Barrett Foa is perhaps best known to audiences as Eric Beale on the hit CBS crime drama "NCIS: Los Angeles." Four seasons and over 90 episodes in, "NCIS: LA" is still the #2 scripted series currently on television. The show airs every Tuesday at 9pm ET/PT and also stars Chris O'Donnell, LL Cool J, and Oscar winner Linda Hunt. Within four months of moving to LA, Barrett not only booked his series regular role on "NCIS:LA," but also recurring roles on "Entourage" as Ari's assistant and the original "NCIS," and guest stars on "Numb3rs," "Six Degrees," and "The Closer."
Barrett was born and raised in Manhattan and graduated from The Dalton School. He spent all four high school summers in upstate Michigan pursuing his love for theatre at Interlochen Arts Camp.
Considered one of the top musical theatre departments in the nation, Barrett continued his studies at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, graduating with honors and earning a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre Performance.
In addition, he spent a semester abroad studying Shakespeare and acting at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, England.
For the first part of each summer during college, Barrett interned at Johnson-Liff Casting, learning the ins and outs of the casting process. Each June, Barrett headed off to summer stock to sharpen his acting chops at such notable theatres as the New London Barn Playhouse, Maine State Music Theatre, Music Theatre of Wichita, and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera - where he got his Equity card.
After his college graduation, it didn't take Barrett long to land his first major gig in New York: Starring as Jesus in composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz's off-Broadway revival of GODSPELL. The production received a lot of attention, and literally launched not only Barrett's career, but the careers of Shoshana Bean, Chad Kimball, and Leslie Kritzer to name a few. Barrett can be heard on GODSPELL's 2000 Off-Broadway Cast Recording.
After a few paid workshops at Playwrights Horizons and The New Victory Theatre, as well as some regional shows, including playing the protaganist in JUST SO at North Shore Music Theatre, and Tulsa in GYPSY at Vermont's Weston Playhouse...
Barrett made his Broadway debut in 2001 in the original cast of MAMMA MIA!
After only 6 months, Barrett left MAMMA MIA! to do a three month long regional gig at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, CA. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a brand new leading character in a new musical called KEPT by Henry Krieger (composer of DREAMGIRLS and SIDE SHOW) and Bill Russell (book and lyric writer of SIDE SHOW). Also featuring Will Swenson, Christiane Noll, and Brenda Braxton, the updated telling of the "Camille" story to Studio 54 in its heyday, was directed by Scott Schwartz (coincidentally, Stephen's son), and featured a book by Stephen Chbosky (coincidentally, the writer of one of Barrett's favorite novels, "The Perks of Being A Wallflower" - later, Stephen wrote and directed the movie of "Perks").
After a quick stint playing Matt in THE FANTASTICKS at the 12,000 seat outdoor St. Louis Muny, (with Burke Moses as El Gallo, and Bruce Adler and Ken Page as the two fathers)...
Director Mark Lamos picked Barrett (who had never performed in a Shakespeare play before) to play the leading role of Claudio in a co-production of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING at Hartford Stage in CT, and The Shakespeare Theatre Company in D.C. The show featured Tony-winner Karen Ziemba as Beatrice.
Barrett went on to play the evil Mordred in CAMELOT at the Paper Mill Playhouse in NJ, alongside Brent Barrett, Matt Bogart, and George S. Irving. (This production marked Barrett's 3rd time portraying Mordred.)
The boards of New York City beckoned once more, and Barrett landed the role of Cupid in the four person off-Broadway production of CUPID AND PSYCHE.
While performing as Cupid, Barrett started auditioning for Broadway's AVENUE Q. After two months, 5 auditions, and a whole lot of puppet practice, Barrett became the first understudy to the role of Princeton/Rod in December 2003. After about a year, Barrett took over the leading role on February 1, 2005. He could be seen wiggling dollies around a Broadway stage in a gray t-shirt 8 times a week for another year and a half...
While in AVENUE Q, Barrett was offered the role of Leaf Coneybear in the Broadway company of THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE. For two weeks he did "double duty," rehearsing BEE during the day, and performing Q at night.
Stepping into his third Broadway show, Barrett made his debut as Leaf Coneybear on July 11, 2006, at The Circle in the Square Theatre. He played Leaf for ten months, ending April 15 (tax day!), 2007.
One month later, Barrett started rehearsals for PIRATES! at Paper Mill Playhouse in NJ, playing the naive and dutiful Frederic. The classic Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE was re-imagined and updated by Nell Benjamin's hilarious book and lyrics, John McDaniel's clever orchestrations, Gordon Greenberg's inventive direction, and Warren Carlyle's ebullient choreography. The show previewed on June 7 and opened June 13, 2007 to glowing reviews in The New York Times, and Variety. The limited run ended on July 8th, 2007.
Two weeks later, Barrett went into rehearsal for THE LADY IN QUESTION, a play by Charles Busch. The comedy previewed at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, NY on August 14, and opened August 18, 2007, running through September 2. Barrett played Karel Freiser, a young Nazi stormtrooper, and the cast includes Busch and Julie Halston (reprising their roles from the original off-Broadway production), Richard Kind, Matt McGrath, Perry Ojeda, Candy Buckley, Larry Keith and Ana Reeder. The show was directed by XANADU helmer, Christopher Ashley, now the Aristic Director of La Jolla Playhouse.
Since 2006, Barrett has been involved with numerous productions with Project Shaw, a monthly concert reading of every one of George Bernard Shaw's plays featuring star-studded casts, and held at the Players Club in New York. Barrett has been seen in JOHN BULL'S OTHER ISLAND, THE APPLE CART, THE MUSIC CURE, THE KING, THE CONSTITUTION AND THE LADY, INTERLUDE AT THE PLAYHOUSE, and WIDOWERS' HOUSES, playing opposite the likes of Marian Seldes, Brian Murray, Charlotte Rae, George S. Irving, Paxton Whitehead, David Garrison, Marc Kudisch and many others.
Barrett moved to Los Angeles in 2008. While having a blast on "NCIS: Los Angeles" he misses theatre and Broadway everyday and is eager to one day return to the boards.
In his off time from "NCIS: Los Angeles," Foa wrote, produced, and starred in For The Record: John Hughes, a live environmental musical event featuring scenes and songs from the movies of director John Hughes. The show played multiple sold out runs in LA's Rockwell and NYC's City Winery.
Barrett returns to both Interlochen (where he has established the Barrett Foa Musical Theatre Scholarship - for campers that show potential) and The University of Michigan regularly to teach master classes and to talk to students about being a working actor in New York City and Los Angeles.
In addition to various workshops and readings, Foa donates his time and talents to community causes and non-profit theatre companies and organizations, including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The Actors' Fund, The Trevor Project, The Motion Picture and Television Fund, and the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Other Credits include:
Weston Playhouse, 2001
Just So [Regional] 2001
North Shore Music Theatre
Much Ado About Nothing [Regional] 2002
Shakespeare Theatre Company, DC
The Fantasticks [Regional] 2002
St. Louis MUNY