Vanessa Claire Stewart

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Vanessa Claire Stewart
Vanessa Claire Perkins

Alma materWebster Conservatory for the Performing Arts
Oxford School of Drama
OccupationActress, writer, producer
Years active1999–present
Lance Smith
(m. 1999; div. 2005)

(m. 2011)

Vanessa Claire Stewart is an American actress, producer, and writer.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Stewart attended the Webster Conservatory for the Performing Arts in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduating, she was admitted to the Oxford School of Drama in England.


In 2004, Stewart received an LA Weekly Theatre Award for Best Leading Female Performance, for her gender-bending portrayal of Alex in Los Angeles director Brad Mays' controversial multi-media production of Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange at the ARK Theatre Company in 2003.[1][2][3] She also directed the popular Return to the Forbidden Planet[4] while at ARK.

In 2008, she co-wrote Louis and Keely: Live at the Sahara with actor Jake Broder for Sacred Fools Theatre. The show became an overnight success and was discovered by filmmaker Taylor Hackford. Hackford later became director of the show and brought Louis and Keely to a successful 8 month run at the Geffen Playhouse in 2009. While at the Geffen, Stewart met her future husband actor French Stewart in the green room before his performance in "Matthew Modine Saves the Alpacas".

In 2010, she received an LA Weekly Theatre Award, a Garland and an Ovation Award for Louis and Keely Live at the Sahara, for her portrayal of legendary jazz vocalist Keely Smith.[5][6]

In 2012, Stewart wrote Stoneface for Sacred Fools Theater Company, about the life of Buster Keaton, starring her husband French Stewart.[7] Stoneface won the 2013 LA Weekly award for best production.[8] Stoneface appeared in the 2013–2014 season at Pasadena Playhouse.[9]

In 2015, thanks to theater producer Hershey Felder, Louis and Keely: Live at the Sahara moved to a commercial run in Chicago at the Royal George Theater starring Tony Award winner Anthony Crivello as Louis Prima. The run officially began April 9 and closed eight weeks later on May 17.[10] An additional run at Laguna Playhouse was announced for February 2016.[11]

In 2019, her original musical about serial killer HH Holmes entitled Deadly premiered at Sacred Fools Theatre Company. Written by Stewart and composer Ryan Johnson, the musical later moved to Webster Conservatory for further development and premiered a new revision online in December 2020 due to Coronavirus restrictions on live performances.

Stewart has appeared in various film and television productions, including Chase The Slut, Shakespeare's Merchant, Joan of Arcadia, Rules of Engagement, and The List.

Personal life[edit]

She moved to Los Angeles in 1999 where she met and married her first husband, Lance Arthur Smith. They divorced in 2005. In 2009, while performing at the Geffen Playhouse, she met actor French Stewart. They married in 2011 and had a daughter, Helene Claire, in 2013.[12] Once remarried, she took the surname Stewart.[13] Stewart lives in Los Angeles, California.



Year Title Role Notes
1999 V-World Matrix Nurse Direct-to-video
2002 The Coven Grandma Grace
2003 Shakespeare's Merchant Jessica
2010 Chase the Slut Chase
2016 Who Was Buffalo Bill? Rose Alten
2017 Alex & the List Carol


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Joan of Arcadia Surly Punk Girl Episode: "Wealth of Nations"
2010 Rules of Engagement Maya Episode: "The Score"
2010–2011 Everyone Counts Fae 4 episodes
2011 Mega Python vs. Gatoroid Party Goer Television film

Awards and nominations[edit]

Ovation Awards

  • 2009: Won the award for Lead Actress in a Musical for the role of Keely Smith in "Louis & Keely, Live at the Sahara"[14]
  • 2010 Ovation Awards: Award for Best Musical for the Geffen Playhouse production of "Louis and Keely: Live at the Sahara".

Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards

  • 2009 Production of the Year: Louis and Keely: Live at the Sahara

LA Weekly Awards


  1. ^ LA Weekly Theatre Awards Nominations A Clockwork Orange - nominations for "Best Revival Production," "Best Leading Female Performance," "Best Direction"
  2. ^ LA Weekly Theatre Awards A Clockwork Orange - Vanessa Claire Smith wins for "Best Leading Female Performance"
  3. ^ "Clockwork Orange - The Plays: online overview of stage productions of A Clockwork Orange from around the world". Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  4. ^ "Return to the Forbidden Planet, a CurtainUp Los Angeles review". Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  5. ^ "Broadway, Off-Broadway and London Photos, Pictures, Audio, Video and Multimedia". Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  6. ^ "Vanessa Claire Smith 2010 Ovation Awards". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-15. Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  7. ^ Foley, F. Kathleen (2012-05-30). "Review: French Stewart a revelation as Buster Keaton in 'Stoneface'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  8. ^ "'Stoneface' Wins Big at L.A. Weekly Theater Awards | Backstage". Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  9. ^ Ng, David (2013-03-22). "Pasadena Playhouse announces 2013-14 season". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  10. ^ "'Louis & Keely' not long for the Royal George". Chicago Tribune. 2015-05-04. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  11. ^ "Laguna Playhouse Announces 2015–16 Season". 2015-04-29. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
  12. ^ "French Stewart Baby: Wife Vanessa Gives Birth to Helene Claire - Us Weekly". Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  13. ^ "Somewhere That's Green: Backstage Spaces @ This Stage". Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  14. ^ "Ovation Nominees". 20 October 2009.

External links[edit]