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Dena is an actor and creator passionate about building empathy, community, and communication through story telling. Growing up in Minnesota, Dena and her sister put on plays in a family barn; she has loved every facet of performing since. She spent much of her school years performing and touring with the local community theater. Since then, Dena has worked on stage and film in New York City, regionally, and internationally.
After graduating from American University with a B.A. in theater, Dena was excited to return to Minnesota and spend time performing in the Twin Cities near her family. She paired these skills with her intertest in criminal justice reform, training law enforcement in verbal de-escalation techniques throughout Minnesota. Dena was then accepted into a Masters program at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and welcomed the ability to combine her loves of theater and travel. While in London, she was honored to perform in the Barbican's Mademoiselle Julie, starring Juliette Binoche.
After completing her M.A. in Text and Performance, she spend time traveling before being drawn to New York City. Outside of performing, she continues her work as a teaching artist, running the teaching gamut from West Point Cadets learning Shakespeare to devising new work with students to improv & theater skills to youth who have been incarcerated.
Dena is an avid reader, currently in a book club created after the close of a play by a group of artists unable to let the show family end. An eternal student, she has recently returned to singing and is excited to follow that new path.
Dena is committed to her ongoing growth as an anti-racist and the pursuit of equity in the arts world and beyond.