Meet the Troupe

Staircase Contest is an improv troupe that is hosted and sponsored by AllProv. We are a group of improvisers in Denver who are committed to improv and supporting each other. Some of us identify as having a disability while others are committed to advocacy and justice in the community but don’t have a disability.

You may ask “why does there need to be a troupe for improvisers with disabilities?” That’s a great question and hopefully we can shed some light on that.

  • Not all performance and rehearsal spaces are physically accessible for everyone. In Staircase Contest, if one of us can’t use a space or a stage, the troupe doesn’t rehearse or perform there.

  • Not all improv classes and troupes are accessible in terms of coaching and learning for individuals with different learning and expressive styles. In Staircase Contest, we try to make sure to coach at a pace that is conducive to learning and engagement for the group. Also, we try to use the different expressive strengths of the group members. For instance, some of us are more comfortable with quick verbal exchanges while others may want to rely more on their expressive movement. While always trying to grow as artists, we also try our best to respect our diverse styles of learning and expression.

  • When you have a disability or chronic illness, challenges like pain, fatigue, and other stuff can come up a little more often. We try to create a space of understanding and acceptance.

  • We each have had unique experiences and this shapes our creative voices. No one is defined by a disability but having one certainly has an impact on your life and your sense of humor! We want to share our creativity with the community!

Our current troupe members are Shelley Ollig, Brian Be, Jaime Lewis, Wade Norby, and Byron Troy. Our coach is Erin Rafaels. We also enjoy working with guest directors from time to time. It’s always good to learn new skills!

If you might be interested in joining Staircase Contest, please send a message to info@allprov.org for more information and to schedule an audition.