Four years ago, The Barnstormers Theatre’s production of The Full Monty brought Darryl Winslow to our stage as the irrepressible Dave. Since then, you’ll know Darryl as the playwright Mr. Bazzard in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Mr. Barrel in last season’s hit, Urinetown: The Musical. This year for our 86th season, he brought out his crazy Texan side by being one of the five-actor cast for the rollicking musical comedy, Das Barbecu.
Born and raised in Virginia, Darryl knew at a young age that he wanted to be an actor. “I started doing school things – school plays and skits, and loved it. Then when I was 16, there was a new community theater in Suffolk that lasted a few years. One summer they did You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, and I got cast as Charlie Brown, and I loved it. I knew then that this is what I wanted to do,” said Darryl.
His parents, however, were not so sure, telling him that “a farm boy from Virginia” wouldn’t make it as an actor. They only agreed to pay for college if he picked another major. “So I majored in Communications – specifically radio, TV, film—and minored in theatre at James Madison University – it was the four of the best years of my life, I had a blast – and then after graduation, I still decided to pursue theater full time, which my parents supported.”
Post-college, Darryl worked for the harbor cruise line Spirit Cruise. He started out of Norfolk, VA, but when they opened up a ship in Los Angeles, Darryl went for it.
“I got my Equity card out there doing the LA premiere production of Assassins, which, when it was a success, went from a 99-seat theater to a 600-seat theatre and full Equity contracts. About a year after that, I moved to New York, and since then it’s been Good Times and Bum Times, as the song says,” Darryl laughed.
Those good and bum times have included many revival works in regional theatres around the country and lots of original work in New York City, where Darryl also works in Broadway merchandising, both on and off Broadway. While all of this excites him, he finds his happy place in musical theatre. Favorite roles include Dave in The Full Monty, and Edna in Hairspray. “I have such a good time with musical theater – a great musical touches me in ways that very few straight plays have. It’s the musicals that I remember,” explained Darryl.
In doing Das Barbecu, a musical that Darryl has known and loved for a long time, he found the audience reactions the most rewarding. “It just fills me with joy that this piece I’ve been in love with for 20 years is now filling other people with joy,” said Darryl, “Even though it was a test to learn the lines, the music, the choreography, and also mastering the costume changes.”
Darryl left us for Arkansas Rep in in Little Rock, AR to do Spamalot until the beginning of October. We wish him the best in all his endeavors and look forward to seeing him again soon!