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THE VENUE THEATRE

​​The Venue Theatre Company, founded in 2013 as an educational 501c3 nonprofit, provides enriching performing arts education for the youth of the greater Denver and Foothills area. With highly trained, Broadway experienced educators, The Venue meets all children at the level they are currently at and encourages them to develop their skills both as performers and as individuals.

Here at The Venue Theatre Company, we are deeply invested in the magic of art and performance. We believe in opening hearts and minds by giving youth the tools to share their songs and stories. The Venue is more than just a nonprofit theatre—it's a safe haven comprised of students, volunteers, and instructors all working toward one common goal: creating the best environment for children and young adults to become all that they can be. 

The Venue Theatre is committed to being a diverse, inclusive, and safe space for authentic expression and creative collaboration. All students, crew members, and volunteers, whatever their race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation or identity, biology, education, neurodiversity, or physical ability, will be honored, integrated, and respected.

OUR TEAM

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Amy Fletcher

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Amy is a native New Yorker with 35 years of experience in professional theatre.  After performing on Broadway and in numerous touring productions, Amy began pursuing a career as an educator and mentor. She has worked at several high schools, as a professor of Theatre and Dance at Five Towns College and achieved her MFA in interdisciplinary arts and theatre education from Goddard College. She was thrilled to join the Venue Theatre, after relocating to Colorado with her amazing husband Michael and son Matthew. Venue director and/or choreographer credits include: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Bye Bye BirdieGuys and DollsUrinetownAnything GoesNewsiesVenue on Broadway and Venue Through the Years

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Marisa VerSteegh

Marketing Director/Director/Choreographer

Marisa VerSteegh holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts and Dance from the University of Northern Colorado. Originally from Twin Falls, Idaho, Marisa is extremely active in the Colorado theatre scene. She is thrilled to be a part of The Venue Theatre Company. Her recent appearances include Jo in Little Women, Squidward in the first regional production of Spongebob the Musical, Peggy, the darling starlet in 42nd Street, and Judy in A Chorus Line. She has been directing and choreographing at The Venue for the last 4 years! Marisa has directed, choreographed, or performed in over 60 productions, and is excited to return to The Venue to complete her second season! 

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Rebecca Schonbrun

DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER 

Rebecca is an award-winning director and choreographer, specializing in giving confidence to new actors and dancers. She believes that with patience and respect to the process, any child can perform like a pro! Originally from St Louis, Missouri, Rebecca could be found in regional productions including West Side Story, and Jekyll & Hyde the Musical before transitioning into directing and choreographing productions all over Colorado. Rebecca has directed and choreographed children's theatre productions including: West Side Story, The Music Man Jr., Newsies, Into the Woods Jr., and Oliver. She has also contributed to several awards won at the Junior Theatre Festival (Excellence in Dance, Excellence in Music, and Excellence in Ensemble). When not in the studio, Rebecca can often be found on the hiking trail with her dog, Rudy. She is thrilled to be continuing with the Venue, and can't wait to get started! 

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Lee Ann Scherlong
Musical Director

A native of Colorado, Lee Ann is a highly sought-after professional director, music director, theatre educator, actor, voice teacher/coach and arts administrator throughout Colorado and the region. Lee Ann is a three time Henry nominated music director for her work on Scottsboro Boys, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Vintage Theatre) and Once on This Island (TownHall Arts Center). Lee Ann’s passion is working with aspiring young actors through educational theatre. She has worked with the award winning Northglenn Youth Theatre, Ft. Collins Children's Theatre, CYT and CenterStage Theatre Company in Louisville. Lee Ann is also a professional singer/actor. Performances include Yente in Fiddler on the Roof and Mother Abbess in Sound of Music. Lee Ann has music directed, directed or performed in over 100 productions including opera, musical theatre, children's theatre, and orchestral performances. She was the founding Artistic Director at Parker Performing Arts School and currently teaches theatre at Aspen Academy in Greenwood Village. Lee Ann is thrilled to be working at The Venue and is excited to “work hard and have FUN!!”

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Joe Barnard

Musical Director

Joe Barnard (He/They) is excited to be joining the Venue Theatre family as a Music Director.  Originally from Brownsville, Texas, Joe has lived in Colorado for twelve years and been an active member within the Denver theatre scene since graduating from CCU in 2022. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music with a Voice and Music Education Emphasis. Since Joe joined the Denver scene two years ago, he has debuted in 13 different shows across 5 different theatre companies, including a new work performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland with Sasquatch Productions. In addition to Music Directing, they can also be seen on stage during the month of June in The Prom at Townhall Arts Center and Legally Blonde at the PACE Center. Joe can’t wait for future productions at The Venue Theatre!

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Tonya Ingerson

Musical Director

Tonya Ingerson graduated in 2018 from Vassar College, where she majored in Drama, minored in Sustainability, and was awarded multiple honors for her acting and vocal performance (and even for her work in sustainability!). Upon graduating, she moved to New York City where she performed professionally in regional theatre and taught students privately in voice, guitar, and music theory (in addition to tutoring nearly every other academic subject). Tonya grew up in Boulder, and with her near-decade of private voice training under her belt, has been music directing and vocal coaching at youth theatre companies in Boulder and Conifer since the beginning of the pandemic. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Music with a concentration in Music Education!

