Danny-Ray Polson

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A new resident of Chicago since September of 2018, Danny-Ray Polson has been an actor and puppeteer in the Tampa Bay area for over 30 years.Mr. Polson has performed and directed many community theatre productions with The Village Players in Valrico and Stagedoor of Brandon. Professionally, he has appeared in shows by Creatively Unhinged Entertainment (Florida and Arizona), Ed Fletcher's Early Bird Dinner Theater (Clearwater), Judge My Case Productions (Largo), Gypsy Stage Repertory (Dunedin), The Murder Mystery Company (Orlando and Tampa), Timeless Tales Theatre (Florida and Michigan), Silver Glass Productions (Tampa), Stageworks (Tampa), Play Dead Murder Mysteries (Apollo Beach), MurderS She Wrote Dinner Theatre (Zephyrhills), Pig’s Eye Studio (Ybor City), the Child Abuse Council’s Kids on the Block (Tampa), Clowning Around (Tampa), Strictly Entertainment (Tampa), and Shows to Go! (Tampa). He toured extensively with Bits n’ Pieces Puppet Theatre (Dover) all across the United States, performed with them at the World Festival of Puppetry Arts in Prague in 2003, and in the Bits n’ Pieces/Florida Orchestra’s 2009 collaborative production of “Petrushka.”

Outside of murder mysteries, some roles he has played have included Fact Checker 2 in the world premiere of “Fact Check” at the New Seeds Festival (Silver Glass Productions), Lady Bracknell in “The Importance of Being Earnest,” Aunt Irene and the Guardian Drag Queen in Laura Westley’s “War Virgin,” (Gypsy Stage Repertory) David Ashland in “Dinner for Six” at the Tampa Bay Theatre Festival (Gypsy Stage Repertory), Tom/Phyllis/Leslie is “Sylvia,” and Reverend Mother in “Nunsense.” (Early Bird Dinner Theatre)
Mr. Polson’s teaching experience is just as extensive. He taught a summer puppet camp at the Child Abuse Council’s Breakaway program, and he conducted puppet workshops at the YMCA’s Teen Success program through the Hillsborough County Arts Council. He was the Storyteller at the Tampa Museum of Art’s “Magna Graecia” exhibit using his acting, storytelling, and puppetry skills to teach children about Greek mythology. For three years, Mr. Polson was the resident instructor of the Village Players’ youth acting class and puppetry workshops. Mr. Polson was known as “Diatom Dan,” a mad scientist with Mad Science of West and South Tampa Bay and currently at Mad Science of Chicago, teaching hands-on, interactive science fundamentals through after-school programs, workshops, special events, birthday parties, and camps in Pinellas, Manatee, and Sarasota counties and through out the Chicgoland area. He was the drama instructor for the Largo Country Day School's summer camp and theater instructor at Pink Cricket Arts Center.
In addition to performing, Mr. Polson was president on the board of directors for the Showcase Arts Foundation, Inc., has helped with advocacy and education on LGBTQ issues, served on the board of directors for Trans*Action Florida as its secretary and parliamentarian, and was an HIV peer advisor. He also enjoys teaching workshops through Board Silly Productions and pet sitting through Sitting Son Home and Pet Sitting Services.

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