"Dawis knocked us out with a cultured voice and a stage presence far beyond her years. If you are offered a stock prospectus for shares in Isabella's stage future, [this column] issues a strong 'buy' recommendation."
- Graydon Royce, Minneapolis StarTribune
Isabella Dawis is an actor, singer, pianist, and writer based in NYC. Trained as a classical musician, she collaborates with artists of all disciplines to create genre-crossing new works.
Isabella is bookwriter/lyricist for the musical HALF THE SKY with music by Tidtaya Sinutoke, which follows an Asian American woman climbing Mount Everest. HALF THE SKY is a 2019 inaugural First Draft commission by the 5th Avenue Theatre (Seattle, WA), and was presented in summer 2019 in Minneapolis at Theater Mu's New Eyes Festival and Theater Latté Da's NEXT Festival. Next, Isabella stars opposite her sister Francesca as twins M and L in Jiehae Park's PEERLESS at Theater Mu.
Recent performances include Musical Theatre Factory at Joe's Pub, Primary ESPA Drills, THE MAGIC FLUTE with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Byzantine Choral Project's ICONS/IDOLS at 54 Below, the 24 Hour Plays Nationals Acting Company, Erik Ehn's DEMAFELIS at Planet Connections, THE END OF MERMAIDS at the Corkscrew Theater Festival, and VOID at the Tank.
Other recent credits include the Center for Contemporary Opera (as singer and pianist), New York Philharmonic Biennial (featured singer), Opera America, National Asian American Theatre Company, the Skeleton Rep, the Tank, Project Y's Women in Theatre Festival, Common Man Musicals, and Easy Leap Theatre Company at the Brick's Shakespeare Festival. Originally from Minneapolis, Isabella grew up acting onstage with companies including Theater Mu, the Minnesota Opera, the Children's Theatre Company, the Guthrie Theater, and Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.
Isabella holds a B.M. summa cum laude and highest distinction in piano performance from the University of Minnesota, where she studied with Prof. Alexander Braginsky as a National Merit Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa member. As a pianist, Isabella appeared in concert with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Dakota Valley Symphony, and the Minneapolis Civic Orchestra. She then went on to study classical voice with Lisa Saffer at New England Conservatory in Boston.
When not performing, Isabella works as an accompanist and piano teacher. She often performs with her sister, singer/actor/violinist Francesca Dawis.