Jan Justis has created dance and theater in New York, Chicago, Denver, and Salida. Colorado. She toured internationally and danced on Broadway with the Nikolais Dance Theatre in NYC and directed the Jan Justis Dance Theatre in Denver. Her repertory includes 5 full-evening theatre/dance works and over 30 choreographic works.
She trained at Cincinnati Conservatory and the Nikolais Louis Dance Lab in NY, holds a BA in Dance from Barat College and a Masters in Humanities, Theatre and History emphasis from University of Colorado-Denver. Jan has taught modern dance technique, improvisation, composition, and movement for actors in colleges, dance festivals, conferences, and studios across the U.S.
Jan has also directed or choreographed over 40 plays and musicals. She taught Dance and Theater in Denver Public Schools and Cherry Creek Schools in Aurora, Colorado for 23 years She is a founding member of the Performing Arts Departments at Eaglecrest High School and Grandview High School. During this time, one of her works was produced at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and she co-directed two musicals, Chess and The Secret Garden, which were selected for International Thespian Conferences.
After retiring from Cherry Creek Schools, Jan and her husband Greg moved to Salida, Colorado where she has continued to teach, direct and perform. She served as Artistic Director for Stage Left Theater Company where she directed or acted in Top Girls, I Love You, You’re Perfect - Now Change, The Women of Lockerbie, Dancing at Lugnasa, Crimes of the Heart, and other production.
Jan has collaborated in projects with various organizations and agencies: Boys’ and Girls’ Club, Articipate, KHEN, The Salida Circus, Salida Dance Studio, and Casa Tango. She has co-produced dance artists and companies at The Steamplant Theater in Salida. Keeping ties with Denver and Boulder area artists, she returned to Denver to choreograph several shows.
Jan is past president of the Alliance for Colorado Theater as well as the Colorado Dance Alliance. She served on the Governor’s Commission on Arts Education. She received the Alliance for Colorado Theatre Richard L Knaub award for Outstanding Theatre Teacher 2010. Most recently, she has been honored by the Colorado Dance Archives as Colorado’s 2020 Legend of Dance.
She premiered her role in this one-woman play in the lead role of Mother Jones in the summer during the coronavirus pandemic.
Salida Circus founder Jennifer Dempsey received her first circus training at 8 years old at the Oak View Elementary Youth Circus in Fairfax, Virginia. In addition to her tireless work with Salida Circus, Jennifer is the founder of Colorado TINTS, one of the companies involved in producing Call Me Mrs. Evers.
In Feb 2002, she moved to Orange County, California where she founded the Scarlet Sisters Circus with her younger sister Jessica. For five years, the Scarlet Sisters performed throughout California (Hollywood Bowl, Rose Bowl FanFest, Laguna Festival of the Arts) and taught workshops at community centers, school and at Girls Incorporated.
In 2007, Jennifer moved to Salida, Colorado and founded the Salida Circus.
More information can be obtained at the Salida Circus website.
Prolific and award-winning playwright Mike Broemmel is the author of Call Me Mrs. Evers, the life story of civil rights leader Myrlie Evers. A resident of Denver, Colorado, Mike's other theatrical credits include: The Bonfils Girl, The Hours of Anne, Stand Still & Look Stupid: The Life Story of Hedy Lamarr, Taking Tea with the Ripper, Goddess People, The Row, The Lady of Ludlow, The Baptism, and La Primera Mujer: The True Story of Eva Peron. He is the creator of the Iconic Women Theatre Series.
Mike recently completed work on A Destination of My Own, a play that presents the life story of Richard Durham, a relatively unknown Black American who fairly can be said to have played a crucial role in building the foundation of what became the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. One of his most recent works entitled The Unreachable Star that chronicles the life of singer Connie Francis is slated to premiere in 2022 as is his play The Wind is Us: The Death that Killed Capote. He currently is in involved in the pre-production of a pair of plays in Las Vegas, a yet-to-be-titled work about mob boss Al Capone as well a stage play on organized crime figure Virginia Hill. Read more about Witness: The Story of Virginia Hill at the production's website.
Mike has been the playwright in residence at Theatrix USA for nine years and is in his fourth year as playwright in residence of Colorado TINTS.
In addition to playwriting Mike is the author of novels that include Vine Dancing, The Shadow Cast, and Lauderdale Tales. Mike also writes for the San Francisco Chronicle and the Houston Chronicle.
More information can obtained at the Mike Broemmel website