Denver Actors Fund in Action: Cipriano Ortega

cipriano ortega

From left: Stephen Maestas, Cipriano Ortega, Rob Riney and Cameron Varner in Theatre Group’s Denver debut of ‘The History Boys’ in 2008. Photo by John Moore.

 

‘I am beyond grateful for this. Truly, I cannot thank all of you enough.’

Aid recipient: Denver native Cipriano Ortega is an actor, artist, musician and educator who in the past five years has performed in two productions at Su Teatro (“Dona Rosita’s Japapeno Kitchen” and “Christmas in Colorado”), and in Curious Theatre’s 2017 National New Voices reading festival. He previously performed for Theatre Group (“The History Boys”), The Source Theatre Company (“The Gospel at Colonus”) and he currently works as a Teaching Artist and House Manager for Arvada Center Education.

Cipriano Ortega quoteHis medical story: Cipriano has been dealing with severe vocal problems since 2015. (He has been very public about the specifics of his case, and he has encouraged us to tell his full story here.) After pursuing a number of treatment options, doctors finally scheduled surgery in mid-May to remove a  large cyst on his left vocal fold. But at the last moment, the surgeon decided to postpone the procedure, and Cipriano is now undergoing ongoing weekly rehab therapy while he waits for the medical experts to determine their next course of action. Cipriano has incurred significant medical bills in association with his odyssey, and his ongoing therapy sessions (not covered by his health insurance) are only adding to his burden. Cipriano started a gofundme campaign that so far has raised $2,603 to help him with his expenses, but his medical policy comes with a $6,116.84 annual deductible, so he’s still in pretty deep. He withdrew from an entire teaching cycle at the Arvada Center because he expected to be recovering from surgery at that time. This ongoing uncertainty has made it difficult for Cipriano to maintain a regular work schedule, and so he has been relying on the gofundme donations to pay for his most recent essential living expenses.

How we have helped: Cipriano submitted two specific medical bills to The Denver Actors Fund for compensation consideration that, after after insurance, left him with $3,440.80 due out of pocket. After careful consideration of Cipriano’s current financial burden and income resources, The DAF board has approved two separate grants totaling $2,680.80. The Board will consider future expenses if and when surgery becomes a reality. To date, including targeted donations from the community, The Denver Actors Fund has now provided Cipriano with $2,730.80 in overall medical assistance.

How you can help us help Cipriano more: Cipriano’s medical and financial situations remain unstable. The cost of his weekly therapy is ongoing; he hasn’t yet come close to reaching his 2019 medical deductible; and he may still require surgery later in the year. If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give Cipriano some financial breathing room, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund (with Cipriano Ortega’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 for Cipriano Ortega. (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 Cipriano: “I am beyond grateful for this. Truly, I cannot thank all of you enough.”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $364,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

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.

Cipriano Ortega

Cipriano Ortega’s artwork was featured at Denver’s CHAC Gallery for three weeks last November. ‘Cipriano’s art touches on the impact of social media and personal health. He is a true artist,’ said his friend, Austin Wilson.


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 $364,000 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


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 80212

VOLUNTEER:

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

COME TO OUR EVENTS:
Friends, we at The Denver Actors Fund believe in building community while building funds. Most of our events are performative in nature so that you have a good time while helping a good cause. Here are some of the events that are currently being planned on our behalf. Visit denveractorsfund.org anytime for an updated list.

Eric WeinsteinTHURSDAY, JULY 11: Join Eric Weinstein as he takes you on a journey of songs and stories from the three decades he has been part of the Denver theatre community. The evening will feature Ragtime and Stride piano solos that were a mainstay of the venerable Heritage Square Music Hall, hits from Vintage favorite shows “Ring of Fire” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” original music and a variety of musical styles. He will be joined by daughters Kaitlin and Kelsey, and performers Hazel Kachline, Adam Luhrs and Isabella Duran. One hundred percent of ticket sales will benefit The Denver Actors Fund. 7:30 p.m. at the Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora. Reserve your ticket.

MISCAST 2019

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30:Miscast,” which is presented each year by Robert Michael Sanders as a benefit for 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. “Miscast 2019” will be held Sept. 30 at a new location: The Aurora Fox Arts Center. Tickets will go on sale in August. In the meantime … Save the Date!

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: Adam Russell Johnson

Adam Johnson Into the Woods. Photo by Michael Ensminger

Adam Johnson, Molly Nash and … the cow … in Phamaly Theatre’s 2018 production of ‘Into the Woods.’ Photo by Michael Ensminger.

