Dennis Milam Bensie
Dennis Milam Bensie grew up in Robinson, Illinois where his interest in the arts began in high school participating in various community theatre productions. He holds a degree in Theatre Costume Design from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and completed an apprenticeship in theatrical wig construction at Los Angeles Opera. He has costumed and wigged shows all over the country, including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, PlayMakers Repertory Theatre in Chapel Hill, NC, Alliance Theatre of Atlanta, Arizona Theatre Company, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, and the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego to name a few. His costume and wig design for Valley of the Dolls at Empty Space Theatre in Seattle garnered him a feature article in Entertainment Design Magazine and a Seattle Times Footlight Award for Best Design. Dennis also teaches master classes in wigmaking and wig maintenance around the country. He has been on staff at Intiman Theatre in Seattle since 1992 and is proud to have been involved with such productions as Angels in America, Nickel and Dimed and the world premier of the Tony Award winning musical, Light in the Piazza. Shorn: Toys to Men is his first book. Dennis lives in Seattle with his three dogs.
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One Gay American
Dennis Milam Bensie is One Gay American. Born in the 1960s and raised with traditional values in Robinson, Illinois, Bensie desperately wanted romance, a beautiful wedding, and a baby to carry on the family name. He denied his sexuality and married a woman at nineteen years old, but fantasized of weddings where he could be the bride.
Shorn: Toys to Men
Bensie chronicles his journey from damaged boy to confused young man paying hustlers to shave their heads. The world of theater is his sanctuary, where he spins fantasy into reality and turns his private sexual conflict over haircutting into a career as a wig designer. Humorous and honest, this is a uniquely tangled love story—a triumphant quest for love, forgiveness and self-acceptance.
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