Guest Artist Program

Our Guest Artist Program is one of the ways Denver School of the Arts is different from a traditional high school theatre program. In no other high school in Colorado will you see professional artists, directors, actors, and designers coming in to work with students one-on-one. Guest artists are selected for their advanced professional training, current and past professional experience, and willingness to give back to students. Our guest artists include broadway stars, award winning actors and directors, professional choreographers and high level theatre educators.

All of our artists also concurrently act, direct, dance, write, or choreograph professionally, both regionally and nationally. Guest artists are pulled to DSA because of the high-caliber theatre students we have. Bringing in professionals from the Denver Metro area as guest artists to share their valuable knowledge with our students enhances the DSA Theatre curriculum tremendously. We are constantly seeking new and fresh artists as well as people that come year after year to teach units or direct our young actors. Without our guest artists, we could not function.

Jessica Austgen

Jessica Austgen is a theater artist living in Denver, Colorado. As a proud member of Actors Equity, Jessica has received multiple awards for theater work, including “Best Actress in a Comedy” in 2003 and 2012. Jessica is represented commercially by Radical Artist Agency. Jessica has performed improv across the U.S. with their two-person show, BAUS, and is a veteran of popular Denver comedy shows: ComedySportz, Impulse Theater and Cult-Following (DCPA). Jessica regularly teaches improv classes for teens at Rise Comedy, and for adults at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to performing, Jessica is a playwright whose work has been performed across the U.S. and Canada, and can be found on the New Play Exchange. Jessica also lives a weird literary double-life as a ghostwriter, and has penned several novels, a YA fantasy trilogy, and over two dozen novellas for other people. Jessica’s one-person show—Unsuitable: A Regency Romance for One—is available for comedy festivals or short theatrical engagements. A teaching artist for two decades, Jessica now offers private acting coaching for performers of all experience levels, Creative Confidence training for non-performers, as well as customized Applied Improvisation workshops for corporations, schools and not-for-profit organizations. Jessica was named 2018 Colorado Theatre Person of the Year by the True West Awards and featured in 100 Colorado Creatives 3.0 by the Denver Westword. Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance from the University of Colorado; Certificate in Creative Writing and Master of Liberal Studies from the University of Denver.

Candy Brown (Movement/Dance)

CANDY BROWN is an accomplished actress on stage, television and film and holds a BA in Performing Arts from St Mary’s College of California. Ms Brown began her professional career in musical theatre on Broadway stages under the tutelage of legendary Broadway directors, choreographers and performers too numerous to list but who include mentors Bob Fosse and Hal Prince. As a proud member of Actors Equity, some of her Broadway shows are PURLIE, HELLO DOLLY and original cast member of PIPPIN, CHICAGO, GRIND. Candy was also an original participant in the history making workshop of A CHORUS LINE; her story is still in the show. Her first visit to Denver was as “Candy” in the first national tour of APPLAUSE with Eleanor Parker followed by work at the Denver Center of the Performing Arts in SOUTH PACIFIC, HOUSE OF FLOWERS, WAITING TO BE INVITED, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, THE MIRACLE WORKER and GEES BEND as well as readings in their new play summit. Ms Brown is also a frequent actor with Stories On Stage. As Candy Brown Houston, a proud member of the Screen Actors Guild, Candy has appeared in numerous tv commercials, television programs (Chicago Hope, CSI:Miami, etc.) and films (ALI, Baby Boy, Zebrahead, etc.) She has worked extensively in regional theaters around the country as an actor and choreographer. Since relocating to Denver 12 years ago, Ms Brown has performed at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Curious Theatre Co., LOCAL Theatre CO, and the Telluride New Playwright Festival. She directed and choreographed ONCE ON THIS ISLAND for the Aurora Fox Theatre and choreographed BIG RIVER for the Lone Tree Performing Arts Center. Candy was an actress in the two character play LOVE LETTERS done as a full staged play rather than a staged reading and directed and choreographed the musical BEEHIVE also at LTPAC. Most recently, Ms Brown received a Legacy Award for Dance in New York City. Her biggest thrill is encouraging young minds as a teaching artist and coach.

Sabin Epstein

Resident Director for the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T., San Francisco), Georgia Shakespeare Festival (Atlanta), and A Noise Within (Los Angeles). Guest director for the Alabama, Oregon, Utah and Southwest Shakespeare Festivals, the Juilliard School (Drama Division), The Guthrie Theatre Actor Training Program and the National Theatre Company, among others. As an educator, Head of Performance Skills for the National Theatre Conservatory (Denver), Head of Acting for the Old Globe MFA Actor Training Program (San Diego), Conservatory Director for the A.C.T. Advanced Training Program and an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Southern California. Taught, directed, and/or coached actors as diverse as Cate Blanchett, Denzel Washington, Anna Deveare Smith, Meatloaf, Tom Cruise, Delroy Lindo, Sanaa Latham and Billie Piper, among others. Co-author: Acting with Style (Prentice Hall) and Basic Acting (Allyn & Bacon).

