Category Archives: Reflection

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Away out WEST

Category : Personal , Reflection

I plan to run into the ocean to celebrate . . .
So, the journey for summer and fall work begins. I am headed to Creede, Colorado for a three and a half month gig there in the mountains. AND THEN:
When I wrap up the final performance of THE HISTORY ROOM by Charlie Thurston, it’s over the mountains, through the desert to San Luis Obispo, California (The Happiest City in America-no kidding) where I get to direct WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING.
Two of the most beautiful places in the country, and I get to work in both of them. Plus, they are both terrific theaters that are under great leadership. I mean they are smart enough to hire me, right? And both artistic directors, Jessica Jackson and Kevin Harris respectively, have chosen extraordinary scripts for me to work on.
I’ll be back in Iowa City in time to vote in November.
To work in the American Theatre is a blessing in and of itself, but to be given opportunities like this…. This was well worth waiting for as I planned for this new chapter in my artistic life. Thank you, Theater Gods.

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Great theatre & great tacos

Category : Reflection

On a recent extended trip to California I got to hang out with members of my family who have rejected their midwestern roots and winters.  Not ready to be a snowbird (yet), I did come to understand the allure of winter warmth and if a great gig in warmer winter climes comes along – why say NO to that?

I did see some great theatre out there.  At the San Luis Obispo Little Theatre, fellow Iowa Alum Kevin Harris directed a deeply moving and disturbing Cabaret.  It was grandly gritty with a truly perverse Kit-Kat club, deliberate demoralization of the working class and a terrifying certainty of the rise of the Third Reich.  Beautifully acted and designed, it made me anxious to get back out there and work in SLO again.

Further down the coast, in Los Angeles, another trio of UI alums are getting great notices for a world premiere at the Odyssey Theatre.  The Hinkler twins, Emily and Elizabeth, are turning in great performances in Janet Schlopkahl’s play, My Sister.  This amazing production, which was launched in the L.A. Fringe Festival, explores 1930’s Berlin in a more intimate portrait of twin sisters struggling to survive via the cabaret scene.  A powerhouse of a play that some smart producer should snap up for a movie deal.

The grand finale was a lunch I enjoyed while sitting on the curb in West Hollywood.  Roy Choi is the godfather of the food truck movement in L.A. and his Korean BBQ tacos are a great triumph of food fusion and a bargain – three for $8.00, soft drink included.  Forget the need for fine table settings; get yourself to one his three “Kogi” trucks next time you find yourself out there, but be prepared to stand in line.  There are none better.

Exciting theatre and curbside dining with February temps in the 80’s.  I am one happy Iowan.




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Reflections at 65

Category : Personal , Reflection

I have been working as a professional theater artist for over forty years.

I know. It amazes me to think about how long that has been and what it all has meant. I think, more than anything else, it means I am one of the luckiest people I know. If you look at my resume, you can see that I have done what any character actor would consider a list of dream roles.

The works of Arthur Miller, William Shakespeare, Rebecca Gilman, and so many other classical and contemporary playwrights have shaped my career both as an actor and director.

Haven’t I done enough? No.

Time has become finite in a way it never was in my imagination before I turned 65. Which is a really great age. I have gained confidence, wisdom, and still have an instrument that, with thoughtful tending to the infrastructure, can still deliver fine work. I can still rehearse eight hours a day without falling down.

Unless falling down is what the script demands.

I have the artistic fire and desire to keep working and I look forward to working more; maybe even with you.