Deanna Doyle 'S Wonderful In An American I Paris

Posted by: Pia Haas on Friday, November 1, 2019 at 5:00:00 pm

As a child, I grew up in Brooklyn. My extended family is all from Kansas City, but my mother moved my sister and I to Brooklyn so that she could pursue dance and musical theatre. My sister and I also got involved in performing, and I've been doing musicals, plays, and commercials since I was three years old. 

We come from a long line of performers, starting with my great-great aunts who had a sister act in vaudeville, so dance and performing is sort of the family trade! I studied tap and jazz from my mother and then studied ballet at the School of American Ballet.
I grew up watching mostly black and white movies and a lot of movie musicals. Ginger Rogers was my absolute favorite and I remember, even at a very young age, feeling rather sad when I would watch her films because I felt like I had been born in the wrong era. My other on-screen idols growing up were Vera-Ellen, Cyd Charisse, Leslie Caron, Katharine Hepburn, and Judy Garland. 
Also watching my mother perform was my main inspiration. Watching her rehearse and do shows like 42nd Street and Bye Bye Birdie made me want to be onstage, and seeing photos of her playing Cinderella and Alice in Alice in Wonderland made me think that she was just magical. I just really wanted to be a part of that magical world. 
My mother also took us to a lot of live performances--concerts, musicals, and ballets. I was always very much in love with the beauty of the ballet world. I couldn't wait to get into my first pair of pointe shoes. Because my mother taught dance, she had a bunch of books about teaching ballet and I would read and re-read the pointe section, studying the pictures and preparing for the year that I was finally old enough to wear pointe shoes.

An American in Paris was certainly one of the movies I grew up watching. Gene Kelly was a hero in my family, so I knew all his movies.

I think it’s great to see that theaters are doing shows based on these old movie musicals. It makes me feel like maybe I wasn’t born in the wrong era, after all! 

I love the scene/song with Henri during Act II where Jerry and Milo are having a simultaneous scene. It’s my favorite because it is so real and vulnerable and true to life. I think we can identify with the characters, in this case Lise and Henri, caring about each other so much but perhaps not being right for each other. Those difficult moments—the ones where we see layers of feelings and complications—are always my favorite to do as an actor and to watch as an audience member because it shows the complexity of life.     

I grew up loving Oklahoma, South Pacific, 42nd Street. I was obsessed with Julie Andrews in Sound of Music and Leslie Ann Warren in Cinderella. Sometimes it seems like I have too long of a list of dream roles and other times I feel like I just want to be surprised!
I’m a huge fan of classic musicals so I would love to do another Rodgers and Hammerstein musical soon. I also would love to do a play, like Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner or Barefoot in the Park. I think my mom would love it if I would eventually used my tap background, haha. And my niece’s favorite Disney Princess is Ariel, so I fantasize about doing a production of The Little Mermaid just so that my niece thinks I’m really cool.

I like doing roles/shows that people think are overdone or irrelevant for the challenge of bringing something new to the role. I think that that can be just as rewarding as doing a new show. 
When not on stage, I enjoy so many things! I love to cook, bake, knit, paint, read, and write. I recently finished writing a first draft of a novel, which has always been a goal of mine.
I have a lot of jazz standards. Ella Fitzgerald, Glenn Miller, and Frank Sinatra are some of my favorites and George Gershwin has always been at the absolute top of my list. I also have ballet class music on my phone that I use to warm up before a show. And all of Mumford and Sons albums are on my phone, as well!
Deanna Doyle's great-great aunts


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