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We are proud to support the United in Orange food drive.  Go Denver!

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What we teach and how we teach it is a critical component of our work at PAA. With everyone at PAA focused on education and helping students to learn something new or grow in a learned skill set, we regularly see students achieve new levels of performance.



Taking your skills to new heights, using the practical application of performance which allows every student the opportunity to succeed with confidence on stage.



Take your learning to a new level. Become a better version of you at PAA.

Spring 2016

Registration closed, please contact Producer Sam Leahy for inquiries and availability.

Grades 2 – 12 (2015-2016 school year)

Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat, and all of your favorite Dr. Seuss characters spring to life onstage in Seussical JR.

Transporting audiences from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus, the Cat in the Hat, our narrator, tells the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust containing tiny people called the Whos, including Jojo, a Who child who gets in trouble for thinking too many “thinks.” Horton’s challenge is twofold – not only must he protect the Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must also guard an abandoned egg that’s been left in his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping, and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him. Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family, and community are challenged and emerge triumphant!


April 15 & 16 at 7pm

Seussical Jr Cast List

Audition Dates

Jan 29, 5:00-8:00pm & Jan 30 1-4pm
Callbacks (if needed): Jan 31, 5-6pm

General Rehearsal Schedule

Monday’s 6:30-8:30pm & Saturday’s 1-4pm

Feb 1, 6, 8, 13, 20, 22, 27, 29
March 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 28
April 2, 4

A detailed schedule will be made available by Jan 5

Tech Week

Sat April 99:00am-5:00pm
Tues April 125:00pm-9:00pm
Weds April 135:00pm-9:00pm
Thurs April 145:00pm-9:00pm

All dates are required of all participants

Space is limited and registrations are taken on a first come, first served basis. No registration is complete without payment in full.

Please see our Cancellation Policy for all details on canceling registration and refunds.

After completing your registration form you will directed to pay online or pay by check. If you choose the pay by check option, late payments will be subject to fees as detailed in our Payment Policy.  PAA has recently added new Payment Option Plans to help you with your family budget.  Read more about the available Payment Options.  You will select your payment option after you register for a camp or class.

Financial assistance is available.  Please see our Financial Aid Guidelines and information about the application process.


PAA has divided skills and/or grades for our classes.  There are some subjects which allow for an easy division by grade (such as voice) as the physical body of the student develops with age and the skills grow as the student grows up.  There are other subject where a student can easily learn at different rates and perform at a higher level, regardless of age (such as dance).

To accommodate these differences, we have added levels to our Fall and Spring classes.  As our student population grows in age and ability we will continue to add new levels of classes to provide additional challenges to our students.
Generally, 1A is a class for an older group of students or a more advanced skill set.  1B classes are for our younger students or students who are learning the fundamentals of a skill set.

Monday Nights

Session 1: 4:30-5:15pm
Session 2: 5:30-6:15pm

Class Dates

January 25
February 1, 8, 22, 29
March 7, 14, 28
April 4, 11 (Shareformance)


Each class will have a Shareformance April 11th!


Space is limited and registrations are taken on a first come, first served basis. No registration is complete without payment in full.

Please see our Cancellation Policy for all details on canceling registration and refunds.

After completing your registration form you will directed to pay online or pay by check. If you choose the pay by check option, late payments will be subject to fees as detailed in our Payment Policy.  PAA has recently added new Payment Option Plans to help you with your family budget.  Read more about the available Payment Options.  You will select your payment option after you register for a camp or class.

Financial assistance is available.  Please see our Financial Aid Guidelines and information about the application process.


1A Glee Club

Grades 7 – 12 (2015-2016 school year)
Session 1 (Monday’s 4:30pm to 5:15pm)

Learn the art of blending tight harmonies and moving to complex rhythms.  Create the sound you have always dreamed of creating and show off at our Shareformance!


1B Glee Club

Grades 2 – 6 (2015-2016 school year)
Session 2 (Monday’s 5:30pm to 6:15pm)

Do you love those tight Glee harmonies?  Learn to hear them and sing with your friends.  Learn more of the music theory behind the magic and use it to become a stronger vocalist.


1A Acting for the Stage

Grades 7 – 12 (2015-2016 school year)
Session 1 (Monday’s 4:30pm to 5:15pm)

Delve deep into the craft of acting.  Learn new tools for creating authentic and fully realized characters.  Build strong listening skills as you learn to react and respond in the moment.


