BOSTON — “I was always being annoying and singing Disney songs.” And so began 19-year-old Bryan Daley’s theatrical journey.
Daley, a sophomore at Suffolk University, is currently performing in the Suffolk Theater Department’s production of Hair: the American Tribal Rock-Love Musical. Hair depicts the era of the Vietnam War, and the youthful hippies who fought so hard for their bohemian lifestyle and against the war. Daley’s role, Berger, is a challenging role, one that is both dynamic and extremely demanding.
“Berger is a big cynic, but very sincere at the same time,” said Daley.
When trying to tap into the mind of Berger, Daley said he just put himself in Berger’s position. “I think about how I would distract my friends during a time of need, a time of war-distract them to see the joys of life, rather than the sorrows.”
While this is Daley’s first time playing Berger, he is certainly no stranger to the stage. He began acting at eight years old in his hometown in upstate New York. At the time, a friend of the family mentioned that a local community theater company was putting on a production of The King and I and needed children to act as the Royal Children. Many auditioned, but Daley was cast as one out of 12 children in the show. Daley had fun throughout the production, and continued acting.
In fourth grade, he was cast in the local high school’s production of The Sound of Music, as the show required a few young children. “Things just kind of snowballed from there, I guess,” said Daley.
With the support of his family, Daley continued acting all throughout high school, starting off with mostly musicals, but moving onto plays around the age of 16 or 17.
His parents’ support was a big help. “They were great when I was young, always driving me all over the place,” said Daley. Their support continues to be offered even now, in Daley’s college years. “They love coming to see the shows,” he said.
Daley’s early experiences have proven to be very fruitful, as they have pushed him in the direction of his career path. Daley is currently double majoring in Theater and Public Relations. His ultimate dream would be to own his own theater company in New York one day.
For now, his more practical goals lay in arts administration, perhaps working in marketing or development within a theater company. Daley credits Suffolk for giving him the opportunity to incorporate both his interests into his education so strongly.
He noted that while many schools are more restricting, Suffolk makes it feasible for students to pursue two degrees, if they are willing to work for it, calling Suffolk “a school for real people.”
Active in Theater Dept.
Daley’s theatrical experience at Suffolk extends well beyond Hair. He has been very active throughout the Theater Department over the last two years in many ways.
Theater Department Chair, Marilyn Plotkins, first heard of him because he was an honors student.
“A faculty administrator told me that he was special, and to keep an eye on him,” recalls Plotkins. Soon after, he proved that to be true, acting in last year’s production of Candide, in which Plotkins says, “he was a real standout.”
While his performances in the Theater Department are certainly noticeable, performing is not his only calling.
“It was surprising that, while he was so clearly a gifted performer, he decided to do stage management,” said Plotkins. Daley has served as stage manager for a number of productions in the department. According to Plotkins, Daley is a real leader, not only doing his job well, but contributing so much to the process as a role model for the other stage managers, also.
“We were dazzled to see an equal level of commitment to production,” said Plotkins.
Outside of the theater
Daley’s accomplishments extend outside of the Theater Department, as well. He is currently the business manager of The Ramifications, Suffolk’s a Capella singing group. He is also a member of the Suffolk Honors Program, and will serve as an Orientation Leader this summer and, most recently, was nominated as Suffolk’s Sophomore Student of the Year.
He manages to not only take part in so many activities, but also to excel in them. Fellow cast-member and peer, Kaitlyn Flynn, claims she is not able to understand how he does everything so well.
“He works so hard, is always pulling it off, never complains and is always willing to put himself on the line to make everyone else look good,” said Flynn. “You know, he can sing his harmony and my harmony like the back of his hand.”
One might guess that such a gifted student would be one to draw attention to himself and his achievements, but Daley is anything but. His presence in the Suffolk community, offstage, radiates a genuine and unassuming nature.
“For someone who has such a broad range of gifts, Bryan is remarkably unselfish, good-natured, and modest,” said Plotkins. “He is always thinking of what he can do to help, how he can contribute to the cause.”
His fellow peers find him to be as good a friend as he is a performer.
“He is an awesome friend,” says Brittany Wynne, a close friend and peer, “He would do anything for you, and is also hilarious.”
Flynn, who is also a close friend of Daley’s, was more than impressed upon meeting with him, even for the first time.
“I had a crush on him when I first met him,” she said. “I thought he was so gorgeous.” But as Flynn became closer with him, she found there was more to Daley than looks and talent.
“Bryan listens to what you have to say, and doesn’t try to be right,” she said, “He always seems to understand where you’re coming from.”
Bryan Daley has made quite an impact on the Suffolk community, whether he is working onstage, offstage, or just being a friend. With the combination of his sincere persona and his broad reservoir of talent, Daley will continue to rise in whichever direction he decides to go. Those around him will continue to watch him reach his goals, and maybe, one day, he will be seen heading that big theater company on Broadway.