DU Alumni

Alumna Jenna Bainbridge returns to campus in Phamaly production of ‘Evita’

Alumna Jenna Bainbridge plays the title in Phamaly's production of "Evita." Photo: Michael Ensminger

Alumna Jenna Bainbridge plays the title in Phamaly’s production of “Evita.” Photo: Michael Ensminger

It’s been two years since Jenna Bainbridge (BA ’14) graduated from DU and ventured into the world to fulfill her dream of acting and singing on stage. For her, it was more than just being underneath the bright lights in front of big crowds — it was about her passion for the art and not allowing anything to stand her in way.

This summer, Bainbridge brings that passion and dedication back to campus as she takes on the lead role in the Phamaly Theatre Company’s production of the musical “Evita,” running through Aug. 7 at the Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts.

Bainbridge, who became partially paralyzed from the waist down when she was just 18 months old, is one of many disabled actors who perform with the Denver-based Phamaly (Physically Handicapped Actors and Musical Artists League), a professional theater company that produces plays and musicals cast entirely of performers with disabilities (physical, cognitive and emotional). This is Bainbridge’s 10th year with the organization.

“Phamaly is really incredible because they are really willing to adapt and rethink things. It allows for some really beautiful moments,” Bainbridge says. “It’s a very liberating experience to not have to hide anything.”

Playing the role of Evita is no easy task, but it’s one that Bainbridge knew she was up for and a challenge she was more than willing to take on. It’s also her first time on the Newman Center stage since her sophomore year of college.

“Music is my favorite thing in the world. [Evita is] one of the most vocally demanding roles for a woman,” Bainbridge says. “It’s been very surreal to be back at DU. There was that moment when I realized I still knew the elevator code and how to get around backstage. It’s been a nice moment of nostalgia to come here.”

For more information about the Phamaly production of “Evita,” including showtimes and tickets, visit Phamaly.org.



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