After one year at Portland State as a musical composition major, Dennis left Portland for San Francisco where he performed with The San Francisco Lamplighters, the oldest American Gilbert and Sullivan company. While in the Bay Area, over 50 years ago, he signed his first professional theater contract and began singing and acting in Equity theatres there. He then left for New York to spend more than 20 years between New York and Europe singing and acting before he began to write for the theater. In that period he sang opera in Germany, the role of Prince Karl Franz in The Student Prince in New York, Ralph in H.M.S. Pinafore to an audience of 5000 in Central Park, performed off Broadway in Al Carmines’ Promenade and toured as Freddy Einsford Hill in the NY company of My Fair Lady among other shows and concerts. While writing the script and lyrics for his own Off Broadway show, If Wishes Were Horses, he was asked by the playwright Leonard Melfi to direct Niagara Falls at the New York City Dramathon. Dennis completed his undergraduate degree in directing and his Master’s in writing.at Stony Brook and in 1986 took a professorship at Arizona State heading the voice program in the Theater Arts Department teaching voice for the stage, acting and directing and also directing several productions yearly. In 1993, after leaving university life, he began his own professional repertory company in Scottdale, AZ, Phoenix Show Space Theatre (PSST!)
Upon returning to the Portland area to care for his parents, he began by directing Camelot at Beaverton Civic Theatre, the first time directing a community theater and soon after in 2012, co-founded The Dairyville Players (that performed at MAC last year) with Paul Roder, now Artistic Director of HART Theatre in Hillsboro. Dennis has spent over 55 happy years in the theatre.