SEPTEMBER 26 - 29, 2019


This event was presented on Sept 25, 2016

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Brian Dennehy Master Class

Brian Dennehy Master Class

Watch one of America's leading actors explore the craft of acting in this one-of-a-kind lesson on how discoveries are made on stage.

featuring Tony Award-winning actor
Brian Dennehy
with Festival actors & students


Provincetown, MA

Ever wondered what an actor does, or how they do it? Brian Dennehy is a master at the intangible craft of acting, honed over a lifetime. Now he wants to share what he has learned.

In this fun, improvisatory session, Dennehy will work with several actors on monologues and scenes. Their discoveries will become yours.

You'll meet a variety of local and Festival actors, as well as students just embarking on their careers. Don't miss this exciting opportunity to learn alongside one of the most accomplished Eugene O'Neill actors of our time.

"Brian Dennehy — a damn good actor to begin with —
enters the pantheon of theatrical gods."
— Talkin' Broadway

About Brian Dennehy

Brian Dennehy L-R by Mike Piscitelli - Death of A Salesman - Desire Under the Elms - Long Days Journey into Night

"The theatre business has allowed me, in a way the movie and TV business has not, to do very, very interesting work...
I can do things in the theatre that I can't do anyplace else."

- Brian Dennehy (in a 2010 interview with Rebecca Palmore for the Chicago Tribune)


Brian Dennehy has won two Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Play for his roles on Broadway in Death of a Salesman in 1999 and in Long Day’s Journey Into Night in 2003. Both productions originated at the Goodman Theatre and were directed by Robert Falls. Death of a Salesman also earned Dennehy a Laurence Olivier Award when the production transferred to London.

Variety described Dennehy’s Willie Loman as “touching ... Dennehy gives palpable and, at times, almost unbearable truth to the words.” Of his performance as James Tyrone, Ben Brantley wrote in The New York Times: “Mr. Dennehy … is especially good at evoking the memory of the erotic ties that bind Tyrone to Mary,” and Variety reported that “Dennehy’s James Tyrone is distinguished by its intelligent understatement — there is little of the hollow ham in his warm, compassionate reading of this character.”

An acclaimed stage, television, and film actor, Dennehy — now 77 —  was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut to an Irish Roman Catholic family. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1959 and served active duty on Okinawa, Japan in 1963. He attended Columbia University before moving on to Yale to study dramatic arts.

Dennehy has appeared in more than 60 films and 70 television roles. His breakthrough film role came in 1982, when he played the obsessive sheriff Will Teasle opposite Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo in First Blood. He has appeared in both comedies and dramas over the years, including 10, Silverado, Cocoon, Presumed Innocent, Best Seller, Tommy Boy, Ratatouille, and The Next Three Days.

For his work in television movies, Dennehy has been nominated for six Emmy Awards, including for his performance as John Wayne Gacy in To Catch a Killer, for Our Fathers, which addressed the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, and most recently in 2000 for his television performance as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman — a role which he had performed on Broadway, and which earned him a Golden Globe Award.

On stage, Dennehy has performed around the world, frequently within the Chicago theater scene. In 1992, he appeared in The Iceman Cometh at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. He made his Broadway debut in 1995 in Brian Friel’s Translations. He returned to Broadway in 2007 in Inherit the Wind opposite Christopher Plummer, and in 2009 opposite Carla Gugino in a revival of O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms. At the 2008 Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Dennehy appeared in All's Well That Ends Well, Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape, and O'Neill's Hughie. He joined the cast of The Iceman Cometh at the Goodman Theatre in 2012, as well as in the Goodman’s 2015 revival of the show at the BAM Harvey Theater in New York.

Denney was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2010.

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