BackStory Theatre

As with many arts organizations, BackStory has been significantly impacted by the COVID pandemic. We did not miss a day of teaching when the shut down happened and have persevered in offering free and fee-based educational programming online and in person. Your support keeps our work going!

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General Information

Official Name
Backstory Theatre​​​​​​​
DBA/Trade Name(s)
Former Name(s)
Date Established
Offers Additional Colorado State Tax Credit
Tax ID
Headquarters Address
555 Burbank St.
Unit Q
Broomfield, CO 80020-1664
Colorado Location
Mailing Address
555 Burbank St.
Unit Q
Broomfield, CO 80020-1664
Other Address
Main Phone Number
Fax Number
Other Phone Number
Social Media Links

Mission Statement

To provide affordable access to arts education, performance and patron opportunities for children, adults, and families

Organization History

Founder Anna Marie Wilcox conceived of BackStory in 2006 after recognizing a distinct lack of accessible performing arts opportunities in the Broomfield community where she lived with her family. With an extensive background in theatre education and production, Wilcox sought to establish an organization that would bring affordable performing arts classes and productions to all members of the community. Colorado non-profit status as BackStory Theatre was received on January 1, 2011 and federal 501(c)(3) status in November 2013. By 2015, rapid growth from 9 registrations in 2006 to over 800 at the end of 2014 lead to a process of restructuring, strategic planning, and capacity building in order to transition the organization from its roots as a small but successful sole-proprietorship to an organization with a strong and active board of directors, highly-qualified key leadership staff, and more capacity for growth. During that time and over a scheduled period, Wilcox moved from the area and stepped down from her position while an Artistic Director (now Executive Director) with experience in non-profit management was promoted from within the organization to lead the company through the transition and into next steps of sustainable development.

Since leadership transition in 2015/16, the Board of Directors and ED, Mary Wilkie, have focused on building community involvement, collaborations, and volunteer capacity while stabilizing growth in order to slowly build capacity over time. In 2018, BackStory moved into a leased studio space which has increased flexibility in scheduling and provides a needed home base for active students, including BackStory Youth Leadership Program (established in 2017) where older teen students are actively engaged in mentoring youth, serving the community, and facilitating even more affordable outlets for performance and free programming collaborations to support the "Creative Broomfield" Cultural Master Plan and beyond.

Throughout this time, BackStory has accomplished its mission by providing free theatre arts programs at schools and through other local organizations, by collaborating with local organizations and working with families to meet diverse or adaptive special needs of students, by offering affordable class and performance fees, by reducing fees through student work-study programs and parent volunteer opportunities, by extending scholarships to families in need, and by making performances open to the public at a cost as low as $3 per ticket (and free for children under 4). BackStory continues to serve, in Broomfield, as a primary source for theatre education and performance with youth populations and has increased in popularity with families as well as patrons of all ages during its annual musical productions and with its Fantastic Family Theatre performances by kids, for kids. The original purpose for BackStory's creation remains relevant and directly drives the work of the organization.


"I wanted to let you know how wonderful Mr. Adams has been and how much fun our daughter had! We are so excited to have found Backstory and we sincerely hope we get to work with Mr. Adams again. We will definitely be back for more theater as soon as possible. Thank you both for all your hard work and creativity in the midst of this global pandemic. It has been a bright spot for her day, and that means the world to us."
-- Parent of BackStory Theatre Academy Student

"Thank you! This was the highlight of my daughter's day! "
-- Parent of BackStory Theatre Academy Student

"Ms. Felicia,I just wanted to let you know that my child adores you and loves your class on Thursdays at 1:30. She asks about it all week and I think she likes it even more than her dance class (which is a huge compliment!). I see that she is really expressing herself. Thanks for brightening her day!"
-- Parent of BackStory Theatre Academy Student

"Thank you for working so diligently, and putting so much thought and care to come up with an alternate performance option for this group! We really appreciate it."
-- Parent of BackStory Theatre Academy Student following COVID-19 cancellations

"My daughter decided to audition for Back Story Theatre after hearing from multiple sources in our community that BackStory is a smaller, more intimate group where performers are supported to grow in a nurturing environment. So far, we have been impressed with the closeness and acceptance with such a wide age range of participants. Thank you for creating a positive environment. My daughter looks forward to rehearsals and is excited to be a part of this show."
-- Parent of BackStory Youth Theatre Participant

