Actor

  • Interview with Bradley Battersby Part 2

    6-6-17Interview

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  • Interview with Actor, Director,Playwright, Author Teacher E Katherine Kerr

    4-18-17 Interview

    4-18-17 Having spent years working on stage, film and TV, and as one of the principle members of the prestigious Westport Theatre Group, actor, director, playwright, author, and educator E Katherine Kerr has recently brought her talents and skills to Sarasota. Katherine maintains that as a girl from Indiana, with no exposure to theater and no formal training, she should never have become an actor. Listen to the hilarious story of the first time she was on a stage and how it convinced her to never step foot on a stage again. But time after time she was placed on stage until she recognized that it was the place she was meant to be. And having accepted that she was an actor, hear her tell how she was discovered by her idol Mike Nichols, and the extraordinary career that followed where she shared stage and screen with stars like Meryl Streep and Cher.

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  • Interview with Johnny Epstein – Midsummer Nights Dream

    3-28-17 Interview

    3-28-17 Johnny Epstein has had a long career as a Shakespearian Player and acting teacher. Although he knew from age 7 that he was comfortable on stage – when he spontaneously adlibbed to cover a fellow student missed cue – it was a series of unplanned and unintended actions and comments that lead him to realize that acting was his career. To help him overcome a fear of water his parents sent him to Tuffs Magic Circle summer day camp because campers were encouraged to swim and, by the way, spent the mornings doing theater. Johnny spent 3 years there enjoying doing plays but did not think of acting as a “profession.” Following his first performance in a Shakespeare play (As You Like it) the shop teacher a “plain man with little exposure to Shakespeare” said “I saw that As You Like it – you’re a great actor – is this going to be your profession” This was the first time Johnny considered of acting as a profession. Listen to this knowledgeable, articulate man describe the ironic way he got his first role on Broadway and talk about his life, the work of acting, and the upcoming production of Midsummer Night’s Dream– performed by his class of 2nd year graduate students at the FSU Conservatory for Acting Training.

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  • Interview with actor Denise Cormier

    3-21-17 Interview

    3-21-17 Denise Cormier says she is a “repertory actor.” She thrives on the challenge of playing several different roles in a repertory setting, which means that it is not unusual for her to be playing two different characters in the same day – at matinee and evening performances. And that is exactly what she is currently doing at the Asolo Repertory Theater. If you hurray you can see Denise as Lady Bird Johnson in The Great Society, a senator’s wife in Born Yesterday and Birdie Hubbard in Little Foxes. Come see what it means to be the consummate “repertory actor!” And listen to Denis describe the ironic way in which her career evolved, opportunities arriving just when she was ready to accept them.

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  • Interview with Actor Edward Gero – as Antonin Scalia

    2-7-17 Interview

    2-7-17 Actor, teacher Edward Gero is the fourteen-time nominee and four time recipient of the prestigious Helen Hayes Award for his work in Shakespeare, contemporary and musical theatre, as well as the recipient of Robert Prosky awards for an outstanding lead actor and James MacArthur awards for an outstanding support actor. Today, in the Asolo Repertory Theatre Company’s production of the Originalist, he is reprieving the role of Justice Antonin Scalia. When you see Ed as Justice Scalia you will understand why playwright John Strand wrote it with him in mind. Listen to Ed describe the remarkable experience of meeting, hanging out with, and getting to know the Justice up close and personal. And hear this intelligent, thoughtful professional discuss his life and his work and the charmed way in which his career unfolded.

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  • Interview with Sharon Ohrenstein – Golden Roads

    Interview with Sharon Ohrenstein – Golden Roads

    1-24-17Interview

    1-24-17 Sharon Leslie Ohrenstein is a renaissance woman. Her extraordinary voice was first discovered in Kindergarten when she was chosen to sing the solo in the Christmas play and has delighted countess audiences since. She is a fine actor appearing in vastly dissimilar roles with authenticity. As a director she has helped actors find nuances which enabled them to be better than they were. And, as a teacher, she has enhanced the experience of the eager students at Roads Scholar for 16 years. Although writing came late in her life, along with her composer husband David, she wrote the book and lyrics to two musicals and two operas; producing, directing, and staring in many (she even made the costume). Listen to this amazing woman talk about her life journey and come see her open this year’s Sarasota Festival on Jan 28th at 1:00, at Crocker Church performing Golden Roads an original musical homage to Golda Meir.

