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Get to Know Brandon Haagenson, Joe Chisholm, & Patrick Reilly, the Trio of Stars Heating Up Off-Broadway's Afterglow

September 27th, 2017 by

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Get to Know Brandon Haagenson, Joe Chisholm, & Patrick Re...

Photo by Mati Gelman

There's a new off-Broadway play that has all of gay NYC abuzz, Afterglow. The super sexy drama made waves for its use of nudity but the realistic portrayal of the central couples' relationship is what has people recommending it to their friends. The play follows Josh and Alex, a married couple who invites young Darius to join them for a fun threesome; but Darius and Josh have a connection that can't be ignored, and soon Josh finds myself torn between his husband and his new boyfriend. Afterglow features three terrific, grounded, and emotional performances by Brandon Haagenson, Joe Chisholm, and Patrick Reilly. Scroll on as BroadwayBox gets to know each guy a bit better.

Brandon Haagenson (Josh)

Afterglow- Brandon Haagenson- Josh- Off Broadway

1. The most surprising part about Afterglow has been:
How personally people have been taking Afterglow. I knew people would enjoy this show and get into the story, but they're identifying with it in a way that I hadn't expected. Single people, couples who have been together for years, younger couples. There's this argument I have in the show with my husband, and I could hear my friends who have been married to each other for 14 years giggle in the audience during it. They said afterward that they'd had the same one the day before. So, it's really neat to hear all the different ways people see themselves up there.

2. One piece of advice I’d give my Afterglow character:
Telling half the truth is just as bad as lying.

3. In five years after the final scene, I think my Afterglow character is:
One of those Brooklyn dads whose kids are enrolled in pre-pre-school and have tons of play dates. But still sexy. 

4. The film with the hottest sex scene:
The one in Short Bus where they sing the National Anthem, definitely.

5. For me, the key to being comfortable in rehearsals and then performance was:
Having the other two guys there was really important for me. There's a mentality that we're all in this together, and that really helps us trust each other and just kind of jump and go for it. The show starts with the three of us naked together and gets more emotionally intimate from there, so you just have to dive in every night. 

And from the beginning, whenever we work one of the more intimate parts we always figure out what is happening emotionally with these characters and map out the scene first. Once you figure all that out you already feel pretty vulnerable, so then the physical intimacy and the nudity is actually pretty easy. 

6. An important piece of gay representation for me growing up was:
Hedwig & the Angry Inch was huge for me. I really identified with someone who left everything behind to go figure out who they are and what they really love. And come on, that music. The sequence for "Origin of Love" from that is one of my favorites. 

7. Before the show, my ritual typically includes:
It totally depends on the day, honestly.  Some days it's gym class with stretching, pushups, planks on stage. Sometimes it's more meditative. Sometimes I'm catching up with the guys and then I scramble to get ready on time. We do the show seven times a week and it has to feel honest every time, so you gotta kind of just come from wherever you are.  But every day just before the show, we flash the lights and dance on stage. We have a “Diva of the Week” and just dance to them before every show, which is awesome.

8. If I had to describe the other two guys as cocktails, they would be:
Joe is definitely a rye Manhattan on the rocks.  A true gentleman's drink.
Patrick is something fun that the bartender likes to make. A lychee martini.

Joe Chisholm (Alex)

Afterglow- Joe Chisholm- Alex- Off Broadway

1. Before friends and family come to the show I tell them:
Have a drink, avert your eyes if you feel you need to, but be prepared to get pulled in. It's a wild and emotional ride. 

2. One piece of advice I’d give my Afterglow character:
Know your worth and don't accept any less than that from anyone...even those you love most. 

3. The most memorable audience interaction I’ve had after a performance:
I'm still fairly new, so I am sure the other boys have more specific stories since the show opened, but after nearly every show I run into someone down the street from the theatre that stops me and thanks me for telling their story. It's powerful to be in a piece of theatre that hits home for so many people. Fidelity, Love, Marriage, Boundaries. They are not only universal concepts, but ones that are bone deep and a fundamental part of our makeup as humans. Because of that, they are the things that often hit the hardest. 

4. The film with the hottest sex scene:
Even though they recently broke up in real life, basically every sex scene in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Because who doesn't like blowing stuff up while making love? 

5. An important piece of gay representation for me growing up was:
For me, the most influential gay representation growing up were the men and women in the theatre community where I grew up. I've never had to know what it's like to grow up in an environment without people who love fiercely and beautifully, regardless of who their partners were. Also, I got to be Rue McClanahan's date to the theatre when she was filming a series in my hometown. So I think that counts for something too .

6. Before the show, my ritual typically includes: 
I generally try and schedule the day so I get a good workout in right before our half hour call. Then some warmups once I get to the theatre and, most importantly, our pre-show dance parties.

7. In five years after the final scene, I think my Afterglow character is:
Without revealing too much about the show, (come see us), five years from the last scene Alex is happy. 

8. If I had to describe the other two guys as cocktails, they would be: 
Josh (played by Brandon) is definitely a craft beer that you order because it's trendy to like it.
Darius (played by Patrick) is a Cosmopolitan.

Patrick Reilly (Darius)

Afterglow- Patrick Reilly - Darius- Off Broadway

With our swing Taylor Wright!


1. The most surprising part about Afterglow has been:
The audience response! We've had people stay afterward to tell us how important this show is, how much it affected them, and how incredibly similar it was to their life experience. 

2. Before friends and family come to the show I tell them:
You're gonna see me FULL nudie.

3. One piece of advice I’d give my Afterglow character:
Don't make emotion based decisions.

4. For me, the key to being comfortable in rehearsals and then performance was:
Focusing on story

5. Before the show, my ritual typically includes:
A warm up, vocally, physically, and then I focus on one phrase and sit with it and build an emotional response around it.

6. If I had to describe the other two guys as cocktails, they would be: 
Alex—vodka martini with a twist
Josh—Corona Light. Lol

Don't miss these guys in 'Afterglow' at The Loft at the Davenport Theatre through November 18.