Our Associate Artists are some of the greatest artists in our region, and we are proud to call them Local.
Benjamin Bonenfant played the title role in Local's Elijah: An Adventure and has performed locally with Boulder Ensemble (Ambition Facing West, And The Sun Stood Still) and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival (Henry IV 1 & 2, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing). Regional credits include: Denver Center (Benediction, Hamlet, When We Are Married); Curious Theatre (Red; Henry and True West Awards, Best Supporting Actor); Arvada Center (Lion in Winter); TheatreWorks (Love Labour's Lost, Salome, The Seagull, The Bacchae, Our Town, Urinetown); and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (4000 Miles). He received his BA in Visual and Performing Arts from University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and has acted, directed and produced with Springs-based troupe THEATREdART.
Daniel Burns is a theater artist born in the United States and raised in Kazakhstan. He has a BA in Theater and History from Rice University, and is currently enrolled in the Dramatic Writing MFA program at Carnegie Mellon. Daniel has worked with Local as the production manager for their 2017 shows, as the AD and dramaturg for Silence, the stage manager for Home in the Heart, and the props designer and ASM for The Firestorm. He has assisted with new play development at the last two Local Labs, as well as at the Denver Center, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Cape May Stage, and the Boulder Writers Warehouse. His playwriting has been performed at the Boulder International Fringe Festival, the Fort Collins Fringe, Boulder Arts Week, the GI60 Festival in Brooklyn, and at Rice University.
Gabriella Cavallero is a devotee of words, of the voice, and of the brave and crazy artists who tackle them passionately. She is an actor, director, voice and dialect specialist, teacher, and coach. With the Denver Center Theatre Company, she has played a wide range of roles for the past twenty-four seasons. Other favorite productions include 26 Miles (Curious), You Can't Take It With You (Theatreworks), The Women (Arvada Center), The Chancellor's Tale (Modern Muse), and Anna in the Tropics (Aurora Fox). Highlights of her voice-over life include narrations of two Emmy-nominated PBS documentaries and her recordings - over 875 audio books - for the Library of Congress’ National Library Service. She’s served as dialect coach/ language specialist for Denver’s top theatres and is a lead voice and presentation coach for ARTiculate: Real & Clear.
Susan Crabtree is co-author of three editions of "Scenic Art for the Theatre." She has worked as a scenic designer and scenic artist for over 35 years including the Local Theatre Company, Denver Center National Theatre Company, Curious Theatre Company, Bas Bleu Theatre Company, and Boulder Ballet Company. Susan has taught at the University of Michigan, University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Brandeis University, and currently at the University of Arkansas. She is also a fine artist and the proprietor Crabtree Scenic and Specialty Painting a theatrical backdrop and mural studio.
Jada Suzanne Dixon is an actor, director, facilitator, coach and two-time recipient of the True West Award (2016, 2017). Last seen with Local Lab as Darlene in the 2018 New Play Festivals mainstage reading Clockwork and as Gaby in The Firestorm. Other theatre credits include The Cake, Detroit 67’, White Guy on the Bus, Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet, In the Red and Brown Water, House with No Walls; Curious Theatre Company. Metamorphoses, The Color Purple, A Christmas Carol, Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Aurora Fox Arts Center. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; The Edge Theatre Company. Doubt; Off-Square Theatre Company. Jada is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and The Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard. www.jadasuzannedixon.com
Michael Ensminger is a photographer, actor and occasional performance artist. Born and raised in Germany, he has lived in the United States since 1976. Audiences and artists alike will often see Michael behind the camera, having been a photographer for the theater in Colorado for 20 years, and taking actor headshots for 30 years. Michael is a fine art photographer as well, and in the process of completing a 15 year self-portrait project entitled “Zottelbart.”
Mehry Eslaminia is a Denver based actress whose credits at Local Theater Company include Home in the Heart: An Adaptation for Students of Sandra Cisneros's "The House on Mango Street," and Local Lab 2016 and 2017. Other credits include, for Denver Center for the Performing Arts: Appoggiatura (Kate/Musician), A Christmas Carol; Colorado New Play Summit: Holy Laughter and Midwinter; Creede Repertory Theatre: Guys and Dolls (Adelaide), August: Osage County (Johnna), Our Town (Mrs. Soames), Good on Paper (Sandy), youth outreach tours ¡Viva Agua!, MATH-stronaut.
