Moe Dasser: The Show Must Go On


Steve Gubin

Senior Moe Dasser on stage in Proof.

By Violet Gilbert, Staff Writer

Brightening up any room with laughter and smiles, senior Moe Dasser entertains both in person and on-stage. He joined Niles West Theatre during his junior year, playing Monsieur Thénardier in Les Misérables.

Acting provides an escape for Dasser; specifically in comedy and entertainment, there’s always laughter going around.

“I like comedy and entertainment because it provides an escape from reality. When you are laughing you aren’t thinking about what’s bothering you or anything at all. You are truly in the moment and that’s a really beautiful thing,” Dasser said.

Dasser’s recent roles in Niles West Theatre include Robert in Proof and Mr. Van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank. Before receiving these roles, however, he went through some struggles. He first auditioned for the show A Streetcar Named Desire, the fourth production of his sophomore year. This was the first time he had decided to pursue acting since middle school. Although he was called back, he did not get cast.

“It bummed me out,” said Dasser, “but it’s not like me to start something and give up after one failure.”

He didn’t give up, then landed his first role at the end of his junior year- Monsieur Thénardier in Les Misérables.

Les Mis introduced me to a family, and without them as a support system I wouldn’t have been able to get through any part of that process,” said Dasser.

Although the rehearsal process was different for him to adjust to, his attitude made it easier for everyone to settle in. He brought positive energy not only to Les Misérables but to the other shows he has been in as well. Senior Kenan Ozer has acted alongside Dasser in all of the shows he’s been a part of.

“Moe is the guys that always brings a chill attitude to anything he is involved in. He always delivers the best performance he can, even when rehearsals are going rough. He also gives a healthy balance of work and fun in a rehearsal setting,” Ozer said. 

Dasser’s favorite show so far has been Proof, which conveniently took place the week that he was taken to the hospital for appendicitis. He had to get surgery to have his appendix removed, which required some recovery time afterward. He missed some integral rehearsals which put him at a disadvantage since he hadn’t gotten as much time to practice his lines or blocking as the other actors.

“I never got to really sit with that show and enjoy it. It’s my favorite memory because of how challenging it was. That show took a large toll on me physically and mentally.  It was the hardest I’ve ever pushed myself and it destroyed me, but I built myself back up stronger,” Dasser said.

Senior Leah Nano acted alongside Dasser in Proof, and she was shocked when she heard he was in the hospital.

“When we found out he had appendicitis, we were all super worried but also very calm at the same time which was super weird,” Nano said. “I personally was worried about not only his health but the fact that we had a show very soon. He worked really hard and was able to catch up and adjust very well.” 

Dasser was able to quickly recover, and he successfully got through the shows with little error. This experience helped him grow as a person and as an actor because of how hard it was to keep going.

“I’ve grown more confident in myself and proved to myself that I could do anything I want,” Dasser said.

After graduation, Dasser plans to take classes at Second City Training Center to better himself as an actor. He also plans to create music and do stand-up comedy around the city.