Denver Actors Fund in Action: Neal Dunfee

Neal Dunfee and his daughter at BDT Stage’s 2013 production of ‘Spamalot.’ Photo by John Moore.

‘Without this assistance from The Denver Actors Fund, I simply would not have been able to get the work done.’

Aid recipient: Neal Dunfee has been a professional musician and teacher in the metro area for more than 30 years. He is the resident Music Director at BDT Stage and teaches piano at his studio in Lyons. After high school in Grant City, Missouri, Neal toured Europe with “America’s Youth in Concert.” He studied Piano Performance at Missouri Western, Wichita State and the University of Colorado Boulder. Dunfee won the 2011 Denver Post Ovation Award for his musical direction of “Swing!,” and has been nominated for Henry Awards for “The Producers,” “Swing!,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “42nd Street” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” His current production is BDT Stage’s “Mamma Mia!” He’s also worked at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, PACE Center and others.

His medical story: Neal approached The Denver Actors Fund in November for help in getting overdue treatment for gum disease that he had no choice but to let go for more than two years because he lacked dental insurance.

Jalyn Courtenay Webb and Neal Dunfee. Photo by John Moore.

How we 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!) extracted three of Neal’s teeth and crowned two others. The cost of Neal’s treatment would run him $3,532 had he not been referred through the The Denver Actors Fund. Of that total, The DAF paid $198 to a third-party lab for the cost of making two custom-fit prosthetic splints for Neal. The remainder – $3,334 – was Dr. Kelly’s in-kind donation to the DAF.

A message from Neal: “I had been embarrassed by the condition of my teeth for two years, but I did not have the resources to do anything about it. Without this assistance from The Denver Actors Fund, I simply would not have been able to get the work done. If I had financed it, I would have been paying for it for five years. I was terrified to see Dr. Kelly after letting so much time go by, but he is a great guy and he was completely upbeat and supportive. He is amazing for doing what he does for all of us in the Colorado theatre community.”

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.

Neal Dunfee, center, was the keyboardist for the Bodacious Bobcats, the house band for Parker Arts’ 2015 production of ‘Always, Patsy Cline.’ From left: Scott Alan Smith, Jason Tyler Vaughn, Neal Dunfee, Bob Case and Dan Hoeye, 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 $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.


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!



Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org


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


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


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!


SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9: Save the Date: For the fifth straight year, The Denver Actors Fund will partner with the Alamo Drafthouse and the local ABC station KMGH-7 for a “Hollywood’s Biggest Night” viewing party, with a percentage of the proceeds benefiting The DAF. Check back on the DAF Events page when advance tickets go on sale.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17: The Cheery 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


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