Denver Actors Fund in Action: Jake Mendes

JAKE MENDESActor discovers there’s no such thing as a cheap dental emergency

Aid recipient: Lakewood native and True West Award-winning actor Jake Mendes recently starred in the Arvada Center’s “Bright Star” and in DCPA Education’s “Corduroy.” He won the 2018 Henry Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical for his performance in the Aurora Fox’s “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” Other seminal roles have included Dr. Frank-N-Furter in StageDoor Theatre’s The Rocky Horror Musical in Conifer, and the sadistic dentist in Miners Alley Playhouse’s Little Shop of Horrors. Jake has been named to the Arvada Center’s 2020 Black Box Rep Company, and will be a featured player in “Murder on the Orient Express” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Small Mouth Sounds” beginning January 31 and running through May 17. Jake is a graduate of Green Mountain High School and the University of Northern Colorado.

His medical story: Jake recently went in to see his regular dentist and was told he needed an immediate root canal and crown. Jake has dental insurance through Actors Equity, but still faced out-of-pocket expenses totaling $1,090 from both procedures.

How we helped: The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors has voted to reimburse Jake for his entire $1,090 out-of-pocket obligation.

A message from Jake: “I recently went to the dentist … I hate the dentist … and I wasn’t surprised to be told I needed some work done. But I was very surprised when it turned out to be an urgent root canal and crown. And, of course, the surprisingly high cost to accompany those exciting procedures. I am beyond grateful to The Denver Actors Fund for what they do in our community. Their financial assistance not only helped ease the stress with my bills, but reminded me of how lucky I am to be a part of such a generous theatre community here in Colorado. I’m grateful to everyone who has ever contributed to the DAF, and look forward to paying it forward in the future.”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $421,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

Jake Mendes in the Arvada Center’s ‘Bright Star.’ Matt Gale Photography.

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.

HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


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 $421,000 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

Hippo Health LogoGET FREE, INSTANT 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!


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 80211

VOLUNTEER:

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


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

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!


COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

Check back in the new year for updates!


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: Mary McGroary

Mary McGroary in Town Hall Arts Center’s ‘Cabaret.’ Photo by Gary Duff.

Mary McGroary in Town Hall Arts Center’s ‘Cabaret.’ Photo by Becky Toma.

 

Actor doesn’t let chronic knee injury sideline her

Aid recipient: Longtime local actor Mary McGroary, who recently played Fraulein Kost in “Cabaret” and Mona Kent in “Dames at Sea” for the Town Hall Arts Center, is currently appearing in “Holiday Inn” through January 19 at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown. Mary also has recently performed with Vintage Theatre and The Edge Theater.

Her medical story: Mary recently has been dealing with a chronic, cumulative knee issue likely brought on by a lifetime of Irish step dancing and tap dancing. While training for the recent Philadelphia Marathon, doctors discovered a cyst behind her right knee, causing sharp pain. Not good news for an actor who executes “jump-rope tap dancing” in “Holiday Inn.” Doctors recommended an injection that combats inflammation. With a support brace and lots of ice, she has been able to continue to perform. But even though she has health insurance, her doctor’s appointments, ultrasound, X-Rays and treatment left her with $824 in out-of pocket expenses.

How we helped: While Mary only specifically requested compensation for $420, The Denver Actors Fund has reimbursed her for the entire $824 obligation.

A message from Mary: “Even though I have health insurance, I can only afford a plan with a high deductible and high co-pays. I went to the Denver Actors Fund, and they quickly covered all of my out-of-pocket expenses for treatment of this injury. Thank you to The Denver Actors Fund for this incredible gift. A huge worry has been lifted, and I will be forever grateful!”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $415,000 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 their story told.

COLORADO GIVES DAY IS TODAY. CLICK HERE TO DONATE.


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 $415,000 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

GET FREE, INSTANT 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!


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 80211

VOLUNTEER:

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


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

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!


COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17: Our friends at Miners Alley Playhouse are donating ALL PROCEEDS from that evening’s performance of Josh Hartwell’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol to The Denver Actors Fund. This fast-paced comic adaptation uses only six actors to bring Dickens’ most beloved characters to life using nothing more than simple props, fun physicality, and the power of imagination. The cast includes Jim Hunt (Scrooge), Lisa DeCaro (Christmas Present and more), Meredith Young (Christmas Past and more), Jason Maxwell (Fred and more), Josh Hartwell (Marley and more) and Ella Matheo as Tiny Tim and Ignorance. The play begins at 7:30 p.m. Miners Alley Playhouse is located at 1224 Washington Avenue. Golden. Call 303-935-3044 or buy online at minersalley.com. Thank you to Len Matheo, Elizabeth Scott-Mckean, Jonathan Scott-Mckean, Lisa DeCaro, Bryanna Scott, the cast, crew and whoever kindly works the bar. It’s nights like these that make what we do possible.


THROUGH DECEMBER 22: Our friends at Colorado Springs TheatreWorks are taking collections for The Denver Actors Fund after every performance of Around the World in 80 Days. One of the greatest adventures ever told follows fearless adventurer Phileas Fogg, who bets he can circumnavigate the world in only 80 days, only to find the task to be far more challenging than he ever imagined. Danger, romance and comic surprises abound in this adaptation of the Jules Verne novel by Cherry Creek High School graduate Laura Eason. Starring Tyler Esselman as Phileas Fogg and Regina Fernandez as Von Darius. At the Ent Center, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs, 719-255-3232 or theatreworkscs.org. Thank you to Artistic Director Caitlin Lowans, Director by Lavina Jadhwani. cast member and former Denver Actors Fund recipient Regina Fernandez for facilitating, all other cast, crew and audience members!

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: Hannah Marie Harmon

HANNAH MARIE HARMON 600

Unique DAF partnership helps another Colorado theatre artist return to dental health

Aid recipient: Hannah Marie Harmon is a Colorado Springs actor who performed in “My Fair Lady” at the Midtown Arts Center in March. (She was described as “As delightful as ever,” by reviewer Tom Jones.) Before that, she sang as Sarah Brown in a concert presentation of “Guys and Dolls” at the Union Colony Civic Center in Greeley. She has also performed with Opera Theatre of the Rockies, Performance Now Theatre Company, Vintage Theatre, The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the Lone Tree Arts Center and at the PACE Center in Parker, among others.

Hannah Marie Harmon in Midtown Arts Center’s ‘My Fair Lady.’

Her medical story: Hannah was in need of having several cavities filled. But without dental insurance and her family facing other financial challenges, she had no choice but to wait, and the condition worsened.

How we 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 personal in-kind donation to the non-profit. Kelly’s goal is to transition every referred patient from gum disease to health. What’s interesting about Hannah’s case is that before she knew to approach The Denver Actors Fund, she visited another dentist who quoted her a cost of $2,263 to have the work done. After Dr. Kelly completed Hannah’s care, he reported the value of Hannah’s treatment as $1,271. This is further evidence, Dr. Kelly believes, of the widespread practice of massive overcharging in the wider dental field. In two years, Dr Kelly has now provided more than $45,000 in emergency dental care (his totals!) to qualified Colorado theatre artists.

A message from Hannah: “Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to Dr. Kelly, his team and The Denver Actors Fund for making it possible for me to get this work done. It has been a huge blessing to not have that pain any longer, and without you it would have been a continuing issue. After my family’s job loss and subsequent loss of health and dental insurance this year, we felt like we had to put our health care on the back-burner in order to make ends meet. This was such a huge kindness. Thank you to The DAF for everything you do to support actors in this community.”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $414,000 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 their story told.

COLORADO GIVES DAY IS COMING ON DECEMBER 10. YOU CAN SCHEDULE YOUR DONATION TODAY.


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 $414,000 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

GET FREE, INSTANT 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!


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 80211

VOLUNTEER:

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


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

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!


COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19: Heritage High School and the Littleton Town Hall Arts Center will present a collaborative concert performance of Jason Robert Brown’s “Songs for a New World” as a one-night-only benefit for The Denver Actors Fund. “Songs for a New World” is a contemporary song-cycle with intriguing characters and unique moments throughout history performed with modern choreography and intense, soaring vocals covering the gamut of musical styles. This concert will be performed by members of the Heritage High School Theatre Department, choreographed by Jessica Hindsley and directed by Andrew Fischer. Brown also wrote the music and lyrics for “The Last Five Years” and “13 The Musical.” Tickets are $12 at townhallartscenter.org

Calendar Girls

MONDAY, DECEMBER 9: Firehouse Theater Company will hold a 7:30 p.m. Industry Night performance for its new comedy “Calendar Girls,” with all ticket sales going to the Denver Actors Fund. “Calendar Girls,” based on the 2003 British film by Tim Firth, tells of a British women’s group who become a media sensation when they pose nude for a calendar to raise money for a new couch in a local hospital’s waiting room. “Calendar Girls” features Suzanna Wellens, Christine Kahane, Linda Swanson Brown, Linda Button, Michelle Grimes, Erin T. Bell, Mary Campbell, Kristen Mair, Beki Pineda, Rand Moritzky, David Cervera, Brandon Palmer and Jeremy Umansky. The director is Linda Suttle. All tickets are $15. John Hand Theatre, 7653 E. 1st Place, 303-562-3232 or firehousetheatercompany.com


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.

DAF announces free virtual urgent-care benefit for Colorado theatre artists

 

New partnership could save Colorado theatre artists unnecessary, expensive trips to Urgent Care or emergency rooms

The Denver Actors Fund today announced an important new health-care benefit for qualified members of the Colorado theatre community. The grassroots nonprofit is partnering with Hippo Health to provide on-demand, free access to emergency medical evaluations via video conference with a Board-certified physician. This first line of defense may save members of the theatre community an unnecessary trip to Urgent Care or a hospital emergency room – and the financial burden that might result.

If you are a qualified Colorado theatre artist and become sick or injured, you can now reach out to a doctor using the Hippo Health app to connect with a Board-certified physician. A doctor will ask you about your medical history, assess your situation and recommend a treatment plan.

The Denver Actors Fund and Hippo Health share the common goal of helping those who need the most help. – DAF President Chris Gibley

Signing up to use this new service is easy:

  • Visit denveractorsfund.org and follow the easy sign-up instructions. (It takes less than five minutes.)
  • Download the Hippo Health app to your phone or other device.
  • That’s it. The service is now avaiable for use seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Eligibility requirements for this benefit are the same as when applying for actual financial assistance from The DAF: To qualify, an applicant must have been a Colorado resident for at least six months in the past year, and have worked in a creative capacity on at least one credible theatrical production in Colorado in the previous  five years.

Through Hippo Health, we hope to help local acting professionals get happy, healthy and on their way to their next great performance. – Hippo Health Co-Founder Dr. Kevin McGarvey

This benefit, the brainchild of new DAF board member Dr. Kelli Lewis, is being provided by The DAF at no cost to eligible participants. Under the initial agreement, The DAF will pay Hippo Health $25 each time a qualified member of the community uses the service, DAF President Chris Gibley said. The applicant will pay nothing.

“The DAF is excited to offer this benefit and to partner with Hippo Health for many years to come,” said Gibley. “We share the common goal of helping those who need the most help. Many thanks to the folks at Hippo for their commitment to our community, and making this possible.”

Hippo Health was started by a team of eight physicians (including Lewis) who have worked together for more than a decade. “From that experience, we have built a new way to do virtual care coordination that helps patients and clinicians truly feel cared for,” said Hippo Health Co-founder and CEO Dr. Kevin McGarvey.

“We are honored and humbled to serve DAF members. Our emergency-physician team is excited to connect with actors in the community and serve them medically when they are in need. Through Hippo Health, we hope to help local acting professionals get happy, healthy and on their way to their next great performance.”

The Denver Actors Fund is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that since 2014 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 $400,000 to help recipients with medical bills, insurance, co-payments, supplies, dental care and more. In addition, The DAF’s army of more than 60 volunteers have donated more than 500 hours of practical service ranging from providing meals, child care and transportation to pet-sitting, snow-shoveling, personal company and more.

DAF Founder and Executive Director John Moore said this new partnership with Hippo Health is tangible evidence of the non-profit’s desire to expand its ability to make a positive impact on the lives of artists in medical need. “When we decided to expand the board from four to seven members earlier this year, it was my stated goal to identify and recruit high-impact candidates such as Chris and Kelli,” Moore said. “Kelli has been an emergency-room doctor in Denver for 26 years and brings invaluable credibility and expertise into everything we do. And now, to be able to make her innovative video-doctor service to our community at very low cost to us is another significant step forward.”

Lewis joined the board with a goal of finding new ways to be helpful to the local theatre community as they encounter medical challenges. “I’m very excited to see what’s possible,” she said.

Click here to read stories about some of the actors, directors, stage managers and others who have been helped through The Denver Actors Fund to date.

From left: Dr. Kevin McGarvey, Dr. Kelli Lewis and DAF President Chris Gibley.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Lisa and Mike Young

Mike and Lisa Young

Photo by RDG Photography.

