Mar 16 – Apr 20, 2024

Season Sponsors
Dr. Jan Kennaugh & Chip Horne
Diana & Mike Kinsey
Susan & Jeremy Shamos
The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust
Lori & Jim Steinberg

The Fitzgerald Family
Michael Potts and Lisa Corbin

The Honorable Karen Brody and Michael Hughes
Lynne & Jon C. Montague-Clouse

Note from Leadership


As we curated Season 26, we asked ourselves, “What makes a play Curious?”

As one way to answer, we challenged ourselves to choose plays that would amaze, delight, and invigorate our audiences and artists alike. Curious believes in stepping into uncharted territory, and we are so happy you are joining us as we continue this journey with the Regional Premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Cost of Living by Martyna Majok.

Cost of Living is an important play in so many ways, beyond the prizes it’s won. This surprisingly funny and very human play is about the forces that bring people together, the realities facing the world with physical disabilities, and how deeply we all need each other. This regional premiere introduces an important new voice to Denver audiences. And, bringing this show to the stage required the talents of two of Denver’s long-standing theatre companies, Curious and Phamaly Theatre Company, in a first-time collaboration. 

We believe that this captivating tale will leave an indelible imprint on your hearts. Join us for an evening where the convergence of storytelling, emotion, and the complexities of human connection create an unforgettable experience that transcends the confines of the stage and lingers in your thoughts long after the curtain falls.

Don’t miss a moment! Now is the time for our subscribers to renew for next season. You can see what we have in store here and renew now for the best price, by emailing  or calling 303-623-0524. 

We also invite you to join us for our Fund the Future campaign, a fund- and friend-raising effort to make sure Curious stays strong for the next 25 years!  Every dollar matters; you can donate by clicking here

The adventure that awaits at Curious is only possible through the gathering of committed, enthusiastic theatre-goers like you. Your ongoing support ensures we’ll continue to travel together on this art-filled adventure through the best of contemporary theatre.

With gratitude and excitement for the road ahead,

Jada Suzanne Dixon & Jeannene Bragg
Artistic & Managing Directors

Curious Theatre Company Presents

Cost of Living

by Martyna Majok 


The urban East of America. New Jersey. The near present.


(in Alphabetical order)

Valentina Fittipaldi as Jess
Isaiah Kelley as Eddie
Jamie Rizzo as John
Ann Colby Stocking* as Ani

Production Team

Set Design by Nicholas Renaud
Costume Design by Erin M. Banta
Lighting Design by Haley Hartmann
Sound Design by Patrice Mondragon
Props Design by Elicia James
Stage Manager, Veronica Legler*
Assistant Director, Clove Love
Assistant Stage Manager, Jordyn Good
Intimacy Director, Samantha Egle
Deck Crew, Krystal Brown
Captioning Operator, Brittany Whittenberg
Scenic Coordinator, Nick Kargel
Scenic Build, You Want What?

Special Thanks

To Phamaly Theatre Company for their guidance and support, the Aurora Fox Arts Center, and Mobility City.

Board of Directors

Sheri Raders, President
Michael Potts, Vice-President
John Flanigan,
Michael Hughes, Secretary

Marike Fitzgerald
Chip Horne
Greg Laugero
Jamie White
Alyssa Williams

*Jeremy Shamos, Honorary Lifetime President
*Roscoe Hill, Board Member Emeritus
*Cajardo Lindsey, Artistic Company Member
*Erik Sandvold, Artistic Company Member
*Jeannene Bragg, Managing Director
*Jada Suzanne Dixon, Artistic Director

*non-voting members

Curious Staff


Jada Suzanne Dixon, Artistic Director
Wayne Breyer, Production Manager & Resident Stage Manager
Christy Montour-Larson, Artistic Producer
Piper Stormes, Technical Coordinator 


Jeannene Bragg, Managing Director
Camdon T. Presley, Marketing & Development Manager
Katelyn Sauer, Operations & Patron Services Manager
Hillary Wheelock, Finance Associate

