Denver Actors Fund in Action: Jacob Villarreal

Jacob Villarreal

‘I’m now able to replenish funds that were lost while I was sick.’

Aid recipient: Actor Jacob Villarreal has been an active member of the Colorado theatre community since first moving here in 2012. You may have seen him around the state in “Forever Plaid,” “Hair,” “In the Heights,” “The Music Man,” “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” and many others, most at Littleton’s Town Hall Arts Center. He also played Chino in Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s “West Side Story” and a brother in BDT Stage’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” He recently participated in both recent stagings of “Motones vs. Jerseys” at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown and at BDT Stage in Boulder. [Side note: Collection efforts led by “Motones Vs. Jerseys” co-creator and Denver Actors Fund Board Member Kenny Moten raised a combined $26,000 for the DAF during those two runs.] Jacob will next appear in the Midtown Arts Center’s final production, “Take to the Highway: A Celebration of James Taylor,” from June 7 through August 3 in Fort Collins.

JACOB VILLARREAL Motones Vs. Jerseys 400
Jacob Villarreal in ‘Motones Vs. Jerseys.’

His medical story: During the Boulder run of “Motones vs. Jerseys,” Jacob was knocked out by an allergy-induced chest cold. He lost his voice and had to drop both shows and the all-important server shifts that go with them. And such is the life of an actor – when you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Jacob’s illness resulted in lost wages of about $960.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund Board has unanimously voted to provide Jacob with $960 to cover his lost wages while he was sick.

A note on eligibility: Until recently, The Denver Actors Fund required that an applicant must have lived in Colorado for the previous six months. The Distribution Policy now states that an applicant must have lived in Colorado for at least six months in the past year. This gives us the freedom to help long-term members of the Colorado theatre community whose medical needs might arise within a few months of relocating. Or those who might move – and soon move back. Or those who move and come back to work here intermittently. Jacob moved to Oklahoma last September, but he still worked on Colorado stages from December straight through April, he will perform this summer in Fort Collins, and he plans to move back to Colorado by the fall. The DAF Board did not want to deny him benefits given that he has essentially lived in Colorado for all but four months of the past seven years.

A message from Jacob: “If you know me, you know I have gone through some trials and tribulations over the past seven years in the Colorado theatre community: Two broken feet, chest colds, bronchitis, even a vocal-chord lesion accompanied by months of vocal rest. Thankfully I had great insurance to help most of the time. Being part of Motones vs. Jerseys was such an amazing performing opportunity, but I got pretty sick with my yearly allergies. With the help of The Denver Actors Fund and the generosity of the Colorado theatre community and its patrons, I’m now able to replenish funds that were lost while I was sick. I am forever grateful to Denver Actors Fund and the Colorado theatre community for the love and support and generosity.”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $346,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us replenish: If you would like to help us replenish by donating 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.

Jacob Villarreal in Town Hall Arts Center's 'Hair.' Photo by John Moore.
Jacob Villarreal in Town Hall Arts Center’s ‘Hair.’ Photo by John Moore.



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 $346,000 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.


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



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


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

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 anytime for an updated list.

SUNDAY, MAY 19: Actor and playwright Jihad Milhem, who will be returning to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival this summer for his fourth season, has written a play called “Mosque,” to be produced locally by The People’s Building in Aurora. “Mosque” is the story of a Palestinian American father and son. Set in New York City in the summer of 2010 amid the Ground Zero mosque controversy, an overheard conversation sets in motion a series of actions that change this father and son forever. “Mosque” explores what it means to be American in a post 9/11 world, what it means to be a part of a family, and how one decides to define oneself. Milhem, a previous recipient of DAF aid, has designated Opening Night as a DAF fundraiser. The address is 9995 E. Colfax Ave. Tickets and details here.

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 Thank you all, especially you, Abner Genece, T David Rutherford, Dino McTaggart, Piper Arpan McTaggart, Charles Blackwell and Sheila Traister!


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

By John Moore

Award-winning arts journalist John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the United States by American Theatre Magazine during has 12 years at The Denver Post. Hen then created a groundbreaking new media outlet covering Colorado arts an culture as an in-house, multimedia journalist for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He also founded The Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that has raised more than $600,000 for theatre artists in medical need. He is now a journalist for hire as the founder of Moore Media Colorado. You can find samples of his work at MooreJohn.Com. Contact him at