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Monica Dwyer

Multiple award-winning Actress. Writer. Director.

Monica Dwyer first joined Master Mystery Productions back in 2016 when she performed as Lady Elizabeth Margaret Anne Prudence Temperance Charity Bradfordshire-Pierce in The Last Garden Party, where she was billed as Monica Lorenz. Little did we know that that first show would be the start of a magical and lauded career with the company. Her dedication to the show, culminating in her four-part blog series on the production, earned her the Skeleton Key Award for Service Above and Beyond, her first award with the company.

In the 2017 season, Monica returned to play Wilhelmina Blake in Bury Me in Paris, earning her her first Diamond Mask Award for Excellence in Performance for her brilliant acting, one of the first winners of such an honor. She followed that up with another Diamond Mask winning performance as Simone Davenport in Ode to Agatha, making her the first performer ever to win TWO Diamond Mask Awards and the first to win multiple Diamond Masks in a single theatrical season. She closed the 2017 season with a heartfelt vocal performance in C. R. Rowenson’s The Silent City. Her hard work across the entire season earned her the top award at MMP: The Founder’s Award for a Year of Outstanding Service.

Monica continued to be an invaluable member of Master Mystery Productions. In 2018, she served as the Assistant Director and Stage Manager of our first musical, Exit Prima Donna, followed by a gorgeous performance as Helena Rothschild in What Happens at Sundown.

But ever the history-maker, she has since claimed another title: The first performer to win THREE Diamond Mask Awards for acting when she won for the role of Madame la Comtesse in Eat Cake in Spring 2019.

In May 2019, she married her husband, future Skeleton Key Winner Steven Dwyer.

Monica’s unwavering support of Master Mystery Productions and years of hard work made her a natural choice to be selected as our first ever outside director for the company, as well as only the second writer to create their own solo show for the company, which she did for Close Encounters of the Hairy Kind, billed as Monica Lorenz-Dwyer. Her writing for this show earned her the Partners in Crime Award for Service in Writing. This honor makes her the first person EVER to win EVERY single Master Mystery Productions Award, which she has completed over the course of four theatrical seasons.

Her return to MMP following the pandemic was as Hair Designer for Closer to Heaven, our 80’s murder mystery party at Moe’s Music in May 2022. Her flexibility, dedication, and commitment behind-the-scenes in an ambitious and challenging production earned her a Special Commendation from Master Mystery Productions. We could have finished that show without her artistry! In a special twist, she, the first outside director promoted at MMP, was the one who announced and awarded the Diamond Masks for Closer to Heaven, giving to her longtime director Daniel Stallings the first Diamond Mask he earned in a perfect full circle moment.

She returned to acting to play the hilariously distracted security officer Witness the Third in our milestone 30th production, Unlucky Seven, at the Eastern Sierra Book Festival in July 2022. And in October 2022, she became the first outside writer/director for the company to see a revival of her work when she mounted a fresh production of Close Encounters of the Hairy Kind.

Additional theatrical honors include winning the CLOTA Gypsy Robe in 2012 for her work on Arms and the Man for the Community Light Opera and Theatre Association.

Let’s take a tally of what she’s accomplished: A Skeleton Key Award, three Diamond Masks, a Founder’s Award, a Partners in Crime Award, and a Special Commendation. Monica has earned seven awards in her time with the company.

But Monica has never performed for the glory or the recognition. She has worked with us purely for the joy of theatre, a feeling that her cast and crew members have felt keenly over the years. Many performers have called Monica an inspiration, a stage mother, a best friend, and it is her humility, her heart, and her passion for this craft that we celebrate. She has been an exemplary member, serving as a guide for many on how we work at MMP. We can never thank her enough for her tireless service.


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