Front of House

Evy DiPasquantonio, House Manager
Clove Love,
Lead Front of House Representative
Evette Srouji, House Manager

Aidan Blank, Front of House Representative
Katie Flynn, Front of House Representative
Halima Kamara, Front of House Representative
Sam Lowney, Front of House Representative

2023–24 Curious Bridge Apprentices 

Jordyn Good, Stage Management Focus
Clove Love, Directorial Focus
Evette Srouji, Directorial Focus

Curious Artistic Company

Lisa Boehm
Kevin Brainerd (In Memoriam)
Anastasia Davidson
Richard Devin
Jada Suzanne Dixon
Jason Ducat
Brian Landis Folkins
Ilasiea Gray
Kathryn Gray
William Hahn
Josh Hartwell
Markas Henry
GerRee Hinshaw
Jim Hunt
Cajardo Lindsey
Sheryll McCallum
Shannon McKinney
Michael McNeill
Christy Montour-Larson
Michael Morgan
Josh Robinson
Erik Sandvold
Sean Scrutchins
Karen Slack
Todd Webster
Annette Westerby

Artistic Company Emeriti

Thank you to our founding Artistic Company Members whose dedication, hard work and artistic vision has helped make Curious the amazing theatre it is today.

Dee Covington
Chip Walton

COST OF LIVING will be performed without an intermission.

* = Appearing through an Agreement between this theatre, Curious Theatre Company, and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
₽ = Member of Phamaly Theatre Company’s Community of Artists

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Extra Curious? Go Beyond the Stage!

Denver Public Library's Pairing Suggestions

The Denver Public Library recommends these library resources to enhance your theatre experience of Cost of Living.


Sitting pretty: the view from my ordinary resilient disabled body by Rebekah Taussig

The disability advocate behind the @sittingpretty account shares snapshots of her life with “a body that doesn’t work” after she was paralyzed as a toddler. Her eye-opening memoir reveals the complex, ordinary, uncomfortable, and fulfilling aspects of her life. IN a conversational manner, she recounts dating an able-bodied person, handling skyrocketing healthcare costs, and the need for flexible solutions for the stigma, misunderstanding, and ubiquitous inaccessibility she has experienced. Join DPL and Curious Theatre Company as we discuss common themes between Taussig’s book and Cost of Living after the play on March 24. Register and find details at

Disability visibility: first-person stories from the twenty-first century edited by Alice Wong

If you want to hear more perspectives, pick up this book of essays. Activists, politicians, and everyday people tell their story of living with a disability, a story that is shared by one in five people in the U.S. according to the census. Written to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), the authors’ essays on blindness, autism, bipolar personality, fibromyalgia, and others will spark deeper thinking and a conversation.


A variety of TV shows and movies, with options on disc and streaming, present a wide range of life experiences with disabilities.  

The L Word, Generation Q Season 1 (2019), Season 2 (2020), and Season 3 (2023)

Ten years after the previous series, the original group of friends is joined by new faces as they continue their journey through the trials of life and love in Los Angeles. One of the characters is a lawyer with muscular dystrophy who uses a wheelchair.

Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet, dir. Jesse Vile (2014) 

When doctors diagnosed 19-year-old rock star Jason Becker with Lou Gehrig’s disease, they said he would never make music again and that he wouldn’t live to see his 25th birthday. Decades later, without the ability to move or to speak, Jason is alive and making music with his eyes. Stream it on Kanopy, free to all Denver residents with your library card.

Sound of Metal, dir. Darius Marder (2022)

This Academy Award-winning film stars Riz Ahmed in an intense, nuanced performance as a heavy metal drummer who loses his hearing and comes to discover deafness not as a disability but as a rich culture and community.

Autism Goes to College, dir. Erik Linthorst (2019) 

As the number of students on the autism spectrum attending college steadily climbs, schools and students alike are trying to figure out how to manage the unique challenges experienced by this community. Autism Goes to College is a first of its kind film, packed with honest insights for students, parents, and educators that offers an eye-opening look at what a growing number of neurodiverse students are bringing to campuses. Watch on DVD or stream it on Kanopy, free to all Denver residents with your library card.


