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David Cale

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David Cale BIO

DAVID CALE is an English-American performance artist, playwright, songwriter and actor based in New York City.

His solo musical memoir "We’re Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time", for which he wrote the book, lyrics, co-composed the music with Matthew Dean Marsh, and starred, premiered at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago and The Public Theater, New York City and was the recipient of the 2019 Jeff Award for Best New Musical, a NY Times Critics Pick, a 2020 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance, a 2020 Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Solo Show, a 2020 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance and a 2020 Obie Award.

Cale’s solo play "Harry Clarke", starring Billy Crudup, premiered at the Vineyard Theatre, NYC and transferred to the Minetta Lane Theatre produced, and recorded, by Audible, receiving a NY Times Critics Pick and a 2018 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show. His follow-up solo play "Sandra", starring Marjan Neshat, premiered at the Vineyard Theatre.

Cale’s earlier works for which he was both writer and performer include "The History of Kisses", "Palomino", "A Likely Story", "Lillian" (Obie Award), "Deep in a Dream of You" (Bessie Award), "Smooch Music" and "The Redthroats" (Bessie Award).

His self-performed solo shows have been presented throughout the U.S. including at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theater, Second Stage, New York Theatre Workshop and The New Group and regionally at venues including the Kirk Douglas Theatre and the Goodman Theatre, where six of his solos have been presented.

Cale wrote the book, lyrics, co-composed the music for and starred in the musical "Floyd and Clea Under the Western Sky" (Playwrights Horizons, Goodman Theatre, Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Best New Off-Broadway Musical), inspired by his experience portraying Floyd Duffner in Alex and Andrew Smith’s film, "The Slaughter Rule". He composed the songs for 600 Highwaymen’s "Employee of the Year" (Bessie Award nomination), lyrics for Debbie Harry’s recordings with The Jazz Passengers, as well as many songs with his musical collaborator Matthew Dean Marsh.

His stage acting credits include "The Threepenny Opera" (The Roundabout at Studio 54), Stew and Heidi Rodewald’s "The Total Bent" (Public Theater), "The Seagull/Woodstock, NY" (The New Group). Film acting credits include "Winter in the Blood", "Two Lovers", "Private Life" and "Light From Light".

He was the first recipient of the Sun Valley Playwright’s Residency, to live and work in Ernest Hemingway’s home in Ketchum, Idaho, where he wrote his newest solo show "Blue Cowboy". "Blue Cowboy", with Cale performing, was recently developed at Berkeley Rep’s 2023 Ground Floor Residency directed by Les Waters. "Harry Clarke", starring Billy Crudup, directed by Leigh Silverman, ran at Berkeley Rep in Fall 2023 and will transfer to London’s West End, to the Ambassadors Theatre, in the Spring 2024., marking Cale's U.K. debut.

David Cale Photos


The New Group Off-Broadway Premiere Production, 2023

Public Theatre Off-Broadway Production, 2016
Byron Blackwell

World Premiere, 2012



Original Off-Broadway Production, 2006
Floyd Duffner

Floyd Duffner

Roundabout Revival, 2006

Mr. Peachum (Understudy)


Captain Tock


Morris Dixon

Garry Essendine (Understudy)


David Cale Productions

[West End, 2024]
[Off-Broadway, 2018]



David Cale Awards and Nominations

Obie Awards - 2020 - Special Citation

David CaleWe’re Only Alive For A Short Time​

Outer Critics Circle Awards - 2020 - Outstanding Solo Performance

David CaleWe’re Only Alive For a Short Amount of Time

Obie Awards - 1999 - Special Citations

David Cale, Lillian

David Cale Videos

David Cale News

Vivid Stage Will Host SUMMER SOLOS Every Week in July

Vivid Stage, in residence at Oakes Center at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit, will present Summer Solos readings every week from July 1 through 24 at 6:30 pm at the Visual Arts Center of NJ at 68 Elm Street in Summit.

Everyman Theatre has announced a new summer music series, Baltimore Broadway and Beyond, featuring a diverse lineup of performances celebrating local and Broadway talent.
TheaterWorks Hartford Extends SANDRA

TheaterWorks Hartford has announced an extension of their season closer SANDRA written by David Cale, with original music by Matthew Dean Marsh, which will now close on Thursday, June 27, 2024. 
World Premieres of THE ANTIQUITIES and BOWL EP Set For Vineyard Theatre's Upcoming Season

Vineyard Theatre has announced its upcoming 42nd Season which will include two world premiere productions with a third to be announced in coming weeks. Learn more about the shows here!
TheaterWorks Hartford Will Close 2023-24 Season With SANDRA by David Cale

TheaterWorks Hartford will close its 2023–2024 season with Sandra by David Cale with original music by Matthew Dean Marsh.
Hartford Public Library To Offer Passes To TheaterWorks Hartford Productions

Discover how Hartford Public Library is offering passes to upcoming TheaterWorks Hartford productions. Learn more!
MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD Will Close 51st Season At Four County Players

To close out their 51st Season in Barboursville, Four County Players will present MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD opening May 3 in the Cellar.
Review: HARRY CLARKE, Ambassadors Theatre

