Introducing The Denver Sonnets Video Project. No. 36: Rachel Fowler

By John Moore

CultureWest.Org is endeavoring to make short films out of all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets, each featuring actors with Colorado connections. The artistic intent is primarily to further CultureWest’s founding and ongoing mission to spotlight members of the local theatre community and the companies they perform for, while also calling attention to their current or recent productions.  It’s also an attempt to promote Shakespeare education in a fun way. This is an entirely volunteer project with a proud budget of … zero dollars.

We expect to roll  out one Sonnet video a week for the next … zoinks! … 154 weeks. Here’s a link to the YouTube playlist that eventually will host all 154 short films. We are planning all kinds of fun surprises along the way.

Our first featured actor is Rachel Fowler ruminating on Sonnet 36. In it,  a woman tells a man she loves that must never acknowledge each other in public ever again. It was filmed at the Mother Cabrini Shrine on an approximately minus-4 degree day.

Fowler, who won CultureWest’s “Best Year by an Actress” True West Award for 2012, recently appeared in the self-produced “Tomorrow in the Battle.” She’s a busy one, most often appearing with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Curious Theatre, Arvada Center, Denver Center Theatre Company and Local Theatre Company.

Look here for a new sonnet every Friday. For more information on The Denver Sonnets Project, please email

Please consider supporting the Denver Actors Fund at www.DenverActorsFund.Org


Denver Actors Fund launches Action Teams, Web Site


The Denver Actors Fund, named Wednesday the recipient of a 2014 Westword Best of Denver Award, is today announcing several major initiatives. Most significantly, the DAF is officially activating its 2014 Action Teams. That’s an Army of Angels who will provide good-neighborly assistance to any qualifying member of  the local theatre community who seeks it.

bodThe Denver Actors Fund is also today launching its new website at www.DenverActorsFund.Org. The new web site will make applying for financial aid or other assistance easier and more immediate than ever. And finally, the Fund is announcing the addition of a fourth board member. Paul Dunne, a local performer and Vice President of Development for the Kempe Foundation, has raised millions of dollars in donations for nonprofit organizations nationwide.

Here’s more information on each of these exciting developments:

2014 Action Teams Launched

dafarmyIn December, the Denver Actors Fund began distributing financial assistance to members of the local theatre community in situational medical need. Since then, the Fund has assisted four artisans including two actors, one director and a props specialist. Overall, the Fund has raised about $13,000 in its first 10 months of existence, and currently it has about $10,000 in the bank.
Today, the Fund is officially moving into “Phase 2” of its implementation. More than 60 volunteers all along the Front Range have stepped up to create Action Teams that are now  standing by to provide assistance in the following areas:

Errand Runners (Shopping, deliveries, housecleaning, chores, pet-sitting, etc.)
Meal Preparation and Delivery (Preparing meals, snacks or desserts and delivering them to home or hospital.)
Transportation (To and/or from appointments, work, family gatherings or wherever you need to go.)
Construction (Installing ramps, railings, safety equipment in the home or where required.)
Babysitting (Providing child care so you can work, run errands or take care of personal business.)
Personal Company (Spend time with you at home or in the hospital; read, play games, visit, etc.)

Whatever the need may be, however big or small, our volunteers are ready and eager to assist.
They are standing by to help right now. To apply, click here.

To qualify for financial assistance, the applicant must have been a resident of the Denver metro area for at least the past six months and have worked on at least one theatrical production in the past five years. (The Fund plans to eventually expand its eligibility borders.) To qualify for neighborly assistance, the Fund already also has volunteers prepared to serve applicants from northern Colorado as well. When in doubt, apply.

The head of the Denver Actors Fund Action Teams in Shannon McAndrews of Betsy Stage. Here is a rundown of her individual Action Team Leaders:

Errand Runners: Susan Lyles of And Toto Too Productions
Meal Preparation and Delivery: Kristen Samu
Transportation: Onna Poeter
Construction: Robert Michael Sanders
Babysitting/Child Care: Trina Magness
Personal Company: Maggie Stillman of Ripple Effect Theatre Company

In addition, here are additional Team Leaders:

Event Planning: Shannon McAndrews
Event Food and Beverage: Rhonda Brown
Donor Acknowledgement: Sarah J. Hom
Tap Shoe Initiative: Gloria Shanstrom
Marketing and Media: Gloria Shanstrom
Social Media: John Moore
Web site: Deb Flomberg

Here is a complete rundown of all Action Teams and their individual members

Denver Actors Fund launches new web site today

The Denver Actors Fund is proud to announce today’s launch of www.DenverActorsFund.Org as its new online home. There, you can directly apply for aid, discover all the Denver Actors Fund has to offer to anyone in the theatre community in need, and keep abreast of the Fund’s upcoming fundraisers and community-building events.

