Performed in “Octet” at Berkeley Rep!

Dave Malloy’s brilliant chamber choir musical “Octet” played Berkeley Rep and I had the great fortune to understudy two roles … and go on for several performances! It was a joy and an honor to sing with the exquisite cast.

Me just before going on as HENRY for the first time in Dave Malloy’s “Octet”.

I also got to sing the national anthem with the “Octet” cast before a San Francisco Giants game! Check out the full video of us singing here.

“Oh Say Can You See …” we’re on the field just before singing. Go Giants!

“Octet” was a wondrous experience and I’m so grateful for everyone involved.

“I will meet you there …”

“Winter’s Tale” Award Nominations!

I was just nominated for a San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for my performance in Cal Shakes’ 2021 production of “The Winter’s Tale”. Our production was nominated for Best Costume Design, Best Set Design, Best Entire Production, and I was nominated for Best Featured Performance – Comedy along with the brilliant Phil Wong. An honor to be nominated alongside by brilliant comedic partner!

Phil Wong and I were both nominated for San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for our performances in Cal Shakes’ “Winter’s Tale”.

“Tambo & Bones” Award Nominations!

The Lucille Lortel, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle Awards have come calling! The world premiere of Dave Harris’ play “Tambo & Bones”, in which I had the immense good fortune to appear earlier this year at Playwrights Horizons, has been recognized by all of the major Off-Broadway awards entities. The production was recently nominated for three Lortel awards, two Drama Leagues awards, and an Outer Critics Circle Award.

At the Lortels, “Tambo & Bones” was nominated for Outstanding Lead Performer in a Play (W. Tré Davis), Outstanding Costume Design (Dominique Fawn Hill), and Outstanding Sound Design (Mikhail Fiksel).

At the Drama League Awards, “Tambo & Bones” was nominated for Outstanding Direction of a Play (Taylor Reynolds) and the Distinguished Performance Award (Tyler Fauntleroy).

And at the Outer Critics Circle Awards, Dave Harris was nominated for the John Gassner Award for New American Playwrights for “Tambo & Bones”.

A hearty congratulations to all of these exquisite artists!

“Octet” at Berkeley Rep!

Next up I’m joining the original production of Dave Malloy’s musical “Octet” as it transfers to Berkeley Rep! I will be a swing, covering the roles of Henry and Ed (go Basses!). The production reunites the original creative team that premiered the show at Signature Theatre before the pandemic; written by three-time Tony Award-nominee Dave Malloy (Broadway’s “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812”), directed by Lucille Lortel Award-winner Annie Tippe (“Ghost Quartet”), with music direction by Obie-winner Or Matias, the exquisite A Cappella musical promises to be a transfixing experience. I am honored to be a part of it … and to help bring it to Berkeley, my home town! “Octet” runs at Berkeley Rep from April 20th to May 29th. Press release here. Tickets and info here.  

Reflections on “Tambo & Bones”

I recently had the great fortune to act in “Tambo & Bones” at Playwrights Horizons Off-Broadway. The world premiere of Dave Harris’ explosive play stirred up a lot of conversation. Here are links to several incredible essays about our production:

“Thoughts on Tambo & Bones” by Pulitzer nominee Craig Lucas

“This Play Ain’t Playin With Y’all” by poet Omar Holmon

“When the Sleepers Awaken” by playwright Anne Washburn

“White Discomfort is the BARE, Bare Minimum: A Reflection on Dave Harris’s TAMBO & BONES by writer and cultural worker Afrikah Smith

“Playwright’s Perspective” by “Tambo & Bones” playwright Dave Harris

Me with the phenomenal cast (W. Tré Davis, Tyler Fauntleroy, and Brendan Dalton) on Opening Night.

“Tambo & Bones” at Playwrights Horizons!

I’m currently acting in the world premiere of Dave Harris’ play “Tambo & Bones” at Playwrights Horizons Off-Broadway, directed by Taylor Reynolds. It is a fabulous honor to be sharing the stage with W. Tré Davis, Tyler Fauntleroy, and Brendan Dalton. The brilliance of this play and the extraordinary caliber of the artists working in that storied building absolutely floors me. This is a creative highlight of my life. We run through February 27th at the Playwrights Horizons MainStage on 42nd Street. Tickets and more information can be found here. 

Honored to be a part of this extraordinary ensemble.
“Get out, get bank, get even”
From the “Tambo & Bones” Opening Night!

The Anti-Isolation Arts Factory

Throughout 2021 I managed a digital theater collective called the Anti-Isolation Arts Factory. I founded the platform in January 2021 to give creative opportunities to out of work artists and connect audiences with performers during the COVID-19 pandemic.   

Arts Factory logo designed by Marielle Rousseau.

Every month for 12 months we presented a curated collection of bold, original digital theater content to our members. Each Bundle was centered on a different theme, from “Saints + Sinners” to “Pride & Joy”.

