A couple months ago, I announced that I would be returning to McLeod Summer Playhouse for the summer season.
While this is still true (!!!) and I'm so thrilled, they had a little bit of a change-up in their show line-up. Instead of doing Grease! I will now be working on one of my most beloved shows... Into the Woods. (!!!!!!!!)
And the kicker? I'll be playing a bucket-list role... The Baker's Wife. Honestly can't believe I get to tackle this incredible role! You may recall that I previously played The Stepmother with TheatreZone in Naples, FL during the 2016 season.
Endlessly grateful for the opportunity. Many thanks to Wes Drummond, Tom Kidd, and the entire MSP staff. Now, let's go into the woods to get the thing that makes it worth the journeying.
I had a killer time working with the Barry Baker: Aspiring Serial Killer crew again for Episode 4 (and some scenes from Episode 5) on a whirlwind trip to Florida.
Not to give anything away, but we got to film in a variety of locations - including our regular "Shi-Tech" office, a dimly lit restaurant, on-stage at a dinner theater, and in front of Barry's house. (Praise the weather gods for a gorgeous late afternoon of filming outside!)
Every time I get to step back into Annie's shoes, it's a joy! Well, I should rephrase that... I actually never wear shoes on set. My feet have yet to grace the screen, so why wear uncomfortable flats or heels? But, either way, playing Annie Parker is such a blast -- and this episode, I got to meet and work with some characters I haven't had the chance to share the screen with!
Which characters, you ask? You'll have to wait until it airs on Amazon Prime to see! Catch up on Episodes 1-3 here: https://www.amazon.com/Barry-Baker-Aspiring-Serial-Killer/dp/B01MTKX2X9
Have you been watching Barry Baker: Aspiring Serial Killer on Amazon Prime? Well, if you haven't... WHY NOT? And if you have, then don't forget that you can now stream Episode 3!
Watch now! All you need is an Amazon Prime membership and you can stream for free.
I'll be back in Florida to film Episodes 4 and 5 at the end of April and mid-May... so be on the look-out for more behind-the-scenes fun.
2017 is off to an amazing start with GEORGE M! at TheatreZone in January, then CRAZY FOR YOU at Venice Theatre in February and March... and then...
I'll be returning to McLeod Summer Playhouse in Carbondale, IL for the 2017 Summer Season as the Artistic Associate (!!!). What does that mean? In addition to being in the casts of PINKALICIOUS, GREASE, and SISTER ACT, I'll also be the assistant director and assistant choreographer/dance captain for the season. I couldn't be more grateful for this opportunity, as it takes me further on my journey to be a director. HUGE thanks to Wes Drummond and Thomas Kidd at MSP for this exciting opportunity to learn, grow, and create.
I'll be performing as:
THEN, I'll be off to Sugar Creek, Ohio to join the cast of THE CONFESSION with Blue Gate Musicals as Alyson. I had such a wonderful experience working with Blue Gate in 2016 on the World Premiere of THE HOME GAME, and I am thrilled to work with them again - this time in a different venue. I'll also get to be one of the first casts to perform in the brand new OHIO STAR THEATER, which is a beautiful new 500+ seat proscenium.
The show runs August 29 - November 4, 2017. More info here!
Looking forward to many more adventures with two AMAZING companies that have so graciously asked me back. I can't wait to work with old friends and make new ones... and continue to grow as an artist. Let's do this!
Playing Polly Baker is a dream come true. I get to sing the most beautiful Gershwin tunes (including, arguably, the best song ever written: "Someone To Watch Over Me"), dance some of the most intricate and gorgeous choreography, and play a character that fits me like a glove.
Who could ask for anything more?
I also get to play opposite one of my favorites, Charles Logan, as Bobby Child. We just worked together in George M! at TheatreZone in January... so, it couldn't be more perfect.
For those who aren't familiar with this beautiful musical, here's a little recap: Crazy For You won the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Musical and Best Choreography back in 1992. Playwright Ken Ludwig’s mad-cap script pairs perfectly with the Gershwin brothers’ musical magic to create an old-fashioned Broadway romance reminiscent of the old 1930s musicals. Theatergoers can expect to hear iconic songs such as "Someone to Watch Over Me", "Embraceable You," "I Got Rhythm," "They Can't Take That Away from Me," "Nice Work If You Can Get It," and many more. Bursting also with big tap numbers and romantic ballroom dancing that advance the story and songs, Crazy For You is a triple-threat of a musical.
