Our Mission Statement: The Actors Company and Theater School (Colorado ACTS), founded and operated by Christians, offers theater classes to children four years to eighteen (seniors in high school). The school’s mission is to bring quality children’s drama education to the local community. At Colorado ACTS, the faculty and staff strive to create a “safe” place where students cultivate imagination, self-expression, and teamwork. Discipline, self-confidence, and belonging to a community are a few of the many benefits of theater education.
Actor’s Company and Theater School is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) arts corporation and is open to all applicants regardless or race, sex, religion, or physical handicap. Tax deductable donations are needed and welcomed.
Colorado ACTS was founded by Leah Nixon, Marianne Henning and Cindy Troup. It is in its’ second decade of business in Denver, founded in 1995 at Colorado Christian University as the Ensemble Theatre Company’s Children’s Theatre program.
ACTS is completely staffed by Christians, producing mainstream shows. There are about 200 families involved with classes for children 4-18 years old. The summer Family & Friends Productions and year round Community shows include our faculty, alumni and adult family members. We offer classes year round and produce between 10-12 full shows a year.
Our productions have ranged from big musicals such as Annie and Fiddler on the Roof to productions from local children’s playwrights like Blarney, Blather and Balderdash (by Patrick Dorn from Pioneer Drama) or The King’s New Clothes (by Edith Weiss from Eldridge Pub.) All productions are paid for from tuition, ticket sales and private donations. Students and Parents are not required to furnish costumes or help with technical aspects of a production (although our families often participate fully).
We are unusual because production classes meet for 2-3 hours only once a week for 2-6 months (depending on the type of class). Normally students audition for parts within a classroom setting, BUT ALL STUDENT IN A CLASS ARE GUARANTEED A PART.
Approximately 60% of our students are home schooled and half of our classes meet during the day. Since our inception over 15 years ago Colorado ACTS has produced more than 100 shows. We are proud of the quality of theatre education that our students receive and the quality of the entertainment that our audiences enjoy.
Please contact us at…
|our mail box
P.O. Box 745190
Arvada CO 80006-5190
|our phone number
|our e-mail address
PRICING AND PAYMENT
- We have not raised our prices recently; in many cases they have been lowered.
- Payment in full is expected at the beginning of each class.
- If you are unable to pay in full at the beginning of a class, we are willing to work with you on a payment plan. We understand everyone experiences hardships. We don’t want that to hold your child back from classes.
- Payment in full should be received by the time the class performs.
- Fundraising is expected by each class, but is not mandatory.
- SCRIP Program earnings are applied to individual student accounts.
- Limited scholarships available.
Erin Buterbaugh has been a part of ACTS since 2000, and has performed in and/or provided choreography for ACTS shows such as Oklahoma!, Hangman’s Noose, Oliver, The Music Man, and Kilroy Was Here. She has taught ballet for Aurora Dance Arts since 2001, serving as an artistic director and contributing choreographer for productions of “The Nutcracker” and “Are We in Kansas Yet?” In 2008, Erin graduated with a BA in Professional Writing from Taylor University, where she spent three semesters as the assistant director of the Taylor Theater Organization. Taylor stage credits include Arsenic and Old Lace (Aunt Abby) and You Can’t Take it With You (Penny).
Abby Dorn is a speech/language pathologist who also has a degree in theatre. She has worked with Jefferson County Public schools for over 25 years, helping children with communication delays and has found that dramatic play is a great tool and motivator for working on communication skills! She teaches the Shining Stars drama classes for differently abled students. She also helps her husband, Patrick direct plays for DDRC.
Patrick Rainville Dorn received an MA in Theatre from the University of Denver, with an emphasis in children’s theatre and playwriting. He has been involved in theatre in one way or another for more than 40 years, as an actor, teacher, director, theatre critic and playwright, with more than 24 published plays. He currently serves as an Anglican priest in Colorado. Patrick’s immediate family consists of his wife Abby, two nearly-grown children, and two dogs. Patrick also directs a yearly production for the Developmental Disabilities Resource Center (DDRC) with adult actors of varying abilities.
