An accomplished theater performer, Spencer clowned in the Tony-nominated Broadway production of Slava’s Snowshow (2009); played the second lead on tour in the U.K., Germany and Austria; and in two and a half years Off-Broadway, he and fellow Snowshow performers were honored with the Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience (2005). This is considered by some to be quite a stretch.
Film appearances include Yankel in Adam Vardy’s Mendy: A Question of Faith; the title role in Chris Cavalier’s Young Goodman Brown. TV: featured roles on NBC’s Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Deadline, plus co-starring as Luther the Skinhead on FOX’s Jonny Zero. Theater: numerous regional and New York theater credits including lead roles across three seasons Off-Broadway with The Folksbiene National Yiddish Theater; lead roles for the national tours of The Prince & The Pauper and The Miser; Viennese productions of A Christmas Carol and Baby with the Bathwater. He has appeared nationwide in on-camera commercials, and has provided voiceovers for cartoons and commercials in New York and Vienna.
In New York, Spencer directed world premiere productions of Matt Okin’s Cherry Hill and One Innocent Woman at Theatre for the New City; Foiling the Foulwarts at the Brooklyn Neighborhood Theatre for Kids; the national tour of Don Quixote de la Mancha for National Theater of the Performing Arts; Susan Josephs’ and Basya Schechter’s The Manhattan Bible at Makor; new play readings at The Stamford Center for the Arts; and several experimental film projects, including the acclaimed Two Russian Clowns starring Fyodor Makarov and Artyom Zhimolokhov, and MAGDA: Portrait of a Life starring Regina Taufen. In 2003, he received an Award for Excellence in Directing from Brass Tacks Theater Ensemble for his direction of the world premiere of The Zax Complex by playwright Andy Chmelko.
In six years as co-founder and artistic director of the nonprofit arts organization Cannery Works, he guided and produced multiple award-winning debut productions in theater, photography, and multi-media, notably MEL & EL: This Show Rhymes, Timothy Briner’s BOONVILLE, and Jason Covert’s CARNIVORA exhibition.
As a playwright, Spencer’s prize-winning miniature works for theater—Bringing Up Mamet and Hurry Up Please, It’s Time—have been performed in San Francisco at A.C.T. and The Directors Theater. REALITY!, his first musical as book writer as well as composer/lyricist, debuted at Black Box Studios in Teaneck, NJ in 2013.
A banjo player and songwriter, he has released two albums—Banjo Singalong Vol. I (produced by Mike Cohen and Rolando Gori) and Howlin' at the Moon (produced by Grammy winner Dean Jones). Five of his songs—Little Old Coyote, Good Ol’ American Cheese, Santa Claus Brought Me a 5-String Banjo, Messy Baby, and Ukulele Christmas—have been named finalists in the Great American Song Contest four years in a row.
Spencer’s work as writer-director includes the short films Signals Crossed (featured at the 2011 SAG Foundation’s Short Film Showcase), The Things You Don’t Say (official selection at the 2012 Boston International Film Festival), and Another Time, Maybe (official selection at the 2014 SF Indie, Sedona International, and Florida Film Festivals; winner of the Audience Award for Narrative Short at SF Indie Fest; globally distributed by GaiamTV/Spiritual Cinema Circle). He is the writer of the feature-length screenplay 12 1/2, about a boy facing the year of his bar mitzvah and falling in love with an older girl. A native of San Francisco, he attended UCLA and the University of Vienna, lived and worked in Manhattan for twenty years, and now, with his wife, two children, and cat, calls Minneapolis home.