Denver Actors Fund in Action: Katherine Paynter

Financial aid recipient: Katherine Paynter is an actor who just performed in Performance Now Theatre Company’s “The Wedding Singer,” which closed Sunday. Paynter, who hails from Minnesota, studied theatre arts through a dual-college program within both Minnesota State and North Dakota State universities. She is now a Denver-based flight attendant with United Airlines and made her Denver debut in Ignite Theatre’s 2015 production of “Dreamgirls.” Other local roles include Extraordinary Girl in Ignite’s “American Idiot,” Crystal in Platte Valley Players’ “Little Shop of Horrors,” Dynamite in Backstage Breckenridge’s “Hairspray” and in the ensemble of  Performance Now’s “Ragtime.”

Katherine Paynter took part in a sneak peek at Performance Now’s “Ragtime” last year at a screening to benefit The Denver Actors Fund.

Her medical story: On April 30, Katherine dislocated her knee during a rehearsal for “The Wedding Singer,” which necessitated an ambulance ride to the emergency room, doctor visits and physical therapy that determined a portion of two knee ligaments were torn, and her kneecap were free-floating. Katherine will have surgery to realign her leg on Friday, June 30, requiring her to remain on medical leave from her job with United Airlines until at least Sept. 1. To date, Katherine has accrued $2,481 in uncovered, post-insurance expenses, and more will be coming from the surgery and physical therapy. Katherine has some accrued sick time to help cover her unpaid wages for July, but she has no other source of income for August living expenses.

How we will help: The Denver Actors Fund’s board of directors has approved a grant of $4,000 to cover accrued medical expenses and help Katherine get through her post-surgical recovery until she can return to work after Sept. 1.

How you can help us help Katherine more: Despite the Denver Actors Fund gift, Katherine will accrue additional medical expenses related to her surgery and recovery. If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give Katherine some breathing room with her present expenses, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund (with Katherine Paynter’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is a targeted donation to Katherine Paynter. Otherwise, your donation will be applied to the replenishment of the Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

A message from Katherine: “As a young person, you never imagine yourself becoming injured or needing major leg surgery due to one dance move gone wrong. While the last couple months have been mentally and physically trying, and I still have recovery ahead of me, this has now only become a small hiccup in my life – all because of the generosity of The Denver Actors Fund. In simple terms, this organization is heaven-sent for myself and many other individuals involved in the arts across Denver. It is overwhelming to know how many people I have standing behind me through this. Specifically, the entire company of ‘The Wedding Singer’ and now The Denver Actors Fund. As an actor, we pride ourselves on creating a true sense of community. This is exactly what DAF is all about, and what it has given me. I am wholeheartedly grateful. Thank you!”

(Note: At the Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have his or her story told.)


HOW YOU CAN HELP US REPLENISH:

To DONATE the Denver Actors Fund:

Please CLICK HERE (with our humble thanks)


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

Video above: The Denver Actors Fund receives the Colorado Theatre Guild’s 2016 Community Impact Award.

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. To date, the Fund has allocated more than $95,000 to artists facing medical need. In addition to financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers offers good neighborly assistance 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


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to the Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80212

ATTEND UPCOMING DENVER ACTORS FUND EVENTS:

“DENVER ACTORS FUND PRESENTS …” MONTHLY FILM SERIES:

We host a monthly film series in partnership with rotating local theatre companies at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (now at Sloan’s Lake). We choose films inspired by musicals that are currently being performed by a Colorado theatre company. Next up at 6:30pm on Monday, July 24, is the John Waters camp classic Hairspray, which later inspired the Broadway musical and subsequent film sequel. Our screening features a live sneak peek at the upcoming stage production of “Hairspra” by PACE Center and Inspire Creative.  Join us for songs, trivia, ticket giveaways … and the raunchy movie that started it all! Mark your calendars. Tickets onsale soon.


SHOP AT AMAZONSMILE:

Denver Actors Fund

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

Christopher Dyer joins Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors

Christopher Dyer, a longtime executive with the Denver-based premium cable TV network Starz/Lionsgate, has been unanimoulsy appointed to the Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors, President Will Barnette has announced.

The 4-year-old Denver Actors Fund makes financial and practical assistance available to members of the Colorado theatre community facing situational medical need. Last week, The Denver Actors Fund surpassed $100,000 in distributed grants in addition to meals, groceries, transportation and other assistance.

Dyer’s roots within the local theatre community run deep, dating back to 1993. The St. Louis native came to Denver from the Orthwein Theatre Company and was quickly hired by the DCPA Theatre Company as a Sound Operator. One of his first local productions was The Dresser, featuring the legendary Tony Church and Jamie Horton and directed by Anthony Powell.

“I am quite excited over the opportunity to join the Denver Actors Fund,” said Dyer. “When I look at the Colorado theatre community, and how committed they are to each other, I see the community that I first saw when I moved to Denver in 1999. I see a lifeline of creativity, and I am excited to be a part of it again.”

Dyer served as Business Manager for both Ad Hoc Theatre Company (the precursor to Curious Theatre) and the Vogue Theatre, and spent two seasons as a stage manager under John Ashton at the Avenue Theater.

“I fondly recall working with John Ashton, particularly on his first staging of Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” Dyer said. “John would always take so much care and pride, and he always made sure his actors were taken care of.”

Dyer’s career took a turn in 1999 when he was hired as Program and Acquisitions Coordinator for Starz Encore Entertainment. His eclectic journey took him to Los Angeles’ American Cinematheque, Seattle’s Theatre Puget Sound, Denver’s Performance International and Los Angeles’ AFI Fest before Dyer was hired by pay-TV magnate John Sie, namesake of Denver’s Sie Film Center, to help launch and program well-established cable channels including IndiePlex and RetroPlex. Among the many film discoveries Dyer was responsible for bringing to national TV audiences was Wim Wenders’  Paris, Texas, starring Harry Dean Stanton.

