Deborah Voorhees

Actress & Filmmaker

At age 50 I’ve lived a colorful life—filmmaker, writer, journalist, editor, teacher, even a Hollywood B-scream starlet and a Playboy Bunny–which has given me much fodder for my writing. Most recently, my company Voorhees Films has just completed the production phase of Billy Shakespeare, a modern Shakespearean comedy that spoofs California’s celluloid City of Angels. I liberally use the Bard’s improbable comic devices such as the love triangle, mistaken identity, and the disguised heroine; and I meld today’s conversational speak with Shakespeare’s elevated and often body vernacular. This contemporary comedy of errors seeks to answer: What if Shakespeare never lived in the 1500s but lived in L.A. today peddling his screenplays? Renaissance and modern sensibilities clash when an all-male stage version of Macbeth and the misogynistic low-budget film The Taming of the Shrew open simultaneously. The combustion makes “The Bard” the most controversial screenwriter in Hollywood.

During my Hollywood days, I worked both in front of and behind the camera. As an actress, my credits include:

  • Ruth in Measure of Fear
  • Tina in Friday the 13th Part V
  • Roxy in Avenging Angel
  • Seven episodes of Dallas
  • Days of Our Lives
  • Lead in the TV pilot What Are Friends For

As a writer, I have penned seven as a 16-year veteran journalist (most recently with The Dallas Morning News), I have covered a variety of stories: a mother on death row for killing her abusive husband; a schizophrenic psyche patient at the Austin State Hospital (who’s also a nationally known folk artist; he was admitted at the age of 16 after murdering his grandmother); the fall of communism through the eyes of a Russian immigrant; a profile on Texas rancher Nan West (she was good with a gun, but never went into town unless she donned a dress; despite her mother’s protest, she refused to wear a hat); a rodeo circuit bull rider who poised for Playboy magazine; a horseback adventure through the Badlands of Mexico (I rode illegally across the border for that story); and master African-American muralist John Biggers’ journey through the white art world. I have taught British literature and journalism in New Mexico and Texas and currently teach Acting for Film at Eastern New Mexico University. My next film, tentatively titled A Midsummer Night’s Sex Romp, begins filming in 2012.

Film Description: Writer and director Deborah Voorhees calls her film Billy Shakespeare a modern Shakespearean comedy that spoofs California’s celluloid City of Angels. The writer not only liberally uses the Bard’s improbable comic devices such as the love triangle, mistaken identity, and the disguised heroine but Voorhees also melds today’s conversational speak with Shakespeare’s elevated and often body vernacular. This contemporary comedy of errors seeks to answer: What if Shakespeare never lived in the 1500s but lived in L.A. today peddling his screenplays? Renaissance and modern sensibilities clash when an all-male stage version of Macbeth and the misogynistic low budget film The Taming of the Shrew open simultaneously. The combustion makes “The Bard” the most controversial screenwriter in Hollywood.

Deborah flew to London with her new film “Billy Shakespeare” which premiered at The Misty Moon Gallery in May 2012.

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