Billy Crudup's mercurial talent keeps this flaccid show afloat
Photos: Go Inside the Opening Night of New Group's SEVEN YEAR DISAPPEAR

Emmy and Tony Award-winner Cynthia Nixon and Taylor Trensch star in THE SEVEN YEAR DISAPPEAR, is running now at The New Group. The play is a funny, deeply human mystery of mothers and sons, coming of age, and coming apart. Go inside the play's opening night in new photos!
Photos: Inside Opening Night of THE APIARY at Second Stage Theater

Second Stage Theater’s world premiere production of Kate Douglas’ The Apiary, directed by Kate Whoriskey, opened on February 13. BroadwayWorld was there for the show's opening. Check out photos here!
RUSSIAN TROLL FARM Extended At Vineyard Theatre

Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy by Obie Award winner Sarah Gancher, will now play until March 3, 2024, at Vineyard Theatre (108 E. 15th Street).
Exclusive 24hr Presale for HARRY CLARKE, Starring Billy Crudup

Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor Billy Crudup (The Morning Show, Coast of Utopia, No Man’s Land, Almost Famous) delivers an acting “masterclass” (New York Theatre Guide) in David Cale’s wickedly funny thriller Harry Clarke, transferring to London’s West End from March direct from sell-out runs in New York and Los Angeles.
Billy Crudup Will Make West End Debut in the Transfer of HARRY CLARKE

The Emmy and Tony Award-winning, and 2024 Golden Globe nominee, Billy Crudup (The Morning Show) is reprising his role to make his West End debut in the UK premiere of David Cale’s critically acclaimed one man play Harry Clarke, which transfers to the West End following two hit runs in the US
Playwrights Horizons Managing Director Leslie Marcus to Step Down at the End of 2023-24 Season

Leslie Marcus, who has served as Playwrights Horizons' Managing Director for three decades, is stepping down from the position in the summer of 2024, at the conclusion of the 2023-24 season.
Christine Lahti, John Lavelle & More Join Vineyard Theatre's RUSSIAN TROLL FARM: A Workplace Comedy

The cast and design team has been revealed for Vineyard Theatre's upcoming production of Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy by Obie Award inner Sarah Gancher, directed by Tony Award winner Darko Tresnjak. Learn how to purchase tickets!
Vineyard Theatre Appoints New Members to Board of Directors

Discover the latest updates from the Vineyard Theatre as they reveal new additions to their Board of Directors. Get all the details on who will be joining the prestigious board.
Tony-Winner Jesse Tyler Ferguson To Be Honored At Vineyard Theatre 2024 Gala

Vineyard Theatre Artistic Director Sarah Stern and Managing Director Suzanne Appel are pleased to announce that the Vineyard's Annual Gala will honor Tony Award winning actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Take Me Out). The Gala will be held Monday, February 26, 2024 beginning at 6:00 PM at the Edison Ballroom (240 West 47th Street). 
Vineyard Theatre Partners With The League Of Livestream Theater For WorldWide Live Stream Of John J. Caswell, Jr.'s SCENE PARTNERS

Sarah Stern, Artistic Director and Suzanne Appel, Managing Director of Vineyard Theatre, have announced that, in partnership with The League Of Live Stream Theater (LOLST), the final four performances of Scene Partners will be streamed worldwide on December 15 at 7:00 PM ET, December 16 at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM ET and December 17 at 2:00 PM ET.
Berkeley Repertory Theatre Releases Additional Tickets For David Cale's HARRY CLARKE

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has announced the availability of additional tickets for David Cale's Harry Clarke for performances from Tuesday, November 28 through Sunday, December 23, 2023.
Review: HARRY CLARKE at Berkeley Rep

What did our critic think of HARRY CLARKE at Berkeley Rep? Would that we could all disassociate from our childhood traumas and morph into bold, confident self-creations. For young Philip Brugglestein life in rural South Bend Indiana is a nightmare of paternal abuse and anti-gay bullying. His escape is talking in a Cockney accent culled from British movies, and after the death of his parents Philip moves to NYC and re-creates himself as Harry Clarke, replete with a fake history as tour manager for Sade.


How many Broadway shows has David Cale been in?

David Cale has appeared on Broadway in 2 shows.

How many West End shows has David Cale been in?

David Cale has not appeared in the West End.

What awards has David Cale been nominated for?

David Cale has been nominated for several awards, including a Special Citation at the Obie Awards for "We’re Only Alive For A Short Time," an Outstanding Solo Performance at the Outer Critics Circle Awards for "We’re Only Alive For a Short Amount of Time," and Special Citations at the Obie Awards for "Lillian."

What awards has David Cale won?

David Cale has won several awards, including a Special Citation at the Obie Awards for "We’re Only Alive For A Short Time," an Outstanding Solo Performance at the Outer Critics Circle Awards for "We’re Only Alive For a Short Amount of Time," and Special Citations at the Obie Awards for "Lillian."

How many shows has David Cale written?

David Cale has written 6 shows including The Redthroats (Playwright), Lillian (Playwright), Floyd and Clea Under the Western Sky (Bookwriter/Lyricist), Floyd and Clea Under the Western Sky (Bookwriter), Motherhood Out Loud (Playwright), Harry Clarke (Playwright).

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