“I had the great pleasure to live some of these stories alongside Dennis, and now I have the great pleasure to recommend them to YOU!  They chronicle not only his search for a sense of himself, but also his search for family—both born and made. The book celebrates his Theatrical Family and the hilarious and tender lunacy of backstage life. With humor, affection and a gimlet eye, Bensie paints a truthful picture of what happens out of sight of an audience: Clothes flying everywhere! In the Dark! As Fast As Possible! I mean…what could possibly go wrong!? ”

David Zinn – Tony Award winning designer for The Humans


“Bensie’s memoir covers his career backstage with humor, heart, and hope, spotlighting the famed and the wanna-be with equal admiration and/or scorn. Full of juicy anecdotes and keen insight into both stagecraft and bitchcraft, this peek behind the curtains is sure to delight the seasoned theatre-goer as well as the dilettante.”                                             

Jerry Wheeler – author of the Lammy-nominated Strawberries and Other Erotic Fruit


“In theatre, we all have our war stories, and most (secretly all) of us love to tell them.  It’s part of the business and the charm – our shared folklore. What Dennis does reminiscing about his 30 years as a Dresser is create a narrative worthy of David Sedaris, full of tall tales, belly laughing moments, names withheld to hide the innocent and guilty, and also the extreme hard work that he and so many others in the business do in whatever condition or level of theatre. But at the same time, Dennis shows a heart that loves what he does and makes you love it even more.”

Robert J Martin – IATSE, Theatrical Wardrobe Local 764


Thirty Years a Dresser is a wonderful read.  I was struck by the reverence for all that is theater sacred, even when confronted with all it’s challenges and warts.  Warning: I read this on an airplane and many of the chapters made me laugh out loud.  I elicited side eye from folks sitting near me. I really loved this book!”

Sandra England – Director, Broadcast Division at International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE)


“A fun romp behind the scenes of long theatrical career. Dennis Bensie has fresh new insight into the second oldest profession – the theatre.”

Eric Andrews-Katz – author of Tartarus


Thirty Years a Dresser is a insightful trip behind the scenes during some of our favorite musicals and plays. At times touching, but most often hysterically funny, Thirty Years a Dresser is a delightful read for any lover of theater.”

Tony Buff, Activist, Educator, Performance Artist, and Fetish/S&M player


“The best seat in the house isn’t Orchestra Center, it’s backstage with Dennis Milam Bensie. Thirty Years a Dresser shares many unique behind the scenes moments and fun perspectives and even the most ardent theatre goer will be envious. Whether watching the evolution of a hit (The Light at the Piazza) or imagining an androgynous casting while dressing nuns for the umpteenth time (The Sound of Music), Bensie lets the reader peek behind the curtain. What a fun read!”

Rebecca Redshaw – Author/Playwright


“I loved it!  Always interesting, honest, and economical. Reading it made me want to sit down with a glass of wine and some good theater friends and compare stories. I share this book with my theater students.”

Barbara Shimer – Lincoln Trail College Director of Theatre


Thirty Years A Dresser is more than a memoir of behind the scenes. It is an insightful glance of what happens back stage during the run of some of the greatest shows of the theatre,” says Equality 365