Deborah Voorhees: About the Artist


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CAREER: I have lived a colorful life—journalist, filmmaker, writer, editor, teacher, even a Hollywood B-scream starlet and a Playboy Bunny.

Most recently (2014), I released my indie film Billy Shakespeare, which I wrote and directed.   London film critic Paul Worts calls it “a modern-day love letter to the immortal bard delivered in an envelope of side-swiping parody at Hollywood.”  Italian film and theatre critic Germana Maciocci says, “This sense of complete love and respect for Shakespeare expressed in this film by both the director and cast and their genuine skills shining through the whole project transforms an independent movie as Billy Shakespeare into an experience which any Shakespeare lover should not miss for the world.”

This comedy of errors asks, What if William Shakespeare never existed until now? Our Modern Bard is caught in a love triangle of confused sexuality, cross dressing, mistaken identity, and bedroom trysts.

Currently, I am the Associate Editor for Multimedia with The Shakespeare Standard. During summer 2013, I work as a screenwriting coach for author Hardy Roper to adapt his book Assassination in Galveston for film.  Now I am in pre-production with my screenplay, Mores, and I am writing another Shakespeare script for the screen.

My career as a writer began in 1990 at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. As a 16-year veteran journalist (mostly 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), the fall of communism through the eyes of a Russian immigrant, a profile on Texas rancher Nan West (she’s good with a gun, but never goes into town unless she dons a dress), a horseback adventure through the Badlands of Mexico (I rode illegally across the border for that story), master African-American muralist John Biggers’ journey through the white art world.

I have written seven screenplays including being hired to adapt Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford. During my tenure as a journalist, I interviewed three government assassins extensively over the course of a decade to create the composite lead character Jake in my unpublished novel Memoirs of a Hit Man.

As an instructor (2006-2011), I have taught British literature and journalism in New Mexico and Texas, and Acting for Film at Eastern New Mexico University.

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