Swenson in July 2011
October 26, 1972
Provo, Utah, U.S.
William Swenson (born October 26, 1972) is an American actor and singer best known for his work in musical theatre. He also has developed a film career, primarily in LDS cinema.
Swenson was born in Provo, Utah. He is known among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) for his role as Jonathan Jordan in the LDS Cinema movie The Singles Ward (2002) and its sequel, The Singles 2nd Ward (2007). Swenson co-wrote, directed and acted in the LDS Cinema feature film, Sons of Provo (2004).
A grandson of Nathan and playwright and actress Ruth Hale, Will Swenson was born in Utah and moved around a lot throughout the United States during his childhood. He attended Brigham Young University and later served as an The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints missionary in Guayaquil-Ecuador. However, as of 2008 he was no longer practicing the LDS faith.
Swenson appeared on Broadway in Lestat, 110 in the Shade and Brooklyn. Off-Broadway, he played the role of Stacee Jaxx in the musical Rock of Ages but did not go on to perform the role on Broadway because he was offered the starring role of Berger in the Broadway revival of Hair. He played Sir Sagramore in Camelot at Lincoln Center and Chris in the second national tour of Miss Saigon.
He played the role of Berger in the Off-Broadway 40th Anniversary Concert of Hair opposite Karen Olivo. In 2008, Swenson was again cast as Berger in The Public Theater's revival of the show in Central Park. He went on to reprise the role when the production moved to Broadway in March 2009. He received critical acclaim for his performance on Broadway and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. He played the role of Berger again in the West End revival of Hair which began performances on April 1, 2010, and ended his limited engagement on May 29, 2010. Audra McDonald and Swenson reprised their roles in a two-week fundraising production of 110 in the Shade at the Hale Center Theater in Orem, Utah.
On October 8, 2009, Swenson appeared as in the guest cameo slot for the extension performance of Katie Thompson's R.R.R.E.D.: A Secret Musical, as part of the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival. In 2010, Swenson played the lead role of "Tick"/"Mitzi" in the pre-Broadway North American company of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert in Toronto, Canada.
In October 2013, Swenson was cast as Inspector Javert in the 2014 Broadway revival of Les Misérables, which opened in March 2014 at New York's Imperial Theatre, where the musical had previously run for 13 years.
In 2020, Swenson appears in the part 3 of Netflix show Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (TV series) as Pan.
Swenson met his first wife Amy (née Westerby) while they were both in one of his grandmother's comedies, Hopsville Holiday. The couple have two sons, Bridger and Sawyer, but have since divorced.
|2002||Miss Saigon||Chris Scott||US National Tour|
|2004||Brooklyn||Vocalist; u/s Street Singer; u/s Taylor Collins||Broadway|
|2005||Two Gentleman of Verona||Ensemble||Off-Broadway|
|2006||Lestat||Ensemble; u/s Armand; u/s Lestat||Broadway|
|2007||Adrift in Macao||Rick Shaw||Off-Broadway|
|2007||110 in the Shade||Cody Bridger; u/s Bill Starbuck||Broadway|
|2008||The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island||Psychiatrist||Off-Broadway|
|2008||Rock of Ages||Stacee Jaxx||Off-Broadway|
|2010||Priscilla, Queen of the Desert||Tick (Mitzi)||Toronto|
|2013||Little Miss Sunshine||Richard Hoover||Off-Broadway|
|2014, 2015||Les Misérables||Javert||Broadway|
|2016||Pericles||Cleon||Theatre for a New Audience|
|2018||Jerry Springer - The Opera||Satan||Off-Broadway|
|1996||Treasure Chest||Thor||Short film|
|2002||The Singles Ward||Jonathan Jordan|
|2003||The R.M.||Kori Swenson|
|2004||Sons of Provo||Will Jensen|
|Dear John||Tyson||Short film|
|2007||The Singles 2nd Ward||Jonathan Jordan|
|2010||The Switch||Actor on stage|
|2013||Gods Behaving Badly||Ares||Unreleased|
|2014||This Is Where I Leave You||Young Mort Altman|
|2017||The Greatest Showman||Philo Barnum|
|2002||All My Children||Purse-snatcher||Episode: August 14, 2002|
|2006||As the World Turns||Vanya||Episode: December 18, 2006|
|2007||Six Degrees||Photoshoot man||Episode: "Slings and Arrows"; uncredited|
|2008||Live from Lincoln Center||Sir Sagramore||Episode: "Camelot"|
|2009||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Joe Lazar||Episode: "Rock Star"|
|Late Show with David Letterman||Berger||Episode: April 30, 2009|
|2012||The Good Wife||Justin Varney||Episode: "Pants on Fire"|
|Pzazz 101||Will||Episode: "Method Acting"|
|2016||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Mitch Hampton||Episode: "Broken Rhymes"|
|2016–17||No Tomorrow||Pete||2 episodes|
|2020||Chilling Adventures of Sabrina||Pan||5 episodes|
|2014||Submissions Only||Fred Planer||Episode: "Having Foresight"|
Awards and nominations
|2009||Tony Award||Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical||Hair||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Actor in a Musical||Nominated|
- "The Testaments: Of One Fold and One Shepherd". IMDb. Retrieved July 17, 2008.
- Milzoff, Rebecca. "Hair's Will Swenson on Pantsless Acting and His Former Career in LDS Cinema". Retrieved March 31, 2009.
- "Famous Mormons". Truman Library. Retrieved May 9, 2008.
I don't practice Mormonism at all anymore, but I grew up in a Mormon family.Cite journal requires
- "Hair, with Swenson, Creel, Allen, Levy, Case and Sheik, Returns to Broadway March 6". Playbill. Retrieved March 29, 2009.
- Shenton, Mark. "Broadway's Hair to Let It All Hang Out at West End's Gielgud Theatre", Playbill, November 12, 2009
- Hetrick, Adam. "EXCLUSIVE: Burkhardt to Succeed Swenson in London's Hair", Playbill, May 21, 2010
- "Tony-Award winner to star in Hale Center show". The Salt Lake Tribune. April 25, 2010. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
- "Swenson & Sheldon Lead Pre-Broadway PRISCILLA in Toronto; Opens Oct. 26". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
- "Utah's Will Swenson lands role in 'Les Miz' revival". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
- Hetrick, Adam. Audra McDonald and Will Swenson Are Engaged" Playbill, January 3, 2012
- "Broadway stars Audra McDonald, Will Swenson wed" northjersey.com, October 7, 2012