Producer co-founded Attic Theater Ensemble

L.A. theater producer and actress/dancer Denise Wisenmeyer died in her sleep on Feb. 11 in Chatham, Ill. She was 53.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, March 4 at 2 p.m. at the Attic Theater & Film Center, 5429 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles.

Wiesenmeyer, who used the stage name Denise Ragan, was the co-founder of the Attic Theater Ensemble in Los Angeles. She served as its executive producer from 1987 to 1999.

While at the Attic, she produced more 60 plays including the L.A. premiere of Terrance McNally’s “Love Valour Compassion,” the 25th anniversary production of Jane Chambers’ “Last Summer at Blue Fish Cove,” the west coast premiere of Stephan Sondheim’s “The Frogs” and the world premiere of three plays by Joyce Carol Oates.

Her productions at the Attic won 13 Drama-Logue awards, including one for producing. She won the L.A. Drama Critics Circle award in 1994 for helping to establish Hollywood’s Theater Row. She also worked as coordinating producer for the Inner-City Cultural Center in Los Angeles, and held creative positions with the Rubin Postaer and Associates advertising agency and Film Consultants.

As a performer before turning to producing, she appeared in TV and film projects such as “Divorce Court” and several independent films. She had a degree in dance from Webster Groves College, and pursued a dance career in Los Angeles for 10 years.

Born in Springfield, IL, she returned to Illinois in 2000 and continued to serve on the board of directors of the Attic Theater Conservatory, the parent company of the Attic Theatre Ensemble, the One Act Marathon, and the Attic Theater & Film Center.

Donations may be made to the Animal Protective League of Springfield, 1001 Taintor Rd, Springfield, IL.

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