Don Mayo

Don Mayo


Born: October 4, 1960
Chicago, Illinois, USA

Died: December 4, 2009

Don Mayo, a barrel-chested actor who put his commanding presence and deep bass voice to good use on the stages of Chicago and New York, died on Dec. 4, 2009. He was 49. Mr. Mayo had battled with a degenerative brain disease. He died in Chicago, in hospice care.

Obituary: Educated from Loyola University of Chicago with a B.A. degree in theatre and communications, his career began in the Windy City. He showed initiative even while still a student. During his senior year, when a teacher from another school needed a group of actors to perform at a special program, Mr. Mayo saw an opportunity, and along with several friends, started Mecca Performing Arts Troupe. This acting troupe performed for three years during the Christmas holiday season on the children's theatre circuit.

Immediately after college, he starred in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. His other Chicago credits included The Frogs, Pacific Overtures and Ain't Misbehavin'. After getting a call from the Public Theater, he moved to New York City in 1989.

Broadway credits included the The Scarlet Pimpernel and the 2002 revival of Man of La Mancha. Off-Broadway, he appeared in the City Center Encores! production of Pardon My English; Drama Dept.'s The Torchbearers; New York Shakespeare Festival's The Taming of the Shrew and Much Ado about Nothing; Vineyard Theatre's Christina Alberta's Father and many more. In many roles, he displayed a peacock-like relish in taking the stage, throwing his voice and body around, and rarely fading into the background.

His regional performances included roles at Virginia Stage Company, Seattle Repertory, Alliance Theatre, Philadelphia Drama Guild, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Hartford Stage and Sacramento Music Circus.

He served on the board of directors of New York Classical Theatre for ten years, performed in three of their productions and directed and conceived, along with friend and composer Al McCabe, their popular annual event "Classics in Jazz."

He is survived by his mother, Janice Mayo, his sister, Kim Mayo-Berger, and a host of other relatives and friends.



Playbill Cover - Man of La Mancha Man of La Mancha
Dec. 5, 2002 - Aug. 31, 2003
Governor/Innkeeper Performer
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - The Scarlet Pimpernel The Scarlet Pimpernel
Nov. 9, 1997 - Jan. 2, 2000
Ensemble Performer
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Inside the Playbill (2)

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