Meet the cast: Brian D. Coats of 'The Nest'

by John Moore | Jan 19, 2016
Brian D. Coats The NestBrian D. Coats, right, reads with Carly Street at a reading for 'The Nest' at the 2015 Colorado New Play Summit in February. He's back for the world premiere staging, playing Barry. Photo by Kyle Malone for the DCPA NewsCenter.


MEET BRIAN D. COATS
Barry in The Nest

Brian D. Coats The NestAt the DCPA Theatre Company: 2015 Colorado New Play Summit (The Nest). New York credits include On the Levee (Lincoln Center/ LCT3), The Merry Wives of Windsor, Two Gentlemen of Verona (Public/Shakespeare in the Park), Puddn’head Wilson (The Acting Company). Regional credits include: Seven Guitars (Two River Theater) Invisible Man (Huntington Theatre Company/Studio Theater) Helen Hayes Award, Fences, A Raisin in the Sun (Geva Theatre Center). TV credits include: “Law & Order,” "Law & Order: SVU,” “JAG,” “Blue Bloods,” “The Sopranos," "Boardwalk Empire" and an upcoming Marvel series on Netflix.

  • Hometown: Columbia, Mo.
  • Training:  University North Carolina School of the Arts
  • Brian D. Coats QuoteWhat was the role that changed your life: Gabriel in Fences by August Wilson. But I must first acknowledge my introduction to the play. When I was a senior in high school, Fences was the popular "new play of choice" for many African-American students who competed in a National Tournament of Speech and Debate called Forensics. I saw two amazing interpretations - one by a male and one by a female - at a preseason competition at Wake Forest. To say I loved that play is an understatement. I decided to make that my final-year piece and I placed seventh in  nationals in Nashvile. Years later I played Gabriel at Geva Theater, and it seemed like full-circle. I look at all things in a spiritual context, and to play a man who deep in the seat of his soul believes he's the Angel Gabriel, and who's whole trajectory throughout the play is a type of "offering" to his family and community, spoke to me in ways no other character had before.
  • Why are you an actor? I believe I have a unique ability to feel, understand and empathize. People are usually comfortable talking to me about things because, I hope they sense I care about what they are expressing. I do, actually. The blessing in being an actor is portraying the human condition, being well-acquainted with the good, the bad and the ugly, in hopes of bringing a deeper understanding to the people we share the planet with. I also believe I do acting well. I am happy and blessed always to work doing something that to me is no work at all.
  • What would you be doing for a career if you weren’t an actor? My first volunteer job was as a teenager at a public radio station in Missouri. I was fascinated by the music and the equipment. So it's a long shot, but ... maybe that? 
  • Geraldine PageIdeal scene partner: Geraldine Page. That woman, my God. She was the truth as an actress. That is all.
  • Why does The Nest matter? There are so many plays nowadays that remind me of current movies and TV shows. This new-age stuff out there is like Facebook on crack. Theresa Rebeck's play is about people who are trying to understand their significance and voice in a world where people often hide behind technology. History and its significance is talked about as well in a world where one character sees: "People staring at devices, you see the kids on the street staring at these tiny, in their hands, and that's how they talk to each other now."  
  • What do you hope the audience gets out of it? A glimpse of themselves. I hope they are entertained, and maybe even enlightened.
  • Finish this sentence: "All I want is ..."
  • ... "to love and be loved."
The Nest
  • By Theresa Rebeck
  • Jan. 22-Feb. 21
  • Space Theatre
  • When you have a seat at the bar called The Nest, no conversation is off-limits, whether you’re speaking or eavesdropping. That is, until a stranger walks in with a lucrative proposition. Pulitzer Prize finalist Theresa Rebeck’s plays “may make you laugh or shudder (or both)” according to American Theatre, and with its feisty humor and scorching dialogue, this explosive new comedy holds a cracked mirror up to friendships, romantic relationships and families.
  • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

  • Previous NewsCenter coverage of The Nest:

    The Nest flies in face of national gender trends
    Five things we now know about that bar
    Cast list announced
    Theresa Rebeck is not getting angry: She's getting even
    ​American Theatre magazine: The Colorado New Play Summit Is a Developing Story

    Previous 2015-16 'Meet the Cast' profiles:
    Meet Adeoye of Lookingglass Alice and All the Way
    Meet Kevin Berntson of The Nest
    Meet J. Paul Boehmer of As You Like It
    Meet Molly Brennan of Lookingglass Alice
    Meet Courtney Capek of A Christmas Carol
    Meet Tad Cooley of Tribes
    Meet Allen Dorsey of A Christmas Carol
    Meet Kevin Douglas of Lookingglass Alice
    Meet Napoleon M. Douglas of A Christmas Carol
    Meet Isabel Ellison of Tribes
    Meet Kate Finch of Tribes
    Meet Ella Galaty of A Christmas Carol
    Meet Ben Heil of A Christmas Carol
    Meet Carolyn Holding of As You Like It
    Meet Drew Horwitz of As You Like It
    Meet Maurice Jones of As You Like It
    Meet Geoffrey Kent of As You Like It and All the Way
    Meet Emily Kron of As You Like It
    Meet Nick LaMedica of As You Like It
    Meet Andrew Pastides of Tribes
    Meet Shannan Steele of A Christmas Carol
    Meet Carly Street of The Nest
    Meet Samuel Taylor of Lookingglass Alice
    Meet Lindsey Noel Whiting of Lookingglass Alice
    Meet Jake Williamson  of A Christmas Carol
    Meet Matt Zambrano of As You Like It

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    John Moore
    John Moore
    Award-winning arts journalist John Moore has recently taken a groundbreaking new position as the DCPA’s Senior Arts Journalist. With The Denver Post, he was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the US by American Theatre Magazine. He is the founder of the Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that raises money for local artists in medical need. John is a native of Arvada and attended Regis Jesuit High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow him on Twitter @moorejohn.

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