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Production Team & Staff Bios

PRODUCTION BIOS (alphabetically)



Phil Cope (He/him) - Scenic Designer

Phamaly Theatre Company is a unique organization that makes Phil proud to be a Coloradan and he is delighted to work with them. Recent works include Sophisticated Ladies, Blackademics, and Five Guys Named Moe at Vintage and Once on this Island at Town Hall Arts Center.


Samantha Egle (She/her) – Fight & Intimacy Director

Samantha is thrilled to be a part of the creative team of Spring Awakening! Her work has been seen on the stages of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Opera Colorado, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Theatreworks, Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities, Colorado Spring Fine Arts, Denver Children’s Theatre, Mizel Center for Arts and Culture, Athena Project Festival, Lagoon Theme Park, Upstart Crow, New York Fringe Festival, The BiTSY Stage, University of Northern Colorado, University of Denver, and numerous other educational institutions in Colorado. She was a Resident Artist as an Intimacy Director at Arena Stage in Washington D.C. in 2019. She was an apprentice with Intimacy Directors International, has studied with Theatrical Intimacy Education, and is a Certified Intimacy Director with Intimacy Directors & Coordinators. She is a Certified Teacher and the Regional Representative for the Rocky Mountains with the Society of American Fight Directors. She is the founder of Humble Warrior Movement Arts and on the board of directors of the International Order of the Sword and the Pen. She is a proud associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Union.


Aida Graham (She/her) - Captions

Aida is a trans filmmaker and artist who grew up in Telluride, CO and Tulsa, OK. She went to CU for design and film, and recently graduated. She has passions in digital illustration, video editing, experimental filmmaking, competitive fighting games, etc. She is silly, ambitious, and the captioner of the spring production. Aida is pursuing a career in production and ultimately hopes to become a storyboard artist. "Surely this bio is supposed to be in third person," is what Aida thinks.


Claire Hayes (She/her) - Assistant Director/Choreographer

Claire is thrilled to be back with Phamaly! She previously worked as the Access Coordinator for Rocky Horror Picture Show last summer. Claire would like to thank the cast, crew, and production team for their heart and daring energy throughout the process. She would like to thank Ben for his trust, support, and endless jokes. Claire would like to dedicate this show to Kelly and the Britton family.


Heather Iris Holt (She/her) - Music Director

Spring Awakening is Heather’s third show with Phamaly Theatre Company, but she is no stranger to Denver Regional Theatre.  Over the last decade, Heather has music directed and performed in theatre pits for Town Hall Arts Center, Forgelight Theatreworks, Breckenridge Backstage, BDT Stage, Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, Ignite Theatre, Performance Now, Vintage Theatre, Inspire Creative, StageDoor Theatre, The Aurora Fox, and Coal Creek Theatre.  Some of her favorite projects include Spitfire Grill, Next to Normal, 35 MM, The Toxic Avenger, Plaid Tidings, Mama Mia, and of course Heathers. She has been very happy to get to hang out with her Phamaly this spring!!


Emily A. Maddox (She/Her) – Lighting Designer

This is Emily’s 2nd production with Phamaly. Emily attended the University of Oklahoma where she  received her BFA in drama in 2014. She has had the privilege of working in 51 different theatres and  performance spaces throughout Colorado in her time here. Her recent designs include The Belle of  Amherst (Clover and Bee Productions), Chicago (Actors Academy for The Performing Arts), A Moon For  The Misbegotten (Cherry Creek Theatre), Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberly, & Pride and Prejudice (Firehouse Theater Company), HeLa (Community College of Aurora), The Royale (Butterfly Effect Theatre  of Colorado), As One, The Three Feathers, Company, & La Boheme (Opera Steamboat), The Piano  Teacher & The Drowsy Chaperone (Vintage Theatre), Vox Vergere (Phamaly Theatre Company), & Puerto  Rican Nocturne (The Bug Theatre).