"Thank you for inviting us to see Annie. Your shows are always impressive! Our third graders had a wonderful time. On the walk back to school, many students were singing, 'Tomorrow, tomorrow, your only a day a way!' Thank you!"
-- Aisha Galt, Teacher attending Annie with her students

"This was an amazing performance, and our students loved it so much. Thank you for inspiring their creativity! The Emerald third grade students and teachers greatly appreciated this opportunity!"
-- Sharon Trompeter, 3rd grade teacher from Emerald Elementary

"I love Mary Poppins! I want to be an actor when I grow up!!!"
"I want to read the Mary Poppins books."
"Wow, the students sure worked hard on their show!"
"When I saw my neighbor performing, it made me want to ask her about being in a play!"
"Can we go to another BackStory play this year?"
"We are so lucky we got to go. Thanks Back Story for inviting us!"
-- Quotes from Emerald 3rd grade students attending the performance

"We appreciate this opportunity so much every year! I have several students who've been on stage during these productions and it's surprising sometimes to see kids on stage that, from how they are in class, you would never imagine they'd be up there. [A prior student in the MaryPoppins cast] was in my class for 5th grade, and I'll never forget the first show we saw her in. I absolutely never would have known she had it in her to get up on stage like that; she was soquiet and shy in class."
-- From a conversation with a Kohl Elementary 5th grade teacher

"Our school has been privileged to attend the school performance of the BackStory Youth Theatre for the past 4 years (Willy Wonka, The Sound of Music, The Music Man, and Singing in the Rain). The students look forward to it each year. One of our low income students saw a play for the first time at the Broomfield Auditorium. She was so excited and impressed. She has many problems at home and often falls asleep in class. This is a highlight for her each year. Many of our other students are not accustomed to attending plays. One boy had never been in a theatre. They enjoy the question and answer session during intermission where they learn more about theatre and the way it works. One of our students is now enrolled in a summer class through BackStory because of the exposure through the free school program. Thanks so much for including Hyland Christian School!"
-- Attendee to Free Performance of Singin' in the Rain

"Thank you for inviting my third-grade students to see "Singin' In the Rain" on January 13, 2017. My students and I loved the performance. The student actors were so professional, the sets were amazing and the production was excellent. My students also loved being able to talk to the actors and ask questions about how they prepare for the production and what it's like to be on stage. We came back to the classroom singing the songs and the kids talked for many days about how awesome the show was. We hope to be included in future productions. Backstory Theater is a great program!!
-- Kohl Elementary Teacher Attending Free Performance of Singin' in the Rain

"The program my daughter participated in through your theater program made me wish it was something she could do daily. Her confidence and self-pride were absolutely incredible. Thank you for this opportunity, and for lighting a spark in her for theater and arts. . ."
-- Parent of BackStory Theatre Student

"My child loves to be on stage, and BackStory Theater has given her a place to perform and be accepted despite her ongoing struggles with anxiety, depression, and mental health issues."
-- Parent of BackStory Theatre Student

"My child has gained so much confidence from the classes and performances, she's comfortable speaking in front of her peers, and the skills gained will hopefully carry her through middle school and into the future."
-- Parent of BackStory Theatre Student

"Such a treat to go to this! We were expecting a cute, abbreviated little kid's production and what we saw was a full blown, complete musical that was awesome! SO many kids had the opportunity to shine. . .all knowing their lines and places and looking like little pros."
-- Attendee for The Music Man

"That's why this program is so great. Last year, that little guy hardly spoke a single word all year, and tonight look at him! He was so big and amazing on stage!"
-- Emma Reuss, former Dragon School/21st Century Grant Coordinator for Emerald Elementary following a performance of The Bremen Town Musicians which was performed at Emerald Elementary as part of a BackStory Theatre grant-funded program

"This is such a wonderful program. Seeing these kids, able to be proud of what they're working on and sharing it with their families and each other. That's why we do this!"
-- BackStory Theatre Instructor, Susan Bailey (Director for Kids Hope, USA in Broomfield)

