BFA (Inter-Arts) UW-Milwaukee
MFA (Dance) UW-Milwaukee
Deborah Farris has performed extensively throughout the United States in theatre and dance. She is a member of Actors Equity and has appeared in Off- and Off-Off-Broadway, and regional theatre in roles ranging from Portia in Merchant of Venice, to Christine Daae in Phantom of the Opera and Side by Side by Sondheim. She has danced roles in Peter and the Wolf, Cinderella, Nutcracker and Hansel and Gretel, among others, and performed and toured with New Performing Dance Company and Jack Arnold and Dancers. Farris has served on the Dance and Theatre faculties at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Tulane University and has been an Adjunct Faculty member with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Dance Department since 1999. She trained professionally with Michael Maule (American Ballet Theatre), Jonathan Watts (Joffrey), Jury Goltshalks (Les Grands Ballets Canadiens) and Sondra Neels (Cunningham). As a voice major, Farris studied with John Gilbert at UW-Madison and with Madame Yolanda Marculescu at UW-Milwaukee. Originally from Milwaukee, she performed for three seasons with the Skylight Opera Theatre in the late '70s before moving to New York City. She received both her BFA (Inter-Arts) and MFA (Dance) degrees from UW-Milwaukee. Farris has served as Executive Director of Danceworks, Inc. since 2002 and received the Business Journal Woman of Influence Award for Nonprofit Leadership in 2007.