Toxic Avenger, and Much More!

This summer proves to be one of the busiest yet with lots of terrific work in store.

I just opened "The Toxic Avenger" at San Jose Stage last weekend to rave reviews . This rock-farce retells the story of the classic B horror movie using only 5 actors. I have the distinct pleasure of cycling through nearly 20 quick changes to pull the thing off. It's hilarious, and definitely worth checking out if you're in the area over the next month.

Immediately after I close Toxic, I'll be off to play Lt. Cable in "South Pacific" at the beautiful outdoor amphitheater at the Woodminster Theatre. It'll be such a privilege to play such a wonderful part in this classic musical.

Following that up, I have the great pleasure to play the role of Cliff in "Luna Gale" at the Aurora Playhouse in Berkley. This tremendous play by Rebecca Gilman is already shaping up to be one of my favorites. Definitely a must see.

After that, I'll spend my Halloween in "The Woman in Black" at Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City as "The Actor". I've longed to play in this terrifying production for some time now, and I could not be more excited about this two-hander coming in October.

All the while, I will be serving as teacher and program director of the brand new Conservatory program at the Theatre Arts Academy. This exciting program for teens is an intensive unlike anything else; a program meant to challenge and prepare aspiring students at a college-level using real technique and practice. I am very excited for our inaugural summer! 

Theatreworks, Raktor, and 42nd St Moon

We closed "Crimes of the Heart" at Theatreworks Silicon Valley last month to rave reviews! It was such a treat to work with such an amazing company, as well as with our director Giovanna Sardelli. I am very grateful for the cast, the crew, and the amazing story that will serve my memory for years to come.

Afterwards, I immediately went back to my immersive work. I did some writing and directing for "Raktor" in San Francisco, a Virtual Reality improvisational theatre company focused on expanding the horizons of live entertainment. We would invite a small audience to our studio based in downtown SF, then select one individual to wear the VIVE headset that would allow them to see the digital environment around them. Then, an actor on stage being filmed by a Kinect Camera would appear in the headset as a digital character (a pirate, wizard, robot, monster, etc...) What's more, individuals watching the show being streamed online were able to control certain characters within the environment and participate in the narrative themselves. The whole thing was a whirlwind of fascinating, ambitious, innovative work.

Two days ago I began rehearsals at 42nd Street Moon in San Francisco to work on "The New Girl in Town", the Tony-Award Winning musical from the 1950s based off of Eugene O'Neill's "Anna Christie." I play Matt, the Irish sailor with a heart of gold, the temper of a devil, and voice of an angel ;) I am really excited about the project, and the cast is stellar. Look out for our opening on March 29th.

A Packed Season at Flat Rock Playhouse

Greetings from North Carolina! I am currently in rehearsals for an amazing production of "A Christmas Carol" at Flat Rock Playhouse where I am playing Fred, Scrooge's cheery nephew. This is a return to the the theatre after having played Jack in "The Importance of Being Earnest" two months ago to rave reviews

In-between these two shows I had the pleasure of directing "A Few Good Men" at Hillbarn Theatre which was met with great acclaim. In addition, I was able to work on another immersive passion project with Come Out and Play at Fort Mason in San Francsico: an urban journey involving one on one interactions and audience choice making in a dynamic environment. 

At the conclusion of "Carol," I'll be returning to the Bay Area to start working on "Crimes of the Heart" as Barnette with Theatreworks Silicon Valley - a Theatre that I have admired ever since I was a child. I am brimming with excitement, and very grateful for a packed year filled with back to back work.

Stay tuned for more exciting news coming down the pipeline!

An "Immersive Oklahoma" Begins a Packed Summer...

Last weekend's opening night of "Oklahoma!" at Broadway by the Bay saw packed crowds and ecstatic reviews. Such an incredible re-imagining of a classical musical piece all thanks to incredible staff and cast - I really could not be more proud.

This week I went into casting for my next piece to be directed; "A Few Good Men" at Hillbarn Theatre. The show has huge promise and fantastic potential... I am very excited! Look out for the production coming out in September.

Meanwhile, I am just about to begin packing my bags to head back out to the incredible Flatrock Playhouse in North Carolina for "The Importance of Being Earnest". I am terribly honored to rejoin this amazing team, and in such a terrific role! What's more - this will only be the first part of my season there before I return once again for "A Christmas Carol" in the Winter. More to come on that later...

