Read about our Artistic Team below.
Jerian Franco - Producer, Writer, Art Director
Jeri is currently the Artistic Director and Executive Producer at The BiTSY Stage where all performances are free, but she has been involved in the arts all her life. Her grandmother was a playwright (A Worm in Horseradish), and both of her parents were very involved in The Westchester Children’s Players, a troupe that brought theater to under-privileged children all over the five boroughs of New York. Throughout her childhood and young adulthood, Jeri performed in several productions, but her background led to an evolving interest in theater and the theater arts.
When the opportunity to own and operate a small theater in Denver presented itself, it was a perfect fit. The impact of free theatre on the local community is something she has experienced first-hand and she truly believes that, if we allow ourselves to be inspired, “Art Will Save The World.”
Samantha McDermott - Writer, Director
Samantha has been in theater her entire life and directing for over 10 years. She began directing in Manhattan at the Theater Studio Inc. In 2010 she began adapting and directing Shakespeare’s plays at The Betsy Stage. Her Betsy shows include: Flaming of The Shrew, Juliet & Romeo: The Panopticon, The Travesty of Lear, Beth, Hamlet, and Othello. In 2016 she began a new venture at The BiTSY with fresh inspiration drawn from international folk and fairy tales. BiTSY shows that she has adapted and directed include: The Stonemason’s Wish, Sadko’s Song, The Silent Princess, (collaboratively) Anansi: The Itsy Bitsy Spider Stories, Jotunheim: A Legend of Thor and His Hammer (adaptation only), and Aloha: Postcards from Polynesia. 2019’s The Necromancer’s Stone is an original script written by Samantha.
Patti Murtha - General Manager, Writer, Director
Patti is a native Jersey Girl who fell in love with Colorado years ago while simultaneously falling for her husband. She has a varied background in acting, stage management, and arts administration with over 20 years in educational theater as a teaching artist, actor, director, and playwright. The BiTSY brings all that is near and dear to her artist heart together in one fabulous little folktale-loving package.
Rekha Ohal - Musical Director
Rekha first picked up a piano at the tender age of five, and never looked back. She started gigging in the Washington D.C. area until she relocated to Denver, where she’s graced the stages at many of the finest venues and events in Colorado including the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, the Taste of Colorado, and Dazzle Jazz. She is a highly sought after pianist and vocalist in the metro area and is delighted to be a part of the staff at The BiTSY.
We strive to provide high quality, economically accessible (they’re free!) theatrical productions to children.
By adapting international folktales, we wish to show our audiences that people all over the world have much in common
while celebrating the differences that make our world so rich.
We believe that