Stepping into Magic: an actor's journey…

"Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them" ~William Shakespeare

Archive for the tag “The Tempest”

Home is where the He(art) is….


…and I had left a piece of my heart in Ashland, Oregon last November. Just a week ago I arrived on a Greyhound bus to this little vibrant theatre heaven. After closing a show in California, and leaving pieces of my heart there, I made the trek north. I consumed theatre, I reconnected with dear friends, I addressed profound, heavy matters of my heart and soul and I have made the choice to return home to Albuquerque, NM for a deep breath and some healing. It is not lost on me that the experience of watching 8 plays brings up questions, challenges and revelations on love, life, loss and laughter. This can and should, stimulate catharsis that can help us face our own inner dilemmas, demons, desires and difficulties. That is the power of theatre. To sit in an audience of living breathing people and watch others on stage who appear just like us, who are searching for the same answers, feeling the same emotions, facing the same fears, there isn’t anything like it. No matter how much I binge watch television, nothing replaces live theatre and this week I had the pleasure of binge watching at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and I would do it all over again in a heart beat!

I was planning on heading back to New York for a little less than a month before a family wedding in Late October, but all my instincts were telling me to go home, to be with loved ones and to mentally, spiritually and physically prepare for my next job. As actors, especially as traveling actors, we are faced with the stress of constant transition, building and letting go of relationships, roles, locations and a perpetual feeling of unsettledness. All of this constant uncertainty can take a toll on the self, can overload and wear down the body and can confuse the heart. So solace, time, silence and healing becomes a necessity. For me New Mexico is where I can always find this peace of mind.

So today is a day of travel from one part of my heart to another. With time on my hands and a three hour layover, I turn to reflection of my recent theatre watching OSF. To give myself a creative challenge I only let myself express my experience in a Haiku poem! (Inspired by the character of “Odessa” in Water by the Spoonful.)



THE TEMPEST by WIlliam Shakespeare

THE TEMPEST by William Shakespeare

For 12 years, the exiled Duke Prospero has waited for this moment: Old enemies have sailed too close to his enchanted island, and a mighty storm has forced them ashore. Now it’s time to settle old scores and reclaim his former dukedom for his daughter, Miranda. Aided by supernatural powers, Prospero dispenses justice while overseeing the growing attraction between Miranda and the princely son of one of his foes. In Shakespeare’s romance, sorcery and love transmute vengeance into humility and humanity, making it possible for all to return to a world made new by the power of forgiveness.

White Bodies Sit Still

A Chance For Love, A Goodbye

Free In Love and Loss


A Comedy Of Errors by William Shakespeare

The Comedy Of Errors by William Shakespeare

Antipholus and his servant, Dromio, go looking for family they lost years ago. Traveling from the rural South, they journey to the big city and find themselves in the heart of the Harlem Renaissance. And surprise! Suddenly there are two identical Antipholi and two identical Dromios, which has everybody in town (including significant others) seeing double. To make matters worse, another family member is about to be executed for breaking local law. Laughs fly as the clock ticks in Shakespeare’s farce about the craziest family reunion ever.

Color, Smiles, Laughter

Where Are We All From?

Reunion Runs Deep


Richard III by WIlliam Shakespeare

Richard III by WIlliam Shakespeare

The king you love to hate returns. Richard III is the cunning royal reprobate so deformed in body and spirit that even his mother rues the day he was born. His path to England’s throne is murderous. He rules with a tyrant’s fist. He’s backstabbing and bloody. Yet he is so mesmerizing that we dare you to look away. Historically, Richard III may not have been such a villain, but where’s the fun in that? Shakespeare’s reworking of history is tragedy at its best—deep, rich and unapologetic.

Humor In Darkness

Blood On His Fingers, Each One

Sexy Ambition


A Wrinkle In Time Adapted by Tracy Young From the book by Madeleine L'Engle

A Wrinkle In Time Adapted by Tracy Young From the book by Madeleine L’Engle

Meg Murry is the quintessential square peg: a middle-school math whiz with glasses and a short temper. But when she and her strangely gifted little brother set off to find their missing father, they’re catapulted across time and space to a world where being different isn’t just an annoyance—it can cost you your life. Even with the help of curious otherworldly beings, Meg will have to conjure every power she can find, and then some, to put her family back together. OSF presents a new adaptation of this mind-expanding science fiction story that’s still a favorite with the young and young at heart.

 Childhood Swells In Hearts

Imagination Soars High

Love, Love, Love, Love, Love


Water By The Spoonful by Quiara Alegría Hudes

Water By The Spoonful by Quiara Alegría Hudes

A janitor. A software mogul. A college grad. An IRS paper-pusher. Although they live thousands of miles apart, these four people share a secret: They’re recovering addicts who’ve found a safe haven in an online chat room. There, with liberal doses of jokes and bullying, they help each other navigate the broken terrain of their lives. But when an Iraq War vet’s tragedy spills over into their cyberhome, everything changes. In this fearless, groundbreaking Pulitzer Prize–winner, worlds virtual and real unfold onstage, challenging our notions of family, forgiveness, community and courage.

