ELAN ZAFIR

Actor. Playwright.

BIO    THEATRE     TV     REEL     RESUME    TEACHING    GALLERY    REVIEWS    CONTACT

 

FALSTAFF/FOOL

What do you get when you mix two of the greatest characters that have ever lived on the page and stage? A Shakespeare-Mashup. Bedlam's merge of King Lear and The Merry Wives of Windsor is nothing short of irreverent and magical. Getting to play one of these characters in my life would have been phenomenal, playing them both is surreal. I am really curious to see how it will all come together. And this was just 2 episodes! Still another 6 to shoot! Scroll down for more pictures of this gut-shot cocktail of art. 

 
 
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THE NEW YORK TIMES

 
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"FEMINISM IS DEAD, DEAR. HAVEN'T YOU HEARD? THEY KEEP TRYING TO RESURRECT IT, BUT IT'S NOT GOING TO TAKE."

Women's Voices Festival in DC. Quote is from Way of the World by Theresa Rebeck.

 

BIO

Elan Zafir is a Canadian actor based in New York City. He originated the role of Abaddon, in Olivier-nominated writer/director Yael Farber’s critically acclaimed adaptation of SALOME at Shakespeare Theatre Company, which garnered 7 Helen Hayes Awards including Best Ensemble. He played in Theresa Rebeck's comedy WAY OF THE WORLD opposite Kristine Nielsen.  Elan was cast by Mark Brokaw to play Nazari in the new play PAPER DOLLS which was developed through the Sundance Play Festival and the Public Theater. Elan was cast by Mark Wing-Davey to play Hamzi in Mona Mansour's THE VAGRANT TRILOGY which was developed through the Public Theater, and is a part of their 2019-2020 season. He will be a part of the official opening season of Simon Goodwin's first year as Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Theatre Company in the award winning play EVERYBODY by Brandon Jacob Jenkins. Elan was nominated for a James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play for his work in Twelve Angry Men at Ford's Theatre, directed by Sheldon Epps. Elan was recently cast in the World Premiere of Ms. Rebeck's new play Enlightened, which will open Arena's 2020 season. Mrs. Rebeck will also direct. He recently shot a Krav-Maga western, Your Own; and is currently in production on an 8 episode Shakespeare mashup with Bedlam, a small, critically acclaimed Off Broadway theatre company.

He graduated The Dome Professional Theatre Program of Montreal, and attended The Academy for Classical Acting University, under the tutelage of Michael Kahn, where he earned his MFA.

He wrote and performed in his one man show, The Unaccompanied Minor, which had its world premiere at the Asheville Fringe Festival, went on to perform at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and finally completed it's journey at the DC Fringe where Roger Catlin of The Washington Post called his play "A top pick of the fringe." Elan also studied improv at Upright Citizens Brigade, where he completed the rigorous program in just two years. He is currently taking class with Seth Barrish and working on his new solo show at the Barrow Group. Elan is an avid hiker and an amateur baker, who strongly believes his bagels are better than your bagels. 

Bedlam: Bedlam The Series

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: (Upcoming) There's Always the Hudson 

Arena Stage: (Upcoming) Enlightened

Eureka Day  Mosaic Theatre

EVERYBODY   Shakespeare Theatre Company

Arena Stage: Junk: The Golden Age of Debt

The Folger Shakespeare Theatre: King John, Way of the World

Edinburgh Fringe/Capital Fringe: The Unaccompanied Minor*

*Written by Mr. Zafir

Shakespeare Theatre Company: Salomé*OthelloRomeo & Juliet 

*Helen Hayes Award Best Ensemble

Ford's Theatre: RagtimeTwelve Angry Men

Signature Theatre: Tender Napalm

Mosaic Theatre: Paper Dolls, The Vagrant Trilogy

Adventure Theatre: Jumanji* 

*Helen Hayes Award Outstanding Production

Rep Stage: Venus in Fur

The Welders: Happiness and Other Reasons to Die

Capitol Fringe: Ben&Lucille*

*Written by Mr. Zafir

New York Fringe: Leaf in the Mailbox*

*Written by Mr. Zafir

*Winner Best Ensemble Cast Award

Greenwich Street Theatre: Romeo and Juliet

Wings Theatre: Raft of the Medusa

Looking Glass Theatre: Cardboard Moon

Playwrights Horizon: Inner Workings of a Man

TheatreWorksUSA: Peter Pan

Producers Club: This is Your Life*

*Written by Mr. Zafir

*Finalist: Strawberry One-Act Festival

Lycean Theatre: Accomplice

Coconut Grove Playhouse: The Disputation 

Atwater Theatre: Look Back in Anger

GableStage: Arms and the Man 

Kennedy Center: Together Again After* [Workshop]

*Written by Mr. Zafir


Commercials:  SamsungMr. Roof, Vouchers, Wounded Warriors Project, Dominion Power, White64 Motors, Skip Doctor.


