Dennis Milam Bensie Releases Memoir 'Thirty Years A Dresser'

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Dennis Milam Bensie Releases Memoir 'Thirty Years A Dresser'

Coffeetown Press is delighted to announce the release of Thirty Years a Dresser on May 15, 2018 ($17.95, 216 pages, ISBN: 978-1-60381-751-6), a memoir by Dennis Milam Bensie, sharing essays, anecdotes, and backstage antics from his years as a theatrical dresser.

Dennis Milam Bensie sees himself as way more Thelma Ritter in Mankiewicz's All About Eve than Tom Courtney in Ronald Harwood's harrowing play and movie, The Dresser. Watching The Tony Awards as a teenager in the early 1980s, Bensie knew he wanted to be in theater. He was his own dresser for plays in high school when he learned a career as an actor wasn't for him. Costumes became his calling, at first in summer stock and gradually with union houses, wherever he could find work.

A theatrical dresser is expected to be a nurse, psychologist, tailor, personal shopper, magician, bodyguard, maid, scout, and confidant. Thirty Years a Dresser is Bensie's third memoir, after Shorn: Toys to Men and One Gay American. His stories involve behind-the-scenes dish and drama during a wide range of productions: from Metamorphoses, The Light in the Piazza, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion--The Musical to The Sound of Music (three times).

The author's backstage stories feature such stars as Lynn Redgrave, Rosie O'Donnell, Freddy Kruger's mother, and a Tony Award winner who shall remain nameless.

Dennis Milam Bensie grew up in Robinson, Illinois where his interest in the arts began in high school participating in various community theatre productions. He holds a degree in Theatre Costume Design from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and completed an apprenticeship in theatrical wig construction at Los Angeles Opera. His costume and wig design for Valley of the Dolls at Empty Space Theatre in Seattle garnered him a feature article in Entertainment Design Magazine and a Seattle TimesFootlight Award for Best Design. In 2012, his video We Do The (Wig) Work took first place at the Washington State Labor Council Film Contest and was shown at the Seattle International Film Festival. Shorn: Toys to Men, was named one of "the best overlooked books of the year" by America's oldest LGBT interest magazine, The Advocate. His second memoir One Gay American was chosen as a finalist in both the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the Indie Excellence Book Awards. His work has also been seen in The Huffington Post, Queen Mob's Teahouse, and The Good Men Project. The author has been a presenter at Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans and at Montana's first gay pride festival. Dennis is single and lives in Seattle with his two dogs. You can find him online at

Thirty Years a Dresser will be available in e-book and paperback editions at select Barnes & Noble and independent bookstores as well as,,, and Amazon Japan. Bookstores and libraries can order through Ingram or Baker & Taylor or by contacting Libraries can also order through Midwest Library Service or Follett Library Resources. ABOUT Coffeetown Press-Based in Kenmore, Washington, Coffeetown Press is an imprint of Epicenter Press, Inc., and has been publishing the finest fiction and nonfiction since 2005.

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