music, which is touching. Now take the advice that is splased across the Clocktower’s web page: BOOK EARLY! GIN & TONIX *WILL SELL OUT IN ADVANCE!* Get your tickets here.

Stage Left Ordinary DaysJULY 9-18: Stage Left Productions has announced that it will donate ALL NET PROFITS from the entire run of its upcoming summer musical “Ordinary Days” to The Denver Actors Fund! “We are so excited to work with DAF on such an amazing cause,” says Stage Left Productions Owner Sophia Johnson-Grimes, who founded her company as a place for young theatre artists ages high school through college to let their talents shine, to collaborate, create, build leadership skills and give back to their communities. Every production has a designated philanthropic benefactors. “Ordinary Days” is a refreshingly honest and funny musical by Adam Gwon about four young New Yorkers whose lives intersect as they search for fulfillment, happiness, love and cabs. Through a score of vibrant and memorable songs, their experiences ring startlingly true to life. For more information, go to https://stageleftdenver.com


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Jodi Hogle

Jodi Hogle‘She was with us through everything life had to throw at us.’

Aid recipient: Educator and actor Jodi Hogle was the Director of the PREP Center for Denver Public Schools and a frequent performer for Phamaly Theatre Company, whose mission is to provide performance opportunities for actors with disabilities. Jodi, who impacted several generations of DPS students, including Denver First Lady Mary Louise Lee, died on January 22. “Jodi was an amazing woman,” Lee said. “She was my vocal teacher at Cole Middle School, and I owe her a lot for enhancing the love I have for performing.” Jodi played The Wardrobe in “Beauty and the Beast,” the care-worker Mrs. Fleming in “Taking Leave,” and Maria the Innkeeper’s Wife in “Man of La Mancha,” among many others. “Some knew her for her music, others for the impact she had through education, others from her time on stage,” said her son, actor TJ Hogle, who just played Captain Miles Gloriosus in Performance Now’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” A life celebration is being planned for February 29.

How we have helped: When a qualified recipient for Denver Actors Fund services passes away, our Distribution Policy allows for a memorial gift of up to $1,000 be made to an arts-related organization of the next of kin’s choosing. At the direction of Jodi Hogle’s family, The Denver Actors Fund has made a $1,000 gift to Phamaly Theatre Company in Jodi’s memory.

How you can join us: If you would like to join us in making a memorial contribution to Phamaly, direct your gift to 3532 Franklin St, Suite T2, Denver, CO, 80205. Or use this online link.

A message from T.J. Hogle: “She was our rock, and a true force to behold. She was fierce, loving, gentle, strong and had so much love to share. She made us better, and was with us through everything life had to throw at us.”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $447,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $447,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 150 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF!


COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

Alamo Hollywood's Biggest Night 2020

HOLLYWOOD’S BIGGEST NIGHT: Sunday, February 9, is the biggest night for the movies! What better way to be a part of the action on the big screen than to join Denver7 at the Alamo Drafthouse Westminster? This year’s host is beloved local actor Steven Burge … and friends (!). Dress your Hollywood best (formal evening wear suggested but not at all required!) Arrive around 5 p.m. in Pandora’s Box for your very own red carpet, paparazzi, and more before we open the doors for food, drinks and fun for everyone. Tickets are just $15 this year and ALL proceeds benefit The Denver Actors Fund! What’s The Denver Actors Fund? Well, Chris Hemsworth may have made $76 million to play Thor in “Avengers: Endgame,” but closer to home, Colorado stage actors often get paid tiny stipends to perform in plays and musicals at local theatres. They often sustain themselves by working a hodgepodge of flexible but low-paying jobs without health insurance. The Denver Actors Fund is a safety net for when Colorado theatre artists (on or off-stage) need help to pay for unexpected medical expenses. In six years, the Denver Actors Fund has made $435,000 available to help artists pay their medical bills or purchase wheelchairs, hearing aids and other essential medical supplies. In addition, an army of volunteers provides neighborly assistance ranging from rides to meals to snow-shoveling and personal company. Reserve your preferred seats today.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17: The Cherry Creek Theatre Company has announced that its Industry Night performance of “My Way – A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra” will be a benefit for The Denver Actors Fund. Let the music of Frank Sinatra transport you back in time to a swanky nightclub on the Las Vegas strip. Experience more than 50 quintessential hits from the Ol’ Blue Eyes collection. From The Lady is a Tramp to New York, New York, you can’t help but hum along with your favorite jazz standards on this trip down memory lane. Pack up, let’s fly away and fall in love all over again with the music of one of the most celebrated recording artists of all time. The director is Susie Snodgrass, with musical direction from David Nehls. The cast includes Sheryl McCallum, Stephen Day, Shannon Steele and Jeremy Rill. Tickets (normally $33) are $20. At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org