Eryc Eyl is a writer, coach, consultant, storyteller, and DJ who frequently performs as his alter/altar ego, DJ Savior Breath — the monsignor of mashups, the cardinal of crunk, the pontiff of pop, and the bishop of bootlegs. Occasionally, he shows up as DJSB’s ’80’s-loving cousin, DJ Parachute Pants. He has been Local Theater’s resident DJ since 2013. When he’s not behind the turntables, Eryc helps individuals and organizations integrate work with a meaningful, fulfilling and fun life so they can keep their heads and their hearts while keeping their jobs. You can find him at www.DJSaviorBreath.com and www.ErycEyl.com.
Kate Folkins is a director, teaching artist and general theatremaker. Some favorite directing credits include Exit Strategies (Edge Theatre), The Whipping Man (Curious Theatre Company), A Christmas Carol, The Wind in the Willows (New Stage Theatre) and 5210 Main Street, which she also wrote with the Kaiser Permanente Educational Touring Company. She is a facilitator at Denver School of the Arts, a teaching artist at Denver Center Theatre Company and an adjudicator for the Bobby G. Awards. Formerly she served as Education Director at New Stage Theatre and Associate Artistic Director at Curious Theatre Company and she holds a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, summa cum laude in Theatre.
Kate Gleason’s recent work includes the recent credits: Harvey at The Arvada Center; Annapurna (BETC); It's a Wonderful Life (TheatreWorks); Death of a Salesman, Heartbreak House, Love Labour's Lost, Last Night of Ballyhoo, Don Quixote (Denver Center); Dividing the Estate (Arvada Center). Broadway: The Pillowman, Noises Off. Off-Broadway: Henry IV, Part 1 (BAM); A Flea in Her Ear (Roundabout); Things You Shouldn't Say (Promenade); The Four Twins (Ontological). Regional: These Shining Lives (Baltimore Center Stage); Cyrano de Bergerac (Playmakers Rep); A Streetcar Named Desire (Northern Stage); Dead End (Williamstown). Europe: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Crimes of the Heart (Vienna’s English Theatre); Henry IV, Part 1 (Hebbel Theatre, Berlin).
Meridith C. Grundei is an actor, director and coach. She has performed with several companies throughout the U.S. including: Sweet & Lucky, Frankenstein (Denver Center for the Performing Arts), The Misanthrope (American Conservatory Theatre), Faith (Local Theatre Company), House of Yes (square product theatre), God's Ear (Recipient: 2011 Camera Eye Award for Best Actress in a Drama), The Three Faces of Dr. Crippen, Messenger #1 (Nominated: Best Actress in a Comedy for the 2012 True West Awards), Failure...A Love Story, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play and Spirits to Enforce (The Catamounts). Recent directing credits include: Beowulf, A Thousand Years of Baggage by Jason Craig and Dave Malloy (The Catamounts) and A Christmas Carol by Patrick Barlow (Miners Alley Playhouse).
Betty Hart is an actor, director, and facilitator who moved to Denver in fall 2013. Betty has had the privilege of facilitating audience conversations and salons for Local. In 2016, Betty played Camae in the Arvada Center’s production of The Mountaintop, for which she was nominated for an Henry Award for Outstanding Actress. Denver Theater: Kate in Good People (Curious Theatre), Erzulie in Once on this Island (Aurora Fox) and readings with Local Lab (The Firestorm), square product and Historic Elitch Theatre. Betty also leads the Experiential Learning Team for Kaiser Permanente’s Arts Integrated Resources team.
GerRee Hinshaw has been seen on Local Theater Company's stage, and is well-known to Colorado audiences who have seen her work at Buntport Theater, Curious Theatre, Denver Children’s Theater, The LIDA Project, Listen Productions, Stories on Stage, and Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret. She is the host of Freak Train, a zany “open stage” held the last Monday of every month at the Bug Theatre for nearly 20 years. A writer, actor, singer and producer, GerRee is also a creative director at a B2B consultancy in downtown Denver and a mom in Wheat Ridge, where she lives with her husband Lee and their son Manny.