‘Within only a few hours, we had our tremendous burden lifted from us’

Aid recipients: Lisa and Michael “Big Mike” Young of Parker are longtime married performers in the local theatre community. Lisa is an actor who has recently appeared in Theatre Artibus’ “Recipe,” the Aurora Fox’s “Caroline, Or Change,” and Bitsy Stage’s “The Necromancer’s Stone.” Lisa, a graduate of Rangeview High School, a drama teacher for the Aurora Public Schools and a member of the Colorado Theater Guild’s board of directors, is also a longtime performer with Phamaly Theatre Company (“Fiddler on the Roof,” “Rapunzel,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and many more.) Michael, a Parker native and graduate of Ponderosa High School, is a musician who recently played the trumpet in Performance Now’s “Crazy for You” and Lone Tree Arts Center’s “Motones vs. Jerseys,” They have been married since 2001.

Mike Young in 'Motones vs. Jerseys.' Lisa Young in a reading of 'The Laramie Project.'

Mike Young in ‘Motones vs. Jerseys.’ Lisa Young in a reading of ‘The Laramie Project.’

Their medical stories: Last year, Lisa slipped on black ice, felt a disconnect in her knee and went to urgent care. After a long medical odyssey, her injury was eventually determined to be a torn meniscus. She has been receiving treatment since, but may ultimately require surgery to fully repair the damage. Michael hurt his back and later had a severe allergic reaction to his blood-pressure medication that sent him to the ICU for two days. Despite having health insurance, the couple were initially left with a combined $3,039.34 in out-of-pocket expenses.

How we initially helped: The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors voted unanimously to pay the full amount owed at the time, or $3,039.34.

The aftershock: As so often happens, some of the biggest bills are the last to arrive. Weeks later, Michael Young received an additional bill for $2,888 from SkyRidge Medical Center. The DAF has paid down $2,022 of this bill. That brings our total support for the Young family to $5,061 to date.

How you can help us help the Youngs more: Even with this latest gift, the Youngs still owe $866 on their bill. If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give them more breathing room, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Michael Young’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is a targeted donation for Michael Young. (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 the Lisa and “Big Mike” Young family:

“We mustache you a question: How can two Denver performers be more grateful for the organization called The Denver Actors Fund? When we both had recent medical encounters, accumulating thousands in medical bills, we had no idea how our bills were going to be paid. So we reached out to The Denver Actors Fund. Within only a few hours, we had our tremendous burden lifted from us. “Thank you” seems too small but … THANK YOU! Thank you for all you do for the artists in our community. Love. Mike and Lisa Young.”

 

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $528,000 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.

The Youngs at the 2017 Henry Awards. Photo by Brian Landis Folkins.


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 $528,000 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 80211

VOLUNTEER:

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


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

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.


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.


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!

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Tara Falk

‘No matter what we did, we could not stop the bills from piling up into the thousands’

Aid recipient: Tara Falk is an acclaimed local actor who recently appeared in the DCPA Theatre Company’s “Sweat.” Previous local roles have included Curious Theatre Company’s “Hand to God” and “Time Stands Still”; as well as Senior Housing Options’ “On Golden Pond” at the Barth Hotel. Her Broadway credits include Mary Zimmerman’s “Metamorphoses.” She is married to DCPA Education Head of Acting Tim McCracken.

For Tara Falk, a white dot that had been on her face for years turned out to be a deeply rooted pre-cancerous growth.

Her medical story: Tara was diagnosed last fall with an aggressive form of skin cancer on her face. Just one day after surgery removed the deep tumor and a large part of her nose, she had reconstructive surgery. Her medical odyssey, which has also come with severe autoimmune issues, has continued with the discovery of more tumors requiring additional surgery.

How we have helped: Even though Tara and her husband have health insurance, they have accrued five-figure out-of-pocket medical bills. But despite that enormous and ongoing financial burden, Tara has, to date, only asked The Denver Actors Fund for help paying off one specific bill of $1,938.50 owed to CU Medicine. In May, The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors voted unanimously to pay that full amount, while leaving her case open to consider other bills that come up in the future. With targeted donations from the community, The Denver Actors Fund’s total support for Tara Falk to date is $2,338.50.

Why are you hearing about this now? At The Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is assumed and fully protected unless and until the recipient chooses to have their story told. In May, Tara and Tim chose anonymity. This week, Tara reconnected with The Denver Actors Fund to say: “We have decided to go public with our story to let people know that even when a couple has one person in a full-time position with health benefits and the other is a working spouse, we still needed help.”

Tara Falk and her son. Photo by John Moore.

Tara Falk and her son. Photo by John Moore.

A message from Tara:

“Shame and fear of what others might think are powerful emotions that can stop you from seeking help when you need it most. Three years ago, I started on a mysterious medical journey. Tons of blood tests and treatments. Thousands of dollars later, still no diagnosis. My husband and I worked and used any cash from extra jobs to begin paying down the debt. With the miles amassed because of the medical debt, we decided to cash them in for three cheap tickets for a European vacation with our son so we all could rest from our hectic schedule and heal a bit from still not knowing. Last October, a few months after we cashed in the miles (but before the scheduled trip), I was diagnosed with infiltrative basal cell carcinoma. It was not life-threatening, but a serious procedure that left a massive disfiguration on my nose, causing me to need reconstructive surgery using cartilage from my ear. The bills were astronomical, and on top of having a large monthly health-insurance premium, we found ourselves back in debt again and staring at three more future procedures. Should we not go on the trip? Even though it was free and paid for with miles? Who do we think we are?

Tara Falk and Tim McCracken

Tara Falk and Tim McCracken.

“Then some beautiful soul at The Denver Actors Fund told us: ‘Why do artists think piling up medical bills on credit cards is OK? Why do they think they don’t deserve a vacation? Why disappoint your young son? Take some help!’ My husband and I both work hard and possess a massive ‘we can do it’ attitude. But after much soul-searching, we realized that no matter what we did, we could not stop the bills from piling up into the thousands. After months of debating, we submitted one bill for $1,939 to The Denver Actors Fund, which they instantly paid. That took a giant weight off our shoulders and allowed us to catch up a bit on our other bills. More than anything, it meant we could just take a breath.

“The day after we arrived home from our trip, I had the second surgery on my cheek, which left another very large disfiguration. This procedure somehow ended up costing us $4,000 more than the much-more involved surgery I’d had the year before. If we hadn’t already reached out to The Denver Actors Fund, swallowed some pride and ignored whatever mumblings might unfold from asking for this help, that extra nearly $2,000 debt would have been gaining in interest and holding us back from chipping away at the bills that still lie ahead.

“For years we had made small donations to The Denver Actors Fund. We have watched it allow people to breathe, heal and move forward with their lives instead of being saddled with stress, fear and debt. We never thought we would be recipients of their incredible generosity and we never knew the impact it would have on us. We are forever thankful – and there is definitely no shame in that.”

How you can help us help replenish: If you would like to make a donation to help The Denver Actors Fund replenish, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. Or, just attend “Miscast 2019” on September 30 at The Aurora Fox. “Miscast” is the major annual fundraiser for The Denver Actors Fund. Tickets here. (More details below.)

How you can help us help Tara more: While Tara has not requested any additional financial assistance at this time, any targeted donations from the public will be passed on to them in full. If you would like to direct a specific donation to the family, write Tara’s name on the topic field of any check or, if using the online option above, be sure to designate that your donation is a targeted donation for Tara in the space provided.

Read more about Tara Falk’s story here

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $392,000 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.

Tara Falk starring in the DCPA Theatre Company’s ‘Sweat’ last spring. Photo by Adams VisCom.

 


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 $392,000 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 80211

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.

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 are on sale here.

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: Joanie Brosseau-Rubald

Joanie Brosseau-Rubald

‘I found myself faced with bills I thought would be covered by my insurance but weren’t’

Aid recipient: Littleton native Joanie Brosseau-Rubald has been performing regularly at BDT Stage for 23 years, most recently appearing in “A Christmas Story,” “Disenchanted,” “Motones vs. Jerseys” and “Mamma Mia.” Seminal roles have included playing Eva Peron in “Evita,” Roxie Hart in “Cabaret,” the title role in “Peter Pan,” Charity Hope Valentine in “Sweet Charity” and Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors.” In 2017, she won a True West Award for her work in BDT Stage’s “Rock of Ages” alongside real-life daughter Olyvia Sydelle. Joanie also has performed at the Arvada Center, Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, Lone Tree Arts Center, PACE Center, Country Dinner Playhouse and Heritage Square Opera House. And she runs the BDT Academy youth program. She is a graduate of Heritage High School.

Joanie Rubald True WestHer medical story: Joanie recently underwent surgery to release a trigger-finger tendon in her thumb. While she has some insurance, it did not cover the bulk of the procedure, or any of the anesthesiology fees. When all was said and done, Joanie’s out-of-pocket obligation was $1,764.50 after insurance.

How we have helped Joanie: The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors voted unanimously to pay Joanie’s outstanding medical balance of $1,764.50.

A message from Joanie: “I have always been a fan, follower and supporter of The Denver Actors Fund and the services and support they have offered to the Colorado theatre community. Never did it cross my mind that I might someday need its assistance. When I found myself faced with bills I thought would be covered by my insurance but weren’t, I was embarrassed to apply for help. As actors, technicians and musicians, many of us don’t work a conventional 40-hour week. That, sadly, is the criteria with which many employers must comply when offering health benefits. As a result, many of us purchase expensive but limited coverage on our own. And it’s not enough. After some urging and encouragement from friends, I swallowed my pride and applied for help. When I did, I was told that the goal of The DAF is to help any beneficiary get back to whatever financial place they were at before things went wrong, as if the medical issue never happened. What a gift. In the theatre, our job is to provide entertainment, laughter, tears, thoughtful storytelling and big, flashy musical numbers. We wish to send each audience member away feeling that they have had a journey. An adventure. We want to lift the weight of their day and allow them to escape. I am deeply grateful for DAF for lifting my weight and for helping me heal. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Joanie Brosseau Rubald in ‘Evita’ at the Country Dinner Playhouse.

How you can help us help replenish: If you would like to make a donation to help The Denver Actors Fund replenish, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. Or, just attend “Miscast 2019” on September 30 at The Aurora Fox. “Miscast” is the major annual fundraiser for The Denver Actors Fund. Tickets here. (More details below.)

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $392,000 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.


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 $392,000 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 80211

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.

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 are on sale here.

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: Todd Debreceni

Examples of Todd Debreceni’s special-effects stage work.

‘I’ve seen more doctors since January 7 than I’ve seen in, well, ever!’

Denver native John Carroll Lynch is featured on the cover of Todd Debreceni’s book.

Aid recipient: Todd Debreceni of Aurora is Colorado’s most experienced and awarded prosthetic makeup effects artist, with more than 40 years in the entertainment industry. He has created prosthetics and special effects for innumerable film and local stage productions, most recently Littleton Town Hall Arts Center’s 2018 production of “A Christmas Carol.” Todd is the recipient of a 2017 Henry Award for his extensive body of work; a 2015 DCPA True West Award for “Shrek the Musical” and “Young Frankenstein”; and 2006 and 2009 Denver Post Ovation Awards for “The Wiz” and “Man of La Mancha,” respectively. Todd is also the author of the best-selling makeup effects book, “Special Makeup Effects for Stage and Screen,” now in its third edition. He is the husband of prolific local Music Director Donna Debreceni, who again volunteered her talents as Musical Director of “Miscast 2019,” the major annual fundraiser for The Denver Actors Fund. Todd performed “Agony” from “Into the Woods” with Mark Shonsey as Jacob Marley and Mark Shonsey, respectively. The event raised more than $8,600 for The DAF.

His medical story: Todd was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2019. In the course of his ongoing treatment, he has accrued substantial bills from a variety of medical providers. While they do not account for the totality of his financial burden, in August Todd submitted to us six outstanding bills for consideration of reimbursement totaling $3,585.10. As his treatment continued, Todd was looking for just enough help to keep his continuing out-of-pocket costs manageable.

Todd and Donna Debreceni at the 2017 Henry Awards. Photo by Brian Landis Folkins.

How we initially helped Todd: The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors voted in August to reimburse Todd for the full $3,585.10 in medical bills he had submitted to date, while leaving his case open for further consideration as he accrued additional medical expenses.

How we most recently helped: As Todd has continued his treatment over the past four months, he recently submitted a number of new bills he has continues to accumulate. Fifty, to be exact. That’s how many individual medical bills he’s been sent, ranging from physical therapy to urology checks to prescriptions. The total comes to $2,807.97 in additional out-of-pocket responsibility. The board has voted to compensate the Debrecenis for the full amount, $2,807.97. To date, including an additional $1,069 in targeted donations from the community, The Denver Actors Fund has now provided the Debrecenis with $7,554.97 in overall medical assistance to date.