Classical Music for Reading (2019)

Music opens up a means for re-connection between two of the main characters in Majok’s intimate Cost of Living. Classical music in particular is referenced in the play as an aid to physical therapy; of special note is Erik Satie’s Gnossienne No. 1, which you will find on this CD and is the type of piano music referenced in the play. 


Wheelchair Diaries: One Step Up, dir. Reid Davenport (2013) 

The film introduces viewers to three Europeans with disabilities. Gavin is a 39-year-old Dubliner whose perspective on disability and accessibility changed when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 15 years ago. Matthieu is a 23-year-old law student in Paris who has been in a wheelchair his entire life because of spinal muscular atrophy and wants to practice law in the U.S. because of its accessibility. Francois is a 33-year-old journalist with cerebral palsy who has a radio broadcast about handicapped topics and advocates for disability rights in Brussels. These people provide anecdotes that put disability in a light that is rarely shone in the media and show the undeniable connection between disability and the human condition. Stream it on Kanopy, free to all Denver residents with your library card.

Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions

  • What do you think does the title “Cost of Living” means and how does it inform your understanding of the play? 
  • How would you describe the play’s structure? Why do you think Majok decided to disrupt the chronological narrative? How do you think the play would function differently if it were told in linear order? 
  • How does the play use the characters to discuss ideas of privilege and oppression? Which characters have privilege and which characters don’t? How does it work when a character is both privileged and marginalized? 
  • How does the theme of searching for connection function in the play? In what ways are the characters trying to connect with each other, and in what ways are they pushing each other away? 
  • In the scenes between Eddie and Ani, how does music help or hurt their relationship? How did the sound design increase your understanding of the play?
  • Ani suggests that Eddie is trying to do penance for what happened to her, that he is trying to make himself feel less guilty. What do you think? 
  • John describes how his cerebral palsy works.  How is that similar to the way to the way Jess protects herself?
  • What is the symbolism of Eddie’s phone?  How does Eddie’s phone connect to Ani’s emergency button and Jess’ phone call to her mother?
  • When Ani was in her accident, she told the EMTs that she was driving to Maine. What do you think Maine represents for her? 
  • Both John and Ani require a caretaker to bathe them, which means allowing another person to see and touch their naked bodies.  What are their different perspectives? 
  • Eddie’s first line is “The shit that happens is not to be understood.”  What do you think he is talking about?  And how does the ending inform your understanding this line?


  • The Playwright
  • Loneliness on the Margins
  • The Intersection of Disability and Privilege

The Playwright

“Ten years ago Martyna Majok was sleeping in a bathtub. She had just graduated from Yale School of Drama and, not having any money to put down for a security deposit on an apartment, the young playwright was couch-surfing and subletting while working at bars to make ends meet. One apartment she stayed at in Harlem had bedbugs. Which is how Majok found herself retreating to the bathroom, the only place free of the pests.” Read the rest of the article from American Theatre Magazine HERE

I recalled when I was living in Chicago, I used to work as a caregiver to two men with disabilities. And so, I pulled from that experience to write the shorter version of the John and Jess story. At a certain point in that year, I wrote the first scene between Eddie and Ani. I didn’t realize it was them, but when I wrote their scene and listened to it, I realized the man sounded very similar to the man that I had written the monologue for, and I realized, “Oh, this must be his wife,” and, “Oh, I guess she’s dead, let’s find out how that happens.”  Read the full article from Broadway World HERE

“The playwright Martyna Majok has never met her father, so it was her grandfather who played the paternal role in her life. When he died, in Poland in August 2012, she didn’t have the money to travel to his funeral.”  Read the full article from the New York Times HERE

Loneliness on the Margins

All the characters endure isolation due to the ways that they are marginalized and made invisible in society. Each guards the parts of themselves that are personal and sensitive, unwilling to burden others with their pain, even as they long desperately for someone to see them. 

