Photos: My night at “Steel Magnolias”

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By John Moore
Aug. 8, 2013

OPENING 100
Opening No. 100: Senior Housing Options’ “Steel Magnolias” This annual summer play staged right in the lobby of the downtown Barth Hotel is a fundraiser that helps the organization provide housing and services to 700 low- or no-income seniors. Before Saturday’s performance, resource development coordinator Jane Prancan showed the crowd the new emergency preparedness backpacks that have been distributed to all 700 residents. The packs were purchased from the Red Cross with proceeds from last summer’s production of “Driving Miss Daisy,” which netted $50,000. This year’s production is Robert Harling’s ubiquitous Southern weeper that focuses on the camaraderie between six Louisiana women who talk, gossip, needle and harangue each other through the best of times – and comfort and repair one another through the worst of times at Truvy’s Beauty Salon. Featuring an all-star cast of Rhonda Brown, Rachel Fowler, Adrian Egolf, Devon James, Billie McBride and Patty Figel. Directed by Ashlee Temple. Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays through Aug. 24 at the Barth Hotel, 1514 17th St., 303-595-4464, ext. 10, or senior housing options’ home page. Photo by John Moore for www.CultureWest.Org. Thanks: Jane Prancan, Kat Valentine King, Frank Haas.

Bonus coverage:
“Steel Magnolias” launches Denver Actors Fund’s “Tap Shoe Initiative”

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How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. Photo by John Moore. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

“Steel Magnolias” launches Denver Actors Fund’s “Tap Shoe Initiative”

SHO PIGGY

By John Moore
Aug. 4, 2013

Senior Housing Options last night became the first area theater company to designate a performance as “Denver Actors Fund Night,” in effect launching its new Tap Shoe Initiative.

Senior Housing Options’ resource development coordinator Jane Prancan made a pre-show curtain speech introducing the Denver Actors Fund to Saturday night’s “Steel Magnolias” audience, asking that they toss their spare change into a piggy bank she had set up in the lobby. In an additional show of support, Prancan announced that all intermission drink sales would go to the Denver Actors Fund.

That was all the more generous of a gesture given that “Steel Magnolias” is itself a fundraiser. Every summer, a play is staged in the lobby of the Barth Hotel that raises money for programs that provide services to more than 500 economically disadvantaged seniors in the metro area. “But without our actors,” Prancan told the crowd, “we don’t have a show.”

Prancan’s efforts netted the Denver Actors Fund an easy-breezy $115.80, which brings the balance of this brand-new nonprofit funding source to $3,268.46. The hope is that all metro companies will participate in the Tap Shoe Initiative as a way of helping to replenish the Denver Actors Fund as grants go out to help actors.

I founded the Denver Actors Fund three months ago as a modest new source of relief for when members of the local theater community (on stage or off) find themselves in immediate, situational medical need. As part of ongoing fundraising efforts, board president Chris Boeckx conceived of the “Tap Shoe Initiative,” which asks every metro theater company to create their own signature piggy bank – the Fund’s own change collector is a tap shoe signed by Tommy Tune and donated by Rick Madden.

The companies are being asked to give their “tap shoes” (or whatever they conceive) a permanent backstage home where it can collect change from actors, crew and visitors throughout the run of a show. In addition, companies are asked to designate one night per year or run (as often as they deem appropriate) as “Denver Actors Fund Nights,” were the shoe is moved out into the lobby, and the audience on that given night is asked to chip in.

Here is more information on the Denver Actors Fund.

Here is more information on the Tap Shoe Initiative.

We are grateful to Jane Prancan for taking such immediate action in response to our call for participation, which only went out to theater companies last month. “Steel Magnolias,” featuring Denver Actors Fund volunteer council member Rhonda Brown, plays Thursdays through Saturdays through Aug. 24 at the Barth Hotel, 1514 17th St. Call 303-595-4464, ext. 10, or go to Senior Housing Options’ home page.

How you can donate to the Denver Actors Fund

The new Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in sudden medical need. To donate to the Denver Actors Fund, please go here (with our humble thanks):

Click here to subscribe to the CultureWest.org Monthly E-Newsletter