"Debra De Liso is a woman of extraordinary and multiple talents, she has astonished me with her work as an actress, a director, a choreographer, a movement coach, and most particularly as a human being of spectacular generosity and caring. I know of no one who has offered her time and talent so generously to students, to other actors, and to the underprivileged. Her work with inmates in prison – where I visited and observed – is inspiring not only to the inmates, whose lives and motivations she’s re-channeled (to their immense gratification,) but to offialdom taking notice of her contribution, and moving to support it.
She is more than a teacher of acting and a director: she’s really wonderful at that, but beyond those abilities, her warmth, her genuine caring and commitment to students and to her profession evoke deep responses in the people she works with. The example of her devotion touches one profoundly. Over and above superb professional qualifications, Ms. De Liso has the rare gift of inspiring novices to reach deeply into themselves, to open to another, and to enhance their own skills and perceptions by communal sharing. Ms. De Liso’s really extraordinary ability is to transform theatre training from what could be rote to what is in her hands genuinely creative and genuinely inspiring."
- Leon Katz, Playwright, Emeritus Professor, Yale School of Drama
"This show never would have hit the stage had it not been for Debra. She so clearly understood what I was trying to accomplish and then deftly navigated the waters from idea, into a script and then onto the stage. She is nurturing, caring and inspiring. All the things that I needed to overcome the fear and doubt that I was experiencing working with my own words and no other actors for the first time. I will always be grateful that our paths crossed."
-Jay Sefton, Writer/Performer (nominated WINNER Best Solo Play 2008, chosen for the NY Fringe Festival August 2009, L.A. Weekly Theatre Awards)
"I first became acquainted with Debra De Liso’s remarkable talents as I watched her acting, directing, and choreography in a world premiere of Leon Katz’ Justine. I, next, was treated to Ms. De Liso’s analytic gifts and her complete confidence and competence in the history of the theatre through her work in a presentational reading of the letters of George Bernard Shaw; her direction and exposition of Alice B. Toklas in last years premiere of that play confirms her mastery in traditional as well as experimental theatre. After viewing Ms. De Liso’s work, I asked her to work with me on the world premiere of a new play with music “American Iliad.” She was a great asset to our production as an artist and communicator."
- Donald Freed, Award-Winning Playwright
Thank you very much for being there for me in such a motivating and inspiring way. You really pushed me and I appreciate it, I feel this play was a great experience for me...very challenging. This class was a perfect way to finish this program! Thank you for always believing me, even on those days were I gave you nothing...
- Tatiana Paloma, AADA Student, One Person Show Class
"Debra created a nurturing, creative atmoshpere for me, a non-actor, to develop my material and find the confidence to perform it. She has an unerring instinct of knowing where a performer's strengths are and how to find them." Hal Ackerman, Writer and Co-Chair - UCLA Screenwriting Program
Thanks, I am completely sure, to your recommendation, I have been accepted to study at BADA this spring. THANK YOU!!!! This promises to be an incredible experience that I will never forget. And I will certainly never forget the numero uno teacher who helped get me there."
- Joe Horton, (USC Theatre Student)"
I got an agent! I wanted to share the good news with those who have supported me till this point. I am very excited! Thank you for all your support and help to get me to where I am today!"
- Elsbeth Wilhite, AADA Graduate