Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicki Runge.
Nicki was amazed with learning about over 16,000 Deaf people in the Front Range urban corridor alone, the local Deaf community and their friends, family, and others that have interest or know ASL (not a requirement) there are an estimated 56,000 potential patrons to target to fill productions that are short run and have seating for 250 people. Nicki has already had success selling out shows that she has produced for Project DOVE that hired her to produce “Steel Magnolias” and the Rocky Mountain Deaf School where she produce the “Beauty and the Beast”, “Snow White and The Seven Dwarf”, and “Diary of Anne Frank”. There is a long list she could share with her experiences. Also, there are other successful Deaf theater companies, the most famous being Deaf West Theater and the National Theater of the Deaf that she attended for summer program in 2002.
She wants to start a Deaf Theatre Company to give the Deaf Community a theater option where they are the focus, not cast to the side. She was tired of going to see live theater and having to choose to see the action or the interpretation but she couldn’t watch both. ImaginASL Performing Arts incorporates ASL sign directly into the productions and English spoken the characters to help the hearing enjoy the show.
Nicki has made the Rocky Mountain Deaf Theatre her new home between 2011 to 2016 and wears many different hats at this company. She can be seen acting on stage, assistant directing, free director for nonprofit organizations, stage managing, and teacher of Drama and American Sign Language from preschool through adults, just to name a few. Nicki succeed on the Rocky Mountain Deaf Theatre becomes into ImaginASL Performing Arts as Non-Profit Organizational to build their own stage to continue to share Deaf Talents’ passion for theater with many more audiences who are sign language interpreters, sign language students, and deaf to come happened in 2016.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Balance Nicki’s schedule as a mother and business owner as essential skill for running a non-profit organization. Making sure her 7 Board Members works as team by supporting each other and staying positive to help ImaginASL growing. Also searching for money to be able to afford staffs to work for ImaginASL. It do go smooth road then sometimes it gets bumpy up and down but we are staying on road no matter what!
Please tell us about ImaginASL Performing Arts.
Nicki managing and artistic duties full-time for ImaginASL Performing Arts plus she do mentoring, teaching sign language, directing, acting, many different hats she can name it. Nicki is very proud of ImaginASL Performing Arts as Founder and Artistic Director because she accomplishing her goals. She loves working with others who share the same goals or believe in the dream she is trying to put forth, but she also acknowledges that it’s nice to have an aspiration just for yourself. Also, Nicki was able to expand her company and soon people were raving, excited about the collaboration between the hearing and Deaf worlds.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
No there is no regrets and still continuing.
- Website: www.imaginasl.org
- Phone: 970-373-5266
- Email: Artisticdirector@imaginasl.org
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/imaginasl