Artistic Director

  • Interview with the extraordinary Wayne Adams Part 2

    12-12-17 Interview

    12-12-17 Part – 2 In this second part of my interview, Wayne Adams continues to relate his remarkable life. Listen to him describe his delightful meeting with legendary acting teacher Maggie Flannigan; and how his production of Ralph Pape’s Say Goodnight, Gracie directed by Austin Pendleton, resulted in his determination to bring Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company to Broadway; first in the production of True West with John Malkovich and Gary Sinise and then in the Lincoln Center production of And a Nightingale Sang with , Joan Allen. Wayne says “I’m interested in being the human being that I am,” and he reminds us that “life is taking chances, not doing what someone else thinks you should do but doing from yourself honestly according to your own instincts.” Listen and be inspired.

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  • Interview with the extraordinary Wayne Adams Part 1

    12-5-17 Interview

    12-5-17 – Part 1 – Actor, Director, Broadway Producer, Lighting Designer, Art Gallery Owner waiter, server in an upscale tie store and more, octogenarian Wayne Adams did everything with passion, commitment and panache. Adopted by an extraordinary couple who wanted him to experience everything and encouraged him to “be himself, and to take responsibility for everything he attempted,” Wayne has done just that. A musician, an artist and an actor.As a boy, Wayne majored in commercial design and minored in history of architecture at Ohio University, and although he never took a “theater course” he was in 11 productions during his four years at school with the result that when he graduated he knew that after his mandated stint in the air force he would go off to NY to pursue a career as an actor. Listen to the remarkable diverse jobs he tackled – all with the same commitment to excellence and hear how he discovered “what it really means to be an actor.”

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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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  • Interview with Rob Ruggiero

    11-11-14 – Interview

    When he was eight years old Rob Ruggiero would make up stories, corral his cousins, costume and rehearse them and put on performances for his large Italian family. He instinctively knew who he was and what he wanted to do with his life – but like so many of us, he forgot. Luckily in his high school senior year Rob, already a disco dancer was asked to dance in a production of Oklahoma and he says that it was there that he “found his place, his people, his family.” Still, while he knew that the theater was his path, he didn’t discover his role in it until he took his first directing class in his senior year in college and remembered his eight year old passion for creating theater by directing. In addition to a prodigious free lancing career as one of the few directors to earn national recognition for his work in both straight plays and musicals, Rob is the producing artistic director of theater works in Hartford CT. The only director to have received four Kevin Kline Awards (2 for Best Direction of a Musical (Urinetown and Ella) and two for Best Direction of a play (Take Me Out and The Little Dog Laughed), he is in Sarasota FL to direct his fourth production for the Asolo Repertory Theatre Co, this time and intimate production of the Roger’s and Hammerstein musical classic South Pacific. Listen to this charming, ebullient, delightful man talk about his circuitous path to the place he calls home.

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  • Interview with Harry Bryce Part 2

    10-28-2014 Audio Interview

    Poet, Dancer, Choreographer, Actor, Director, Harry Bryce is the former artistic director of Memphis Black Repertory Theater, and creator of the Harry Bryce Dance Company and Choreographer in residence for Vinnette Carroll’s theater co, taught dance and theater at Atlanta’s Morehouse and Spellman colleges Harry says that he came out of the womb dancing. And when you talk to him you can well believe it. Wise beyond his years Harry began writing poetry (although he didn’t know it was poetry) when he was a young boy in order to “stay sane.” He couldn’t take ballet lessons like his older sister because boys simply didn’t do that; but when she came home from her lesson his sister would take him into the back yard and do the lesson again for him. By the time they were ten years old Harry and his sister were a popular dance act appearing at local weddings and events. Listen to this exuberant, reflective man talk about his life and his work – which is currently directing the West Coast Black Theater Troupe’s ground breaking production of the comedy horror rock musical Little Shop of Horrors.

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  • Interview with actor and director Jeffrey Kin

    9-9-14– Audio Interview

    Jeffrey Kin is a sextuple threat! He sings, he dances, he acts, he writes, he directs, and he produces with talent, skill and joy. Luckily for us he brings all of this knowledge and skill to his position as the Artistic Director of Sarasota’s community theater – The Players. A farm boy who discovered as a small child that he was a performer, listen to him talk about how he discovered that, and pursued his chosen field with a vengeance. Listen to this charming, dedicated, funny man talk about his life, his work and the recreation of the hilarious, back by popular demand production of Lend Me A Tenor which opens on Sept 10th.

