Twenty years ago, disabled students Teri Westerman, Kathleen Traylor, Gregg Vigil, and Kevin Ahl were told by their teacher to give up on their acting dreams. No director would want to hire a disabled performer, the teacher said.
Fueled by their teacher's lack of confidence, the group decided to create their own theater company where disabilities were not a factor. They called their group PHAMALY (pronounced family), which stands for Physically Handicapped Amateur Musical Actor's League.
PHAMALY went out onto the streets to recruit both physically and developmentally disabled people to get involved in their new theater company. Since then, they have recruited more than 40 actors which a range of physical, mental, emotional, and learning disabilities.
Today PHAMALY performs at the Denver Performing Arts Complex and the Aurora Fox Theatre. The company's season also includes various touring and educational shows.
PHAMALY is a nonprofit organization with a straightforward mission: to enable persons with disabilities to showcase their talents and abilities through live productions and to make the performing arts more accessible to everyone.
On August 29, 2006, PHAMALY was featured in a lengthy segment of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS. This marked the company's first mainstream national publicity.
In January 2007, the company opened the first non-musical production in its history: Thornton Wilder's classic, Our Town, at the Aurora Fox Theatre. PHAMALY's 2009 winter production was Steel Magnolias, performed at the Aurora Fox.
Stories on Stage is great actors reading great short fiction to a live adult audience and is devoted to nurturing empathy and understand among people by presenting popular local and national actors in dramatic readings of literature.
Members of PHAMALY will present the 2008-2009 season finale of Stories on Stage.
DON'T CRY FOR ME JERRY LEWIS, original lyrics by Regan Linton, music by Andrew Lloyd Weber, adapted from Don't Cry for me Argentina, music by Andrew Lloyd Weber and lyrics by Tim Rice.
Sean McGee, Stephen Hahn, Regan Linton, and Lucy Roucis read ETERNAL LOVE by Karen Bender, directed by Steve Wilson
Leonard Barrett, Tara Cowan, and Don Mauck read CATHEDRAL by Raymond Carver, directed by Steve Wilson
PITY ME, original lyrics by Regan Linton, music by Andrew Lloyd Weber, adapted from Think of Me, music by Andrew Lloyd Weber and lyrics by Tim Rice
The Company performs PHAMALY JEOPARDY, created by Edith Weiss and The Vox Phamalia Writing Workshop, directed by Edith Weiss and Steve Wilson
1989 to 2009 The Impossible Dream, The Improbable Journey, The Inevitable Celebration. Join PHAMALY for its 20th Anniversary Season. Steel Magnolias - January 10th to 31st, 2009 at the Aurora Fox Arts Center and Man of La Mancha - July 24th to August 16th, 2009 at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.
For more information please visit www.phamaly.org