1B Acting for the Stage

Grades 2 – 6 (2015-2016 school year)
Session 2 (Monday’s 5:30pm to 6:15pm)

Jump into the craft of acting!  Learn the foundational skills and build strong, believable characters.


1A Theatre Dance

Grades 2 – 12 (2015-2016 school year)
Session 2 (Monday’s 5:30pm to 6:15pm)
Description and Prerequisite

This advanced dance class requires the demonstration of the following skills at the start of our first class.  Come prepared to be pushed to new levels of excellence and art.

Required skills:

  • Jazz Squares
  • Pivot Turns
  • Basic Pirouette
  • Pas de Bourree
  • Basic Leaps

1B Theatre Dance

Grades 2 – 6 (2015-2016 school year)
Session 1 (Monday’s 4:30pm to 5:15pm)

This dance class is ideal for any student who is just starting out or who struggles with dance.  You will learn the foundational steps and build your confidence as a dancer.


1A Improvisational Comedy

Grades 7 – 12 (2015-2016 school year)
Session 2 (Monday’s 5:30pm to 6:15pm)
Description and Prerequisite

Learn challenging improv games and take your comic timing to the next level.

  • Prerequisite: All students must have at least one previous show experience.

1B Improvisational Comedy

Grades 2 – 6 (2015-2016 school year)
Session 1 (Monday’s 4:30pm to 5:15pm)

Time to tickle the funny bone!  This class is perfect for any young budding comic.  Learn new short form improv games each week and start your path to comic genius.



Kindergarten – 2nd (2015-2016 school year)
Session 1 (Monday’s 4:30pm to 5:15pm)

Dig into your darker side and craft your own super villian character. You will work with your class to write and perform the story of how the super villains came to be and the great event that brings them together.  You will learn character development, story arching, and costume design (you will create your villain cape and mask).  On our final day you will perform your script as your super villain with your cape and mask at our PAA Shareformance.


Groovin' Dance

Kindergarten – 2nd (2015-2016 school year)
Session 2 (Monday’s 5:30pm to 6:15pm)

Groovin’ Dance is a great introduction to Musical Theatre Dance.  Full to over flowing with fun music, your Kindergarten through 2nd grader will learn many of the basic principles of moving as a group, learning choreography and beginning dance steps.  These fundamental skills will build a foundation for a life long love of dance.

Show and One Class

Register to Choose Your Class
  • Select either Session 1 or 2
  • Audition for and perform in our Spring show
Register Now!

One Class

Register to Choose Your Class
  • Select either Session 1 or 2
  • Stay connected to PAA and keep your continuation discount active
Register Now!

Two Classes

Register to Choose Your Class
  • Our top value for classes
  • Select one class from each session
  • Take full advantage of your PAA education
  • Includes a snack between classes
Register Now!

Summer 2016

Choose from the categories below to sort and see the programs that are right for you.

Summer Camp – Leslie Patricelli’s Side-Splitting-Stories

Summer Camp – Leslie Patricelli’s Side-Splitting-Stories

Kidz Theatre – Disney’s Winnie the Pooh KIDS

Kidz Theatre – Disney’s Winnie the Pooh KIDS

Youth Theatre – Legally Blonde JR.

Youth Theatre – Legally Blonde JR.

Technical Theatre – Legally Blonde JR. and Disney’s Cinderella KIDS

Technical Theatre – Legally Blonde JR. and Disney’s Cinderella KIDS

Children’s Musical Theatre – Disney’s Cinderella KIDS

Children’s Musical Theatre – Disney’s Cinderella KIDS

Ensemble Theatre – Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka

Ensemble Theatre – Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka

Technical Theatre – Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka

Technical Theatre – Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka

Children’s Musical Theatre – Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS

Children’s Musical Theatre – Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS

Youth Theatre – Honk! JR.

Youth Theatre – Honk! JR.

Technical Theatre – Honk! JR. and Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS

Technical Theatre – Honk! JR. and Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS

Summer Camp – Harriet Ziefert’s Imagination Transportation

Summer Camp – Harriet Ziefert’s Imagination Transportation

Kidz Theatre – A Year With Frog And Toad KIDS

Kidz Theatre – A Year With Frog And Toad KIDS

The Next Level – Urinetown

The Next Level – Urinetown

Our Summer Experiences

Trying to find the PAA experience that is right for you? Please take a moment to select and read about and experience below.


Children's Musical Theatre

A larger stage for kids 2nd-6th grade to continue to expand their performing arts skills and grow their confidence!

Kidz Theatre

A musical theatre program designed for K-2nd graders to introduce them to a full script, costumes, props and the big stage.

