“Torch Song” at Marin Theatre Company!

Next up, I’m playing the lead role of Arnold in Harvey Fierstein’s seminal queer Classic “Torch Song” at Marin Theatre Company in beautiful Mill Valley, California. It is an honor of a lifetime to step into Harvey’s shoes (or bunny slippers – if you know you know) and inhabit the role he originated over 30 years ago. Directed by the fabulous Evren Odcikin, we run May 9th – June 2nd. A video preview of the show can be found here. Tickets and more information can be found here.

“The Play That Goes Wrong” at Portland Stage

I’m currently playing MAX in Portland Stage Company’s production of “The Play That Goes Wrong” here in beautiful Portland, Maine. It’s a joy to clown around with this incredible cast of fools, with the incomparable director Kevin R. Free at the helm. We run through February 25th; more info and tickets here.

It’s so wrong it’s right.
Me being subtle.

2023: Year In Review

Asolo Rep, a West Coast Premiere, and more! 2023 has been a thrilling year of creative adventures: I spent a season as part of the repertory company of Asolo Rep in Sarasota, Florida, performing in “The Three Musketeers” and “Chicken & Biscuits”. I played the title role in a staged reading of Euripides’ ancient Greek play “Ion” at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, directed by Carey Perloff. And I played Kit Marlowe in Aurora Theatre Company‘s West Coast Premiere of Liz Duffy Adams’ play “Born With Teeth”, which was recently named by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the Top 10 Theatre Productions of 2023. Here’s what San Fransisco Chronicle Theatre critic Lily Janiak had to say about my performance in her best theater of the year article:

“We Bay Area theater mavens have long noted the exceptional promise shown by actor and Berkeley native Dean Linnard — in “Groundhog Day” at San Francisco Playhouse, in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at California Shakespeare Theater. But Aurora Theatre Company’s West Coast premiere of Liz Duffy Adams’ two-hander, imagining the collaboration by William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe on the “Henry VI” trilogy, established him as a star. He sharpened every line of already taut dialogue, showing how each beat was an attack, a faux retreat, a come-on, a baring, a garrisoning. A play became a dance.” Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle

I have deep appreciation for the above companies for being my artistic homes over this past year. As for 2024? Oooo mama, there are some exciting things in store. Watch this space …

Shrug. Me as Kit Marlowe in “Born With Teeth” at Aurora Theatre Company.

“Born With Teeth” at Aurora Theatre

I’m currently one half of the two-person play “Born With Teeth” at Aurora Theatre Company in California. I’m playing Kit Marlowe opposite the great Brady Morales-Woolery as Shakespeare. We are the second production ever of this glorious play (following its world premiere at the Alley and Guthrie), and it’s been an absolute privilege to work with director Josh Costello and playwright Liz Duffy Adams. We run September 1st – October 1st. Tickets for both in person and virtual streamed performances can be found here.

Me as Kit Marlow in “Born With Teeth” at Aurora Theatre Company

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

”Dean Linnard is magnetic as Marlowe, volatile, overbearing, bawdy, self-aggrandizing, seductive and combative. He’s also feverish, rocket-fueled with nervous energy … Shakespeare and Marlowe are irresistible. Every moment between the two is electrically charged, whether with danger, sexual tension or just writers lingering lovingly on language. It’s a wonderfully funny, sexy and suspenseful play that’s thrilling from beginning to end.” Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News

“Aurora’s two actors effortlessly wring every morsel of comedy and inner angst from the tightly woven script … Dean Linnard as the already-famous Kit stalks his prey, taking full possession of the room.” Jean Schiffman, Local News Matters

“Kit, played with a delicious venom by Linnard, is very much the aggressor in this dyad … Both actors give gripping, energetic, thrilling performances. They use the stage almost like a boxing ring, circling each other, stalking each other, testing the other’s limits over and over again.” Patrick Thomas, Talkin’ Broadway

“The two actors are magnetic … Linnard, as Marlowe, churns out torrents of feelings, switching personalities like a schizophrenic on speed … “Born With Teeth” rekindles our passion for theater and poetry.” Patricia L. Morin, Theatrius

“If you’ve seen Dean Linnard perform at Cal Shakes, San Francisco Playhouse or elsewhere, you can probably still picture his wildly eloquent eyes. They flicker, flash and blaze. Whatever they’re conveying on the surface, there’s always something more roiling underneath … In “Born With Teeth,” … Linnard has a show that gives full expression to his artistic prowess. As the imperious and mercurial Kit Marlowe, Linnard whirls like a dervish, lets whole weather systems pass across his face and swaggers like a rock star … In one pregnant pause, when Kit assesses whether Will’s worth more to him as collaborator or hunted bounty, it’s almost as if silently, without moving a muscle, Linnard morphs from bad-boy writer to inquisitor, torturer and executioner, then back again … When Linnard delivers actual “Henry VI” lines, he’s like a sorcerer who’s at last gotten his magic staff.” Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle

Me with my brilliant fellow actor Brady Morales-Woolery and our fearless playwright Liz Duffy Adams

“Three Musketeers” and “Chicken & Biscuits” at Asolo Rep

I am currently in Sarasota, Florida performing in two shows at Asolo Repertory Theatre. I’m playing Porthos in “The Three Musketeers” directed by Peter Amster, and Logan in “Chicken & Biscuits” directed by Bianca LaVerne Jones. The two shows run in rep through April. Tickets and more information can be found here.

The beautiful Mertz Stage at Asolo Repertory Theatre 

Rep season comparison: Porthos and Logan side by side.

 

2022: Year In Review

“Tambo & Bones” at Playwrights Horizons, “Octet” at Berkeley Rep … it’s been an extraordinary year! In the Winter, I had the immense good fortune to perform in the world premiere of Dave Harris’ play “Tambo & Bones” at Playwrights Horizons Off-Broadway. Then I headed West for the out-of-town tryout of Dave Malloy’s musical “Octet” at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. I ended the year playing Lemml in Paula Vogel’s masterpiece “Indecent” at San Francisco Playhouse. I am so grateful to these incredible companies for being my artistic homes in 2022. On to the New Year!

The full “Tambo & Bones” team (L to R): director Taylor Reynolds; actors Brendan Dalton, W. Tré Davis, and Tyler Fauntleroy; playwright Dave Harris; yours truly, and Playwrights Horizons artistic director Adam Greenfield.

“Indecent” at San Francisco Playhouse

I just finished playing Lemml in Paula Vogel’s exquisite play “Indecent” at San Francisco Playhouse in California. The show was the best reviewed production in San Francisco Playhouse’s 20 year history.

Playing Lemml, the Stage Manager in “Indecent”.

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

 

“The linchpin of Vogel’s historical melodrama is Lemml, played by the unforgettable Dean Linnard … Linnard physically embodies the Jewish story—personally and politically—in a stunning performance.” Barry David Horwitz, Theatrius

 

“I loved the cast. Scratch that. I adored the cast. Every damn one of them. Dean Linnard is something close to perfection: spectacularly wide-eyed as the youthful Lemml, thrilled to be a part of theatre even in the smallest way, yet gritty and filled with righteous anger when he feels betrayed.” Patrick Thomas, Talkin’ Broadway 

 

“Lemml the stage manager is really the heart and soul of the play … Dean Linnard exudes intensity as Lemml, unfailingly kind, seemingly selfless and quietly zealous about this one particular play … Even in his most jubilant moments, there’s a haunted quality about Linnard’s Lemml, a melancholy lurking beneath the surface that foreshadows sorrows to come.” Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News 

 

“Dean Linnard as a stage manager in both the play and the meta-play could tell the show’s whole story with just his expressive eyes. They are the smoldering coals of a furnace, then hollowed-out skull pits, then gleaming electric bulbs. When as an immigrant at last rejecting America’s false promises, he spits out each word of the sentence “I am done being in a country that laughs at the way I speak” as if each English word uttered is also a weapon against himself.” Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle

 

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, Outer Critics Circle, AUDELCO, and Obie 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, three AUDELCO awards, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and an Obie!

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).

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

At the AUDELCO Awards for Excellence in Black Theatre, “Tambo & Bones” was nominated for Best Sound Design (Mikhail Fiksel), Best Costume Design (Dominique Fawn Hill), and Outstanding Ensemble (W. Tré Davis, Tyler Fountleroy, Brendan Dalton, and yours truly).

And at the Obie Awards, our brilliant director Taylor Reynolds won for her direction of “Man Cave” and our very own “Tambo & Bones”.

A hearty congratulations to all of these exquisite artists!

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