Daena's Acting Bio

DAENA GIARDELLA is an actor, director, teacher, and coach. Her many original one-woman theater performances, including Mabud and Friends, Yes To Everything! Moment to Moment, Bare Essentials, Y2K Cabaret, Play! Opposites, Balancing Acts, Now What? and What Can I Say? have garnered kudos throughout the USA and abroad for over thirty years. She is currently working on a new show, which will premiere at the Dance Complex in Cambridge in Dec. 2011.

The Boston Globe called her an "impressive talent" and the Boston Herald described her as "a talented and gifted actress." She is known for her expertise in improvisation and its application as both a dramatic and comedic theatrical form and she has developed a unique solo performance style based on structured improvisation.

Daena was invited to Poland to work with legendary theatre director Jerzy Grotowski in his Theatre of Sources (featured in the film “My Dinner With Andre”). She performed Yes to Everything! at Boston’s New Erhlich Theatre and she was later invited to perform at the Susan Delal Center for Dance and Theatre in Tel Aviv where the show received an enthusiastic reception.

While living in Israel during the Gulf War, Daena turned her wartime experience into the powerful Moment to Moment, which enjoyed widely acclaimed runs in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as well as in the USA. Tel Aviv’s Haeer newspaper said "Giardella is a phenomenon...a classic actress...an intelligent clown." Daena was also invited to bring her solo performance Beyond the Edge to Tel Aviv’s Tsavta Theatre.

Daena’s production Bare Essentials earned kudos during her two runs at the Dance Complex in Cambridge from both audiences and press, including the Boston Phoenix who called her “an enormously talented performer/improviser with a dancer's agility and a blues belter's larynx...her characters have heft and the advantage of surprise.”

Her production of Play! had its premiere and successful run at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art Theatre and was called “a must see” by the Boston Globe. 

Daena stirred audiences with her performance Now What? which opened two months after September 11 at Nexus Theatre and explored life in the “new normal.” She performed What Can I Say?, her show about talk radio and censorship, for sold-out audiences at Newburyport’s Firehouse Theatre and at several conferences.

Daena has performed in many Boston theatres including her roles in the productions Awakening and Guests of My Life at Theater Workshop Boston as well as in her solo performance, The Swan Soliloquy, at Suffolk University Theatre. She collaborated with jazz musician and actor Stan Strickland in their performance Duets From Within and she created and performed Between Us with Obie-award winning playwright, actor and director Julie Portman.

Daena has performed at numerous theatres and events around the USA and abroad, including Omega Institute, Kripalu, the International School for Movement Theatre Festival, Interface, the University of South Carolina, the World Symposium on Humanity in Toronto, Tufts University, the Association of Humanistic Psychology, The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and the United Nations World Conference on Women in Copenhagen.
Daena was featured as a creativity coach on The Cheryl Richardson Life Makeover Show on Oxygen TV and she has also appeared on many radio and television shows including the PBS series Discovering Psychology and A New Voice. She has recorded commercials, narrations, animations, and videos, for numerous clients including Citibank, WGBH TV, WCVB TV, Health New England, Fidelity, IMC, Jiffy Lube, Garelick Farms, U.S. Dept of Navy, Sheraton, Tom Snyder Productions and Millipore, and she is a member of AFTRA.

Daena’s background in radio includes her work as a news & weather announcer at KSFQ in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she also produced and recorded commercials. She has hosted several radio programs, including Currents, a talk radio show on the National Radio Network and Theatre of the Musical Mind at WBRS, Waltham, Massachusetts.

Daena also works as an organizational leadership consultant and many world-class companies have tapped her as an executive coach and keynote speaker. She custom designs and offers many performances for corporate, organizational, and academic conferences, meetings, training programs, symposia and other events. She is frequently invited as a motivational speaker and humorist to give presentations and performances that highlight the themes of the conference or program.

Daena has developed a unique approach to improvisational acting training and taught hundreds of improvisational acting workshops for people from virtually every profession. Her workshops have helped stimulate a thriving improvisation community in the Boston area and spawned many improv troops.

Daena was formerly on the faculty in the theatre departments at Boston’s Emerson College and Boston Conservatory where she taught acting and directed student productions. She co-founded and acted in TheraVision, a video/theatre process for training psychotherapists at the Kantor Family Institute.

She teaches Improvisational Leadership at MIT Sloan School of Management and she also led an advanced training in Negotiation Improvisation for the European Commission in collaboration with Harvard Law faculty.

Daena has co-authored a book with Wren Ross called, Changing Patterns: Discovering the Fabric of Your Creativity, which explores the creative process as a tool for self-development and change. Her spoken word CD entitled Improvisation in Everyday Life discusses the application of improvisation skills for professional and personal settings.

Visit Daena’s web site at http://www.daenagiardella.com to check out her Podcast & Blog, DaenaTalk, and learn more about her performances, workshops and consulting work

Links to Daena's Other Bios:


For more information call 617.924.9596 or by email: daena@daenagiardella.com.
© 2000 Daena Giardella

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