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  • Interview with Pianist and Singer Lee Dougherty Ross

    1-17-17 Interview

    1-17-17 Seven year old Lee Dougherty saw her mother and brother at the piano and knew that she too wanted to play. Her mother immediately enrolled Lee with Francis Marsh Bunton, who had a profound impact on Lee’s life and with whom she studied until she entered college. Many times in Lee’s life someone came along and told her what she must do next and bravely she followed their instructions. At a piano completions, a judge told Lee that she must attend North Texas State College to study piano. And she did. In addition to piano she took voice lessons from Julius Huehn, an operatic bass-baritone who had sung over 200 performances with the Metropolitan Opera . Mr. Huehn insisted that Lee must go to the Eastman School of Music to study voice. Lee left North Texas before graduating and went off to Eastman to finish her degree. During her studies there Lee decided that voice was to be her main instrument, but she never stopped playing the piano. She and her husband Jerold Ross, created soiree’s wherever they lived bringing beautiful music to audiences often in their own home. When they relocated to Sarasota FL they continued their soiree’s which morphed into the highly successful Artists Series Concerts which is now celebrating its 25th year. Listen to this delightful woman describe her journey, hear her play and sing and come hear her and Joseph Holt perform four-hand piano music in ”Kittens on the Keys” January 26 at Lunch, Look and Listen One-hour concerts at 11 a.m. followed by lunch at 12:15 p.m. At Michael’s On East Ballroom, 1212 East Avenue South, Sarasota.

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  • Interview with Alan Brasington

    12-27-16 Interview

    12-27-16 Alan Brasington began his performing career at three when he repeated to neighbors a dirty joke he’d overheard his grandmother telling. It was years before Alan understood the joke but he loved the attention the delighted neighbors gave him. Still it would be twenty seven years before he was able to become the actor he was clearly meant to be. Alan’s mother was just sixteen when he was born and she loved the movies. Mother and son would watch films on their black and white TV and revel in the performances of actors like Cary Grant and Greta Garbo – who Alan thought of as Kings and Queens or Gods. It was an opportunity to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London that allowed Alan to discover who he is and what he was meant to do. Listen to him tell the story of his rise from poverty to live a truly extraordinary life. A life he was able to embrace because of his mother positive certainty that he could be/do anything – that all things were possible – and clearly mother was right. To hear how Alan wound up at the Royal Academy and the rest of his remarkable life story.

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  • Interview with Actor Amy Helms

    Interview with Actor Amy Helms
    8-2-16 Interview
    11-8-16 When little Amy Helms told her Daddy that she “needed to act,” she knew what she was talking about. Having been exposed to singing, performing, acting and playing musical instruments since kindergarten, Amy was certain she knew what she “needed” to do with her life. Listen to her tell the story of how she guaranteed that she would be cast as Queen Esther in her 3rd grade class production. And come to see her demonstrate how right she was, a she shines as Ruth Hock (a latter day St; Joan) in the first production of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training production of Langston Wilson’s “ Book of Days, currently running at the Cook Theater.

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  • Interview with Jason Cannon

    8-2-16 Interview ” target=”_blank”>8-2-16 Interview

    10-25-16 Self-deprecatingly Jason Cannon says his skill set is very “disparate,” which actually means that when it comes to theater – he does everything. A self-described “multi-hyphenate” Jason is the quintessential theater professional. A union actor, union director, published playwright, stage manager, set designer, and educator, Jason’s title as Associate Artist at Florida Studio Theater, does not begin to adequately describe his duties. In addition to all the jobs I mentioned he is also responsible for new play development, he mentors the acting apprentices, and teaches classes in everything from Playwriting to Shakespeare. In this show Jason talks about the prestigious education outreach program at Florida Studio Theater which this year using The Velveteen Rabbit and his direction of FST’s first main stage production of The Million Dollar Quartet. Listen to this charming, articulate, very funny man describe how a teacher in high school turned his life around by recognizing that underneath the studious and somewhat shy boy there was an explosion of skills and passions.

