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.)
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.
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…