How you can help us help Todd more: If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give Todd some additional breathing room as he continues his cancer treatment, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Todd Debreceni’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is targeted for Todd Debreceni. (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 Todd: “Donna and I appreciate The Denver Actors Fund more than words can describe. I’ve seen more doctors since January 7 than I’ve seen in, well, ever! This support is incredible!”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $425,000 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.

From left: Todd Debreceni, Donna Debreceni and Mark Shonsey perform at ‘Miscast’ 2019 to benefit The Denver Actors Fund. Photo by John Moore.

 

Todd Debreceni with pop star Debby Boone, whom he turned into The Witch for Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s ‘Into the Woods.’


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 $425,000 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 80211

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, February 9: Celebrate the biggest night of the year for the movies! What better way to be a part of the action on the big screen than to join Denver7 and The Denver Actors Fund at the Alamo Drafthouse. Dress your Hollywood best (formal evening wear suggested)! Arrive around 5 p.m. in BarFly for your very own red carpet, paparazzi, and more before we open the doors for food, drinks and fun for everyone. Your ticket includes a glass of champagne (or sparkling cider) and a donation to The 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.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Mark Duran

Mark Duran

‘My dad was a hard-working, loving and vibrant man who will be missed every day.’

Qualifying artist: Mark Duran of Denver was the Stage Vice President of IATSE Local 7. He worked dozens of Denver Center shows at the Buell Theatre, including having had a large hand in Denver’s pre-Broadway run of Disney’s “Frozen.” He also was the Head Carpenter for Colorado Ballet for many years and worked many Opera Colorado performances.

Mark Duran His story: Mark died in May at only age 42, leaving a wife and four children. “My dad was a hard-working, loving and vibrant man who will be missed every day by me, my mother and my three younger siblings,” said his daughter, Faith.

How we have helped the family: The Denver Actors Fund’s distribution policy allows for a gift of up to $1,000 be made directly to the next of kin of a qualified recipient for essential expenses. The Board of Directors has approved a $1,000 disbursement to Duran’s wife, Jade Martinez.

How you can help us help the Duran family more: If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give the Duran family some additional breathing room during this difficult time, mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Jade Martinez’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is targeted for Jade Martinez. (She 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 friend Max Peterson: “Mark was the epitome of a Union brother. He worked tirelessly to make sure our members were able to safely make a good living.”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $378,000 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.


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 $378,000 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 80211

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.

MISCAST 2019

Gin TonixSUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22: Jason Spillman and his family band “Gin & Tonix” are playing at the Clocktower Cabaret and donating 10 percent of total tickets sales to The Denver Actors Fund. Gin & Tonix, a group of talented musicians who have made music together for many years, features the harmonies of Morgan Griego, Kacie Thomas, Trinity Thomas and Eileen Adair, backed by Madi Spillman on guitar, Ian Spillman on drums and vocals, and Jason Spillman on bass and vocals. Gin & Tonix will be performing songs by Pentatonix, The Indigo Girls, The Eagles, The Avett Brothers and more. This is expected to be a sold-out show so reserve your seat now. Tickets are $20. Show starts at 7 p.m. at 16th and Arapahoe streets on the 16th Street Mall.

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 are on sale here.

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: Katie Burke

KATIE BURKE QUOTE

 

‘I am now able to continue working in the theatre without incredible financial stress’

KATIE BURKEAid recipient: Katie Burke is a Fort Collins actor and teacher who last appeared in “A Wonderful Life” at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown. Other credits include at Missoula Children’s Theater, Up In Lights and playing Cinderella’s dreadful stepsister in Candlelight’s 2016 “Into the Woods.” She was an instructor on The Academy at Midtown Arts Center’s 2018 production of “Grease Jr.” (Now called The Academy by Divabee). Katie is a graduate of Fort Collins High School and studied Theater Education at University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. She recently spent time in South Korea teaching English.

Her medical story: Katie was recently in a boating accident and lost her front tooth. She required emergency surgery for a bone and skin graft. After that heals, she will require a second surgery for a tooth implant. To date, Katie (who has no dental insurance) has accrued medical bills totaling $1,335.60, and she has been told the final overall bill after the second surgery will be around $5,000.

How we have helped Katie: The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors has voted to reimburse Katie for the $1,335.60 in bills she has accrued so far, while leaving her case for further consideration after she has her second surgery.

How you can help us help Katie more: If you would like to direct a specific donation to help Katie pay down the cost of her upcoming second surgery, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Katie Burke’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is targeted for Katie Burke. (She 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 Katie: “I am incredibly grateful to The Denver Actors Fund for the help I have received. After going in for my initial visit, I learned the damage was worse than anticipated, and that this was going to cost the entirety of my savings, and then some. I contacted The Denver Actors Fund at the suggestion from a fellow actor who received assistance in the past. I was stunned at the extent at which they were able to help me. The Denver Actors Fund is such an incredible organization that has provided me, and many others, with some peace of mind in a difficult situation. I am now able to continue working in the theatre without incredible financial stress. Thank for Denver Actors Fund for all you do!”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $375,000 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.

Katie Burke.

Katie Burke in action.


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 $375,000 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 80211

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.

MISCAST 2019

Gin TonixSUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22: Jason Spillman and his family band “Gin & Tonix” are playing at the Clocktower Cabaret and donating 10 percent of total tickets sales to The Denver Actors Fund. Gin & Tonix, a group of talented musicians who have made music together for many years, features the harmonies of Morgan Griego, Kacie Thomas, Trinity Thomas and Eileen Adair, backed by Madi Spillman on guitar, Ian Spillman on drums and vocals, and Jason Spillman on bass and vocals. Gin & Tonix will be performing songs by Pentatonix, The Indigo Girls, The Eagles, The Avett Brothers and more. This is expected to be a sold-out show so reserve your seat now. Tickets are $20. Show starts at 7 p.m. at 16th and Arapahoe streets on the 16th Street Mall.

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 are on sale here.

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: Cole Emarine

 

COLE EMARINE QUOTE 600

‘Not knowing what is wrong with your body is scary. Not being able to get answers is even worse.’

Cole Emarine in 'Newsies' at the Candlellight Dinner Playhouse.'

Cole Emarine in ‘Newsies’ at the Candlellight Dinner Playhouse.’

Aid recipient: Actor, dancer, costumer and choreographer Cole Emarine is a Fort Collins native who has worked on more than 150 productions across the Front Range, and in a variety of capacities. Most recently, he played Race in “Newsies” and Bert in “Mary Poppins” at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown. He also costumed and choreographed “Into The Woods” for Breckenridge Backstage Theatre (running through August 11) and is currently performing in “Beauty and the Beast” at BDT Stage (running through August 31). He also recently played Angel in OpenStage Theatre & Company’s “Rent” in Fort Collins and has performed at the Arvada Center, High Performance Dance Theatre, Lone Tree Arts Center, Up In Lights, Opera Fort Collins, Carousel Dinner Theatre and Fort Collins Children’s Theatre. This fall, his choreography can be seen in OpenStage’s “The Full Monty,” and he will play Ted Hanover in Candlelight’s “Holiday Inn.” Cole is a graduate of Thompson Valley High School in Fort Collins.

His medical story: Cole has been struggling with intestinal distress for months. When he began having difficulty completing the flight stunts in “Mary Poppins,” initial medical tests indicated that the problem might just be an allergy. But as his pain continued and grew more severe, he went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with Microscopic Colitis, an an inflammation of the colon. He underwent month-long steroid treatments to keep his flare-ups at bay. Cole has no health insurance, and his out-of-pocket expenses have been significant.

How we have helped Cole: While they do not constitute the totality of his expenses related to this medical incident, Cole submitted two E.R. bills totaling $2,000.04 for possible Denver Actors Fund reimbursement. The DAF Board of Directors has voted to compensate Cole for the full amount requested, or $2,000.04. To date, including targeted donations from the community, The Denver Actors Fund has now provided Cole with $2,375 in overall medical assistance.

How you can help us replenish: If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give Cole more financial breathing room, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund (with Cole Emarine’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is a targeted donation for Cole Emarine. (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 Cole: “Not knowing what is wrong with your body is scary. Not being able to get answers is even worse. There are a lot of questions still to be answered about my condition, but it seems so much less daunting with the support of The Denver Actors Fund and my Colorado theatre family! I have received so much love and support from my families at Candelight Dinner Playhouse, BDT Stage, OpenStage and the Cast of “Into The Woods” at Breckenridge Backstage Theatre. This community of artists has held me up when I was feeling lost and helped me find the drive to perform through my physical struggle. For that, I am forever grateful!”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $375,000 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.

Cole Emarine in 'Mary Poppins' at the Candlellight Dinner Playhouse.'

Cole Emarine in ‘Mary Poppins’ at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse.


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 $375,000 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 80211

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.

MISCAST 2019

MONDAY, AUGUST 5: Our friends at Miners Alley Playhouse are hosting an Industry Night performance of its hit comedy “Fairfield,” by Eric Coble, with ALL PROCEEDS benefiting the Denver Actors Fund. Tickets, normally up to $32, are just $15 on this night only. “Fairfield” is a regional premiere that “pushes every race button to hilarious effect,” says Alex Miller of OnStage Colorado. “Peace. Love. Respect for all.” Fat chance at Fairfield Elementary, a public school located in a diverse, liberal district. When a young teacher’s misguided attempts at celebrating Black History Month take a hilariously dark turn, chaos erupts. “Fairfield” is directed by Jada Suzanne Dixon and features Sheryl McCallum, Adeline Mann, newly coronated Henry Award-winning Outstanding Actor Brian Landis Folkins, MacKenzie Beyer, Kristina Fountaine and Sinjin Jones. Join us at 7:30 p.m. Monday, August 5. Tickets available by calling 303-935-3044 or going online here. Miners Alley Playhouse is located at 1224 Washington Avenue. Golden. Thank you to Len Matheo, Elizabeth Scott-Mckean, Jonathan Scott-Mckean, Lisa DeCaro, Bryanna Scott, the cast, crew and whoever kindly works the bar. It’s nights like these that make what we do possible!

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 are on sale here.

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: Kristy E. Pike

Kirsty E. Pike as Eliza in The Upstart Crow's 'Pygmalion.'

Kristy E. Pike as Eliza in The Upstart Crow’s ‘Pygmalion.’

 

‘I am incredibly grateful to have Denver Actor’s Fund as a resource’

Aid recipient: Boulder’s Kristy E. Pike directed and designed the lighting for The Upstart Crow Theatre Company’s The Lion in Winter in August 2018, with previous lighting credits including As You Like It and Pygmalion. She is currently designing the lighting for All My Sons, which opens in September. As an actor, she played Phebe in The Crow’s As You Like It and as Eliza in Pygmalion. Kristy also has served as the company’s Publicity Director for the past four years and also works part-time in the BDT Stage box office.

Her medical story: Kristy was in a bicycle accident on July 2 and suffered a a concussion and sprained wrist. Three days later, she was sent to the E.R. with a completely different medical issue. Between the two incidents, she was unable to perform 52 hours of scheduled box-office work as she recovered. Kristy was left with $752 in post-insurance medical expenses and missed out on $505 of potential wages.

How we have helped Kristy: After examining Kristy’s hospital and employment records, The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors has voted to compensate Kristy for her out-of-pocket expenses and lost scheduled wages, or $1,257.

How you can 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 80211. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

A message from Kristy: “I am incredibly grateful to have Denver Actor’s Fund as a resource. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $375,000 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.


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 $375,000 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 80211

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.

MISCAST 2019

MONDAY, AUGUST 5: Our friends at Miners Alley Playhouse are hosting an Industry Night performance of its hit comedy “Fairfield,” by Eric Coble, with ALL PROCEEDS benefiting the Denver Actors Fund. Tickets, normally up to $32, are just $15 on this night only. “Fairfield” is a regional premiere that “pushes every race button to hilarious effect,” says Alex Miller of OnStage Colorado. “Peace. Love. Respect for all.” Fat chance at Fairfield Elementary, a public school located in a diverse, liberal district. When a young teacher’s misguided attempts at celebrating Black History Month take a hilariously dark turn, chaos erupts. “Fairfield” is directed by Jada Suzanne Dixon and features Sheryl McCallum, Adeline Mann, newly coronated Henry Award-winning Outstanding Actor Brian Landis Folkins, MacKenzie Beyer, Kristina Fountaine and Sinjin Jones. Join us at 7:30 p.m. Monday, August 5. Tickets available by calling 303-935-3044 or going online here. Miners Alley Playhouse is located at 1224 Washington Avenue. Golden. Thank you to Len Matheo, Elizabeth Scott-Mckean, Jonathan Scott-Mckean, Lisa DeCaro, Bryanna Scott, the cast, crew and whoever kindly works the bar. It’s nights like these that make what we do possible!

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 the coming days. 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: Danielle Hermon Wood

"The Full Monty." Photo by Becky Toma.