Kaden Hinkle and Darrow Klein

Kaden Hinkle and Darrow Klein.

FEBRUARY 28-29: CenterStage Theatre Company, which exists to create performance opportunities for students ages high school through college, will be collecting for The Denver Actors Fund following its February 28 and 29 performances of “Into the Woods” in Louisville. CenterStage has long supported our efforts, and this collection is specifically being led by two of our longest-standing young supporters, Kaden Hinkle and 2019 True West Award winner Darrow Klein, both of whom appear in the show. The bad news is that all three designated shows are already sold out. But director Melissa Williams will open up two dress rehearsals for the public on February 19-20 in exchange for donations to The DAF! (More specifics on that to come.) James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical gathers everyone’s favorite storybook characters “into the woods” and imagines what might have happened to them after all those fairy tales ended. CenterStage performs at 901 Front St. in Louisville. Information: centerstagetheatrecompany.org

SUNDAY, APRIL 26: True story: A few months ago, the local band Gin & Tonix did a show at the Clocktower to benefit the DAF, and I wasn’t sure I could make it so I didn’t book in advance. I dropped in just before the show began to buy a ticket at the door, and the woman looked at me like I was trying to walk in on Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, BTS, Shawn Mendes and the Wu-Tang Clan all at once. The look on her face was priceless. The event was was way sold out. “Gin & Tonix sells out every time,” she said. Point taken. So who is Gin & Tonix? A group of talented musician friends and family who have made music together on and off for many years. The band features vocal the harmonies of Morgan Griego, Kacie Thomas, Trinity Thomas, and Eileen Adair, by Madi Spillman on guitar, Ian Spillman on drums and vocals, and Jason Spillman on bass and vocals. The group plays songs by artists ranging from The Indigo Girls, The Eagles, The Avett Brothers and many more. The band will again be donating 10 perceStage Left. Ordinary Daysnt of ticket sales for The Denver Actors Fund and taking a collection as a tribute to the late Amy Malmgren – an original DAF board member, and Jason Spillman’s sister. last time the total was a lucky $777. Gin and Tonix is as passionate about their community and family as they are about their music, which is touching. Now take the advice that is splased across the Clocktower’s web page: BOOK EARLY! GIN & TONIX *WILL SELL OUT IN ADVANCE!* Get your tickets here.

JULY 9-18: Stage Left Productions has announced that it will donate ALL NET PROFITS from the entire run of its upcoming summer musical “Ordinary Days” to The Denver Actors Fund! “We are so excited to work with DAF on such an amazing cause,” says Stage Left Productions Owner Sophia Johnson-Grimes, who founded her company as a place for young theatre artists ages high school through college to let their talents shine, to collaborate, create, build leadership skills and give back to their communities. Every production has a designated philanthropic benefactors. “Ordinary Days” is a refreshingly honest and funny musical by Adam Gwon about four young New Yorkers whose lives intersect as they search for fulfillment, happiness, love and cabs. Through a score of vibrant and memorable songs, their experiences ring startlingly true to life. For more information, go to https://stageleftdenver.com