 

‘Thank you for helping me pay for the orthotics that allow me to live and walk and perform safely and comfortably.’

Aid recipient: Boulder actor Adam Russell Johnson next will appear in Phamaly Theatre Company’s August 2019 production of “Chicago” at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Most recently, he appeared in Phamaly’s 30th anniversary concerts, and, in March, he performed in the intentionally lower-cased square product theatre’s “Everything was Stolen” in Boulder and Denver. Last summer, Adam played Jack in Phamaly’s “Into the Woods” at the Space Theatre. Blogger Pris Blossom called Johnson’s performance “seriously fantastic. He is an exceptionally skilled actor living with cerebral palsy.”

ADAM RUSSELL JOHNSON QUOTEHis medical story: Adam came to us with two medical issues. First, he requested a small grant to cover the cost not covered by Medicare for custom-made orthotics he needed to help relieve the his Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy, a rare genetic disease that in infancy or early childhood permanently affects muscle control and coordination. (Orthotics are the branch of medicine that deals with artificial devices such as splints and braces.) Adam also needed some major dental work, including the removal of three wisdom teeth and a few cavities, and his dentist had warned him his out-of-pocket bill would run as high as $5,000.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund reimbursed Adam for the $130 that remained on his orthotics bill. The DAF also has a unique, ongoing partnership with Thornton dentist (and former Broadway dancer) Brian Kelly, who each year accepts a limited number of emergency dental cases referred through the DAF as his own personal in-kind donation to the organization. Kelly’s goal is to transition every referred patient from gum disease to health. The estimated value of Dr. Kelly’s service to Adam turned out to be “just” (!) $1,010. That brings the DAF’s overall support for Adam to $1,140.

A message from Adam: “After receiving news from my dentist that I needed $5,000 worth of dental work, I reached out to The Denver Actors Fund to see if I could get a second opinion from Dr. Kelly and his staff. Dr. Kelly assured me that the $5,000 quote from the other dentist was way out of line. I was a difficult patient because of my own dental anxiety, but Dr. Kelly’s staff has patience with their patients. “On this night of a thousand thanks … to the Thornton Dental Center!” I’d also like to thank The Denver Actors Fund for helping my quality of life and my physical balance by helping me pay the remainder of my bill for the orthotics that allow me to live and walk and dance and perform safely and comfortably. Denver Actors Fund? “A blessing on your house. Mazel Tov, Mazel Tov!” Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $355,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can 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 his or her story told.

Thornton Dental Center

Dr. Brian Kelly and his wife, Nan (center) with members of the Thornton Dental Center staff, Paige (left) and Kristi. 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 $355,000 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


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 80212

VOLUNTEER:

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

COME TO OUR EVENTS:
Friends, we at The Denver Actors Fund believe in building community while building funds. Most of our events are performative in nature so that you have a good time while helping a good cause. Here are some of the events that are currently being planned on our behalf. Visit denveractorsfund.org anytime for an updated list.

THURSDAY, JULY 11: Join Eric Weinstein as he takes you on a journey of songs and stories from the three decades he has been part of the Denver theatre community. The evening will feature Ragtime and Stride piano solos that were a mainstay of the venerable Heritage Square Music Hall, hits from Vintage favorite shows “Ring of Fire” and :Ain’t Misbehavin’,” original music and a variety of musical styles. He will be joined by daughters Kaitlin and Kelsey, and performers Hazel Kachline, Adam Luhrs and Isabella Duran. One hundred percent of ticket sales will benefit The Denver Actors Fund. 7:30 p.m. at the Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora. Tickets at the door.

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: Jordan Manchego and others

Jordan Manchego in Cry-Baby

Jordan Manchego in ‘Cry-Baby’ for Equinox Theatre Company at the Bug Theatre.

 

Thornton dentist Brian Kelly now has donated $30,000 in free dental care to Colorado theatre artists

Aid recipient: Longtime Denver actor Jordan Manchego most recently appeared in “Cry-Baby The Musical” for Equinox Theatre Company. He is a graduate of Prairie View High School in Henderson and the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Among the companies he has performed with are the Aurora Fox, Performance Now and Vintage.