For additional information, please see Patrick’s web page: http://playwrightpriest.wordpress.com/
Bethany Farmer has been part of the ACTS community since 2000. She has performed in a variety of musicals and dramas with ACTS and other theater programs. Some of her favorite roles with ACTS include Mama Mae in ‘Bye, Bye, Birdie’ and Nancy in ‘Oliver!’ After graduating high school in 2006 Bethany began attending Red Rocks Community College to study theater. Bethany hopes to continue her theater education in the near future. She has assisted with teaching and directing several classes with ACTS in recent years and loves discovering a new side to the theater world. Bethany took over the position of Office Manager for Colorado ACTS in January 2012. She is very happy to move in to this role with the theater school. She is excited for what the future may bring and very thankful for the opportunity to serve with Colorado ACTS.
Michael Fowler was born and raised in the mid-west. Attended Evangel College in Springfield Missouri where he graduated in 1986. He became a Children’s Pastor and elementary teacher in 1987 and a full time Children’s Pastor from 1992 through 2006. His last church assignment was at Arvada Covenant Church in Arvada CO. In 2006 he began as a private and group Music teacher in Arvada, teaching at Hope Academy and Lincoln Academy where he has taught Middle School Guitar classes since 2007. He has been teaching private music lessons on 3 instruments: guitar, piano, and banjo since 1998.
Leanna started working with Colorado ACTS in 2006 with their performance of “The Man of LaMancha”. Since that time she has been the music director for their musical productions, including “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” that required playing in the dark, and “Nunsense” where she got to speak. Leanna has a BA in Music Education, with a piano emphasis, from Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado, and a Teaching License from the State of Colorado. She has been playing the piano since she was 5 years old.
One of the founders of Colorado ACTS, Marianne has a B.A. in communications from Colorado Christian College and a teaching certificate in elementary Education from Denver University. Marianne is a seasoned performer; a list of roles played include Sister Robert Ann in Nunsense, Miss Hannigan in Annie and Ethel Savage in The Curious Savage, as well as various cameo roles in ACTS student productions (such as the courtyard statue in Fools).
Claire LeBorgne has been singing and performing for many years. She current holds a Bachelor’s of Music with an opera emphasis from the Lamont School of Music and is pursuing a Master’s degree from the University of Colorado in Speech Language Pathology, focusing on voice disorders. She has been studying music in various forms, including piano, flute, voice and dance, since a young age. Claire joined ACTS in high school with their 2005 production of Brigadoon and has participated in various productions since then. She has also performed in many various productions with the Lamont School of Music (The Magic Flute, Carmen, La Boheme, Cosi Fan Tutti), Inspire Creative (Jekyll and Hyde, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Wizard of Oz) , and Miners Alley Playhouse (Amahl and the Night Visitors). A graduate of the internationally acclaimed Westernaires Equestrian Drill-Riding Organization, she was thrilled to be invited to open the PRCA Rodeo at the 100th Annual National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado, singing the National Anthem. Claire has placed in local, state and national vocal competitions, as well as performing on live radio. Currently Claire is completing studies at CU and teaching private voice and piano lessons.
Betty is the proud homeschooling mother of 5 boys. She has been teaching preschoolers for a number of years. She also teaches Karate. She started teaching Creative Drama with Colorado ACTS 4 years ago. She especially likes the energy and creativity that the little ones bring to the classroom.
Leah Nixon has a B.A. in Theatre Performance from Tarkio College
and has studied at the National Theater Conservatory in Denver and The Goodman School of Drama at Chicago’s De Paul University. Leah has taught, written, and directed in the Denver area for the past several years for Colorado ACTS and the Mizel Cultural Arts Center.
She has played the Washer woman in Christmas Carol, and Martha in Hangman’s Noose as well as directing for the DDRC.
Cindy Oury attended Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin where she majored in Theater Arts. She has been involved in the children and adult drama ministry at Christ Community Covenant Church for 22 years. Her involvement with Colorado ACTS was launched after receiving an invitation from a friend to attend her son’s performance of Tom Sawyer. It was love-at-first-show! She enrolled her own homeschooled children and then began teaching the younger classes in 2004.
