PERFORMANCE

I’m a Bronx bred, SF Bay Area based actor who loves to sing, cook, and laugh — best case scenario is doing all three at once.

I studied Theater at Oberlin College and CAP21. While in New York, I performed in world premiere musicals as part of the Midtown Theater Festival and the New York Musical Theater Festival. I’ve also been fortunate to collaborate primarily on new works with an amazing community of talented artists at local and Regional organizations including ACT, Asian American Theater Company, Bay Area Children’s Theater, Berkeley Rep, Bindlestiff Studio, Central Works, Crowded Fire, Golden Thread, Killing My Lobster, KT Comedy, LATC, the Playwrights Foundation, Seattle Rep, and Shotgun Players.

I was a member of the acting company of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) from 2015 – 2018. In addition to OSF, I am also a proud company member of Playground and Ferocious Lotus.

For a full resume, download here: Will Dao Resume 2019.
Represented by: Ashley Wible, Kazarian/Measures/Ruskin & Associates, (818) 769-9111

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I’d love for you to join me at an upcoming show:

2019

NOW PLAYING:

King of the Yees by Lauren Yee – Bay Area Premiere
JANUARY 22, 2019 – MARCH 2, 2019
San Francisco Playhouse, directed by Joshua Kahan Brody
San Francisco, CA

“…the supporting cast, under the direction of Joshua Kahan Brody, offer a banquet of comic morsels…Will Dao as the ‘model ancestor’ — a figure to whom the Yee family traces its origins, here rendered as a drag queen, complete with headdress featuring what look like flaccid, flopping spatulas — so elongates the vowel sound in the word ‘OK’ that you feel the weight of centuries of Yee generations.” Lily Janiak, SF Chronicle

“The cast is superb… Will Dao is also priceless in a wide variety of roles, including an amusingly camp ancient ancestor.” Sam Hurwitt, Mercury News

“Get ready for brilliant actors playing multiple parts…  Each actor has room to steal this show, including Actor 3 (Will Dao), who comes out of the audience to play several terrific roles, including the dancing lion and a Lum elder.” SF Theater Blog

“Shifting characters quickly, Apostal, Tagatac, and Dao make the stage seem as crowded as Stockton Street on a weekend…the cast and crew create an energetically absurd spectacle that still grabs hard at the heart.” Nicole Gluckstern, KQED

“The program listing of Jomar Tagatac as Actor 1, Rinabeth Apostol as Actor 2  and Will Dao as actor 3 is deceptive, because these three versatile and extremely talented actors play many roles.” Elaine Elinson, 48hills

“As Actors 1, 2, and 3, Jomar Tagatac, Rinabeth Apostol, and Will Dao, respectively, rule the day time and again in the many roles and side scenes that they are called upon to populate.” Eddie Reynolds, Theatre Eddys


PAST PRODUCTIONS

2018

Snow in Midsummer by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig – U.S. Premiere
AUGUST 2, 2018 – OCTOBER 27, 2018
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, directed by Justin Audibert
Ashland, OR

“Extraordinary acting from Will Dao, Monique Holt, Cristofer Jean, Natusoko Ohama, James Ryen, Daisuke Tsuji, Moses Villarama and Roman Zaragoza — all robustly talented members of Actors Equity — makes for an almost totally fulfilling evening of theater, provided you have the stomach for legitimately alarming performance and imagery. Gird your loins and go — ‘Snow in Midsummer’ is savage, and scintillating, and worth it.” – Jeffrey Gillespie, Ashland Daily Tidings

“Tsuji and Dao work wonderfully together as Handsome Zang and Rocket Wu. What occurs to them in the name of love and the desperate steps one of them takes to help the other are expertly presented by both actors, who are simply sublime and heartbreaking in their roles.” – Bill Choy, The Siskiyou Daily News

“Will Dao brings emotional resonance to his role as Rocket Wu, Handsome’s lover, who just wants to get out of New Harmony.” – DeAnn Welker, Oregon Artswatch

2017

Shakespeare in Love based on the screenplay by Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard, adapted for the stage by Lee Hall – U.S. Premiere
FEBRUARY 18, 2017 – OCTOBER 29, 2017
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, directed by Christopher Liam Moore
Ashland, OR

“With so many strong supporting actors, it’s difficult to find space to pay tribute. Special mention to… Will Dao as the young man slated to play Juliet until a sudden change of voice renders him uproariously unsuitable.” Katherine Hannon, Mail Tribune