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Justin Peterson

Trumpet player: Two surgeries, two casts, two massive bills

Aid recipient: Justin Peterson is a trumpet player currently performing in the orchestra for Sasquatch Productions’ “Matilda,” through February 9 at the PACE Center. Over the past year two years, Justin also has played in musicals for BDT Stage, Inspire Creative, Vintage Theatre Company, Aurora Fox, Equinox Theatre, Stage Door Theatre Company and Longmont Theatre Company, with titles including “Newsies,” “Motones vs. Jerseys,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Full Monty,” “The Addams Family,” “Tuck Everlasting” and “The Little Mermaid.” By day, Justin is a site technician for the Aurora Public Schools. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Trumpet Performance from Denver University. He’s also a member of the local rock band One Way Ride and the Latin jazz group The Pino Project.

JUSTIN PETERSONHis medical story: Last June, Justin ruptured his Achilles Tendon, which required surgical repair. A few months later, he was in a serious car accident, which required surgery for a broken left wrist. The financial fallout included damage to his car and the musical instruments he was transporting at the time. Combined, Justin was billed for $6,403.99 in out-of-pocket medical expenses. He incurred additional non-medical expenses ranging from car-rental fees to repair of his musical instruments.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors voted unanimously to pay off the whole of Justin’s out-of-pocket medical expenses, or $6,403.99. To date, including targeted donations from the community, The Denver Actors Fund has now made $6,433.99 available to Justin for his medical expenses.

How you can help us help Justin more: In addition to his non-medical expenses, Justin has been told to expect up to $2,000 in additional medical bills to come in over the next few months. So even though we have paid the maximum we are legally allowed to date (because we are incorporated as a medical relief organization), Justin is not fully out of the hole. If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give Justin some additional breathing room to pay off his other expenses, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Justin Peterson’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is targeted for Justin Peterson. (He will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, your donation will be applied to the replenishment of The Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

A message from Justin:

“The only way I can explain the year 2019 is with one word: Humbling. I started the year with no major medical issues in my life: No broken bones, no surgeries and I had never worn a cast. But 2019 had some surprises in store for me. Both medical incidents required surgical repair, casting and physical therapy among a whole slew of new experiences.

Maybe it was pride, or stubbornness, but I attempted to tackle the financial burden myself. It seemed every few days as I progressed through recovery, there was a new medical bill, some new unanticipated expense or some balance owed after insurance was applied. Any time the phone rang or I would check the mail, I would take a deep breath expecting yet another bill due. I kept telling myself, “This too will pass; keep your head down and keep at it.” Days after ringing in 2020, I received yet another large medical bill, and I knew I needed help.

There are not strong enough words to convey what The Denver Actors Fund has done for me. When I was told the extent to which The Denver Actors Fund was going to help, I was left speechless and, soon after, in tears. In that moment, I could feel an enormous weight lifted off my shoulders and an immense sense of relief. The Denver Actors Fund has CHANGED MY LIFE! There is no way around the fact that without this assistance, I honestly don’t know how long it would have taken to pay these medical bills.

To The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors and to everyone who has contributed to The Denver Actors Fund, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I am astonished, humbled and so tremendously blessed to have received this assistance. I’m not sure I can every repay such kindness and generosity to an extent that could adequately convey how much this means to me.

Over the past month, I couldn’t stop worrying and thinking about everything I could lose … but now I can’t stop being in awe of the people, blessings and love in my life. A drastic change in perspective that should remind us all that life is always best when we live it together.

Again I say, thank you to The Denver Actors Fund and thank you to the Colorado community for supporting the arts in so many ways!”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $438,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION

Justin Peterson, standing second from the left, with the orchestra from Parker Arts and Inspire Theater Company’s ‘Newsies.’


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $438,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF!


COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

Alamo Hollywood's Biggest Night 2020

HOLLYWOOD’S BIGGEST NIGHT: Sunday, February 9, is the biggest night for the movies! What better way to be a part of the action on the big screen than to join Denver7 at the Alamo Drafthouse Westminster? This year’s host is beloved local actor Steven Burge … and friends (!). Dress your Hollywood best (formal evening wear suggested but not at all required!) Arrive around 5 p.m. in Pandora’s Box for your very own red carpet, paparazzi, and more before we open the doors for food, drinks and fun for everyone. Tickets are just $15 this year and ALL proceeds benefit The Denver Actors Fund! What’s The Denver Actors Fund? Well, Chris Hemsworth may have made $76 million to play Thor in “Avengers: Endgame,” but closer to home, Colorado stage actors often get paid tiny stipends to perform in plays and musicals at local theatres. They often sustain themselves by working a hodgepodge of flexible but low-paying jobs without health insurance. The Denver Actors Fund is a safety net for when Colorado theatre artists (on or off-stage) need help to pay for unexpected medical expenses. In six years, the Denver Actors Fund has made $435,000 available to help artists pay their medical bills or purchase wheelchairs, hearing aids and other essential medical supplies. In addition, an army of volunteers provides neighborly assistance ranging from rides to meals to snow-shoveling and personal company. Reserve your preferred seats today.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17: The Cherry Creek Theatre Company has announced that its Industry Night performance of “My Way – A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra” will be a benefit for The Denver Actors Fund. Let the music of Frank Sinatra transport you back in time to a swanky nightclub on the Las Vegas strip. Experience more than 50 quintessential hits from the Ol’ Blue Eyes collection. From The Lady is a Tramp to New York, New York, you can’t help but hum along with your favorite jazz standards on this trip down memory lane. Pack up, let’s fly away and fall in love all over again with the music of one of the most celebrated recording artists of all time. The director is Susie Snodgrass, with musical direction from David Nehls. The cast includes Sheryl McCallum, Stephen Day, Shannon Steele and Jeremy Rill. Tickets (normally $33) are $20. At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org

SUNDAY, APRIL 26: True story: A few months ago, the local band Gin & Tonix did a show at the Clocktower to benefit the DAF, and I wasn’t sure I could make it so I didn’t book in advance. I dropped in just before the show began to buy a ticket at the door, and the woman looked at me like I was trying to walk in on Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, BTS, Shawn Mendes and the Wu-Tang Clan all at once. The look on her face was priceless. The event was was way sold out. “Gin & Tonix sells out every time,” she said. Point taken. So who is Gin & Tonix? A group of talented musician friends and family who have made music together on and off for many years. The band features vocal the harmonies of Morgan Griego, Kacie Thomas, Trinity Thomas, and Eileen Adair, by Madi Spillman on guitar, Ian Spillman on drums and vocals, and Jason Spillman on bass and vocals. The group plays songs by artists ranging from The Indigo Girls, The Eagles, The Avett Brothers and many more. The band will again be donating 10 percent of ticket sales for The Denver Actors Fund and taking a collection as a tribute to the late Amy Malmgren – an original DAF board member, and Jason Spillman’s sister. last time the total was a lucky $777. Gin and Tonix is as passionate about their community and family as they are about their music, which is touching. Now take the advice that is splased across the Clocktower’s web page: BOOK EARLY! GIN & TONIX *WILL SELL OUT IN ADVANCE!* Get your tickets here.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Deb Flomberg-Rollins

Director Deb Flomberg-Rollins before the opening of ‘Young Frankenstein’ at Vintage Theatre. Photo by John Moore.

 

Latest complication from diverticulitis lands director in hospital

Financial-aid recipient: Deb Flomberg-Rollins is a founding member and co-Executive Producer of the Equinox Theatre Company, now in its 12th season. She most recently directed “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” and “Heathers: The Musical” at the Bug Theatre and next will helm “Monty Python’s Spamalot” (opening March 27). Other directing credits have included “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead,” “Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical,” “Bug,” “Evil Dead the Musical” and “In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play)” for Equinox, as well as “Young Frankenstein” and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” for Vintage Theatre Productions. Deb also occasionally appears onstage, notably in the Bug’s seasonal productions of “Night of the Living Dead.” Deb is a past president of the Colorado Theatre Guild.

