Overdue update, Steppenwolf understudy gig, and big news

First off, I will be changing hosts for this site in the near future, so if anyone is actually following it you may see some interruption, but I hope to keep it to a minimum. Second, it has been a busy year since I have posted and more has happened than I can readily post about. Short summary of professional work: continued on as the understudy on Disgraced when it moved to Berkeley Rep, understudied two roles in Othello at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, shot a SAG New Media Pilot, and got an understudy job at Steppenwolf Theatre in Visiting Edna--a world premiere by David Rabe.

The details on the rest of the news will have to wait, but the nugget is that we welcomed Oscar O'Malley and Jacob Michael, identical twin boys, into the world quite prematurely on March 16. Everyone is doing well.

Award Win!

The short I was in last year, "Through the Trees," has been awarded Best Short at the Illinois International Film Festival. The festivals and, I hope, the awards continue!

Spring in the Windy City at Windy City Playhouse!

Starting this week I will be understudying at Windy City Playhouse in their inaugural production in the role of Arthur in END DAYS, directed by Henry Godinez. This is a really cool new venue that is going to change the way we think about performance spaces in Chicago and the kind of event that an evening of theater can be. Don't miss it! This coincides with the end of my understudy of two tracks in the Short Shakespeare! Macbeth with Chicago Shakespeare Theater. This has been an invaluable experience with fantastically talented people across the board. looking forward to much more work with them! Indeed, they called me in to audition for next season already.

Last but not least, I have a new Twitter account. Find me there: @stearns_dan.

More voiceover, more Shakespeare

I have added another in a perhaps budding niche in voiceover, that of voicing real historical military men. This time it is CPL Louis Budz of Chicago, a soldier who participated in the Italian Campaign in WWII. My voice in his words will be featured in the film portion of the permanent exhibit on the Italian Campaign in the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. In Shakespeare news, I will be understudying the Short Shakespeare! MACBETH at Chicago Shakespeare Theater in Winter 2015.

In more Shakespeare news, I have nice-quality video of the production of Julius Caesar at Henley Street Theatre in Richmond, VA, April 2013. Look for clips on the Other Video page on this site.

Summer is heating up!

It was a cold spring, but summer is finally heating up. Shot a commercial for Briarcliffe College last week. And in general commercial auditions are accelerating. Many theater auditions and callbacks including Chicago Shakespeare, Shattered Globe, Victory Gardens, First Folio, and Timeline. Looking to book that first show of the fall season.

And in other news, the short "Through the Trees" is finished and looking good. It will be submitted to fall festivals. As soon as it is formally released I will get a scene of it into a recut of my demo.

Also, I will be the voice of Maj. Abner Small of the 16th Maine Volunteers in the new National Museum of the United States Army.

Shorts and student film

Been working quite a bit on shorts and student films since I got back to Chicago. Always pleased by the dedication and competence of student filmmakers in this town. It's a credit to our great educational institutions. Just booked one that will shoot in April and have one more scene to go on another.

Sword fighting!

Just got back from a tremendous six days of stage combat training with MACE including their Advanced Combat Intensive, run by Drew Fracher and Chuck Coyl, as well as the annual SAFD-sanctioned Winter Wonderland Workshop. Fighting and acting all day long every day, including SPRs (Skills Proficiency Renewal) with a recommended pass in both sword & shield and quarterstaff. This was my first big SAFD workshop and I could not have asked for more. Can't wait for the next. I am now current in six weapons, with a recommended pass in rapier & dagger and single sword, plus a basic pass in broadsword and unarmed.

Update (2/5/14): Check out a few of the photos from the week in the Stage Combat page on the menu.

First booking back in Chicago

Off to St. Louis this weekend to shoot a commercial for SSM Health Care, my first booking since returning to Chicago. Had a few callbacks and put on avail twice, but nailed this one.

In theater I have understudy auditions at Victory Gardens and Goodman. Waiting to hear from them.

Back in Chicago!

Susan and I are back in Chicago and I am rarin' to get to work. It was a ball driving that truck all the way, though I could have passed on trying to back into the alley.


Before I left I had a great day of shooting on "Killing Kennedy" with Nelson McCormick directing and Will Rothhaar playing Lee Harvey Oswald.

CAESAR Reviews!

Off to a great start with JULIUS CAESAR in RVA with Henley Street Theatre.  Great reviews so far.  Here are the highlights.

"Shakespeare’s most complex character from Julius Caesar, Brutus...is performed with nuance and distinction by Dan Stearns. Stearns aptly portrays Brutus’s inner conflict and dignity as he is unwittingly drawn into Cassius’s scheme to overthrow the honorable Caesar, his best friend. His quiet monologue, followed by the poignant interplay with Portia, is wrenching".--Susanna Wu-Pong, Richmond Family Magazine

"Brutus is played by Dan Stearns who also appeared in God Of Carnage, and here he is the soul of the state. Stearns’ brutal honesty and sensitive portrayal gives a strong focus on the rebellious senators and his performance is great to watch."--John Porter, WCVE Public Radio

"In my favorite moment in the play, Brutus, played brilliantly by Dan Stearns, summons his servant, Lucius to sing to him as he goes to sleep. Brutus, struggling with the difficult choices he faces, is lulled into a calm slumber."--Julie Clayton, GAYRVA.com

"The top-flight actors in Henley Street’s production hammer home this grim landscape of unstable allegiances and shifty-eyed bravado by delivering Shakespeare’s script in bold, natural American accents.--Tony Farrell, Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Though the play might bear Caesar's name, it's fundamentally about Brutus' decisions and their consequences. As Brutus, Stearns skillfully portrays the character's inner conflict, struggling to reconcile his love for Caesar with the duty he feels toward his country."--Rich Griset, Style Weekly

"As the conflicted Brutus, Dan Stearns weaves a thread of exhausted decency through his performance, even in the iconic moment when he joins in on the murder of a man he once called his friend."--Liz Jewett, Richmond.com

Winter in the Hamptons

After a thrilling time performing Claudius in the bootleg Hamlet with Henley Street Theatre, I am settled in Sag Harbor, NY for two months. We begin rehearsals next weekend for Macbeth with Round Table Theatre Company and Academy in East Hampton.

Here's the info:

Macbeth by William Shakespeare
at LTV Studios, 75 Industrial Rd., Wainscott
Directed by Tristan Vaughan

        Preview: January 10, 2013
        Performances: January 11-20, 2013
            Fridays & Saturdays, 8 pm
            Sundays, 2 pm
        One school performance TBA

LTV also plans to record the production for broadcast.

Round Table Theatre Company and Academy is a new production and teaching venture founded by Morgan Duke (Sturges) Vaughan and Tristan Vaughan to bring a renewal of classical theatre to the Hamptons. This will be their first full-length production. They currently offer Shakespeare classes, workshops, and readings at Guild Hall in East Hampton.