Universal Arts Boulder, Inc.

The diversity of people — including those with and without disabilities — necessitates a universal access approach.

About the Artists

Mary Kate Riddell

Mary Kate Riddell, January 2011

Mary Kate Riddell (Director) started tap dancing at age 3 and sang in unison with her fellow dancers, Never Smile at a Crocodile. During the same decade she performed in a touring variety show in which she posed with a doll that looked just like her. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts and Drama from Eureka College in Illinois. She subsequently earned her Master of Arts degree in Theatre from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where she also did her Ph.D studies. She is a performer and director having played such diverse roles as Messr. Nitchia Calfucci in Machiavelli’s The Mandrake and Lady Lucy Angkatell in Agatha Christie’s The Hollows . As a director, Mary Kate has recently directed The Vagina Monologues, The Real Inspector Hound, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) and Noises Off. She is lead day program counselor for Carmel Community Living Corporation, where she works with adults with developmental disabilities. She teaches an adult acting class for the Association for Community Living in Longmont. In addition, she is Director of Programing and Vocational Services for One Mom on a Mission/Helping Hands Bakery, a non-profit, gluten free bakery that raises awareness and provides employment and services to persons with developmental disabilities. Mary Kate loves all things bohemian and vintage, especially hats. She loves to read and listen to music of all kinds.

Jeanmarie Simpson (playwright, actor) was born in rural Arizona in 1959. Her family moved to Toronto in 1970 and she fell in love with the theatre after seeing, with her 7th grade class, the legendary production of Godspell (featuring Gilda Radner, Eugene Levy and Martin Short) at the Bayview Playhouse. She performed dozens of roles in regional theatre and stock in the US and Canada and began directing while still in her teens. Jeanmarie is Founding Artistic Director of the Nevada Shakespeare Company, from which she retired in 2008. She wrote and performed 263 times the play A Single Woman, about the life of first US Congresswoman and lifelong pacifist, Jeannette Rankin. She also starred in the film version that featured Judd Nelson, the voices of Martin Sheen and Patricia Arquette and the music of Joni Mitchell. In 2007, she appeared at the historic Beverly Hills Theatre 40 in the American premiere of the solo tour-de-force Shakespeare’s Will, produced by Leonard Nimoy. Jeanmarie is a practicing Quaker and life member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom(WILPF). While attending a December 2008 meeting of WILPF’s Tucson branch, she met Shannon Cain, co-editor of the anthology Powder: writing by women in the ranks from Vietnam to Iraq. The two quickly agreed that the book would make a terrific theatre piece, and Coming In Hot was conceived. Following an adaptation and rehearsal period of nine months, the play opened at Tucson’s Rhythm Industry Performance Factory. She performed it dozens of times and it is in the process of being made into a documentary film. Jeanmarie is the mother of Domenic and Paul Stockton and Emily Harbaugh. She is the grandmother of Casey Joel Stockton. Her son, Paul, in the Navy since July of 2000, recently returned from Afghanistan. She is married to artist-entomologist Gene Hall.


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