Ensemble Theatre

Combining 2nd through 12th graders to work collaboratively in a single production.

Summer Acting Workshop

Our one week workshop will take you through all the fundamentals of acting including body work, breath, mental preparation and improvisation. We will also cast, rehearse and perform one act plays.

Summer Camps

At St. Luke’s PAA learning the skills for the stage start at 3 years of age. Our Summer Camp is filled to the gills with acting and stage work basic skills that any young performer needs to know and because we do it with the help of our favorite books and songs – it is more fun than you can possibly imagine!

The Next Level

TheNextLevel is a program designed to push our older and more seasoned students harder and farther in their pursuit of the Theatre Arts. Using more intense subject matter or more complex shows as our background, we will engage the students in this program to develop greater skills and personal awareness. We discuss the impact Theatre has on the world around us and how we can use our talents and art to engage the world around and and make it better.

Youth Theatre

A natural growth in to more challenging productions to continue to develop performing arts skills!

Technical Theatre

Under the direction of a professional Technical Director, advance your knowledge and understanding of the Theater behind the scenes. Hands-on learning throughout the two week intensive includes script analysis, set design, construction, costumes, make-up, properties, lighting, and sound that culminate in the final performances of Intensive I. Tuition includes scripts, T-shirt, daily snack and party. Please bring a pencil, water bottle and wear work clothes for painting and construction days.

Script Analysis: Translate the text of a show and begin creating the visual representations for the production. Set Design and Construction: Learn the basics of set design and construction. Properties: What are they and why are they needed? Delve into the world of creating everyday things. Costumes and Make Up: What makes a costume? Learn what costume design entails. Get a fresh look at make up techniques and how to remake a face to suit a show. Lighting and Sound: Learn how to add the drama and sound to any production. Create lighting cues and use a sound board to make our productions come to life!

Interview with a teacher- Skyler Zurn

We’re continuing our series in which we interview our teachers and staff to learn more about them and get their insights into the world of performance. This week’s interview is with Skyler Zurn, who has been a director for PAA. She most recently directed... read more

Watch the PAA Dance Class Video!

Ever wanted to see what our dance classes look like? On the fence about whether to sign up for one? Want to learn what makes them so great? Watch this video to hear from our students about why they love taking dance classes at PAA and think you will too!... read more

Choosing Audition Songs

A post by Dr. James Ramsey, PAA Executive Director How do you pick a song for an audition? Audition processes can be as different as there are roles depending on the organization and artistic team choosing the cast. However when choosing a selection for a general... read more

Acting at PAA

A post by Jenna Wilcox, PAA Artistic Director The craft of acting is a life long study. For those who have a passion for performance it is the key to unlocking greatness. The greatest hope of an actor is to become so transformed into a character that in the... read more

Stars In Arts Gala

The 2015 Stars In Arts Gala is less than a month away, and everyone is invited! It will be held Saturday November 21st at 6:00PM at The Wildlife Experience. Enjoy cocktails, dinner, silent and live auction bidding, with entertainment provided by PAA students. For more... read more

Eli loved Acting Workshop! In fact, the next morning – a Saturday morning – he said, “I wish I had Acting Workshop today.” He loves you all!



Students Educated

Most places I’ve gone, I haven’t made friends but this one I did and I kept those friends.


I am the Education & Community Engagement Coordinator at Central City Opera, and I was in charge of organizing the interactive family activities for our production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. This included an origami art making activity, and handing out light-up star pendants to the children in the audiences after each performance. I had the pleasure of working with the Performing Arts Academy students who were in the opera. I really needed some extra hands to help me, and these hard-working, professional, fun, respectful, and talented kids helped me facilitate these activities without any hesitation. It was so fun to meet them, have them help me, and then watch them perform! I was thoroughly impressed by every single kid. As we say in the opera world, “Bravi, tutti!” And thank you!

Emily Murdock

Education and Community Engagement Coordinator, Central City Opera

Even though he was upset with me that I had signed him up at the beginning.  Your crew pulled him in with  “embrace your weirdness”.  I don’t know what would have worked in a website to make him want to go before he went and experienced it.  I would say that the performance you had on Friday was probably your best marketing.  The impromptu stuff was engaging to everyone including the audience and so fun.  It made a 48 year old woman with never a desire to perform want to get involved.  If he would have been sitting in the audience, that might have picked his interest in going.  He can’t wait till the next opportunity to do this again.  He said sign me up for whatever they have.  I am so grateful to you and everyone involved for getting my uninspired teenager inspired again!



