Jamyl Dobson, a NYC-based Pittsburgh native – as was Andy Warhol, who originated the well-known phrase “famous for fifteen minutes” – is breaking the clock with his acclaimed work on both the stage and screen. An Audelco Award-winning actor for Outstanding Ensemble Performance in The New Group’s world premiere of one in two by playwright Donja Love at Off-Broadway’s Pershing Square Signature Center, Dobson made his Broadway debut in 2022, in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, following his run with the regional production at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre.
His extensive stage credits also include shows with Classical Theatre of Harlem, Lincoln Center, New York Theatre Workshop, Ma-Yi Theater Company, The Culture Project, and DC’s Studio Theatre (in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Wig Out!), among many others, and he toured for four years internationally as a guest actor with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. As a voice actor, Dobson can be heard in The World to Come podcast series, a 2020 Webby Award Honoree.
TV and film audiences know him from Gotham, The Path, the groundbreaking Bros (one of the first gay romantic comedies by a major studio, with an openly LGBTQ principal cast), and Wonder (by Javier Molina and Gabe Furman), which has won over a dozen awards at such film festivals as LA Outfest, The Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival, UrbanWorld, and Oxford Film Festival, to name but a few. On Saturday, February 25, Wonder will be screened in NYC as part of The Actors Studio’s 75th Anniversary Short Films Festival, and it was just announced the Dobson will playing the role of author Alexandre Dumas in The Three Musketeers at the 2023 Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
During a short break in his busy schedule, Jamyl made time to answer some quick questions about himself and his work.
- What three words best express how you felt when you first took the Broadway stage?
Jamyl: It’s. About. Time!
- What do you love most about live theater?
The connection with the other artists on stage, as well as the energy of the crowd.
- What did you find most relatable in Harry Potter?
The father-son dynamic; that hit very, very close to home. My father passed, but I could relate to that story.
- If you could put a magic spell on the world, what would it be?
Oh, gosh, that’s a loaded question! There are so many things at this point, but because it’s fresh now, I would create a spell for more understanding of people who are different than you.
- Shakespeare and the classics or new works – which do you prefer performing?
Honestly, I do love new works.
- What do you enjoy most about playing out of town?
Experiencing a whole new culture and a place I’ve never been to.
- What three things do you always take with you?
My cell phone, of course. Shoes – I love shoes! And a good pair of jeans.
- What do you miss most about NYC when you’re away?
Everything! My boyfriend and . . . EVERYTHING!
- At what age did you know you wanted to be an actor and have a life in show business?
I was probably about five years old. My Dad made low-budget indie films in Pittsburgh and I always tagged along and was in some.
- Who’s been the biggest inspiration in your career?
My family, for sure. And as an acting inspiration, Jeffrey Wright.
- What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Introverted. Confident. Silly.
- Which of the characters you’ve played on stage or screen are you most like in real life?
Any of the characters of one in two.
- Do you have a dream role or show you would like to perform in the future?
It hasn’t been written yet. I would like to play a king one day.
- What do you do for fun when you’re not working?
I love going to the movies, seeing plays, and just hanging with friends.
- What’s the greatest lure and benefit of being famous?
The biggest benefit is that you can bring attention to causes that are important to you.
Thanks, Jamyl, for sharing a fast and lively fifteen minutes. Congratulations on your burgeoning career and much continued success in the future!
Wonder plays in the 75th Anniversary Short Films Festival on Saturday, February 25, starting at 7 pm, at The Actors Studio, 432 West 44th Street, ground floor, NYC. Tickets are free and are currently sold out; to join the waiting list, click here.