TIO Denver: Franks’ Ayn Rand, Reading, 8/14

TIO Denver: Franks’ Ayn Rand, Reading, 8/14

In the summer of 2014, SPARKy Productions featured a new work by the nonprofit’s founder and artistic director Jennie Franks. In 2015, Jennie took that show on the road and did a reading in New York. On Monday, August 14, “Ayn/Sister” is scheduled for another reading, this time in Denver. The free event takes place at BARMAX, 2412 E. Colfax. Reservations are requested as seating is very limited.

And to support Jennie’s SPARK Latina Scholarship Fund, please send donations to the Telluride Foundation, the fund manager. Mail to The Telluride Foundation, P.O. Box 4222. The first two recipients of the program were recently announced. To find out more about the young women and the program, go here.

Ayn Rand

After decades of living in America, Ayn Rand brings her Communist sister Nora to New York from Russia. Ayn rigidly conducts her life according to her book The Virtue of Selfishness, a philosophy at odds with that of her sister. But it is a belief system that enabled Ayn to control everything and everyone. Too late Ayn realizes that all her ideas and premises are under siege by her seemingly ditzy, baby sister the only one who can match her extraordinary wit and intellect. Between truth and lies, envy and love, Nora manages to hold Ayn’s marriage and legacy up for blackmail in a iron tight sisterly grip.



Jennie Franks lives in Telluride, Colorado, where for 10 rich years she produced The Telluride Playwrights Festival. Franks grew up in England and worked as an actor in theater, television and film. Besides acting, writing plays and song lyrics, she is a Colorado filmmaker. Her award-winning children’s film, ‘The Ballad of Arthur Muldoon’ with Monty Python Terry Jones, has been seen in film festivals all over the country and on Rocky Mountain PBS. Her latest venture is a documentary film of her play “The Hispanic Women’s Project,” based on true stories of Latinas who live and work in a Colorado resort town.


Tracy Shaffer has been a theatre professional for 30-something years, fortunate to have been trained in acting by the legendary Stella Adler and in directing by Yvgeny Lanskoy (Moscow Art Theatre) at her New York Conservatory. Tracy spent a decade working on both coasts and with some great regional theatres, did small parts in big movies, big parts in small TV shows, and spent a year on the road playing “Shelby” in the National Tour of “Steel Magnolias.” Denver has been home for the past 20 years, allowing Tracy to write plays, direct theatre, act now and then with the Denver Center Theatre Company, sell houses, raise sons and host a monthly gathering called “The Card Table.” She is currently torturing herself by working on a book.


Emily Paton has performed with theater companies throughout Colorado for nearly 20 years. She is a three-time Henry Award nominee for Outstanding Actress in a Play from the Colorado Theater Guild, and won the award in 2007 for her work in “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.” Emily’s favorite roles include Maureen in “The Beauty Queen of Leenane,” Rosemary in “Outside Mullingar,” Beth in “A Lie of the Mind,” Joan in “Love Song” and Debra in “The Smell of the Kill.”


Andrew Uhlenhopp extends a colossal vibe of gratitude to all of you out there who support live local theatre: art is vital. As an actor, some of his favorite past ventures include: Johnny, opposite his wife Kelly as Frankie, in “Frankie & Johnny in The Clair de Lune”; King Henry II in “The Lion In Winter”; Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter & columnist Mike McAlary in “Lucky Guy” (2015 Marlowe Award for Best Actor); and Colonel Nathan Jessup in “A Few Good Men” (Theater Colorado’s Best Supporting Actor 2014). Uhlenhopp is also an accomplished writer and director. He is next performing this autumn at Vintage Theatre in “August: Osage County.”Andrew also finds great fulfillment as a private counselor; please visit his website at www.changingleadintogold.com.


Alec Sarché is a recent graduate with a BA in Theatre from Colorado College. He was last seen in Denver as Melchior in “Spring Awakening” with the Fearless Theatre and will soon be featured in Curious Theatre’s regional premiere of “Appropriate” by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. His credits at Colorado College include Howie in “Rabbit Hole”; Jamie Wellerstein in T”he Last Five Years”; KJ in Annie Baker’s “The Aliens”; Jake in “A Lie of the Mind, and two separate performances as Cole in Idris Goodwin’s “#matter.” Sarché’s independent work as a creator of immersive theatre has bolstered his acting career, He is thrilled to be working for the first time with “And Toto” too.


Darren Smith serves as president as well as technical director for “And Toto too.” he is responsible for the technical operations of the theater, determining technical staffing and equipment requirements for productions and acts as the central coordinating point for the designers, the stage management team, the craftspeople, etc. – throughout each production. With more than 30 years of experience both on-stage and in almost every capacity behind the scenes, Darren brings a wealth of ideas and best practices to “And Toto too.”


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