Dyer is probably best known locally for his longtime role as Hospitality Director for the Denver Film Society, where he conceived the always packed Late Night Lounge parties attended by dozens of celebrities ranging from Alan Cumming to Vince Vaughn from 1999-2013.

“I was very impressed by Chris’ passion and thoughtfulness,” said Barnette. “He was involved in Denver theatre early on and then built his event and management experience over many years. Chris is passionate about health care and draws on his wife’s (Hope Carwile) experiences as a nurse providing end-of-life care. Chris will be a wonderful addition to our board.”

Dyer already feels right back at home in the Colorado theatre community. “That was my home, in the Denver art world,” Dyer said. “Everyone takes care of each other.”

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Meghan Ralph

Meghan Ralph played Tituba last year in Firehouse Theatre Company’s ‘The Crucible’ opposite Daniel Langhoff. Photo by Christine Fisk.

 

Financial aid recipient: Meghan Ralph has been heavily involved in the Denver theatre community since 2004, working as actor, stage manager, assistant director, run crew, box office, photographer and anything in-between. She is one of the founders of Equinox Theatre Company and has worked with Spotlight, Firehouse, Vintage and many others. Most recently, she played Tituba in Firehouse’s “The Crucible.” In 2013, she played the lead role of Theresa in Firehouse Theatre’s “Boy Gets Girl.”

Her medical story: Meghan recently underwent a dental odyssey. In June, she needed an emergency dental crown. Even though she had insurance through her employer, Meghan was left with $1,120 in out-of-pocket expenses for the procedure. But the pain Meghan was experiencing from the crown never went away, and  intensified over two weeks in August. This time, Meghan visited Denver Actors Fund partnering dentist Brian Kelly (also a former Broadway dancer!), who performed a root canal that brought Meghan back to pain-free dental health.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund’s board of directors approved a grant of $1,120 for the June procedure. As our partnering dentist, Kelly, again provided his services as a personal, in-kind donation to the Denver Actors Fund. Post-insurance, the value of Dr. Kelly’s contributed services was $968. That’s essentially how much Meghan would have been bound to pay any other dentist post out-of-pocket. Because of this unique partnership, Meghan receiving the essential treatment she needed at no actual cost to her – or The Denver Actors Fund.

Note: Meghan Ralph was also just our sixth aid recipient back in 2014 when she needed emergency surgery to remove her gallbladder. The Denver Actors Fund provided $700 toward her out-of-pocket expenses, and the Meal Prep Team headed by Kristen Samu delivered several homemade gluten- and dairy-free meals to Meghan’s home.

More to the story: In August 2018, Meghan needed an emergency-room visit resulting in a $250 bill, which the Denver Actors Fund has paid.

The latest chapter: Meghan has been  diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, which has required a variety of tests that set her back by $290, which The Denver Actors Fund paid in February 2020.

All told: To date, the overall support the DAF has provided to Meghan totals $3,3288, plus the cost of meals and groceries.

How you can help us help Meghan more: If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give Meghan some breathing room with her present expenses, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund (with Meghan Ralph’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is a targeted donation to Meghan Ralph. Otherwise, your donation will be applied to the replenishment of the DAF’s general fund.

A message from Meghan: “I was living in fear before this. I was in pain from the first procedure and fearing the financial backlash from possibly needing more procedures. NO ONE should have to remain in pain for fear of the cost of help. This gift took away my fear and gave me confidence and made it possible to start to heal. I am so grateful to the Denver Actors Fund. You all have helped me more than you know. Thank you!

Meghan Ralph has made a name for herself as a production photographer under the name of Soular Radiant Photography. Samples, from top left: Lowry Spotlight Theatre’s ‘Barefoot in the Park,’ ‘Night Watch, and ‘A Christmas Carol Live Radio Play’; And Toto Too’s ‘Smoke.’

 

(Note: At the Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have his or her story told.)

Read more Denver Actors Fund testimonials by clicking here


HOW YOU CAN HELP US REPLENISH:

To DONATE the Denver Actors Fund, please CLICK HERE (with our humble thanks)


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:


Video above: The Denver Actors Fund receives the Colorado Theatre Guild’s 2016 Community Impact Award.

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. To date, the Fund has allocated more than $119,000 to artists facing medical need. In addition to financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers offers good neighborly assistance 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


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to the Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80212

ATTEND UPCOMING DENVER ACTORS FUND EVENTS:

COMING SEPTEMBER 25: MISCAST 2017

“Miscast,” the major annual fundraiser produced and presented by the Denver Actors Fund, is an opportunity for local performers to sing songs and act out scenes they would never … ever! … get cast to perform on any legit stage. Think gender-bending, race-bending and age-bending. Odd couples and mixed groups. Wrong is oh so right. “Miscast” has evolved over the years into one of the biggest nights of the year in the Colorado theatre community – and it is a really good show. The video below showing one 2016 number has now been viewed more than 400,000 times online. “Miscast2017” will be held Sept. 25 at the Town Hall Arts Center, and it will sell out, so reserve your seats now. Tickets only $20. BUY ONLINE

 

“DENVER ACTORS FUND PRESENTS …” MONTHLY FILM SERIES: The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema At Sloan’s Lake hosts a monthly film series in partnership with the Denver Actors Fund featuring films inspired by musicals and plays that are currently being performed by a Colorado theatre company. Next up at 6:30 p.m. Monday, August 28: A Chorus Line, with entertainment from the Arvada Center. CHOOSE YOUR SEATS NOW

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