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Ellie Griffin

Technical Director/ Director/ Teaching Artist

Ellie Griffin has been working professionally as a director, choreographer, & theatre educator for five years now, and simply can’t get enough of the joy of teaching and making theatre in collaboration with other talented artists. In addition to her work as a director, Ellie is a Teaching Artist with Mirror Image Arts, a youth advocacy nonprofit working to disrupt the school to prison pipeline using theatre. She holds a degree in theatre and film, having studied at both Pomona and Pitzer College. Recent directing and choreography credits include Machinal, Newsies,Legally Blonde, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown & Little Women. Ellie is honored to be joining the Venue community running Venue’s new conservatory style program, technical directing all The Venue's shows, directing, and choreographing.

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Dan Elish

Writer/Collaborator

Dan Elish wrote the book to the musical 13 which played at the Mark Taper Forum and won the 2007 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for best production; he was also nominated for best writing. 13 went on to play at the Jacobs Theater on Broadway during the fall and winter of 2008-09 and has since played all over the world. 13 is now a musical streaming on Netflix. Dan is also the author of eleven novels, including The Royal Order of Fighting Dragons (Vesuvian, for kids), Nine Wives (St. Martins Press, for grown-up types), and Born Too Short (Simon & Schuster), which won a 2004 International Reading Association Students' Choice Award for young adult literature. Dan has also written numerous scripts for TV (notably Cyberchase and The Wonder Pets) and has penned music and lyrics to many children's musicals and works of non-fiction for younger readers. He is also the author of the book and lyrics for the Off-Broadway musical, The Evolution of Mann, produced at the Cell Theater in NYC in the fall of 2018 and now optioned by Concord Theatricals. He has won scholarships and fellowships to The Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers' Conferences. Upcoming projects include a musical, Mudville, a novel, The King of Broadway, and a children's novel, The Silver Spoon (a sequel to his novel The Worldwide Dessert Contest). Dan lives in New York with his wife and two children.

DJ Himstedt

Accompanist/ Rehearsal Pianist/ Conductor

DJ Himstedt is a retired attorney, private investigator, fire chief, and continues to work as a professional musician. He has played in the pit for several shows here at the venue, and dozens of shows around the Metro area, as well as volunteering as a Colorado Theater Guild judge.

OUR FOUNDERS

Nelson Conway

FOUNDER

Nelson retired from a 25-year career teaching music and drama in 2007. He studied music under Dr. George Lynn at Loretto Heights College and Lynn Whitten at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He studied technical theater with Joseph Psuik, drama and musical theater under Richard Clark, Tom McNally and Jan Sullivan. Nelson started the choral and drama departments of Conifer High School in 1996 and has directed and produced countless shows. Nelson co-founded The Venue in 2013.

Joni Havens

FOUNDER

Joni, a certified K-12 teacher, found her interest in theater while performing in elementary and high school productions. In college, she became a professional pantomime and circus aerialist, performing on stages across the U.S. and on television. She has directed over 30 community theater productions and founded a performing drama club in a Colorado high school. She loved performing but her heart's delight is in directing children's theater.​ Joni is a co-founder of The Venue.

Deb Christensen

FOUNDER

After spending 23 years in Denmark where she delivered 1,300 babies as a certified midwife, Deb returned to Colorado with her Danish husband and thoroughly enjoys her career as a realtor with Keller Williams Foothills Realty in Conifer. She also has volunteered as a high school accompanist for The Venue and was an active member of the Board of Directors at The Venue. Newsies was her 30th show she collaborated on at The Venue. Deb is always supportive of the student here and is in awe of their talent and courage!

OUR BOARD

TJ Bartt

BOARD PRESIDENT

TJ Bartt currently works in the property insurance field, supporting the state of Colorado. When his family moved here, their interest in the theatre landed their family with “The Venue” family which has provided a safe and education environment for their children. The joy of being surrounded by such talented people and the caring approach to teaching the crafts associated with the theatre has been a bright light for he and his family in their mountain community.

 

Paul Liffengren

MEMBER AT LARGE

Paul brings 30 years of experience in the financial services industry to the board. Paul is currently a Financial Consultant with Fidelity Investments. Paul got involved with the Venue Theatre in 2013 and he helped with the building of the theatre. Paul is passionate about the mission of the Venue and the impact the theatre family has had on his own family and the community at large.

Michelle Murphy

Michlle has been with Evergreen Academy for about 15 years. She is the office manager at this wonderful school but you will sometimes find her in the classroom as well. She has always loved working with kids. Michelle graduated from Regis University with a Masters degree in Early Elementary Education and loves being able to draw on that experience when working with the kids. Her family  loves to be outdoors.  They are avid skiers and travel a lot for baseball and moto-cross events.

 Ever since her daughter joined The Venue Theater over 8 years ago, she has fallen in love with the people and community!

Brian Banks

Brian grew up on the north shore of Long Island, NY.  He has lived abroad in France and Australia, and for several years in Steamboat Springs.  Brian graduated from City University of New York and received his Masters of Accountancy from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.  He is a certified public accountant with Ernst & Young tax practice.

Brian has two daughters who are active in Venue Theatre.  In addition to volunteering with the theatre, Brian is an active member of the Watchdogs program at Parmalee Elementary School in Indian Hills.

When not working, volunteering, or shuttling around his girls, Brian can be found on snowy mountain in the winter, or on a river in the Warmer weather.

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RENTALS

Rent our theatre

From performances to conferences, recitals to celebrations, The Venue Theatre is the best place to host your event this season. With a seating capacity of over 100, there is more than enough room to spare. We are proud to offer our space to any member of the community for classes, services or events.​ Consider The Venue for your upcoming event or check on availability for weekly or monthly use. We are proud to offer competitive pricing and hosting if necessary. 

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