Open Circle Theatre (OCT) announces the casting of Russell Harvard, ’07 Broadway, film, and TV star, to play the lead in its upcoming production of “The Who’s Tommy”(Music and Lyrics by Pete Townshend (Book by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff). The show will run October 27 through November 20, 2016 at the Silver Spring Black Box Theatre, located in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Harvard has been recognized in the Broadway revival of Spring Awakening (Deaf West Theatre), the Boston premiere of I Was Most Alive With You (Huntington Theatre) for the role of Knox. And the New York premiere of Tribes (Barrow Street Theatre) for the role of Billy, for which he received a 2012 Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut Performance and nominations for Drama League, Outer Critics Circle. And Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor.

He is well known for appearing in the award-winning film There Will Be Blood as Adult HW. Harvard played the villain Mr. Wrench in the critically acclaimed Fargo series on FX Network. He also portrayed Matt Hamill, a UFC fighter, in The Hammer, based on a true story.

“This is OCT’s first production that directly comments on disability, so we wanted to push the conversation and confront common stereotypes,” said Suzanne Richard, artistic director at Open Circle Theatre. “The character Tommy and his near catatonic state – ‘that deaf, dumb and blind kid’ – was written as a metaphor for Pete Townshend’s childhood and his struggles to deal with fame in his later life. With Harvard playing Older Tommy and communicating in American Sign Language, I call it ‘THE METAPHOR STRIKES BACK!'”

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