Her initial medical story: We first helped Deb in 2015 with complications from life-threatening diverticulitis, then with colon surgery. At the time, Deb was self-employed, without health insurance, faced up to $20,000 in medical bills and needed help with essential living expenses because keeping a regular work schedule was difficult during her recovery. The Denver Actors Fund, still largely in its infancy, was able to support her then with $3,295.

The latest chapter: On December 26, Deb was taken to the ER and treated for severe dehydration, a long-term side effect of her type of colon surgery, and was kept on an IV-injection therapy for 28 hours. After insurance, Deb was left with a $1,788.96 bill, which The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors has voted unanimously to pay. To date, including targeted donations from the community, The Denver Actors Fund has now made $5,134 available to Deb for her medical expenses.

How you can help us help Deb Flomberg more: If you would like to direct a specific donation to Deb, simply mail checks made out to Denver Actors Fund with Deb Flomberg-Rollins’s name written in the topic field, to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. In the special instructions field, be sure to designate that your donation is targeted to Deb Flomberg-Rollins.

A message from Deb Flomberg: “It’s not often that I’m without words, but right now, I am struggling to find the words to properly thank The Denver Actors Fund. Over the years, I’ve watched The Denver Actors Fund help so many truly deserving people, but I never thought I’d be the next to need help. However, my situation hit me really hard in 2015, and the mounting bills were a pretty terrifying sight. It’s so difficult to focus on recovery when you’re worried about paying your mortgage. With one act of generosity, The Denver Actors Fund allowed me to actually focus on getting better. I’ve always been touched by how supportive and loving the theater community in Denver is, and this latest gift is another example that will live in my heart forever. I am so thankful to everyone who has helped support this truly wonderful organization. It truly makes it an honor to be a part of this community. Thank you! And thank you to the entire board for all you do to support every single one of us.”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $446,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $446,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


GET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF!


COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

HOLLYWOOD’S BIGGEST NIGHT: Sunday, February 9, is the biggest night for the movies! What better way to be a part of the action on the big screen than to join Denver7 at the Alamo Drafthouse Westminster? This year’s host is beloved local actor Steven Burge … and friends (!). Dress your Hollywood best (formal evening wear suggested but not at all required!) Arrive around 5 p.m. in Pandora’s Box for your very own red carpet, paparazzi, and more before we open the doors for food, drinks and fun for everyone. Tickets are just $15 this year and ALL proceeds benefit The Denver Actors Fund! What’s The Denver Actors Fund? Well, Chris Hemsworth may have made $76 million to play Thor in “Avengers: Endgame,” but closer to home, Colorado stage actors often get paid tiny stipends to perform in plays and musicals at local theatres. They often sustain themselves by working a hodgepodge of flexible but low-paying jobs without health insurance. The Denver Actors Fund is a safety net for when Colorado theatre artists (on or off-stage) need help to pay for unexpected medical expenses. In six years, the Denver Actors Fund has made $435,000 available to help artists pay their medical bills or purchase wheelchairs, hearing aids and other essential medical supplies. In addition, an army of volunteers provides neighborly assistance ranging from rides to meals to snow-shoveling and personal company. Reserve your preferred seats today.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17: The Cherry Creek Theatre Company has announced that its Industry Night performance of “My Way – A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra” will be a benefit for The Denver Actors Fund. Let the music of Frank Sinatra transport you back in time to a swanky nightclub on the Las Vegas strip. Experience more than 50 quintessential hits from the Ol’ Blue Eyes collection. From The Lady is a Tramp to New York, New York, you can’t help but hum along with your favorite jazz standards on this trip down memory lane. Pack up, let’s fly away and fall in love all over again with the music of one of the most celebrated recording artists of all time. The director is Susie Snodgrass, with musical direction from David Nehls. The cast includes Sheryl McCallum, Stephen Day, Shannon Steele and Jeremy Rill. Tickets (normally $33) are $20. At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org

