Dani Berthiaume Davis (T’88) wanted to be a Broadway producer, but she didn't know where to start. So, she consulted Scarlet Pimpernel producer Pierre Cossette, who encouraged her to follow her instincts.
"I told him I had no clue how to do it, and he said, ‘None of us ever does. Just get on the phone, get on the phone, get on the phone. You know how better than you think.’”
Davis, now one of only a handful of female Broadway producers, learned a lesson that has stuck with her: “Being brave for me means take your fear with you, and reach for your goals anyway.”
At Duke, Davis worked as a performer, choreographer and producer as a member of Hoof ‘n’ Horn, a student-run musical theater group. In addition to serving as president of that organization during her senior year, she was an active student leader and a member of Tri-Delta sorority. She majored in English but took many public policy classes, discovering a passion for affecting change.
After graduation, Davis was the director of the theater program for the American International School in Vienna, Austria. When the Berlin wall fell, Davis organized the first All Europe Young People's Theater Festival; the festival culminated in a Peace Performance featuring children from every European nation.
Davis has worked as a performer and choreographer on and off Broadway, on national and international tours, and in regional and stock theater. Her performing credits include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, And the World Goes Round, and the workshops of Fosse. She was the assistant choreographer on the Broadway production of Scarlet Pimpernel and the choreographer of Kenny Rogers’ Christmas from the Heart.
She is the co-founder and president of half-pint productions, a theatrical production and music recording company, and is currently producing the first national tour of Little Women – The Musical, in addition to being a wife and mother.