TV/Film credits: House of Cards, King of Crimes, Big Wolf on Campus, Apples, Milquetoast, Fairies, Nantucket Sun, Hit the Girl, Brand Management, Legend of Sleepy Hollow, A Child, Student Bodies, Discovery Channel, The Event, Making of the Mob, Turn, Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall, 

 

NEWS AND UPDATES

Headlines and Stories

Bedlam The Series Day 17 The Deer Head-2

BEDLAM THE SERIES

@bedlambedlambedlam

#bedlamtheseries

Photo by Ashley Garrett Photography

November 2020

(UPCOMING) THERE'S ALWAYS THE HUDSON

Woolly Mammoth Theatre
April 2020

EUREKA DAY

Mosaic Theatre
December 2019

WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE: AT THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE, THIS PLAY’S CASTING CHANGES FROM NIGHT TO NIGHT

October 2019

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EVERYBODY

Shakespeare Theatre Company
October 2019

JUNK

Arena Stage
APRIL 2019

TWELVE ANGRY MEN

Ford's Theatre
JANUARY 2019

JUNK OPENING NIGHT

APRIL 2019

 

"I'm like Daniel Craig, but a little less pretty and a lot less talented."

Elan Zafir

 

THEATRE

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JUNK: THE GOLDEN AGE OF DEBT

Arena Stage

TWELVE ANGRY MEN

Ford's Theatre

Shakespeare Theatre Company

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KING JOHN

Folger Theatre

THE VAGRANT TRILOGY

Mosaic Theatre

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THE UNACCOMPANIED MINOR

Edinburgh Fringe, UK

Mosaic Theatre

WAY OF THE WORLD

Folger Theatre

Ford's Theatre

Shakespeare Theatre Company

Signature Theatre

OTHELLO

Shakespeare Theatre Company

Rep Stage

Adventure Theatre

BEN&LUCILLE

Atlas Theatre

EVERYBODY

Shakespeare Theatre Company

 

TV

SHARK WEEK

DISCOVERY CHANNEL

DIVER

 

ACTING REEL(S)

HOUSE OF CARDS

Gagick

COACH TAYLOR

A Friday Night Lights Spoof

CHANCE

Audition for "D"

MAKING OF THE MOB

AMC

SOPRANOS

Audition Material (Dramatic)

THIS IS THE END

Audition Material (Comedy)

COACH TAYLOR

A Friday Nights Lights Spoof #2

COMMERCIAL/INDUSTRIAL REEL

Mr. Roof, Airline Pilots Association

 
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TEACHER/COACH

Private Lessons $50/an hour

Ever feel bad when you leave an audition?


Every actor I speak to dislikes the audition process—I’m lying—they HATE it. They dread the morning of; can’t stop thinking about it; can’t concentrate on anything—can’t seem to shake the impending doom… but of what?


Getting the opportunity to work?

To meet fellow artists?

Getting possibly the ONE chance to show people exactly how YOU would play the part?


I LOVE the audition process, and I will make you love it, too.


Happy to work with you on preparing your next audition. Whether it's Sides/Monologues/Call backs/On camera auditions—let's take the nerves out of the process and have fun. 

 
 
 

REVIEWS

Peter Marks — The Washington Post

"And by the way, Elan Zafir plays Hubert, torn by affection for Arthur, with such exceptional emotionality that he makes a powerful case for this secondary character to be the humane touchstone for the play."

Susan Galbraith — DC Theatre Scene

"Elan Zafir, always striking to watch, creates a lively connection [with Dykstra] that takes theatrical communion to another level, truly extraordinary. When John tells Hubert to “off” his nephew, they play with looks, innuendo slipped in almost as an aside, and musically “riff” like two great jazz musicians."

