Joseph Bromfield, The Leading Man

Joseph Bromfield, laying on a chair, reads Doubt: A Parable.

Anyone who ever sat spellbound in the Annie Russell Theatre as Joseph Bromfield took to the stage fully understands the concept of star quality: Bromfield has it in abundance, that ability to beguile an audience. He has starred in Rumors, Equus, and The Importance of Being Earnest, as well as numerable productions with Rollins Improv Players.

“Joseph is a very committed and disciplined actor and I think he succeeds on stage because he is so present,” said Jennifer Cavenaugh, Winifred M. Warden Professor of Theatre Arts and Dance. “Though many people think actors have a certain quality that makes them seem special on stage, I have found that most good acting is actually the result of very hard work.”

Perhaps Bromfield’s appeal has something to do with his Southern charm. Raised in Signal Mountain, Tennessee, he calls himself a former “good ol’ boy” turned global citizen. As a Rollins student, he attended a theater conference in Prague and studied in Buenos Aires, where he became fluent in Spanish (and tango). After graduation, he lived in Venice for a month as an English tutor.

Currently, he is attending the classical acting program at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, which Cavenaugh says is one of the most prestigious acting schools in the world. “It is a real accomplishment to have been accepted there,” she said.

The stage may be Bromfield’s first love—he plans to launch his acting career after the LAMDA program—but academic pursuits have been a close second. While a Cornell Scholar, Bromfield collaborated on two major projects with Cavenaugh: researching a scholarly paper on the letters exchanged between Annie Russell ’32H and the novelist Faith Baldwin, and writing (and directing and producing) a play based on the life of Russell. Working with him, Cavenaugh discovered that Bromfield has all the qualities of an excellent director: vision, diligence, a thorough understanding of the stage, and a passion for creating art in service to the community.

Bromfield said their collaboration was life changing. “I will carry the lessons learned,” he said, “no matter where I end up or what I end up doing.”

Major: Theatre
Hometown: Signal Mountain, TN
Little-known fact: Knows how to tango
Admires: Actor Kenneth Branagh
Favorite literary character: Peter Pan
Known for: Altitude (he’s 6’3”)
Admits to… saying “absolutely” way too frequently
Favorite toy as a child: GI Joe
You did what? Co-wrote and directed a play (Stage Fright)
Breakfast: Coffee and a banana
Nickname: Jofus, Jober, Jean Shorts
Motto: Laugh, especially at yourself.
Dream job: Artistic director of the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta
In 10 years: Daddy. Artist.

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