To be a creative home for theatre artists with disabilities; to model a disability-affirmative theatrical process; and to upend conventional narratives by transforming individuals, audiences, and the world.
Founded in 1989, Phamaly Theatre Company was created when five students from the Boettcher School in Denver, all living with disabilities, grew frustrated with the lack of theatrical opportunities for people living with disabilities. The group decided to create a theatre company that would provide individuals with disabilities the opportunity to perform.
Phamaly's founders were ahead of their time in building an inclusive organization that directly served disenfranchised individuals with disabilities from all racial, ethnic, gender, and class identities. Phamaly continues to give individuals a supportive space to achieve their full potential and provides Colorado with an expansive artistic experience that cannot be found anywhere else.
Throughout its 30-year history, Phamaly has maintained its dedication to the founding principle of inclusion while developing artistic craft, enhancing professional opportunities, and employing new methods of access through science and technology, all while stunning audiences with award-winning theatre. Through its innovative productions, Phamaly advances the social narrative of disability to effect greater inclusion, participation, and respect for people with disabilities in all facets of society.
Adaptation - Phamaly believes in disability as a creative asset and artistic aesthetic that can transform conventional stories and unlock creative potential.
Authenticity - Phamaly celebrates the unconventional and uplifts human uniqueness.
Community - Phamaly is passionate about creating and supporting all members of its community - on stage and off.
Disability-affirmative - Phamaly has pride in the disability identity.
Humor - Phamaly creates a safe space to allow for laughter, vulnerability, and fearlessness.
Innovation - Phamaly is fiercely committed to deconstructing barriers so theatre artists with disabilities can work freely and productively and do their best work.
"All live theater is magic. But this is a different kind of magic. It's what you don't see happening off the stage so that it's possible for you to see what's happening on the stage...It's homemade dinners for 50 people during tech so no one had to leave the theater. It's countless volunteers and interns and the hardest working production team that are constantly reinventing as the process unfolds…But mostly, it's the performers. The ones that are willing 'to go there' for you when something within them either mentally or physically probably doesn't want to. The ones that have the courage to now get out there night after night in front of the audiences and lay it all on the line. These unbelievable performers are 'more!' They are 'more' on stage and they are beyond 'more' off the stage. They are the truest meaning of the word love and my life is richer because every one of them is in it." -Ronni Gallup (choreographer)
"Phamaly gave me the courage to get onstage again after being away from acting for almost six years. Before I found them was afraid to audition because of the accommodations I would need for my disability. The company opened their arms to me, and over the years I have watched countless other lives changed because of their efforts. Not just the actors, but the audiences as well. I am so proud of Phamaly's innovative to make Colorado arts accessible to individuals with sensory processing disorders. Phamaly is the future of disability arts and advocacy, and that future is very bright." - Ashley Kelashian (actress)
Every year you do consistently amazing shows and we feel we know your cast having seen them over and over again...but the quality is what counts...your attention to detail in staging and fine performances ROCK!" - Clair, (patron)
One can only come away with a heightened elation for what the human spirit is capable of...To be present at Friday night's PHAMALY performance was to celebrate all that I hold dear: the resilience of human spirit, theatre and the arts, and the memory of my mother. (Patron)
Last night as I sat watching my 1st real play, PHAMALY'S "Beauty and the Beast." through tears and a lump in my throat, this incredible production mesmerized me. The talent in the artists almost totally overshadowed the fact that each has to deal with a physical or mental challenge. The symbolism really impacted me, since Jacob has Autism & I had been in a wheelchair. I'm still in awe of the astounding performance!!!
-Sherry Worrell Bruns, (patron online message)
Phamaly has saved my life. I was diagnosed at age 27 with young-onset Parkinson's disease. I was just getting my foot in the door in Hollywood. I also had a diagnosis of thyroid cancer at the same time. Defeated, I came home to Denver. With a healing body from cancer surgery and radiation treatment and a chronic disease eating away at me, "What's next?" seemed to not hold any joy. Then I found PHAMALY. I have co-starred and/or been in the ensemble of 18 shows since 1993, most of them produced at the Denver Center. I also have been a member of touring shows, outreaching to schools, churches, businesses and other communities. I have actually authored some of the programs. As my Parkinson's progresses, so has the assistance I get from the blocking, the character choices wherein I can incorporate my tremors and instability of my movement, and the peace of mind knowing that I will not take a tumble because of the support of my fellow actors. And because of this training, I have grown into the artist I always was hoping to be -- sensitive, assured, and knowing how to work as an ensemble. No one is going to fall on that stage if I have anything to do with it! "What's next?" is now a joyous feeling. - Lucy Roucis (Actor)