Allison Daniels — DC Theatre Scene

"Eventually Zafir works himself into a frenzy that pulls together elements of everything he has been trying to communicate for almost an hour. It’s spellbinding."

Benjamin Tomchik — Broadway World

"There is a raw quality to the emotional and physical relationship of Woman and Man, and Harris and Zafir do a phenomenal job exploring this couple. With each insult, kiss, embrace, pursuit and clash, we see their relationship reach a new level of depth... it's fascinating to watch "

Lisa Traiger— DC Metro Theatre Arts

"In the case of Elan Zafir’s biographical one-man show The Unaccompanied Minor, although it’s billed as a comedy, it really isn’t all that funny. And that’s okay, because there’s much more to the 50-minute monologue than laughs."

Robert Michael Oliver — MD Theatre Guide

"Elan Zafir play(s) this with ferocious abandon. Zafir’s performance is an athletic tour de force."

Kate Wingfield — Metro Weekly

"Zafir is an excellent physical comic, his timing is superb, and he absolutely nails it. Quite honestly, he makes the night."

Barbara Mackay — Theatre Mania

"Elan Zafir defines obnoxiousness..."

Roger Caitlin — Washington Post

"Zafir’s impassioned portrayal... embodying a dozen characters along the way in whip-smart, breakneck fashion...has devised a show with layers of theatricality that crackle..."

April Forrer — MD Theatre Guide

"And every time Elan Zafir opens his mouth and says his lines, the audience laughs. It’s a given. He’s that good."

Debbie Minter Jackson — DC Theatre Scene

Elan Zafir (as Jeb) leads the pack – with chiseled chin, quick stealthy moves, and perfect pitch delivery, he could just as easily be spouting dialogue from Mamet before heading out to commit a quick kill.

Celia Wren — Washington Post

Zafir’s amusingly flippant and chatty Jeb shows a vulnerable side, to poignant effect.

Romper — Kylie McConville

"My first impression of Goodwin's prison cellmate, whose name is Gagik, was that he's physically intimidating, covered in tattoos, and bald. You don't want to f*ck with this guy."

Sophia Howes — DC Metro Arts Theatre

"Henry’s other friend Reg, as played by Elan Zafir, has a kind of good-old-boy bonhomie which makes some of his retrograde remarks much more palatable. He displays surprising growth, and Zafir portrays his evolution with enthusiasm."

Linda Gordon — KidFriendlyDC

"But the character who had me actually LOL-ing was The Guide. Played by Elan Zafir, he’s like an awkward Indiana Jones meets J. Peterman from Seinfeld — in the most hilarious way possible."

DC Metro Theatre Arts

"Elan Zafir has conjured up theatrical genius that is both modern and relevant and loaded with humorous moments amid a very real dramatic situation."

Ian Thal — DC Metro Theatre Arts

"Graves’ scene with Elan Zafir’s Hubert, in whose care John has placed Arthur, elicits heart-wrenching performances from both actors."

Susan Galbraith — DC Theatre Sc

"I found myself on the edge of my seat and watery-eyed watching the extraordinary Graves and Zafir, the desperate, innocent boy and the tormented, conflicted man."

"Juror No. 10 (Elan Zafir, delivering a wonderfully contemptible, utterly unapologetic performance)—a blue-collar, vitriolic racist."

"Racism is definitely in play here – most thunderously articulated in a masterfully vituperative speech by Zafir as Juror Ten."

Sara Dudley Brown — The Zebra

 "Elan Zafir’s late-in-the-play chillingly delivered diatribe outlines our country’s worst nightmare about racial prejudice and he delivered it with such conviction you could almost feel the return of the nightmarish 30’s and 40’s in Europe and the 50’s here in the US."

Kate Wingfield — Metro Weekly

"Strongest of all is Elan Zafir who plays Everybody’s fair-weather friend. Zafir has fun with Jacobs-Jenkins’ rapid-fire patter and “dude” persona, bringing some of the verve and genuine laughs the piece deserves."

Rachael Goldberg — Broadway World

"Their first appeal is to Zafir's Friendship, whose frenetic energy is both comical and familiar; although Friendship is an abstract idea, Zafir clearly has mastered its personification. The combination of weirdly specific and equally generalized references makes it easy to imagine a reference to any friend one can picture, and Zafir's playfulness creates a bright moment..."

 

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©2017 by Elan Zafir.