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Dezart Performs Wins Nine Desert Stars Awards

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Dezart Performs Wins Nine Desert Stars Awards

Maytag Virgin scores seven including Outstanding Production Comedy Professional,
Best Director and Best Actor & Actress
Awards also for Perfect Arrangement and Church & State

12th Season for Dezart Performs Opens November 8 with Hand to God

14 October 2019 – Palm Springs, CA: Heading into its 12th landmark season, the acclaimed Dezart Performs won nine Desert Star Awards at last night’s 32nd Annual Desert Theatre League Awards. Of the nine, including the categories of Outstanding Production Comedy (Professional), Director, Lead Actor and Actress, and Set, Sound and Lighting Design, Audry Cefaly’s Southern romantic comedy Maytag  Virginracked up the majority with Dezart Performs also winning Best Lead Actor in a Drama (Professional) for its production of Church & Stateand Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy (Professional) for Perfect Arrangement. In three weeks, Dezart Performs will open the season with the raucous Tony Award nominated dark comedy Hand to God by Robert Askins (November 8 – 17).

“Love won,” laughed Dezart Performs Founding Artistic Director Michael Shaw referring to last season’s unabashedly romantic Maytag Virgin. “Plus, political debate with a touch of levity and a comedic take on the ‘lavender scare’ of the 1950s rounded out a winning season for us. We’re so grateful to the incredible talents that made all this possible: onstage, backstage and in our audience.”

The complete list of Desert Theatre League / Desert Star Awards winners for Dezart Performs are as follows: 

Outstanding Production – Comedy – Professional

Maytag Virgin

Outstanding Director of a Comedy – Professional

Deborah Harmon, Maytag Virgin

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy – Professional

Joel Bryant, Maytag Virgin

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy – Professional

Kay Capasso, Maytag Virgin

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy – Professional

Yo Younger, Perfect Arrangement

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama – Professional

Beau Marie, Church & State

Outstanding Set Design – Professional

Thomas L. Valach, Maytag Virgin

Outstanding Sound Design – Professional

Clark Dugger, Maytag Virgin

Outstanding Lighting Design – Professional

Phil Murphy, Maytag Virgin

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.

Season package prices: (4-Show Season Packages $124-164; 3-Show Season Packages $96-126)
All performances take place at the Pearl McManus Theater (at the historic Palm Springs Woman’s Club) 314 S Cahuilla Road, Downtown Palm Springs. Tickets may be purchased online at, or by calling (760) 322-0179.

12th Dezart Performs Complete Season Listing


Written by Robert Askins

Directed by Michael Shaw

Dark comedy

November 8-17, 2019

The Tony-nominated Broadway hit comedy, where The Exorcist Meets Sesame Street! “HAND TO GOD is so ridiculously raunchy, irreverent and funny it’s bound to leave you sore from laughing. Ah, hurts so good.” —New York Daily News

After the death of his father, meek Jason finds an outlet for his anxiety at the Christian Puppet Ministry in the devoutly religious, relatively quiet small town of Cypress, Texas. Jason’s complicated relationships with the town pastor, the school bully, the girl next door, and—most especially—his mother are thrown into upheaval when Jason’s puppet, Tyrone, takes on a shocking and dangerously irreverent personality all its own. (note: for mature audiences)

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Written by Michael McKeever


January 10-19, 2020

Off-Broadway’s Latest Hit Drama! One of The New York Times plays to see! “A profound look at love and commitment.” —The Daily Beast

Daniel and Mitchell are the perfect couple. Perfect house, perfect friends – even a mother who wants them married. They’d have the perfect wedding, too, except that Mitchell doesn’t believe in gay marriage. A turn of events puts their perfect life in jeopardy, and Mitchell is thrust into a future where even his love may not prove to be enough. DANIEL’S HUSBAND is a bold reflection of love, commitment, and family in our perilous new world. Starring WHITE GUY ON THE BUS’ David Youse and Dezart Performs Artistic Director, Michael Shaw.

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Written by Lynn Nottage

Directed by Michael Shaw


February 28-March 8, 2020

Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize. SWEAT exposes the collapse of the American working class in the new millennium. “Sharp and threatening as a box cutter blade…ferociously engrossing…SWEAT never feels less than authentic—and crucial.” —

It’s the year 2000 in Reading, Pennsylvania and a group of friends go to work at the steel mill and then decompress at the bar like they’ve been doing for over 20 years. But, unbeknownst to them, their lives are about to be uprooted. Their steel mill is making some changes and the blood, sweat and tears of generations of loyal workers don’t seem to amount to much. SWEAT dissects the insidiousness of privilege and entitlement, reminding you that there’s always someone on a lower plane to blame for your troubles, and there will always be someone who stands to profit from your loss. 

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Written by Duncan Macmillan, with Jonny Donahoe

Directed by Deborah Harmon


April 3-12, 2020

“A heart-wrenching, hilarious play…One of the funniest plays you’ll ever see about depression—and possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see, full stop!” —The Guardian

You’re six years old. Mom’s in the hospital. Dad says she’s “done something stupid.” She finds it hard to be happy. So you start to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Everything that’s worth living for. 1. Ice cream. 2. Kung Fu movies. 3. Burning things. 4. Laughing so hard you shoot milk out your nose. 5. Construction cranes. 6. Me. You leave it on her pillow. You know she’s read it because she’s corrected your spelling. Soon, the list will take on a life of its own. A play about depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love.