Jari Majewski Price (she/her) – Choreographer

Founder/President of Feel the Beat, FTB Innovations, and Teacher of the Deaf, Jari combines more than 20 years of sign language and performance experience with her love for working with Deaf and Neurodivergent individuals. Jari holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from NYC’s Pace University, with a concentration in Communication and ASL. She also holds a Masters in Deaf Education (M.Ed.) and Early Childhood Education (MA) from Columbia University. From early on, Jari noticed that doors were closed to neurodiverse communities within the performing arts, and drove her to create much-needed solutions to inaccessibility. To expand inclusive opportunities, she launched a fully accessible dance studio coupled with a customized curriculum and led the development of a groundbreaking bone-conductive floor that converts sound into vibrational energy allowing you to feel sound & music. Jari continues to advocate for worldwide accessibility, to open doors that were once closed to marginalized communities.


Krista Montoya (she/her) – Props Designer

Krista is proud to be working on her third production with Phamaly Theatre Company! Before moving back to Colorado in 2020, she spent 5 and a half years as a Set Decorator with Walt Disney Imagineering at Walt Disney World in Florida. Before becoming an Imagineer, she worked as the Prop Shop Supervisor at The Colorado Shakespeare Festival in 2015. She graduated with her BA in Design and Technology for the Theatre from the University of Northern Colorado.


Jacob John Noon (he/they) – Assistant Fight & Intimacy Director

Jacob is a Denver area-based actor, director, and movement choreographer. He is a member of the Society of American Fight Directors and a recent graduate of the University of Northern Colorado’s College of Performing and Visual Arts, where they received a degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Dance. With an emphasis on the performance and direction of intimacy and violence on stage, their work can most recently be seen in the original operetta Perdida. Jacob is also a founding member of Evermore Arts Collective, an artistic event and production company out of Longmont, Colorado.


Ben Raanan (he/him) – Director/Artistic Director

Ben (he/him) is the Artistic Director at Phamaly Theatre Company. Ben is a disabled director whose work focuses on producing artistically rigorous theatre with, for, and about the disabled community. His favorite directing credits include: The Spitfire Grill (Phamaly Theatre Company), Mockingbird (Falcon Theatre), Antigone: born against, The 4th Graders Present an Unnamed Love Suicide, Crumble: Lay Me Down Justin Timberlake, Love & Information (Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati), Falling (DePaul).


Nicki Runge (She/her) - Director of Artistic ASL

Nicki is fast becoming a sought-after performer all around America. Her visual language, gesturing skills, and engaging storytelling abilities delight audiences of all ages and diverse backgrounds. Nicki has been involved in a variety of artistic positions (Artistic Director, Director, Director of Artistic Sign Language, Filmmaker, Storyteller, Business Mentor, ASL Teacher, Performer, Writer, and a full-time mother) all across the nation. As well, Nicki is very honored to be part of Phamaly as ASL Consultant for "Spring Awakening" for the first time. She used to be part of Phamaly as an actress in "How Succeed Business Without Really Trying" in 2011.


Beth Rypkema (she/her) – Audio Describer

With over 40 years’ experience in the arts and education, Beth Rypkema has worn a lot of hats: creating art and music programs, artist residencies and exhibitions; coaching artists; teaching classes and workshops; performing and teaching the Wonders of Middle C and Beyond. She is a writer, musician and teaching artist. Rypkema is a cultural accessibility consultant and audio description professional. She has created groundbreaking audio description programs in immersive arts, and worked extensively in live theater, opera, visual arts, museums and rodeo (Yes! Rodeo!). She is thrilled to provide audio description for Phamaly. Beth has created art scholarship programs for underserved youth, artist residencies in juvenile corrections, and benefit concerts, events and relief projects for Native American communities.


Richard Sauer (he/him) – Crew Lead

Richard is excited to start the new season with such an iconic production and amazing cast and crew. This will be Richard's 9th year with phamaly. He wants to wish everyone the best. Thank you to all his friends and family for their support and a special thanks to his partner Emma for all the love and encouragement.


Hannah Shepard (she/her) – Assistant Stage Manager

Hannah attended Denver School of the Arts where she majored in Stagecraft and Design and is incredibly grateful for the various opportunities she has had to live, learn, work, and grow in her hometown theatre community over the last decade. She has enjoyed working with Phamaly Theatre Company in the past as an Assistant Stage Manager for ‘Vox Vergere’ and their 2019 production of 'Chicago', as well as assisting with other projects and productions on occasion. Hannah lives with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, ADHD, Dysautonomia, Keratoconus, and mental health conditions.


