Equipment for Living
The nationally accredited MSU Denver Department of Theatre produces outstanding musicals and dramas, develops and tours original works, and cultivates strong community partnerships as it moves forward with its goal of preeminence.
The fine work of MSU Denver theatre students, faculty and staff has earned regional and local awards and recognition.
- Marilyn Hetzel, chair of the MSU Denver Theatre department, was recognized with a 2014 Kennedy Center Meritorious Achievement Award.
- In 2012, Alliance for Colorado Theatre named MSU Denver faculty member Scott Lubinski the Higher Education Theatre Educator of the Year.
- MSU Denver Theatre alumni won three Marlow Awards in 2014 for Outstanding Lighting, Outstanding Actor in a Comedy and Outstanding Actor in a Drama.
- Affiliate Faculty member Christy Montour-Lawson, was awarded a Henry Award in 2013 for Outstanding Direction of a Play.
These achievements are a result of the department’s fundamental commitment to excellence and basic philosophy that theatre is an inclusive experience that helps students develop skills that can support them as they work in a multitude of professions; thus, MSU Denver Theatre is “equipment for living.”
Neil Dreher (BFA theatre ’05) is a globetrotting stage technician who has worked on some of the most sophisticated productions in the world.
But lately, he is best known for what he did behind the scenes during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Dreher is a theatrical automation specialist, the person who is responsible for “moving scenery, flying performers, anything that is mechanically moved,” he says. “The industry is small but the projects are big.”
Now at the height of his career, Dreher has reached a whole new pinnacle of responsibility. caring for a loving canine who would not have survived without him.
Recent Employment Updates from Theatre Alumni
I am the director of youth theatre for two theatre companies in Charleston, South Carolina (one that just received 1 of 7 national theatre grants from the American Theatre Wing and will become the first professional LORT theatre company in the LowCountry); director of the children's chorus, the POPS!Kids in association with The North Charleston POPS! Orchestra (And will be performing with Mary Wilson of the Supremes next week!); the lead keyboardist for Songs For Seeds - Charleston (voted NYC best children's music class) as well as 24 private piano, voice and acting students. (October 13 at 3:15pm)
I have represented clients as a public defender, I have presented oral arguments in front of federal judges, and I have taught young attorneys breathing techniques for trial. I am currently awaiting bar passage in the city of New York and will practice tax litigation. (October 13 at 5:14pm)
Besides my acting career pursuits, I got hired at The Falcon Theatre box office, out here in Burbank, CA because of my Theatre degree. Woohoo! (October 13 at 5:21pm)
I'm a Coordinator of Guest Experiences at the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, managing and performing coal mine tours and science shows! I also just started with a Harold improv team at the iO Comedy Club. I'm so grateful to Metro State, and huge shout out to tutelage. (October 13 at 5:45pm)
I have toured, I have worked with famous bands. I moved to New York City where I have worked things such as the super bowl, fashion week, the New York philharmonic. I currently work as the head electrician for the blue man group in New York City. All for lighting! (October 13 at 8:09pm)
I teach dance and perform on stages all over the state and some neighboring states. I still live for the stage and my theatre experience plays into the choreographies I do. I still hear Cookie telling us how we've staged ourselves in a lovely tableau, every time I direct my dancers. (October 14 at 7:57am)
Christina Marie Koch
My husband and I own and operate the Virginia City Players theatre company in Virginia City, Montana. I have written some scripts that we have produced, we design and build the sets and costumes, we hire actors, direct & perform in the shows etc. We have done so well over the last five years that we were able to buy a home and some acreage, and this summer the Montana Heritage Commission signed us to a 20 year lease to continue running our theatre company! Thank you to the amazing Metro State program and faculty for the education and opportunities that led me to where I am today!
We have also been able to employ some other Metro students/alumni. Pictured below are Danielle Sather, Kalond Irlanda, Logan Custer, and myself. (October 14 at 7:59pm)
After spending over a year post-grad traveling as a designer between Denver, Seattle, Dallas, and Chicago, I now am the Technical Director of Telluride Theatre Company in Telluride Colorado. The company started 10 years ago with Sasha Sullivan on $68. Today, with unprecedented technical achievements that have been accomplished this past year since my being accepted as an ensemble member, and a drive to continue to stretch the imagination of what is possible, our company is building a legacy on phishing out local talent while providing training and encouragement for development. Come to Telluride this December (17TH-23RD) and see the magic unfold in our historic Sheridan Opera House with PETER AND THE STARCATCHER. (October 13 at 10:55pm)
Cookie.. although it's been years since graduation .. your 'less is more' message has carried me far and wide and opened many doors. Thank you! <3 (October 14 at 1:35am)
I constantly find that my theatre degree is one of the most valuable things. I'm a professional high end wedding photographer. I tell people all the time that theatre was a good base because I used to set up stage pictures (levels, interest) and now I just set up real pictures. I see light differently than most because of theatre light, know how to talk and build confidence in my subjects from directing actors, as well as talk to employees and give them direction. I write better blogs because we essentially have an English degree. Overall I feel like theatre is one of the most effective ways to have compassion for other people. No better way than literally walking in people's shoes. I know that because of my degree I received lots of other jobs at Denver Center, Arvada Center, and a handful of other theatres. I say WWCD (what would Christy do) so much when I'm directing people. The lessons I learned are lifelong and I'm thankful for them and don't ever regret them. (October 14 at 4:29am)
I'm teaching MS drama grade 6 at a premier IB international school in South Korea. I'm also assisting with the management of our theatre spaces and resources. I love my job and look forward to work everyday. I'm also running a stage combat club (11 members) for the middle school and am the fight choreographer for our productions. (October 14 at 8:08am)
I'm teaching at MSUD, after having done my undergraduate work at (then) Metropolitan State College in the Mesozoic era. (October 14 at 12:31pm)
Forever grateful for my time at Metro. (October 14 at 9:46pm)