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Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Just shy of twenty years ago, a small group of artists banded together to fulfill a dream. This dream was to allow their passionate fire for performing musical theatre in spite of their disabilities burn and shine hotly for all to see.
This was the genesis of the most beloved and most original theatre company in all of Denver. This was the beginning of PHAMALy. Season after season, show after show, the Physically Handicapped Actors and Musical Artists League won the hearts and turned the minds of audiences who had previously seen only limitations when they looked at a person with a disability. PHAMALy was and is about possibility.
PHAMALy has received a bit of press beyond the city of Denver, but soon the whole world will be enlightened to the wonder that is PHAMALy. For the last few years, PHAMALy company member and film auteur Mark Dissette has been lovingly crafting a documentary that is both a history and tribute to this amazing theatre company, and, on August 13th, you all can be among the first to see it.
Here is a portion of the recent announcement from PHAMALy Executive Director Melanie Mayner:
“There’s Still Hope for Dreams… a PHAMALY Story” is an engaging new documentary produced by Terry Austin and Dissette/Wyss Productions. I have seen rough cut versions of the film and feel it is a wonderful representation of our theatre company.
Please join me at the Lab at Belmar on August 13 for a sneak peek of the film before it goes public. The film screening is free but the producers are requesting a minimum $10 donation to support PHAMALY founder Kathleen Traylor as she struggles with health issues. All proceeds from the night will go to Kathleen to help with medical and living expenses.

I could go on and on about what a wonderful person and talented performer Kathleen Traylor, and I just might, but, before I do that let me just add a few words from Mark Dissette:

There’s Still Hope for Dreams…a PHAMALY Story” is a feature length documentary that follows PHAMALY from its creation through this June’s production of “Side Show.” It features interviews with many of the cast and crew, footage from past shows going back to the first production of “Guys and Dolls” – and many surprises. We have put two years of sweat and tears into this film to show the world what a wonderful company we have created here in Denver.

Kathleen has been having a rough time with her health, (as some of you know, she had to drop out of “Side Show” because of these issues), and this is also our chance to say “Thank You” for her love, support and hard work over the last twenty years of PHAMALY. Now it’s our turn. All of the donations from the event will go directly to Kathleen.
Please join us in celebrating PHAMALY and a woman who has given us so much. I am very proud of this film, but even more proud to call myself a member of PHAMALY.

Mark Dissette

I first met Kathleen Traylor (one of those original founders from 1989) backstage during PHAMALy's production of The Wiz.

I was shooting off my mouth probably trying to impress Regan Linton (at which I failed) by pointing out what I felt were flaws in the score of the original musical. I said that I felt that Aunt Em's song in the first act, while beautiful, was unnecessary and slowed the momentum of the story. Kathleen, who played Aunt Em, overheard me, sought me out, introduced herself, and then proceeded to let me know just exactly what she thought about my opinion of her song. (I'll leave her precise words to your imagination.)

Needless to say we have been friends ever since.

So, come out and preview the show and fill the coffers to help out my friend (and a lot of people's friend) Kathleen Traylor.

That's Wednesday, August 13th at the Lab at Belmar in Lakewood at 6:30 pm.

Oh, and that's not a request, piglets.

**Update: Never mind, folks, this event has been cancelled. See entry for August 9th.**

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