Briana Sakamoto is a San Francisco born, NYC-based queer gender-nonconforming actor/musician/mover. They've been seen Off-Broadway, Off-off-Broadway, nationally, and onscreen, playing and singing roles ranging from Shakespearean witch and clown, to a Donizetti soubrette, the Marlboro Man, Tokyo Rose, a rapping katana-wielding psychic, a half-alien baker, Mercutio, to a modern-day Tiresias. They are a proud member of Actors Equity, SAG-AFTRA, Hamlet Isn't Dead's Resident Artist Company, and the Guided Imagery Opera.
Briana recently played the lead in Alexia Salingaros short film 7 Watt Bulb (post production), then a clownish Oliver in Hamlet Isn't Dead's folk musical rendition of As You Like It, and made their WorkShop Theatre debut in a three day staged reading of Ben Alexander's Quality Time.
Last year, Briana performed with Pan Asian Rep at Theatre Row and the Flushing Town Hall, was featured in Sonja O’Hara’s short film Anatomy of an Orchid, sang with Opera on Tap, and played a half-Harpo-Marx-half-Sméagol Robin in Hamlet Isn't Dead's Merry Wives of Windsor.
Briana's dramatic training began with three years of Meisner with Paul Perez. They then studied with Larry Singer for several years, and completed Level 1 of the Lucid Body with its creator Fay Simpson. With Gwendolyn Schwinke, Briana delved into Feldenkrais for actors, Linklater, and Viewpoints. Along the way, Briana has taken intensives in Kinetic Awareness with Francis Becker, Peking Opera dance with Liu Mianzong and Zhang Yanhong, 100 hours of yoga teacher training, and has studied fundamentals of western dance (ballet, contemporary, tap, hip hop). Briana has completed Improv 101, 201, and 301 at the Upright Citizens Brigade NYC Training Center under the tutelage of James III and Molly Thomas.
Briana earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance with Highest Honors from Binghamton University, and studied classical singing for several years with a number of teachers, including the legendary Benita Valente. They have performed leading and supporting roles with several NYC opera companies. Briana also sings contemporary, folk, and popular musical theatre styles, and has studied these with Lilli Wosk. Briana also plays piano, guitar, and ukulele.
Their 4-year professional Feldenkrais practitioner training at the Feldenkrais Institute of NY (director David Zemach-Bersin), concurrent with intensive vocal and somatic studies with Maxine Davis, was a watershed for Briana in the integration of all their prior training experiences.
A semi-polyglot, Briana speaks some French, Italian, and German, and bits of Hebrew, Yiddish, and Japanese. They enjoy indoor bouldering, the NYT crossword (just through Thursday, alas), and sartorial and decorative power clashing. Most of all, Briana loves relaxing on their rose-colored Free-Craigslist-found sofa with their cats, Dot and Flicka, and collaborator/co-conspirator Tomek Regulski.