Alumnae: Alumnae Stories

Alumnae Stories

Danielle Deadwyler, C'2004, Lights up the Stage and Screen

April 2016

deadwyler-webDanielle Deadwyler, C'2004, describes herself as "a congregation of artistic personas and firebrand talent."  Her sophisticated spunk and ingenuity is reflected on stages, screens, and pages.

The Atlanta native's artistry is rooted in theater, dance, and creative writing. Nurtured at hometown staples such as Gate City Heritage House, Total Dance Theatre, Gary Harrison Studios, Atlanta Street Theatre, Henry W. Grady High and Spelman College, Deadwyler’s skills have been honed almost wholly amongst a distinctly Southern landscape. After venturing north to study under Dr. Robin D. G. Kelley, she deepened her analysis of issues facing women and African Americans while attaining a Master’s of Arts in American Studies from Columbia University.

Now in her creative prime, Deadwyler has recorded three sonic projects, performed in regional theater productions, produced music videos, short films, and exhibited works in various community and gallery platforms.

As a professional actor, Deadwyler has performed in productions with Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre, Horizon Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, Aurora Theatre and the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre.  She is the Creative Loafing Atlanta 2013 Critics Pick for Best Actress and the 2015 Suzi Bass Award winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a play.  In fall 2013, she presented "(dis)possessed: the live mixtape," a one-woman theatrical performance art project she conceived, at Spelman College’s Museum of Fine Art as a part of their Black Box series.  The year 2013 also led to experimental work with artist/filmmaker Tiona McClodden (Harriet's Gun Media) on her Be Alarmed: The Black Americana Epic series. Through May 1, 2016, she, along with Eddie Bradley Jr., associate professor and chair of the Department of Drama and Dance, will appear in Synchronicity Theatre's “Beyond Reasonable Doubt: The Troy Davis Project."

In 2012, her made-for-television movie debut occurred in A Cross to Bear on the Up Network. As the film’s lead, she played opposite popular figures Kim Fields, Malinda Williams, Jackie Long, and Kenny Lattimore. 2013 led to another leading film role opposite Gbenga Akinnagbe in Sweet, Sweet Country, an award winning short film exploring immigrant dreams in America. She went on, in 2015, to a guest-star role in BET’s Being Mary Jane, starring Gabrielle Union, as well as joining the cast of Tyler Perry’s and OWN Network’s "The Haves & The Have Nots" as the hard-nosed sister to Quincy, Quita Maxwell.

As a budding filmmaker and producer, Deadwyler’s first short film "Brummagem" (2011) was listed as a semi-finalist in the first annual Creative Loafing Atlanta shorts contest. Her video, "Do Not Resuscitate," was a WonderRoot Local Film night finalist (2013), while the short video for her multimedia project "MuhfuckaNeva(Luvd)Uhs: Real Live Girl" was the Jury award winner (2015).  She also starred in and produced the American Black Film Festival 2014 HBO Shorts Official Selection "Ir/Reconcilable," a short film starring Jasmine Guy, Dick Gregory and Crystal Fox.

As poet and performance artist, Deadwyler is an observer/practitioner of all things hiphop culture and gender-centric.  Her video/performance works have been included in MAMBU BADU collective's exhibition If We Came From Nowhere Here, Why Can't We Go Somewhere There? (D.C.), Mint Gallery (ATL), Whitespace Gallery (ATL), The Luminary (STL), Atlanta Film Festival, among others.  She is a 2014 IDEA CAPITAL grant recipient.