In Memory of:
The Spirit of Corin Chavez – In Memory of Corin Chavez, Class of 2010, founding member of the Black Actor’s Guild in Denver – which is now a multicultural and diverse group of artists with the vision of crafting original, engaging content. Our artists are professionals who spend their days making art that provides a one of a kind experience in the realms of education and production. Qualities that the recipient of the Spirit of Chavez award should possess are being inclusive, patient, kind, bold, light hearted, dedicated, and honest, Corin had the confidence to do things even when it wasn’t popular. He had vision beyond convention. And he went into any situation with the belief that he and his team belonged there.
Corin Chavez Spirit Award winners:
2016 Christopher Jenkins
In Memory of:
Nick Thorne – Class of 2010, also a founding member of the Black Actor’s Guild in Denver was the fire behind keeping the mission of the company moving forward after Corin’s passing. Nick followed Corin a year and three months later at the age of 25. Nick Thorne was extremely creative, passionate, funny, a REAL young man that proved if you have desire, passion, and drive you can accomplish anything you want in your life. One of his peers said, “Nick made a lot of people happy, not just himself. He was always insightful, hilarious, and he had a warm and commanding personality that impacted everyone around him. That he chose to spend his time making other people laugh, because that was what made him happy, speaks volumes about the kind of person he was, and those lucky enough to have known him will ensure he is never forgotten.”
From his graduation program: “There’s going to be a lot of people throughout not just your high school career, but your life that will tell you no, or tell you that you can’t or will simply just think you can’t do something. Do you. Forget what everyone else says and thinks and do what makes YOU happy. It’s not possible to please everyone, so do what makes YOU happy.” – Nick Thorne
Jake Brasch is an Artistic Director of The Red String Ensemble, a New York based theatre collective. Graduated from NYU with a BFA in Acting from The Experimental Theatre Wing. He composes music for film, musical theatre and opera. His plays have been produced in Denver, Chicago, and New York. He is currently producing a monthly creative empowerment workshop series called “The Arsenal.” His new play “Greenland” will be produced in New York in Jan. 2017. Mr. Brasch is the award recipient of the Young Playwrights Inc. National Playwriting Competition in 2011.
Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Josh Brown auditioned for the Theatre Department at DSA five years in a row and was accepted after his fifth audition in 2007. In 2012, Josh was one of the eight winners of the Young Playwrights Inc. National Playwriting Competition and the winner of the Wichita State University 38th Annual National Playwriting Competition. Last year, his short film SIDE-EFFECTED, directed by Lev Pakman, was featured in the Palm Springs International Shortfest and the Cannes Short Film Corner. In May 2014, Grey Room Theatre Company premiered Josh’s original comedy WORKPLACE PROFESSIONAL at the Bridge Theatre in Shetler Studios. Josh recently graduated from NYU Tisch with a degree in Dramatic Writing.
Claire Carson is a graduate of Southern Methodist University, where she received her BFA in Theatre Studies, with an emphasis in playwriting. During her time at SMU she staged and developed five original works (Michelle with Wet Eyeballs, The Obliteration of the Alpha Couple, Eternal White Light, Chrysalis Blue, and LIFTED.) She is currently one of four chosen participants working with Dallas Theatre Center’s Playwright in Residence, Will Power, on the year-long ‘Dallas Playwrights Workshop.’ https://www.dallastheatercenter.org/subpage.php?sid=146 Interested in devised work, she hopes to move forward theatrically by continuing to create original work that challenges the barriers of art- grafting theatre, dance, sound, specific imagery and on-stage space manipulation together to tell stories that may be ambiguous, but never vague. Currently working with groups like The Davis St. Collective.
She also manages retail at a small, family run French Bakery and is passionate about pastries!
Adam Marcantoni received his BFA in Acting from The Chicago College of Performing Arts. Professional credits include Henry V (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Dog Sees God (Fearless Theater); Shadow Town (Her Story Theater); Upcoming, The Woman Before (Trap Door Theater). He also worked with documentary film maker Jan Tompson on her movie Letters Home: A Prisoner of War Story, narrated by Alec Baldwin and Ed Asner. Adam is an associate of the prestigious Black Actors Guild in Denver and has enjoyed working with them over the years. He hopes to return to Denver to help expand its growing theatre scene. His goals include exploring the possibilities of artist’s collaborative imaginations through producing and directing his first short film by the end of 2016. By day Adam holds down a job as server at Kanela Breakfast Club (he recommends everyone serve at least once in their life. You learn a lot about people when they eat.) and rides a Hendricks Gin bike around the city of Chicago delivering cucumbers.
Xochitl Portillo-Moody was born in San Francisco, but raised in Denver and considers herself a Colorado girl through and through. She started at Denver School of the Arts as a Creative Writing major and transferred into the Theatre program in 8th grade. She received her BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in Theatre with an emphasis in Original Works (2014). Professional credits in Seattle include Lysistrata at The Intiman and Don Quixote and Sancho Panza: Homeless in Seattle at ACT. During her senior year at Cornish, she developed three original works (Rosa, Duerme and BOOBZ.) She is currently in the process of moving back to Denver to further expand some of her theatre projects and save money before leaving to teach abroad. Her interest as an artist and playwright is to create theatre that exposes people to the hopes, dreams, and untold truths of the pan-Latino culture and experience.
Brittany Vicars was born in Colorado in 1992. She got her start in theater at the Denver School of the Arts and just graduated from Juilliard in the Drama Division, a member of Group 43, in 2014. Professional Theatre: Ophelia in Hamlet at the Hartford Stage directed by Tony Award winning director Darko Tresnjak. As a senior she appeared as Haley in Buried Child, Electra in Iphigenia and Other Daughters, and was a collaborator in one of the first interdisciplinary interdivisional student initiated projects at Juilliard, A Clockwork Orange, directed by fellow classmate, Alexander Ian Sharp. Other credits include Gertrude in Hamlet, Liubov Ranyevskaya in The Cherry Orchard, Camilo in The Winter’s Tale, Sammy in In Arabia We’d All Be Kings and Salome in Oscar Wilde’s Salome. At Juilliard she has been a recipient of a Gluck Community Fellowship and The John Houseman Award for excellence in Classical theatre. She is also a published poet and one of the first Video Performance Artists to work with the Center of Innovation in the Arts in the 14th season of Beyond the Machine.