Paul Russell’s career as a screen & stage casting director, director, author of books for and about actors spans projects for major film studios including: 20th Century Fox, HBO; television networks NBC and CBS, Broadway, and regional theater. His work in casting includes working with leading Hollywood actors including: Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, Bruce Willis, Jennifer Aniston, Cynthia Nixon, Ileana Douglas, Lainie Kazan, Phylicia Rashād, Kevin Bacon, and Victor Garber. He cast the Drama Desk winning COBB produced in New York & LA by Kevin Spacey, the original productions of String Fever (starring Cynthia Nixon), Pera Palas (Sinan Unel), Woody Guthrie’s American Song (Drama Desk noms.) plus casting for the Asolo, San Jose Rep., the Barter Theatre (TONY recipient) and over a dozen more regional theaters.
As a director featured in American Theatre Magazine Russell worked with legendary playwright John Guare directing the regional premiere of Mr. Guare’s A FREE MAN OF COLOR. He also directed the 1st post-Broadway production of MAMMA MIA! which broke box-office records and required a second remounting in less than six months of its original 3 month, sold-out run. His subsequent production FOOTLOOSE at the same theater, Barter, smashed the historical MAMMA MIA! box office records.
Russell is the author of the best-selling acting book for actors, ACTING: Make It Your Business – How to Avoid Mistakes & Achieve Success as a Working Actor (Penquin Random House). Paul teaches master classes at universities including: Elon, Wright State University, Illinois Weslyan University, Oakland University, Emory & Henry College, and Louisiana State University. He’s lectured on the campuses of many of the U.S.’s finest acting programs including Yale, Rutgers, DePaul, and The University for the Arts. Russell taught the business of acting for NYC-Tisch’s acting program at The Atlantic Theatre Company.