Steven Cole Hughes has spent eleven seasons as an actor with the Denver Center Theatre Company, six seasons with Creede Rep, two seasons with Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and has appeared at Curious Theatre Company, Arvada Center, Theatreworks, Baltimore Centerstage, Portland Center Stage and Ensemble Studio Theatre. His full-length plays include The Bad Man, Billy Hell and Slabtown, for which he won two Denver Post Ovation Awards. He has directed Shakespeare’s Richard II and Henry V for Fight or Flight Theatre Company in New York City. He has an MFA from National Theatre Conservatory, and in the fall of 2015 he will be a Visiting Professor of Theatre at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, CO.
Sophie Hernando Kofman is a storyteller, an actress, a singer, a designer, and a stage manager. She has worked with Local for the past two years as a Costume and Props designer (Peter and the Wolf, Faith), as a Stage Manager (The Firestorm), and as a Company Manager (Local Lab 2016 and 2017). Other professional companies she has worked with include Peninsula Players (Saloon, Once a Ponzi Time, Sunday in the Park with George, The Game's Afoot, Miracle on South Division Street), Third Avenue Playhouse (Talley's Folly, Private Lives, The Fantasticks, Sylvia, Trick Boxing, Irving Berlin's I Love a Piano), and The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center (Kaleidoscope 2014). She has acted in Wisconsin (Celia in As You Like It, Emma Jones in Street Scene, Naomi in Naomi in the Living Room) Colorado (Lucetta & Crab in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Mrs. Armstron in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever) and London (Antonia in Can't Pay? Won't Pay!), and she has sung with professional choirs such as the Colorado All-State Women's Chorus, the Boulder Bach Festival and the Colorado Masterworks Chorus. She is a proud 2014 graduate from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin with a B.A. in Theater and honors from the Theater Department.
George Lange began his photography career working for industry icons Annie Leibovitz and Duane Michals. His unique vision has been published in major magazines, national newspapers and entertainment studios. He’s photographed everyone from the Obamas to Anne Hathaway to the only posed portrait of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. George is an author of the best-selling book The Unforgettable Photograph. Of his work, Pop Photo noted, "Seasoned pro George Lange has photographed everything from the cast of Seinfeld to the births of his sons with a lighthearted touch that makes his thoughtful and emotional pictures appear completely spontaneous." He is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design. He now working on a portrait of the US through the emotional side of sports for Dick's Sporting Goods. His work can be seen on his website at www.langestudio.com.
Cajardo Lindsey is an actor, screenwriter and attorney. He made his Local Theatre Company debut in The Rape of the Sabine Women, By Grace B. Matthias in 2017. His other theatre credits include: Denver Center Theatre Company: ALL THE WAY, Just Like us, A Raisin in the Sun; Arvada Center: To Kill a Mockingbird, Wait Until Dark, A Raisin in the Sun; Curious Theatre Company: Detroit ’67, The Brother Sister Plays, Fences; Shadow Theatre Company: Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Blood Knot; Miner’s Alley Playhouse: The Night of the Iguana, Lobby Hero and Misery; Cherry Creek Theatre: Visiting Mr. Green, Driving Miss Daisy. He is a multiple Denver Post Ovation, Best of Westward, Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Award-winning actor. Film and TV credits include: Infinity Chamber, Shot Caller, Force of Execution, MacGruber, Silver City, Assassins’ Code, Stained Glass Windows, Crash, Easy Money, In Plain Sight, and Medium. You can find him at Cajardo.com; Instagram: @cajardo.
Shannon McKinney is a lighting designer and an Assistant Professor at the University of Denver. She is based in Denver where her recent credits include designs at Local Theater Company, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, The Denver Center Theatre Co, The Arvada Center and Curious Theatre Company where she is a long-time company member. Regional credits include Steppenwolf Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, and The Alliance Theatre. Shannon has worked on projects on and off Broadway and for numerous national tours. She designed international projects in Berlin, Hamburg, London and Toronto. Shannon received her MFA from Northwestern University. She has received six CTG Henry Awards for Outstanding Lighting Design.
Christy Montour-Larson directed The Rape of the Sabine Women, b Grace B. Matthias at Local in 2017 after leading the Local Lab 2016 workshop. She has directed over 75 productions from Shakespeare to Pinter to musicals to the newest works in America. Colorado credits: Denver Center, Arvada Center, Curious Theatre, Creede Repertory, Theatreworks, Town Hall Fine Arts, Phamaly and Boulder Ensemble. Nationally, she has directed at New American Theatre, Rochester Civic Theatre, Duluth Playhouse, Dark Horse Theatre and Seven Devils Playwright Conference. She is a multiple Denver Post Ovation and Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Award-winning director, recently named top director by Westword, 5280 Magazine and CBS4 Denver. MFA in directing from Rutgers University.
