2024 Grand Marshal: Denise Fennell

Fennell is a superlative character actress who builds an electric rapport with the audience as the production unfolds. I have seldom seen a crowd so engaged with a play. With convincing acting and impeccable timing, her performance merits all the praise. You can find more about Ms. Fennell and her next show at her website, www.denisefennell.com.

Houston we got a GRAND MARSHAL!!! What started out literally as written word in a play has now become real life!!! I’m just in total awe of what has happened today. Thank you Stages Houston audiences for believing in the make believe and immersing yourselves as deeply into this interactive “Sister” experience as much as I do. And to the Houston St Patrick’s Parade for this incredible honor. This for sure is divine intervention. Below is a snippet of a press release that I hope explains what has transpired. It literally blows my mind!!! The show has become real life and I’m actually going to lead this parade!!!!! Thank you to my Houston audiences for always believing in me and all my creative adventures. We did it !!! We are the Vessel, We are Saint Patrick, We are the BOAT!!!! See you at the Parade !!!
Actress Denise Fennell Breaks The “Fourth Wall” And Takes To The Streets As Grand Marshal Of Houston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The Late Nite Catechism series has been running for over 30 years and produced all around the world. Houston audiences have come to delight in Denise Fennell’s fast-paced interactions and audience participation that make up a large part of each show. But in the latest installation, Sister’s Irish Catechism, “breaking the fourth wall” has been taken to a whole new level. After teaching her catechism students how to properly celebrate the holiday, “Sister” shares her dream of serving as grand marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. To practice her role, she casts audience members as saints, musicians, and dancers then leads her parade around the circular stage as shamrock-waving audience members cheer them on. Using the real Houston parade application as a guide, “Sister” pitches herself to be named Grand Marshal. In a moment of theatrical magic, an inspired audience member tasked with filming sister’s submission, sent the actual video to the parade organizers. By the luck of the Irish, other hilarious videos followed––and the real Parade Commission was convinced to support the idea of Sister leading the parade! The support of Stages’ patrons and a nomination from the Stages’ team and donors proved successful. On March 16, “Sister” will lead Houston’s St. Patrick’s Parade, celebrating the city’s Irish community and bringing the story off the stage and into real life. Denise is thrilled to lead the parade, where she will be accompanied by over 400 Stages’ supporters who signed up to march beside her.