The Drink for Today:
OBIE and Drama Desk winner Donna Lynne Champlin graduated with high honors from Carnegie Mellon University in 1993. A Princess Grace Foundation award winner and a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, she also received intensive training in Shakespeare and Chekhov at Oxford University on the Advanced Acting Scholarship and The Vira I. Heinz Grant to study abroad. While still in college, she received her Equity card starring as “Dorothy” in The Wizard of Oz with the celebrated Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.
Champlin made her New York Debut in 1994 at Carnegie Hall starring as “May” in a concert version of Very Warm for May under the direction of acclaimed conductor John McGlinn. Her Broadway debut in 2000 as “Mary Jane” in James Joyce’s The Dead was quickly followed by another Broadway turn as “Honoria Glossop” in the Alan Ayckbourn/Andrew Lloyd Webber musical By Jeeves in 2001. In 2002, came the opportunity to work with Carol Burnett and Hal Prince in Broadway’s Hollywood Arms – the dramatization of Carol’s biography One More Time, in which Champlin played the iconic comedienne. Critics across the country proclaimed Champlin a “show-stopping star in the making” and described her performance as “brilliant”, “a triumph”, and “a tour de force.”
Next on Broadway, Champlin played “Pirelli” (and the accordion, flute and piano) in the groundbreaking 2005 revival of Sweeney Todd where the press called her both “hilarious” and “superb”. She then joined the Broadway company of Billy Elliot as “Lesley” in 2009 and simultaneously self-produced her solo debut CD “Old Friends” which was voted “One of the Best Ten Albums of 2009” and was hailed by critics as “brilliant”, “a masterpiece” and “breath taking”. She can also be heard on numerous cast albums including See Rock City, Sweeney Todd, By Jeeves, three and My Life With Albertine as well as many voice-overs.
Her film credits include Birdman, A Secret Promise, The Audition, The Dark Half, By Jeeves, and Sweet Surrender. And while her TV credits include The Good Wife, Law And Order, Mother’s Day, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Annual Tony Awards on CBS, The View (guest star), The Rosie O’Donnell Show, Regis and Kelly and Emily Dickinson of the PBS Voices and Visions series, she is perhaps most well known for her work as the caustic “Kim Gifford’ on the hit web-series Submissions Only.
Off Broadway, her performance as “Cora Flood” in the 2009 production of The Dark At The Top of the Stairs at The Transport Group (hailed by the NY press as “perfection”, “brilliant” and “a privilege to watch”), earned her the prestigious OBIE award. DL went on to win the 2013 Drama Desk Award for her performance as “Woman #3” in Working, The Musical at the Prospect Theatre and the NYMF Award for “Outstanding Performance” for not one but three separate productions including as “Jane Austen” in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Other favorite Off-Broadway credits include “Audrey” opposite Oliver Platt’s “Touchstone” in Shakespeare In The Park’s As You Like It and “Sophie” in Master Class opposite Edie Falco at the Broadhurst produced by the Metropolitan Opera.
Champlin also continues to perform her critically acclaimed one-woman show Finishing The Hat in NYC (SRO at Birdland, Ars Nova and The Laurie Beechman Theatres) and across the country while teaching master classes in acting at many prestigious colleges such as CMU, Hartt and NYU. Also of particular importance to Champlin is her fundraising for three of her favorite charitable organizations, BC-EFA, the ALSA and The Actors’ Fund.
In addition to being an actress, Donna Lynne also works as a director, writer, stand-up comedienne, pianist, composer, musical director and choreographer. A free-lance writer for Comedy Central, she is currently working on two books; a humorous non-fiction book inspired by her (mis)adventures in the theatre and the other a ‘how-to of comedy’.
Donna Lynne lives in New York City with her husband, actor Andrew Arrow and her son, Charlie.
Glenn Douglas Packard was born the eldest of three in Detroit, MI to Roger and Paulette Packard. When Glenn was 5 years old, his father convinced the family to pack up all their belongings and move to a run-down farm in Michigan, where Roger saw a potential future in the dairy business. As Glenn was growing up into adolescence and the farm grew profitable, he began working in the family business in Clare, MI. Eventually, Glenn went on to study Dairy Management at Michigan State University. On one of his vacation trips back home, he suffered a horrible accident with a 4-wheeler. With a compound factor to his right tibia and fibula leg, his doctors insisted the only option was to amputate his leg from the knee down. After months of fighting the infection, which had spread through his entire body, due to the open wound, countless surgeries and a steel rod places in his leg, Glenn had to relearn how to walk. He made a promise to himself that if, and when, he fully recovered, he would do the one thing he had dreamt of all his life; to dance and entertain.
