Michael Shaw

My sources reveal, “MICHAEL SHAW (Producer, Artistic Director of DEZART PERFORMS) hails from southern Florida where he worked as a professional actor. In 1987, he left the Miami sun for the west coast, and has called California home ever since. In the 30 years as a thespian, Michael has performed in, directed and/or produced over 75 productions including BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS, THE FOREIGNER, AS IS, WEST SIDE STORY, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, MISALLIANCE and BRILLIANT TRACES. Before moving full-time to Palm Springs in 2012, Michael lead a 15-year career in advertising and marketing as a designer and creative director in Los Angeles. While visiting Palm Springs eight years ago, the idea of returning to his theatre roots and starting a small company in the valley intrigued him. He co-founded Dezart Performs in 2008, the award-winning non-profit theatre company located in downtown Palm Springs.

The cast of Dezart Performs’ production of the dark comedy THE RECEPTIONIST, directed by Michael.

Adina Lawson performs with Michael Shaw in the West Coast premiere of EXQUISITE POTENTIAL for Dezart Performs.

Michael speaking at the Palm Springs Walk of Stars ceremony for Joyce Bulifant and Roger Perry.

Michael with Joyce Bulifant and Roger Perry at their Palm Springs Walk of Stars ceremony.

Photos in this story: Clark Dugger and Sharon Letz

As the Artistic Director of Dezart Performs, Michael has produced every production since its founding including four West Coast premieres and three World Premieres. In 2014, the Desert Theatre League awarded Michael with the 2014 Sidney Harmon Award for the advancement of theatrical excellence in the Coachella Valley. Michael most recently directed the critically-acclaimed dark comedy THE RECEPTIONIST in November and the World Premiere of the comedy-drama SUICIDE DOGS this past January.

Visit this link for more information about On The Air

Coming up in just one week, Michael and his co-producer, husband and partner of 21 years, Clark Dugger, will co-produce the theatre’s highly-successful annual fundraiser, ON THE AIR! on March 17 at the Camelot Theatres. When not in rehearsals or moving set pieces for the next show, Michael enjoys cooking, seeing lots of other theatre and cabaret, doing word puzzles and posting way too many pictures of their cats, Cooper and Riley, on Facebook.”

Michael and his husband, Clark Dugger.

Clark Dugger and Michael Shaw’s wedding day, October 2008.

Michael says, “PS I love you because…”

  1. of the sunsets and the mountains above this gorgeous valley. I look out my front door every morning and evening to be greeted by something so stunning and breathtaking. It really is paradise here.
  2. in this small and close-knit town, there is this desire to look after each other. My husband, Clark and I have made many dear friends here in the valley, and would do anything for them. And I know that it’s mutual. We feel very fortunate. I so appreciate being a part of a community that takes care of its neighbors and residents.
  3. this town allows me opportunities to get more involved in the things that I really want to, unlike a big city where I either didn’t have the time or didn’t have easy access to things.
  4. of your art and culture. There is nothing the Coachella Valley doesn’t offer from music, theatre, art, cinema to photography and architecture. It’s all here. And there is so much talent!
  5. there is never a dull moment here. If you ever find yourself sitting at home wondering what to do on any given day, you need a hound dog. Among all the galas, entertainment venues, incredible dining experiences and special events, there is so much to do here. Just look around you! Hiking the many trails, exploring downtown, volunteering, walking through the fabulous neighborhoods or sitting peacefully in the many family-owned coffee shops provide residents and visitors great opportunities.

Michael handing out flyers during the Gay Pride Parade.

You are so cool, Michael!  We thank you and your handsome husband for gracing the valley with your artistic vision and contributions.  We're lucky to have you!


Nicholas Snow

Want to be featured in the “PS I love you because…” column?

To be considered, email me (Nicholas Snow, SnowbizNow@gmail.com) your top five answers (they can be short or long) to the statement, “PS I love you because…” and/or “PS I love you because I enjoy…”, along with two or three biographical paragraphs.  Also, send some photos of things you love about the area including, ideally, you doing something you love in the area. Your submission does not guarantee publication.  Thanks!