Chelsea Harrison was born in Washington, DC. Her formal arts education began at Thomas Pullen Arts Magnet School in Prince Georges County, MD where she majored first in Dance, and then in Theater. She has continuously coupled her academic studies with additional arts training at: The Theatre Lab of Washington, The Debbie Allen Dance Intensive (Los Angeles, California), Jones-Hayward School of Dance (Washington, DC) and the Kennedy Center Dance Theatre of Harlem Residency Program (Washington, DC).
Currently, Chelsea is a Theatre major at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC. Students accepted into Duke Ellington receive pre-professional, conservatory style training in any of eight arts disciplines ranging from Museum Studies to Theatre. Chelsea has studied under the tutelage of Professor Vera J. Katz, Professor Kim Bey, and master artists Sarah Marshall and Lynda Gravatt. She has appeared on the Ellington Stage in a variety of roles from Laura in Tennessee William’s American classic the Glass Menagerie to Addaperle in the urban musical The Wiz.
Chelsea’s interest in theatre extends past mere characterization and performance. She believes in the power of theatre to transform lives, promote social change and enhance global understanding. To that end she traveled to Avignon, France last summer as a participant in the Experiment in International Living program. While in France she immersed herself in French culture through an extended home stay, studied acting and mime in Paris and presented a culminating performance in French.
The plays of August Wilson have had a profound effect on Chelsea’s appreciation of dramatic literature. Much like Wilson, “telling lives” as eloquently, poignantly and honestly as possible is her goal. In April 2008, her interpretation of the character Berniece, from Wilson’s play Piano Lesson secured her a scholarship as runner-up in the August Wilson Monologue Competition held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Chelsea hopes to continue her Theatre Arts studies at Carnegie Mellon University, Rutgers University, New York University or Yale University.