About half of U.S. adults reported experiencing measurable levels of loneliness.In May 2023, the Surgeon General raised the alarm about the devestating impact of the epidemic of loneliness and isolation in the United States.  And it warns that the physical consequences of poor connection can be devastating, including a 29% increased risk of heart disease; a 32% increased risk of stroke; and a 50% increased risk of developing dementia for older adults.

“It’s hard to put a price tag, if you will, on the amount of human suffering that people are experiencing right now,”  In response, the advisory outlines the framework for a new national strategy. It is based on six foundational pillars, which are:

  1. Strengthening social infrastructure, which includes things like parks and libraries as well as public programs.
  2. Enacting pro-connection public policies at every level of government, including things like accessible public transportation or paid family leave.
  3. Mobilizing the health sector to address the medical needs that stem from loneliness.
  4. Reforming digital environments to “critically evaluate our relationship with technology.”
  5. Deepening our knowledge through more robust research into the issue.
  6. Cultivating a culture of connection.

The Intersection Between Disability and Privilege

John and Ani are the two characters in the play with disabilities. The play juxtaposes them to show the way privilege and disability intersect, although the two never meet or even know of each other’s existence. John and Ani have many physical similarities. Both need a caretaker to perform daily bathing and bodily maintenance. They are fully consciousness of their disabilities and care that feels like a surrender of adult agency. Even though John is wealthy and Ani is poor, both characters experience marginalization that Eddie and Jess don’t quite understand.  

Tips on Interacting Respectfully with People with Disabilities

Disability and Other Identities: How Do They Intersect?

“Naming the Trope” by Phamaly Theatre Company’s Ben Raanan

Bios: Playwright

Martyna Majok, she/her (Playwright)was born in Bytom, Poland and raised in Jersey and Chicago. She was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her Broadway debut play, COST OF LIVING, which was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play. Other plays include SANCTUARY CITY, QUEENS, and IRONBOUND, which have been produced across American and international stages. Other awards include The Steinberg Playwright Award, Arthur Miller Foundation Legacy Award, The Obie Award for Playwriting, The Hull-Warriner Award, The Academy of Arts and Letters’ Benjamin Hadley Danks Award for Exceptional Playwriting, The Sun Valley Playwrights Residency Award, Off Broadway Alliance Best New Play Award, The Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding New Play, The Hermitage Greenfield Prize, as the first female recipient in drama, The Champions of Change Award from the NYC Mayor’s Office, The Francesca Primus Prize, two Jane Chambers Playwriting Awards, The Lanford Wilson Prize, The Lilly Award’s Stacey Mindich Prize, Helen Merrill Emerging Playwright Award, Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play from The Helen Hayes Awards, Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award, ANPF Women’s Invitational Prize, David Calicchio Prize, Global Age Project Prize, NYTW 2050 Fellowship, NNPN Smith Prize for Political Playwriting, and Merage Foundation Fellowship for The American Dream. Martyna studied at Yale School of Drama, Juilliard, University of Chicago, and Jersey public schools. She was a 2012-2013 NNPN playwright-in-residence, the 2015-2016 PoNY Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center, and a 2018-2019 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University. GATSBY, a new musical for which Martyna wrote the libretto with music by Florence Welch and Thomas Bartlett, will premiere this spring at A.R.T. Martyna has developed TV projects for HBO and is writing feature films for Plan B/Pastel/MGM/Orion, MRC/T-Street, and Participant/Killer Films. Majok is pronounced My Oak, like the tree. Or like Cinco de Mayo-k.

Bios: Cast

Valentina Fittipaldi, she/her (Jess) is a Brazilian-American actor, who was raised in Miami, FL. She made her way to Chicago to receive her BFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Valentina will make her feature film debut in 2024 with “GAIA”, written & directed by the award winning Wendell Etherly. She’s also completed training in Oxford with BADA, in association with Yale School of Drama. In 2023, Valentina played Jess in the Midwest premiere of COST OF LIVING at Renaissance Theaterworks, she is thrilled to be returning to this beautiful play and character. Valentina is trilingual, fluent in English, Portuguese & Spanish. She is represented by Stewart Talent Chicago.


