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Ensemble Member

PAUL D’ADDARIO is an Ensemble Member and former Associate Artistic Director at The Gift. He grew up in Queens, New York and found that taking Theatre classes at Russell Sage JHS 190 and Hillcrest High School was a far better option than Science. Which is not to say that the Science teachers were screaming in the Guidance office for Paul to be in their classes. But the volume of his voice made classes in large auditoriums a good fit, combined with his inability to wrangle his body in the Lab, a danger, so it kind of worked out for everyone.

It was through the Hillcrest High School Theatre Institute that Paul fell in love with ensemble theatre. Where the feeling of being part of a team – looking out for each other – was instilled by his teachers and classmates. For that, he is forever grateful.

Paul went on to earn a degree in Theatre at The College of Wooster before relocating to San Francisco where he was fortunate to study with renowned Bay Area actors/ teachers, Jean Shelton and Chris Phillips. He went on to become a member of The Actors Theatre of San Francisco, where he worked on over twenty productions in six years, in a myriad of roles – actor, director, set builder, light board operator (you get the picture).

During the Summer of 2001, Paul attended The School at Steppenwolf, where he met a variety of people including a Wizard, a Giant, and a Boston Red Sox fan (gross, right?) and again felt incredibly fortunate. Some of that group would go on to be the founding members of The Gift. The following year, after returning to San Francisco, Paul would be visited by the Giant and the Take-No-Shit-World-Dancer. A few months after that visit, Paul would make the second-best decision of his life and permanently relocate to Chicago to become a member of The Gift Theatre. The Take-No-Shit-World-Dancer would later officiate the only better decision he has ever made.

The Gift is family, 4802 North Milwaukee Avenue, a beloved clubhouse. They challenge him in every rehearsal and give love every chance they get. Paul is an extremely fortunate person.

The Gift Theatre credits include: Hurlyburly (where he received the Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Leading Role), Six, The Language of Angels, A Young Man in Pieces, The Pavilion, Three Sisters, White People, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Stop/Kiss, Talk Radio, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Lonesome West, Night and Her Stars, Northwest Highway, Absolute Hell, Dirty, Thinner Than Water, Bethany, The Royal Society of Antarctica, Good For Otto, The Grapes of Wrath, A Life Extra Ordinary, Hang Man, and Kentucky.

Other Theatre credits include: Of Mice and Men (Steppenwolf Theatre), The Ironbound (Steppenwolf Theatre), Dead End, On the Shores of the Wide World (Griffin Theatre), and Maple and Vine (Next Theatre).

Television credits include: Nash Bridges, Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire, and The Red Line.