Brandon Marcus was born in Mobile, Alabama where he would spend the next 12 years of his life. Growing up, Brandon found himself at home on the stage from a very young age, staring in his kindergarten graduation musical. It wasn’t until he was 12, however, that he would make his “real” theatre debut at The Chickasaw Civic Theatre, winning the role of Colin Craven in The Secret Garden (Mike Box, Director), and in turn being awarded the “Best Young Actor” award of the year.
After high school, Brandon chose to continue his studies at The University of Alabama with a major in Music Theatre. While at UA, he marched Mellophone in The Million Dollar Band (Dr. Kenneth Ozello, Director), sang Baritone with both The University Singers (Dr. John Ratledge, Director) and The UA Men’s A Cappella Group (Stephen Rotz, Director), studied organ (Dr. Faith Freese) and applied voice (Mr. Doff Procter). He also was part of The University of Alabama Opera Theatre (Dr. Paul Houghtaling, Director) where he was given the chance to perform the role of Kromov in The Merry Widow.
After three years at UA, fate played its hand and convinced Brandon to return home to Mobile, Alabama and transfer to The University of South Alabama. Upon arrival, Brandon began pursuing a BA in Liberal Studies, a major that included Communication, Education, Music, and Theatre. He would soon become involved in numerous aspects of the arts, both around campus and throughout the area. He began studying voice with Dr. Thomas L. Rowell, and eventually won an Alabama NATS title under his direction. Brandon was asked to become a member of The University Chorale (Dr. Laura Moore, Director), the highly-selective vocal ensemble at South Alabama. Between performing and studying, Brandon still found time to land lead roles in two main stage productions as Morton Gross in the stage play The Water Engine (Dr. Leon Van Dyke, Director) and as The Cat In The Hat in Seussical: The Musical (Ms. Rebecca Britton, Director).
"To say that he was energetic is an understatement!" -Daniela Werner, USA Vanguard
It wasn't until Brandon started working with a small children's theatre that he realized his full potential. As Brandon began working with children at Sunny Side Theater, he realized just what it took to pull creativity, confidence, and talent out of children. His five years of work with Sunny Side Theatre and the Azalea City Center For the Arts gathered him credits for Choreographer, Music Director, Makeup/Set/Wig Design, Artistic Director, and even a Co-Director credit. (See Brandon's Resume above for more information!)
Ready to continue singing, dancing, and acting, Brandon returned to his "home turf" of Chickasaw Civic Theatre to audition for Bye, Bye Birdie (Mike Box, Director). Earning the role of Albert J. Peterson, he worked with actors young and old to put together a top-notch show. Brandon was finally back in theatre and nothing was going to stop him now!
On top of acting and teaching, Brandon had to keep up his studies. While studying for Spring 2012 finals, Brandon received a message that a local theatre needed an actor that could carry a certain part. Without practicing or really any notice, Brandon drove to Mobile Theatre Guild to audition for the Dolly Parton musical 9 to 5 (Keone Fuqua and James Boykin, Directors). Having seen the musical on Broadway just a few years before, Brandon was familiar with the show and knew exactly which role he wanted. Being cast as a single-named character, Brandon was soon to play Joe, the office worker who gets the… well, you'll have to see the show! Receiving rave reviews for his performance in this smaller role, Brandon received the honor of winning a Nappie, a local arts award.
“…a sly looker who knows exactly what to do when he has an audience in the palm of his hand.” -Jim Faust, NuzzApp
Freshly awarded with a Nappie (and not to mention his Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Communication, Education, Music, and Theatre from the University of South Alabama), Brandon spent the Summer of 2013 resting and planning his next move. While enjoying the white sands of the Alabama Gulf Coast, Brandon realized one thing: Legally Blonde (Jeffery Williamson, Director) auditions were that day! This being a show that Brandon could quote every word to, and one that he had planned on doing since the day auditions were announced, Brandon was ready to audition at the Joe Jefferson Playhouse. After a long week of casting, Brandon was able to cross off one of his "bucket list" roles: Emmett Forrest! With casting, recasting, set disasters, and more, "Blonde" was a show to remember, selling out shows and grossing the largest amount of ticket sales for JJP in a long time! The cast became family, but soon the show ended… but the relationships didn't!
Who knew that going into an audition singing Think of Me from The Phantom of the Opera could land such great roles? Well, Brandon quickly found that out after he jokingly auditioned for Forbidden Broadway (Eric Browne, Director) at Mobile Theatre Guild. Playing greats like Mandy Patinkin, The Phantom, and Angel from RENT, Brandon secured his place in the Mobile theatre community. These roles, along with his role in Legally Blonde, earned him the honor of winning the 2014 Lagniappe Nappie for Best Local Actor!
"Brandon Caten, who plays "Rent"'s resident token transgender character Angel, really makes "Seasons" sing. His Angel is an over-emotional, bawling mutant drag queen with plenty of dark facial hair. Clad in Ronald McDonald tights and Mae West-ish red lingerie, Caten puts the "hot" in hot mess."
-Tamara Ikenberg, AL.com
-Tamara Ikenberg, AL.com
With the Fall of 2014 came new opportunities for Brandon: he accepted a position with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra teaching elementary music as part of the Preludes program, expanded a business relationship and became part of The Brandy Brown Studio where he would begin teaching private and group voice, and even explored new areas to perform. Branching out into a new area, Brandon decided to audition for The Addams Family (Sheila Thornberg, Director) in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Knowing that he would soon be too old to play the role of Lucas Beineke, Brandon devoted three months of his life to perfecting this once-in-a-lifetime role.
Brandon was happy to return to the Joe Jefferson Playhouse where he was privileged to play the role of Mereb in Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida (Cathy Bouler, Director). After nine shows, Brandon developed a love for the character of Mereb and found a renewed love for musical theatre. One of his personal bests, the character of Mereb was enough to secure him a Nappie two years in a row!
"Comic relief and some of the show's most poignant acting is provided by Brandon M. Caten... an animated, addicitvely watchable combination of comic expressions and reactions..."
-Tamara Ikenberg, AL.com
-Tamara Ikenberg, AL.com
With the role of Mereb fresh in his mind, Brandon was ready for another character opportunity. Auditions for Sweeney Todd (Patrick Jacbos, Director) at the Joe Jefferson Playhouse arrived and, while he was not of age to play a lead, the show gave him a great opportunity to work on his character skills. This show received praise for having the best ensemble to step foot on the stage in Mobile in years and Brandon was proud to be part of that cast!
If singing about a crazed killer wasn't enough for Brandon, he was asked to sing in a Mobile Opera production about the Devil with his former voice teacher singing the title role, the chorus directed by his former choral director, and the stage direction coming from this former opera director. How could he turn down this amazing opportunity? Brandon gladly accepted the opportunity to sing in The Devil and Daniel Webster (Paul Houghtaling, Director). The next show needed to be something a little happier...
Looking for a change in scenery, Brandon made the decision to drive across the bay and audition for The Little Mermaid (Erin Langley, Director) with the Eastern Shore Repertory Theater. Not only did he receive a change in scenery that included a beautiful bluff background, but he also found a brand new theatre family. Playing to numbers that exceeded over 1,000 per show, Brandon fell in love with the the Eastern Shore!
As Brandon continues his work in theatre, he is constantly focused on education for both himself and those around him. Brandon graduated from Spring Hill College where he completed his Master of Liberal Arts in Leadership & Ethics. He is the Owner/Director of The Studio, the only educational performing arts studio in the area. Stay tuned as Brandon continues to perform at a theater near you!