Desiree Burch is a comedian, writer, solo performer, actor and NY-to-London transplant. She has been seen on ‘Frankie Boyle’s American Autopsy’ (BBC), ‘8 Out of 10 Cats’ (Channel 4) and ‘Before the Morning After’ (NBC/SeeSo). She’s been heard as the voice of Pamela Winchell on #1 international hit podcast ‘Welcome to Night Vale’, as well as on podcasts like ‘The Guilty Feminist’, ‘Made of Human’, ‘Dumb White Guy’, ‘Friends Like Us’ and ‘Writing Excuses’.
Desiree was the 2015 Funny Women Stage Award-winner. Her solo show “Tar Baby” was the winner of a 2015 Scotsman’s Fringe First Award, a 2016 Vault Festival Pick-of-the-Week and was Shortlisted (High-Commendation) for the 2015 Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award. Other solo shows (’52 Man Pickup’ & ‘This is Evolution’) have toured internationally and received widespread critical acclaim.
Desiree was a founding member of the New York Neo-Futurists, writing and performing regularly in ‘Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind’ over its 13-year run in NYC. She and has worked with renowned American theatre artists as Young Jean Lee, Alex Timbers, Wu Tsang and Anna Deavere Smith. She is a recipient of the 2014 Franklin Furnace Fund, an arts educator and public speaker (TEDx, NerdCon: Stories) and holds a B.A. in Theatre Studies from Yale University.
In 2015, Desiree Burch, “a larger than life New Yorker… who brought the roof down” (–The Independent), won the Funny Women stage award for stand-up comedy. On screen, Desiree has been featured on E4s World’s Greatest Bodyshockers and NBC’s Before the Morning After. Huffington Post has listed her as one of their Favorite Female Comedians. Live comedy credits include Spank, Angel Comedy, Greg Shapiro Presents, Shaggers, Right Now! with Carolyn Castiglia, Wyatt Cenac’s Night Train, and The Big C Comedy Gala in Edinburgh.
Tar Baby is a solo show that tackles the story of race in America. Co-written with playwright Dan Kitrosser and performed by Desiree, this solo and interactive performance piece seeks to speak to the growing majority of minority experiences in America and beyond. In 2015, Tar Baby received a Fringe First Award for new writing at the Edinburgh Fringe, and the Scotsman called it “One of the most breathtaking monologues you’ll see this entire month”. It was also shortlisted for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression award. Tar Baby weaves personal and social narratives in this hilarious, provocative and deeply moving performance that is “smart, original, refreshing and maybe even necessary.” (–New Yorker)
52 Man Pickup is a salacious evening of storytelling and standup about self-discovery and sexuality. Like a jazz master, Desiree effortlessly mixes riffs, rants, anecdotes, audience participation, uproarious comedy and devastating poetry, as she invites audiences “go fish” through her deck of hilariously true, unadulterated adult stories. Through a series of card games played with the audience, Desiree explores the chance and risk in playing the game. Each card is a mystery of intimacy – every suit a chance to win, lose or draw with Desiree’s seductive prose and powerful vulnerability. Watch one brave and misguided woman go from virgin to veteran in the city that never sleeps… with the same person twice.
Desiree delights in the opportunity to play both comedic and dramatic roles. She is the former Mayor of Night Vale, Pamela Winchell on the hit podcast (and live performances of) Welcome to Night Vale and can be seen as Jill on Michael Cyril Creighton’s webseries Jack in a Box. Desiree graduated with a B.A. in Theater Studies from Yale University and has appeared in theatre and film. She has worked with companies like Gorilla Rep, Aztec Economy, and NYU’s Experimental Theatre Wing. Favorite roles include Miriam in In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel, Nurse in Romeo & Juliet, Emilia in Othello and Lu in Rip Me Open.
While at Yale, Desiree was mentored by Deb Margolin of the groundbreaking experimental theater group Split Britches, and has since built a career as an experimental theatre maker and performance artist. Her artist aesthetics were honed as a founding member of the New York Neo-Futurists. She performed Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, their ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes weekly for several years. She also devised and performed in the cult their hit feminist performance The Soup Show with Neo-Futurists Erica Livingston and Cara Francis. Inspired in part by The Soup Show, Young Jean Lee created Untitled Feminist Show, which Desiree later joined. Desiree has also performed in conceptual artist Wu Tsang’s Full Body Quotation at the New Museum, with NYU’s Experimental Theater Wing and with Moving Theater.
Desiree has 15 years’ experience as a performing artist, storyteller and educator. In 2012 she spoke to Silicon Valley women about injecting personal passion into innovation at the TEDx Bay Area Women conference. She worked nationally as a master teaching artist and facilitator with the American Place Theatre, and has lead performance-writing workshops for Perry Mansfield, The New York Neo-Futurists, Queens Theatre in the Park, and the New Orleans Fringe, as well as at several universities. She has performed at various storytelling shows and conventions, including RISK!, Yum’s the Word and at the first ever NerdCon: Stories convention.