Danny Bernardo is a writer, actor, and director who has returned to his native Los Angeles after working in the Chicago theatre community for most of his adult life. He was a resident playwright with Bailiwick Chicago, where his play Mahal received its world premiere and subsequently a BroadwayWorld Award nomination for “Best New Work”. His work with Bailiwick Chicago includes the development of his plays Anytime, #OMFG, and Better Half. Bernardo’s play f-gg*t received a workshop with InFusion Theatre Company. He maintains his Chicago roots as an Artistic Associate of the Chicago Inclusion Project, where he began development of his play Tomas.
In Los Angeles, his play Fuck My Life premiered at the 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival, where it played sold out performances and earned an Encore Award extension. He played “Hot Blades Harry” in Coeurage Theatre Company’s critically lauded and long-running hit Urinetown the Musical. He wrapped another long running musical in Spring 2019, East West Players’ critically acclaimed production of Mamma Mia in the role of “Harry Bright”.
In 2016, Bernardo launched Twelve 3 Productions, dedicated to diversity and inclusion in casting and production. Their first short film Jerky was screened at the Court Metrage du Festival de Cannes. Their second short film Little You received its world premiere at the Perth International Queer Film Festival.
Bernardo’s passion for writing started at an early age when he became the youngest contributing writer to the now defunct XY Magazine at the age of 17. His writing continued to expand from the performance-based oeuvre as a featured columnist for the GoPride network, the nation’s largest LGBT new media site. For GoPride he wrote the theatre-centric Backstage Pass and the geek-centric Geek On. His daily serial Boystown (described as the love child of Tales of the City and Gossip Girl) appeared exclusively on GoPride from 2012-2013.
Theatrically, Bernardo has had the great fortune to work with such Chicago companies as the Goodman, About Face, Victory Gardens, Lifeline, Silk Road Rising, American Theater Company, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Collaboraction, Emerald City, Rasaka, The Plagiarists, and Porchlight Music Theatre (Artistic Associate emeritus). Bernardo was also a member of the sketch comedy groups Stir Friday Night and Cupid Players, with whom he wrote material and performed all over the US.
His eclectic skill set has allowed him to work on a diverse range of projects over the years and he is passionate about multicultural casting, collaborative theatre, and arts education. As a theatre educator, Bernardo spent several years on faculty of After School Matters/Gallery 37, the Chicago Academy for the Arts, and Metropolis Performing Arts Center: School of the Arts. A milestone in his career was producing and moderating a panel discussion on cultural appropriation for Asian Americans in theatre, featuring famed playwright David Henry Hwang. He remains a fervent advocate for diversity and inclusion in all forms of storytelling.
Bernardo has studied at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and Second City Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, and the Las Vegas Academy for the Arts. He is a proud member of AEA, AGVA, and is SAG-AFTRA eligible and is represented for TV, Film, Commercial, and Voice Over by The Happen Agency. He resides in Echo Park with his dog Padfoot.