“There’s hilarity but also commentary on how love and friendship shape inspiration. The deep cast includes a bus load of comic foils — Brent Hinkley, Will Dao, Kevin Kenerly, Rex Young, K.T. Vogt, Cristofer Jean and Michael Hume…With its multiple delights, the comedy of errors that is ‘Shakespeare In Love’ will spend the season playing to full houses . It’s a play everyone will want to see, and should see.” – Lee Juillerat, Herald and News

The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
JUNE 6, 2017 – OCTOBER 13, 2017
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, directed by Dawn Monique Williams
Ashland, OR

PAST PRODUCTIONS

Vietgone by Qui Nguyen
DECEMBER 2, 2016 – JANUARY 2, 2017
Seattle Repertory Theatre, directed by May Adrales
Seattle, WA

“Will Dao is wonderful mostly playing Quang’s best friend as well as Tong’s little brother she left behind where he delivers a truly beautiful moment getting their mother to go with Tong.” Jay Irwin, Broadway World

MARCH 30, 2016 – OCTOBER 29, 2016
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, directed by May Adrales
Ashland, Oregon

“Dao is also excellent, and is a standout as Nhan. Dao and Ryen shine in their scenes together as two close friends who are both adjusting to life in a new land… A cross country trip the friends take to California by motorcycle is both a comic and dramatic highlight of the production.” Bill Choy, The Siskiyou Daily News

“There’s a lot of doubling (and more) from a strong cast (Will Dao plays four characters, and Amy Kim Waschke and Paco Tolson each play six), as the play roams across a mythic America as Quang’s motorcycle Odyssey seems to trace the old Highway 66 Mother Road.” Bill Varble, Mail Tribune

“The ensemble surrounding the principal players is solid and exemplary. Will Dao, Paco Tolson and Amy Kim Waschke all take on upwards of four roles apiece; they are exemplars of professionalism, putting not a foot wrong as they race from character to character, creating an overarching atmosphere of humor and skill that penetrates into the bones of the play.” Jeffrey Gillespie, Ashland Daily Tidings

The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare
JUNE 9, 2016 – OCTOBER 16, 2016
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, directed by Desdemona Chiang
Ashland, Oregon

2015

Antony & Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
JUNE 2, 2015 – OCTOBER 9, 2015
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, directed by Bill Rauch
Ashland, Oregon

Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land by Stan Lai – U.S. Premiere
APRIL 15, 2015 – OCTOBER 31, 2015
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, directed by Stan Lai
Ashland, Oregon

The Four Immigrants Manga book & lyrics by Min Kahng – World Premiere
JANUARY 25, 2015
Alchemy Work Musical Theatre Lab, directed by Leslie Martinson
Berkeley, CA

2014

Harry Thaw Hates Everybody by Laurel Meade
OCTOBER 15, 2014 – NOVEMBER 23, 2014
Shotgun Players, directed by M. Graham Smith
Ashby Stage, Berkeley

“As a two silent servants, Will Dao and Michelle Drexler are terrific, as is music director Dolores Duran-Cefalu, pounding out ragtime at the piano.” Jean Schiffman, The San Francisco Examiner

“Rounding out the cast are Will Dao as the butler Poire and Michelle Drexler as the maid Mirabelle. Both give striking presentations in their respective roles. They are delightful in a 15-minute pre-show performance, singing the period pop hits of the day like ‘A Bird in a Gilded Cage’ and ‘I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now.'” – Richard Connema, Talkin’ Broadway

“Even before the show begins, we are treated to period songs sung beautifully by Will Dao and Michelle Drexler, accompanied by terrific pianist Dolores Duran-Cefalu… Sometimes silly, sometimes serious, the talented cast acts, sings, dances and buffoons its way through the sad tale of Nesbit’s lost youth, White’s murder and Thaw’s trial.” Emily Mendel, Berkeleyside

“Musical Director Dolores Duran-Cefalu kicks things off in high gear with bright preshow piano rags and Michelle Drexler and Will Dao’s comically dynamic period pop hits.” Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle

The Crazed adapted by Sally Dawidoff – World Premiere
MAY 17, 2014 – JUNE 22, 2014
Central Works, directed by Gary Graves
Berkeley City Club, Berkeley

At the center of this fine achievement are two very remarkable performances by Will Dao as Jian Wan and Randall Nakano as Professor Yang. As Jian Wan, encountering the various viewpoints and personalities that surround him, Dao is fantastic in his constant adjustments as he is bombarded by new information even as he clings to his passion for classical poetry. He is brilliant and mercurial, physically and verbally graceful, and emotionally alive in all his encounters, each of which is carefully differentiated depending upon with whom he is engaged. It is a performance perhaps best described as Shakespearean in range and impact. ” Charles Kruger, TheatreStorm.com

“Will Dao gave a compelling performance as Jian Wan…” My Cultural Landscape, George Heymont

