Dede established kidsActing in 1980, when she discovered her passion was working with children. Dede received her BSE in theatre education from the University of Kansas, ran a newspaper in Tahiti, worked in theatre in NYC, and got her master's degree in film from UT.
She's worked with the Coen brothers on movie, television and commercial projects, and was awarded a gubernatorial appointment to the Texas Film Commission board. Dede has written, directed, and produced eight original musicals: The Velveteen Rabbit, Cyberella, Waking Sleeping Beauty, Monsters!, The Emperor’s New Shows, Goldie, Alyce in Wonderland, TX and Bugs, each with original songs created for the productions by many great Texas songwriters, including Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Marcia Ball, Ray Benson, Robert "Beto" Skiles, and all of The Flatlanders: Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, and Joe Ely.
She has produced and directed over 100 productions, receiving numerous nominations and awards for her work. She was voted Best Stage Director by the Austin Chronicle.
Dede founded kidsActing Foundation, which offers free theatre, dance and art classes to low-income children, as well as children with catastrophic illnesses, mobility impairments, Down Syndrome, and autism, plus teens in the juvenile justice system. KAF and kidsActing, hand in hand, are encouraging children from diverse backgrounds to participate in the creative process, developing community through the arts.