Columbia College Chicago Theatre Alum Behzad Dabu Celebrated for ‘Breakout Role’ on Hit TV Series ‘How to Get Away with Murder’

Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alumnus Behzad Dabu ’08, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s Acting Program, is featured in the September 25, 2017, edition of UNpopular Style, an online magazine. Just posted, the article celebrates Dabu’s success on the hit TV series How to Get Away with Murder.

As reported previously in this blog, Dabu joined the cast of ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder at the beginning of the show’s 2016-17 season. He made his debut on the show’s third-season opener on September 22, 2016. How to Get Away with Murder stars Viola Davis as a university law professor and criminal defense attorney who selects a group of her best and brightest students to assist with cases at her firm. Dabu plays the recurring role of Simon Drake, described in the UNpopular Style article as “the student that everyone loves to hate.”

Before joining the cast of How to Get Away with Murder, Dabu won acclaim for his performances at some of Chicago’s leading theatres, including the Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens, and the American Theater Company, where he appeared in the world premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Disgraced. Dabu came to the attention of the producers of How to Get Away with Murder when he appeared in the Los Angeles production of Disgraced, playing the role he had created in the play’s Chicago premiere.

The UNpopular Style article also addresses Dabu’s commitment to issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the entertainment industry. “It is a difficult journey for an up-and-coming young actor of color to find his footing in the industry,” notes reporter Adam Darby. “For this reason, [Dabu] has stuck to his Chicago roots and continues to work on stage where he gained his formal training as a graduate of Columbia College Chicago.  Because of his feelings towards the lack of diversity in the entertainment business, Dabu decided to co-found an opportunity for all performers of various color, gender, sexual orientation or with disabilities known as the Chicago Inclusion Project.”