Danielle Hermon Wood and the cast of ‘The Full Monty.” Photo by Becky Toma.

 

‘When I was diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome, I was sad, but I wasn’t going to let it bring me down.’

Aid recipient: Longmont actor Danielle Hermon Wood was nominated for a Henry Award for her performance as The Lady of the Lake in Inspire Theatre Company’s 2016 production of “Spamalot” at the PACE Center in Parker. She is currently performing there as Vicki in Parker Arts and Sasquatch Productions’ “The Full Monty” through Aug. 4. Wood has played leading roles with regional opera houses in the United States, Japan, and Singapore, and even performed backup for Sting in a SiriusXM concert in New York. Wood earned her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and her master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music. “My greatest passions in life are being a mother to my vivacious 9-year-old daughter, music, and theatre,” she said.

Danielle Hermon Wood as Vicki in 'The Full Monty.' Photo by Allen Jimenez.

Danielle Hermon Wood as Vicki in ‘The Full Monty.’ Photo by Allen Jimenez.

Her medical story: Danielle was diagnosed with Lynch syndrome back in 2012. Lynch syndrome is genetic marker that reveals a person’s inherited predisposition to develop different types of cancers. When a person is identified as having Lynch syndrome, they are urged to take proactive preventative measures. In May, Wood was advised to undergo a full hysterectomy, which she did. Danielle’s out-of-pocket responsibility after insurance is $3,461.06.  Moving forward, she will need to be aggressive about her regularity in having certain diagnostic tests that could be life-saving – but also will put a constant financial strain on her life. Danielle is a divorced mother whose pay and hours as Music Director and Marketing Director at a school in Boulder were recently drastically reduced.

How we have helped Danielle: Danielle received $500 from her former employer to help pay down the bill. The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors has voted unanimously to pay off the rest of the bill, or $2,961.06. The Board is keeping her case open because of expected expenses she will incur from additional upcoming medical procedures.

Update: In September, Danielle received an additional surgical bill for $1,158, which we have paid. That brings the total support to Wood from from The Denver Actors Fund to $4,119.

How you can help us replenish: Often in cases like Danielle’s, this is where we would give you the opportunity to help us help Danielle more, especially given her uncertain financial situation at present. But instead, Danielle says, “I would rather have any additional donations go to The Denver Actors Fund, so you can decide where they should go.” If you would like to help us replenish by making 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, 80211. Or use this donation link.

A message from Danielle: “When I was diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome, I was sad, but I wasn’t going to let it bring me down. It wasn’t a cancer diagnosis, but having this syndrome meant my chance of getting many different cancers in the future were very high. I was thankful that I found out so I could have tests done every year to catch ‘bad news’ early. Since 2012, I have had medical bill after medical bill. I finally had to do my big procedure, a complete hysterectomy, this year. I was scared, but I was ready. Then, two months before my surgery, my job made cutbacks and my salary was drastically reduced. It was then that I thought I would apply for help from The Denver Actors Fund. I followed this non-profit on Facebook because one of my past voice students, Darrow Klein, has raised a lot of money for them in the past. (See photo below.) I couldn’t believe it when The Denver Actors Fund called me to say they would help me with my large hospital bill. It was heaven-sent! They called right before one of my final dress rehearsals for ‘The Full Monty.’ Many of my cast members rejoiced and cried with me. I promise that I will do everything I can to promote this wonderful foundation, and I hope many others will consider donating in the future.”

Toward that end: Kelly McAllister and August Stoten of Sasquatch Productions will set up a table during the final two weekends of “The Full Monty” run to raise additional funds for The Denver Actors Fund, with our humble thanks. So if you are going to the show, look for that table! Click here for ticket information.

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $385,000 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.

 


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 $385,000 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 80211

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.

COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

SEPTEMBER 16: Firehouse Theatre Company has designated its Monday, September 16, Industry Night performance of “Three Tall Women” as a Denver Actors Fund night. Tickets are just $15 and proceeds will go to DAF. “Three Tall Women” is Edward Albee’s 1994 Pulitzer-winner, a modern masterpiece about a woman in her 90s who reflects on her husband’s affairs and the estrangement of her gay son with a mixture of shame, pleasure, regret and satisfaction. It features Judy Phelan-Hill, Donna Louden, Kate Poling and Kevin Douglas. Directed by Julie Kaye Wolf. Call 303-562-3232 to reserve your seats!

SEPTEMBER 20-22: Ovation West (formerly Evergreen Chorale), will continue its tradition of donating a portion of all ticket sales from a designated weekend of its production of “Cabaret” to the Denver Actors Fund. Kander & Ebb’s classic musical is set in a 1920s Berlin nightclub starring Miss Sally Bowles, where an American writer is coming of age and an era of indulgence and ambiguity are coming to an end with the rise of the Nazi Party. Musical numbers include “Willkommen” and “Don’t Tell Mama.” Starring Abby Kate Herron as Sally Bowles, Kalond Irlanda as the Emcee and Brian Caplan as Cliff and and Directed by Christopher Willard, Musical Direction by Christine Gaudreau and Patrick Lee, and Choreography by Christina Caplan. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday at Center Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive, Evergreen. Tickets at 303-674-4002 or ovationwest.org.

Gin TonixSUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22: Jason Spillman and his family band “Gin & Tonix” are playing at the Clocktower Cabaret and donating 10 percent of total tickets sales to The Denver Actors Fund. Gin & Tonix, a group of talented musicians who have made music together for many years, features the harmonies of Morgan Griego, Kacie Thomas, Trinity Thomas and Eileen Adair, backed by Madi Spillman on guitar, Ian Spillman on drums and vocals, and Jason Spillman on bass and vocals. Gin & Tonix will be performing songs by Pentatonix, The Indigo Girls, The Eagles, The Avett Brothers and more. This is expected to be a sold-out show so reserve your seat now. Tickets are $20. Show starts at 7 p.m. at 16th and Arapahoe streets on the 16th Street Mall.

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 are available right now.

Barton BrothersWEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9: Our friends at Miners Alley Playhouse are hosting an Industry Night performance of its hit musical “Once” with ALL PROCEEDS benefiting the Denver Actors Fund. Tickets, normally up to $32, are just $15 when you use Promo Code DAF. “‘Once’ is the story of an Irish songwriter who is on the verge of giving up music altogether when a Czech immigrant walks into the bar, hears him play and refuses to let him abandon his guitar. “Once” is directed by Len Matheo and features John Hauser, Carmen Shedd, Joel Abelson, Allegra Ludwig Michael, Katie Jackson, Ellen Gauthier, Damon Guerassio, Nelson Walker, David Miller, Parker Fowler, Aaron Vega and Denis Berkfeldt. Join us at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 9. Tickets available by calling 303-935-3044 or going online here. Miners Alley Playhouse is located at 1224 Washington Avenue. Golden. Thank you to Len Matheo, Elizabeth Scott-Mckean, Jonathan Scott-Mckean, Lisa DeCaro, Bryanna Scott, the cast, crew and whoever kindly works the bar. It’s nights like these that make what we do possible!

MONDAY, OCTOBER 28: You know Jack Barton in the title roles of BDT Stage’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Peter and the Starcatcher.” He’s also half of an infectious, high-energy dueling piano duet called The Barton Brothers, who mix piano-bar sing-along classics with updated contemporary covers and original songs. Jack and Dan Barton are classically trained pianists and childhood choir nerds who grew up sharing stereos, piano teachers and bunk beds, developing a familiar musical vocabulary from the beginning. They’ll be taking over the BDT Stage stage for one night only, and BDT will donate $5 from every $25 ticket sold to The Denver Actors Fund. BDT is one of our greatest community partners. Please help them to continue to help us in aiding the incredible artists who make BDT Stage and all Colorado theatre such a wonderful and vibrant community. Note: There will be an a la carte menu available, but no food is included with the ticket for this event. Starys and 7 p.m. at 5501 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, GET TICKETS HERE

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: Beki Pineda

BEKI PINEDA

‘Dr. Kelly listened to my tale, heard my fear, and responded in the gentlest voice possible: ‘Let’s get you a smile you can share.’ “

Aid recipient: Properties Director Beki Pineda, who was given the Colorado Theatre Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Henry Awards, has been an active member of the Colorado theatre community since the early 1980s. She started as a volunteer at the Bonfils Theatre on East Colfax Avenue before building her trade in properties for countless theater companies. Beki, who turned 80 last year, worked on the making of 10 theatrical productions in 2019 alone, including Vintage Theatre’s “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” and Firehouse Theater’s “Outside Mullingar.” She is also the longtime Box Office Manager at Denver School of the Arts, where she has helped organize ongoing collections for The Denver Actors Fund.

Her medical story: We’ve helped Beki in a number of ways over the years, including buying her new eyeglasses ($325) and hooking her up with our partnering dentist, Brian Kelly DDS, for his help on a minor dental matter (a service valued at $182.) Then Beki’s world was rocked at when a fainting spell led to a breast-cancer diagnosis. She has since undergone surgery for successive mastectomies.

How we have helped Beki: As Beki convalesced from surgery, Denver Actors Fund Volunteer Coordinator Kristen Samu arranged for a team to help Beki recover, starting with several weeks of meals delivered to her apartment and other assistance. By the end of 2019, The Denver Actors Fund had provided Beki with $3,089 in overall medical assistance, including $744 for the cost of her new prosthetic breasts.

A message from Beki: “Words you pray you’ll never hear: ‘You have cancer.’ So casually spoken – so heartbreakingly heard. A few tears are allowed, and then you pull up your big-girl panties and say, ‘OK, let’s take care of this little problem.’ When my surgeon explained that the top half of my right breast was ‘fully engaged,’ I asked her if the bottom half was just dating? She responded with. ‘Oh, you’re going to be just fine.’ If you want to know the true definition of a village, try getting sick in this theatre community! Best friends, casual acquaintances and people from years past all rallied around to fill my fridge and offer rides. They called to check on me, share their experiences and send prayers. The Denver Actors Fund’s volunteer angels stepped up and came through the way they always do. What an amazing gift it has been to have The Denver Actors Fund on my side through this whole ordeal. I am so happy happy to report that the cancer is gone, with no need for chemo. Dr. Julie Barone literally saved my life by discovering a second cancer that didn’t show up on any of the tests and caught it before it could do any lasting damage. I feel I have been spared for a reason … maybe to help make The Denver Actors Fund stronger and more productive than ever. God bless you, everyone!”

Smile! In 2020, it was time for Beki to face the culmination of years of dental neglect. As mentioned above, The Denver Actors Fund has a partnering dentist in Dr. Brian Kelly DDS, who accepts a limited number of emergency cases each year as his personal, in-kind donation to The DAF with his associates at the Dental Center at Thornton Plaza. Dr. Kelly performed all of the necessary work Beki needed, including 11 extractions. The value of Dr. Kelly’s services to a regular patient would have come to $5,714. Instead, no money changed hands, other than an additional $676 outside lab bill that The DAF has covered. Beki paid nothing, making the overall value of her latest dental treatment $6,390. To date, the total value of Dr. Kelly’s service to the Denver Actors Fund is more than $70,000 since 2017. It’s no wonder that, last month, 5280 Magazine included Dr. Kelly among Denver’s top dentists as chosen by his peers for the 12th year in a row. He is himself a dancer and a veteran of four Broadway productions.

Grand total: The Denver Actors Fund has now provided Beki with $9,479 in overall medical assistance.

How Beki has helped us: In addition to being a longtime monthly donor to The Denver Actors Fund, Beki is among our original and most steadfast Action Team volunteers. She played a vital role in helping us to transform actor Russell Costen’s low-income apartment while he was in the hospital recovering from lung-cancer surgery. When we put the call out for drivers to help actor Gregory Alan West, who needed long-term transportation to and from rehab appointments following heart and kidney transplants, Beki was one of three volunteers who drove Gregory three times a week for more than four months. And she was a primary helper when The Denver Actors Fund helped actor Abner Genece recuperate at home following a near-fatal car accident. In each case, the DAF beneficiary has been younger than Beki.

How you can help us help Beki more: At age 81 and coming off two major surgeries, Beki’s financial situation is at best, uncertain. If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give her some financial breathing room, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund (with Beki Pineda’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO, 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is a targeted donation for Beki Pineda. (She will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, your donation will be applied to the replenishment of The Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

Words of thanks for Dr. Kelly: “A dentist’s appointment to an old-schooler like me conjures up memories of needles, that horrible noise the drills used to make, spitting out enamel … and pain. Imagine my surprise to enter the 21st Century of dentistry on recent visits to the offices of Dr. Brian Kelly, a bright angel of The DAF. All those years of gig work in order to do theatre had led to neglect of my dental health compounded by being born with extended canines, which had earned me the nickname ‘Bucky’ at an early age. Dr. Kelly listened to my tale, heard my fear and responded in the gentlest voice possible – ‘Let’s get you a smile you can share.’ He has done just that. On the big day of ‘old teeth out – new teeth in,’ he loaned me his personal ear buds, turned on some Broadway tunes and sang to me as he went to work. By efficiently and painlessly removing the bad teeth, he was able to create a set of new teeth for me that makes me smile in the mirror every time I see them. All in one day. I didn’t have to walk around toothless for a month. in ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven,’ Mitch Albom proposes that in Heaven you will meet five people who have had a significant impact on your life. I’m lucky enough to know that I don’t have to wait till I get to Heaven to meet one of them.”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $606,000 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.


