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5 minutes with a Tony nominee: ‘Stereophonic’’s Will Brill

Listen as the 2024 Tony Award nominee describes the adventure of “Stereophonic,” learning to play the bass for this role and the destiny of meeting his character at the right time.

Will Brill attends the 77th Annual Tony Awards Meet The Nominees Press Event at Sofitel New York on May 2, 2024, in New York City. (Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

Will Brill has built a career acting in weighty plays and classics. He made his Broadway debut 10 years ago in Lincoln Center Theater’s “Act One” and followed that up the next year with a turn in the 2015 revival of “You Can’t Take It With You.” Brill later took on the role of Ali Hakim in the 2019 revival of “Oklahoma!” More recently, he starred in meaty works of drama: the Off-Broadway two-hander “A Case for the Existence of God” and the loft-set Off-Off-Broadway production of “Uncle Vanya.”

Now, Brill sinks his teeth into another substantial piece of theater with “Stereophonic.” The play by David Adjmi follows a band circa 1976 as they attempt to create and record their second album. Brill plays the band’s bassist, Reg — and, yes, he and his fellow castmates play their instruments live each night. The performance earned Brill his first Tony Award nomination.

With Tony-nominated songs by Will Butler and Tony-nominated orchestrations by Butler and Justin Craig, “Stereophonic” presented a challenge unlike any Brill has attempted. In this episode of “5 minutes with a Tony nominee,” Brill talks about learning to play the bass, his cherished opening-night gift from producers Sue Wagner and John Johnson and making a monologue that seems impossible on the page flow onstage. 

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