Jordan Manchego quoteHis medical story: Jordan’s dental health was recently in major crisis. He had not been able to go to a dentist in more than five years because he did not have dental insurance. He had four wisdom teeth growing in, a cracked molar and an exposed nerve.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund has a unique, ongoing partnership with Thornton dentist (and former Broadway dancer) Brian Kelly,  who each year accepts a limited number of emergency dental cases referred through the DAF as his own perseonal in-kind donation to the organization. Kelly’s goal is to transition every referred patient from gum disease to health. The estimated value of Dr. Kelly’s service to Jordan Manchego was $1,314.

A message from Jordan: “I had been in the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. Just when I thought there was no light at the end of the tunnel, within days of making my application to The Denver Actors Fund, Dr. Kelly was ready to get me into the chair and out of my agony. The fact that he can make you feel so at ease and relaxed while drilling your gums is amazing in itself, but he was kind enough to put showtunes on his Pandora and share stories of his Broadway glory days. Dr. Kelly, his staff and The Denver Actors Fund are literal gifts from God, and  I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

Brian Kelly.

From left: Adam Russell Johnson, Beki Pineda, Josue Ivan Prieto-Miranda and Sky Seaberry.

Wait, there’s more: Recently, Dr. Kelly also has helped the following Colorado theatre artists with their emergency dental needs:

  • Adam Russell Johnson, Phamaly’s “Chicago”: $1,010
  • Beki Pineda, Props Director: $182
  • Josue Ivan Prieto-Miranda, Cherry Creek Theatre’s “My Name is Asher Lev”: $604. He says: “I am so beyond grateful and extremely humbled by the generosity of Dr. Kelly and the DAF!”
  • Sky Seaberry, BDT Stage’s “Disenchanted”: $346. She says: “I’m eternally grateful for the DAF’s commitment to the theatre community and to Dr. Brian’s gracious heart for providing care. Thank you so much!”

And there are several other cases currently in process. To date, Dr. Kelly now has donated $30,000 in free dental care to Colorado theatre artists through The Denver Actors Fund.

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $355,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us help 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 his or her story told.

 


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 $355,000 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


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE BY MAIL:

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

VOLUNTEER:

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

COME TO OUR EVENTS:
Friends, we at The Denver Actors Fund believe in building community while building funds. Most of our events are performative in nature so that you have a good time while helping a good cause. Here are some of the events that are currently being planned on our behalf. Visit denveractorsfund.org anytime for an updated list.

SUNDAY, JUNE 9: Join us at a Denver’s Tony Awards Viewing Party to benefit The Denver Actors Fund on Sunday, June 9, at Cap City Tavern, 1247 Bannock St. It’s hosted and organized through the lovely volunteer efforts of the Denver-area Actors’ Equity Association Liaison Committee, SAG-AFTRA Colorado Local and the Colorado Theatre Guild. There will be a $5 suggested donation. Limited seating so please RSVP your intent to attend by May 31 by emailing denver@actorsequity.org. Thank you all, especially you, Abner Genece, T David Rutherford, Dino McTaggart, Piper Arpan McTaggart, Charles Blackwell and Sheila Traister!

TUESDAY, JUNE 11: Join Eric Weinstein as he takes you on a journey of songs and stories from the three decades he has been part of the Denver theatre community. The evening will feature Ragtime and Stride piano solos that were a mainstay of the venerable Heritage Square Music Hall, hits from Vintage favorite shows “Ring of Fire” and :Ain’t Misbehavin’,” original music and a variety of musical styles. He will be joined by daughters Kaitlin and Kelsey, and performers Hazel Kachline, Adam Luhrs and  Isabella Duran. One hundred percent of ticket sales will benefit The Denver Actors Fund. 7:30 p.m. at the Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora. Tickets at the door.

THURSDAY, JUNE 13: If you are making your theatregoing plans, please consider attending Miners Alley Playhouse’s Industry Night performance of Josh Hartwell’s world-premiere play “The Queen of Conspiracy.” All proceeds, including the bar, go to The Denver Actors Fund! Miners Alley commissioned award-winning local playwright Josh Hartwell to write the untold true story of Mae Brussell, considered America’s first mainstream conspiracy theorist during the 1960s and 1970s. Her popular radio shows, for example, linked the Kennedy assassinations to the Watergate scandal. “As I delved into my research, so many things she was saying back in the ’60s and 70s sounded like things she would be saying right now,” said Hartwell, whose new drama is set in present-day Denver and imagines the family who inherited Brussell’s legacy. Featuring Abby Apple Boes, Chloe McLeod, Sinjin Jones, Bill Hahn, Heather Lacy and Damon Guerrasio. 7:30 p.m. at 1224 Washington St., Golden. Get your tickets by calling 303-935-3044 or through this link.