"We love having BackStory come in and do these classes. Especially with funding scaling back on our Dragon School grant, the ability to offer these classes and experiences is wonderful."
-- Shaun Barnes, Dragon School/21st Century Grant Coordinator for Emerald Elementary

"My child has thrived in the BackStory environment! He has shown dedication to his role, responsibilities, and cast mates and has increased in maturity. We're so grateful for BackStory and the scholarship provided!"
-- Parent of BackStory Theatre Scholarship Recipient

"My son needs an outlet like theater where he can pretend to be someone else and feel free to express a range of emotions in a fun and healthy setting. That's why our family loves having BackStory theater in our community."
-- Parent of BackStory Theatre Student

"BackStory Theatre is an outstanding program that I hope our daughter continues to participate in for years to come. This is her third year and I have seen her mature and blossom from the confidence she gained in the performances."
-- Parent of BackStory Theatre Student

"Thank you BackStory for inviting Thornton Elementary to "The Sound of Music" performance. For many our students, this was the first time they had ever attend a live theatre production. It was exciting to talk with students and hear their enthusiasm as they talked about the play. In fact, students have now expressed interest in how they might get involved in various aspects of theatre whether it be singing, dancing, acting or supporting behind the scenes. It is because of BackStory's generous spirit that has now sparked a flame for the performing arts in our students. We look forward to developing a partnership with BackStory in the future."
--- Thornton Elementary Principal

"My class had a fantastic time viewing " The Sound of Music". The performers amazed us with their level of acting ability at such young ages. We were impressed by the reciting of lines, dancing, singing, and the ability of each character to pull us in and make each of us feel that we were part of the story. Thank you for inviting us and exposing my students to a wonderfully entertaining new art form. Kudos to you all!"
--- 5th Grade Kohl Elementary

"On November 14, 2014, 40+ 3rd grade students from Emerald Elementary School attended the BackStory Theater production of The Sound of Music. For the vast majority of the students, it was their first time to a play and they certainly would not have had access to this type of community art had they not been invited to attend for free. It is important to note that although many community programs offer free tickets to kids whose families cannot afford to purchase them, that's not enough to get kids in the door. BackStory understands what really facilitates access for children of poverty; partnering with a child's most prominent institution-school.

Many of the students in attendance are also learning theater concepts during performance theater classes donated to our after school program. They were beside themselves when they spotted their instructor manipulating props between acts. Words cannot express the excitement in the eyes of those kids when they saw the set changes and noted that some of the performers were the same age as they. I am certain it expanded their conception of what kids and they themselves are capable of achieving."
--- 21st Century Grant Program Manager, Emerald Elementary

"We have appreciated, so much, the scholarships we have received for our daughter to attend classes at Backstory Theatre. Our daughter loves to pretend, she loves to perform, and she loves being a part of group activities, so theater is an obvious choice for her. We assumed it was something we could not pursue due to our limited income, but when a scholarship was offered, we were thrilled and accepted immediately. . . Our daughter has great self-confidence, something we love about her, and something we encourage. Backstory Theater is a great opportunity to encourage that confidence and allow her to express herself in a very healthy way. Given the choice, we will certainly continue to have her in these great classes!"
--- Scholarship Recipient

"My son was a recipient of a scholarship from BackStory Theatre and he had a great time performing in Winnie The Pooh and the Honey Tree. As a single mother I struggle to provide a good life for my son and I just couldn't afford the class fee and the scholarship allowed him to participate. He loves the friends, teachers, and stories he has gotten to experience in BackStory."
--- Scholarship Recipient

"BackStory Theatre has given my son such a sense of accomplishment. He's found an outlet for his creativity and silliness where he's celebrated for being unique. From the first day of casting through the final performance; he was excited about his character, his new friends, his costume, and being on stage. It has been wonderful to see him so passionate and focused; he couldn't wait to share his performance with friends and family and we were all very proud to see him shine."
--- Scholarship Recipient

"BackStory Theatre isn't just about the kids being on stage. It teaches them teamwork and life skills. It teaches them if you aren't where you're supposed to be everybody else suffers. It teaches them the importance of being on time (early, actually). It teaches them that everybody is important (there are no small roles). And it gives them a love and appreciation for the arts that they will take with them the rest of their lives."
--- Parent of BackStory Participant

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