SUNDAY, APRIL 26: True story: A few months ago, the local band Gin & Tonix did a show at the Clocktower to benefit the DAF, and I wasn’t sure I could make it so I didn’t book in advance. I dropped in just before the show began to buy a ticket at the door, and the woman looked at me like I was trying to walk in on Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, BTS, Shawn Mendes and the Wu-Tang Clan all at once. The look on her face was priceless. The event was was way sold out. “Gin & Tonix sells out every time,” she said. Point taken. So who is Gin & Tonix? A group of talented musician friends and family who have made music together on and off for many years. The band features vocal the harmonies of Morgan Griego, Kacie Thomas, Trinity Thomas, and Eileen Adair, by Madi Spillman on guitar, Ian Spillman on drums and vocals, and Jason Spillman on bass and vocals. The group plays songs by artists ranging from The Indigo Girls, The Eagles, The Avett Brothers and many more. The band will again be donating 10 percent of ticket sales for The Denver Actors Fund and taking a collection as a tribute to the late Amy Malmgren – an original DAF board member, and Jason Spillman’s sister. last time the total was a lucky $777. Gin and Tonix is as passionate about their community and family as they are about their music, which is touching. Now take the advice that is splased across the Clocktower’s web page: BOOK EARLY! GIN & TONIX *WILL SELL OUT IN ADVANCE!* Get your tickets here.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Ryan Belinak

Ryan Belinak performing with Traci Kern at the Clocktower Cabaret. Photo by John Moore.

Two insurance policies and no coverage left local actor with $2,844 dental bill

Ryan Belinak in Cherry Creek Theatre’s ‘A Little Night Music.’ Photo by Olga Lopez.

Aid recipient: Longtime local actor Ryan Belinak most recently played Frid in ‘A Little Night Music’ for Cherry Creek Theatre last year. Local credits also include Tom Collins in “Rent,” Fakir in “The Secret Garden” and Tony in “West Side Story” for the Town Hall Arts Center. Ryan, a native of Laurel, Montana, also has performed at the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre and Clocktower Cabaret.

His medical story: Ryan had a dental emergency at the beginning of October leaving him with a fractured tooth resulting in an extraction, a costly bridge procedure, and requiring several dental visits. Ryan had switched insurance providers weeks before, and was shocked to learn that neither his present nor past insurance companies would kick in a dime. The old company said, “Not our problem.” And the new company said coverage for anything more than a cleaning would not kick in until March, which left Ryan holding the … cracked tooth. The bill came to $2,844, of which Ryan paid $500.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors voted unanimously to pay off the remainder of Ryan’s bill, or $2,344.

A message from Ryan: “A dental emergency doesn’t always align itself with insurance coverage. I believed that my new insurance would bridge the gap between policies, but the fine print (the very, very fine print) in my new policy said otherwise. To say that I am grateful for The Denver Actors Fund’s generous donation is a gross understatement. Thank you for all that you do for our community!”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $438,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $438,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF!


COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

Alamo Hollywood's Biggest Night 2020

HOLLYWOOD’S BIGGEST NIGHT: Sunday, February 9, is the biggest night for the movies! What better way to be a part of the action on the big screen than to join Denver7 at the Alamo Drafthouse Westminster? This year’s host is beloved local actor Steven Burge … and friends (!). Dress your Hollywood best (formal evening wear suggested but not at all required!) Arrive around 5 p.m. in Pandora’s Box for your very own red carpet, paparazzi, and more before we open the doors for food, drinks and fun for everyone. Tickets are just $15 this year and ALL proceeds benefit The Denver Actors Fund! What’s The Denver Actors Fund? Well, Chris Hemsworth may have made $76 million to play Thor in “Avengers: Endgame,” but closer to home, Colorado stage actors often get paid tiny stipends to perform in plays and musicals at local theatres. They often sustain themselves by working a hodgepodge of flexible but low-paying jobs without health insurance. The Denver Actors Fund is a safety net for when Colorado theatre artists (on or off-stage) need help to pay for unexpected medical expenses. In six years, the Denver Actors Fund has made $435,000 available to help artists pay their medical bills or purchase wheelchairs, hearing aids and other essential medical supplies. In addition, an army of volunteers provides neighborly assistance ranging from rides to meals to snow-shoveling and personal company. Reserve your preferred seats today.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17: The Cherry Creek Theatre Company has announced that its Industry Night performance of “My Way – A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra” will be a benefit for The Denver Actors Fund. Let the music of Frank Sinatra transport you back in time to a swanky nightclub on the Las Vegas strip. Experience more than 50 quintessential hits from the Ol’ Blue Eyes collection. From The Lady is a Tramp to New York, New York, you can’t help but hum along with your favorite jazz standards on this trip down memory lane. Pack up, let’s fly away and fall in love all over again with the music of one of the most celebrated recording artists of all time. The director is Susie Snodgrass, with musical direction from David Nehls. The cast includes Sheryl McCallum, Stephen Day, Shannon Steele and Jeremy Rill. Tickets (normally $33) are $20. At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org

SUNDAY, APRIL 26: True story: A few months ago, the local band Gin & Tonix did a show at the Clocktower to benefit the DAF, and I wasn’t sure I could make it so I didn’t book in advance. I dropped in just before the show began to buy a ticket at the door, and the woman looked at me like I was trying to walk in on Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, BTS, Shawn Mendes and the Wu-Tang Clan all at once. The look on her face was priceless. The event was was way sold out. “Gin & Tonix sells out every time,” she said. Point taken. So who is Gin & Tonix? A group of talented musician friends and family who have made music together on and off for many years. The band features vocal the harmonies of Morgan Griego, Kacie Thomas, Trinity Thomas, and Eileen Adair, by Madi Spillman on guitar, Ian Spillman on drums and vocals, and Jason Spillman on bass and vocals. The group plays songs by artists ranging from The Indigo Girls, The Eagles, The Avett Brothers and many more. The band will again be donating 10 percent of ticket sales for The Denver Actors Fund and taking a collection as a tribute to the late Amy Malmgren – an original DAF board member, and Jason Spillman’s sister. last time the total was a lucky $777. Gin and Tonix is as passionate about their community and family as they are about their music, which is touching. Now take the advice that is splased across the Clocktower’s web page: BOOK EARLY! GIN & TONIX *WILL SELL OUT IN ADVANCE!* Get your tickets here.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Misha McCulloch

Misha McCulloch
After the onset of mysterious symptoms and two surgeries, local actor left with $6,250 in bills

Aid recipient: Local actor Misha McCulloch recently appeared in the ensembles of Vintage Theatre’s “The Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” and “The Addams Family.” Previous credits include “Honeymoon in Vegas” and “Miss Saigon” at Vintage, as well as Equinox Theatre’s “Reefer Madness: The Musical” at The Bug Theatre. She also has served as a volunteer for the Town Hall Arts Center and Denver Film Society.

Her medical story: Misha encountered several mysterious gastrointestinal and sinus issues in 2019 that led to a series of surgical procedures to relieve her symptoms. Despite having some modest insurance, by the end of 2019, Misha had been presented with $6,250 in out-of-pocket expenses – and not all of her bills have yet been processed. Misha was facing the possibility of putting the entire amount due on high-interest credit cards when she contacted The Denver Actors Fund.

