Wendy Ishii is Founding Artistic Director of Bas Bleu Theatre and a master teacher of acting at Colorado State University. She moved to Fort Collins from NYC where she performed principal roles in theatre, film, commercials and daytime television. Her resume encompasses over 150 roles from the classical and contemporary repertories. She’s been the recipient of numerous acting awards including top honors from The Denver Post “Ovation Awards”, FC Coloradoan and FC Weekly “Best of Fort Collins Awards”, Colorado Community Theatre Coalition (CCTC), American Association of Community Theatre (AACT), and International Telly Awards. By invitation, performances at festivals and conferences have taken her to Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Israel and South Africa. Her work in Samuel Beckett’s plays has been noted in several books, articles, journals and academic papers and is included in the Beckett Archives. Ishii was recognized in the 2004-08 issues of Northern Colorado Business Report’s “Who’s Who in Business” . She received a Fort Collins Coloradoan “Coloradoans Making a Difference Award”, Westword named her “2005 Best All-Around Woman of the Theatre”, and she was presented with the CCTC “2005 Distinguished Merit Award”.She was named “2008 Theater Person of the Year” by John Moore at the Denver Post. In 2011 Ishii was nominated for a Bonfils Stanton Livingston Fellowship, received the CSU David Lord Award for “Distinguished Contribution to the Performing Arts” and was honored as a “Woman of Vision” by Colorado Women of Influence.
Judd Farner started at Bas Bleu as a volunteer for the annual Mardi Gras festivities. He turned that volunteer work into a job in October of 2011, joining the team as a development associate. Judd is now the Interim General Manager. Judd holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Colorado State University, where he graduated in 2010. During his time at CSU, Judd was actively engaged in the creation of the Young Producers’ Organization. He could also be seen onstage in various roles, including; Sylvestre in Scapin, Flute in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Sam Staples in The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail. He is currently busy completing dual programs at the University of Northern Colorado: a Master of Arts in Theatre Education and a Post-Bacc Teacher Licensure program. Judd recently finished a successful student teaching experience where he was chosen to be honored as a 2013 Top 10 Most Influential Teacher. He is also the Program Coordinator for the Bleu Light Special at Bas Bleu. Finally, Judd is an avid movie watcher and can out trivia anyone who cares to compete.
Tricia Navarre, has been Bas Bleu’s Production Manager since 2002. She began her career in North Carolina in the 70’s with the Community Theatre of Greensboro, which led to her employment as the Production Stage Manager for The Frank Holder Dance Company with whom she toured throughout the Southeast and the Virgin Islands. Tricia also worked on the renovation of the Carolina Theatre, an historic vaudeville theatre, did Summer Stock with the Green Mountain Guild in Vermont and was the Stage Manager for other regional theatre groups in North Carolina. In 1980, Tricia moved to Ohio and was a Visiting Artist for the North Central Ohio Arts Council helping to develop a black box theatre in an historic fire station as well as working on another historic theatre renovation of the Sandusky State Theatre. She spent a number of years as a Stage Manager for the Toledo Repertoire Theatre and was hired as the Technical Coordinator by the Port Clinton Public Schools to run its newly constructed $2 million state of the art theatre facility. In 1992, Tricia and her husband, Paul, moved to Granby, Colorado where they owned and operated a Bed & Breakfast Lodge — as Tricia says, “A whole different type of production!” A move to Fort Collins early this century and a fortuitous meeting with Wendy Ishii led to her employment at Bas Bleu, where she has been the Production Manager since 2002.
Ashley Cordova, Box Office Manager, has been employed by Bas Bleu since 2007. Prior to joining the theatre, Ashley was administrative technician for Larimer County Human Services. She enjoys House Managing and coordinating volunteers through the Larimer County Alternative Sentencing unit. She has also worked backstage as a scene shift crew member in Kosher Lutherans, helped paint the set for Rabbit Hole, and props and set dressing for Buffalo Gal. Ashley has run sound and lighting for main stage, Readers’ Theatre and many special events. Ultimately, Ashley plans on going back to school to pursue her Bachelors degree in Social Work. Ashley’s favorite role to date is being “Mommy” to her three children, Lucas, Arianna and Jenavicia. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, writing, photography, modeling, singing and enjoying the mountains.
Bonnie Helgeson, Bookkeeper
Mishelle Baun began writing articles and brochure copy for Bas Bleu in 2006, and joined the staff as Media Specialist in February 2011. Baun uses her communications background to encapsulate the essence of our plays, and to help audiences understand why they will benefit from seeing these important works. She previously served as the communications manager for Thoughtful Software for five years, communications director and fraud investigator for the Mountain States Better Business Bureau, taught composition and grammar at a junior high school, was the research director for the Northern Colorado Business Report and associate editor of Poudre Magazine. As a part-time employee, she also is principal at Baun Business Communications, a public relations firm specializing in nonprofit and real estate communications. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Colorado State University and a paralegal certificate from the University of Denver. She became interested in theatre in junior high school—her mother served as technical director for high school productions in Hayden (Colo.) and community theatre in Craig—and was in several productions. Her children, Arin and Kelsey, have been involved in theatre both at Bas Bleu and Poudre High School, where she served on the board of the Poudre Theatre Guild. She has also sat on the boards of the Centennial Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Fort Collins affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. She is an avid reader, and has been known to cajole her book club to come see productions at the Bleu.