ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: DEENA MARIE MANZANARES
During her time at Atlantic Acting School, alumna Deena Marie Manzanares performed the role of Darlene in Balm in Gilead. She was also chosen to perform a scene from Golden Boy during a master class with Atlantic co-founder David Mamet. Below, Deena Marie shares her acting career highlights after attending Atlantic’s Full-Time Conservatory. Want to share your story? Contact School Marketing Manager Cecile Oreste at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After graduating from Atlantic, I came back to my hometown of Salt Lake City, UT and worked steadily. I never expected to be successful at home, and had every intention of heading back to NYC. Instead, I found myself as a big fish in a small pond. My first professional show was in SLC at Pioneer Theatre Company in 2003. It was Cyrano de Bergerac. While my role was small, I shared the stage with Patrick Page! I have been a member of Actors Equity since 2007. I have been given incredible roles ever since. I played Hedda in The Sting & Honey Company’s Hedda Gabler last year. I am playing Blanche du Bois in Radical Hospitality Theater’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire this month. Other favorite credits include: Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, Shirin/Azedeh in The Persian Quarter, Sheila in Hair, and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors.
One thing Atlantic was always adamant about was creating your own work. I also took that advice to heart, creating a sketch comedy YouTube channel that became successful and launched me into other opportunities such as appearances on MTV, G4TV, national social media campaigns for Ford Motors, and features on national websites such as Mashable. It helped me grow in my local career, appearing on television here, and even leading to my own segment called Deena on the Local Scene, promoting entertainment in town starting this month!
I have a great agent and work on film projects as well as modeling jobs.
As a fixture in local press over the years, the Salt Lake Tribune did a front page feature on me, and I was recently on the cover of Salt Lake Magazine.
I’m known here for my professionalism and I have Atlantic to thank for that. I’m so proud of that. My time there shaped me into the person and performer I am today. I will always hold my time at Atlantic and in NYC as such a sacred time. I am truly lucky and I don’t think I could have what I have today if I hadn’t had trained where I did.