USC, University of Denver, UC San Diego
M.F.A. Fine Arts Acting, Winter 2013
Dearest friends and colleagues,
Please forgive the mass e-mail, but I am writing with exciting news that demands some measure of broad dissemination. 🙂
I am honored to say that as of October I will be moving into the role of a year-long Artistic Director in Residence for Phamaly Theatre Company in Denver. (www.phamaly.org)
As most of you know, Phamaly is an extraordinary company that played a huge role in my return to the stage – and to life – following my spinal cord injury 14 years ago. The Phamaly family of actors, technicians, staff, volunteers, and patrons encouraged my development as an artist, leading to my successes as an actor and advocate on a national stage. Over the past 27 years since its founding by a dedicated group of disabled actors who wanted a place to perform, Phamaly has grown into a premier theatre company for actors with disabilities of all kinds…from Multiple Sclerosis to Parkinson’s Disease, hearing loss to Autism, spinal cord injury to autoimmune conditions. The company and its productions embody, to the fullest extent, what it is to be diverse, unique, creative, and human.
I will be taking over the reins previously held by my friend and mentor, Steve Wilson, and currently by Artistic Director Bryce Alexander. I deeply appreciate the strides Bryce has made in his leadership of Phamaly over the past couple of years. He will be missed, but I congratulate him on a new opportunity to lead a theatre in Florida and feel that I am poised for success in continuing the initiatives that he, staff, Board, and company have put in place.
Over the next year, I intend to focus on fostering professional and artistic growth in Phamaly’s acting company. I am enthusiastic about opportunities that exist for Phamaly to connect with other impeccable artists, disabled and non-disabled, locally, nationally, and internationally, and to be a model of disability inclusion and access to the theatre community at-large. I look forward to working collaboratively, taking exciting risks, and of course, continuing the tradition of producing musicals and plays that fill hearts, open minds, and change perspectives.
The nature of the position will allow me to continue engaging in professional acting endeavors when appropriate, which sets a new standard for Phamaly. Having an Artistic Director who is a working artist with a disability is a natural manifestation and, I believe, a powerful realization of Phamaly’s core mission and values.
One of my mantras (stolen from Bob Wiley, the protagonist of one of my favorite movies) is “BABY STEPS.” I will attempt to heed this principle in the coming year. 🙂 I look forward to spending time in Bozeman with my partner, Will, whenever possible, and am grateful for his uncompromising support of my passions and purpose.
Finally, I want to thank you. You made it onto the receiving list of this message because you have been instrumental in some aspect of my journey as an artist and human. I am truly grateful for your support.
And now, onward ho! Hope you are well, and please keep in touch!