Wayne Messmer, The Actor
Beyond singing and speaking, Wayne is an experienced performer who brings his skills as an actor and narrator to the stage and the studio at each occasion.
Wayne is a Professional Member of the Screen Actors Guild/ American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (SAG/AFTRA)
Current Roles: As Father Damien in Damien: A One-Man Play by Aldyth Morris.
Appearing in the Role of the NY Yankees’ Radio Announcer in the Universal Studios film “The Babe” Universal Studios, Inc.
As Father (Saint) Damien, “The Leper Priest of Molokai” in the ctitically acclaimed production of Damien: A One-Man Play by Aldyth Morris.
“A touching account of a modern day saint that is told with truth and passion.”
“Wayne Messmer brings Father Damien to life.”
“I feel as though I actually met Father Damien.”
“This is a must-see performance every time.”
Life of St. Damien of Molokai portrayed on local stage
By Alicja Pozywio STAFF WRITER Catholic New World
Father Damien de Veuster was always a personal hero for Wayne Messmer. Messmer, known to Chicago Wolves and Cubs fans as “Mr. National Anthem,” who portrays his hero in the one-man play Damien by Aldyth Morris. The play tells the story of Father Damien, whom Pope Benedict XVI canonized on October 11, 2009, who devoted his life and ministry to more than 8,000 lepers on the island of Molokai (1873-1889). Messmer says that the world needs to hear the message of Saint Damien’s life and mission now more than ever.
Through his heroic and saintly efforts, Saint Damien, the Belgian-born missionary priest who served patients with Hansen’s disease on Molokai in Hawaii transformed the settlement from a place of despair to a place of dignity. He died of leprosy on Good Friday April 15, 1889. Pope John Paul II beatified the priest on June 4, 1995, in Brussels, Belgium. He is the patron saint of HIV and AIDS sufferers, as well as those with leprosy (Hansen’s Disease). “Damien was one against the government, one against hysteria, and one against the most feared disease in the history of mankind,” said Chicago Deacon Don Grossnickle, also a devotee of Father Damien’s mission.
Messmer believes the suffering in today’s world makes Damien’s message relevant. “We still continue to ignore people who truly need our help,” said Messmer whose first performance of Damien took place in 2002. Messmer was selected to perform Damien during the Archdiocese of Chicago Festival of Faith held in November 2003 at Chicago’s Navy Pier. “Since my initial performance, I have really deepened my feeling of devotion for this man and his story that eventually lead to his canonization,” said Messmer. Wayne and his wife, Kathleen, (who serves as the technical director of the play) traveled to Molokai to experience the place where the story unfolded. “It was a reflective pilgrimage walking on the ground where Father Damien worked, lived and died and praying in the wooden churches that he, an accomplished carpenter, built with his own hands. The story is now even more personal than ever,” said Messmer. Grossnickle, who has seen the play more than a dozen times, says that Messmer inspires him each time. “He plays Damien with energy and enthusiasm. Every time I watch it, I see and hear different dimensions of the play.” WPM PRODUCTIONS, Inc. is now welcoming interest from faith communities to bring Damien to their church, many of whom are planning to use this powerful presentation and inspirational story to share its principal theme of reconciliation and self-sacrifice. The play is not recommended for very young children, due to its subject matter.