HOW TO MAKE A DONATION


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 $606,000 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


NEW: AFFORDABLE MENTAL HEALTH CARE:

The Denver Actors Fund has announced a major new collaboration with the Maria Droste Counseling Center of Colorado to provide affordable, professional health care to any qualifying Colorado theatre artist who needs it. CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION


GET 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!


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 80211

VOLUNTEER:

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


SHOP AT KING SOOPERS

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.


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: 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.

Denver Actors Fund in Action: DaNia Mortimer

DaNia Mortimer family

The Mortimer Family: DaNia, Marlowe, McKenna and Matt, with family friend Leslie Randle.

Just after pregnant actor was ordered on bed rest, her daughter was diagnosed with cancer

DaNia Morimer.

DaNia Mortimer

Aid recipient: Denver actor and soprano DaNia Mortimer is a longtime member of the local theatre community. Her credits include “Little Women,” “Annie” and “Bye Bye Birdie” at the Town Hall Arts Center and Performance Now’s “South Pacific” in 2013. In the time since, she has worked as a Teaching Artist for children at the Denver Center and Arvada Center, and she has performed as an employee of Wands & Wishes and The Original Dickens Carolers. DaNia, a Special Education teacher at Leawood Elementary School, graduated from Alameda High School and studied Music and Vocal Performance at Colorado Christian University.

Mark Mortimer

Mark Mortimer

Her medical story: DaNia recently went into pre-term labor and was in-and-out of the hospital six times during the final six weeks of her pregnancy and was ordered on bed rest. During that time, her 12-year-old daughter, Marlowe, was diagnosed with cancer and on March 8 had a tumor surgically removed. When DaNia had her third child, Mark, on March 28, the boy was directly admitted to the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit) for eight days with pneumonia. During this trying period, out-of-pocket medical bills totaling $5,201 mounted up for DaNia and her husband, Matthew.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund Board has unanimously voted to cover the Mortimers’ present medical obligation of $5,201.

A note on eligibility: The Denver Actors Fund realizes that DaNia’s last local theatre production was in Performance Now’s “South Pacific” in 2013, which makes her fall just outside of the DAF’s five-year eligibility period by a few months. However, the DAF board recently added an exception clause to our Distribution Policy that reads: “Upon request from the Executive Director, the Board of Directors may, by unanimous vote, authorize any Financial Aid Distribution that it deems to be consistent with the mission of The Denver Actors Fund, regardless of whether such distribution is otherwise authorized by the Distribution Policy.” In approving the request, the Board cited seven supporting reasons for applying this clause to the Mortimers’ application, including her longstanding place in the local community before family commitments forced her to step away from performing; her continuing participation in the theater community in other capacities; and most of all: She has a particularly compelling need for assistance.

Marlowe Mortimer

Marlowe Mortimer was diagnosed with cancer in March and underwent surgery.

How you can help us help the Mortimers more: As you can imagine, with another newborn, the Mortimers are in for all kinds of expenses, medical and otherwise. If you would like to direct a specific donation to help the family further, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund (with Mortimer 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 the Mortimer family. (They will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, your donation will be applied to the replenishment of the Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $350,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

A message from Matt, DaNia, Marlowe, McKenna and Mark Mortimer: “We are so grateful for the love and support of the Colorado theater family and The Denver Actors Fund. Being out of the theatre scene for a while now, we could have been easily brushed aside, but this community has embraced us during this very difficult time with wide-open arms. We didn’t want to worry about finances and decided we would cross that bridge when we came to it. The fateful bills arrived and we were overwhelmed. The Denver Actors Fund has lifted a huge weight off of our shoulders so we can focus on our new baby and our now cancer-free daughter! Thank you!”

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.

DANIA MORTIMER WANDS AND WISHES


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 $350,000 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 2: One Night Stand Theater presents themed, script-in-hand performances about four times a year at Vintage Theatre, and the June 2 event will feature local playwright Jeff Neuman and his work. He ill be reading five stories of love, silliness, sex, darkness and mortality. Participating actors will include Linda Swanson Brown, David Cameron, Randy Diamon, Stephen R. Kramer, Leroy Leonard, Maggy Stacy, David Ufford, and Andrew and Kelly Uhlenhopp. The directors are Cindy Hall, Lorraine Scott and Suzanna Wellens. Jeff asked Vintage if they could make it, in some way, a benefit for DAF. There will be donation stations around the theater on the night of the event and some clever raffling of prizes at the event. Vintage is located at 1468 Dayton St. in Aurora. No reservations necessary. Please save the date!

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!

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: 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.

 


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 $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.


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

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: David Jensen

David Jensen DAF quote

‘To have a resource like The Denver Actors Fund touches me so very deeply.’

Aid recipient: David Jensen just completed a run of “Our Town” at Miners Alley Playhouse playing the town drunk, Simon Stimson. David’s recent roles have included Henry and others in “Angels in America,” directed by Timothy McCracken; Dr. John Buchanan Sr. in “Summer and Smoke”; Carl in “Nobody”; and Ludie Watts in “The Trip to Bountiful,” all through DCPA Education, where David studies acting extensively. Aside from acting and improv comedy, David trains professionals to communicate and assists in improving their bedside manner. David is from Golden, graduated from Wheat Ridge High School and the University of Colorado Denver, and previously worked for the Boulder County AIDS Project.

His medical story: David ended up in the emergency room in late January with intense stomach pain he thought was an ulcer. After two months and much further testing, he was diagnosed with diverticulosis. After all was said and done, David was left with $2,204.72 in post-insurance, out-of-pocket medical bills.

David Jensen LEAP Master Class

David Jensen rehearsing for a DCPA Master Class production. Photo by John Moore.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund board has unanimously voted to cover David’s out-of-pocket medical expenses, or $2,204.72. With targeted donations from the community, The Denver Actors Fund’s total support for David Jensen to date is $2,304.72.

How you can help us help David more: If you would like to direct a specific donation to help David further, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund (with David Jensen’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 David Jensen. (He will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, it will be applied to the replenishment of The Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

A message from David: “I was virtually unaware of The Denver Actors Fund until recently, and definitely never thought I would need nor apply for assistance. Then, I had my own medical odyssey, and the bills started rolling in. Despite having insurance, I found that I couldn’t pay the outstanding bills. I’m not big on asking for help and was taught to just ‘muscle through.’ A few people suggested that I apply for help through The Denver Actors Fund, and so I did. I love acting. It is a great passion in my life, and to have a resource like this touches me so very deeply. An audience member at a recent talkback said he was so grateful for play we presented, and that ‘I know none of you do this for the money.’ He was right. First and foremost, I do it for the passion. Great theatre changes people on and off the stage, and to not be able to act is beyond anything I could imagine. This gift has allowed me to pay off my medical bills and put my energies and passions back into the Denver acting community. I thank all who support and give to this fund. I am blessed.”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $345,000 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.

David Jensen backstage with the cast of "Our Town" at Miners Alley Playhouse.

David Jensen backstage with the cast of “Our Town” at Miners Alley Playhouse.


HOW YOU CAN HELP US REPLENISH:

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


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 $345,000 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, 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 denver@actorsequity.org. Thank you all, especially you, Abner Genece, T David Rutherford, Dino McTaggart, Piper Arpan McTaggart, Charles Blackwell and Sheila Traister!

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: Mark Dissette

Mark Disette How to Succeed

Mark Dissette as J.B. Biggley with Jeremy Palmer in Phamaly’s “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.”

 

‘Ask for the help. God knows we all need it at one time or another.’

Aid recipient: For all 30 years of the acclaimed Phamaly Theatre Company‘s existence, Denver actor Mark Dissette has been a member. Phamaly is one of the only companies in the world that exists to create performance opportunities for actors with disabilities. Among Dissette’s many roles have been Cogsworth in “Beauty and the Beast,” Shultz in “Cabaret” and Chumley in “Harvey.” He was nominated for a Denver Post Ovation Award for his work as J.B. Biggley in “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.” Dissette, who graduated from Gateway High School and Metropolitan State University, made a feature-length documentary on Phamaly called “There’s Still Hope for Dreams” in 2008.

Mark DissetteHis medical story: Mark’s career as a professional stuntman ended, and nearly his life, when a scene went horribly wrong in 1988. During a fall, he cracked five vertebrae in his back, which led him to Phamaly. Over the past five years, Mark has had several more health issues, including three operations and a heart-attack scare. The bills have been mounting up since. He presently owes $2,988 to health-care providers Carepoint, Porter Hospital and Kaiser Permanente – more than he’s been able to keep up with on his salary as a full-time school-bus driver for Aurora Public Schools.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund board has unanimously voted to provide Mark and his wife with $2,988 to cover their immediate medical obligations.

How you can help us help Mark more: If you would like to direct a specific donation to help Mark further, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund (with Mark Dissette’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 Mark Dissette. (He will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, it will be applied to the replenishment of the Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

A message from Mark: “With this gift I am able to move forward. It doesn’t get easier to be an actor as you get older. Life’s challenges can create an enormous weight between home, relationship, work and theater. I was at a point where I had decided to quit theater. My wife asked me about asking The Denver Actors Fund for help. I finally did. Don’t wait. Ask for the help. God knows we all need it at one time or another. It’s hard to say thank you for letting me keep my dream of acting alive. The Actors Fund did just that. Keeping dreams alive is a damn cool thing to do. Thank you.”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $336,000 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.

Mark Dissette leading the backstage circle before Phamaly's opening performance of 'Cabaret.' Photo by John Moore.Cabaret

Mark Dissette leading the backstage circle before Phamaly’s opening performance of ‘Cabaret.’ Photo by John Moore.Cabaret


HOW YOU CAN HELP US REPLENISH:

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


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 $336,000 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

Motones

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.

NOW THROUGH APRIL 26: BDT Stage has undertaken a very special effort to help raise for The Denver Actors Fund. Throughout its entire run of “Motones vs. Jerseys,” Kenny Moten’s popular 1960s music battle where each night the audience decides who will reign supreme, BDT is taking collections from the audience on our behalf. Normally we ask our partnering theatres to make such a gesture just once throughout the course of a show’s run, but BDT Stage is going above and beyond by collecting on our behalf every night. So no matter what night you attend, you will be helping us. The show features the music of artists you love: Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Beach Boys, Rick James, The Platters, The Flamingos, Herman’s Hermits… to name a few. This production features Barret Harper, Will Hawkins, Brian Jackson and Jacob Villarreal as the Jerseys; and Amon Johnson, Richard Peacock, Alejandro Roldan and Tezz Yancy as the Motones. The director is Jessica Hindsley and the Emcee is Jalyn Webb. Performances daily except Mondays and Tuesdays (also no show April 21). But hurry … five upcoming performances are already sold out! 5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

Hannah Haller and Laurence Katz. Sarah Roshan Photography.

TUESDAY, APRIL 23: If you are making your theatregoing plans, please consider attending Miners Alley Playhouse’s Industry Night performance of “Our Town.” All proceeds, including the bar, go to The Denver Actors Fund! “Our Town” is Thornton Wilder’s landmark drama that tells the story of small-town Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. We follow the Gibbs and Webb families through 12 years of life changes — from the ordinary through death, delivering universal truths about what it means to be human Jim Hunt stars as the Stage Manager with Laurence Katz as George Gibbs, Hannah Haller as Emily Webb, Rory Pierce as Doc Gibbs, Lisa DeCaro as Mrs. Gibbs and en ensemble that includes Josh Hartwell, Shauna Earp, David Jenson, Amy Arpan, Tim Fishbaugh, Dixon White, Ella Matheo, Brody Lineaweaver and Sam Charney. The director is Len Matheo. This special performance begins at 7:30 p.m.at 1224 Washington St., Golden,Get your tickets by calling 303-935-3044 or through this link.

