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Award Winning Dezart Performs AnnouncesCampaign for Permanent Home

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Award Winning Dezart Performs Announces
Campaign for Permanent Home

Now in its 16th Season of “Fearless, Provocative & Inspiring Theatre” Company Announces Plans for A Flexible Venue

Details Announced at Special December 5th Event at Hotel Zoso in Palm Springs

12 December 2023 – Palm Springs, CA:  For the last 13 years, the multi-award winning Dezart Performs ( has called the Pearl McManus Theater home. But with the limited stage space, along with inflexible scheduling, they have outgrown the venue. “I fell in love with the theatre and the topics, and the way they were presented,” said Beatrice Keats, founding donor and patron. “And they’re operating in the tiniest little space, they have no space backstage, so I think it’s time for them to have their own theater!”

After a long strategic planning process, Dezart Performs identified a new 4,400 square foot space in Cathedral City’s Canyon Plaza South. The campaign, called the NEXT STAGE CAMPAIGN, is headed by Co-Chairs and founding donors Ann Sheffer and Nancy Bleiweiss-Nevil. This new home will be called the Dezart Playhouse. “The productions that Dezart Performs puts on are not only extraordinary, but they are compelling,” said Cathedral City Mayor Rita Lamb. “I believe the introduction of Dezart Performs to Cathedral City is going to be transformative. It will add vibrancy and intensity, making that area of the community completely compelling.” 

On December 5th, in a special event at Hotel Zoso Hotel in Palm Springs, details of the campaign were unveiled to a packed and supportive crowd of 150, emceed by “Eye on the Desert” host Patrick Evans and Desert Theatre League award-winning actor, Joel Bryant. Campaign Co-Chair Nancy Bleiweiss-Nevil, founding Artistic Director Michael Shaw, Board President Clark Dugger and several Board members were in attendance, along with other founding donors.

The campaign has been in the silent phase for over a year, with the goal to raise $ 2,200,000 to convert the former retail space into a state-of-the-art Equity Theater.  In addition, the campaign seeks another $200,000 per year over five years to help sustain program and operation costs. “We have had many people make generous pledges and gifts to our campaign. But we have a ways to go to reach our goal,” said Gailya Brown, Director of Development for Dezart Performs.“ “I think it’s important for people to know that this is isn’t just about Dezart Performs. It’s going to be a community resource.” 

“We have been gratified by the enthusiasm and generosity demonstrated by our supporters over the past months. But our work is not yet done,” says Michael Shaw, Dezart Performs’ founding Artistic Director. “Please join us to make this a reality. We can’t do it without the support of the community.”

The new Dezart Playhouse will have versatile, movable seating for up to 125, including the flexibility for proscenium, thrust, theatre in-the-round, or cabaret-style formats. A modern, warm and inviting lobby with a full bar and patio area will be available for use both during performances, and for other non-theatrical events. Full expanded dressings rooms, backstage areas and a designated box office are all part of the design. Besides use by Dezart Performs, the venue will also welcome other businesses and non-profit organizations in the community to make use of the space. Based on the current plan, the Dezart Playhouse will be ready for the 2025 / 2026 Season.

To inquire about how to help support Dezart Performs’ NEXT STAGE CAMPAIGN, contact Gailya Brown at

Dezart Performs, one of the Coachella Valley’s preeminent theatre companies recognizes that the performing arts enrich the life and culture of a community, promote greater understanding and provoke insightful discussion. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit theatre company, its mission is to provide an artistic home for bold and cutting–edge plays, creating an atmosphere of artistic growth for actors, writers, and directors who uniquely contribute to the diverse theatrical environment in the Coachella Valley.

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