Critically acclaimed actor and theatre director specializing in text-based, impact theatre. With a track record and passion for directing works that tackle social issues, his work explores psychological realism, epic theatre, and post-dramatic expression of classical and contemporary text. Trained in Stanislavski, Meisner, and classical text (LAMDA) as an actor. Earned a Master of Arts in Drama Directing from one of Britain’s prestigious conservatoires, the Bristol Old Vic.
Victor Lirio is a New York- and London-based actor and theatre director. He was producing artistic director of Diverse City Theatre (DCT) in New York. He directed the London premiere of Adam Rapp's Red Light Winter at The Turbine Theatre. He was most recently on Tom Morris's directing team for the critically acclaimed world premiere production of Dr Semmelweis by Stephen Brown with Mark Rylance at Bristol Old Vic (with National Theatre and Sonia Friedman Productions) starring Oscar winner Mark Rylance. He was associate and resident director for Stewart Melton's and Finn Anderson's critically acclaimed Islander Off Broadway in New York, a production transfer from London's Southwark Playhouse, directed by Amy Draper.
In New York, Victor directed Cassandra Medley's Coming Up for Air, a full length play about climate change for Ensemble Studio Theatre’s First Light Festival starring Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins, and Cell, a play about African American women working at an immigrant detention center in Michigan, with Condola Rashad (Showtime’s Billions, A Doll’s House Part 2).
He directed the world premiere of Warren Bodow’s Race Music (New York Times Critic's Choice); Cassandra Medley’s award-winning Noon Day Sun (Time Out New York Critic's Choice), with Emmy Award winner Ron Cephas Jones (NBC’s This is Us), Gin Hammond, Michael McGlone, and Melanie Nicholls-King (HBO's The Wire) earning several nominations for the Audelco Awards including Best Dramatic Production of the Year.
Victor trained at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in classical acting, and earned his Master of Arts in Drama Directing from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (Doris Dibden Prize for exceptional achievements). In Bristol, UK, he directed Three Days of Rain by Richard Greenberg (BOVTS Studio). And whilst in lockdown, Victor produced and directed a full production live broadcast of Edward Allan Baker plays, North of Providence and Dolores, on Bristol Old Vic at Home (August 2020).
Under Victor’s artistic leadership, DCT launched the Green Room Series, an incubator program that developed over 35 original plays. He produced 18 of them in ten productions at Theatre Row including three theater festivals—The Equality Plays Festival (plays about gender identity); Snapshots (plays about mature women, New York Times Critics Choice); and The Pearl Project (plays about Filipino-American diaspora). For the Green Room Series, he directed several new works in-development including Yussef El Guindi's Pilgrims Musa & Sheri in the New World (winner of the 2012 Steinberg Award for Best New Play). At Miami Theater Center, he directed Sarah Ruhl’s The Oldest Boy (mainstage) and Neil Labute’s The Mercy Seat (The SandBox Theatre).
As an actor, he was in the First National Tour of the 1997 Broadway revival of The King & I starring Hayley Mills (Kennedy Center). He played reporter Walker Harris in Lee Blessing’s political drama, Two Rooms, to critical acclaim (directed by Jamie Richards; Theatre Row, NYC) and Man in Tennessee Williams's two-character play, I Can't Imagine Tomorrow (directed by Gregory Simmons; Ensemble Studio Theater, NYC). Victor originated lead roles in new works by award winning Filipino-American playwrights alongside Obie Award winner Ching Valdes-Aran: Eduardo in Resurrection by Eric Gamalinda (directed by Michael Sexton) and Anghel in The Female Heart by Linda Faigao-Hall (directed by Jamie Richards). Under Deborah Hedwall's direction, he has been a member of DHCO acting company residency in Maremma, Italy, where he played Harry Bagley in Caryl Churchill's Cloud 9, Lopakhin in Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, and Medvedenko/Trigorin in The Seagull. He has worked at several Off Broadway and regional theatre companies including Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Public Theater, Huntington Theatre, Lark Theatre, Luna Stage, Ma-Yi Theatre, and Queens Theatre in the Park.
Victor has written for and directed Tony and Olivier Award winner Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Disney’s Aladdin and Mulan) award-winning and critically-acclaimed solo concerts in Manila, Philippines at the PICC (Best Major Concert of the Year, Aliw Awards), in San Francisco at the Nourse Auditorium as well as in New York's legendary venues: Kaleidoscope at The Town Hall, the New York Times acclaimed Back to Before at Café Carlyle, and Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Concert Series at Jazz at Lincoln Center. With special permission from Mr. Stephen Sondheim, he wrote and directed Suites by Sondheim, a star-studded concert event at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. He produced Ms. Salonga's sold-out Carnegie Hall concert debut at Isaac Stern Auditorium.