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  • Interview with Earley Dean

    8-2-16 Interview

    10-18-16 Earley Dean, has played many and varied roles in West Coast Black Theater Troupe productions. Now he is taking the WBTT stage for one performance, Monday night 10/30, with his original piece Happy Birthday Jethro Jenkins. The Church and school Earley attended encouraged and nurtured his natural talent, but his easy accomplishments lead him to believe he could be successful without much effort, Listen to him describe what it took for him to realize his passion for, not only performing, but for the work it takes to make a great performance. And come and see this serious performer rock the night away with songs by Teddy Pendergrass

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  • Interview with performer, director Kenney Green

    8-2-16 Interview

    10-11-16 singer, dancer, actor, director, musician, musical director, Kenney Green, is bringing his multiple talents to Sarasota to direct The Wiz for the West Coast Black Theater Troupe. Kenney fell in love with music when he was very young, learning and singing all the “oldies” incessantly. He wanted to know everything about theater and would hang out at the school café-torium, “playing with the wires and switches to just to see how everything worked. An acknowledged workaholic Kenney began to burning the candle at both ends early in his life. In high school he was in Chorus and Drama Club (arriving at 6:30 in the morning to rehearse), the Forensics League (where he lettered in Dramatic Interpretation) the Marching Band, a competitive Barbara Shop quartet and auditioning for and getting roles at the King Musical Community Theater. And he has continued that pace to this day. Listen to this high-energy, very funny, remarkably talented man talk about a life dedicated to everything theater and come see his direction of The Wiz, .the 1975 Broadway musical which won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical

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  • Interview with Actor Alana Opie

    8-2-16 Interview

    8-30-16 Alana Opie always knew she loved to sing – everyone in her family is musical. But when she was ten, a flyer, promising a summer of singing, acting and dancing classes arrived, and Alana knew for sure what she wanted to do with her life. Listen to this charming, passionate woman talk about the way she inadvertently got derailed and how – by never losing her passion for performance – she found her way back to the person she always was – and still very clearly is. And come see her demonstrate the correctness of this choice, as she plays the very challenging role of Blanche DuBois in the Players production of Tennessee Williams’ “Streetcar Named Desire.

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  • 8-2-16 Interview

    8-23-16 Zach Dorn is a multi-talented, if difficult to categorize, theater artist. Having fallen in love with stories as a child, he spent the majority of his time paying with his toys, which he used to tell his stories. Having toyed with acting, directing and other kinds of storytelling, today Zach is using video and shadow puppets to tell his stories. Listen to this thoughtful, serious, self-deprecating, funny man talk about the dilemma faced by everyone who doesn’t fit neatly into a box other people recognize. Hear him describe the challenge of holding on to his unique vision. Fortunately that vision is now being validated. His talent has been recognized by world famous theater/film director and designer Julie Taymor. (*see below.). He is the one of three initial recipients of a $30,000 fellowship endowed by the Julie Taymor World Theater Fellowship. He will spend next year in Japan studying ritual robotic puppetry in Western Honshu and working with Japanese contemporary theater directors; Toshiki Okadain and Niwa Gekidan Penino in both Osaka and Tokyo. And come see what Julie Taymor saw by attending the two final shows he will do before leaving for Japan – August 25 and 31st at Starlight Restaurant 1001 Cocoanut Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236 – seating is limited call for reservations (941) 702-5613
    (Julie Taymor is an American director of theater, opera and film. She is best known for directing the stage musical, The Lion King, for which she became the first woman to win the Tony Award for directing a musical, in addition to a Tony Award for Original Costume Design. She has also received the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design, an Emmy Award, and an Academy Award nomination for an Original Song. She also received the 2012 Director Award for Vision and Courage from the Athena Film Festival at Barnard College in New York City. She was the director of the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and an off-Broadway production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.)

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  • Interview with Rafael Petlock

    8-2-16 Interview

    8-16-16 Many actors choose acting as career early in their lives. But few can say that they were in a major motion picture at three, had featured roles in operas at five and six, got their equity card at fifteen as a featured player in a brand new play by Academy Award winning playwright Horton Foote, and were giving a free ride to study theater at a prestigious college before they graduated from high school. Rafael Petlock can, and so much more. Listen to this exuberant, multi-talented, often outrageous man talk about the roller-coaster ride his life has been and come to witness his sparkle on stage in “Why Can’t I be You” at the Players backstage opening on Aug.25th.