“Dao masters the role of the mature but politically naïve student. As the center of the story, he interacts strongly with each of the other players, creating a vibrant environment that captures the spirit of their relationships.” Benicia Herald, Elizabeth Warnimont

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon adapted by Min Kahng – World Premiere
FEBRUARY 22, 2014 – MARCH 29, 2014
Bay Area Children’s Theater, directed by Mina Morita
Berkeley, CA

Finalist: OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A PRINCIPAL ROLE IN A MUSICAL – 2o14 Theater Bay Area Awards

2013

Go On Living by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig
NOVEMBER 4, 2013 (@Stanford) & NOVEMBER 12 (@UC Berkeley)
Playwrights Foundation, directed by Mei-Ann Teo
Monday, November 4, 7:30pm at Roble Hall, Stanford UniversityTuesday, November 12, 3pm at Black Box Theater in Zellerbach 7, UC Berkeley

The Shakespeare Bug by Ken Slattery – World Premiere
SEPTEMBER 7, 2013 – SEPTEMBER 28, 2013
Killing My Lobster, directed by M. Graham Smith
Stage Werx, Mission, San Francisco

Best of Playground 17 with plays by Ruben Grijalva, Katie May, Evelyn Jean
Pine, and Jonathan Spector
MAY 9, 2013 -May 26, 2013
Playground, directed by Katja Rivera, Rebecca Ennals, Tracy Ward, and Michael French
Thick House, Potrero Hill, San Francisco

2012

100 Flowers Project by Christopher Chen – World Premiere
OCTOBER 25 2012 – NOVEMBER 17, 2012
Crowded Fire & Playwrights Foundation, directed by Desdemona Chiang
Thick House, Potrero Hill, San Francisco

Mike, Lily and Aidan (Will Dao) are loyal artistic foot-soldiers, though Aidan’s aesthetic purity may be in doubt. These basic character traits blossom richly as their play and the social order go through remarkable permutations…” Rob Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle

“One particularly enthusiastic participant, Aidan (an irrepressible Will Dao) keeps taking things on especially inane tangents, but his ideas are actively nurtured and ideas no matter how out of the blue they seem. The artistic doubletalk during this whole sequence is very funny in itself.” Sam Hurwitt, The Idiolect

Language Rooms by Yussef el Guindi – Los Angeles Premiere
JUNE 3, 2012 – JUNE 24, 2012
Golden Thread Productions & Latino Theater Company, directed by Evren Odcikin
Los Angeles Theatre Center, Los Angeles

– Los Angeles Times Critics Pick

Evren Odcikin directs the outstanding cast of “Language Rooms,” four actors who rise to the challenge of Guindi’s complex material and understand every level of the mind games that his play is built on…the impressive work onstage is more than enough to hold us within the world of Guindi’s terrific play.” Jennie Webb, Backstage 

Thunder Above, Deeps Below by A. Rey Pamatmat – West Coast Premiere
APRIL 12, 2012 – MAY 5, 2012
Bindlestiff Studios, directed by Alan Quismorio
Bindlestiff Studios, San Francisco

“Dao pretty much steals the show as the endearing Gil, providing the majority of the laughs and levity. It’s a monumental task to play a flamboyant transsexual without falling into caricature and it’s Gil’s inherent sweetness prevents this from happening.” Sylvie Kim, Hyphen Magazine

“… Dao was a master throughout the production, especially his solo performance during the cabaret scene at the club Gil was working in. His dance was so precise he nailed a pirouette on stiletto heels. Simply amazing.” Percival Archibal, Examiner.com

Out of Joint by A. Rey Pamatmat – Asian Explosion 2012 Festival
FEBRUARY 10, 2012
Magic Theater, directed by Sean San Jose
Fort Mason, San Francisco

100 Flowers Project by Christopher Chen – Asian Explosion 2012 Festival
FEBRUARY 9, 2012
Magic Theater, directed by Stephen Buescher
Fort Mason, San Francisco

SF Sketchfest in the Mission as part of San Francisco Sketchfest – With KT COMEDY
JANUARY 20 & 26, 2012
Dark Room, San Francisco

2011

Language Rooms by Yussef el Guindi – West Coast Premiere
NOVEMBER 10 – DECEMBER 4, 2011
Thick House, Potrero Hill, San Francisco

KT COMEDY presents
RefleKTions: On the Right Side of the Bay
AUGUST 19-20, 2011
Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Oakland

Belle Province (Beautiful Province) by Clarence Coo
Bay Area Playwrights Festival
JULY 23 & 30, 2011
Thick House, Potrero Hill, San Francisco

One response to “PERFORMANCE

  1. love this. -sexywilla fan

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