The Performing Arts Academy summer theater camp was the perfect choice for my tween daughter.  She made some great friends, improved her acting and singing skills, and the PAA instructors were fantastic.  I can’t believe they pulled off the amazing production of Fame in just 2 weeks!  I’m not at all surprised that it’s the Denver A List 2013 Runner Up for Best Theatre Group, and the Macaroni Kid 2013 Family Choice Winner (Best Drama/Theater Class and Best Children’s Theater).



PAA is Hannah’s favorite part of summer.Her participation over the past three years has really helped to improve her self confidence and motivate her in school.  She looks forward to doing other productions, in addition to PAA, and she enjoys working with all the participants and directors. She was transformed by the experience and her confidence has blossomed.

Barry Curtis


I must say that I was very impressed with the program.  Emily really loved it, and I can even see a bit more confidence in her.  She had a soccer tournament the weekend after the show, and she definitely played more aggressively than usual!  Thank you to you and all the PAA staff.  You all did a wonderful job.  I feel blessed to be a part of a church that offers these awesome programs.  We are looking forward to next year.


My children are LOVING this program. They come home and sing and dance for HOURS! :) Thank you so very much for doing this with them. They are learning the names of dance moves (which makes my heart sing!) and so much about singing and dancing. They are both coming home full of creative excitement!



My daughter loves connecting with her friends and meeting new friends with the same interests every year.  What has brought us back? The quality of programming… mixing the educational/skills building with the performance and adding in fun aspects of being a kid…candy kudos, games, dancing, etc


Performing Arts Academy is something I look forward to all year long. It is a chance to meet new friends and spend time with your current friends while putting on a fantastic show and learning many skills that will be useful your whole life.


Student (13 years old)

Who We Are

Our Mission

To provide transformative character building experiences in K-12 students through performing arts education.

The Performing Arts Academy (PAA) will be widely recognized as providing the best performing arts experiences in the greater Denver metropolitan area.

Character – Through Integrity and Leadership

  1. Creating transformative experiences and nurturing self-esteem for our students.
  2. Inspiring an understanding of diversity that includes people of all abilities, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and faiths.
  3. Cultivating leadership through service to our students, modeling a spirit of kindness, generosity and service to others.
  4. Holding an unwavering commitment to our mission and values with authenticity, transparency, and the highest standards of conduct and character.

Where We Are Today

The Performing Arts Academy (PAA) is based out of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, located at 8817 South Broadway, in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. In 2006, James Ramsey and Roberta Hamilton Griggs created a theater arts program that would engage 26 children and their families, inspiring them to reveal brilliance and to grow within their community.

In the south metro Denver area, PAA is unique, attracting students of all backgrounds and employing quality, seasoned professionals with degrees in music theater, music performance and music education. The teaching staff consistently designs and implements curriculum that delivers a high quality experience in performing arts for children of all abilities. Our educational model focuses on teaching confidence, cooperation, collaboration, creativity, and community through performing arts experiences.

Current programs include

  1. Summer Musical Theatre:
    • Summer Camp for 3 year olds – Kindergarten
    • Summer Musical Theater Intensives (2-week programs that involve curriculum-driven classes and performance-based rehearsals)
    •      – Kidz Theatre for Kindergarten – 2nd grade
    •      – Children’s Theatre for 2nd – 6th grade
    •      – Youth Theatre for 7th – 12th grade
    •      – Ensemble Theatre for 2nd – 12th grade
    • The Next Level for 9th – 12th grade (by audition only)
    • See an overview of PAA’s summer musical theatre offerings.
  2. Summer Acting Workshop
  3. Band Camp
  4. Orchestra Camp
  5. Beginning Keyboard for 4-7 year olds
  6. Acting, Singing and Improv classes each Spring and Fall, including a Musical Theatre opportunity for students enrolled in a class

Programs are held at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Mountain Vista High School, and East Elementary in Littleton.

PAA has grown from 26 students in 2006 to over 650 students in 2014. Continued growth patterns indicate over 2,000 students in multiple programs by 2018. Facility needs for staff and faculty have been accommodated by the continued generosity of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, but our rapid growth will soon demand additional space. Staffing and program needs will expand proportionately, demanding skillful management to maintain steady and successful growth over time.

Long term strategic planning options include but are not limited to:

  1. Building successful programs in music and theater for children.
  2. Expanding into local schools to enhance music and theater education.
  3. Developing community partnerships to support and sustain growth.
  4. Creating a safe space where students are inspired.