Daniel Traylor (any) – Accommodations Specialist

Daniel Traylor is wildly honored to be acting as the Accommodations Specialist for Spring Awakening. He has worked as a stage hand for PTC's production of "James and the Giant Peach", Assistant Director for "Chicago", Director of "The Bad One" in the collection of one acts in "Come to Your Senses", and Assistant Director for "Vox Vergere". He'd like to thank his mentor Patrick Elkins Zeglarski, and his mother, Kathleen Traylor.


Michelle Schovaers Wagley (she/her) – Stage Manager

Michelle is thrilled to be working with Phamaly Theatre and this incredible cast and crew of Spring Awakening! She has a BA in Theatre Studies, emphasis in Stage Management. She has worked in Colorado, Japan, England, Texas, California, and Utah. SM credits include: COLORADO - The Piano Teacher, Blackademics, Five Guys Named Moe (ASM), JAPAN - Disturbance, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Hand to God, The Who’s Tommy¸ Two Gentlemen of Verona, Big Bad Musical, TEXAS - God of Carnage, Cabaret, W;t, CALIFORNIA - Palm Springs Follies, UTAH - Peter Pan, The Foreigner, Hamlet, Stadium of Fire-4th of July Spectacular. Thanks and love to Steven (NRM)!


AJ Watson (he/him) – A2

I grew up in Connecticut, went to school at UConn and did co-ops and student exchanges to Concordia University in Montreal, Towson University in Maryland and participated in the Disney College Program in Florida.  I had 14 roommates total during my college years!  For 17 years, I worked at ESPN in Bristol CT.  I started as a non-linear video editor and after 7 years, moved into a managerial role, overseeing all aspects of Studio Production.  I've spent the past 3 years since leaving ESPN enjoying life and doing gig and volunteer work!  I moved from CT to DE to CO and have been here since August 2021.  I got involved with Phamaly after walking through Denver on one of my first days here and seeing a poster for Alice in Wonderland presented by Phamaly!  I'm a big theater fan, so I bought a ticket and was blown away!  I decided that day that I would get involved somehow.  My first direct work with Phamaly was as a backstage volunteer for Vox Vergere.  I love volunteering my time, especially with dogs.  I have a regular gig at Dumb Friends Animal League, dealing with the BIG dogs!  When I'm not working or volunteering, I play drums in a hard rock band called Diamond, go snowboarding, workout, cook, watch movies/play video games, read and study Spanish!




Erin Banta (she/her) – Operations Manager

Erin is a Denver-based theatrical artist always searching for the next creative opportunity. By day she navigates the creation of stigma abolishing theatre with Phamaly Theatre Company, on staff since 2019, proudly working as the Operations Manager. By night she is trying to find time for everything else: performance, podcasting, costuming, design, directing, and learning to cook better than your mama can. Every day she is thankful for her supportive circle and partner in crime, Jeremy Althoff. Erin lives with Hashimoto’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, and Anxiety.


Annie Jacobs (she/her) – Technical Production Manager

Annie joined Phamaly in December of 2019. She moved to Denver from Connecticut where she had been the Director of Production at ACT of Connecticut. Prior to that, she had spent over a decade production managing in New York theatres, including APAC, Queens Theatre, and Prospect Theatre Company. Her time in New York also included working at Showman Fabricators. While there, her projects included Broadway's Sweeney Todd, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Disney's The Little Mermaid, Disney World's American Idol Experience and NBC's The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon. Annie is an alumnus from the Theatre School at DePaul University and the School of Drama at Yale University.


Lauren Lynch-Eidson (she/her) – Marketing & Communications Manager

Lauren (she/her) hails from Clarksville, TN and earned an MFA in Arts Administration from Texas Tech University. She has had a passion for accessibility in the arts for many years, spending three+ years volunteering in-person and virtually for A.B.L.E. Ensemble, a Chicago-based theatre for, with, and by individuals with developmental disabilities, and volunteering at Phamaly before becoming a full-time employee. Lauren is also an Adjunct Professor in Arts and Culture Management at The University of Denver, and a newly published playwright. Previously, she had the privilege of working at Wonderbound Ballet, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center among others. When she's not at work, you can find her playing board games, singing with the Denver Women’s Chorus, or stealing cuddles from her dog, Harry Pupper, and her husband, Eric. She lives with Anxiety Disorder.