FRIDAY, APRIL 26: OpenStage Theatre & Company of Fort Collins has designated every Final Friday of its 2019 season as a collection night for The Denver Actors Fund! If you are planning to see “Avenue Q,” circle Friday, April 26, on your calendars and say hello to the cast in the lobby as they greet audiences.We are so grateful to have OpenStage join our Tap Shoe Initiative at a time when the DAF has of late been of service to several Northern Colorado artists with varying medical needs. Thank you to OpenStage’s Kate Austin-Groen and co-founder Denise Burson Freestone, ‘Avenue Q’ Director Sydney Parks Smith and cast members Michael J. Martinkus, Debbie Swann, Dan Tschirhart, Jessica MacMaster, Bas Meindertsma, Cary Klataske, Natalie Santelli, Brian Wilcox, Sydney Johnson, Luke Stephens, Jade Tiller, and Kaya Rudolph. Support the DAF just by attending the show! ‘Avenue Q,’ winner of the 2004 Tony Award for Best Musical a laugh-out-loud musical pupet show for adults. It tells the story of a bright-eyed college grad who goes to New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account. Moving to the only place he can afford – all the way out on Avenue Q – he meets an odd assortment of offbeat friends who struggle to find jobs, dates, and an ever-elusive purpose in life. Mature audiences only due to language and sexual humor. The show begins at at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or use this link. THANK YOU FORT COLLINS!

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: Luke Rahmsdorff-Terry

Sam Gilstrap, Luke Rahmsdorff-Terry, Ben Hilzer

From left: Sam Gilstrap, Luke Rahmsdorff-Terry and Ben Hilzer in Lowry’s Spotlight Theater’s “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).” Photo by Meghan Ralph.

 

‘This is a huge comfort, and a weight off of my mind’

Aid recipient: Luke Rahmsdorff-Terry is a longtime local actor, director and sound director, mostly with Lowry’s Spotlight Theatre. He played Ed Carmichael, the chime-playing son-in-law, in Spotlight’s farewell production of “You Can’t Take It With You” last September. Before that, he was one of the three madcap comic actors in Spotlight’s “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).” He most recently appeared in “The Odd Couple” for Parker Arts last month. He directed Rumors for Spotlight last year. Luke is from Evergreen and graduated from Conifer High School and Western State College of Gunnison.

His medical story: For 25 years, Luke has had a mild hearing loss that has gradually become more severe. His doctors have recommended that he purchase Kirkland Signature Hearing Instruments to help not only with his day-to-day, but in all aspects of his theatre work as well. The cost of the recommended aids is $1,643.18.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund board has unanimously voted to pay for Luke’s hearing aids at a cost of $1,643.18.

A message from Luke: “I honestly don’t know what to say except what seems so feeble but … thank you. Thank you to The Denver Actors Fund, thank you to the entire community and thank you to everyone else who needs to be thanked. Hearing loss is hereditary on both sides of my family, and I’ve neglected my hearing loss for far too long. As an actor, hearing loss is a frightening prospect, but it’s even more so as a sound designer. Knowing I’m going to be able to address it in the proper way instead of putting it off is a huge comfort and a weight off of my mind. It’s really inspiring to see how the community does come together when one of their own is in need. This is case in point for that. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $336,000 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.

Luke Rahmsdorff-Terry and Molly Killoran in Spotlight's 2017 production of 'On Golden Pond.' Soular Radiant Photography

Luke Rahmsdorff-Terry and Molly Killoran in Spotlight’s 2017 production of ‘On Golden Pond.’ Soular Radiant Photography


HOW YOU CAN HELP US REPLENISH:

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


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 $336,000 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

Motones

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.

NOW THROUGH APRIL 26: BDT Stage has undertaken a very special effort to help raise for The Denver Actors Fund. Throughout its entire run of “Motones vs. Jerseys,” Kenny Moten’s popular 1960s music battle where each night the audience decides who will reign supreme, BDT is taking collections from the audience on our behalf. Normally we ask our partnering theatres to make such a gesture just once throughout the course of a show’s run, but BDT Stage is going above and beyond by collecting on our behalf every night. So no matter what night you attend, you will be helping us. The show features the music of artists you love: Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Beach Boys, Rick James, The Platters, The Flamingos, Herman’s Hermits… to name a few. This production features Barret Harper, Will Hawkins, Brian Jackson and Jacob Villarreal as the Jerseys; and Amon Johnson, Richard Peacock, Alejandro Roldan and Tezz Yancy as the Motones. The director is Jessica Hindsley and the Emcee is Jalyn Webb. Performances daily except Mondays and Tuesdays (also no show April 21). But hurry … five upcoming performances are already sold out! 5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000 or bdtstage.com

Hannah Haller and Laurence Katz. Sarah Roshan Photography.

TUESDAY, APRIL 23: If you are making your theatregoing plans, please consider attending Miners Alley Playhouse’s Industry Night performance of “Our Town.” All proceeds, including the bar, go to The Denver Actors Fund! “Our Town” is Thornton Wilder’s landmark drama that tells the story of small-town Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. We follow the Gibbs and Webb families through 12 years of life changes — from the ordinary through death, delivering universal truths about what it means to be human Jim Hunt stars as the Stage Manager with Laurence Katz as George Gibbs, Hannah Haller as Emily Webb, Rory Pierce as Doc Gibbs, Lisa DeCaro as Mrs. Gibbs and en ensemble that includes Josh Hartwell, Shauna Earp, David Jenson, Amy Arpan, Tim Fishbaugh, Dixon White, Ella Matheo, Brody Lineaweaver and Sam Charney. The director is Len Matheo. This special performance begins at 7:30 p.m.at 1224 Washington St., Golden,Get your tickets by calling 303-935-3044 or through this link.

FRIDAY, APRIL 26: OpenStage Theatre & Company of Fort Collins has designated every Final Friday of its 2019 season as a collection night for The Denver Actors Fund! If you are planning to see “Avenue Q,” circle Friday, April 26, on your calendars and say hello to the cast in the lobby as they greet audiences.We are so grateful to have OpenStage join our Tap Shoe Initiative at a time when the DAF has of late been of service to several Northern Colorado artists with varying medical needs. Thank you to OpenStage’s Kate Austin-Groen and co-founder Denise Burson Freestone, ‘Avenue Q’ Director Sydney Parks Smith and cast members Michael J. Martinkus, Debbie Swann, Dan Tschirhart, Jessica MacMaster, Bas Meindertsma, Cary Klataske, Natalie Santelli, Brian Wilcox, Sydney Johnson, Luke Stephens, Jade Tiller, and Kaya Rudolph. Support the DAF just by attending the show! ‘Avenue Q,’ winner of the 2004 Tony Award for Best Musical a laugh-out-loud musical pupet show for adults. It tells the story of a bright-eyed college grad who goes to New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account. Moving to the only place he can afford – all the way out on Avenue Q – he meets an odd assortment of offbeat friends who struggle to find jobs, dates, and an ever-elusive purpose in life. Mature audiences only due to language and sexual humor. The show begins at at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia St., Fort Collins, 970-484-5237 or use this link. THANK YOU FORT COLLINS!

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: Teal Jandrain $4,195

Koby Adams and Teal Jandrain in Bas Bleu Theatre Company's 2018 production of "Equus." Photo by William A. Cotton.

Koby Adams and Teal Jandrain in Bas Bleu Theatre Company’s 2018 production of “Equus.” Photo by William A. Cotton.

 

‘Now I can use my strengths and energy to help others and pay it forward’

Aid recipient: Actor Teal Jandrain is a Fort Collins native who has has been acting since childhood. She got her start at the educational Debut Theatre Company, and has been a company member with OpenStage Theatre Company for two decades. Her credits there include  The Most Massive Woman Wins, Moon Over Buffalo, The Rocky Horror Show, Bullshot Crummond, The Ultimate Beauty Bible and recently she played Abigail in The Crucible and starred as Mae in Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love, a character she describes as “a spitfire with a velvet soul.” Across town, Teal’s Bas Bleu Theatre credits have included playing Susie in Wait Until Dark and Jill in Equus. Teal studied at the AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Hollywood.

Her medical story: Teal had to have her gallbladder removed last year after a harrowing run of The Crucible, “and let’s just say portraying Abigail’s misery required little pretending,” she said. Then in November, during OpenStage’s Frankenstein, doctors discovered a large endometrioma growing on her ovary. “They ended up having to remove the whole right ovary and fallopian tube, and also found severe endometriosis, which is a source of ongoing pain,” she said. Teal missed six weeks of work at Snooze while recovering from the second surgery. The combination of these two major medical crises in the same year has left Teal struggling mightily to catch up with her living expenses, a situation exacerbated by the financial responsibility she has assumed in caring for her mother.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund board has unanimously voted to provide Teal with $4,195.03 to help cover essential living expenses while she was recovering from surgery, and pay off an outstanding $695.03 bill from the Fort Collins Surgery Center.

How you can help us help Teal more: If you would like to direct a specific donation to help Teal further, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund (with Teal Jandrain’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 Teal Jandrain. (She 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 Teal: “I’ve been lucky enough to stay active in the Fort Collins theatre community for more than 20 years. Between Debut Theatre, Bas Bleu and Openstage, I’ve had the unique privilege of zipping into the souls of more than 40 fascinating and varied characters. I’ve also chased my silver-screen dreams in Hollywood on and off since high school, mostly paving my own way to Tinseltown. I put my dreams on hold back in 2012 when my mom lost the retail business she’d run for 35 years. I got a waitress job, made the most of the cliché with some quality actor/server jokes and managed to save my family home from foreclosure. Continuing to pursue theatre, though not financially lucrative, was both my escape and my saving grace during these struggles. Throughout the last several years, however, some serious health issues have set me back with work and creativity. This assistance from The Denver Actors Fund means more to me than I, a great lover of words, can possibly articulate. The heavy weight I felt after missing more than a month of work has been significantly lightened. I am forever grateful and can’t wait to tell more people about this amazing organization. Our passions often become clouded by our obligations. Now I can breathe easier and focus more on the art that feeds me and keeps me thriving through every plot twist. Since this burden has been eased, I also feel newly inspired to start a support group for women with endometriosis. I believe in the power of bringing people together to heal, and now I can use my strengths and energy to help others and pay it forward.”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $333,000 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.

Teal Jandrain and Andreew Cole in OpenStage's just-completed run of 'Foo for Love' in Fort Collins. Photo by Kate Austin-Groen.

Teal Jandrain and Andrew Cole in OpenStage’s just-completed run of ‘Fool for Love’ in Fort Collins. Photo by Kate Austin-Groen.


HOW YOU CAN HELP US REPLENISH:

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


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 $326,000 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 for the ever-channging lineup!

 

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: Regina Fernandez: $2,440

Regina Fernandez The Moore. Matthew Gale Photography

Regina Fernandez is currently playing Emilie in ‘The Moors’ at the Arvada Center. Matt Gale Photography.

 

‘This means more to me than you could possibly know’

Aid recipient: Actor Regina Fernandez is a company member for the Arvada Center’s 2019 black-box season, meaning she is currently appearing in “The Diary of Anne Frank,” “The Moors” and “Sin Street Social Club” – all at the same time. In 2017, she appeared in the DCPA Theatre Company’s “The Secret Garden.” Other Colorado credits include playing Charmian in Colorado Springs TheatreWorks’ “Antony and Cleopatra,” Trix in the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Marcy Park in Creede Repertory Theatre’s “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and Christmas Eve in Theatre Aspen’s “Avenue Q.” She is originally from Boca Raton, Fla., and earned her BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Central Florida Conservatory Program.

Regina Fernandez QuoteHer medical story: Regina was diagnosed with Psoriasis (a chronic and painful skin condition caused by an overactive immune system), as well as Psoriatic Arthritis (a chronic form of arthritis that affects joints) back in 2010. Her medications run her $1,220 a month, which she must pay out of pocket until she reaches her insurance plan’s high annual deductible. Regina asked the DAF for help in covering one month of the cost for her medications.

How we have helped: To give Regina a little bit of financial breathing room as she works toward meeting her annual deductible, The Denver Actors Fund board has unanimously voted to reimburse Regina for TWO months of the cost of her prescriptions, or $2,440.

How you can help us help Regina more: If you would like to direct a specific donation to help Regina, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund (with Regina Fernandez’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 Regina Fernandez. (She 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 Regina: “Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis are chronic autoimmune disorders that make everyday living really tricky for me. More than 8 million Americans struggle with this disease and about 30 percent of us develop Psoriatic Arthritis. I’ve been lucky enough to find a way to help keep mine under control. The Denver Actors Fund is giving me the chance to get the care I need so I can continue to perform and go about even simple everyday tasks that would not be possible without my medications. I’m beyond grateful that The Denver Actors Fund exists to help close the gap when it comes to access to health care. There are truly not enough words to express how thankful I am to all of the sponsors and friends looking out for people like me, including my “Anne Frank” castmate Darrow Klein, who helped raised money for the DAF this weekend. This means more to me than you could possibly know.”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $333,000 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.

Video bonus: Darrow Klein presents Regina Fernandez with $2,440 from The Denver Actors Fund:


HOW YOU CAN HELP US REPLENISH:

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


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 $326,000 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 for the ever-channging lineup!

 

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: Kathleen Traylor

Kathleen Traylor social 800 2

‘Thanks to The Denver Actors Fund, I will be able to hear my director, my fellow actors and the band’

Kathleen Traylor as Penelope Pennywise in 'Urinetown.'

Kathleen Traylor as Penelope Pennywise in ‘Urinetown.’

