Diana, a new musical was in previews on Broadway, and was set to open March 31st, 2020, at the historic Longacre Theatre — when Broadway and the world shut down.. The musical, which chronicles the married life of the late Diana Spencer – the world’s favourite princess – is being helmed by the creative teams behind the ®Tony Award winning Come From Away and Memphis. Diana, a true musical story will mark Bruce’s 5th appearance in a featured role on Broadway.
A year later, and while Broadway is yet to return, through the herculean efforts of the show’s producers, Beth Williams and Frank Marshall, the company of Diana, a new musical was brought together in one of the largest-ever Covid-19 health and safety projects — to record the Original Cast Album, and to film the show for release on Netflix, sometime in 2021.
Born in Seattle, WA, Bruce Dow is an American/Canadian actor, best known for his 5 featured roles on Broadway; his 12 seasons in leading roles at the Stratford Festival; and his Dora Award Winning performances at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, the world’s largest and longest running LGBTQ2IA+ theatre. He also has a surprise fan base for voicing the character of Max in Total Drama Pahkitew Island, and for his appearances on Rick Mercer Reports and Murdoch Mysteries.
For the Festival Players of Prince Edward County (Artistic Director, Graham Abbey), Bruce is the Director of the Academy for Young Actor Training – an intensive training program for young artists already enrolled in a college/university or conservatory training program. The Academy for Young Actor Training has its roots in heightened text work, based largely on the practices of the Stratford Festival, the National Theatre School of Canada, and of the late John Barton of the Royal Shakespeare Company, with whom Bruce studied.
Dow made his Broadway debut in Jane Eyre at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, and since has appeared on Broadway in The Music Man, Anything Goes (a benefit for Lincoln Center Theater) and most recently as “King Herod” in the 2012 ®Tony Nominated Best Revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. Bruce received positive reviews for his comedic, yet surprisingly complex/serious interpretation of the decadent despot.
Known for his critically acclaimed, non-traditional interpretations of well-known roles, Dow has appeared as the “Emcee” in Cabaret, directed by Amanda Dehnert; as “the Baker” in Into The Woods, directed by Peter Hinton; and as “Pseudolus” in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum directed at Stratford by multiple ®Tony Award winner, Des McAnuff — and again in Washington, DC directed by Helen Hayes Award Winner, Alan Paul and choreographed by Broadway’s Josh Rhodes.
In 2011, appeared as Trinculo in The Tempest, starring ®Academy Award Winner, Christopher Plummer. The production debuted at the Stratford Festival, was later filmed and has been shown as a “live broadcast” in cinemas across the United States and Canada.
In 2013, he won his first Dora Mavor Moore Award as Best Actor, Musical, for his portrayal of pop-fashion icon “Leigh Bowery” in Of a Monstrous Child: A Gaga Musical, for which he also received the Toronto Theatre Critics Association Award as Best Actor, Musical. He won his second Dora Mavor Moore Award, for Outstanding Performance – Play, in 2014 for his portrayal of “Larry/Harry/Garry/Barry” in the world premiere of Tim Luscombe’s controversial play, PIG for Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.
In 2014 he was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award as Best Actor, Resident Musical, for the role of “Pseudolus” in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, for the Tony Award Winning Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. Also in DC, he played “F” in Mike Barlett’s COCK for the Studio Theatre. The production won the Helen Hayes Award for Best Production.
His 4th and latest Dora Mavor Moore Award nomination was for his performance as Timothy Sweetman in Dr Silver: A Celebration of Life, a new Canadian musical by Britta and Anika Johnson, presented by Outside The March and The Musical Stage Company in Toronto in 2018.
DIRECTOR & COMPOSER/LYRICIST
He is also an experienced Director, a produced Composer/Lyricist/Librettist, and a trained Theatre Educator specializing in Heightened Text work (Shakespeare and Musical Theatre Performance). He has taught Sessionally and as Guest Lecturer as colleges and universities across North America including: The National Theatre School of Canada, The Stratford Festival Department of Professional Theatre Training (now the Birmingham Conservatory), the Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University, Sheridan College and the Randolph College for the Performing Arts – to name a few.
His latest work as a Director has been seen at The National Arts Centre of Canada, The Festival Players of Prince Edward County, The Charlottetown Festival, at the Toronto Fringe Festival, and across North America in the BroadwayWorld/Toronto Best Independent Production Award winning production of “Thank You for Being a Friend”.
As a Composer/Lyricist/Librettist, Bruce currently has 3 works in development at major theatres across North America. His musical adaptation of the classic holiday fairy tales by Oscar Wilde, Wilde Tales, debuted at the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre Company. B!TCH ISLAND, the musical! with book writer Matthew MacFadzean won BEST OF FRINGE, CRITICS CHOICE, AUDIENCE CHOICE, and BEST OF VENUE at the Hamilton Fringe Festival.
A graduate of the University of British Columbia, Bruce holds both a BFA in Acting and an MFA in Directing, minor in Theatre History. In addition to his work in Prince Edward County, Bruce recently launched Dow Workshops as a means of offering Master Classes and Intensives in a variety of subjects in both New York and Toronto.
RECORDINGS & CABARET
In 2005, he recorded his debut CD Lucky to Be Me. In 2008, he released a second CD Keepin’ Out Of Mischief. He has just released a compilation of highlights from both albums, The Best of Bruce Dow.
A member of MACNyc, Bruce is known for his intimate and personal cabaret performances including A Funny Proposition – a cabaret/vaudeville of my middle years, and Beautiful Things – a concert for the season, now in it’s third year.
Dow is openly gay (non-binary, gender queer – open to all pronouns) and speaks often on issues of sexuality, sexual health, gender-identity, LGBTQ2IA+ youth and mental health.