Elise Dewsberry is an actor/singer, director, and dramaturge who is currently the Artistic Director of New Musicals Inc. in Los Angeles. www.nmi.org
Selected performances: Mother’s Mothers’ Day (a one-woman four-character musical about the founder of Mother’s Day performed at the Hollywood Fringe); Singing Sixty (a one-woman birthday celebration at Rockwell Table & Stage); Domina in Forum at Cabrillo Music Theatre, Forks in the Road (NMI’s 2015 Fifteen Minute Musicals); Aline Barnsdall in Frogs in the Living Room; Mary Marie; The Angel of Painted Post; Now and Then a Hero at the 2011 Stages Festival; Red v. Blue (NMI’s 2008 Fifteen Minute Musicals); Spellcasters at the Secret Rose; and Queen Mab’s Alarmingly Mandatory Bridal Shower at the Noho Arts Center.
Selected Directing: Bravo (2019), Spellbound (2017 Stages Festival); Invisible at the Colony and 3-D Theatricals; City of Light at the Colony Theatre; Bloodline and Mad Bomber (for the 2013 Stages Festival); Mary Marie; Love Bytes; NMI’s 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2018, and 2019 Fifteen Minute Musicals; At Home In Mitford; and The Water.
While living in Toronto, Elise served as the Assistant Artistic Director of the Muskoka Festival; the Co-Ordinator of the festival’s annual Musical Theatre Writer’s Colony, the Associate Dramaturge of the Canadian Stage Company; the Resident Dramaturge of the Smile Theatre Company; and was the co-founder of Toronto’s Script Lab. Elise spent many years touring Canada with Nine Months – a one-woman musical which she commissioned from writers Carl Ritchie and Stephen Woodjetts. Elise and Carl also co-wrote Any Body Home?, which was produced by the Cordova Bay Theatre in Victoria, British Columbia, and published by Dramatic Publishing.
Elise joined the Academy for New Musical Theatre (the former name of New Musicals Inc.) as Associate Artistic Director in 2003; joined Founding Artistic Director John Sparks as Co-Artistic Director in 2010; and became Artistic Director of New Musicals Inc. in 2013. Elise also serves as a Los Angeles Ovation Award Voter, and is the author and evaluator of the Book Lab and the Outlining Lab, offered online through www.writingmusicaltheatre.com
Elise has been ecstatically married to cellist Stephen Green for 39 years, and they are the proud parents of social activist Rebecca Rose.
“I recently had the pleasure of working with New Musicals Inc. on a reading of THE GROUCH’S DAUGHTER, my new musical co-written with Jack Helbig. NMI staff member Elise Dewsberry served as both dramaturg and director, and in our years of working on this show, no one person has been as helpful to us as she was. Prior to the reading, we received a set of notes that were as thoughtful as they were thorough. NMI’s suggestions led to a rewrite that greatly helped me shape the show and refine its style. I’m deeply impressed with the care and intelligence of their creative input, and would not hesitate to work with NMI again.”
“Elise Dewsberry’s rare gift for analyzing plot and character is enormously helpful to writers. Her story sense is phenomenal.”
“After watching the video and taking notes, we feel as if a nurturing dramaturgical Mary Poppins has visited us with wonderful insightful nourishment.”
“Dewsberry pops from character to character, at times with the speed of light, cleverly showing us by tone of voice or tilt of her head, exactly who is speaking and what’s up. She is, in a word, magnificent.”
“To say that Dewsberry is a gifted actress and singer is an understatement; she breezily switches characters with one arch of an eyebrow or one vocal inflection, like some schizophrenic, music hall Sybil.”