Dan’yelle Rosea Williamson was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. At a very young age, she developed an ear for music. Whitney Houston was her greatest idol and source of inspiration growing up. Both parents recognized potential in Dan’yelle when she earned her first solo in fifth grade, “Look to the Future.” Soon, thereafter, Dan’yelle would take voice lessons in the garage of their home with her mother as she was once a performer herself.
Music had always been a great part of Dan’yelle’s life. Her dad would play records from artists like Micheal Jackson, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Earth, Wind, and Fire and many others. Her love for music would evolve as she became a member of the Young Motivational Singers of Tampa Bay, a choir that performed gospel tunes all over the Bay Area. The summer before entering high school, Dan’yelle auditioned for and booked a show entitled Dreamers Against Drugs. This program brought other young artists together to build a show from scratch to spread awareness about drugs throughout the Tampa Bay Area. This opportunity allowed her to share her talent on a more serious platform.
Dan’yelle Williamson attended Howard W. Blake High School, a Performing and Liberal Arts facility that would challenge and develop her skills. Ms. Williamson became a Thespian member in her first year at Blake. Over the course of four years, she portrayed many roles including Timoune in Once on This Island freshman year, other featured characters in Fiddler on the Roof, A My Name Is Alice, Children of Eden, Lucky Stiff, and Dorothy in The Wiz to name a few. Being a Thespian, she also competed for superior ratings as a singer/actress. Dan’yelle also kept busy competing in the NAACP ACT-SO competition as a classical and contemporary vocalist. This program would allow her to travel nationwide performing to earn scholarships for college. Dan’yelle was encouraged to attend The Boston Conservatory as their program was one of the best in the country for Musical Theatre. Dan’yelle had no prior knowledge of this institution but took a chance and auditioned. A few weeks later, she got an acceptance letter along with an offer to attend on a full scholarship. The choice for college was clear.
Ms. Williamson spent the next four years at the prestigious institution being pushed beyond her comfort zone both physically and mentally. While at the Conservatory, Dan’yelle performed on the Mainstage in City of Angels as Mallory and Candide as Cacambo. She earned her BFA in Musical Theatre graduating cum laude and signed with DGRW; a reputable New York talent agency. This opportunity made it possible to transition from Boston and begin her career in the Big Apple.
Post earning her BFA in Musical Theatre, Ms. Williamson booked her first production contract with Wicked which ran at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago, IL. Dan’yelle played in the ensemble as well as understudied the role of Elphaba. Dan’yelle spent nearly two years in Wicked before joining the National Lion King Tour as Nala. This was Williamson’s leading role debut. In July 2009, Dan’yelle landed her first Broadway contract in the original cast of Memphis! She relocated to New York finally able to live out her dream. Making it to Broawday was a milestone for Williamson and is considered a top achievement in the performance industry. Ms. Williamson was able to portray the female lead role, Felicia Farrell, on numerous occasions. During her time with the show, Dan’yelle performed in Broadway in Bryant Park, The Intrepid Museum, and at our Nation’s Capital for Hillary Clinton with David Bryan (pianist for Bon Jovi). She made many other appearances including performing on the annual Tony Awards two years in a row with “Memphis,” The Today Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live.
After a successful run of nearly three years and four earned Tony Awards, Ms. Williamson appeared in and was featured in Kathy Lee Gifford’s Scandalous on Broadway. She also appeared in Rocky soon thereafter as well as portraying the role of the incomparable Ms. Nina Simone in the Off-Broadway production of Soul Doctor. “All Of Me,” a one-woman cabaret dedicated to her journey through love, debuted in July 2015 at 54 Below. Dan’yelle appeared in the groundbreaking musical, Dreamgirls as Lorrell Robinson. In January 2016, Dan’yelle performed in Sousatzka (Toronto) slated for a Broadway appearance soon.
She performed an exciting stint as Deloris Van Cartier at Riverside and Walnut Street Theatres in their co-production of Sister Act (2016). Williamson revised the role at STAGES completing a successful run in St. Louis. Dan’yelle was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for BroadwayWorld’s St. Louis Award.
Catch her This Spring as “Christine” in the August Strindberg play, Miss Julie.