Debra De Liso has been a theater and film artist for over 30 years, working as an actor, choreographer/dancer, director, playwright and teacher. She received a fellowship to UCLA, earning an MFA and the Jack Nicholson Prize for Acting. She also graduated Phi Kappa Phi with a Masters Degree in Theatre from California State University, Los Angeles, where she won the Best Actress award during her undergraduate years. She was accepted at the Royal National Theatre Summer Training Programme and studied with several talented teachers, including Sir Ian McKellen, Prunella Scales and John Castle. She was also fortunate to have been a student of José Quintero and Jim Kirkwood.
Debra is now delighted to share her extensive training with her own students at the University of Southern California, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and her own company of actor/writers.
Highlights from Debra's acting career range from playing the title role in a critically acclaimed production of "Agnes of God" at the Edinburgh Festival, Scotland, to the physically demanding performance as a Siamese twin in "Air For One" in Santa Barbara, to sparkling Los Angeles reviews of her portrayal of Blanche Dubois in "A Streetcar Named Desire," and Lorraine from "Lie of the Mind." Debra played the lead role in Donald Freed's world premiere of "1951-2006" at LATC along with starring in Freed's "The Einstein Plan" with James Cromwell.
She has acted in film and television in such diverse shows as the action-comedy "Sledge Hammer!" to the cult classic The Slumber Party Massacre. She has written two screenplays and is in pre-production to direct her first feature film.
Debra is a member of the Classical Theatre Lab in Los Angeles, where she keeps in shape working with artists such as Alan Rickman, Lynn Redgrave and Alfred Molina.
From the age of 12 to 20 Debra was a competitive gymnast and ballet student. She went on to perform in several dance concerts and choreograph over 20 theater productions. She has delighted many audiences performing her original comedy solo piece, "Lamp Dance." She was the Chair of the Physical Education Department at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts for eight years. She has taught methodology from her Master's Thesis, "The Physicalization of a Role," at several institutions.
Debra has guided the writing of and directed over 300 one-person shows at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, USC, and in professional theaters. She thoroughly enjoys the challenging and personal work of taking actors through the writing process into performance. She has written her own solo performance piece about the visionary dance artist Isadora Duncan and a musical comedy with talented music arranger Jonathan Sacks. She also conceived of the hit show, "Cock Tales," an evening of wickedly original male monologues about sex from some of L.A.'s best playwrights.
Debra directed Jay Sefton's solo play which won Best Solo Play L.A. Weekly Award, and Hal Ackerman's "Prick" which won Best Solo script at the United Solo Festival in NYC.
Debra received a three-year California Arts Council Grant to teach acting and playwriting at a woman's prison, which was some of the most difficult and rewarding work she has done to date. In the July 2002 issue of "Femme Fatales" magazine Debra is featured in an article about her Hollywood journey from early film work in low-budget horror films to finding her niche in theater, dance, and helping others in need.
Debra lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and daughter.
Name: Debra De Liso
Known for: The Slumber Party Massacre
BirthDay: 03, May ,1956