Artistic Director

Danielle Dwyer, CJ, is a founding member and the current Artistic Director of Elements Theatre Company. As a professed religious for thirty-five years, Sr. Danielle has brought her passion for authenticity and truth in theatre, combined with her compassion and curiosity about the human condition with all its beauty and ugliness, pain and delight, to directing and performing in over eighty Elements productions since the company’s inception in 1993. She is classically trained, and skilled in contemporary drama. Through her vocation in theatre, Sr. Danielle seeks the voice of truth in every playwright’s creation, thereby honoring God as the sacred creator, source, and inspiration present in that voice. She seeks to fulfill the vision of every playwright with honesty, striving to elevate the truths that lie hidden beneath the surface of each work.

Sr. Danielle’s directorial experience ranges from the timeless humanity of Shakespeare, Ibsen, and Chekhov, to the biting comedy of Oscar Wilde and Yasmina Reza, and from the razor-sharp wit of Alan Bennett, to the sacred Latin Mystery plays of the fifteenth century. She has written, directed, and performed three original solo sacred dramas at the Church of the Transfiguration as a part of the Sacred Drama Series Revealing Transfigured Lives. With the Company, she launched Arts in Conversation in 2013: a series of panel discussions following theatre performances featuring leaders in the arts, education, religion, media, and social outreach, with the intent of creating a broader, richer public dialogue on the power of the arts to humanize culture. Collaborative ventures include co- directing the 2005 New England Premier of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ opera, The Pilgrim’s Progress, performed by Gloriæ Dei Cantores and Elements Theatre Company, and then directing a second performance in 2017. Sr. Danielle was also involved in bringing a new medium, Instrumental Theatre in Motion, to the stage with Spirit of America Band, where they performed shows in South Korea, South Africa, and the United States. She has devised and directed productions for performance at home in Orleans, Massachusetts, on tour in Tuscany, Italy, and throughout the northeastern United States including New York City, and in Chicago.

Equally highly acclaimed as an actress, her recent roles include Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit, Kate Keller in All My Sons, Shylock in Merchant of Venice, Irene in Talking Heads, and Calpurnia in Julius Caesar. Other roles include Annette Raleigh in God of Carnage, Lona Hessel in Pillars of the Community, Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Ranevskaya in The Cherry Orchard, Mrs. Erlynne in Lady Windermere’s Fan, Eleanor in The Lion in Winter, Mephistopheles in Doctor Faustus, Queen Elizabeth in Richard III, Everyman in Everyman, and Lettice Douffet in Lettice and Lovage.

A tireless student herself, Sr. Danielle is a skilled and inspired teacher, spreading her contagious sense of fascination, her love of discovery, and her courageous and daring imagination with pupils across many genres and ages. Sr. Danielle has led workshops and intensive retreats with students in acting and movement across the country, including semi-annual retreats at Elements Theatre Company’s home on Cape Cod. She works annually with Spirit Winter Percussion, an award-winning youth percussion ensemble, teaching theatre, performance practice, and storytelling; challenging and equipping these young musicians with life skills that take them far beyond the performance arena.

Sr. Danielle has also lent her voice to writing narratives for worship and meditation, enhancing the liturgies at her church, the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, MA, and is the author of several video scripts and poetic monologues.