Artist of the Month- May- Ryan Dawley

Our Artist of the Month is Ryan Dawley. A local musical theatre performer and band front man who is taking stages by storm across the Kong. Ryan is a theatre artist with plenty of credentials including time on the stages of Korea and NYC before coming to HK. He spends his days as a theatre educator and nights entertaining us. You may have seen him at The Wanch, Miscast and you can catch him later this month in Hong Kong Singers' production of Assassins. Hear what he has to say below...


1. Name, Birthplace, Age
Ryan Dawley, Erie, Pennsylvania (USA), How old do I look?

2. How does where you were raised affect your work?
I wouldn’t say being raised in a suburb of a small city affects my work at all. I will say that the main reason I auditioned for my first musical in High School was to meet girls. Turns out, I wasn’t so bad at performing…or meeting girls. I still try to do both to this day.

3. Where did you train?
Gannon University. It’s a small school in my hometown. I studied Theatre and Communication Arts (TV and Radio Broadcasting).

4. What is your favorite style of theatre? Why?
My favorite style is musical theatre. I guess it’s just what I’ve always done.

5. What was the best show you EVER saw?
I’ve seen a lot of shows, so this is a pretty loaded question. I’d probably say the best show I’ve seen is Gypsy, starring Patti LuPone and Laura Benanti. Those performances just really stood out for me.

6. What was the best show in HK you EVER saw? (You cannot say your own.)
I’ll be honest; I haven’t seen many shows in Hong Kong (yet). I haven’t been here very long and I’ve been consistently working on my own projects. I’d have to say the best one I’ve seen here recently is Brave Heart Theatre’s production of Thinner Than Water. The whole cast was incredibly talented.

7. What piece of work are you the most proud of? (please include photo, if possible)
I’m most proud of when I played Bat Boy in Bat Boy the Musical during University. I had never had a lead role or even sung by myself in front of people before. I was always the chorus boy…and to be honest, I couldn’t sing at all. The week before the cast list came out for that show, I failed to earn a role in my school’s production of Moby Dick: The Musical (yes, it’s a real thing). I guess I was kind of ready to give up on musical theatre as a possible career choice until Bat Boy. I taught myself how to sing by singing along to the cast recording in my car, and then I worked my ass off during the rehearsal process. That show is probably the reason I am still performing today.

8. What is your process like?
The process depends on the show. It changes all the time.

9. What is your dream project?
It’s cliché, but I’d love to play Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys on Broadway.

10. If you could change one thing about the art scene in HK, what would it be?
I’d love to see producers in Hong Kong stop bringing in big shows from out of town. Instead, use that money to produce a big professional show locally. There’s plenty of talent in this city. Why not utilize it?




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