Audiences have seen and heard Wayne Messmer on stage in leading roles over the years that include Gaylord Ravenal in Showboat, Emile deBeque in South Pacific, El Gallo in The Fantasticks, Petruchio in Kiss Me Kate, Harold Hill in the Music Man, Albert Peterson in Bye, Bye Birdie and numerous musical reviews and cabaret shows. His commanding stage voice and booming baritone have entertained countless audiences through the years.

The Babe Movie CoverWayne is passionately connected with the character of (Saint) Father Damien, the Leper Priest of Moloka’i, whom he has singled out as his personal life’s hero. In the live, one-man play Damien by Aldyth Morris, Messmer channels the powerful stories of the challenges that Damien experienced while serving the community of the exiled lepers (Hansen’s Disease) on the remote Hawaiian island in the 1870’s and 1880’s until his own life was taken by the affliction on April 15, 1889. 

Father Damien was canonized in a ceremony at the Vatican in October 11, 2009.

Film credits include the feature role of the New York Yankees radio announcer in the Universal Pictures (1992) release, The Babe, directed by Oscar Award winner Arthur Hiller, starring John Goodman, Kelly McGillis.


The Damien Play

A one-man play by Aldyth Morris, as performed by Wayne Messmer

‘‘Damien is a story that needs to be told… and more importantly, needs to be heard.’’ 

We are all touched by the real life stories of the people who walked among us and have dedicated themselves to heroic lives of great deeds in the unselfish service to others. The opportunity to hear a true-life story of a person of character should never be missed. Such a person is the legendary Father Damien, the “Hero of Molokai,” born in Belgium in 1840 as Joseph de Veuster. 

Chicago actor and personality Wayne Messmer triumphantly portrays this amazing man of faith in a tale of courage and conviction and brings him to life in a one-man play, Damien, by Aldyth Morris. The play, produced by WPM Productions, Inc. is now booking single dates.

Audiences are mesmerized throughout the 90-minute live theatrical experience, where Messmer transforms into Father Damien to share stories of the struggles and challenges that he faced while bringing back lost hope to the exiled lepers of Hawaii in their isolated community on a deserted peninsula on the island of Molokai.

Wayne Messmer has been critically acclaimed for his performances in the role of Father Damien in this powerful play. The story of this humble man of the cloth is an inspiration to all who witness the theatrical experience, which has been enhanced by WPM Productions, Inc. to include dramatic audio effects and musical underscoring.



Wayne Messmer performing Damien
Damien Prologue Clip 1
Wayne Messmer performing Damien
Damien Prologue Clip 2

What audiences have said about Wayne Messmer’s performance(s) as Father Damien:

“Damien is a hero for men and women for all ages. His character is a glowing example of what courage looks like.” –Helen J.

"A must see." – John M.

Damien is a touching account of a modern day saint
that is told with truth and passion.” –Allan B.

"Wayne Messmer brings Father Damien to life telling an
unforgettable true story of love for one's fellow man." – Jessica D.

”This performance is highly recommended to anyone who believes in the power of the truth of one voice.” –David W.

"The world needs more men of conviction
like Father Damien." – Jennifer K.

“Wayne Messmer proves to be a gifted actor, delivering a truly amazing portrayal of a truly remarkable man.” –Harold B.

"A theatrical experience I will never forget." – Thomas F.

"I feel as though that I actually met Father Damien...
and I will always remember him." – Don G. 



About Father (Saint) Damien

Father DamienThe Hero of Molokai was born in Tremolo, Belgium on January 3, 1840. Born Joseph DeVeuster, he took the name Damien after joining the religious life with the Order of the Sacred Hearts. In 1864, he was sent to Honolulu, where he was ordained. For the nextdecade, he did mission work on the Big Island of Hawaii. In 1873, he went to the isolated island of Molokai, after volunteering to live and work among the leper colony there. While he committed himself to lepers of all ages, he was especially concerned about the children of these forgotten people who had been segregated from their families and loved ones. Damien himself was declared a leper in 1885, but continued his work, building chapels, clinics, cottages and a hospital. A skilled carpenter, he personally constructed hundreds of cottages and thousands of coffins for his flock. Damien died on Easter Monday night, April 15, 1889 at his quarters at the Kalawao settlement on Molokai.

Under constant criticism during his time, he came under a particularly slanderous attack from a Protestant minister, the Rev. Mr. Hyde shortly after his death when he could no longer speak in his own defense. Damien’s honor and life’s work was defended by the legendary author of Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson, whose letter in support of the Hero of Molokai is considered a literary classic in its own right.

Damien was declared venerable in 1977. Pope John Paul II declared him beatified on June 4, 1995. He became Saint Damien with the canonization ceremony at the Vatican by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009

Saint Damien’s feast day celebrates the anniversary of his passing to eternal life each year on April 15.


Where's Wayne

  • May 24
    Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers,  Chicago
  • May 25
    Wrigley Field,  Chicago
  • Jun 4
    Wrigley Field,  Chicago
  • Jun 7
    Wrigley Field,  Chicago


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Wayne Messmer with Judy Roberts