Crazy For You opens on Venice Theatre’s MainStage Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 and will run through Sunday, March 19. Performances are Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays March 4 and 11 at 2 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $34 for adults, $17 for college students and $15 for children and teens through 12th grade. They are available online at www.venicestage.com or by calling the box office at 941-488-1115.
With only 9 rehearsals under our belt, we opened George M! at TheatreZone in Naples, FL... and boy, what a joyous journey it's been!
To be completely honest, I had no idea who George M. Cohan was. Shame on me and my limited musical theater history knowledge. Come to find out, George M. Cohan was the father of musical theater as we know it today. His verve and tenacity brought countless songs and musicals to the Broadway stage that I feel is so important for every actor to recognize.
A truly ensemble show, this show goes by in the blink of an eye. As George M says himself - speed! lights! music! - the pace is key. The ensemble is on stage and off and back on again until the final notes of the orchestra. It's a blast! I get to play a few bit parts (Madame Grimaldi and Ma Templeton), tap dance to Yankee Doodle Dandy, and have a handful of other fun features.
We run through Sunday, January 22, 2017, and then it's on to the next project. More info here --> http://www.theatrezone-florida.com/current_season.html
2016 was a big year, you guys. It's hard for me to even reflect on all the wonderful, weird, heartbreaking, heart-fluttering, and quite honestly, life-changing moments I had. Besides the fact that I turned 30 (and boy, does it feel great!) and entered a new decade, I also grew artistically and made leaps and bounds in my career.
I became EMC (Equity Membership Candidate) by doing INTO THE WOODS at TheatreZone. I got to play a role that fit me like a glove: SHEILA in A CHORUS LINE with many of my best friends. I originated my first ever role in a musical with Blue Gate Restaurant & Theatre AND got to record the cast album in Nashville. I performed THE HOME GAME 100 times. Yes. One hundred times. I also assistant directed my first film (50 Words) and assistant directed my first musical (Sweet Charity). Also, the web series I'm involved in (Barry Baker: Aspiring Serial Killer) was released on Amazon Prime and I got to film more episodes with the incredible team.
And not only am I proud of all these accomplishments that I've made as a working actor, I'm so grateful for all the people that have helped to push me, inspire me, teach me, and grow with me along the way. I am beyond thankful for each and every person that I've worked with and played with on this journey. In 2017, I hope to create more. Read more. Learn more. Grow more. Let's do this!
I am so thrilled to join the production staff of "Sweet Charity" at The Players Centre in Sarasota, FL.
I will be assistant directing and assistant choreographing the production, until I leave for another contract in Naples, FL. This is one of my first forays into the field of directing, and although a bit daunting, it has been exceedingly interesting to be a part of the process from beginning to end.
From attending the auditions, having a hand in casting decisions, creating and mapping out schedules, down to running dance rehearsals (as dance captain), and providing assistance to the director in all capacities... it's been a whirlwind experience.
I look forward to the next opportunity and to learn and grow more as an artist, a director, and an actor.
After all the political turmoil, I declared one thing: disconnect from all the negativity and reconnect face-to-face. It's times like these that we need to take stock in the people we love, the relationships we have, and make it count.
That's what art truly is about, too. A friend of mine, Joseph Visaggi, and I got together to sing and create. Here's one of those gems.
Click here to view our cover of "Imagine" by John Lennon.
When I heard a colleague (and dear friend) of mine was writing, producing, and starring in her own short film, I knew I wanted to be involved. Friends working together to create work? Sign me up.
I joined the production team of the brand new short film 50 WORDS as the assistant director to the Director/Cinematographer Mark Palmer.
What a fun and interesting process to be a part of. On a low-budget, small-scale, locally-produced film project, the crew is small, the actors are unpaid, but the passion in the room is palpable. Everyone wants to create something, and create something that is good.
Not only was I able to assist the director, but I wore a plethora of hats and was a part of the process from beginning to end. We filmed over multiple weekends, and for long hours. I learned that I really love being a part of the creative process BEHIND the scenes. My ideas and my "can do" attitude were always useful, and I got to help a project flap its wings and soar.
We are all looking forward to a screening of the short film in Spring 2017! Learn more about this project here, and stay tuned!
Danae DeShazer is an actress, singer, and dancer living in Sarasota, FL.