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  • Interview for Bell Book and Candle

    8-2-16 Interview

    8-9-16 Bell, Book and Candle at the Players Theater

    Although always a “dramatic” child – acting out scenes from TV and making up stories, it wasn’t until her middle school teacher’s extremely positive reaction to the pantomime she’d created and performed, that Helen Holliday, realized her “passion.” From then on she knew that she was going to be an actor, and although her parents would have preferred another occupation for their “dramatic” daughter, they knew, as she knew that nothing was going to stop her. Listen to Helen describe how her complete “confidence” in her ability drove her and how that ability created a lifetime of performing, direction, stage managing and anything and everything that had to do with the theater. And come she her direction of Bell, Book and Candle at the Players.

    Ann Gundersheimer knew from a very young age that she wanted to be an actor; she can still recite a piece she performed in elementary school. Her father, a charismatic lecturer, inadvertently encouraged this impulse by sharing his love of oratory with his daughter. But her parents frowned on the idea of her having a career on the stage so Ann majored in English instead of theater in college, although she “acted all the time,” and then got her Master’s Degree in theater. But her life took several other turns so she wasn’t able to purse her passion for acting until she retired. And now she is finally able to act as often as she is cast, which is fortunately quite a lot. Listen to this thoughtful, talented woman talk about her life and come to see here as one of the larger than life characters in the Players production of Bell, Book and Candle

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  • Interview with Tarra Conner-Jones

    5-24-16 Interview

    7-19-16 Listen to singer, actor performer Tarra Connor-Jones tell the story of how she discovered, at 6 years old that she was supposed to sing, describing how she felt when she saw the impact her singing was having of her audience. Follow her journey as she chooses to work as a teacher, doing “theater on the side,” until she got an opportunity to audition for the real thing. Hear how she wound up as part of the West Coast Black Theater Troupe and how the desire to continue to communicate with her audience through her performance motivates her still. And come see her as part of the ensemble company of How I Got Over, a tribute to the Gospel Music of Mahalia Jackson and many other Gospel performers.

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  • Interview with Brendan Ragan

    5-24-16 Interview

    7/12/16 Actor, theater maker Brendan Ragan loves being on stage. He always knew he was a natural; but he “never wanted to settle for pretty good,” and the need to hone his “artistry,” to be pushed, to be torn down and rebuilt if that was what it took for him to reach his personal best, drives him. It drove him to risk to joining 11 other graduates to create Single Carrot, a theater company in Baltimore on what was – although they didn’t know it – the most dangerous street in town; it drove him to leave there, although people thought he was crazy to leave that wonderful set up, and apply to graduate school; and its driven him to join Summer Wallace and Harry Lipstein in creating the Urbanite theater in Sarasota. Listen to this passionate, articulate man talk about his obsession to create the very best theater experience he can for himself and his audience

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  • Interview with Summer Dawn Wallace

    5-24-16 Interview

    7-5-16 Summer Dawn Wallace discovered acting at four years old. Listen to the sweet story of how little Summer learned that a person could be anything she wanted to be. For example, every day she pretended to be a different animal, and if that day’s animal was a cat, little Summer refused to eat at the table insisting that her mother feed her on the floor This began a lifelong commitment to creating alternate realities for herself and her audiences culminating, with co-founder Brendan Ragan in the creation of the Urbanite Theater, Sarasota’s newest and most unique theater company. In a very short time The Urbanite has proved Brendan and Summer right – that they are clearly filling a need in the community, is borne out by their swift and remarkable success.

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  • Interview with Summer Dawn Wallace

    5-24-16 Interview

    7-5-16 Summer Dawn Wallace discovered acting at four years old. Listen to the sweet story of how little Summer learned that a person could be anything she wanted to be. For example, every day she pretended to be a different animal, and if that day’s animal was a cat, little Summer refused to eat at the table insisting that her mother feed her on the floor This began a lifelong commitment to creating alternate realities for herself and her audiences culminating, with co-founder Brendan Ragan in the creation of the Urbanite Theater, Sarasota’s newest and most unique theater company. In a very short time The Urbanite has proved Brendan and Summer right – that they are clearly filling a need in the community, is borne out by their swift and remarkable success.

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