The web site was conceived, designed and launched in its entirety as an in-kind contribution from Deb Flomberg of DenverMind Media. Flomberg is a co-founder of the Equinox Theatre Company.

Key web-site links:


Paul Dunne added to Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors

Paul Dunne is an ordained minister and a vice president with the Kempe Foundation, a world leader in the fight against child abuse and neglect. Inspired by the need to serve after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Paul joined the nonprofit sector as a Senior Development Officer for the Denver Rescue Mission. He also served as Executive Director of Development for the Inner City Health Center, where he quadrupled donations in a three-year period before leading a $5.5 million campaign for a new clinic. Paul has assisted a variety of nonprofits in their fundraising needs, including the North Hawaii Community Hospital and Ability Beyond Disability. As a background singer, Paul has performed with Peter Cetera, Shania Twain and John Tesh. He has also performed on many of  area stages, including the Town Hall Arts Center.

Dunne joins current Denver Actors Fund board president Christopher K. Boeckx, treasurer Amy Malmgren and Secretary Sarah J. Hom. The Executive Director of the Denver Actors Fund is John Moore.

2014 Westword Best of Denver Award

On Wednesday, Westword recognized the Denver Actors Fund with a 2014 Best of Denver Award for “Best Display of Theatrical Community.” Here is what Juliet Wittman wrote about the Fund:

John Moore, the onetime Denver Post theater reviewer who now works at the Denver Center, started the Denver Actors Fund last year to help theater people with medical crises. The goal, he says, is “immediate, situational relief” in cases of “great and sudden medical need.” The amounts of money aren’t huge, but they’re enough to cover wheelchair rental, for instance, or other medical supplies — and anyone who has lived in the area six months or more and worked at a theater in some creative capacity is eligible for help. Moore’s idea galvanized the theater community: Several companies have donated a percentage of ticket revenues, other supporters have mounted benefits; and there’s an online merchandise store selling posters, puzzles and T-shirts. Moore is now staffing action teams with volunteers who will run errands, plan meals, organize fundraisers and help with needed construction projects, such as ramps and railings.

And finally …

The Aurora Fox has announced that it is bringing back “Miscast,” a popular annual fundraiser started by the late Next Stage  Theatre Company and later continued by the former Paragon Theatre Company. It will return on Sept. 29. Robert Michael Sanders and John Moore have been asked to direct, with all proceeds going to the Denver Actors Fund. More information on that happening will be announced when it becomes official.

Find us!

Denver Actors Fund on Facebook
On Twitter: @DenverActorsFun

Video: ‘Motherhood’ proceeds benefit Denver Actors Fund

DAFDonations are being taken this weekend at three concert readings of the new musical “Motherhood” to benefit the Denver Actors Fund.

“Motherhood” was written Mitch Samu. His wife, Kristen, is among the five performers. She is also heading the Denver Actors Fund’s new “Meal Preparation” and “Meal Delivery” Action Teams.

The concert readings are being performed by Clarissa Hope Stranske, Jacquie Jo Billings, Kristen Samu, Megan Van De Hey and Sarah Rex.

Admission is free. All donations will go to the Denver Actors Fund, a new source of immediate, situational relief for when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need.

The remaining readings will be held at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Saturday, March 1), and at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, March 2, at Columbine United Church, 6375 S. Platte Canyon Road, Littleton.

“Motherhood” performers Sarah Rex and Megan Van De Hey.

Other upcoming opportunities to support the Denver Actors Fund include:

*All proceeds from both the Thursday and Friday (March 6-7) performances of the Grant-Humphreys Mansion’s “Tomorrow in the Battle” will go to the Denver Actors Fund. The play stars award-winnning actors Bill Hahn, Rachel Fowler and Gabra Zackman. The director is Tara Falk. Admission is free. Reservations are required by emailing There are a few remaining tickets for Thursday, but Friday is sold out. The address is 770 Pennsylvania St.

*Stagecraft, a new company headed by Wes Munsil, will donate $1 for every ticket to its upcoming production of “Copenhagen” that is sold between midnight tonight (Saturday, March 1) and midnight next Friday (March 7). “Copenhagen,” by Michael Frayn and directed by Bernie Cardell, will be staged May 9-June 7 at the John Hand Theater on the Colorado Free University campus. Click here for ticket information.

To donate directly to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):


To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Download the brief form by clicking here

Click here to view the Denver Actors Fund’s complete 2014 Action Plan.


Buy a poster! 134 women (and a few token dudes) from the Colorado theater community, all supporting the Denver Actors Fund. $20 per poster (20×28). To order, email your quantity to

Visit our online merch store: T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more