RAYE BIRK has been a professional actor for 50 years and has worked at numerous regional theatres including the Milwaukee Rep., the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Yale Rep., Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, South Coast Rep. in Costa Mesa, CA and the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. His theatre training includes degrees from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and an MFA from the University of Minnesota. He was the recipient of a McKnight Fellowship in graduate school and a Fox Foundation Fellowship in 2005.
He performed for nine season with the American Conservatory Theatre of San Francisco, playing leading roles in The Browning Version, The Three Sisters, Pantagleize, Equus, Travesties, Hotel Paradiso, A Christmas Carol, A Moon for the Misbegotten, and The Taming of the Shrew. He returned to ACT for five years to recreate his highly-acclaimed performance as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.
During the 20 years he lived in Los Angeles he appeared in nearly 150 television show, including recurring roles on LA Law, The Wonder Years, Coach, Cheers, Silk Stalkings, Dear John, The Popcorn Kid and The Black Scorpion as well as episodes of Babylon 5, X-Files, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Touched by an Angel, ER, Seinfeld, Murphy Brown, Star Trek, Picket Fences, Alf, Perry Mason, and numerous TV movies. His feature films appearances include Doc Hollywood, Throw Momma From the Train, The War of the Roses, Naked Gun & Naked Gun 33 1/3, Class Act and Burglar. Since moving to the Twin cities he has done four feature films here: Factotum, North Country, Sweetland and A Serious Man. He joined Mark Rylance and the cast of Nice Fish at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn and continued the run at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End.
Returning to the Twin Cities he appeared in 27 productions at the Guthrie Theater, including The Sunshine Boys, Long Days Journey Into Night, Othello, A Delicate Balance, Faith Healer, Pride and Prejudice, 1776, The Great Gatsby, Third, The Winter’s Tale, Pygmalion, His Girl Friday, MacBeth, The Crucible, West Side Story, and four seasons as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. While at the Guthrie, Raye created The Actors WorkOut, an ongoing training studio for professionally oriented performers.
Raye and his wife, Candace, currently make their home in Northampton Massachusetts.