 

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 names Gibley president, adds three to board

Chris Gibley has 30 years of business experience holding senior management positions.

 

Chris Gibley will lead expanded board that now also includes Gail Bransteitter, Dr. Kelli Lewis and Fletcher Woolsey

The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors has voted unanimously for Littleton native Chris Gibley to become its next President. Gibley has 30 years of business experience holding senior management positions with Arthur Andersen, the Federal Reserve Bank, First Data Corporation and Decision Technologies.

Giibley replaces Will Barnette, who accepted the title of interim President in 2016 immediately following the death of his mother-in-law, Brenda Billings, and went on to serve a three-year term.

“I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to work with all of the many people who serve our local theatre community in so many ways – and I want to meet every one of you,” Gibley said.

The Board also has voted to expand its membership to seven seats. After an extensive search by founder and Executive Director John Moore, the Board has added to its roster Central City Opera Director of Marketing Gail Bransteitter; emergency-room doctor Kelli Lewis; and Cherry Creek High School teacher Fletcher Woolsey. They join actor Penny Dwyer, Elizabeth Scott-McKeon of Miners Alley Playhouse and actor/producer Kenny Moten as continuing Board members.

“It has long been a goal for The Denver Actors Fund to expand both its core influencer and funder base beyond the Colorado theatre community, and this new group gives us a broader diversity of experience and imagination than we have ever had before,” Moore said.

Gibley has worked with Fortune 500 companies in the telecommunications, manufacturing, banking, financial services, pharmaceutical and consumer products industries. His most recent engagements have focused on helping underserved, non-profit organizations. But The Denver Actors Fund is very personal to him. “My family has been involved in supporting the DAF in a major way from the very beginning,” said Gibley, whose son, Evan, has performed at many DAF fundraising events and is a member of the DAF’s new Teen Council.

Chris Gibley Evan Gibley

Evan Gibley and Chris Gibley just before ‘Miscast 2018’ at the Mizel Center. Photo by John Moore.

“All of us are excited to help,” said Gibley, who last year served as Executive Vice President of Project Careaoke, a new non-profit committed to raising money for area non-profits. That group raised $34,000 for The Denver Actors Fund at its inaugural event last September.

“The love and support and initiative the entire Gibley family has shown to our organization has been inspiring,” Moore said. “With Chris’ extensive experience and business connections, there is no limit to the good he might do for our organization as we continue to grow and initiate our longer-range plans to support the local theatre community in even bigger and more impactful ways.”

The Denver Actors Fund is a non-profit organization that since 2013 has served as a source of both immediate financial and neighborly assistance to members of the Colorado theater community in situational medical need. To date, The Denver Actors Fund has distributed more than $350,000 to help recipients with medical bills, insurance, co-payments, supplies, dental care and more. (To read stories about some of the actors, directors, stage managers and others who have been helped, click here.)  In addition, the DAF’s army of more than 60 volunteers have donated more than 500 hours of service ranging from providing meals, child care and transportation to pet-sitting, snow-shoveling, personal company and more.

Gibley takes over for Barnette at a time when The Denver Actors Fund has provided more than $100,000 in medical assistance to qualified applicants in the past year alone. To qualify, an artist must have lived in Colorado for at least six months of the past year and have participated in the creation of a credible Colorado theatre production within the previous five years. (Read more here.)

“Will Barnette came to us at a time when we were paralyzed with grief,” Moore said on behalf of The Denver Actors Fund. “He lifted us up and not only got us moving again, today we are helping artists from all over the state at an unprecedented rate. We always will be grateful for the oversight, professionalism and decency Will brought to us.”

Added Gibley: “I am so grateful to Will Barnette for his ongoing commitment to The DAF. Without Brenda Billings, and Will and his family, none of this would have been possible.”

Gibley, who graduated from Arapahoe High School and the University of Colorado, is an accomplished guitarist who also plays piano, bass and drums. He enjoys musical theater, live music, reading, golfing, hiking, gourmet cooking, travel and volunteer service. He is the father of two boys and lives in Highlands Ranch. He can be reached by email at chris.gibley@gmail.com.

Here is a brief look at the three other newly elected officers to The Denver Actors Fund’s Board of Directors:

AT LARGE BOARD MEMBER

Gail Bransteitter

Gail Bransteitter

Gail Bransteitter. Photo by Marie Griffin.