While at 21, where most dancers are already experienced, Glenn was just walking into his first dance class. Within 2 years he was accepted into the scholarship program of the highly acclaimed Alvin Ailey School of Dance in New York City. Fast forward 10 years later, after being dubbed “Dancing entrepreneur” by The New York Times, Glenn is one of the most sought after dancer/artist directors and choreographers in the city. His multi-dimensional & innovative work made him an international commanding force in the entertainment industry. Providing a wide spectrum of styles, he has been celebrated for casting and choreographing such projects as Whitney Houston’s All-Star Gala, featuring powerhouse artists like P!nk, Deborah Cox, & Brian McKnight, and A Miracle On 34th Street, performed at the world famous Madison Square Garden with numerous artists.
Creative control was entrusted to Glenn by The 2001 GLAAD awards, the American Cinema Awards, reinventing the Chippendales show in Vegas along with their USA & world tour, Giants Half Time Show, the New York City Knicks, Miami Heat Dancers, and the Premios Awards working with the biggest artist in Latin Music like Ricky Martin, Prince Royce, Daddy Yankee, Carlos Vives, Marc Anthony, Fanny Lu, Chino Y Nacho.
Along with the Latin market take over, Glenn is also known internationally, working on the King of Morocco’s New Year’s Eve Gala and in Bollywood for his groundbreaking choreography in the film, “Rhythm.” Other films like Little Hercules in 3D, Dancing on the Edge, and feature as one of the top choreographers in the documentary MOVE: The Film.
His music video work is a spectrum of artist like Brooke Hogan “Everything to Me”, Daddy Yankee & Price Royce “Ven Conmigo”, Timbland “Not All About The Money”, Fanny Lu “Ni Loca” & his very own music video “Love Dance” featuring the talent Beu Sisters. Glenn even has his own instructional dance DVD called “Everyone Moves”.
Glenn’s work had sparked a interest in the King of Pop himself Michael Jackson, and he was asked to be the choreographer for the Television major event, Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary Celebration which Glenn worked along side industry greats like Usher, Liza, Destiny Child, Jill Scott, Missy Elliot, Gloria Gaynor, Al Jarreau, Britney Spears, NSync, Mya, Monica, & MJ himself, all artist came together to perform Michael Jackson songs, Michael was reunited with his brothers, the Jackson 5 for the first time in 20 years, & Michael performed for his last time his iconic songs. Glenn was honored with Emmy Award Nomination for Outstanding Choreography in Television.
As seen on the cover do Dance Spirit Magazine & acknowledged in Dance & Fitness Magazine, Glenn offer classes at NYC Broadway Dance Center, which were booked to capacity with a who’s-who of dance. He goes around the world teaching his unique style and life experiences to young dancers inspiring them to be the next generation of talent.
Around the early 2000’s, Glenn moved to Florida under the wing of Lou Pearlman, who, at the time, was owner of the Chippendales and creator of the boyband era with NSync, Backstreet Boys, and Otown. Glenn was part of a european boyband called twONEty, through Pearlman’s camp, Glenn was introduced to Hulk Hogan’s teenaged daughter, Brooke Hogan. The two quickly ignited a friendship with Glenn becoming a mentor for Brooke. Through this mentor/friend role, Glenn was then asked to join Brooke in a VH-1 television docu-series called VH1 Brooke Knows Best. For two seasons he costarred as Brooke’s outgoing, gay best friend/roommate.
This open a whole new world to becoming a face in the LGBT entertainment industry, giving lectures for the Bully Academy along with countless radio, tv appearances and covers of LGBT magazines. Quickly becoming “EVERYONE’S GBFF.”
Glenn being no stranger to Television had worked on The Rupaul Show, Saturday Night Live, E! True Hollywood Story, Grachi, Miss USA, and HBO. Along with jumping on the pop culture of reality TV, with such shows as VH1 Hogan Knows Best, VH1 Mission Manband, and is the creator, producer, choreographer, and creative director of the E! Network movie event Men Of The Strip.
Glenn is also president of other companies he created such as The Untouchables-Miami elite dance troupe, The Knockouts-a sexy pop burlesque girl group, Boots N Boys-the 1st all-gay male revue, Tattooed Angels-a multi media company & GDP Wear-his trendsetting clothing line.