Angelo Leal / by Declan Maloney Drummond

How did you get your start in theatre and what brought you to the US?

I know this will probably sound a little cliche but I grew up in a small town in Portugal, where, unfortunately, I didn’t quite have access to a thriving artistic or theatrical community. Ever since the first small show we put on at my local school, I always sought any and every chance to be on stage. I got involved with a small theatre group (the only one in my city) and we put on a few shows throughout the years. It wasn’t until I was a little older, probably around 16 or 17 years old, that I actually considered pursuing acting as a career. I knew New York was the place to be and it just so happen to be the city of my dreams as well. I had always been in awe of all the actors and work that came out of the American market. In the last year of high school I focused on auditioning for a few schools in NY and I was fortunate to be accepted to a wonderful conservatory in the city (American Academy of Dramatic Arts) and so started the journey here in the US!

What have you been up to since graduating?

Its been an intense, fast paced and busy year, which I am very thankful for. 

Right after graduating I was cast in a new musical “Frank” based on the first ever asian vaudeville artist. It was my first full-length musical and it was a blast to be a part of. I was also involved in the “Wilde at Home” production by Origin Theatre Company which went on to win the Fringe Award for Best Cast and Crew at the 2016 First Irish Theatre Festival. As my last project of 2016 I originated the lead role of Sammy in a new play by Donna Noval, “For Porn and Pizza”. 

2017 started off strong as well. In January, I was lucky enough to be cast in an important new play “The Land of Cheesecake and Ice-Cream” written by Jack Gilliat (from Whistleblower Theatre Company) at Theatre Row on 42nd Street, which marked my Off-Broadway debut. It was a very special experience with a truly wonderful cast and riveting storytelling and writing. “Come back, Burt Lancaster” was my next project, which premiered in the Short Play Festival at The Steve and Marie Sgouros Theatre/The Players Theatre and which was awarded the best play award in the Manhattan Rep Short Play Festival. 

Most recently I was cast as the lead in Bert V. Royal’s “Dog Sees God - Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” with Something From Abroad Theatre Company in their very diverse revival of the play at Under St. Marks. Finally, just a couple weeks ago I was fortunate enough to perform a special piece Misa Criolla at the David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center (for close to 2000 audience members), as part of Distinguished Concerts International NY, which was just a surreal and magical moment.

What are you working on now?

I just got done shooting a commercial for a new app and I’m starting filming for a new web series in the coming weeks, which is exciting as I definitely would like to explore film/television more in the next few months. I’m also extremely fortunate to be involved in a very special reading of a new musical ‘Michael Collins’ by Joshua Salzman and Ryan Cunningham, with Fundamental Theatre Project, as part of the ASCAP workshop, led by Stephen Schwartz and a guest panel comprised of prominent industry producers, directors, composers, and lyricists.