After obtaining a BA in Zoology from the University of Vermont, Dawn received her Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Pittsburgh. While at grad school, she spent her summers acting with the Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, and co-founded their successful Young Company. To supplement her studies while completing her thesis, she spent over a year performing improv with TheaterSports, wrote and performed her own bilingual one-person show, and toured with Shakespeare in the Schools, an outreach program bringing Shakespeare to students K-12. She also co-founded and performed with the stage combat/commedia/movement theater group GREX.
After receiving her MFA, Dawn moved to Chicago, where she worked as a professional stage actress for 16 years. She performed with a number of award-winning and critically acclaimed theatre companies, including among others The Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater (winner of the Tony Award for Best Outstanding Regional Theater), Lookingglass Theatre (whose most famous member is David Schwimmer), Eclipse Theatre, About Face Theatre, The Free Associates, and Chicago’s premiere women’s company, Footsteps Theatre, where she was a company member for five years. In 1997, Dawn spent a summer studying at the Royal National Theater in London, and the following summer performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland.
At Footsteps, Dawn became the first female theatrical Resident Fight Choreographer in the Midwest (and possibly the country). It was during her years at Footsteps that she founded her own theatre company, Babes With Blades, the first all-female stage combat theatre company in the country. Since 1997, BWB has been creating new works and producing shows that explore the martial aspects of women, and has won enormous critical and audience acclaim.
After stepping down from the Artistic Directorship of Babes With Blades in mid-2007, Dawn began planning her move to Los Angeles to explore the worlds of television and film. She arrived in L.A. (well, Burbank, actually) on New Year’s Day of 2009. Since then, she has found work in stage plays, student films, webisodes and feature films, and is looking forward to landing her dream: a recurring role on a sci-fi television series.
As a feminist activist, Dawn is particularly interested in creating and working in projects that have three dimensional roles for women of all ages, ethnicities and sexual orientations. Through her production company, Vicarious Films, Dawn is creating small works that present women "who move the action," and is interested in networking with other artists who are interested in doing the same.
University of Pittsburgh