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Daphne Gaines is deeply passionate as Salima, struggling to reconcile what the world has done to her and how her family reacted. Sheldon Woodley is heartbreaking as Fortune, Salima’s husband, and the tension between Gaines and Woodley is remarkable.
Craig Williamson, North Tribune Denver

...Gaine's rich, clear voice invests pious Madame Gervaise's lines with lambent spirit, and the plays lucid dignity comes across.

Michael Feingold, Village Voice

Gaines makes the most of Wilder's comedic zingers and transports the audience to another world with her soul-stirring renditions of traditional sprirituals, including a gut-wrenching take of "Somebody's Knocking at your Door."

Bob Bows, Variety

It helps that the performers in these scenes (and throughout the entire production) are top-notch...and Daphne Gaines, who anchors the whole show as Yokasta, has dignity, authority, and style to spare.

Jeffrey Lewonczyk,

A fascinating actress/singer with a transcendent voice, does a great job of bringing this complicated female to life through song and movement.

Helen Harvey, Showbusiness Weekly

...the passionate Angie (Daphne Gaines), who stops every few paces to get up on her soapbox (literally) and announce her beliefs to anyone who will listen;​...With their faces elaborately painted and wigs the size of topiary animals atop their heads, dolled up in fabulous finery, these spirited radicals might appear to be drawn with only the neon crayons from the box. You may at first feel as if you’re being lectured by a stage full of human-size, animated Troll dolls dressed up by an imaginative if slightly disturbed child. But Mr. Mac’s arch cartoons soon take on the contours of real, complicated people, thanks both to the richness of the writing and the across-the-board terrific performances.

Charles Isherwood, New York Times

Persephone, the supercool, enchanting Gaines, rules the stage.

Raven Snook, TimeOut Magazine

​Mac himself inhabits, fetchingly, the central role of an indecisive youngster; others whose presence registers strongly are Daphne Gaines, Steven Rattazzi, and Talking Band co-founders Ellen Maddow (who also provided the appealing music) and Tina Shepard. The work’s brash feel, merging a cheerful, try-anything party atmosphere with a fiercely centered determination to encompass a serious subject, evokes the ’60s spirit of La MaMa’s adventurous beginnings almost more intensely than the radical slogans in which Mac’s text is saturated. If Ellen Stewart’s era has ended, no sweeter sign could be found of its readiness to begin again.

Michael Feingold, The Village Voice

Director Seret Scott must be commended for her spot-on casting. There is a necessarily strong female presence in this show. Joy Jones (Josephine), Tallia Brinson (Sophie), and Daphne Gaines (Salima) do an outstanding job with difficult subject matter, walking a fine line between hope and comfort and the underlying fear instilled by the ever-present threat of violence. Each of these talented women shine in glowing moments, whether it is Sophie through song, Josephine through keeping scenes lighthearted and fun, or Salima through the telling of her devastating story. (Her "five months" monologue is hands-down one of the most emotional monologues you will ever hear. Don't forget the tissues).

Michael Milhuern,

...and when Daphne Gaines describes Salima's ordeal, it chills your spine.

Juliet Wittman, Westword

Orpheus (Taylor Mac) and Persephone (Daphne Gaines) have powerhouse voices and sing their hearts out as Eurydice (Leeanne Hutchison) shimmers in the background.

This Orpheus is almost a rock opera, yet it's not quite rock. The live band plays vaguely Mediterranean music, a mix of Balkan, Greek, Texan and rock sounds. These faintly exotic melodies make for a most unusual soundscape. As befits the underworld, the songs are lamentations, full of keening and pain. The ensemble dynamic is very strong, and Mac and Gaines have an interesting and mesmeric chemistry.

Jenny Sandman, CurtainUp

Gaines commands the stage whether speaking or singing...

Elias Stimac, Backstage

Of particular note were Daphne Gaines as the spirit of Christmas Past, who was simply captivating on all accounts,...

Kentucky Theatre News

A powerful voice and magnetic stage presence...

Michael Criscuolo,

Gaines makes the most lasting impression...performing with a precision and subtlety.

Frank Episale,



Through Wilder's earnest writing, a voracious cast led by newcomers Nikki E. Walker and Daphne Gaines and a continually compelling set by Lisa M. Orzolek, "Gee's Bend," at its best, opens for us a historically accurate and little-known window into Martin Luther King's ability to call even the most remote Alabama heart to action.

John Moore, The Denver Post 

Four different actresses play Jocasta at different ages, remaining together on stage most of the time... And the magnificent Daphne Gaines is Yokasta, the woman who has endured it all and gained full knowledge of life.

Miriam Horn, The New York Times

...the rampantly, charismatic Daphne Gaines...

Charlotte Stoudt, Village Voice

...And Daphne Gaines, as the Franciscan nun, Madame Gervaise, has the emotional richness to make her character's faith truly touching.

Nicholas Seeley,

Daphne Gaines, who plays Persephone...has a terrific voice, and a wonderful presence.  She will be a star.

Christopher Byrne,

Gaines, in particular, has a fluid grace that makes even the oddest motions seem natural.

Dan Bacalzo, Theatermania


Gaines is flawless in her performance both as an actor and singer, creating riveting sequences that force a serious respectful eye on the
 play. Gaines makes you wish there was a soundtrack CD immediately.

Troy Tolley, New York Cool

​Daphne Gaines delights in taking charge as Natasha.

Chris Harcum,

Just as impressive, as the yoga instructor and other roles, was Daphne Gaines.

Chuck Lavazzi, KDHX blog


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