Briana Sakamoto is a San Francisco born, NYC-based queer gender-nonconforming Japanese-Jewish-American actor/singer/musician/mover. They've been seen Off-Broadway, Off-off-Broadway, nationally, and onscreen, playing and singing roles ranging from Shakespearean witch, heroine, and clown, to 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, and Ring of Keys (for whom they are the NYC event coordinator).
Briana recently played one of two Atlases in MJ Kaufman’s Double Atlas, at Playwright’s Realm and New Dramatists, directed by David Mendizábal, and made their Birdland debut singing and playing guitar with Ring of Keys at “Queering the Stage.” Prior to that, they played Juliet in Hypokrit Theatre’s Romeo + Juliet, at Access Theater, directed by Molly Houlahan. Post production is underway for three short films Briana played the lead in: Ash Marinaccio’s Rapture, Kim Garcia’s Dissonance, and Alexia Salingaros’ 7 Watt Bulb.
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 intensively 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, ukulele, and a bit of violin and drums.
Their 4-year professional Feldenkrais practitioner training at the Feldenkrais Institute of NY, 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 Japanese, Hebrew, and Yiddish. 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.