Did you see Gjenganger by Akvavit Theatre this winter? Or maybe Allotment Annie by Infusion Theatre Company? Hope so, because you got to see Beau Forbes! If you didn’t see Beau in Bailiwick Chicago’s Tom Mullen directed production Fucking Men by Tony winner Joe DiPietro, you might also have seen him as James Dean in A Love Lost Life, Huck Finn in City Lit’s staged reading of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Jack Jingly in the original stage adaptation of The Last Unicorn for Promethean Ensemble Theater or Leo Fatz in Hobo Junction’s Bad Guys in Suits. Other theatrical roles for Beau include Peter/Mary in Corpus Christi, and working for Navy Pier during Winter Wonderfest.
Beau Forbes was born and raised in Southern Illinois in the small town of Royalton and graduated from high school there. After a brief stint with the army Beau got into theatre full time with Southern Illinois University. Graduating with degrees in both Theatre and Political Science, Beau got the opportunity to play several great roles at SIU, including George Gibbs in Our Town. Beau also got the chance to play leading roles in several new works by playwrights from SIU’s MFA playwright program, including The Highwayman by Thomas Michael Campbell,Copernicus Rising by Michael Rose, and others.
While finishing school, Beau got his first taste of professional work during a summer at Johnny Appleseed, an outdoor drama in Mansfield, OH. It was here that Beau received his first fight training and became a certified actor-combatant by the Society of American Fight Directors. Under the direction of Marsha Hanna, Beau played the role of Private Morrison, an evil soldier who sparks a war between the local Indian population and the white settlers through his selfish actions.
Beau spent the next two summers being directed by the legendary English director Jane McCulloch at The Lost Colony in Manteo, NC. Beau portrayed an Indian during two summers with the iconic company and during his second year became assistant fight choreographer and the fight captain of the show.
While with the company, Beau also portrayed Prince Charming in a production of Cinderella and got to play Lt. Buzz Adams in director Greg London’s production of South Pacific.
Theatre IV of Richmond, VA came calling next, and Beau spent two years touring the United States performing a variety of roles for America’s best known children’s theatre company. Favorites include Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol and Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow. Beau was also very pleased to participate in several of Theatre IV’s black history plays, including portraying Cliff Drysdale in Arthur Ashe, Champion of Honor and George Wallace in I Have a Dream a play about the life of Martin Luther King Jr.
Finally, Beau moved to Chicago in the summer of 2008 and has been working constantly ever since. A founding company member with Hangar 9 Theatre, Beau has also become an artistic collaborator and friend of Hobo Junction Productions. In addition to his numerous acting roles, Beau has had the opportunity to do a good deal of fight choreography as well, including currently Mahal by Danny Bernardo, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Violet, Fucking Men, and Aida for Bailiwick Chicago, Trainspotting USA, Tales of the Twinkling Twilight for Raven Theatre, Bad Guys in Suits and The Regulars for Hobo Junction, Epic Proportions for Project 891 Theatre company, Corpus Christi for Ludicrous Theatre company, and Port for Griffin.
Whether acting, fight choreographing, Beau is always busy. Keep your eyes open and you’ll see him in many more roles in the future!