Isaiah Kelley, he/him (Eddie) has been acting in both theatre and film for well over a decade. He has been seen at Curious Theatre Company previously during MARCUS, OR THE SECRET OF SWEET, DENVER STORIES and numerous CURIOUS NEW VOICES Readings. Isaiah also has been seen at Miners Alley Playhouse, Dylon Went Electric & District Merchants. Trained at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Isaiah is thrilled to be back at Curious and be a part of this show.

Jamie Rizzo, he/him (John) is pumped to be reprising the role of John in The Cost of Living in his debut at Curious Theatre! He first played the role last January in Milwaukee as a collaboration between Phamaly Theatre Company and Renaissance Theatreworks. Past roles include Gabriel in PTC’s miniseries REWRITE as well as Brian, person 3, and CoronaVirus D in CORONAVOX: STORIES FROM THE FRONT. His most recent role was Fin 2/dancer in PTC’s first ever dance show INDESCRIBABLE (a co-production with The Silhouettes from America’s Got Talent). Jamie lives (and thrives) with Spina Bifida.

Ann Colby Stocking, she/her (Ani) favorite roles include Gretty in John Belluso’s GRETTY GOOD TIME (Theatre Alliance/Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.), Masha in MAYAKOVSKY AND STALIN (written and directed by Murray Mednick, The Lounge), Mary in BHUTAN (Rogue Machine), Hans/Ling/The Girl in THE GOLDEN DRAGON and Sasha in COLD/TENDER (Boston Court Pasadena), “Queen” Duncan in MACBETH (The Vagrancy), the Nurse in Sarah Kane’s 4:48 PSYCHOSIS, and Edgar the Ventriloquist in Charles Mee’s PARADISE PARK (City Garage), Madame Cloveece in THE UNREQUITED (Cornerstone Theatre), Helen/Emmy in THE BODY OF BOURNE (Mark Taper Forum), Martha in WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (Noho Arts Center), and The Player King in LA Women’s Shakespeare’s HAMLET. T.V./Film: The Farrelly Brothers’ STUCK ON YOU, SNOWFALL (FX), TWINS (The WB), and THE COOL KIDS (Fox). MFA Acting, UCLA. Member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Bios: Production Team

Nicholas Renaud, he/him (Scenic Design) previous credits include A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, THE SPITFIRE GRILL, CHICAGO, HONK (Phamaly Theatre Co.); THIS IS MODERN ART, SANTALAND DIARIES, LIVED/RE-LIVED (Off Center, DCPA), MILKMILKLEMONADE (Shrewd Productions, Austin Tx, B. Iden Payne Nom.).  Nicholas is a Denver-based scenic designer and also a resident scenic design assistant with the DCPA Theatre Company where he has assisted over 75 productions. Training: BFA from Emerson College, Boston, MA.

Erin M. Banta, she/her (Costume Design) is a Denver-based theatrical artist always searching for the next creative opportunity. By day she navigates the creation of stigma abolishing theatre with Phamaly Theatre Company, on staff since 2019, proudly working as the Operations Manager. By night she is trying to find time for everything else: performance, podcasting, costuming, design, directing, and learning to cook better than your mama can.

Haley Hartmann, they/them (Lighting Design) is a freelance lighting designer who sunlights as the Manager of Exhibition Lighting at the Denver Art Museum. This is their second show at Curious, having lighting designed for the OSCA award winning show AMERIKIN last season. Previous professional credits include LAST TRAIN TO NIBROC and REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN. Find their full portfolio at

Patrice Mondragon, they/them (Sound Design) is thrilled to be working with Curious Theatre Company for the first time! Previous sound design credits include; Theatreworks Colorado Springs’ productions of KING HEDLEY II (2023) and DREAM HOU$E (2024), Vintage Theatre Company’s production of FUN HOME. (2024), Phamaly Theatre Company’s productions of THE SHILLOUHETTE’S INDESCRIBABLE (2023) and SPRING AWAKENING (2023), and Fearless Theatre Company’s productions of IN THE NEXT ROOM (2020) and STOPKISS (2019).