Cindy has written many of her own shows/curriculum such as Patriot Dreams, Little Patriots, Little Pioneers, Little Tall Tale Tellers, and ACT Courageous, as well as adapting for the stage Peter Pan, Robin Hood, Jungle Book and Charlotte’s Web for her week-long summer drama camps.
As Outreach Coordinator, Cindy sets up Colorado ACTS outreach performances for more than 2,500 Jefferson County students each year.
I starting acting in the 4th grade and from that year till the end of college, theatre was a major part of my life. I not only acted at my schools but also did some professional theatre at the Ally Theatre in Houston, TX, where I grew up. I went to Mesa State College and received a BA with an emphasis in theatre in 1990. During college I meet my husband and my dreams changed and I left the theatre for about 20 years. During this time we were blessed with our 3 daughters and I have been an at home mom. In an exercise class I met Marianne Henning who introduced me to Cindy Troup. They invited me to help out with the Friday morning home-school class. This is now my 4th year with Colorado ACTS and I get to do my first love of theatre, directing and teaching. I have been fortunate to have found my way back to the theatre with Colorado ACTS and have enjoyed teaching the kids the love of theatre.
Havilah has been involved with Colorado ACTS for over 10 years. She graduated from Colorado State University with a BA in Theatre for acting and costume design, a BS in Apparel Design and Production, and an AA from Red Rocks Community College in English Literature. While studying theatre, she worked extensively on various styles of performance from classical to Comedy of Manners to modern. She was Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac, Miss Maudie Atkinson in To Kill a Mockingbird while at CSU, and Catherine in The Foreigner while at RRCC. Havilah then did a film acting school with The University of the Nations on the YWAM base in Kona, Hawaii. Currently, she is a ballroom dance instructor with Adventures in Dance in Littleton, and continues to audition locally for projects, both on stage and screen. She has performed in several film projects both short and feature length, and continues to try to impact the world of the performing arts as a follower of Christ.
Shea Porter has been involved with Colorado ACTS for about ten years. She has been taking theater classes and performing for almost sixteen years. She has been teaching and directing for several years, and for the past few years she has been directing with Colorado ACTS. Shea is a homeschool graduate and is currently attending Metropolitan State College of Denver. Shea recently was also recently married to a Colorado ACTS alumni.
Christa has been acting since she was 5 years old and has been acting and directing with Colorado ACTS since 2001. Also in 2001, Christa graduated with a B.A. in Theatre from Colorado Christian University. Some of her favorite roles on stage include Dorothy Day in Trumpet Sounds and The Nurse in Romeo and Juliet. Christa also works with Torn Curtain Arts, a non-profit ministry that she and her husband, Paul, founded. She is a proud mamma to 2 daughters, Stella Vaughan and Liora Day Sophia. She can be found volunteering everywhere with her daughters, cooking (hopefully) delicious dishes and inconsistently blogging at http://www.torncurtainarts.org/
Paul wears many hats (really. he has a thing for hats) and many jobs. Depending on the day Paul is a writer, director, actor musician, pastor or barista or any combination of those jobs. The only thing Paul is all the time is a husband to Christa and a daddy to his two young daughters and one of Jesus’ kids. Paul is the executive director for Torn Curtain Arts, a ministry that helps other Christian Ministries and churches around the country perform original dramatic material for their outreach or worship events (curious? check out www.torncurtainarts.org). Paul has been part of the ACTS extended family for over seven years and has also been seen in work for national christian events such as Dare 2 Share, JAMA, Warriors Leadership Summit and AWANA’s International as well as several churches across the Denver metro-area including his own faith community, The Refuge in Broomfield.
