Sean Patrick Dolan is playing Connor Murphy in the Toronto production of “Dear Evan Hansen.”
More recently he’s played a variety of roles on television with credits including ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ ‘Workin’ Moms’ (CBC/Netflix) and ‘Wayne’ (YouTube Premium) to name a few.
1) At what point in your life did you decide to pursue acting professionally?
I don’t think I ever really made a conscious decision to pursue acting professionally. I’ve been interested in performing for as long as I can remember and was exposed to a lot of theatre growing up in Stratford. I think doing “The Sound of Music” at Stratford in 2015 confirmed my interest in theatre and was the first time I really thought about pursuing acting as a career. After “The Sound of Music” I decided to take a shot at the TV/Film world and never really looked back, and now… we’re here!
The first person I told was my Mom! I always go to my mom first with that type of news.
2) Your father, John Dolan, teaches acting at Fanshawe College and was a member of the Stratford Festival company for 12 seasons. What are the top 2 things you learned about an actor’s life from him?
I’ve learned a lot about the industry from my dad but if I have to highlight two things I’d say firstly, always be as well prepared as possible for auditions. Being fully prepared allows an actor to confidently enter an audition room and be as present and real as possible. Secondly, it’s important to fully let go of auditions once they’re over. There are SO many factors that go into casting an actor in a role and all I can do is go in the room, do my thing, and let it go. There’s no point in overthinking auditions once they’re in the past.
4) Your role in “Dear Evan Hansen” demands a lot of profound, emotional energy. On days when you have two performances, what do you do to clear your head after the first show to recharge for the second performance?
Usually, the first thing I try to do after the show is laugh, which isn’t very hard to accomplish when sharing a dressing room with Alessandro Costantini (our Jared). Sometimes I’ll hang out with some castmates between shows, sometimes I’m alone, but no matter what I’m doing there is always food, a 22-minute nap, and a coffee.
I am most definitely still figuring out the differences in my process when approaching different mediums of acting.
No matter the medium my goal is simply to be the most true and honest form of whatever character I’m portraying. Of course in a show like “Dear Evan Hansen,” I have to factor in the 1,400 people in the theatre that need to hear and understand how my character is feeling, and when shooting TV or film, the camera is often only a few feet away. These kinds of things affect the way I’ll portray a character but I think the foundation of what I’m doing stays the same, it’s a constant attempt to find the truth in every character.
Either / Or
Pick 3 and reply with a sentence or 2.
Honeycrisp or McIntosh?
I love the crunch, they’re great in my smoothies, and they keep the doctor away.
Piercing or Tattoo?
If I didn’t want to pursue a career in acting, I think I’d have tattoos. I think they’re a really interesting way of documenting important moments in one’s life. Permanently. Which is cool and also kinda scary.
Baseball or Volleyball?
Baseball to play, volleyball to watch. I’m very bad at volleyball.
Dear Evan Hansen
Book by Steven Levenson
Music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Directed by Michael Greif
On now through July 21, 2019
Royal Alexandra Theatre
260 King Street West, Toronto
Dear Evan Hansen Tickets
Note on Wednesday and Saturday matinees, the role of Evan Hansen will be performed by Zachary Noah Piser.
Call 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333