Elicia James, she/her (Props Design) has worked in Costume Design, Props Design, film, and animation in Portland, Oregon for the last 10 years. She moved to Denver in 2019. She now works as the in-house Props Designer, Videographer and Multimedia Content Creator at the Aurora Fox Arts Center. This is her first Curious show!

Veronica Legler, she/her (Stage Manager) is excited to be working on her second show with Curious Theatre Company. She has worked as Stage Manager on several productions in the area, as well as in California, including: DESCENDANTS (Northglenn Youth Theater), MY NAME IS ASHER LEV, BABY WITH THE BATHWATER (Phamaly Theatre Company), VERA RUBIN: BRINGING THE DARK TO LIGHT (BETC), BREAKING THROUGH, COMMUNITY SPEAKS! FOR PATRIOTISM (Pacific Conservatory Theatre). Productions Veronica has worked on as an assistant stage manager include: ALMA (Curious Theatre Company), The Rocky Horror Show, Cabaret (Phamaly Theatre Company), Brigadoon (Loveland Opera Theatre), IN THE HEIGHTS, SHREK: THE MUSICAL (Pacific Conservatory Theatre). She is currently the Production Stage Manager for Northglenn Arts. Veronica earned a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre and Anthropology from MSU Denver.

Clove Love, they/them (Assistant Director) is an early career theatre artist based in the Denver Metro area. They are currently working in Denver, Aurora, and Boulder as they begin to establish their theatrical career after graduating with a B.A. in Theatre Education and Directing from the University of Northern Colorado. Clove’s favorite Directorial projects from their undergraduate career include NO EXIT, THE VELVET SKY, and LOVE ALONE. Their recent work includes Intimacy Director for FUN HOME (Vintage Theatre), Assistant Director and Intimacy Director for THE RIVALS (Upstart Crow), and Stage Manager for NEXT TO NORMAL (Off Broadway Arts). They are thrilled to take part in their first show with Curious Theatre Company and ecstatic to be working with Director, Ben Raanan. Clove is one of the first to participate in the new Curious Bridge Program as an Assistant Director and was the Diversity in the Arts (DITA) Intern placed with Curious Summer 2023. Instagram: @clovedirects

Jordyn Good, she/her (Assistant Stage Manager) is a Stage Manager and Lighting Designer from Broomfield, Colorado. She has recently graduated from the University of Northern Colorado. Jordyn is excited to be working on her second show with Curious Theatre Company.

Samantha Egle, she/her (Intimacy Director) is a Colorado based fight and intimacy director. She’s thrilled to be joining this team for her first production with Curious! Her work has been seen on the stages of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Opera Colorado, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Phamaly Theatre Company, Theatreworks, Colorado Spring Fine Arts Center, Arvada Center, Denver Children’s Theatre, Mizel Center, Athena Project Festival, Lagoon Theme Park, Upstart Crow, New York Fringe Festival, The BiTSY Stage, University of Northern Colorado, University of Denver, among others. She was an apprentice with Intimacy Directors International and Resident Artist at Arena Stage. She is the founder of Humble Warrior Movement Arts and works supporting productions across the front range and facilitating educational experiences.  She is a board member of the International Order of the Sword and the Pen, Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors and a Certified Intimacy Director with Intimacy Directors & Coordinators.

Phamaly Theatre Company‘s mission is to be a creative home for theatre artists with disabilities; to model a disability-affirmative theatrical process; and to upend conventional narratives by transforming individuals, audiences, and the world. Phamaly Theatre Company strives to create a world in which disability and the differences within the human condition are celebrated and the theatre experience is accessible and welcoming to all. Read more at

Actors’ Equity Association (“AEA” or “Actors’ Equity”), founded in 1913, represents more than 49,000 actors and stage managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. The Equity emblem is our mark of excellence.