Steven Sater (Book and Lyrics)

Steven Sater was awarded the 2007 Tony Awards for Best Book of o Musical and Best Original Score for Spring Awakening along with the Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle Awards for Best Lyrics. With alt-rocker Duncan Sheik, he received the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album for Spring Awakening. In addition, the two received The Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, the Outer Critics Circle, the Drama Desk, the Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics' Circle, and Drama League Awards for Best Musical. Steven is the author of numerous ploys, including the long­ running Carbondale Dreams, Perfect for You, Doll (the Rosenthal Prize, Cincinnati Playhouse); Umbrage (Steppenwolf New Play Prize); A Footnote to the Iliad (New York Stage and Film, The Miniature Theatre of Chester); Asylum (Naked Angels); Murder at the Gates (commissioned by Eye of the Storm); In Search of Lost Wings (Sanford Meisner Theater) and o reconceived version of Shakespeare's Tempest, with music by Laurie Anderson, which played London's Lyric Hammersmith and toured throughout Great Britain. In addition to Spring Awakening, Sater has collaborated with Sheik on the NY premiere of Umbrage (HERE), Nero (The Magic Theatre, workshopped at the New York Shakespeare Festival and New York Stage & Film), and The Nightingale (workshopped at the O'Neill Musical Theatre Conference, Lo Jolla Playhouse, A.LT., and New York Theater Workshop). He is also hard at work with System of a Down's Serj Tankian on a musical version of Prometheus Bound, to be directed by Dione Paulus at the American Repertory Theater. Sater is the lyricist for Sheik's critically acclaimed album Phantom Moon (Nonesuch), and together the two wrote the songs for Michael Mayer's feature film A Home at the End of the World (Warner Classics) as well as the independent features Brother's Shadow and Mary Stuart Masterson's The Cake Eaters. Sater is also co-creator and executive producer, with Paul Reiser, of recent pilots for both NBC and Sony/FX, and hos developed two projects for HBO, and another for Showtime (with Reiser). He is also at work, with Jessie Nelson, on o feature film and is creating on original movie musical for producer Larry Mark. In addition, Steven works as a lyricist with various composers in the pop/rock world - recently writing songs with Burt Bacharach, Johnny Mandel, Andreas Carlsson, and William Joseph.


Duncan Sheik (Music)

In addition to writing the music for Spring Awakening (2007 Tony Awards for "Best Orchestrations" and "Best Original Score", 2008 Grammy Award for "Best Musical Show Album"), Sheik's other theater credits include: Nero (Another Golden Rome) (currently in development), The Nightingale (currently in development), Whisper House (currently in development). Recorded works include: Whisper House (Sony/Victor 2009), White Limousine (Rounder 2006), Daylight (Atlantic Records 2002), Phantom Moon (Nonesuch 2001 ), Humming (Atlantic Records 1998), Duncan Sheik (Grammy Nomination "Best Male Vocal") (Atlantic Records 1996). Film Scores include: DARE (2009), Little Spirit: Christmas in New York (2008), Capers (2007) and The Cake Eaters (2007). Producer Credits include: Holly Brook (forthcoming CD 2009), Micah Green (2008), Spring Awakening Original Cast Album (Universal 2007) and Chris Garneau (2006).

AnnMarie Milazzo (Vocal Arrangements)

Composer/lyricist: Pretty Dead Girl, Sundance Film Festival. Vocal arranger: Broadway productions of Spring Awakening and Next To Normal. Bright Lights, Big City at The New York Theater Workshop, and the Paramount feature film, The Marc Pease Experience. AnnMarie is a Grammy nominated singer from The East Village Opera Company on Universal/ Decca.


Simon Hale (String Orchestrations)

After graduating from the University of London with on honors degree in composition, Simon Hole's acclaimed solo album, East Fifteen, led to recordings with many artists, including George Benson, Simply Red, Jamiroquai and Bjork. In 1996 he orchestrated Duncan Sheik's first album, and their musical collaboration hos continued ever since. Simon's involvement with Spring Awakening marked his Broadway debut and the Tony Award for Best Orchestrations in 2007. He continues to work with Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik on other projects. For more information please visit