To inspire people to re-envision disability through professional theatre.
Phamaly Theatre Company was formed in 1989 by actors with disabilities who became frustrated with the lack of live theatrical performance opportunities in the community for people with disabilities. In response, they formed Phamaly to create opportunities for themselves and others like them. Since that time, Phamaly Theatre Company has matured into a professional performing arts organization. We are a leader in the industry, as one of the few theatre companies worldwide that produce professional-scale shows featuring people with disabilities across the spectrum (physical, cognitive, emotional and psychiatric). Participants have gained lessons of self-sufficiency, confidence, and empowerment through their work with Phamaly. For audience members experiencing the talents of these performers, stereotypes placed on the disabled community are broken down, promoting inclusivity in the community-at-large. We have established performing homes at the prestigious Denver Performing Arts Complex, the Arvada Center for Arts & Humanities, and the Aurora Fox Arts Center. Phamaly also conducts regional disability awareness seminars and performances, and takes outreach programs to schools, community centers, and business and governmental meetings.
Phamaly is grateful and proud of its strong recognition in the community. Phamaly received two 2015 Mayor's Awards for Excellence in Arts and Culture! Others include several theatre industry awards, the 2011 Denver Metro Chamber Small Nonprofit of the Year Award, the El Pomar Foundation Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Denver Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, the 2012 Alliance for Colorado Theatre Award for Community/Professional Theatre Company of the Year, being named the "Top of the Town" Theatre Company for 2012 by 5280 Magazine, and named the Colorado recipient for "50 States of Good" from Tom's of Maine. Additionally, for the past three years, Phamaly received a grant award from the National Endowment for the Arts for our strong community impact.
"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 (2016)
"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 email after seeing Joseph (2014)
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, August 6, 2010
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, 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, Phamaly Actor