I am DEWANDA WISE
Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, I am of Sierra Leonean, British, and Algonquin Native American heritage. I come from a family of working class folks, many of whom own their own small businesses because "Wise" looks great in print.
After high school, I attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, training primarily at The Atlantic Theatre Company Acting School. Apparently a mega nerd and/or degree hoarder, I graduated with honors with a dual degree in Drama and Urban Social and Cultural Analysis with a minor in Community-based Theater and Performance. I'm also a Tisch scholar award recipient, an Atlantic Achievement in Studio Award recipient, and the BFA Representative of my graduating class of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
For levity, I love reading good books and cats. Particularly, my own cat, Rascal. Thanks for visiting!
KNUCKLEHEAD SUPPORTING DIR: BEN BOWMAN
BLACK SWAN THEORY LEAD DIR: NIKYATU JUSU
PARIAH (SHORT) SUPPORTING DIR: DEE REES
PRECIOUS SUPPORTING DIR: LEE DANIELS
SPINNING INTO BUTTER SUPPORTING DIR: MARK BROKAW
SMOKING/NON-SMOKING SUPPORTING DIR: ALYSSA RALLO BENNETT
BANISHED VOICE-OVER DIR: MARCO WILLIAMS
STEAM LEAD DIR: KYLE SCHICKNER
SUPER POWERS (SHORT) SUPPORTING DIR: JOHN MITCHELL
AFRICAN BOOTY SCRATCHER (SHORT) LEAD DIR: NIKYATU JUSU
THE MENTALIST GUEST STAR CBS
FIRELIGHT LEAD ABC/HALLMARK
BOARDWALK EMPIRE GUEST STAR HBO
LAW & ORDER: SVU GUEST STAR NBC
THE GOOD WIFE GUEST STAR CBS
ONE LIFE TO LIVE RECURRING ABC
LAW AND ORDER: CI GUEST STAR NBC
GUIDING LIGHT RECURRING CBS
GAMEKILLERS SELF (SPOKEN WORD) MTV
RACE SUSAN CTG, KIRK DOUGLAS (L.A.)
SUNSET BABY NINA LABYRINTH THEATER CO. (NYC)
SUNDOWN NAMES… RUBY MEEKS NEGRO ENSEMBLE CO. (NYC)
IN THE CONTINUUM ABIGAIL PLAYMAKERS (CHAPEL HILL)
WRAPPED JEWEL NY MUSICAL THEATER FEST.
EXODUS MAG NY FRINGE
FLIGHT MERCY CITY THEATRE (PITTSBURGH)
RE/RITES RISEN TISCH SCHOOL OF THE ARTS
ELETRA ELECTRA PLAYWRIGHTS HORIZONS
THE DEATH OF THE LAST… BEFORE COLUMBUS PLAYWRIGHTS HORIZONS
LOVE SUICIDES C.O. ATLANTIC
ANTIGONE ANTIGONE ATHOLTON
THE TEMPEST PROSPERO REP. STAGE ACTING INST.
NYU: ATLANTIC THEATRE ACTING SCHOOL
I don't think it's a spoiler to reveal that, as is often the case, it's the woman who's the toughest of them all. Ms. Wise, a beauty, makes us see and feel just how ugly Nina is...she also insists we understand why. -Ben Brantley, NY Times
Wise...delivers layers of complex emotion, colored with hard weary pragmatism, child-like hurt, and burning rage. -Andy Propst American Theater Web
Wise is brutal and riveting. -The New Yorker
DeWanda Wise (is) commanding and severe. -Village Voice
DeWanda Wise is a snarling Nina who brings both the fatigue and endurance of a warrior. Shrewdly, she colors Nina with the vulnerability and aching of an abandoned child. -Stagebuddy
Ms. Wise is an even more potent presence. Her disgust with her father's abandonment...so deep it can raise the hairs on your skin...we see the hollowness of her soul. -Theatre's Leiterside
DeWanda Wise is the one here...a performance to be remembered. To be cherished. Wow, she's good. -Theater Enthusiast
Especially touching is the performance of DeWanda Wise as Terry, a young woman driven to get out of jail to help her mother battle cancer. Terry is dealt some setbacks along the way, providing moments when the young actress portrays pain that feels all too real. -Rob Hedelt Free Lance Star
...It is Wise who provides the heart of the film. She is the one who makes the audience care totally from start to finish. -Jackie K Cooper, Huffington Post
Speaking of his young co-stars, Gooding adds, "These young actors blew me away. I'm seeing performances that remind me of young Meryl Streep, young Halle Berry. There is so much truth in their performances. It's taken my breath away several times."
