Nathan Darrow, Acclaimed Actor and Kansas City Native, Performs Hamlet in Kansas City ESU Kansas City Branch Holds Meet & Greet Luncheon for Darrow

Nathan Darrow, acclaimed actor on Broadway and London stage and in TV and film productions, is a Kansas City, Missouri native. He graduated from Shawnee Mission North High School in Overland Park, Kansas.

During his junior and senior years at Shawnee Mission North, Nathan entered ESU Kansas City Branch’s annual Shakespeare Competition and was a finalist in 1993 and 1994. His sponsoring teacher was Maureen Davis

In 2017, Nathan, who was living in New York City at the time, returned to Kansas City to play the title role of Shakespeare’s great tragedy, Hamlet, for the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s 25th anniversary summer season. The production ran from June 13-July 2, 2017. Prior to his return to Kansas City for the production of Hamlet, Nathan starred in Netflix’s House of Cards and HBO’s Wizard of Lies.

Deborah McArdle, ESU Kansas City Branch Board member, and Maureen Davis, Nathan’s high school theatre teacher, arranged a Meet and Greet luncheon with Nathan while he was in Kansas City for the production of Hamlet. Teachers, current and past Competition students, and ESU members were invited to attend the luncheon. 

All who attended were thrilled to hear Nathan reflect and reminisce about his years in Kansas City, not only in high school under the encouragement of his teacher, Maureen Davis, but also about the opportunity to perform many theatrical productions in Kansas City. Nathan offered advice for aspiring student actors and Shakespeare lovers. It was a special opportunity for students to ask Nathan questions about his career and performance of Hamlet

Deborah McArdle fondly recalls the gathering, “To witness Nathan share experiences with Kansas City young actors on the empty stage where he had spent much of his formative time preparing to spend a lifetime in theatre was wonderful for all of us.  He would walk on stage as Hamlet that very night, and the students attending knew it.”

Nathan commented on how Hamlet affects his life, “Hamlet is probably a part if you get to play it as an actor, it’s always with you and always with you as a person. There’s a very deep and mysterious power within that play and within that part that never goes away. Sometimes, if I’m feeling lost or bereft, I’ll just start saying those lines. It’s amazing. That work is in me forever.”

Over the years, Nathan has added extensively to his experience in Shakespearian performances, including the title roles in Henry IV and Romeo in The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s  productions.  He performed in King Lear with Kevin Spacey in London and on Broadway. 

Nathan brought with him an impressive amount of stage and television experience including regular roles in Billions, House of Cards, Gotham and Wizard of Lies.  He performed in a Netflix show called Godless and has performed in several productions in Kansas City theatres including Unicorn Theatre and New Theatre Restaurant.

Sidonie Garrett, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s long-time Executive Artistic Director, has known Darrow since he was an upstart actor working his way through the local theater scene. “He’s a great actor,” Garrett says. “Nathan and I have a long history of working together. He played King Henry V in Henry V for us before, so I knew he could carry a show. … And it doesn’t hurt having a guy people are used to seeing in their living rooms,” she adds, laughing. 

For the ESU Kansas City Branch, it was a special event that will last in our memories of great stories to be told about the Kansas City Branch.

(L to R) Jeff Schnabel, Olivia Sloan, Mckenna Lockhart, both Kansas City Branch Competition 1st Place winners in 2015 and 2014), Nathan Darrow, Trevor Wainwright, 3rd Place National Winner in 2017, Deborah McArdle. All attended Nathan’s Meet & Greet luncheon. June 2017

Nathan Darrow with his high school theatre teacher and mentor, Maureen Davis. June 2017

Nathan Darrow, during the Meet & Greet luncheon, speaking to students and giving advice about their future acting careers. June 2017

Nathan Darrow at the Meet & Greet luncheon during the Q&A session. June 2017

Nathan Darrow, Matt Rapport in Hamlet June 2017

Bruce Roach, Jan Rogge, Nathan Darrow in Hamlet June 2017

Nathan Darrow, Hillary Clemens Harbor in Hamlet June 2017

Nathan Darrow in Hamlet June 2017