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.
Seldom does a reviewer get to see 'behind the curtain,' the director's enthusiastic vision of the set carefully sketched in a notepad long before it becomes an actual intricate tiered wooden platform or the director painstakingly folding pieces of paper together that would eventually be black lit painted, lighted and turned into the faces of the animals that would be called the jungle home.
On Friday, the painted paper puppets that I saw months ago from director Drew Eberhard came to reality on top of the heads of the actors. Besides Jekyll and Hyde, the set of The Jungle Book Musical at Carrollwood Player is one of my favorites to date.BWW Previews: Florida Drama Kids Brings THE LION KING JR. AND INTO THE WOODS JR. at HCC Brandon Campus Theatre June 7, 2019
Under co-direction of Faith Clark and Jake Indano, on June 8 and 9, Florida Drama Kids will bring to stage Disney's The Lion King Jr. & Into the Woods Jr. at Hillsborough Community College, Brandon campus.
As the creative arts are being stripped from schools, Florida Drama Kids gives students of all ages the opportunity to showcase their acting talents on stage and behind the scenes while forging lifelong friendships.BWW Previews: UPTOWN MUSIC FESTIVAL AN EVENING OF SAX THERAPY at University Area CDC June 6, 2019
In a train depot beautifully created and dressed by Chelsie Camaro Smith and props by Shirley Overton, not a detail is missed - from the ornate corners on the ticket booth to the weathered wood and grey concrete interior to the vintage magazines, telephones and stored luggage. Heather Cleveland's costumes add to the feel that the place looks like something that time passed over.
And perhaps it has. This way station for the hesitant houses souls unable to make the transition from life to the afterlife, whichever direction the train may go.BWW Review: CONVERSATIONS IN BED IS COMPLETELY RELATABLE at Powerstories Theatre May 3, 2019
Conversations in Bed at Powerstories Theatre was like taking a tape recorder to the audience, me included and writing down the serious, heartfelt and other times furious and ridiculous conversations we've had with our significant others before putting our heads on the pillow. Oohs, ahhs, and groans from the audience – proving just how relatable the mingled storylines were – stayed as a backdrop throughout the run of the 90-minute show.BWW Previews: GLOBAL STORYTELLING SHOWCASED ON MAY 3 at The Straz Center For The Performing Arts Riverwalk May 1, 2019
As a way to honor the diversity in Tampa Bay, The Straz Center created The Straz Arts Legacy REMIX Project, where writers, actors, musicians, singers, and dancers join together to perform for at a free monthly event. On May 3, The Straz Arts Legacy REMIX Project will celebrate global storytelling.
Sponsored by Publix and Tampa Downtown Partnership, the special event includes The Korean Association of West Florida, The Kuumba Dancers and Drummers, Tampa City Ballet, Shreyas Arts, and The Fred Johnson Jazz Ensemble.BWW Previews: ROCK AND CLASSICAL FUSE FOR ROCKTOPIA'S RETURN TO at The Straz Center For The Performing Arts April 30, 2019
Veterans of Broadway, Jana Robbins and Haley Swindal bring We Just Move On-The Songs of Kander and Ebb to Straz Center for the Performing Arts on May 19.
Named one of the Top 9 Nightclub Cabaret Acts in New York in 2018, featuring some of the composer/lyricist's most iconic tunes from the extensive catalogue like 'Maybe This Time,' 'How Lucky Can You Get,' 'Life Is,' 'A Quiet Thing,' 'All That Jazz,' Jana and Haley tell the story of two women seeking fulfillment on Broadway.BWW Previews: OH THE THINKS YOU CAN THINK - SEUSSICAL JR COMES TO The Straz Center For The Performing Arts' TECO Theatre April 22, 2019
Combine the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss with 47 eager student actors and you are in for a grand time when The Cat in the Hat, Horton, the Whos, and the other jungle animals bring the heartwarming tale of Seussical Jr. to life.
The Patel Conservatory will present the toe-tapping musical at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts' TECO Theater April 25 through 27, with a special sensory-friendly performance on April 27.BWW Review: DEAR EVAN HANSEN at The Straz Center For The Performing Arts April 10, 2019
Is an assumption not corrected, an invention born out of best intentions, a fabrication of truth that gives solace to a grieving family, still wrong? What if the lie unintentionally metamorphosizes into a voice for the silent, hope for the hopeless, a place where the invisible feel seen?
On Tuesday night, April 9, the audience at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts was left pondering those questions during the emotional nuanced three-hour performance of the six-time Tony Award-winner in 2017 (including best musical), DEAR EVAN HANSEN.BWW Previews: AUDIENCE MEMBERS ARE INVITED TO SING, DANCE, PICNIC AT MAMMA MIA! at American Stage In The Park April 9, 2019
If you enjoyed the 2008 and 2018 MAMMA MIA! movies, you are going to love the original musical from which the Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried-vehicle came. Running April 10 through May 12, featuring toe-tapping, danceable songs from the Swedish supergroup ABBA, American Stage has created the Greek island of Kalokairi at Demens Landing Park for its production of MAMMA MIA! under the direction of American Stage's artistic director Stephanie Gularte.BWW Previews: NEW TAMPA PLAYERS' PENGUIN PROJECT'S DEBUTS ALADDIN JR at University Area CDC April 5, 2019
As its first production as part of the award-winning Penguin Project, with a huge cast of 68 members, New Tampa Players will bring Aladdin Jr. to stage at University Area CDC on April 5-7.