Gail Bransteitter has a more than a decade of non-profit marketing experience and a passion for the performing arts. She is a graduate of Denver’s George Washington High School and Cornell College in Iowa, where she received her B.A. in theatre. She began her career doing production work for theatre companies and schools throughout the metro Denver area. She then shifted into the non-profit sector where she worked as the National Communications Manager at Mercy Housing. She went on to serve as the Director of Marketing and Communications at Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver before moving into her current role as the Director of Marketing at Central City Opera.

Bransteitter is an active patron and supporter of Colorado’s performing-arts community and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Buntport Theater.

She attended The Denver Actors Fund’s first fundraising event in 2013 and has continued to support the organization throughout the years. Gail hopes her experience in marketing, communications and fundraising will help The Denver Actors Fund expand its reach and increase the resources the organization can provide for those in need.

“I’m honored to join the Board of Directors and continue to advocate for the important work of The Denver Actors Fund,” said Bransteitter. “This organization is an incredible resource for the local theater community, and it has made a tremendous difference for its beneficiaries.”

AT LARGE BOARD MEMBER

Dr. Kelli Lewis

Dr. Kelli Lewis

Dr. Kelli Lewis, a native of Ropesville, Texas, is the Medical Director at St. Joseph Emergency in both Littleton and Northglenn. She received an undergraduate degree in nursing, and practiced as a nurse for several years before graduating from Texas Tech University School of Medicine with honors. She trained in General Surgery at Stanford University and finished an Emergency Medicine residency at Denver Health. Kelli has practiced in Denver for the past 26 years, and is on staff at Denver’s SCL Health hospitals.

Lewis is a shareholder in US Acute Care Solutions, and has held several leadership positions through the course of her career, including Medical Director, Peer Review Committees and Medical Staff President. She has been recognized in 5280 Magazine four times as a “Top Doc” in Emergency Medicine.

Her love for theatre goes back to her high-school days as a performer, and luckily did not end when she walked out of her first audition in college with a full-blown panic attack. After moving to Denver, she promptly became a faithful patron of many local theatres. Her continuing presence at BDT Stage has introduced her to some of her most treasured and longstanding friendships.

As a DAF board member, Lewis hopes to find new ways to be helpful to this community of actors as they encounter medical challenges. She has plans to introduce new options for health-care access, and be a resource for both education and advice. “I’m very excited to see what’s possible,” said Lewis, who added that, most of all, she wants to give back for all of the lovely moments of escape from a stressful career that Denver’s acting community has provided to her.

Lewis lives in Denver with a menagerie of three exotic cats and a bewildered dog. She enjoys live theatre, travel, and playing piano, guitar, and banjo in her leisure moments.

AT LARGE BOARD MEMBER

Fletcher Woolsey

Fletcher Woolsey

Fletcher Woolsey

Colorado native Fletcher Woolsey has taught social studies at Cherry Creek High School for the past 13 years. Along with classroom experience, this time has afforded him the opportunity to run and manage several clubs, including National Honor Society and the speech-and-debate team. Fletcher graduated from Columbine High School in 2002 and Colorado State University in 2006.

Woolsey’s world view is unalterably shaped in part by the fact that he was a freshman at Columbine at the time of the shooting in 1999. It helped guide him into his career in education, and has helped make him particularly compassionate when it comes to helping those who are suffering.

His interest in this specific board position comes from a variety of sources: First, his lifelong appreciation of the arts has made him eager to give back to this community in some form other than ticket sales and donations. Second, his experience as a student of political science and as a government teacher have made him acutely aware of the gaps in America’s health-care system and the fundamental need for third parties who act as catchers in the rye for those lost in or devoured by the system.

Third, Fletcher is engaged to marry Rebecca Joseph, a relationship that has provided a first-hand account of what The Denver Actors Fund can do for artists in need. Rebecca is the widow of local actor Daniel Langhoff, who died of cancer in 2017, just days after the birth of their second child. The Denver Actors Fund covered some of Langhoff’s medical expenses and helped raise more than $75,000 to help Joseph plan for the future needs of her daughters. Though that outpouring, Woolsey said, the DAF fulfilled its role in at least partially mitigating difficulties faced by families in the worst times of their lives.

Joseph also has accepted a new leadership position with The Denver Actors Fund, taking responsibility for the accounting oversight of all funds going in and out of The Denver Actors Fund.