Deb Kelley is a multitasking entrepreneur: a creative writer, freelance biographer, and journalist; a reporter for Tampa Bay News and Lifestyles Magazine; a past freelance reporter for Tampa Tribune, AOL Patch, Carrollwood and Westchase; a multi-time playwright for Carrollwood Players Theatre and Tampa Bay Theatre Festival; a playwright for One Act Theatre Festival Tarpon Springs; the scriptwriter for The Actor's Clinic TV show, a contributing writer to Gulfport Magazine, Positive Impact Magazine, Winners Within Us, and Local Shops1 Magazine. Deb specializes in bringing heart to any story. In 2017, she won Theatre Tampa Bay's Jeff Norton Dream Grant and will be putting on her original production with a fellow playwright called A Necessary Conversation, about gun violence and its aftermath at Straz' TECO Theatre on January 20. (https://www.facebook.com/anecessaryconversation012018). In 2013, she published her first children’s early reader, The Alien and Me where Young Readers can follow the adventures of a little girl and her alien friend and learn that accepting differences often leads to life-long friendships. In 2009, she published her first book of short stories about all stages of relationships, Damaged Goods: Narrative Unending from Inside My Heart and Mind. She is also the owner of The WriteOne Creative Services, an award-winning independent copywriting, web design and graphic design company providing a one-stop creative shop for every type of artistic need. Last but not least, for the philanthropic side of her company, since 2013, she has produced Life Amplified showcases (lifeamplifiedshowcase.com) that highlight local talent in Tampa Bay with all proceeds benefiting a worthy charity. Life Amplified has been featured as Bay News 9 Every Day Hero February 2016 and FOX13 Hometown Heroes May 2014.
In a limited run on October 8-13, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the beloved childhood tale of five lucky children with magic tickets, hits The Straz Center to delight kids of all ages.
The story is a lesson in have and have-nots, centering around Charlie Bucket, a poor, kind-hearted boy whose family is on the brink of starvation. Charlie, Violet Beauregarde, Mike Teavee, Veruca Salt, and Augustus Gloop, have found a golden ticket inside a Wonka bar and have gained the privilege of visiting the chocolate factory. Unlike Charlie, the four are sorely lacking in traits of kindness and appreciation.BWW Review: SONIA FLEW IS POIGNANT TALE OF FAMILY AND SACRIFICE at Powerstories Theatre October 4, 2019
Having its preview in October, Gretchen is reaching out to the community via a Kickstarter fundraiser https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/melinamusical/melina-a-steampunk-musical-tragedy through October 25 for a demo recording to submit to festivals.
In October, Melina will have its first official Table Read at Just Write, Lakeland and have a five song preview in Mount Dora at the Renningers Flea Market Industrial Steampunk Festival. On March 7, 2020, the musical is scheduled to have a full stage reading at the Carrollwood Cultural Center.BWW Previews: FOREMOST BRITISH PHYSICAL COMEDY THEATRE COMPANY SPYMONKEY HAS AMERICAN DEBUT, HYSTERIA at Straz Center For The Performing Arts September 17, 2019
If you mix Monty Python and the Marx Brothers with a dose of Hitchcock, you will not come close to the surreal madcap comedy that is about to take center stage in their Straz Center American debut. Spymonkey's Hysteria from September 19 - November 3 in Jaeb Theater showcases the talents of the internationally-renowned comedy and physical theatre company, Spymonkey.BWW Previews: CLAVICO EXTENDS RUN at HCC Mainstage Theatre Ybor City September 12, 2019
At the close of the performance, my face hurt from laughing, but what else would you expect from a musical with the name Mel Brooks attached. This over-the-top and exquisitely offensive masterpiece, with everything from the producer's casting couch, grossly stereotypical ultra-sexy foreign female secretary/actress, sex-crazed old ladies to syrupy-sweet gay characters to literally, singing and dancing Nazis, this show is the antithesis to today's political correctness. The Producers at Carrollwood Players has something to make everyone do a little squirm in their seats and I loved every purposely-uncomfortable minute of this madcap story that revels in Mel Brook's irreverent humor.BWW Previews: VIVID THEATRE PRODUCTIONS DEBUTS GOD OF CARNAGE at Stageworks Theatre September 4, 2019
In a time where bullying is national crisis, leading to children as young as nine years old taking their own lives, Innovocative Theatre's production The Hundred Dresses is opening at Stageworks Theatre on August 4. Sadly, this play is as timely today as when Eleanor Estes wrote the book in 1944.
Set during the Great Depression in 1938, The Hundred Dresses is a play by based on the true experiences of the book author about a poor Polish girl named Wanda Petronski who is bullied by her classmates because she is different.BWW Review: New Tampa Players' THE LITTLE MERMAID Debuts Swimmingly at University Area CDC July 28, 2019
Let me lead by saying I absolutely love The Little Mermaid and Cirque Du Soleil, so going into the theatre, my expectations were extremely high for the perfect romantic story of man and mermaid at New Tampa Players. And visionary director Derek Baxter and a stellar huge cast of all ages and abilities did NOT disappoint. Using the magical talents of Jeremy Dorsey, Hippie Griswold, Becki Mallett, and Will Rickard, aerial artists from Shinobi School on ropes, fabric, and a lira hoop, this version of the fairytale was fresh, innovative, and never boring.BWW Previews: NEW TAMPA PLAYER'S THE LITTLE MERMAID IS A CIRQUE TWIST ON A DISNEY CLASSIC at University Area CDC July 26, 2019
In collaboration with the Hillsborough County Alliance for Citizens with Disabilities and Tampa Mayor's Alliance for Persons with Disabilities, on July 26, The Straz Center is presenting the inaugural performance event, Transformations: Building a World of Access and Inclusion.
As part of the celebration of the 29th-anniversary celebration of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) legislation, the event, hosted in Maestros from 6-8 p.m., is free to the public.BWW Review: POWERHOUSE VOCALISTS WERE ON STAGE IN VIVID THEATRE PRODUCTIONS' BROADWAY MISCAST at Powerstories Theatre July 25, 2019
Broken into two acts with a 15 minute intermission in between, in the first hour, to open each song, the singer told a story of what it meant to them. What I loved about actors who are also singers, rather than someone who was strictly a singer, was you are transported into the story. Whether it's a slump of the shoulder, a hand raised, a facial expression, the use of the stool, or any number of creative storytelling devices, these 11 allowed us to have an experience, not just hear a song. The snippets of the introduction made the song that followed feel all the more personal. In the second act dedicated to inspiration works, the dialogue receded, and the moving songs took center stage.BWW Previews: VIVID THEATRE PRODUCTIONS' BROADWAY MISCAST CABARET SWAPS SONG GENDER at Powerstories Theatre July 23, 2019
Imagine having a piano call to you - a soft whisper urging that you must play, asking if you remember. Despite the passage of time, playwright Janet Scaglione sat down and the melodies for a musical were birthed as her fingers danced across the piano keys. She had always wanted to write a musical, a biography of sorts about discovering herself after 50. Initially, a lack of confidence got in the way of fulfilling a lifelong ambition.