The Kennedy Center

Victoria Clark



Biography

Victoria Clark received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, as well as Joseph Jefferson Award and Drama League honor for her luminous portrayal of protective but domineering mother Margaret Johnson in the critically-acclaimed Craig Lucas-Adam Guettel musical The Light in the Piazza at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater. Her virtuoso performance in the Tony Award-winning musical has made her a favorite among audiences and critics.
 
Last season, she appeared in the new Nicky Silver play, The Agony and the Agony, at the Vineyard Theatre and in February, she co-starred in the City Center Encores! production of Follies with Donna Murphy, Christine Baranski, and Victor Garber.
 
The talented actress and director began her love affair with the theater as a child growing up in Dallas. At age six, with her grandmother's guidance and encouragement, she started singing and piano lessons. At age 16, she was accepted into the musical theater program at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Michigan, one of the nation's premier performing arts high schools and summer programs. Following graduation from The Hockaday School in Dallas, she studied opera and early music at the internationally renowned American Institute of Musical Studies in Austria.
 
Ms. Clark continued her music studies at Yale University, where she starred in and directed several of the acclaimed productions by the university's Gilbert and Sullivan Society. During her summers, she worked at the Chautauqua Opera in New York, enthusiastically performing a wide variety of jobs ranging from choreographer and chorus member to assisting the company's artistic director Cynthia Auerbach. Following her graduation from Yale in 1982, Victoria Clark moved to New York, where she assisted the renowned music historian Robert Kimball, her former professor at Yale.
 
Bitten by the directing bug, she applied for and was accepted into New York University's Musical Theater Program's Master's Program as a stage director. Ms. Clark was one of six directors -- and one of only two women -- chosen for this innovative new program designed to foster the collaboration of aspiring directors and composers. During her first year in the graduate program, Clark started receiving directing offers from the Texas Opera Theater, the Philadelphia Opera, and other reputable opera companies throughout the country. She left the master's program to pursue these opportunities, but found herself on the acting path again in 1985 when casting director Ira Weitzman, who had seen Clark perform at NYU, invited her to audition for the Stephen Sondheim musical Sunday in the Park With George.
 
Victoria Clark made her Broadway debut in 1985 in Sunday in the Park With George, and has been a Broadway regular ever since. She made a splash in Titanic when she created the role of Alice Beane, a second-class passenger with first-class dreams. She delighted audiences as sassy secretarial sidekick Smitty in the 1995 revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying with Matthew Broderick and Megan Mullally, and starred in director Jerry Zaks' Tony Award-winning revival of Guys and Dolls with Faith Prince and Nathan Lane. She also appeared on Broadway as Penelope Pennywise in Urinetown and Fraulein Kost in Sam Mendes' revival of Cabaret, and she portrayed frantic mother Doris MacAfee in the City Center Encores! production of Bye Bye Birdie in 2004. Her other Broadway credits include the Rodgers and Hammerstein revue A Grand Night for Singing, directed by Walter Bobbie.
 
Off-Broadway, Ms. Clark appeared in Marathon Dancing. She also starred in the national tours of Les Misérables and Cats, as well as numerous regional productions, including the world premieres of The Light in the Piazza, The Secret Garden, States of Independence, and Adventures in the Skin Trade. She has delighted audiences as matchmaker extraordinaire Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! at the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. At PCLO, she also wowed audiences as the endearingly sniffly bachelorette Adelaide in Guys and Dolls and telephone operator with a heart of gold Ella Peterson in Bells are Ringing.
 
Victoria Clark's film credits include Cradle Will Rock directed by Tim Robbins, and the upcoming feature The Happening, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, and her voice can be heard in many animated feature films including Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Anastasia, Beauty and the Beast, Christmas Belle, and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland.
 
Ms. Clark's television appearances include Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, and the PBS special Sweeney Todd in Concert featuring Patti LuPone, George Hearn, and the San Francisco Philharmonic. She also enjoyed a recurring role on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion on Minnesota Public Radio.
 
While Ms. Clark is a much sought-after vocalist and actress, she has also enjoyed an illustrious career as a director, receiving numerous honors and fellowships for her work. In February 2005, she headed her first major New York directing project, Serenade in Blue: The Lyrics of Mack Gordon, a salute to the Academy Award-winning composer that was presented as part of the popular Lyrics & Lyricists Program at the 92nd Street Y.
 
This fall will mark the release of Victoria Clark's debut solo album, Fifteen Seconds of Grace, produced by P S Classics. Clark's other numerous recordings include the original cast albums of The Light in the Piazza, Titanic, A Grand Night for Singing, and Far From the Madding Crowd; the new Broadway cast albums of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Guys and Dolls; The Scarlet Pimpernel with Linda Eder; and the soundtracks for Cradle Will Rock and Anastasia.
 
Victoria Clark studied acting with renowned acting teacher Michael Howard, his protege, Rebecca Taylor, and continues her vocal training with Ed Sayegh. She has also been teaching vocal technique for 22 years, helping many aspiring actors train their voices for Broadway roles. Clark resides in New York City with her son Thomas Luke; their golden retriever, Angel; and their cat named Dare.



September 2008
 
Victoria Clark