PRODUCTION BIOS (alphabetically)
Tim Cortez (he/him) - Costume Designer
This is Tim’s debut with Phamaly. Born and raised in Fort Collins, CO, Tim attended the University of Northern Colorado, earning his BFA in Costume Design and Technology. He has previously designed UNC’s Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Akeelah and the Bee, and Lynn Nottage’s Sweat. He is thrilled and grateful to be putting his degree to work professionally post-graduation. Thank you to all those who have believed in Tim’s career and lifted him up.
Shelly Gaza (She/Her) - Director
Shelly Gaza is excited to be making her debut with Phamaly! Past directing credits include She Loves Me at Backstage Theatre Company, Xanadu and The Wolves with Little Theatre of the Rockies, Utah Shakespeare Festival’s touring production of The Taming of the Shrew, and multiple collegiate productions including Twelfth Night at Minnesota State University, and Love’s Labour’s Lost, As You Like it, and Intimate Apparel at and University of Northern Colorado. In addition to her directing work, Shelly is also a member of Actors’ Equity Association and she has worked with companies across the country including The JET (Detroit), Paragon (Denver), and the Alabama, Utah, and Colorado Shakespeare Festivals. Shelly holds an MFA from Wayne State University, a BFA from Millikin University, a Certificate in Acting from the Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia, and is a Professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Northern Colorado. Shelly lives in Greeley, Colorado with her husband, two children, and five backyard chickens.
Rachel Graham (She/Her) – Assistant Director
Rachel is excited to be part of this amazing team! You have seen her onstage with Phamaly in Into the Woods, Tiny Tim’s A Christmas Carol, and Pygmalion. Other credits include Director of Colorado Railroad Museum’s The Polar Express Train Ride, Assistant Director of Aurora Fox’s Squirrels, and Director of various productions featuring young actors with CenterStage Theatre and Wolf Theatre Academy. Rachel lives with Alopecia Universalis, Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Dyslexia, and Migraine.
Alejandro Melendez (he/him) – Lighting Designer
Alejandro is an LA-based lighting designer working in theatre, opera, and installation lighting. This is his fifth year with Phamaly; past Phamaly design credits include last summer’s The Rocky Horror Show. Alejandro is currently a graduate student at CalArts; to connect with him and see more of his work, find him on Instagram @wamelendez.
Jamie McNear (she/her) – Props Designer
Jaime is a Denver-raised costume, paint and props enthusiast who got into live theatre for the life-sized dolls and stayed for the camaraderie and teamwork. A smattering of her recent design works include The Vibrator Play with Fearless Theatre, Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World with Central City Opera, and Willy Wonka Jr. with Northglenn Youth Theatre. Most recently, she costume-designed Spring Awakening with Phamaly.
Alyssa Miller (she/her) – Dramaturg
This is Alyssa’s first production with PHAMALY, and she is thrilled to join the team for PHAMALY’s first ever Shakespeare production. Alyssa has worked as a professional dramaturg and assistant director with the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Company, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and the Denver Center Performing Arts. Alyssa holds a B.A. in English from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in English from CU Boulder where her dissertation explored Shakespeare, feminism, and queer theories.
Krista Montoya (she/her) – Wardrobe Supervisor
Krista is proud to be working on her fourth 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.
Sam Morin – Sound Designer
Sam Morin is a designer and engineer working in the creative industry specializing in sound and video. From a young age, Sam has always loved to learn about new tech and is passionate about using it creatively. Sam takes creative and technical approaches to his work and pushes the boundaries of what is possible with the given tools, techniques, and technology. Sam is excited to be back at Phamaly again and designing for an amazing company and space. smorindesign.com
Nick Renaud (He/Him) – Scenic Designer
Nicholas Renaud (he/him) is proud to be working with Phamaly once again. Previous credits with Phamaly include Rocky Horror Show, Chicago, Alice in Wonderland, The Spitfire Grill, Honk. Other credits include: This is Modern Art, SantaLand Diaries, Lived/Re-Lived (Off Center, DCPA), MilkMilkLemonade (Shrewd Productions, Austin Tx, B. Iden Payne Nom.) Nicholas is currently a resident scenic design assistant with the DCPA Theatre Company where he has assisted over 75 productions. Training: BFA Emerson College, Boston, MA. www.NicholasRenaudDesign.com
Richard Sauer (He/Him) – Crew Lead ASM
This will be Richard 9th year with phamaly. He is excited to be back at DCPA working with the local crew once again. Richard also works with control Group Productions as a technician and Colorado Ballet as a show runner. Richard wants to thank give a special thanks to his partner Emma for all her love and support. He wants to thank all his friend and family. Break a leg
Hannah Shepard (She/They)– Captions Associate
Hannah is a Colorado local, 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. Their past credits include work with Phamaly Theatre Company as Assistant Stage Manager for Chicago and Spring Awakening, Captioner for The Rocky Horror Show, Assistant Stage Manager/Crew Lead for Vox Vergere, Stage Manager for Cock with PopUp Theatre, and Props Apprentice and Indoor Run Crew for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival's 2023 season. Hannah lives with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, ADHD, Dysautonomia, Keratoconus, and mental health conditions.
Tara Tolar-Payne (She/Her)– Stage Manager
This is Tara’s 2nd year with Phamaly. She is excited to return after working as the Stage Manager for The Rocky Horror Show. Other favorite credits include: Frozen (Disney Theatrical); Jesus Christ Superstar (Worklight Productions); The Lightning Thief (TYA Version) and The Magic School Bus: Lost in The Solar System (TheaterWorksUSA); Hair and Eureka Day (Asolo Rep); and Romeo and Juliet and Wizard of Oz (Colorado Ballet).
Jasmine Hardin (She/Her) – Assistant Stage Manager
Jasmine has enjoyed working with Phamaly Theatre Company. This is her first time with a professional theatre production as she goes to Eaglecrest High School. She thanks Phamaly for giving her the best experience and hopes you have Pham-tastic time watching our production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream!
Corinne Denny (she/her) – Managing Director
Corinne is known for creating and managing innovative arts experiences. For the past several years, she served as the Executive Director for the Arapahoe Philharmonic, bringing a renewed focus on artistic excellence to the company and establishing exciting collaborations with local businesses and fellow arts organizations. Prior to the pandemic, Corinne was the Executive Artistic Director of Denver Immersive Opera, a company dedicated to supporting female identifying and LGBTQAI+ artists while creating immersive operatic productions that resonate with modern audiences. She has also served as the Production Manager for Boulder Opera Company, Company Manager for Boulder Music Institute, and spent five years working in wealth management. As a stage director, she has created productions for Denver Immersive Opera, Denver Opera Collective, Boulder Opera Company, and Opera on Tap. Corinne holds a Performer’s Certificate in Voice from the University of Denver, a dual MM in Opera and Musical Theatre Performance from Arizona State University, and a BM in Voice Performance from Middle Tennessee State University.
Ben Raanan (he/him) – Artistic Director
Ben 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: Spring Awakening (Phamaly Theatre Company), 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).
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 Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depressive Disorder.
AJ Watson (He/Him) – Production Accessibility Manager
AJ is very excited to be entering his first year with Phamaly. Originally from the east coast and earning his chops in the world of film and television, serendipity brought him to the company after walking down the street, newly arrived in Denver and deciding to go to a performance of Alice in Wonderland presented by Phamaly! From there he volunteered backstage for Vox Vergere and then A2’d for Spring Awakening.