PAA continues its efforts to become a self-sustaining organization, with partnerships, fund-raising and grant writing supplementing the current model of “fee for services.”

If its your first time or your hundredth time visiting our website, we welcome you and encourage you to search the many different aspects and opportunities at PAA. Since our first day in the summer of 2006, we’ve continually created, modified, and refined our programs to fit the needs of the surrounding community. Each of these programs fosters individual growth and skill building and is tailored to fit the age group represented. At PAA, we place a high value on the student experience and with that comes the responsibility to engage the student in dialogue around our core values: Curriculum, Character and Community. In order to sustain a consistent method of instruction, our Teaching Artists create curriculums that follow or align with state standards for music and arts education. We also stress the importance of building an individual’s character through transformative experiences that can often lead to greater self esteem, leadership ability, service and acceptance of diversity. In addition, the value of being in community is simply allowing the student to recognize the connectedness we all share and how they function differently because of that awareness. PAA has encountered a 40% or more growth rate since its inception. Sustaining this amount of growth over the years not only takes a talented staff but a dedicated one. As you explore the website, I encourage you to read more about our incredible PAA staff. They truly are amazing! Our vision for this program is to serve the needs of students in this community and create experiences that builds kids. PAA not only advances the cause of Performing Arts in the south Metro Denver area but moreover nurtures individual growth.

Dr. James Ramsey, Executive Director

Our Board


Ann Smith, Chair

Ann Smith brings a diverse perspective to the PAA Board of Directors, with her background in non-profit organizations, youth ministry, and business ownership. Through her work with the American Heart Association and the Center for Housing Resources, she understands the importance of financial stewardship, community relations, and education.  As the Education Coordinator for Advocates for Citizens with Retardation, Ann taught disability awareness programs in elementary schools using bun-ra-ku puppetry. She built upon her passion for youth and families by serving as the Assistant Youth Director at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. She now owns Sylvan Learning Center in Highlands Ranch, which combines her experience with youth and her business training to develop a company that supports children and families in many ways throughout the community. Ann holds a degree in Marketing from Texas A&M University.

As a performer in many of St. Luke’s dramas and comedies, Ann knows that joy, confidence, and fun emerge from creating art through teamwork. Her daughter, McKay has been performing with PAA for 7 years. Ann hopes her work on the PAA board will continue to introduce children and youth to the wonderful world of theater and performing arts.

Marty Davidson, Vice Chair

Marty has more than 27 years of business experience in executive leadership, management, engineering, and operations in technology and telecommunications at AT&T, Comcast, SCTE, and now with Windstream. In addition to PAA, Marty serves on the Board of Directors of Adoption Options and the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Advisory Board at the Colorado School of Mines. He also leads a local Cystic Fibrosis fundraising team. Marty has provided leadership at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in multiple areas, including the Executive Team, Staff Parish Relations Team, Future Planning Team, and Lay Leadership. Marty holds Executive Certificates from the Wharton School of Business, Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, St. John’s University, and Babson College. He also holds a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University and the University of Massachusetts.

Marty sees firsthand how his two children benefit from participating in the performing arts, and values the opportunities they have to build confidence, leadership, and a sense of community. Additionally, he understands that performing arts can bring balance to help very gifted, young technical minds expand and flourish in new ways. Marty and his wife Melinda are ever grateful for the role that PAA plays in shaping youth to be all they truly can be.

 Ken Fong, Treasurer

Ken’s technology background enhances the quality of each PAA production, and his executive management experience complements the PAA board of directors. He was vice president at Lucent Technologies before retiring in 1999. At Lucent and its predecessor, Bell Laboratories, he managed software development for private branch exchanges, or PBXs, and product managed voice mail and interactive voice response communications systems. Ken holds a B.S. in Engineering from the California Institute of Technology and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

Ken serves on the Board of Trustees at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. He now devotes much of his time and talent in the areas of video and audio technologies, web design, and photography for St. Luke’s and for Pura Vida Ministries, which promotes health and education in Guatemala. Ken has a passion for excellence in sound and video production, and his desire to apply his expertise to PAA performances enriches the experiences for our students and audiences.

Karin Wesson, Secretary

Karin brings volunteer and leadership experience to PAA. She provides technical and production support for PAA summer intensive workshops. She has served in several leadership roles at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and Girl Scouts of Colorado. She continues to serve as a volunteer for her daughter’s youth group.  Karin is a registered nurse and works at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree. She is married to Scott Wesson and lives in Highlands Ranch.

