Young ‘Oz’ actor speaks up for Denver Actors Fund



On Saturday morning, young Theatre of Academy Arts actor Hannah Katz spoke to audiences at the Town Hall Arts Center in support of the Denver Actors Fund.

“We are lucky to have so many gifted, talented, caring, dedicated actors in the professional theatre community who set great examples for us both onstage and off,” Katz, a 12-year-old who attends Campus Middle School, said moments before she played Dorothy in two performances of the Academy of Theatre Arts’ production of “Oz.”

The ATA, founded by Alann Estes and Paul Dwyer, is now owned and operated by Mary Daily, with Robert Michael Sanders and Piper Arpan as directors.

The idea to use the “Oz” performances as an opportunity to raise awareness of the Denver Actors Fund was entirely Katz’s, Sanders said.

“Hannah asked if she could do a speech for the Denver Actors Fund, and she put out a ruby red slipper to collect money,” Sanders said. “… And I think it’s cute as heck that this is all her idea.”

Hannah’s efforts raised more than $100 for the Denver Actors Fund, and she intends to make the same speech before the final performance of “Oz” this coming Wednesday  morning. (The show, music directed by Mary Dailey, starts  at 10 a.m. Tickets $6: 303-794-2787 ext. 5)

Below is a transcript of Hannah’s speech:

Thanks everyone for coming to our show today. We would like to take a moment to talk with you about something very important.

Denver is a great place to learn the art of musical theatre. Part of what makes it so great is that we are lucky to have so many gifted, talented, caring, dedicated actors in the professional theatre community who are willing to share their time and talent with the performers of tomorrow like all of us.

They spend much of their free time teaching and nurturing kids like us and being great role models. They set great examples for us both onstage and off.

One great way they are doing this is through an organization that was founded a little over a year ago called The Denver Actors Fund. It is a non-profit organization that helps members of the Denver theatre community who find themselves in situations of medical need. The fund offers both financial and volunteer assistance.

To help support the DAF, the “Tap Shoe Initiative” was formed. As part of this project, theatre companies design a “themed” shoe, or boot, and collect donations for the Fund. You might have seen our ruby-red slipper boot when you came in the theatre. We at ATA would like to thank the Denver theatre community by helping to raise funds for the DAF.

Please help us fill our boot and support fellow Denver actors in need!

Thank you, Hannah, for setting a great example for the next generation of Denver’s theatre performers!



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 www.DenverActorsFund.Org


Read Denver Actors Fund testimonials by clicking here



To DONATE the Denver Actors Fund: Please go here (with our humble thanks):


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




Send checks made out to the Denver Actors Fund to:
4594 Osceola St.
Denver, CO 80212



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Denver Actors Fund


Video: See highlights from “Misacast 2014,” a September fundraiser held on behalf of the Denver Actors Fund:


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


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):

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