Also, heading up in the Fall is the long awaited opening of The Speakeasy! Tickets just became available for the show's opening on August 12th - make sure you don't miss this amazingly innovative opening that is sure to become a San Franciscan hallmark. More immersive theatre goodies to come soon, so keep your ears open!

Berkley Playhouse Presents: "Bridges"

Going into previews tonight for the new musical called "Bridges." It's been an absolute pleasure to tell this story and live the vibrant lives of these characters... You can find tickets and info here or read the write up of the show in the SF Chronicle here.

In April I begin rehearsals directing a new interpretation of Oklahoma! with Broadway by the Bay which recently won 7 (that's right - 7) TBA nominations for the West Side Story that I worked on over the summer. 

There are also lots of exciting immersive activities cooking up with Speakeasy... tune in for more info as they unfold!

California Living...

Been here in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past two months now and life has been full and wonderfully busy.

I am currently teaching with SF Shakes and Cal Shakes and really enjoying both of those experiences while also teaching workshops for SJSU in both Meisner and Michael Chekov work.

In addition - I am working with Ray of Light Theatre Co. on their production of "Heathers: The Musical" as well as Assistant Directing and Fight Directing Broadway by the Bay's production of "West Side Story" in the beautiful Fox Theatre in Redwood City.

I also think I'm going to start using this blog to talk about my life in the Producer track...

Being away from my lovely FloodLight Productions back home in New York, I have teamed up with Epic Immersive and the talented Steven Boyle to help him build and construct an experience called "Matthew Briar and the Age of Resurrection", a one-day massive-scaled experience in three acts which is sure to awe and amaze anyone lucky enough to take part. In addition, I have been collaborating and working with Nick Olivero with Boxcar Theatre to help him build the second iteration of "The Speakeasy", an illicit immersive underground theatrical experience.

Life in New York

Been an eventful time being back here in New York City. I just had a really successful opening of "On the Rocks": a fun evening of sketch comedy and improvisation. I also really enjoyed being part of the staged reading of one of Dano Madden's new plays with Project Y as well as workshopped a new piece of Tim Erickson's of Boomerang Theatre.

Exciting things coming up for the summer!

One Man Two Guvnors

After working for the month of July on the short film, "Faith" in New York City I have now arrived in Fayetteville, AR to begin rehearsals for "One Man Two Guvnors" with TheatreSquared directed by the immensely talented Amy Herzberg. I play Stanley, a zany, posh, sexually explicit maniac… should be great fun. Runs August 28th through September 21st. More at http://theatre2.org/one-man-two-guvnors

After a long nine months...

Here I am having finished my time at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival now with my brand new equity card in hand. 

I could not have asked for a better time there; I played Peter in our "Taming of the Shrew" (u/s Petruchio) and Titus in "Timon of Athens" (u/s Apemantus), as well as understudied the title character in "The Great Gatsby"

I was also given the privilege of acting in this season's Southern Writers Project where I played the hunky Rodney in the new play "Spiritual Bliss" directed by Amy Herzberg.

Alabama Shakespeare Festival

I'm now a month into my nine month contract here at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery. It is an honor and a privilege to work with such an esteemed and large regional theatre. The facilities are mind-blowing, and the staff is warm and welcoming.
 
My time here started off by playing Mercutio from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Coming up next is Christmas Carol where I will be playing Young Scrooge and understudying both Bob Cratchet and Ebenezer Scrooge himself. Shortly thereafter I will be playing the lead in the upcoming children's musical: "Goodnight Moon".
 
After that, ASF will begin their Rep season!! More updates to come...

Inaugural Summer - NYC

MFA in hand, I have hit the road into New York City at a running pace.
 
Thrilled about representation under Meg Pantera, along with Paradigm Commercial - I have come into New York immediately working on three projects. Having just finished a workshop production; "Sex Tips" directed by Stephen Brackett with Matt Murphy Productions, as well as "Bloomsday," directed by Angelo Fraboni, I am now able to focus on Sir Andrew Aguecheek in "Twelfth Night" at Mile Square Theatre under the direction of Chris O'Conner.

For more info on the show, check here