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  • Writer's pictureAugust Sorenson

In Dialogue with Kayleaser Deveaux-Isaacs

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

After graduating from The Academy’s New York campus in 1989, Kayleaser Deveaux-Isaacs (nee Moss) worked extensively in the New York theatre scene and on television for nearly two decades. With a genre-spanning body of work, Kayleaser moved back to her home country, The Bahamas, in 2007, opening a production company and aiding in developing the island’s unique culture.


The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.


You’ve been busy lately. Tell us about some of your recent credits.


I was privileged to take on challenging roles in two outstanding Bahamian plays that delved into complex human relationships and societal issues. The first play, Better The Devil You Know, by the late Mr. P. Anthony White, offered a Shakespearean-like exploration of the dynamics between a divorced couple reuniting for their daughter’s wedding in New York City. The play unfolds as a “comedy of errors,” revealing that their divorce might have been rooted in miscommunication…amidst the chaos, the characters rediscover some of their love and realize how much they missed each other. It was a lovely part to work on as an actor to show one’s range.


The second play, You Can Lead A Horse to Water, marked its 40th anniversary in 2023. I played a lawyer defending a 21-year-old accused of matricide. The play contains intricate layers of family dynamics, using flashbacks to unravel the circumstances that led to the tragic event. It was a deeply moving character and piece to work on.


Both productions significantly contributed to celebrating The Bahamas’ 50th Independence by showcasing several brilliant Bahamian playwrights. It was an honor to play roles entertaining audiences while shedding light on the depth and richness of Bahamian storytelling. These plays explored universal themes while celebrating the unique cultural perspectives defining our experience.


And your career trajectory post-graduation; what did this look like?

I graduated from The Academy in 1989 in New York. I’ve taken some diverse paths since then. I received an MFA in 1998 from The Actors Studio. I worked off-Broadway, on television in New York, and am a SAG-AFTRA and Equity member. Spent a summer studying in the UK at the British American Drama Academy, learning British classical theatre at Oxford. In 2007, I returned to the Bahamas and recently launched my own production company, Briland Dreams Productions, and I continue to work on plays, films, radio, and television. I am an actor, producer, and director and have begun to write several projects.


How did an American acting program prepare you to work in another country?

The Academy prepares one to work as an actor anywhere in the world. While studying there, I met students from all over the world. The school has benefited from its diversity and many international students attending The Academy. I had to work hard to secure an invitation to return for the second year and ultimately graduate. It was a special time at The Academy that I will always treasure.


You’ve had a long, extensive career. What else might you mention in the last few minutes we have you?

Well, I met some very interesting people over the years and was even kissed on the cheek by Anthony Hopkins as he promoted Amistad! I met Whoopi Goldberg and had private sessions with Liza Minnelli, Ellen Burstyn, and others. Those moments were all pretty special…my acting horizons were broadened when The Academy said yes and accepted me into their school all those years ago.

1 Comment


johnlenartz
Dec 08, 2023

Kayleaser! Class of '89! There you are! I'm so happy to read about your journey and return to the Bahamas. Blessings and Congratulations!

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