Aid recipient: Kathleen Traylor of Littleton is one of the founding members of Phamaly Theatre Company, which she helped to create in 1989 when she and four other students from the Boettcher School in Denver grew frustrated with the lack of theatrical opportunities for people living with disabilities. Kathleen has been a regular performer with the now internationally acclaimed theatre company over the years, notably playing Penelope Pennywise in Urinetown and Golde in Fiddler on the Roof. After several years off due to with medical complications, Kathleen will returning to the stage this spring in Phamaly’s 30th anniversary gala concert, to be presented at three locations from May 24-June 6, and she has been cast in Phamaly’s upcoming summer production of a not-yet-publicly named Broadway musical. Kathleen went to Thomas Jefferson High School and is the mother of noted local actor Daniel Traylor.

Her medical story: Kathleen was born with multiple disabilities resulting from a condition known as Amniotic Band Syndrome. But the reason we are helping her out now is that she was recently diagnosed with severe hearing loss and nerve damage in both ears. But with the proper hearing aids, Kathleen can return to performing because Phamaly has a system by which technicians can feed the sound directly into her hearing aids. Kathleen has Medicaid insurance, but that does not cover hearing aids for adult patients.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund board has unanimously voted to reimburse Kathleen Traylor for the full $1,380 cost of her new hearing aids.

A message from Kathleen: “Thanks to The Denver Actors Fund, I will be able to hear my director’s instructions, as well as my fellow actors on the stage and the band during performances! I don’t know how I could have purchased my hearing aids without the help of The Denver Actors Fund. This is a wonderful program Denver is fortunate to have!”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $326,000 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.

Katheen Traylor with Trenton J. Schindele in Phamaly's 'Fiddler on the Roof.'

Katheen Traylor with Trenton J. Schindele in Phamaly’s ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’


HOW YOU CAN HELP US REPLENISH:

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


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 $326,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers has 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.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20: Local actor (and former DAF aid recipient) Emma Rebecca Maxfield (Performance Now’s The Wedding Singer) and actor Andy Seracuse (Vintage Theatre’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) present an evening of songs at the Vintage Theatre with special guest Brandon Bill. Maxfield and Seracuse plan to independently stage an upcoming production of The Last Five Years in September with a “large portion of our proceeds going to The Denver Actors Fund every step of the way,” Maxfield says. So attend the fundraising event at Vintage on March 20 and enjoy an evening of cabaret. A portion of the ticket sales will go to Vintage; of what remains, a portion will go toward The Last Five Years, and an equal portion to the DAF. 7:30 p.m. at 1468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, MARCH 22-23: Darrow Klein, star of the Arvada Center’s new production of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” is also one of the youngest and oldest (as in longest) supporters of The Denver Actors Fund. She is arranging to take collections for the Denver Actors Fund following the March 22-23 performances. This effort is being initiated entirely by Darrow, who is also donating one week of her own acting stipend. If you plan to see this important and acclaimed show about the 13-year-old Jewish girl who chronicled the horrors of being trapped in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, why not plan to attend on one of our special DAF nights? Performances take place at 6901 Wadsworth Blvd. For ticket information, call 720-898-7200 or go to arvadacenter.org

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: Katrina Niemisto

‘Here I am. Breathing, because of you.’

Aid recipient: Katrina Niemisto of Denver is a stage manager in the local theatre community who has worked most recently at the Lone Tree Arts Center and for the Denver Center Theatre Company’s Colorado New Play Summit.

Her medical story: Katrina recently underwent a complicated hip surgery necessitated by Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a group of connective-tissue disorders that can affect the body in various and unpredictable ways but generally characterized by tissue fragility and joints that stretch further than normal. Despite having decent insurance, Katrina’s five-day hospital stay left her with three post-insurance bills totaling $1,814.52.

How we have helped: After an examination of Katrina’s bills, The Denver Actors Fund board unanimously voted pay off the full balance of $1,814.52.

A message from Katrina: “I truly cannot thank the Denver Actors Fund enough. This community shows me time and again how strong we are despite so many obstacles. Living with Ehlers-Danlos can be painful and alienating, but I have felt so surrounded with love and support from my community — my chosen family — the entire time. I don’t know what I did to be so fortunate, but I want to keep doing it. Getting back on my feet both financially and physically has had a great impact on my mental health as well. I cannot tell you how many nights I sat up trying to find ways to cut corners. My credit cards were maxed with medical-bill debt, and when I checked into the hospital, I had no idea how I would pay for my stay. But here I am. Breathing, because of you. I don’t recommend having major hip surgery immediately followed by having your gall bladder removed, but if you find yourself in that situation, I truly hope that you are a part of the Colorado theatre community. You are all angels walking this Earth disguised as technicians, designers, actors and stage managers.

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $321,000 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 his or her story told.

 


HOW YOU CAN HELP US REPLENISH:

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


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 $321,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers has 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.

MONDAY, MARCH 18: Lauren Bahlman and Jessica Austgen, improv comedians, book nerds and hosts of a popular podcast called “Required Readcast,” are hosting a special event in collaboration with Benchmark Theatre: Their first-ever LIVE recording of the podcast, during which they comically dive back into the age-old required-reading list to see which books are still awesome … and which scarred them for life. (For a taste, just listen to this hilarious conversation about “Lord of the Flies.”) On March 18, the quippy literary pair will be discussing George Orwell’s 1984. Which is perfect because Benchmark Theatre will be staging the dystopian classic from March 15-April 13. “We’ve been wanting to discuss this one on the pod for a while, and thought it would be a perfect collaboration with the opening of the Benchmark production,” Bahlman said. “Maybe we can bring a little levity to the situation. We’re hoping to have one of the cast members as a guest as well.” All proceeds from that evening, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at 1560 Teller St. in Lakewood, will go to The Denver Actors Fund. Suggested donation of $5. Drinks and such will be available. No reservation necessary.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20: Local actor (and former DAF aid recipient) Emma Rebecca Maxfield (Performance Now’s The Wedding Singer) and actor Andy Seracuse (Vintage Theatre’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) present an evening of songs at the Vintage Theatre with special guest Brandon Bill. Maxfield and Seracuse plan to independently stage an upcoming production of The Last Five Years in September with a “large portion of our proceeds going to The Denver Actors Fund every step of the way,” Maxfield says. So attend the fundraising event at Vintage on March 20 and enjoy an evening of cabaret. A portion of the ticket sales will go to Vintage; of what remains, a portion will go toward The Last Five Years, and an equal portion to the DAF. 7:30 p.m. at 468 Dayton St., Aurora, 303-839-1361 or vintagetheatre.com.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, MARCH 22-23: Darrow Klein, star of the Arvada Center’s new production of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” is also one of the youngest and oldest (as in longest) supporters of The Denver Actors Fund. She is arranging to take collections for the Denver Actors Fund following the March 22-23 performances. This effort is being initiated entirely by Darrow, who is also donating one week of her own acting stipend. If you plan to see this important and acclaimed show about the 13-year-old Jewish girl who chronicled the horrors of being trapped in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, why not plan to attend on one of our special DAF nights? Performances take place at 6901 Wadsworth Blvd. For ticket information, call 720-898-7200 or go to arvadacenter.org

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: Matthew D. Peters

Matthew D. Peters is an award-winning actor, director and choreographer. But like many performers, he makes the bulk of his income as a server, shown here at BDT Stage. Photo by John Moore.

Matthew D. Peters is an award-winning actor, director and choreographer. But like many performers, he makes the bulk of his income as a server, here at BDT Stage. Photo by John Moore.

 

‘I’m so thankful for this amazing program that has helped so many actors in town, now including myself’

MATTHEW D. PETERS quoteAid recipient: Boulder High School graduate Matthew D. Peters is a busy actor, director and choreographer who most recently directed ‘The Little Mermaid’ for BDT Stage (and played Jetsam), choreographed ‘Newsies’ for Candlelight Dinner Playhouse and performed in the ensemble of BDT Stage’s ‘A Christmas Story.’ He won the Colorado Theatre Guild’s 2017 Henry Award for choreographing ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ at BDT Stage, and a 2014 True West Award for directing both ‘Swing!’ at the Littleton Town Hall Arts Center and ‘Shrek the Musical’ at BDT Stage. Matthew has previously worked at the Lone Tree Arts Center, Central City Opera, Aurora Fox, Country Dinner Playhouse and Six Flags, among others.

His medical story: Back in October, Matthew was injured when a texting driver slammed into the back of his car on I-70. The incident caused him to miss or lose work over several subsequent periods, which has put a significant strain on his personal finances and ability to pay essential expenses.

How we have helped: After a detailed examination of Matthew’s lost shifts as a performer, server and backstage worker at BDT Stage; as well as at least one choreography job that he had to forfeit during his recovery, The Denver Actors Fund board unanimously voted to provide Matthew with $3,525 to help him cover essential living expenses since the collision.Targeted donations from you totaling $150 have brought the total amount of support we have made available to Matthew to $3,675.

How you can help us help Matthew more: If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give Matthew more financial breathing room, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund (with Matthew Peters’ 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 Matthew Peters. (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.

Matthew D. Peters The Laramie Project

Matthew D. Peters helped raise money for the Denver Actors Fund at a recent benefit reading of ‘The Laramie Project’ at BDT Stage.

A message from Matthew: “Im not sure ‘thank you’ will ever be enough to show my gratitude to The Denver Actors Fund. I’ll never forgot the moment they called and said, “We’re going to help.” I was choking back tears just to finish the phone call and process that instant feeling of weight being lifted from my shoulders, knowing everything was going to be OK. I grew up in this theatre community, performing at age 11 in Boulder Dinner Theatre’s 1991 production of ‘The King and I.’ I have been working throughout Colorado over the years, and I have seen so many actors struggling with medical bills and financial burdens. I’m so thankful for this amazing program that has helped so many actors in town, now including myself. I’ve been lucky enough to perform in several productions and participate in several events benefiting the Denver Actors Fund, which has always been important to me. I never thought I would need to use them personally but boy am I thankful that our community has them! Please donate to this AWESOME fund. We’re so lucky to have them HERE for US!”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $313,000 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 his or her story told.

Matthew D. Peters was part of the winning team at the Denver Actors Fund's second fundraising event back in 2013: "The All-Theatre Trivia Smackdown." Below, Peters is shown with his husband, Sean White, and appearing last year in BDT Stage's 'The Little Mermaid.'

Matthew D. Peters was part of the winning team at the Denver Actors Fund’s second fundraising event back in 2013: “The All-Theatre Trivia Smackdown.” Below, Peters is shown with his husband, Sean White, and appearing last year in BDT Stage’s ‘The Little Mermaid.’

Matthew D. Peters with Sean White and The Little Mermaid


HOW YOU CAN HELP US REPLENISH:

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


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 $313,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers has 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:

Keep an eye out on this page for a list of fun upcoming events that benefit The 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

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Amy Arpan

Amy-Arpan-QUOTE-600

‘It’s powerful medicine to know there are great people out there in the world’

Aid recipient: Amy Arpan is an actor and circus choreographer who most recently appeared as Mrs. Soames in Miners Alley Playhouse’s production of “Our Town.” She is also the owner and principal performer at Amy Arpan’s Illusions And Confusions. She is the sister of area actor, director and choreographer Piper Arpan.

Amy Arpan and Lisa DeCaro in Miners Alley Playhouse’s 2017 ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses.’ Photo by Matthew Gale.

Her medical story: Amy went to Denver Health wish stomach pains and was rushed in for emergency surgery. Despite having insurance, Amy was led to believe that her patient responsibility for the surgery would eventually come to a whopping $30,000. But over the next two months, that bill never came due. Instead, Amy and her husband, Chris Morrison, took on most of expenses associated with her surgery themselves, including a $500 E.R. bill. The largest expense at first was a bill for $2,846 to cover the services of four individual specialists who participated in her surgery. The DAF paid that bill off and, as time passed, the couple began to believe that maybe that was the end of it. It wasn’t. On June 5, the other shoe dropped. Amy received an actual, post-insurance bill for an additional $33,605. She was shell-shocked.

How we have helped: First, The Denver Actors Fund board paid the full amount of Amy’s initial hospital bill, or $2,846. When the more recent bill arrived, the hospital set her up on a payment plan that essentially called for her to pay $332 a month pretty much in perpetuity. Amy and her husband, who made just less than $24,000 the year before, were nearly resigned to their fate. We offered our free legal counsel, as well as a consultation with new DAF Board Member Dr. Kelli Lewis, who completed her Emergency Medicine residency at the very same Denver Health. We then encouraged Amy and her sister, Piper Arpan, to challenge the bill with both Denver Health and her insurance company. And they did. Long story short: It was discovered that there had been an accounting error, and Amy’s bill was reduced from $33,605 to “just” $11,970. The Denver Actors Fund Board subsequently authorized an additional $7,000 gift to Arpan and her husband, bringing her deficit down to just under $5,000. This second gift still equals the largest single payout in Denver Actors Fund history. Between the two DAF gifts, as well as targeted donations from members of the community (see more below), The Denver Actors Fund had (at that point) had made $10,371 available to Amy and Chris.

