Denver Sonnets Project, No. 55: Cajardo Rameer Lindsey

By John Moore

CultureWest.Org is endeavoring to make short films out of all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets, each featuring actors with Colorado connections. The artistic intent is primarily to further CultureWest’s mission to spotlight the local theatre community and their current or upcoming productions. It’s also an attempt to promote Shakespeare education in a fun way. This is an entirely volunteer project with a proud budget of … zero dollars.

We are rolling out new Sonnet videos … well, as soon as they are completed.  Here’s a link to the YouTube playlist that hosts the entire series.

For Sonnet 55, multiple award-winning actor Cajardo Rameer Lindsey bleeds into the camera, proclaiming that, through his words, his beloved will outlive buildings, war, fire and to the end of time, living on in the eyes of all lovers who read them. Video production by Ulysses Porter Brown. Lindsey will next star in Curious Theatre’s “In the Red and Brown Water,” running March 7-April 18. Followed by a reprise of “The Brothers Size.” Both are part of a trilogy by Tarell Alvin McCraney. Call 303-623-0524 or click here.

The Denver Sonnets Project is an ongoing public art project, open to a variety of actors and filmmakers. Another new short sonnet film is posted here every Monday. Please support the Denver Actors Fund at www.DenverActorsFund.Org.

Video series by John Moore. Sonnet 55 recorded and produced by Ulysses Porter Brown.

The Denver Sonnets Project is a volunteer collaboration, with limited eligibility requirements for participation. For information on how to register for a future episode, email your interest to John Moore at


Completed episodes to date (in numeric order):

Sonnet 1: Cast of “Cult Following”: “From fairest creatures we desire increase …”

Sonnet 2: Josh Robinson, “See thy blood warm …”

Sonnet 6, Joe Von Bokern: “Make worms thine heir!”

Sonnet 10, Augustus Truhn: “Thou art so possessed with murd’rous hate …”

Sonnet 17: Anne Sandoe: “If I could write the beauty of your eyes …”

Sonnet 23: Gabra Zackman, “As an unperfect actor on a stage …”

Sonnet 31: Sean Scrutchins and Devon James: “Thou art the grave where buried love doth live …”

Sonnet 36: Rachel Fowler, “I may not evermore acknowledge thee …”

Sonnet 44: John Carroll Lynch, “Thought kills me that I am not thought …”

Sonnet 47: Adrian Egolf, “Thyself away are present still with me …”

Sonnet 73: Jim Hunt: “Love that well which thou must leave ere long …”

Sonnet 74: Lowry Elementary School: “Thou hast but lost the dregs of life …”

Sonnet 90: Adam Stone: “If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last …”

Sonnet 94: James O’Hagan-Murphy: Sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds …”

Sonnet 124: Cast of Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s ‘The Tempest’

Sonnet 131: Josh Nelson, “In nothing art thou black save in thy deeds …”

Sonnet 136: Lyndsay and Jeremy Palmer, “Make but my name thy love …”

Sonnet 144: Cailin Doran, “Two loves I have, of comfort and despair …”


Please consider supporting the Denver Actors Fund at www.DenverActorsFund.Org

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Russell Costen

Cat 1000

Russell Costen as Big Daddy in The Edge Theatre’s 2013 production of Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Photo by Rachel D Graham / RDGPhotography.

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.

Russ MUG 400Financial-aid recipient: Russell Costen, a 69-year-old veteran of stage, screen and the U.S. Army, appeared in many local productions after moving to Denver in 1999, including “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (as Big Daddy) and “Tell Martha Not to Moan” for the Athena Project, the Arvada Center’s “Dividing the Estate” and the LOCAL Theatre Company’s new-play festival. Russell grew up in Boston and appeared in the classic Milos Forman film “Hair.” (He can be seen in the number “White Boys.”) While serving in the U.S. Army, he played Walter Lee Younger in a military production of “A Raisin in the Sun” in San Juan, Puerto Rico, that was attended by Leonard Bernstein. In 1985, Russell was praised by the most feared theatre critic in America for his work in the Yale Repertory Theatre’s production of August Wilson’s “Fences” in New Haven, Conn.: “Russell Costen is particularly formidable as the beatific Gabriel,” wrote Frank Rich of The New York Times. Russell has performed everything from Camus to Pinter, but his greatest pride was likely playing the lead in “Othello,” singing with the Denver-based Spirituals Project and starring in the one-man play “Paul Robeson.” He also was part of the cast of the Denver Center Theatre Company’s “Jitney” and “The Little Foxes.” Russell supported his dream to perform through the years by working as a concierge, security officer, sales agent, human-resources director and a teacher of English as a second language. Russell was also a prolific playwright whose first play was called “Prisoner,” in which one character advises another to “take care of the memories. Take care of the dreams.”

His medical story: Russell was diagnosed with lung cancer in August 2014 and  underwent surgery to remove part of his lung. He spent six weeks recovering at the Denver V.A. hospital.

How we helped: The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors unanimously approved a $1,334 grant to pay for two months of Russell’s rent and other miscellaneous expenses. In addition – with Russell’s permission – a group of Denver Actors Fund Action Team members led by Angela Astle endeavored over more than a month to give Russell’s low-income apartment a makeover to give him a more healthy and holistic environment to come home to and recover in. “Team Russell” included Abby Angell, Angela Astle, Carol Bloom, Patrick Elkins-Zeglarski, Sam Gilstrap, Betsy Grisard, Megan Fevurly, Clint Heyn, Devon James, Cajardo Rameer Lindsey, Susan Lyles, Lara Maerz, Adrienne Martin-Fullwood, Shannon McAndrews, Billie McBride, Melissa McCarl, Sharon McClaury, Debbie Weinstein Minter, John Moore, Beki Pineda, Onna Poeter, Amelia Retureta, Eric Ross, Sean Scrutchins, Maggy Stacy, Cate Wiley and Kathi Gibbs Wood. When Russell was released from the hospital, these people and more from DAF Action Teams continued our support for Russell in his recovery.

A message from Russell: “Isn’t it extraordinary when people can offer you such extraordinary generosity, love and affection, which you never even knew existed or asked for? Such kindness! Such kindness! Thank you.”

Update: Russell died on October 3, 2018, from a recurrence of lung cancer. Read more about his extraordinary life here. The Denver Actors Fund paid $900 toward Russell’s funeral expenses, bringing the total financial value of our support for Russell to $2,234.

Read more Denver Actors Fund testimonials by clicking here


Team Russell 1000


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 financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers offers good neighborly assistance including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org


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




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



Sept. 29: Miscast 2014, Directed by Robert Michael Sanders at the Aurora Fox. Click here for details and tickets.

Dec 8 and 15: “BALLS! A Holiday Spectacular” will perform at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret. Click here for details and tickets.



Denver Actors Fund


poster1.4_Cross 134 women (and a few token dudes) from the Colorado theater community, all supporting the Denver Actors Fund. They cost $20 per poster (20×28). To order, email your quantity to We’ll take care of delivery and payment from there.





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Video: See highlights from a Feb. 10 fundraiser held on behalf of the Denver Actors Fund: