Dennis was born in Chicago, IL, raised in St. Louis, MO, and hails from Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He is Professor Emeritus of Theatre and Dance (formerly Speech Communication and Theatre) as scenic designer & play director at Southeast Missouri State University. He received a Bachelor of Science in Education degree (Speech, Theatre, English) from Southeast, a Master of Arts degree in theatre from St. Louis University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in theatre design from the University of New Orleans. He has designed over 185 productions and directed 25 of them within the course of his career. He also serves as a professional stagehand, a free-lance designer, and a theatre consultant. He has designed dance and theatre scenery for Fontbonne University, Forest Park College, America’s Center, the Fox Theatre, Kiel Opera House, Huron Playhouse as well as serving as a union stagehand in St. Louis, New Orleans, Marion, Carbondale & Chicago, IL, Paducah, KY, and Cape Girardeau. He is currently President of Dennell Services, Inc., Performing Arts Promotion, and Program Director of Dennell Travel Services, a division of Dennell Services, Inc., an agency specializing in domestic & international group t ours. Dennis was been a member of Old St. Vincent Church in Cape Girardeau since 1977 and participated in the renovation of that historic church. He was elected to two terms on the O.S.V. Church Council holding offices of Vice President and President, serves the church as Eucharistic Minister, Lector, Usher, and Cantor for Sunday Mass. He is currently Chairman of the O.S.V. Buildings & Grounds Committee. He has served as a member on the St. Mary Cathedral School Board, on the Notre Dame Regional High School Board, Southeast Missouri Arts Council Board, and on the Speech and Theatre Association of Missouri Board.
Dennis and his wife, Ellen, have two grown children: Sean received his PhD degree from Auburn (AL) University and is teaching history at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, and Geoffrey received his Master of Arts degree and is teaching math at Cape Central Junior High School. Ellen teaches vocal music and conducts five choirs at Notre Dame Regional High School in Cape Girardeau.