DeWanda Wise

Birth name:
DeWanda Jackson
Date of Birth:
5' 6" (1.68 m)
DeWanda Wise grew up in and outside of Baltimore, Maryland. She began, like many, singing in the church choir at Hopkins United Methodist Church. Her first solo "He's got the Whole World in His Hands" was sang at four years old. Also developed early on was a love of literature and writing, and growing up she participated in choirs and poetry contests on the state and national level through high school. Although she paced primarily in cities, she spent a great deal of her childhood at her grandfather's business, Ellis Wise Junkyard and Towing, a family business still in operation in Clarksville, MD.After high school she attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, performing in productions of Electra, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, Love Suicides at Schofield Barracks, A Girl of Faith's, and the student devised pieces Unspoken, the Ism Project, and Re/Rites. In addition, she served as a Resident Assistant, President of drama club "The Collective," and engaged in the efforts and explorations of The Tisch University Scholars.In film, DeWanda has made appearances in many Indies including The Pack, Steam, Spinning into Butter starring Sarah Jessica Parker, festival sweeper Pariah, Sundance winner Push: Based on the Novel... starring Monique, and Queen of Media starring alongside Robin Givens as the young Wendy Williams.Also a member of AEA and AFTRA, DeWanda stays occupied as an actor inside and outside of New York. Professional theatrical productions include Charlayne Woodards' Flight (City Theatre, Pittsburgh) In the Continuum (Playmakers, NC) and Sundown Names and Night-Gone Things (NEC, NY.) DeWanda was also seen as Julianna on ABC's One Life to Live. Although she began her professional career while still training at the Atlantic Theatre Company, she graduated from NYU with Honors, and with the support of faculty, students, and peers.DeWanda Wise is a Tisch scholar award recipient, an Atlantic Achievement in Studio Award recipient, and the BFA Representative (Valedictorian) of her graduating class of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.At once city mouse, country rat, and suburban hamster; her multiplicative upbringing gave her an understanding of the world at a very young age, and afforded an array of experiences that has culminated in her work. Her natural empathy, personal experiences, and anthropological approach undercurrents the specificity of her characters. Both the cheerleader and the civil rights activist, the girl-next-door and the beauty queen; she has been described as "versatile," "gifted," and "dynamic."DeWanda Wise is undoubtedly one to watch, and only time will truly tell of her artistic and philanthropic wisdom.
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