Born in Seattle, WA, Bruce Dow is an American/Canadian actor, best known for his four 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 LGBTQ 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.
Bruce returns to Broadway this coming season in Diana, a new musical previewing March 2nd and opening March 31st at the historic Longacre Theatre. 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 new musical will mark Bruce’s 5th appearance in a featured role on Broadway.
He is also a professional stage director, a produced composer/lyricist/librettist, and an experience 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.
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 the late John Barton of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Dow made his Broadway debut in Jane Eyre at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, and has appeared since 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. In the winter of 2011, Jesus Christ Superstar transferred to Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre (where Dow had previously appeared in The Music Man) from the La Jolla Playhouse (where Dow had previously appeared in the pre-Broadway run of Jane Eyre). Dow received positive reviews for his comedic, yet surprisingly serious, performance as the decadent despot. The show closed July 1, 2012, with Dow still as Herod.
Known for his critically acclaimed, non-traditional interpretations of well-known roles, Dow has appeared as the “Emcee” in Cabaret, directed by Amanda Dehnert; “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 later in Washington, DC by Helen Hayes Award winner Alan Paul.
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 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. His 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.
In 2005, he recorded his debut CD Lucky to Be Me. In 2008, he released a second CD Keepin’ Out Of Mischief.
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, LGBTQ+ youth and mental health.