Jamie Ann Romero is an actor based in New York but is a born and raised Colorado Native. She has been involved in three Local Labs and read a selection of Eve Ensler's The Good Body at Local's Body of Work. Most recently she was seen as Nina in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at the Paper Mill Playhouse. Some Colorado credits include 8 seasons with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, King Lear, Twelfth Night), Denver Center Theatre Company (The Legend of Georgia McBride, The Three Musketeers, Sunsets and Margaritas), Lone Tree Arts Center (Hank William's Lost Highway, Sylvia). B.A. in Theatre from the University of Northern Colorado.
Heidi Schmidt is a director, dramaturg, and teacher. Dramaturgy: Denver Center Theatre Company (Tribes), Colorado Shakespeare Festival (The Inspector General, Richard III, Macbeth, The Merry Wives of Windsor). Directing: CU Boulder (Picnic, Melancholy Play), CSF Education (As You Like It), readings for Curious New Voices, Athena Project, and Paragon Theatre Ensemble. Administrative positions: Repertory Dance Theatre (Salt Lake City), Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Women and Theatre Program. As an all-around theatre maker, she had designed props for Curious Theatre, presented pre-show talks at the Arvada Center, and performed in a devised ensemble piece on the National Mall in Washington, DC. She also teaches regularly at CU Boulder, where she is finishing her PhD.
Jim Walker is a career improviser, performer and diversity educator who has appeared on stages from Longmont to London. Regionally, he has performed with LOCAL, Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, The Catamounts, Colorado Light Opera, Playback Theatre West, Miner’s Alley, One Act Improv and others. His one-and-a-half-man musical about sexuality and inclusion, Normal Heights, was awarded Best International Act of the Brighton, UK, Fringe. Locally, he is a proud founding collaborator of MOTUS Theater and full-time faculty at the University of Colorado. Jim’s professional trainings, for individuals and groups, include: The Power of Play; Presence of Body (Energizing Effective Public Speaking); Action! Improv Skills to Enhance Teaching & Empower Learners; Cultivating an Inclusive Classroom;Identifying & Addressing Micro-Aggressions; and more. Eyeball him at YesJimWalker.com.
Jacob Welch has designed lighting for Local for Paper Cut and Wisdom from Everything. Jacob is a Full Professor of Theatre in Lighting with Metropolitan State University of Denver. Jacob is an award winning lighting designer working throughout North America. Jacob received the 2013 Henry Award for Best Lighting Design for Kiss of the Spiderwoman with Lake Dillon. Jacob has designed Off-Broadway with Conviction at the 59E59 Theatre. Other favorite designs include August: Osage County and General Store with Creede Repertory Theatre, Angels in America with Bas Bleu, 9 Parts of Desire with Curious Theatre, The Syringa with Alliance Stage, MY NAME IS Rachel Corrie with Countdown to Zero, and The Night Heron with Paragon. Jacob is a member of United Scenic Artists Local USA-829.
Gabra Zackman's regional credits include: Tomorrow in the Battle (Grant-Humphreys); Last Gas (Geva); Reckless (DCTC); Dividing the Estate (Arvada); Fashions for Men (Mint Theater); Love Song (Cincinnati); My Name is Asher Lev (Arden); Metamorphoses (Mary Zimmerman’s post Broadway tour-Hartford Stage, KC Rep; FST); A Christmas Story (Pioneer); Boeing-Boeing (ACCC); Measure for Pleasure (FST); Midsummer… (Stratford, CT); …Shrew (Georgia, Nebraska Shakes). Hudson Valley Shakespeare: 9 seasons. TV: “Law and Order,” “SVU,” “AMC”. Training: Northwestern; MFA: The Shakespeare Theatre. Gabra spends her spare time recording audiobooks and writing The Bod Squad Series, (Pocket Books 2015).
Misha S. Zimmerman has worked with Local as a stage manager (Paper Cut), as an assistant stage manager (Wisdom from Everything, The Rape of the Sabine Women by Grace B. Matthias) and as a company manager (Local Lab 2018). She is currently a producer and stage manager for Local Lab 2019. She has also stage managed at Steamboat Opera (Florencia en el Amazonas, The Enchanted Pig). She graduated with a BA in Theater and Literature from the University of Colorado.