You probably know Chad Cline as our Lt Foster, master of the slow burn as he’s being driven crazy by Harry Hunsacker. But Chad is a man with many interests!
Chad played sports in school and excelled to the extent that he was offered a college football scholarship. His involvement in theatre didn’t begin, however, until his senior year of high school, when he needed an art credit in order to graduate. He chose to take a theatre class and fell in love. Chad loved theatre so much that he turned down the athletic scholarship to pursue his craft as an actor, which he did at KD Studios here in Dallas.
It was at KD Studios that Chad discovered improvisational comedy. He didn’t trust his talent at first and turned down an offer to join an improv group. But when the group asked him a second time, he figured they saw something in him worth their time and he said “yes.” At some point, Chad noticed he was only being given “straight man” roles. He pushed back, confident he could do more, and he did! Along the way, Chad fell in love again, this time with improv. He continued to hone his craft, taking classes from Randy Bennett who would become his mentor. Says Chad, “Performing improv is the only time I feel 100% free and calm.” He became a member of Section 8 Comedy and performed at various venues in the DFW area, including a long-standing gig at Ozona Bar and Grill.
Chad’s love for improv didn’t erase his interest in more traditional theatre, however. He started auditioning for stage plays again, and in 2010 he was hired at Pegasus to direct two short plays for the Festival of Independent Theatres (FIT). He felt part of the family right away, and in the fall of 2010 he auditioned for and was cast as Lt Foster in the 2011 Living Black and White show “Death is No Small Change!” It took a little persuasion from his then girlfriend (now wife) Leslie Patrick, as Chad was nervous. Nervous about the makeup, about replacing someone in an iconic role, about the specific demands of that script. We didn’t know about Chad’s case of nerves at the time. All we knew was that we had found the next perfect Lt Foster!
On the next Living Black and White production (2012’s The Frequency of Death!), Chad feels he really found his stride as Foster. “Everything clicked,” he says. “I knew who I was as Foster and I felt we gelled as a threesome.” Years later, Chad is still wowing audiences, either in his role as Lt Foster or as a director for some of Pegasus Theatre’s other offerings. Of his current relationship with Pegasus, Chad says he never imagined it would develop to this point, with so much mutual respect that he feels like an equal. And well he should, as he and his wife Leslie are often consulted on Pegasus Theatre policy decisions.
Chad continues both his improv work and his stage work throughout the year. He also runs the Cline Salon, where his clients include some of the finest theatrical talent in Dallas. And in his spare time he is working on a degree program that will dovetail with his desire to start a business focused on bringing interactive diversity training to corporate venues. Chad is especially proud of yet another project in the works, a project slated to bring anti-bullying training into schools.
Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?! Chad loves the pace. “If I’m not busy, I get depressed,” he says. We are eternally grateful to be part of Chad’s busy schedule and look forward to many more years of collaborative busy-ness!