More to the story: Whenever The DAF cannot fully wipe out a qualified recipient’s full medical obligation, we consider theirs to be open cases that we review periodically. Last month, we checked in with Amy and Chris to see how they were doing. They were still 32 months away from paying off the remaining balance. With interest, they were looking at paying an additional $10k before this would all be over. They didn’t ask us for any additional help, but because the community was very generous with The DAF 2019, the Board voted unanimously to gift the couple with an additional $2,500, to be applied against the remaining balance. That brings The Denver Actors Fund’s overall support for the couple to $12,871 to date.

Amy’s reaction: “With this new gift, we are down from 32 months of payments to 21 months. That is almost a full YEAR of our lives released from this financial weight. This organization, the people who run it, and the people who support it, are true goodness, kindness, compassion and love. Thank you!

How you can help us help Amy more: Even with this latest gift, Chris and Amy are looking at paying another $6,700 before this odyssey finally ends. If you would like to direct a specific donation to help give them more breathing room, simply mail checks in any amount made out to The Denver Actors Fund (with Amy Arpan’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80211. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is a targeted donation for Amy Arpan. (She will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, your donation will be applied to the replenishment of the Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $462,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At 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.

THE FULL TEXT OF AMY ARPAN AND CHRIS MORRISON’S MESSAGE TO DENVER ACTORS FUND SUPPORTERS:

Amy Arpan and Chris Morrison ER selfie

Amy Arpan and Chris Morrison’s ER selfie.

“I have three main memories of the night my husband drove me to the E.R. at 3 a.m. The first is of the pain – like nothing I’d ever felt before. It was all-consuming, and I just needed it to stop. The second is of the overwhelming concern in my husband’s eyes as he stayed by my side to comfort me. The third is of me telling the E.R. doctor: “I don’t think our insurance is very good, so if something isn’t necessary, please don’t do it.” These are memories I hope none of you ever have to have. They are terrifying. They are embarrassing.

On Day 2 of recovery after emergency surgery, we were visited by a financial adviser in our hospital room. She wanted to make us aware that the amount we would owe would come to around $30,000. It felt like someone had punched us. It felt like getting better was pointless. Ten weeks after we got home, we got our first bill. It was close to $3,000. For all we knew, there might be more on the way.

Then we contacted The Denver Actors Fund, and they let us know they would pay off that first bill in full. “In full?” I thought I’d misheard. We were stunned. That call from The Denver Actors Fund was as welcome and as emotionally uplifting as the call I got from the hospital telling me the mass they had removed was benign.

We don’t have enough meaningful words to thank The Denver Actors Fund – I think even Shakespeare would have a rough go at it. My husband and I feel like we can breathe again. I feel like fighting to get better is worth it again. It’s powerful medicine to know that there ARE great people out there in the world.

Thank you, Denver Actors Fund, for looking out for those of us who choose to make our own way in the world of performing. To those of you who donate to it and to those of you who run it: Thank you for your generosity. Thank you for my health. Chris and I have never been more grateful.”

 

Amy Arpan on stilts at the auto fair for her company, 'lllusions and Confusions.'.

Amy Arpan on stilts at the auto fair for her company, ‘Illusions and Confusions.’


HOW YOU CAN HELP US REPLENISH:

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


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 $462,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers has offered good neighborly assistance to dozens of beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

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


GET INSTANT, FREE MEDICAL ADVICE ON YOUR DEVICE:

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 is further improving the lives of artists!


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE BY MAIL:

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

VOLUNTEER:

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

COME TO THE EVENTS THAT SUPPORT US:

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13: Our friends at Miners Alley Playhouse are once again donating ALL PROCEEDS from that evening’s performance of “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” to The Denver Actors Fund. Terrence McNally’s enduring working-class romance, starring Jessica Robblee and Bill Hahn, tells the story of a diner waitress and a short-order cook. After they meet for a night of momentary connection, they expect a return to loneliness, but their desire turns into the possibility of love. The play begins at 7:30 p.m. Miners Alley Playhouse is located at 1224 Washington Avenue. Golden. Call 303-935-3044 or buy online at minersalley.com. Thank you to Len Matheo, Elizabeth Scott-Mckean, Jonathan Scott-Mckean, Lisa DeCaro, Bryanna Scott, the cast, crew and whoever kindly works the bar. It’s nights like these that truy make what we do possible.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17: The Cherry 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. Let the music of Frank Sinatra transport you back in time to a swanky nightclub on the Las Vegas strip. Experience more than 50 quintessential hits from the Ol’ Blue Eyes collection. From The Lady is a Tramp to New York, New York, you can’t help but hum along with your favorite jazz standards on this trip down memory lane. Pack up, let’s fly away and fall in love all over again with the music of one of the most celebrated recording artists of all time. The director is Susie Snodgrass, with musical direction from David Nehls. The cast includes Sheryl McCallum, Stephen Day, Shannon Steele and Jeremy Rill. Tickets (normally $33) are $20. At the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., 303-800-6578 or cherrycreektheatre.org

Kaden Hinkle and Darrow Klein

Kaden Hinkle and Darrow Klein.

FEBRUARY 28-29: CenterStage Theatre Company, which exists to create performance opportunities for students ages high school through college, will be collecting for The Denver Actors Fund following its February 28 and 29 performances of “Into the Woods” in Louisville. James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical gathers everyone’s favorite storybook characters “into the woods” and imagines what might have happened to them after all those fairy tales ended. CenterStage has long supported our efforts, and this collection is specifically being led by two of our longest-standing young supporters, Kaden Hinkle and 2019 True West Award winner Darrow Klein, both of whom appear in the show. The bad news is that all three designated DAF shows are already sold out. So if you are gong, bring your spar-change jar! CenterStage performs at 901 Front St. in Louisville. Information: centerstagetheatrecompany.org

SUNDAY, APRIL 26: True story: A few months ago, the local band Gin & Tonix did a show at the Clocktower to benefit the DAF, and I wasn’t sure I could make it so I didn’t book in advance. I dropped in just before the show began to buy a ticket at the door, and the woman looked at me like I was trying to walk in on Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, BTS, Shawn Mendes and the Wu-Tang Clan all at once. The look on her face was priceless. The event was was way sold out. “Gin & Tonix sells out every time,” she said. Point taken. So who is Gin & Tonix? A group of talented musician friends and family who have made music together on and off for many years. The band features vocal the harmonies of Morgan Griego, Kacie Thomas, Trinity Thomas, and Eileen Adair, by Madi Spillman on guitar, Ian Spillman on drums and vocals, and Jason Spillman on bass and vocals. The group plays songs by artists ranging from The Indigo Girls, The Eagles, The Avett Brothers and many more. The band will again be donating 10 percent of ticket sales for The Denver Actors Fund and taking a collection as a tribute to the late Amy Malmgren – an original DAF board member, and Jason Spillman’s sister. last time the total was a lucky $777. Gin and Tonix is as passionate about their community and family as they are about their music, which is touching. Now take the advice that is splased across the Clocktower’s web page: BOOK EARLY! GIN & TONIX *WILL SELL OUT IN ADVANCE!* Get your tickets here.

Stage Left Ordinary DaysJULY 9-18: Stage Left Productions has announced that it will donate ALL NET PROFITS from the entire run of its upcoming summer musical “Ordinary Days” to The Denver Actors Fund! “We are so excited to work with DAF on such an amazing cause,” says Stage Left Productions Owner Sophia Johnson-Grimes, who founded her company as a place for young theatre artists ages high school through college to let their talents shine, to collaborate, create, build leadership skills and give back to their communities. Every production has a designated philanthropic benefactors. “Ordinary Days” is a refreshingly honest and funny musical by Adam Gwon about four young New Yorkers whose lives intersect as they search for fulfillment, happiness, love and cabs. Through a score of vibrant and memorable songs, their experiences ring startlingly true to life. For more information, go to https://stageleftdenver.com

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: Matt Gnojek

Photo by Deb Flomberg.

A superhero in our midst injured in the service of others finds a community waiting to help him in his time of need

Aid recipient: Denver native Matt Gnojek recently starred as Seymour in Equinox Theatre Company’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. The Aurora Sentinel’s Ramsey Scott called Gnojek “an amazing singer whose talent and genuineness pushed the musical to a higher place.” He also has performed with BDT Stage, Performance Now and Candlelight Dinner Playhouse. Matt, who is only 30 years old, started his own 501c3 charity called “Colorado Captain” in 2016. Essentially, he takes on the persona of Captain America and rides on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle across the nation visiting hospitals and raising funds to fight pediatric cancer and support veterans, refugees and various child-focused causes. Matt is also the son of longtime BDT Stage drummer Nick Gnojek.

Matt Gnojek His medical story: On his most recent national charity ride in October, Matt was involved in a motorcycle accident in Peoria, Ill., that resulted in a broken ankle and subsequent surgery. He was ordered by his doctor to stay off his injured foot while he recovers, making him unable to work any of his three part-time jobs or conduct his charity work for three months.

More about Matt’s charity: For more than two years, Matt has been riding on a near-daily basis dressed as a star-spangled superhero named Colorado Captain to raise funds for charity and bring smiles to young and old throughout the Mile High City. “I’m no hero,” says Matt. “I’m just a guy in a suit. I support, promote and protect civil rights, human rights and children’s causes across the nation.” At the time of his accident in October, Matt had raised about $5,o00 for families batting pediatric cancer by visiting 16 states on his 2018 tour. For more information, go to ColoradoCaptain.Com

How we have helped: After an analysis of Matt’s financial situation, The Denver Actors Fund board has voted to provide him with $4,128 to help with essential living expenses and lost wages during his recovery.

How you can help us help Matt more: If you would like to direct a specific donation to help Matt pay down more of the expenses that have accrued while he has been unable to work, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund (with Matt Gnojek’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 Matt Gnojek. (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.

How you can help us replenish: At The Denver Actors Fund, we love it when the money goes out as fast as it comes in, which means we are in a constant state of replenishment. That’s the gig. If you would like to help us do that, 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.

A message from Matt: “I hope that through this opportunity, I may continue to use my own charity work to benefit others in every possible way that I can. I can’t tell you how much the DAF means to me. You have proven the sincerity of your hearts by helping some of my dearest friends, and now me.” (Read the full text below.)

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $306,000 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 his or her story told.

THE FULL TEXT OF MATT GNOJEK’S MESSAGE TO DENVER ACTORS FUND SUPPORTERS:

Since 2010, I have been privileged to count myself an active member of the performing arts community here in Denver. I’ve celebrated the opportunity to work with inspiring companies such as BDT Stage, Performance Now, Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, Equinox and more. Over the past three years, my work in the community has focused around my own 501c3 charity called “Colorado Captain,” which sends Captain America out on a Harley to visit hospitals across the nation fundraising for pediatric cancer while also supporting veterans, refugees and other important child-focused causes. Following my injury in October (described above), I was forced to wait for my foot to heal. As months passed, bills and other stresses mounted at an alarming rate.

However, life has a miraculous way of pushing you to the brink just to remind you how very marvelous the gift of fellowship can be. While I’ve certainly been pleasantly aware of the DAF for quite some time, I never dreamed the day would come when I would consider submitting myself as a candidate for relief. But at the urging of friends in the community as well as my father, Nick Gnojek (longtime drummer at BDT Stage), I humbly submitted my application. When I learned to my utter astonishment that the DAF had approved the release of funds that would save me from the utter despair that has threatened countless artists throughout their careers, I was on the verge of joyful tears.

I am speechless in the face of this kindness, and my amazement is matched only by the inspiring, honest love that the DAF exemplifies in its mission to support so many talented theatre artists here in Colorado. It cannot be understated how very real this love is. I will never know what I have done to warrant such good friends, family and fellow artists in my life. I am, unequivocally, the luckiest man alive. Being loved by someone humbly gives you strength, and loving others gives you courage to see the journey through.

The time I have shared with all of you in the Denver arts family has been the single most valuable part of my life. For without your exceptional hearts and phenomenal talents, I would not be who I am today. 2018 has been an adventure, rich with challenge and ripe with reward. But this is just the beginning.

I hope that through this opportunity, I may continue to use my own charity work to benefit others, in every possible way that I can. I can’t tell you how much the DAF means to me. You have proven the sincerity of your hearts by helping some of my dearest friends, and now me. I hope that the excellent work you do in supporting the arts continues to thrive with every new life you touch.

I can’t wait to see what the future brings and I owe that future to The Denver Actors Fund.

Sincerely yours in unwavering gratitude.

Matt Gnojek

Channel 7 news report on Matt Gnojek:


HOW YOU CAN HELP US REPLENISH:

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


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 $306,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers has 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:

Keep an eye out on this page for a list of fun upcoming events that benefit The 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