Frank Farrell

Date of birth: July 16, 1957

Place of birth: Bronx, NY

Education: Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Ridgewood, N.J. - grade school

Benjamin Franklin, Ridgewood, N.J. - Jr. high school (9th grade)

Ridgewood High School, Ridgewood, N.J. - high school (10th - 12th)

American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NYC on Saturdays in 1974

Circle in the Square Acting Classes, NYC on Saturdays in 1975

Adelphi University, Garden City, NY - 1975 through 1977 Drama Studio London, England - 1977 & 1978

Factors influencing choice of a theatrical career: Father was a singer and I always wanted to become a performer, a film actor in particular.

Theatrical mentors and the nature of their importance to your development as an artist:

Mr. Russell - Jr high drama teacher and director, cast me in my first play and turned me on to improv.

Jack Boyle - High school drama teacher and director, directed me in many productions and was a very high caliber theatre instructor.

Margaret Leary - singing teacher in Glen Rock, NJ from 1974 - 1980 - pretty much taught me how to sing.

Jacques Burdick - Director and teacher at Adelphi University, turned me on to mime, which has had a huge impact in my performing and directing career.

Patrick Tucker - Shakespeare instructor at the Drama studio, London, introduced to me a way of working on Shakespeare's text that was like a lighting bolt of understanding. So much of what I have done in theatre stems from his teachings.

Paul Sills - co-found of Second City and founder of Story Theatre, the theatrical format. Paul arrived in my life at a perfect time, it seems. Watching the way he worked helped me to put together many of the ideas I was working on in theatre presentation leading up to 1981's formation of the Free Shakespeare Company, Chicago's first year round Shakespeare Company.

Professional theatrical debut: April 1976, Jesus Christ Superstar

Reasons for choosing to work in Chicago: Housing and expenses were fairly affordable in Chicago for a young actor just starting out in comparison to New York City, where I had been always thinking I would live and work. I came West for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival in the summer of 1979. One of the directors of the three plays that summer I appeared in was Chicago director Michael Maggio. In the end, he advised me to try Chicago and I did. I have lived and worked here ever since. Source: E-mail, July 10, 2007

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