Jenn Sharp has been involved in Theater Arts for over 35 years. She has been involved in Community theaters and Christian theaters. She is a seasoned performer, playing lead roles, supporting roles, directing, and choreography. Jenn is experienced in teaching show choirs and competitive dance teams, as well as tap, ballet, jazz, modern, and lyrical dance, and dancing with “differently abled” students ages 3-55. She is a proud mom of three teenaged homeschoolers. She also works for Mile High Vineyard Church in Olde Town Arvada as the Youth and Drama Coordinator. Jenn’s mission statement is that Everyone Can Dance especially when they dance for the Lord.
Melinda Smith Middleton
This is my first season with Colorado ACTS and I am very excited to be a part of this energetic and creative organization. After earning a bachelor’s in German from Colorado College, I raised a family and taught high school theatre in Montana. I also coached the Speech and Debate team for 12 years. I received my master’s in Theatre Design and Production from Southern Oregon University in 2008. I have acted, directed, costumed, and managed all sorts of shows including musicals, Shakespeare, absurdist, and everything in between. I’m looking forward to spending time on the stage with children of all ages.
Patty Stricker – SCRIP Coordinator
Patty Stricker has been involved with Colorado ACTS for over 11 years now. She has worked with children for over 30 years and home schooled for 18+ years. Her past experience includes (but is not limited to) directing children’s choir and children’s church, directing and assisting musicals at church, tutoring various disabled children, coaching home school soccer teams, costuming well over 50 different performances with Colorado ACTS, various churches, & CCU. Patty’s experience with Colorado ACTS includes class registrations, assistant directing with Leah Nixon, directing Creative Dramatics , acting in 3 shows, served on the board for several years, took care of costumes and set up costume bins. Patty is currently costuming shows and teaching Creative Dramatics. She enjoys working with kids, serving, organizing, singing, sewing and various crafts. Patty has been married to Rick for 28+ years and has 5 daughters, all who are still involved with Colorado ACTS. In her spare time Patty is involved with Women’s Walk With Christ, a women’s spiritual healing ministry.
Shannon has been involved with Colorado ACTS since 1998 as an actress and teacher/director. Over the years, she has played Laurie in Oklahoma!, Mrs. Kirby in You Can’t Take It With You and Sister Mary Leo in Nunsense. Her favorite role is as director of the 8-12 year old class – one she has enjoyed since 2005. She looks forward to many more years working with aspiring actors and actresses!
Cindy Troup has 30 years of theatre experience. She has a B.A. from Rockmont College in Secondary Education and a Teaching Certificate from Loretto Heights College in Technical Theatre. Cindy also has a Masters in Criminal Justice from the University of Colorado at Denver. Her theatre experience includes acting, pyrotechnics, directing, costuming, and lighting. Cindy played the feisty “Miss Patty” in Colorado ACTS’ production of Curious Savage, and took a stellar turn as “Lucy” in Little Orphan Girl. She has also played Sister Hubert in Nunsense and a Horse/Goose/Dancing Fish in Honk!
Frequently Asked Questions
- How big are the classes? Number of kids can vary from the upper teens to the upper 20′s. We rarely have to close a class. Each class has a minimum of two directors at each rehearsal, and all of the kiddos will be engaged for the entire class period.
- What is the format or structure of a class? The class format/structure typically runs along these lines: The first night of class the directors play lots of theater games with the kids in order to get them acquainted and comfortable with one another, as well as observe and direct them at organized “play.” The kids also engage in “cold readings” from the script. The show is typically cast after the first rehearsal, although at times a director may feel a second rehearsal is necessary. The rehearsals following the casting are full of blocking the show, costuming the actors, teaching the kids how to follow stage direction, and working on basic acting technique.
- I see an audition for this class. Does that mean I may not be cast? All actors who sign up for one of our plays are cast in a part. The auditions at the first (and sometimes second) rehearsals are strictly for the director to decide what actor will get what part. The parts for these shows that we select for our younger actors are “somewhat” equal. We choose shows that have a wide variety of parts that give the actors a wide variety of acting to do. A younger or more inexperienced actor, then, would not have perhaps as big or as extensive a part as an actor who is older or has more experience, but we recognize that part of an child’s acting experience involves learning from those with whom he or she is onstage.