About Me

Hi, DEZUR KENNA here. I live in Manhattan with a circle of friends, too many books and a couple of slightly damaged cats. They would like it known they prefer television.

Historically, I’m a Northeast Corridor Girl. Born in Philadelphia, I summered at the Jersey Shore and moved to New Hampshire at the age of ten (where the water’s much, much colder.) Eventually I studied Theatre/Musical Theatre at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. (During my attendance, UNH’s Broadway score library was second only to Lincoln Center. Those hills are alive with more than cow bells…) Spurred by the advice of my college advisor to “get the heck out of Dodge and get a job on Broadway,” I did. That job, however, was in a restaurant so all those Sondheim lyrics and tap shoes danced huffily back to the closet.

Soon enough, despite the unplanned Masters in Food and Beverage Management, I found myself working in Broadway theatres — bartending with such fellow creative luminaries as Aaron Sorkin and Camryn Manheim. After putting down the bottles, I starred in a few original Off-Off-Broadway productions — notably creating the role of Anna Dorothea in the downtown cult favorite, ERIK AND THE SNOW MAIDENS. On television, my hair was seen on an early LAW & ORDER. In time the rest of me was actually featured in several sketches on LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O’BRIEN (the NBC version) and I found my TV commercial-homeland playing Brunhilde, over and over and over again. (Yes,Virginia, I do own the helmet.) On YouTube check out my BMW Bond villain (a tribute to the great Lotte Lenya in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE.) You can also catch me in my recurring role as Mrs. Arthur in the new web series, The MEL & EL Show. There’s also MEL & EL, the stage show. These girls are funny…

As writer/producer, I’ve created and developed corporate training materials, videos and website content. I am the author of the full-length play THE ISLE OF GRACE and with creative partner, Eric Johnson, currently write, produce and star in THE LIEVE & NEEDY series. Described variously as A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION strained through a Robert Altman film — or GLEE for the post-grad set — the series features Lieve Laurence & Needy Tormé, an energetic singing duo from the fictitious town of Millerville, South Dakota. Lieve & Needy bring their musical magic and pursuit of living to NYC several times a year, each show celebrating a special day on the calendar.

In December 2013 we presented our newest show in the series, Lieve & Needy: UNWRAPPED! A very special holiday special. The house was nearly sold-out — Merry Christmas to me! Here’s “Needy” explaining the true meaning of Christmas (or something of equal import.)

Here she is, boys. Here she is, world. Here's Needy!

Here she is, boys. Here she is, world. Here’s Needy!

Lieve & Needy’s motto: “Small town livin’ for a big time life” is a home-made prescription that leaves the loyal L&N audiences healthy, humming and happy. We are currently at work developing the companion web series, MILLERVILLE, SD. So stay tuned to a monitor near you.

Dezur Kenna and Eric Johnson as Lieve & Needy. (left) A TREE GROWS IN MIDTOWN: A Celebration of Arbor Day and (right) OUT OF THE RUNNING AND OUT OF OUR WAY: A Tribute to the NYC Marathon.

The RIPE Project will parallel the creation of my newest venture, RIPE. a solo show aiming to explore what it means for me step up and live the life I really want — before the final frost. Fingers crossed, there’s plenty of time before that happens. But just in case, the aim is for a 2014 premiere. [Ed. Note: See “Ran into a little Interferon-ance.” Ain’t life a gas?]

I’ll be partnering with composer/arranger GERRY STOCKSTILL and director ERIC JOHNSON (yes, he does that, too!) on this project. Details to follow, so hope you’ll stay tuned…

11 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Love it! I will follow this closely and enjoy seeing the creative process at work. Dezur you are a creative force to be reckoned with in the best of all possible ways! Funny how this process helps find and define a creative life. I hope you all the ripening you can stand.

  2. Dezur,
    This is my first visit to the blog. Although I’ve only read one entry so far, I am truly enjoying it. Keep up the great writing.
    -Janet E.

  3. Holy resume. You’ve been more than an extra! You’re a superstar! My former student did hair and makeup on Law & Order forever, Gifford Byrne. I’m guessing you don’t remember her. Still. She may have touched your hair. 😉

    • Holy Crap. I leave for 6 minutes to wash my face and brush my teeth and suddenly there’s Rash of Response from Renee (sorry, don’t know how to achieve the accent here). Thanks very much for reading!
      As to Gifford possibly having touched my hair, let’s assume that’s true. My hair was actually the only thing visible on one of those episodes. It’s how I knew I made in on camera… Clearly, this is all due to the talented Gifford.
      Can’t wait to read more of you, but it must be tomorrow. Early call…

  4. After Lieve & Needy’s wonderful Christmas adventure, I’m looking forward to Ripe! And to the next blog entries, too…xoxo

  5. Dee, I’m so impressed with your blogs. Not that you write them or that they’re entertaining and touching, and wonderful, but I envy the discipline that you have to keep up with them. WOW, Girlfriend You GO. And I’ll keep on reading!

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