Karin’s four children have grown up with performing arts and music lessons.  She believes theater and music are doorways to self-expression. Her children have developed skills and self-confidence through musical programs; and that is why she has intentionally been a part of PAA.


John Mann, Director

John brings a variety of marketing consulting and board leadership experience to PAA.  He has been a successful independent marketing consultant for more than 14 years, after 20 years at respected firms, including Procter & Gamble and Coors Brewing Company.  He spends one month each year as an Executive in Residence at Colorado College teaching consumer marketing. John holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an MBA in Marketing.

John considers one of the many joys of being an independent consultant is the increased flexibility to give back to the community. He has served as a volunteer in church youth programs for more than 32 years. Additionally, he has served on the board of directors of Denver Urban Ministries and The Broadway Assistance Center.  He continues to provide pro bono marketing consulting to organizations that serve children and youth, people at-risk, and the homeless.

Although he left “serious” acting behind in middle school, John enjoys his annual appearances as Santa for the children of his neighborhood and at Civic Center Park on Christmas morning for homeless families. John has been deeply inspired by the stories of transformational experiences for youth at PAA.

Suzanne Sharpe, Director

Suzanne brings specialized experience working with children and families through her work at a school for the Deaf. Additionally, she is an active volunteer who serves as a team manager for a variety of youth sports activities. At St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Suzanne has supported many children’s programs through her service on teams and committees, such as the children’s ministry team, family camp, and the annual holiday shop.  Suzanne led the Cherubs Choir at St. Luke’s for several years, making her one of a select few who can say she made a lasting impression on preschool children in what is often their first choral music and performance experience.

Suzanne and her three children have participated together in St. Luke’s Wesley Players. Finding their place in performing arts, her children have been involved in PAA since its first offering. Through the program, she has seen her son and two daughters gain a strong foundation in music and theater. More important, Suzanne has enjoyed watching her children grow in confidence, and wants to see other children have the same transformative opportunity.

Richard Spong, Director

Rich brings to PAA strong experience in financial planning and a diverse history of service to the community through non-profit and educational boards. He spent 35 years in the banking industry before retiring in 2010 from U.S. Bank Private Client Reserve (Wealth Management). Rich holds B. A. in Economics from Ottawa University and a J. D. from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

His volunteer service includes 6 years on the Rocky Mountain United Methodist Foundation Board, including 3 years as president. While living in Joplin, Missouri, Rich served on the Freeman Hospital Foundation and the Joplin Family YMCA boards, and the Joplin R-VIII Board of Education. A Rotarian for more than 40 years, he is a member of the Downtown Denver Club 31. He has led planned giving committees at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, in Highlands Ranch and First Presbyterian Church, in Joplin. Rich is also active as a facilitator at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute sponsored by Denver University.

Rich and his wife Pris enjoy their two daughters, sons-in-law, and three grandchildren who live in the Denver Metro area. Although more of an athlete than performer as a youth, Rich discovered a new passion for the arts after seeing the original London production of Fiddler on the Roof in 1967.  When St. Luke’s Wesley Players produced Fiddler in 2005, Rich made his stage debut with a small part in the beloved musical.  Since then, he has performed several other Wesley Players shows, demonstrating that it is never be too late (or too early) to take up a new interest in the arts. He hopes to impart this message through his PAA board service.

Michelle Sosa-Mallory, Director

Michelle brings more than 23 years of experience in communications, marketing, and business and grant development in support of PAA. She created and managed national outreach campaigns for federal customers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; oversaw grants and development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver; and developed media and community audiences for Metropolitan State University of Denver.  She holds a B.A. in Technical Communications and Marketing.

Music and theater have been part of Michelle’s life since grade school, and she now sings in St. Luke’s chancel choir, performs in Wesley Players, and works behind the scenes on productions.  She values the team spirit and sense of community that grow from performing. Michelle enjoys volunteer leadership, and is active in lay leadership at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, has served on the board of CYT Denver children’s theater, and other community and non-profit boards.  Michelle and her husband, Carson, are confirmed stage parents to their college-age daughter, Mica, an aspiring singer who recalls many happy experiences with PAA. She feels immense joy and pride watching her daughter flourish on stage, and wants the same for anyone whose child takes part in PAA.

Dr. Jim Ramsey

Dr. Jim Ramsey

Executive Director

Dr. Jim's Bio

James Ramsey is Executive Director for the St. Luke’s Performing Arts Academy, Director of Music and Arts at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Adjunct Faculty at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music and Artistic Director for the Wesley Choral Festival. James has worked with various orchestras and ensembles in the area as well as served as Music Director and Conductor for the Littleton Chorale, Music Director for the University of Colorado Summer Opera Program, Chorus Master for the Colorado Music Festival, Associate Conductor of the Carolina Chamber Chorale and Assistant Conductor of the Grammy award-winning San Francisco Symphony Chorus preparing for several maestros including Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Roger Norrington and Libor Pesek.

