About

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Brett Ryback 
is an actor, composer, and playwright.

He originated the role of Marcus Off-Broadway in Murder for Two at Second Stage and New World Stages. TV/Film appearances include: Mom, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, House, All In with Cam Newton, Hail, Caesar!, and the Lifetime movie The Assistant.

He has worked extensively with various regional theatres including: The Ahmanson Theatre, The Mark Taper Forum, The Geffen, The Milwaukee Rep, South Coast Rep, and TheatreWorks Palo Alto.  He has workshopped and premiered many plays including The Prince of Atlantis, directed by Warner Shook (The Kentucky Cycle); Dr. Cerberus, by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (American Psycho The Musical,Glee“); and a new version of Pal Joey, directed by Peter Schneider (The Lion King.)

Click here for his acting resume.

His most recent musical, Joe Schmoe Saves the World, was selected to be part of the NAMT Festival of New Musicals, as well as the ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop lead by Stephen Schwartz. It was developed with assistance from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He also wrote book, music, and lyrics for The Many Selves of Mia Scott and The Tavern Keeper’s Daughter, which received a “Best of Pasadena” Award.  

He is the recipient of the 2016 ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award. He won the 2007 Tennessee Williams One-Act Competition for his play Weïrd.  His play A Roz By Any Other Name was the winner of the 2007 Henrico County Theatre One-Act Competition.  Both are published in The Best American Short Plays 2007-2008.  His play Death Valley DQ received 3rd Prize in the McClean Drama Company’s 10-minute Play Contest, and an honorable mention at American Globe Theatre’s 18th annual fifteen-minute play festival in New York City. 

As a composer/lyricist, he wrote music for Just a Little Critter Musical (First Stage Milwaukee commission), which the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel called a “delightful family musical” and praised “Ryback’s eminently hummable score, which channels and wittily spoofs Broadway, cartoons and pop music.” He also wrote music and/or lyrics for Liberty Inn: The Musical (LA Ovation Award Nominations Best Book, Best Music/Lyrics), Quit India (Richard Rodgers Award Finalist 2007); High School! (UCLA’s Francis Ford Coppolla One Act Festival); and Shoulder Pads, a movie-musical written by Abe Sylvia (for whom he worked as Music Director on the film Dirty Girl.) 

He conceived the musical Darling (Featured on NBC’s “The Apprentice“, winner of the Weston Playhouse New Musical Award, and Selection for 2009 PACE New Musicals), and wrote the play I, Abraham (UCLA commission). 

He is a regular composer for Milwaukee’s Skylight Opera Theatre’s Education program, Kidswrites, which pairs the uncorrected writing of inner-city grade school students with professional actors and composers.  He also served for five years as the composer/lyricist for Next Act Theatre’s Next Actors Summer Theatre for Youth, during which time he composed music and lyrics for five original musical theatre pieces in collaboration with Milwaukee’s youth. 

He is a multi-year participant at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed where he developed his latest project Passing Through.  He earned a B.A. in Music Composition from UCLA, and teaches Musical Theatre at the University of Southern California.