Having only had a passing relationship with reading and seeing Shakespeare on stage, I auditioned for the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival [1978 – 2003] at UW- Platteville in 1982. Founders of the WSF, Tom Collins and Tom Goltry, hired me from an audition at the Wisconsin Theatre Association’s State Summer Auditions . With no Shakespearean experience, I was thrust into a “classically trained” environment with many other actors from professional training programs. Somehow with only my ” seat of my pants” training, I held my own playing Parolles in ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, Aragon in MERCHANT of VENICE, Francisco in TEMPEST and the Barber in COMEDY of ERRORS. I returned to WSF in 1983 to play Cornwall in KING LEAR, Backbite in SCHOOL for SCANDAL, and Quince in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’s DREAM. A journey had begun.
Moving to Chicago in 1983, I continued working with “the Bard” with FREE SHAKESPEARE CO. playing Demetrius in MIDSUMMER and Friar Lawrence, Peter, and The Prince in three different productions of ROMEO & JULIET.
In New York, I have studied with Eloise Watt’s SHAKESPEARE WORKOUT, and been a member of Actor’s Shakespeare Co. at NJCU [now at Snyder Academy in Elizabeth, NJ] playing Friar Laurence again in R&J, Old Gobbo & The Duke in MERCHANT, and Canterbury, French King, Bardolph, Erpingham + in HENRY V. I am also a regular in Paul Sugarman’s INSTANT SHAKESPEARE readings in New York Public Libraries.
In 2000, I helped found the Killington Shakespeare Retreat [2000 – Continuing] a retreat weekend for actors who have either performed in Shakespeare or want to. The “Retreat” includes workshop programming, classwork, and a performance opportunity with STAND-UP SHAKESPEARE at the Calvin Coolidge Foundation site in Plymouth Notch, VT.
Finally, with all that “Shakespeare” in my head, I began transitioning from on stage work to writing contemporary adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. Currently, I am adapting MIDSUMMER NIGHT’s DREAM to Washington D.C. present day with Mr. Puck and Mz. Bette Bottom, both Congressional staffers, taking over the proceedings. This MIDNIGHT’s DREAM was developed in a Fellowship Writing Residency at Vermont Studio Center in March 2018 specifically for Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries Playwriting Initiative at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA. My other adaptations include The LEARS: Fools of Fortune; 12th NIGHTed; SLIPPERY: A Wintry Tale; TEMPEST, and VARIED LIVES…a 1930’s MERRY WIVES of WINDSOR for 6 men.
In planning stages are MORTAL COIL: A Minnesota Hamlet and MERCHANT of VENICE BEACH. And, yes, I have been to both Minnesota and Venice Beach.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWPKU-H46WE 12th NTD YouTube promo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEmvBshq4SA 12th NTD YouTube promo