VICTOR LIRIO is an actor and theatre director based in New York City. He founded and ran Diverse City Theater Company (DCT) as producing artistic director for ten years (2003-2012). He recently directed two new plays by award-winning playwright Cassandra Medley—Coming Up for Air, a full length play about climate change (recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Grant), for Ensemble Studio Theatre’s First Light Festival starring Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins; and Cell, a play about African American women working at an immigrant detention center in Michigan, with four-time Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad (Showtime’s Billions, A Doll’s House Part 2).
He directed the world premiere of Warren Bodow’s Race Music (New York Times Critic's Choice); Cassandra Medley’s award-winning Noon Day Sun (Time Out New York Critic's Choice), with Obie and Emmy Award winner Ron Cephas Jones (NBC’s This is Us), Gin Hammond, Michael McGlone (Brothers McMullen, Person of Interest), and Melanie Nicholls-King (HBO's The Wire) earning several nominations for the Audelco Awards including Best Dramatic Production of the Year.
Under Victor’s artistic leadership, DCT launched the Green Room Series, an incubator program that developed over 35 original plays including Clean Living by Tony Award nominee Robert Askins (Hand to God) and performances by Tony Award winner and legendary actress Marian Seldes, Obie Award winners Laila Robins and Amy Warren. He produced 18 of them in ten productions at Theatre Row including three theater festivals—The Equality Plays Festival (plays about gender identity); Snapshots (plays about mature women, New York Times Critics Choice); and The Pearl Project (plays about Filipino-American diaspora). For the Green Room Series, he directed several new works in-development including Yussef El Guindi's Pilgrims Musa & Sheri in the New World (winner of the 2012 Steinberg Award for Best New Play) and Amy Hartman's Mad Honey. At Miami Theater Center, he directed Sarah Ruhl’s The Oldest Boy (mainstage)and Neil Labute’s The Mercy Seat (The SandBox Theatre).
As an actor, he was in the First National Tour of the 1996 Broadway revival of The King & I that premiered at The Kennedy Center (starring Hayley Mills). He played reporter Walker Harris in Lee Blessing’s political drama, Two Rooms, directed by Jamie Richards, to critical acclaim (Theatre Row, NYC). Victor originated lead roles in new works by award winning Filipino-American playwrights alongside Obie Award winner Ching Valdes-Aran: Eduardo in the world premiere of Resurrection by Eric Gamalinda, directed by Michael Sexton; and Anghel in The Female Heart by Linda Faigao-Hall, directed by Jamie Richards. Under Deborah Hedwall's direction, he has been a member of DHCO acting company and residency in Maremma, Italy where he played Harry Bagley in Caryl Churchill's Cloud 9, Lopakhin in Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, and recently, Medvedenko/Trigorin in Chekhov's The Seagull. At LAMDA, he played Claudius in Hamlet (directed by Gari Jones) and Hippolito in Thomas Middleton's Women Beware Women (directed by James Wallace). He has worked at several Off Broadway and regional theatre companies including Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Public Theater, Huntington Theatre, Lark Theatre, Luna Stage, Ma-Yi Theatre Co., and Queens Theatre in the Park.
Victor has written for and directed Tony Award winner Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Disney’s Aladdin and Mulan) award-winning and critically-acclaimed solo concerts in Manila, Philippines at the PICC (Best Major Concert of the Year, Aliw Awards), in San Francisco at the Nourse Auditorium as well as in New York's legendary venues: Kaleidoscope at The Town Hall, the New York Times acclaimed Back to Beforeat Café Carlyle, and Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Concert Series at Jazz at Lincoln Center. With special permission from Mr. Stephen Sondheim, he wrote and directed Suites by Sondheim, a star-studded concert event at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. He produced Ms. Salonga's sold-out Carnegie Hall concert debut at Isaac Stern Auditorium.
He has taught master classes at University of Miami's and Point Park University's Theater Arts Conservatory and has been an invited speaker at Pace University, Syracuse University, and The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting panel in New York. On television, his theatre directing work has been featured on NBC's Saturday Morning Show and NY1.
Victor trained in Classical Acting at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and in Stanislavski with Deborah Hedwall. He is currently pursuing his MA in Drama Directing at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic in England.