Ramsey has conducted choral and orchestral performances across Europe and the United States including professional engagements at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Red Rocks Amphitheater, and Kennedy Center (2015). As a baritone soloist, he has performed with CU Opera, Pikes Peak Opera, Opera Colorado, and Rochester (NY) Light Opera Theater.

James earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder, a Master of Music degree in conducting at the Eastman School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music Education at Middle Tennessee State University. Mentors and teachers include Joan Conlon, Vance George, Donald Neuen, Alfred Mann, and Samuel Adler. As an instructor, Ramsey has taught at the University of Colorado, Whitman College in Washington, and Brighton Central Schools in Rochester, NY. He has served as the American Choral Directors Association’s Repertoire and Standards Chair for Community Choirs for both Colorado and the Southwest Region. James resides in Littleton with his wife, Leigh, and their sons, Jack and Luke.

Jenna Wilcox

Jenna Wilcox

Artistic Director

Jenna's Bio

Since the age of three, Jenna has been performing and since the age of seven she has been directing. Her first show was a summer stock performance written with the help of her sisters and included original choreography, magic and storytelling that was memorable for every neighbor in attendance.

As she grew, she followed her passion to the stage and performed in roles such as Glinda in The Wizard of Oz, Mrs. Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank, Maize in The Boyfriend and most recently, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.

She has also directed many productions including Aladdin, Narnia, The Bear, The Proposal, The Wizard of Oz, and She Loves Me. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Musical Theater from Friends University and has over 14 years experience directing and producing theater.

Samantha Leahy

Samantha Leahy


Samantha's Bio

Samantha serves as Director of Early Childhood Ministry at St. Luke’s UMC and supported Assistant Producer roles with PAA for the last 3 years. Samantha’s 16 years of personal and professional experience coupled with her genuine love of children and strong integrity has allowed her to develop her passion for the care and tutelage of children. Samantha joins our team with strong relational skills with the ability to focus on others strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. She is grateful for the opportunity to join our PAA staff as she knows the impact creative outlets have on transforming the lives of children. Samantha resides in Highlands Ranch and leads many volunteer outreach programs through St. Luke’s. She is also the proud mother to two daughters, Keara and Ryann who attend CU Boulder.

Taletha Pogge

Taletha Pogge


Taletha's Bio

Taletha Pogge has been an accountant for over ten years, specializing in accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll. She graduated from Walla Walla University with a degree in accounting. She volunteers in her community for a variety of non-profit organizations and has served on the PTO board at her children’s school. Taletha’s hobbies include hiking in Colorado’s great outdoors, sewing, and knitting. She and her husband have lived in Colorado for 7 years with their two wonderful and energetic boys. She enjoys being active and participating in the community.

Caitlin Bauer

Caitlin Bauer


Caitlin's Bio

Caitlin is a pursuing a degree in Promotional Strategy Design from MSU Denver. She has a passion for combining design and marketing skills to help improve communications. Caitlin has loved the performing arts since she was young, and was one of PAA’s first students back when the program started back in 2006. She feels so fortunate to have the opportunity to see how much growth and change PAA has undergone over the years. In her free time, Caitlin enjoys reading, attending live theater, singing, acting, and getting ready to graduate in December!

Laura Benson

Laura Benson

Financial Manager

Laura's Bio

Laura Benson has always enjoyed being involved in her community and supporting worthwhile causes. She is the former treasurer of the Junior League of Fort Collins where she gained her experience working with non-profits. After ten years in banking and wealth management, she became a Certified Public Accountant currently working in manufacturing. As our most recent staff member, she is pleased to be part of managing the financial aspect our growing programs.

Kim Hay

Kim Hay

Operations Manager

Kim's Bio

As a Professional in Human Resources, recognized leader in business, and the current Director of Client Services for a multinational learning and development company Kim, brings more than 15 years of operational experience, success, and a solid work ethic to her new role at the Performing Arts Academy. While serving as an HR Business Partner, focused on Learning & Development, Kim managed a team in the US Corporate Headquarters while also serving her internal clients globally. She has been certified to facilitate Ken Blanchard’s “Situational Leadership” program as well as having proficiency in instructional design, executive coaching and human dynamics assessments including SDI, The Devine Inventory, and Extended DISC. As the Director of Client Services for Sandler Training Kim manages and leads a team of 10 people as well as coordinating the efforts of hundreds of independent franchise owners and their associates around the world.

