“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.

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!


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!

I Won a Theatre Bay Area Award!

I was beyond honored this week to win a Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Performance in a Principle Role in a Play for my performance as Jason / Tyron in “Hand to God” at Left Edge Theatre. The entire award ceremony was a joyous and festive evening, and to be recognized for my work in Robert Askins’ brilliant play was icing on the cake.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Additionally, I was recently given an award from the Marquee Theater Journalists Association for Outstanding Lead Performance in a Comedy, also for “Hand to God”. Thank you to all who voted; I’m verklempt.

Groundhog Day!

I’m beyond stoked to announce that next up I will be appearing in the regional premiere of “Groundhog Day: the Musical” at San Francisco Playhouse. The musical has a book by the original film’s screenwriter Danny Rubin and a score by the brilliant Tim Minchin. This will be the first production of the show since the original Broadway production. I will be playing Ned Ryerson (“Needlenose Ned! Ned the Head!”) and understudying the Bill Murray role of Phil Connors. This is gonna be an awesome one, y’all.

All the pretty faces who make up Punxsutawney.
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