How we helped: Whenever possible, The Denver Actors Fund board of directors endeavors to restore an applicant to their financial position going into their medical odysseys (depending on a variety of factors). In this case, the Board decided to relieve Misha of her full $6,250 patient responsibility to date. This makes Misha’s gift one of the largest in DAF history, and one made possible only by the continuing and growing support for The DAF by individual donors and ongoing DAF fundraisers presented by companies within the local theatre community.

A message from Misha: “It’s never fun to have a year’s worth of medical procedures and have doctors still scratching their heads. After wiping out my Health Savings Account, I was resorting to putting all of my medical bills onto credit cards, and I was already in debt. But what I lack in answers I have an abundance in gratitude for The Denver Actors Fund. To receive this gift is beyond what I was expecting, but it just goes to show how incredible and magnanimous this community is. Thank you!”

The Denver Actors Fund now has made more than $435,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told.

Misha McCulloch, bottom left, in Equinox Theatre’s “Reefer Madness.” That’s her sister, Rachel McCulloch, standing behind her. Photo by Deb Flomberg.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $435,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


Hippo Health LogoGET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE ONLINE:

Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in The Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF!


COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

Alamo Hollywood's Biggest Night 2020

HOLLYWOOD’S BIGGEST NIGHT: Sunday, February 9, is the biggest night for the movies! What better way to be a part of the action on the big screen than to join Denver7 at the Alamo Drafthouse Westminster? This year’s host is beloved local actor Steven Burge … and friends (!). Dress your Hollywood best (formal evening wear suggested but not at all required!) Arrive around 5 p.m. in Pandora’s Box for your very own red carpet, paparazzi, and more before we open the doors for food, drinks and fun for everyone. Tickets are just $15 this year and ALL proceeds benefit The Denver Actors Fund! What’s The Denver Actors Fund? Well, Chris Hemsworth may have made $76 million to play Thor in “Avengers: Endgame,” but closer to home, Colorado stage actors often get paid tiny stipends to perform in plays and musicals at local theatres. They often sustain themselves by working a hodgepodge of flexible but low-paying jobs without health insurance. The Denver Actors Fund is a safety net for when Colorado theatre artists (on or off-stage) need help to pay for unexpected medical expenses. In six years, the Denver Actors Fund has made $435,000 available to help artists pay their medical bills or purchase wheelchairs, hearing aids and other essential medical supplies. In addition, an army of volunteers provides neighborly assistance ranging from rides to meals to snow-shoveling and personal company. Reserve your preferred seats today.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17: The Cherry Creek Theatre Company has announced that its Industry Night performance of “My Way – A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra” will be a benefit for The Denver Actors Fund. Tickets are $20. At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org

SUNDAY, APRIL 26: True story: A few months ago, the local band Gin & Tonix did a show at the Clocktower to benefit the DAF, and I wasn’t sure I could make it so I didn’t book in advance. I dropped in just before the show began to buy a ticket at the door, and the woman looked at me like I was trying to walk in on Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, BTS, Shawn Mendes and the Wu-Tang Clan all at once. The look on her face was priceless. The event was was way sold out. “Gin & Tonix sells out every time,” she said. Point taken. So who is Gin & Tonix? A group of talented musician friends and family who have made music together on and off for many years. The band features vocal the harmonies of Morgan Griego, Kacie Thomas, Trinity Thomas, and Eileen Adair, by Madi Spillman on guitar, Ian Spillman on drums and vocals, and Jason Spillman on bass and vocals. The group plays songs by artists ranging from The Indigo Girls, The Eagles, The Avett Brothers and many more. The band will again be donating 10 percent of ticket sales for The Denver Actors Fund and taking a collection as a tribute to the late Amy Malmgren – an original DAF board member, and Jason Spillman’s sister. last time the total was a lucky $777. Gin and Tonix is as passionate about their community and family as they are about their music, which is touching. Now take the advice that is splased across the Clocktower’s web page: BOOK EARLY! GIN & TONIX *WILL SELL OUT IN ADVANCE!* Get your tickets here.


VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more.