Mikel LizLiz Mikel, who’s long been one of the most luminous leading ladies on Dallas stages, is featured as The Nurse in Dallas Theater Center’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Shakespeare’s tragic tale of doomed love has been given an exciting contemporary setting by Director Joel Ferrell. The dazzling production runs through Feb. 28 at the Kalita Humphreys Theater.

Ms Mikel is a member of DTC’s prestigious Brierley Resident Acting Company. Some of her performances for DTC include “Medea,” “School for Wives,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” “A Raisin in the Sun,”  “Dividing the Estate,” and “A Christmas Carol.” She’s also appeared in “Death of a Salesman,” “The Who’s Tommy,” “Ain’t Misbehavin'” and “Crowns.”

Liz performed on Broadway and Off-Broadway in “Lysistrata Jones.” Regional appearances include American Repertory Theater, The MUNY, The Cape Playhouse, and Arkansas Repertory Theater. Locally she has appeared onstage for Casa Manana Theatre, Dallas Children’s Theater, Jubilee Theater, Theatre Three, and WaterTower Theatre.

TV/Film credits include “Get On Up,” “Dallas,” “Friday Night Lights, ” “Sordid Lives” and “Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins.”

Liz has received numerous awards including the Leon Rabin and DFW Theater Critics Forum.  She’s also been honored by D Magazine, Dallas Observer, Dallas Voice, and Column Awards. She is a 2015 Lunt Fontanne Fellow.

Ms Mikel graciously agreed to answer a few questions for this column.

Q: Is this the first time you’ve played the Nurse?

A: Yes, this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to portray this role.

Q: What is your favorite Shakespeare play?

A: I have to say my favorite Shakespeare play is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” It has a special place in my heart. Titania is one of my favorite roles to date.

Q: Does the director’s putting the action (for Romeo and Juliet) into contemporary times give it a fresh, more energetic feel?  A: Joel Ferrell’s vision is always fresh and exciting for actors and the audience alike. He stays true to the story but highlights it with new energy and ideas that make the piece feel like a new play.

Q: How relevant is the tragedy of these young people, trapped in a cycle of hatred they can’t overcome, to actual contemporary events?

A: This tragedy is very relevant. In this world that young people have inherited, they sometimes feel they have no other outlet than to express themselves through desperate measures. We see this happening with all the young, desperate folks aligning themselves with ISIS. It’s sad that they don’t feel they have any other outlet or that they choose this means to express their outrage.

Q: How long have you been a Brierley Resident, and can you please talk about how you were chosen for this prestigious acting company position.

A: I have been a proud member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company since 2008. Kevin (Moriarity, artistic director of Dallas Theater Center) extended the offer after I auditioned.

The audition included both a contemporary and classical monologue and a song. I’m extremely honored to be included alongside some of Dallas’ premiere talent. Each member is unique and dedicated to elevating the theatrical experience of our community. It’s a blessing that I don’t take lightly.

Q: Please also tell a little about your experience in taking Lysistrata Jones all the way to Broadway.

A: Now that whole experience still feels like a dream! I had no idea when we started the new musical here in Dallas, “Give It Up!,” that it would land on Broadway.

Douglas Carter Beane, Lewis Flinn, and Dan Knechtges believed enough in me that they included me when the play transferred off-Broadway. It ended up being a hit for the producers, Transport Group. We performed in a gym at Judson Memorial, and after the successful opening, it started selling out.

I never will forget Doug telling me as I was waiting offstage one night, “It’s happening, Liz…I’ve been here before. We’re going to Broadway! The audience is filled with who’s who in New York theatre!” The closing day, I was heading home to do “The Wiz” here at DTC. Doug, Lewis and Dan met with us after the show and made the announcement.

Broadway was happening indeed. I almost passed out! I literally got lightheaded!

Q: What’s next for Liz Mikel, any exciting ventures in the works?

A: I am gearing up to FINALLY record a fully produced CD and will be having fundraising performances around the city to make that happen this year. I will also be joining forces with two of Dallas’ favorite Divas. I will be performing with Sheran Keyton’s theater company, DVA, this Spring in “From the Mississippi Delta.”

And in May, I will be doing a cabaret show for Denise Lee’s Cabaret Series at the Women’s Museum at Fair Park. But you can ALWAYS catch me Mondays at The Balcony Club where I host my Entertainer’s Showcase featuring some of the city’s most exciting new talent.