 Surreal, Similar

Different, Moving, Heartbreak

Thirsty, Quenching Love


The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare

The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare

Young Proteus only has eyes for his hometown sweetheart, Julia. But on a trip to Milan, he gets one look at the lovely Silvia . . . and dumps Julia in a heartbeat. Two problems: Silvia is his best friend’s girl, and Julia won’t be dumped that easily. Stir in some bandits, an outraged father and a bad-mannered dog, and it’s friend versus friend in a wild tale of romantic rivals. This sumptuous production of Shakespeare’s early comedy—with twists that echo in his later plays—honors and mirrors Elizabethan tradition with an all-female cast.

Matters Of The Heart

Women’s Tongues Tackle The Bard

Perfection On Stage


The Cocoanuts Music & lyrics by Irving Berlin Book by George S. Kaufman Adapted by Mark Bedard

The Cocoanuts Music & lyrics by Irving Berlin Book by George S. Kaufman
Adapted by Mark Bedard

The service stinks but the gags are four-star in this Marx Brothers romp. Groucho owns a bum hotel in Florida and peddles dubious real estate to gullible Northerners seeking a place in the sun. He’s after a rich society dame, who’s after an eligible match for her daughter, who’s in love with the hotel’s head clerk. Trouble rolls in with the tide when the other Marxes arrive and mama’s eligible match turns out to be anything but. Mark Bedard (Groucho in 2012’s “Animal Crackers”) will adapt this jazz-age gem with songs by Irving Berlin.

 Puniness and Romps

Musical Numbers With Flair

Warms The Heart To Laugh


The Great Society By Robert Schenkkan

The Great Society By Robert Schenkkan

The tumultuous beginning of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency that Robert Schenkkan presented in “All the Way” (2012) continues in part two, “The Great Society.” In the years from 1965 to 1968, LBJ struggles to fight a “war on poverty” even as his war in Vietnam spins out of control. Besieged by political opponents, Johnson marshals all his political wiles to try to pass some of the most important social programs in U.S. history, while the country descends into chaos over the war and backlash against civil rights. This American Revolutions–developed world premiere is an unflinching examination of the morality of power.

History Repeats

It’s A Continuation

Will We Ever Learn?


Ashland in the Fall

 It was heartwarming to be back on the OSF campus, to take in the Fall air of this little Southern Oregon town, to see the leaves start to change. Connecting with the company members I had grown to love and respect last season. Watching their work lit up my soul with pride, admiration and wonder. How is it that in this tiny neck of the woods there is a place where the written text can be shared, enjoyed and experienced by so many people? What a National Treasure, not to mention a two time Tony Award winning operation! Most recently for the Broadway production of All The Way, starring Bryan Cranston. This is a home for me, a place of imagination and beauty.  I will be back, to watch, to work, to wonder.

Goodnight Sweet Lizzy…


1970 OSF Elizabethan Closing Ceremony

“…Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep…”

Prospero, The Tempest, Act IV Sc. 1

 On a chilly Sunday night, October 13, 2013, I was blessed to participate in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Closing Ceremony for the Elizabethan Theatre, a tradition that has been performed since 1952. Just before the final show of the outdoor season concludes with their curtain call, OSF company members gather in the green room. Eating cake, mingling and watching the final moments of Midsummer Night’s Dream I looked around and noticed some people who I had never met, others whose work I’ve seen on and off stage, and those with whom I shared dressing rooms and stages. There was a buzz in the air, mostly because we just witnessed OSF company member Brent Hinkley die at least a dozen times as Nick Bottom performing Pyramus for Hippolyta and Theseus. Finally we got the signal to quietly head upstairs to the backstage area of the Elizabethan, making sure we did not get in the way of the Midsummer cast who had to exit then re-enter for curtain call.

 I grabbed the arm of  Wilma Bonet, fellow cast-mate from Tenth Muse, and we were swept up in the crowd that gathered to collect little tea light candles placed in cups with sand. We awaited stage left to enter through the casement as soon as the actors exited the stage from curtain call. We entered as Nolan Peard played Greensleeves on the Cello, the stage lights on in a blue dim, the audience awaiting quietly. We streamed into the aisles, surrounding the audience with candlelight as the Midsummer cast filled the stage and left an opening up center for Tony DeBruno.

It is tradition that the actor who recites Prospero’s speech is a company member who has been with OSF for quite sometime and will not be returning the following season. Knowing this, and knowing I was not returning brought a certain weight to the ceremony for me. Hearing these words, looking out over the audience, looking up at the stars and looking upon the candlelit faces of my fellow members, I realized what an honor it is to be a part of this family. After Tony concluded the speech with a bow the company members hummed one last bar of Greensleeves with the Cello and on cue blew out all of our candles as the lights went out. Thus, we put to sleep our dear Lizzy for this season, the outdoor stage that brings wonder and awe to all who visit her, especially to we few who get to play on her stage.

Goodnight sweet Elizabeth, I will see you again…

To watch a video I made to commemorate this evening click HERE!

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