Brendan Ragan - Theatre Artist
Originally from Colorado, I've been a professional theatre artist for 20 years. From my very first professional opportunity as an acting apprentice at Colorado Shakespeare Festival through my current role as producer and Artistic Director of Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, I've followed an intense, insatiable joy found in theatrical storytelling all over the country.
As a founding Co-Artistic Director of Urbanite Theatre, a passion for new works and unearthing the next generation of important theatrical voices in America guided the production of more than 50 professional plays, three new play festivals, and countless developmental workshops and staged readings. I've been a staunch advocate for changing the working standards in professional theatre. By eliminating 10 out of 12s, instituting a 5-day work week, raising wages, and leveling the playing field between union and non-union actors, I've enacted commonsense changes in an industry that is still fighting for equitable workplaces.
As a millennial, I'm dedicated to investigating big questions about identity, love, culture and authority. With the world at our fingertips, I believe it's vital theatremakers remain committed to telling stories that dare us to engage in messy battles, adventurous themes and complex human conflicts.
I started my career as a producer as a founding member of Baltimore's Single Carrot Theatre, where I learned on the ground level what is required to produce effective, provocative plays that can start the conversations that change communities.
I believe deeply in the power of developing empathy through shared experience, and I think there is no better way to entertain, engage and ignite a community than by sharing real space through live theatre. It's not the theatre's job to tell us what to think or feel, but rather to help us uncover the new ideas that will shape the world we live in.
MFA, Acting - FSU/Asolo Conservatory
BFA, Theatre performance - University of Colorado at Boulder
Best of Baltimore, Regional/Resident Theatre, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Red Light Winter)
Theatre Tampa Bay Awards, Outstanding Solo Performance (An Iliad)
Best New Theatre Company, Sarasota Magazine
Best Ensemble, 2017 Sarasota Herald-Tribune Handy Awards (Ideation)
Localpreneurs of The Year, Sarasota Magazine
Best Director, 2019 Sarasota Herald-Tribune Handy Awards (Reckless)
OPINION: Why theatre must change its bad habits by Brendan Ragan,
Staging a Revolution by Phil Lederer, The Toadstool
Urbanite Theatre Creates Immersive Safe House by Jay Handelman, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Safe House by Brendan Ragan by Valerie Lipscomb, Theatre Journal - Johns Hopkins University Press
Bradenton Times Podcast, Episode 11: Actor/Director Brendan Ragan
Suncoast Culture Club Podcast: Brendan Ragan, Co-Artistic Director