Celia Keenan-Bolger was born on January 26, 1978 in Detroit, Michigan and is a Tony Award winner and Broadway favorite. Celia Keenan-Bolger returns to Broadway in Paula Vogel's Mother Play in April 2024.
Keenan-Bolger trained at both the Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit and the Detroit School of Arts and graduated from the University of Michigan with a BFA in musical theatre. She began her stage career in regional theatres such as the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and Theatre Works in Silicon Valley, and she made her Off-Broadway debut as Aggie in Summer of '42 in December 2001.
During the Kennedy Center's Sondheim Celebration in 2002, she starred as Johanna in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and she would then perform again off Broadway in January 2003 in Second Stage Theatre's production of Michael John LaChiusa's Little Fish. Also in 2003, she would originate the role of Clara Johnson in the celebrated musical The Light in the Piazza at both Seattle's Intiman Theatre and Chicago's Goodman Theatre.
She originated the role of Olive Ostrovsky in William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin's The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Barrington Stage Company in the summer of 2004, reprised her performance off Broadway at Second Stage Theatre in January 2005, and did so again on Broadway, marking her Broadway debut in April 2005. She was nominated for her first Tony Award for her performance as Olive and received a Theatre World Award and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance. She remained with the production until September 17, 2006. Her next Broadway venture would be to originate the role of Éponine in the 2006 revival of Les Misérables, playing the role from October 2006 to January 2008, earning a Drama Desk nomination in 2007.
Keenan-Bolger returned off Broadway for her next productions, starring as Mary in the musical Saved at Playwrights Horizons from May to June 2008, as Katie in Bachelorette for Second Stage Theatre from July to August 2010, and as Jenny Bridges in A Small Fire from December 2010 to January 2011, once again at Playwrights Horizons. She then landed the role of Molly in New York Theatre Workshop's acclaimed production of Peter and the Starcatcher, which played the Off-Broadway venue from February to April 2011, resulting in yet another Drama Desk Award nomination, and transferred to Broadway in March 2012, leading to her second Tony Award nomination. Ahead of the Broadway premiere, Keenan-Bolger also starred as Mary Flynn in New York City Center's Encores! production of Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along in February 2012.
In the fall of 2013, she took on the role of Laura Wingfield in the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie from September 2013 to February 2014. She garnered great acclaim for her performance, winning a Drama Desk Award, earning her third Tony Award nomination, and receiving the Theatre World Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in 2014.
Keenan-Bolger followed this performance with her Lincoln Center Theater debut, starring as Mother in an Off-Broadway production of Sarah Ruhl's The Oldest Boy from October to December 2014. She was next seen on Broadway as Varya, opposite Diane Lane, in Roundabout Theatre Company's 2016 revival of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, and she was last seen off Broadway in Second Stage Theatre's 2017 production of A Parallelogram.
Keenan-Bolger returned to Broadway on November 1, 2018, taking on the role of Scout in Aaron Sorkin's new stage adaptation of the classic Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird. She won her first Tony Award in the category of Best Performance By An Actress In A Featured Role In A Play for her portrayal, and she ended her year-long run in the production on November 3, 2019. She led the reopening cast of the play once more starting in October 2021.
Although primarily known for her career on stage, Ms. Keenan-Bolger has also appeared in a number of high-profile television shows over the years, including Law & Order (2007), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2014), Nurse Jackie (2014), The Good Wife (2015), Elementary (2015), Good Behavior (2016), Blue Bloods (2017), NCIS: New Orleans (2017), and Bull (2018). Her film credits include Mariachi Gringo (2012), The Visit (2015), Breakable You (2017), and Diane (2018).
Apr 2, 2024 -