Ari'el Stachel (born 1991 in Berkeley, California) is an American actor of Israeli Yemenite (and New York Jewish) descent who won the 2018 Tony Award for Featured Actor in a Musical for his role in The Band's Visit.[1][2]

Early lifeEdit

Stachel was born and raised in Berkeley, California. His father, the son of Yemeni Jewish immigrants, grew up in Israel; his mother, Laura Stachel, is an Ashkenazi Jew from New York. The two met on a kibbutz.[3] Stachel has said that he was uncomfortable with his ethnic heritage while growing up. His parents divorced when he was young, and he adopted his mother's last name in part to avoid being associated with his father's Middle Eastern background. He was in fifth grade when the 9/11 terror attacks occurred, and rather than be identified as part Arab, he told friends he was half black.[4][5][6]

Stachel had his first role in a school musical at age 15, after which he left Berkeley High to attend the Oakland School for the Arts.[4] He went on to study drama at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts.


Following graduation Stachel landed several stage roles and appeared on the CBS drama Blue Bloods and the Netflix series Jessica Jones before reading the script for The Band's Visit. He auditioned seven times over nine months before landing the role,[4] for which he received Lortel Award and Drama Desk Award nominations before winning the Tony Award.[7] In an emotional acceptance speech, Stachel thanked his parents, acknowledging his long struggle to accept his heritage, and expressed his joy at being part of a generation able to represent Middle Easterners in a positive fashion. “I want any kid that's watching to know that your biggest obstacle may turn into your purpose,” he said.[8]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result
2017 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical The Band's Visit Nominated
Lucille Lortel Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical[9] Nominated
2018 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Won
2019 Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album[10] Won
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program (with the cast of The Band's Visit) Won


  1. ^ "The Band's Visit Standout Ari'el Stachel Wins First Tony Award: 'Know That Your Biggest Ostacle May Turn into Your Purpose'". Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  2. ^ "Ari'el Stachel Says Playing a 'Non-Terrorist' Character in The Band's Visit Feels 'Seismic'". 2018-05-30. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  3. ^ Bloom, Nate (7 June 2018). "The Jews go to the Tonys, 2018 — including Berkeley's own Ari'el Stachel". J Weekly. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b c North, Steve (20 December 2017). "Berkeley actor finds Jewish-Arab identity on Broadway in 'Band's Visit' adaptation". J Weekly. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  5. ^ Stachel, Ari'el (4 June 2018). "I Once Hid My Middle Eastern Identity. Being Cast in the Musical The Band's Visit Changed That". TIME. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  6. ^ Quinn, Dave (30 May 2018). "Ari'el Stachel Says Playing a 'Non-Terrorist' Character in The Band's Visit Feels 'Seismic'". Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Ari Stachel".
  8. ^ "Read Ari'el Stachel's full Tony acceptance speech". Los Angeles Times. 10 June 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  9. ^ Cox, Gordon (2017-05-08). "Tony-Nominated 'Oslo' Tops Off Broadway's Lortel Awards (Full List)". Variety. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
  10. ^ Desk, TV News. "THE BAND'S VISIT, CAROUSEL & More Nominated for 2019 GRAMMY AWARDS". Retrieved 2018-12-07.

External linksEdit