Dallas — This has been a big year for change in the Dallas Theater Center’s Diane and Hal Brierley Resident Acting Company. In March, DTC Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty announced that Christopher Llewyn Ramirez was joining the company. In May came the addition of SMU grad Ana Hagedorn (TheaterJones did not post that change at the time; apologies to Ms. Hagedorn); and today we found out that the newest member is Tiffany Solano DeSena, a Los Angeles native who recently moved to Dallas.
Other Brierley news: Steven Michael Walters has left the company to focus on work in L.A., where he relocated last year. Walters will return to perform in DTC’s Twelfth Night in March 2019.
This means that the current company has original members Chamblee Ferguson, Liz Mikel, and Sally Nystuen Vahle; plus later additions Ace Anderson, Kieran Connolly, Tiana Kaye Johnson, and Alex Organ; and 2018 newbies Tiffany Solano DeSena, Ana Hagedorn, and Christopher Llewyn Ramirez.
That’s 10 members, half of which are women. To boot, three are African-American and two are Latinx. This is the most racially and gender diverse the company has been in its 10-year history. Brava.
More about the two newest members, taken from the news releases:
Ana Hagedorn is a recent graduate from SMU Meadows where she received her MFA in Acting. Before graduate school, she traveled the Midwest as an arts educator teaching theater to young adults. During graduate school, she continued teaching arts education to undergraduates at SMU with "The Art of Acting". She specializes in the breath and body connection and recently spent time studying under Catherine Fitzmaurice and Cynthia Bassham in England. Currently she’s writing, producing and acting in her new one-woman show, Let Me Talk My Dreams about theater legend and innovator Margo Jones. Her select theater credits include DTC’s A Christmas Carol and Inherit the Wind; SMU’s Mary Stuart; and Commonweal Theatre’s The Master Builder, Miss Julie and Ibsen’s Brand. When not on stage, she can be found working as the Communications Assistant at Second Thought Theatre.
“I am thrilled to welcome Ana to the Brierley Resident Acting Company,” said DTC Enloe/Rose Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty. “Every two years we invite a graduating student from the MFA acting program at SMU to join our company for two seasons. Ana is following in a line of distinguished actors who have made meaningful contributions to the artistry at DTC and to our community’s theatrical life. Having worked with Ana on the DTC mainstage while she was a graduate student in productions of Inherit the Wind and A Christmas Carol, we are all eager to welcome her back next season in Steel Magnolias, A Christmas Carol and The Wolves. Ana’s warmth, humor, collaborative skills and ability to shine in both comic and dramatic moments will make her a valued member of our acting company.”
“It’s exciting to be joining the Brierley Resident Acting Company and the Dallas Theater Center family,” said Hagedorn. “I have spent the past three years while in grad school admiring the work DTC produces. To be invited to join incredible artists that I respect and an innovative and impactful theater that creates exciting work is a true honor. I look forward to continuing DTC’s mission of engaging and inspiring the community through theater.”
Tiffany Solano DeSena, a Los Angeles native and recent Dallas transplant, made her Dallas stage debut in the world premiere of Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet, a co-production between Dallas Children’s Theater and Cara Mia Theatre Co. She has performed at theaters nationwide, including The Mark Taper Forum, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, South Coast Repertory, San Jose Repertory and Mixed Blood Theatre. Other notable credits include starring in Shakespeare’s The Tempest produced by Will and Co.; Cesar and Ruben: The Musical, written and directed by Ed Begley Jr.; and flying on a magic carpet in Disney’s Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular as Jasmine. While touring Europe with El Vez: The Mexican Elvis, she experienced her “rockstar moment” opening for the classic rock band KISS. DeSena has also appeared in numerous commercials, television, and film productions.
“I am thrilled to welcome Tiffany DeSena to the Diane and Hal Brierley Resident Acting Company,” said Enloe/Rose Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty. “She brings immense artistry and skill as an actor and singer to our company. In the coming years, Dallas audiences will see her in contemporary plays, musicals and classics onstage at DTC. She’s also a wonderful collaborator and shares DTC's deep commitment to education and community engagement. I am certain that Dallas audiences and artists will embrace Tiffany and join me in celebrating her addition to our company.”
“I am elated to join the Brierley Resident Acting Company,” said DeSena. “When Kevin made the offer, there was no doubt Dallas Theater Center was meant to be my new theatre home. I’m excited to connect and create with this remarkably talented company of actors. In addition to being a Tony Award-winning theater, Dallas Theater Center owns a special and unique relationship with the community. As a new Dallas resident, I look forward to deepening my Dallas roots and honoring DTC’s mission of providing exceptional performances, and diversity and inclusion to its audiences.”