Kilcher...and Wise... are exceptional in their roles in this film, and, along with Gooding, also help to make this story of redemption ring true without being heavy-handed. – Melissa Hayer, News OK
DeWanda Wise plays a compassionate inmate...The main pleasure of the movie is watching a group of talented young actresses seize some meaty roles. I expect to see much more of them.-Jim Heinrich, Post-Gazette
While the D.J. character in “Firelight” is “not a hugger,” it’s a safe bet that before the movie ends he will be tenderly embraced by an inmate who has learned that “sometimes it just takes one person who got a vision of who I could be.” -Blair Howell, Deseret News
Look for standout performances from DeWanda Wise and Q’Orianka Kilcher. -Pat Prescott, 94.7 The Wave
Viewers are not so bereaved over Sadie's departure that they cannot appreciate, admire, and love the characters Oh Beah (Avery Sommers), Mercy (DeWanda Wise), Ezra (Kevin Brown), Alma (Taifa Harris), and Nate (Joshua Elijah Reese), as they marvel in the dynamic performances of the cast, especially Wise, who seems to have so spectacularly internalized Mercy that it is difficult to detect where the actress ends and the character begins.
-Tameka L. Cage, Ph.D; The New Pittsburgh Courier
But the two younger women gradually grow in significant presenceTaifa Harris' Alma who ranges from deviltry to irony to passion, and DeWanda Wise's Mercy, who displays astonishing variety, emotional and physical. In fact, like any sane critic, I'd like to go on record that Wise, for whom this is her professional stage debut, should have a luminous career ahead.
-Christopher Rawson; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
DeWanda Wise is particularly good at acting out various characters, especially the animals. She uses every muscle in every limb of her petite figure to almost magically create vivid transformations.
-Ann Miner; Talkin' Broadway
As younger members of the group, DeWanda Wise (playing Mercy) and Taifa Harris (Alma) prove themselves inventive storytellers capable of transforming themselves into and transitioning among a variety of characters.
-Alice T. Carter; Tribune-Review
SUNDOWN NAMES AND NIGHT-GONE THINGS
The play opens with a torrid love scene between Ruby, a good-time girl with a string of lovers, and Cairo, a young man newly arrived from Natchez, Miss., who wants a more permanent relationship. DeWanda Wise is sultry and seductive as Ruby."
-Wilborn Hampton New York Times
Cairo himself is sexually involved with one of his clients, the beautiful Ruby Meeks (DeWanda Wise) For her part, she welcomes his advances, but is not tied to him exclusively -- and gets angry and even spiteful when he expresses jealousy...Williams does a fine job of projecting his character's internal conflicts, and has good chemistry with Wise, who practically radiates sensuality."
-Dan Bacalzo TheaterMania
And, as is only appropriate for a play in which men see women as childbearing drudges or potential conquests, the ladies provide the evening's most consistent pleasures. DeWanda Wise is a foul-mouthed and touching delight as Cairo's loose girlfriend, Ruby, a good-time girl who slowly realizes she's running out of good times...Women, according to one of the men, may only be sundown names and night-gone things, but Wise makes sure you remember her long after the night has ended."
-Mark Peikert Backstage
their inner conflict leads to some good performances; DeWanda Wise in particular delivers a moving turn during a harrowing plot twist.
-Jonathan Shannon Time Out Magazine
DeWanda Wise is a truly gifted actress. She is always so prepared, way beyond just knowing her lines. She delves deep into the character she is going to be portraying and creates an entire world for us to see. When I audition her I forget that I'm watching an audition. DeWanda is going to be a star.
-Jennifer Rudolph (NY Casting Director)
DeWanda is a very talented actress who understands subtext, layers and timeline with a cinematic approach. She is truly a needle in the haystack of New York Actors!!
-Tracy Twinkie Byrd (L.A. Casting Director)