Tim Grant

A native of the D.C. Metro area, and former North Carolina resident, Tim has called Denver, Colorado home for 19 years. He has been working professionally in the Theatre Industry for over 30 years, as an actor, director, designer, technician, and teacher. He holds a BA in Theatre and English Minor from Catawba College. He has been fortunate to have worked with companies such as Roundhouse Theatre, Harlequin Dinner Theatre, Charlotte Shakespeare Company, Charlotte Rep, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Walden Family Playhouse, Nomad Theatre, The Bug Theatre, No Holds Bard, and The Firehouse Theatre. Tim spends much of his time as a workshop presenter and guest artist in the Denver area including The Denver Center Theatre Academy, and this is his eleventh year at Denver School of the Arts. Some of Tim’s directing credits include A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Scapino!, Bridge to Terabithia, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Comedy of Errors, Art, The Moon is Down, Blythe Spirit, The Good Doctor, On the Verge, House & Garden, The Dining Room, Silent Sky, As You Like It, Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, The Serpent, and Pericles. He has appeared in Oleana (John), The Glass Menagerie (Jim), Amadeus (Mozart & Emperor Joseph), True West (Austin), Measure for Measure (Lucio & Duke), Prelude to a Kiss (Taylor), Waiting for Godot (Pozzo), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius), Macbeth (Malcolm), and Henry IV / Richard III (King Edward). Along with his work on the stage, Tim can be seen in film and TV productions of Three Pages, Chasing the Dragon, Shift, The Closest Thing to Heaven, and Dawson’s Creek. When he isn’t presenting workshops across the country, he works at The Denver Center Theatre Academy, Denver School of the Arts, and The Wolf Theatre Academy. Find his article “Sharper Contrast” in Dramatics Magazine’s January 2013 issue.

Alan Osborne

Mr. Osburn was seen as Inspector Javert in both the Broadway and National Touring companies of Les Miserables. While in NYC he worked in film, television, and commercials. He was in the original Off-Broadway casts of The Wonder Years and the critically acclaimed ELT production Side by Side by Sondheim. He has directed five world premiere plays Off-Broadway and has served as both the Artistic Director for Theatre Aspen and as the Producing Artistic Director for the Fine Arts Center Theatre Company. He has been on the faculty at Tisch School for the Arts at New York University, the National Theatre Conservatory at the Denver Center Theatre Company, and the Denver Center Academy. In addition to working locally at the Denver Center Theatre Company, Arvada Center, Lake Dillon Theatre Company, Miners Alley, and Town Hall, his regional theatre credits include Hartford Stage, Theatre Under the Stars, Alley Theatre, Stages Repertory Theatre, Maine State Theatre, and Mill Mountain Playhouse. He has a MFA in acting and directing from the University of Houston.

Alison Watrous

Allison Watrous is the Executive Director of Education at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, which has been her artistic home for the past 20 years as an educator, actor and director. Allison and her team manage a wide variety of educational programing, which serves more than 142,000 students per year. Allison is a collaborative leader of artists, teaching artists, actors, and educators and an innovative teacher who is passionate about working with students of all ages. She is an artful developer of new curriculum that explores using theatre as a springboard to teach various subjects. Allison has taught at The New Victory Theatre, The New York Film Academy, TADA!, The Buckley School, University of Northern Colorado, the National Theatre Conservatory, The International College of Beijing and the University of Denver. She is currently on faculty of Denver School of the Arts and the University of Colorado Denver. Acting work includes Kelly Young in Just Like Us, A Christmas Carol, John Brown’s Body and Scapin (Denver Center Theatre Company); Girls Only – The Secret Comedy of Women (DCPA Cabaret); Astronomical Sunset (Curious Theatre Company), and Savage in Limbo, Crimes of the Heart, American Notes, Talley’s Folly and Gidion’s Knot (Sis Tryst Productions) Directing work includes Bus Stop (Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities), The Revolutionists (BETC), Brighton Beach Memoirs (Miners Alley Playhouse), Big Love (University of Denver), and Failure: A Love Story, The Laramie Project, Eurydice, Wintertime, Arcadia and The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Denver School of the Arts). Allison studied at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s National Theatre Institute, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre at Drake University and a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts in Acting from the National Theatre Conservatory.