Roger Grunwald has been a professional performing artist for close to four decades. In 2016, Roger will be featured in the pilot episode of VINYL, a new HBO series. The pilot was directed by Martin Scorsese who, along with Mick Jagger, executive produces the series. VINYL chronicles the drug and sex-fueled rock 'n roll scene from the 1970s.
Roger is the creator, co-writer and star of The Mitzvah Project, a Holocaust-themed one-person drama, lecture and discussion currently touring North America. Roger’s concept for The Mitzvah Project was inspired by, and is in homage to, his mother who, as an Auschwitz survivor, used her wartime experience as a tool for teaching the lessons of history to young people. With his mother’s generation dying out, The Mitzvah Project represents Roger’s promise to use his skills to connect the theater and its capacity to touch people with the historical necessity of keeping the lessons of The Holocaust alive. Recently, The Mitzvah Project was featured in the New York Times, The Star Ledger and The Jewish Voice and Roger was honored with a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) for its creation.
Roger is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and studied acting with Wynn Handman. He is a veteran theatre, film, TV and voice actor and has appeared in over 70 stage productions in the United States and Europe. Favorite stage roles include: the title role in Brecht’s The Life of Galileo, Toby Belch, Larry (Company), Marcus Lycus, Senator Joseph McCarthy, D.H. Lawrence, Theodore Herzl, Sigmund Freud, Franz Kafka, Heiner Müller and V.I. Lenin. He was one of the leads in the Off Broadway premiere of Outside Inn at 59E59 Theaters, a role he originated in Pittsburgh and twice in Stuttgart, Germany (in the German language production of the play).
His voice and face have been heard on and seen in commercials, industrials, soap operas and in major studio features, as well as in documentaries for HBO, Court Television Network, the Discovery Channel and two independent short films.
From the early 1980s through the mid 2000s, Roger was also an activist-builder, fundraiser and Public Relations Director for the non-profit All Stars Project (ASP), which has pioneered an innovative approach to youth development using theatrical performance. During his 26-year tenure at the All Stars, he co-founded the ASP's Castillo Theatre where he starred in over 45 productions. www.rogergrunwald.com.