Kim is a life-long learner and continues to pursue advancements in all areas of her life. She has a deep love of the Arts with a great appreciation for all types of music and dance. Since moving full time to Colorado Kim has taken a serious interest in both golf and skiing and practices both regularly.

Although a native New Yorker, Kim now calls Colorado home.

Our Teaching Artists

Our teaching artists are local top educators and theater professionals who regularly work in the local community. We are always looking to add hard working, top notch people. Do you have a love for kids and a passion for the arts? Consider joining our team today.

Come join the team at PAA!

Apply Now
Our Sponsors

Fort Family Foundation
Sheila Fortune Foundation
Littleton Public Schools Foundation

Payment Policy

Payment in full is due at time of registration. However, PAA does offer three different payment options to help family budgets. See details below. Please note that Early Bird pricing is offered until one month prior to the start date of all PAA programs. At one month prior to the start date, Early Bird pricing ends and the price increases by 10% in order to cover additional fees and costs for late registration.


Payment Plans: Upon completing registration, you are directed to Event Registration Payment Overview. Select Payment Plans. The PAA Staff Accountant will contact you within 1-2 business days to confirm payment details. An email receipt notification is sent after each transaction for your records. A processing fee of $10 is applied to the total amount due.

Option 1: Pay in full

Option 2: Three-Payment Plan

The first payment equals 34% of the total tuition amount and is processed in order to complete registration. The remaining balance is charged to your credit card in two equal payments on the same day as the first payment the following 2 months.

Option 3: Four-Payment Plan

The first payment equals 25% of the total tuition amount and is processed in order to complete registration. The remaining balance is charged to your credit card in three equal payments on the same day as the first payment the following 3 months.

Option 4: Six-Payment Plan

The first payment equals 17% of the total tuition amount and is processed in order to complete registration. The remaining balance is charged to your credit card in five equal payments on the same day as the first payment the following 5 months.

Please contact the PAA Producer if you have any questions about the payment options. Please note that if automatic payments extend past a registered program, the PAA Refund Policy cannot be requested.

Financial Aid and Work Study Application

PAA Financial Aid Application Guidelines

  • Complete the online form below as completely as possible and click submit.
  • All information is confidential.
  • Applications can only be submitted online.
  • Financial aid is limited for each program.
  • The Financial Aid Committee meets once each month and determines all requests.
  • Each applicant will be notified of the qualifying financial aid award, usually within 2­4 weeks following the date submitted.

Work Study Application Guidelines

  • Complete the online form as completely as possible and click submit.
  • All information is confidential.
  • Applications can only be submitted online with current references.
  • Deadline for submission is 30 days before the registered program.
  • The PAA staff and Artistic teams determine all awards.
  • Each applicant will be notified of the qualifying financial aid award, usually within 2­4 weeks following the date submitted.

Work Study Selection Procedure and Guidelines

  • The PAA Work Study Committee, comprised of members of PAA staff and the involved Artistic team, meet to review all applications before the start of the registered program.
  • Various factors are taken into account to determine the amount of the work­study award, such as income and student motivation, based on the applicant’s written statement and/or personal interviews.
  • Work Study Awards are available up to 50 percent of total tuition.
  • Upon agreement, the applicant enters into a contract with PAA as to specific duties/tasks for the work­study program.

PAA Cancellation and Refund Policy

  • PAA will offer a full refund of tuition less a $50 cancellation processing fee, per session, per child, for cancellations that occur up to 6 weeks before the start of the class, camp or program.
  • PAA will offer a 50 percent refund of tuition less a $50 cancellation processing fee, per session, per child, for cancellations that occur between 2 and 6 weeks before the start of any class, camp or program.
  • PAA will NOT offer any refunds for cancellations occurring within 14 days of the beginning of a class, camp or program. Consideration for family emergency will be made by the PAA Executive Director on a case­ by­ case basis.
  • PAA will not offer any refunds for expulsion or voluntary withdrawal during sessions. Consideration for withdrawals due to illness will be made by the PAA Executive Director on a case­ by­ case basis.
  • All requests will be processed within 7­-10 business days.
  • All requests for refund must be by form, submitted online or otherwise in writing.

St. Luke’s Performing Arts Academy

St. Luke’s Performing Arts Academy
8817 S. Broadway
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129


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