The Year in Review. Artwork by Marielle Rousseau.

In the end, we featured the work of over 60 artists. Our creative director, Marielle Rousseau, created beautiful Digital Programs to accompany our video collections. It was an honor to act as an artistic liaison for the Anti-Isolation Arts Factory, shepherding a fabulously diverse range of performative pieces, from dance to puppetry, from music videos to full length plays. More information about The Anti-Isolation Arts Factory can be found here. 

Arts Factory artwork by Marielle Rousseau.

Shows at Cal Shakes and Oldcastle!

During the Summer of 2021 I returned to California Shakespeare Theater to play Camillo and the Clown in “The Winter’s Tale” directed by Cal Shakes’ Artistic Director Eric Ting. The sold out, extended run was an absolute joy! A streaming version of the production was subsequently released over the Holidays. Click here for some video from the show. 

Playing the Clown in “The Winter’s Tale” at Cal Shakes with the great Phil Wong.

I also traveled to Bennington, Vermont to act in the two-hander “Visiting Mr. Green” at Oldcastle Theatre Company, directed by Artistic Director Nathan Stith. It was an honor to work for both of these fine theater companies.

Groundhog Day Reviews and More!

I recently finished playing Ned Ryerson in the regional premiere of “Groundhog Day: The Musical” at San Francisco Playhouse. It was such a joy to perform in this spectacular show. 68 performances (!) later my heart is filled with gratitude towards the many talented folks, onstage an off, who made it possible. In addition to playing Ned, I also understudied the role of Phil Connors and got to perform it several times. Click here for some video from the show!

Me as Ned opposite the great Ryan Drummond as Phil
I’d just like to point out …
I’m the tall one

We were also honored by some special visitors during our run! Andy Karl, who originated the role of Phil Connors in the West End and Broadway productions of “Groundhog Day”, saw our production (the first one since his) with his brilliantly talented wife, Orfeh:

Orfeh, our director Susi Damilano, and Andy Karl

We were also humbled to welcome Danny Rubin to the show. Mr. Rubin wrote the screenplay for the movie “Groundhog Day” as well as the book for the musical. We owe it all to him!

Danny Rubin and the cast

Here’s what the critics had to say about my performance:

“Dean Linnard … is fantastic as Ned Ryerson, a supremely annoying high school classmate of Phil’s. His comic skills shine in act one, but it’s his gorgeous, resonant rendering of the bittersweet “Night Will Come” that is a highlight of the second half of the show.” Patrick Thomas, Talkin’ Broadway

“The most moving song in the play, “Night Will Come,” sung by the insurance agent Ned Ryerson (fast talking, magnetic Dean Linnard) affects us deeply.” Patrick L. Morin, Theatrius

“Dean Linnard, as Phil’s high school classmate Ned, gives even stillness the spring of a jack-in-the-box.” Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle

“Dean Linnard as Phil’s insurance-selling high school classmate Ned Ryerson gets the combination of goofiness and pathos exactly right.” Tony Frankel, Stage and Cinema

“Dean Linnard screams dorkiness as the fast-talking dynamo insurance salesman Ned Ryerson … [and] delivers a poignant and well sung solo.” Victor Cordell, Berkshire Fine Arts

“To Phil’s evident sorrow, he … runs into an overly effervescent insurance salesman named Ned Ryerson (a rib-tickling Dean Linnard) …” Eddie Reynolds, Theatre Eddys

“[A]dding another layer to the story is a perfect move, such as with the songs “Playing Nancy” and “Night Will Come.” The latter in particular deserves its own shoutout; in the role of life insurance agent Ned Ryerson, Dean Linnard’s otherwise perky voice takes on a beautiful and haunting tone as he reminds the audience of its own mortality.” Lauren Sheehan-Clark, The Daily Californian

“Excellent supporting roles are delivered by Sophia Introna as Nancy (“Playing Nancy”) and Dean Linnard as the nerdy but kind Ned Ryerson” Steve Murray, Broadwayworld

“Sophia Introna and Dean Linnard as Nancy and Ned, respectively, vocalize with verve.”  Leslie Katz, San Francisco Examiner

So long, Punxsutawney!

2019 Recap!

This year was full of glorious theatrical adventures! First, I returned to Left Edge Theatre to act in the two-hander “Sex with Strangers”. Then, I spent the Summer appearing in two plays at California Shakespeare Theater: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” directed by Tyne Rafaeli, and “The Good Person of Szechwan” directed by Cal Shakes’ Artistic Director Eric Ting. “Good Person …” was subsequently named by Bay Area News Group as one of the top plays of 2019, and was named by the San Francisco Chronicle as the #1 play of the year! I rounded out the year appearing in the regional premiere of “Groundhog Day: The Musical” at San Francisco Playhouse.

I feel tremendous gratitude to be making a living as an actor. My heartfelt thanks to all of my creative collaborators and artistic homes from 2019.

Happy New Year!

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