Desiree Burch is a New York-based solo performance artist, comedian, writer, actress and producer. Desiree investigates raw humanity – from the mighty to the mundane – through psychologically charged performances that combine humor, guts, pith, poetry, intimacy, rage and hope–with a healthy dose of audience participation.
As a performer, she always seeks the truth from herself, her work and her audiences.
Desiree’s earned a B.A. in theater from Yale University in 2001, and continued her theater education in New York, performing at such venerable downtown venues such as Dixon Place, P.S. 122 and The Atlantic Theater, as well as with experimental companies like NYU’s E.T.W. and Gorilla Rep. Incorporating her natural comedic and writing abilities, Desiree honed her cabaret emcee performance aesthetic as the host and curator of the weekly alt-performance series SMUT (“Art that should carry a Parental Advisory label, with some of New York City’s best writers and performers” –New York Times) at Galapagos Art Space from 2004-2007. Since 2004, Desiree has also been a weekly writer/director/performer with the New York Neo-Futurists in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.
Comedy is central to Desiree’s life and aesthetic. She has performed at Caroline’s on Broadway, Gotham Comedy Club, Highlights (UK), and on the stage of Saturday Night Live, as well as in videos for MTV, VH1’s “Best Night Ever,” Comedy Central, Comedynet and NBC. She was featured in New York Magazine’s “Ten New Comedians that Funny People Find Funny” and has written for The Huffington Post. She was also listed in the New York Post’s “Killer Jokes” (2008) alongside Roseanne, Chris Rock, Jackie Mason, Emo Phillips, Marc Maron and Louis C.K.
Desiree’s previous full-length solo performances include Greatest Hits, Careless and The Sit Down Show, which were performed at The Estrogenius Festival, The Midtown International Theater Festival and the Mae West Fest. Her hit solo piece 52 Man Pickup has visited Joe’s Pub, 59E59, Ars Nova, the Black Comedy Experiment and the International Fringe Festivals in New York, New Orleans, Hollywood, London (Camden), and The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest Fringe Festival on the globe. Her multi-faceted experience with, and approach to comedy inspired her to create The Hysterical Festival, a new festival for women in comedy, which debuted in October 2008 and featured Maria Bamford, Corey Kaheney, Retta, World Famous Bob, Murray Hill, and drag sensation Hedda Lettuce.
Desiree expands her creative outreach through education. She has worked as a master teaching artist with the American Place Theatre–founded by off-Broadway pioneer Wynn Handman–and has toured nationally as an educator and facilitator with the Literature to Life program, which presents staged adaptations of books such as The Kite Runner, The Secret Life of Bees, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, The Glass Castle and more. In Queens Theatre in the Park‘s Centrestage program, Desiree taught young artists to create and perform original works and directed them for the QTIP mainstage. Currently, Desiree is a test prep education consultant with A-List Education, utilizing her keen theatrical and interpersonal insight to help high school students make practical application of their math and literary learning in preparation for college.
What unifies Desiree’s artistic and educational careers is an ethos of empathy, seeking to create experiences of understanding that can launch further curiosity and personal and social development.
“Burch is a force of nature” – The Scotsman
“Desiree Burch has tremendous spunk and honesty” – San Francisco Bay Times
Desiree “stands out… taking on a variety of subjects and fancies” – Drama Review
“Hilarious” – NY Daily News
“Vibrant” – Gothamist
“Surprisingly meaty” – Off-Off Online
“Pretty damn funny and pretty damn good” – Yale Herald