Join us this summer in Merely Underground for exciting workshops that will help you brush up your acting technique and take it to the next level.

Classes are open to those aged 16 and above. Class size is limited.

All classes are at Merely Underground, 789 Tech Center Drive in Durango

Date: Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Instructors: Dallas Padoven and Tara Demmy

Tuition: $35.00

Delivering a monologue is the most common audition requirement. Perfect for actors of all levels, this intensive session combines technique training with personal discovery and professional coaching. Dive deep into the art of the monologue, exploring character development, emotional truth, and powerful delivery. With tailored feedback from seasoned coaches, you’ll gain the confidence and skills to captivate any audience. Join us and discover the secrets to captivating your audience every time you audition!


All participants must arrive with a memorized monologue of no more than 2 minutes. Please bring a paper copy of it as well.


Dates: Tuesday and Wednesday, July 23 and 24, 2024

Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Instructors: Dallas Padoven and Zachary Chiero

Tuition: $50.00


Workshop participants will jump into the rich material and colorful characters of this classic musical, as they learn techniques for acting a song and developing characters. Then they will learn choreography which reflects the style and energy of this show. Whether you’re preparing for the November auditions for the Merely Players’ production of Guys and Dolls or simply looking to enhance your triple-threat abilities for other auditions, this class will provide both exciting training and a fun experience. Join us for this exciting opportunity to step into the world of Guys and Dolls and elevate your musical theatre skills!

Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2024

Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Instructors: Zachary Chiero and Charles Ford

Tuition: $35.00


This dynamic class is designed for enthusiasts of all skill levels and offers a unique opportunity to explore the art of storytelling through the use of masks and puppets. We’ll be imagining with masks and puppets as we create our upcoming production of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and this class will help prepare you for that audition. Whether or not you plan to audition, anyone with passion and curiosity for creative expression and storytelling is welcome. Come play with us!


Date: Thursday, July 25, 2024

Time: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Instructor: Tara Demmy

Tuition: $35.00


Clowns are completely vulnerable and they share every feeling with their audience. This dynamic workshop is an introduction to red nose clown as well as a guide on how to use “clown state” in comedy and theatre work. The clown’s humor comes out of their honest play, naivety, and commitment to their own stupidity. Using the red nose and your body, you will discover your inner clown’s rhythm, physicality, voice, and hilarious talents. “Intelligence is limited. Stupidity is infinite.” – Giovanni Fusetti 

Red nose provided. Wear comfortable clothing + shoes you can move in.


Date: Friday, July 26, 2024

Time: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Instructor: Tara Demmy

Tuition: $45.00

Prerequisite: “Find your Inner Clown” (July 24) or a previous clown workshop with Tara. 

Now that you’ve discovered your clown, it’s time to put them on stage and develop a unique and hilarious act. In this workshop, we will explore two different types of performance: the Clown Bide (the circus “flop”) & Clowns in Real Life (what happens when your clown works at the DMV, or goes on a first date?). Through solo and duo clown exercises, you will leave this workshop with a beginning structure to develop your act further. 

Wear comfortable clothing + shoes you can move in. 

Optional: Think about a skill or activity you do particularly well (juggling, poetry, playing the guitar, singing, cutting out paper snowflakes…). Bring the item(s) you need to do it.


Our teachers are theatre professionals who love theatre and look forward to helping you develop your creativity and skill level.



Zachary Chiero has spent the last 12 years working with many theatres throughout the greater Philadelphia area. He has created three national tours with Enchantment Theatre Company, where he is currently an associate Artistic Director. His work with Tribe of Fools physical theatre company has earned him Barrymore nominations for Best Choreography for his work on world premieres Fly, Eagles Fly and Fishtown: A Hipster Noir. For Merely Players, Zachary has appeared in Buyer and Cellar, As You Like It, Hands on a Hardbody, and Chicago. He directed Merely’s productions Murder on the Orient Express and Small Mouth Sounds, and he choreographed Chicago.


Tara Demmy is a comedian, theatre artist, historian, and instructor who has performed in comedy festivals all over the country and worked on five world-premieres with the award-winning physical theatre company, Tribe of Fools. Tara started teaching comedy in 2010 and it’s her favorite thing. She has taught at improv training centers, theatre companies, and universities in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Durango. A big nerd, Tara has a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Maryland. She currently works for a nonprofit providing free arts / comedy classes to the military community.


Dallas Padoven spent the past 10 years in and out of New York City, and Philadelphia performing professionally with Pittsburgh CLO, Walnut Street Theatre, TheatreRow NYC, Sacramento Music Circus, West Virginia Public Theatre, Totem Pole Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse. Having honed his craft, he recently moved back to the Southwest, where he is excited to share his experience and knowledge with the incredible Merely Players community.  Dallas recently directed and choreographed Merely’s production of Hands on a Hardbody.

All classes are held at our performance venue:

Merely Underground

789 Tech Center Drive

In Durango, Colorado

We do not receive mail there.

Mailing address:

49 Wedgewood Circle

Durango, CO  81301