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  • Interview with Kevin Earley

    3-18-14 Audio Interview

    Actor Kevin Earley got his first taste of the joys of being on stage at the age of four when his mother, who would become the artistic director of a Chicago theater, created a singing group with him and his three older brothers. He got roles in a professional acting company when he was ten and then again when he was thirteen, so he knew from the beginning what he wanted to do with his life. But as happens to many people for whom success comes easily, Kevin says he was “lazy about his acting,” depending on his looks (which are terrific) and his “big voice.” Listen to this thoughtful professional talk about the importance recognizing what you are lacking and having the willingness and the discipline to do the work required strengthening your “tools.” Also come out to see the result of his hard work and discipline in the delightful Florida Studio Theater production of Daddy Long Legs.

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  • Interview with Rob Ruggiero

    11-26-13 – Audio Interview

    When he was eight years old Rob Ruggiero would make up stories, corral his cousins, costume and rehearse them and put on performances for his large Italian family. He instinctively knew who he was and what he wanted to do with his life – but like so many of us, he forgot. Luckily in his high school senior year Rob, already a disco dancer, was asked to dance in a production of Oklahoma and he says that it was there that he “found his place, his people, his family.” Still, while he knew that the theater was his path, he didn’t discover his role in it until he took his first directing class in his senior year in college and remembered his eight year passion for creating theater by directing. In addition to a prodigious free lancing career as one of the few directors to earn national recognition for his work in both straight plays and musicals, Rob is the producing artistic director of TheaterWorks in Hartford CT. The only director to have received four Kevin Kline Awards (2 for Best Direction of a Musical (Urinetown and Ella) and two for Best Direction of a play (Take Me Out and The Little Dog Laughed), he is in Sarasota FL to direct his version of Show Boat, which he created for the Goodspeed Opera House, and which garnered him his fifth Connecticut Critics Circle award, to open the 2014 season at the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Listen to this charming, ebullient, delightful man discover his deeper connection to Show Boat and talk about his circuitous path tp the place he calls home.

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  • Interview with Richard Hopkins

    10/30/12 – Interview

    Unlike all of the above Richard Hopkins didn’t see a play until he was 19 and had no idea where his path lay. He was “coasting through college” with no idea what he wanted to do with his life, when a speech teacher told him he would get a better grade if he helped build sets. This led to taking a drama class and he was “hooked;” he had found his “window to the world.” And then, as he says he does everything, Richard became “obsessed,” and “followed his bliss,” even when the conventional wisdom said that the path he’d chosen was a dead end. Of course as it often is, the conventional wisdom was wrong, as for over 30 years Richard has been the very successful Artistic Director of Florida Studio Theater in Sarasota FL, which will be celebrating the opening of its most recent addition – the spectacularly rebuilt Gompertz Theater with The Next Act Gala on November 29, 2012

    The event kicks off at 5:30pm with pre-show cocktails that will take place in the Israeloff Lobby of the new Hegner Theatre Wing. Attendees will have the chance to take tours of the newly renovated Gompertz Theatre and the two additional spaces: the New Cabaret Theatre and the John Court Theatre. Moving into the evening there the Spelman award recipient will be announced, followed by a special performance. Ending the evening will be dinner at The Frances, a new restaurant opening under the Palm Avenue Parking Garage.

    For tickets and information contact:

    Audra Lange
    Marketing Associate
    (941) 366 – 9017 ext. 313
    alange@floridastudiotheatre.org

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  • Interview with Rick Kerby

    7-31-12 – Interview

    Actor, dancer, singer, director choreographer Rick Kerby says “his life has been one big wave, which he’s ridden wherever it took him.” Opportunities did seem to pop up in front of him but Rick was always ready – listen to the charming and funny story of how he learned to dance for his college audition. While on a trip to NY with his college to see shows Rick courageously placed himself in front of the wave by walking into Actors Equity and, as a non equity actor, auditioning for the tour of Oklahoma. He got the job and never looked back. He was continually working. He toured and toured and toured in Oklahoma and The Best Little Whore House in Texas, he worked in Las Vegas and he taught. Today he brings that wealth of skill, experience and expertise to his position as producing artistic director of the Manatee Players Theater in Bradenton Florida, where on August 2nd and 3rd they will be presenting the premier of a play by Robin Givens.

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  • Interview with Greg Leaming

    1-24-12 – Interview

    In this show I am replaying portions of an interview I previously did with Greg Leaming who is the Director of the FSU Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training Company and Assistant to Michael Donald Edwards the Producing Artistic Director at the Asolo. In that interview Greg described his philosophy of teaching acting and gave interesting insights into training techniques. Then I am playing a follow up interview in which Greg talks about directing and specifically his direction of the Tony Award Winning “God of Carnage”.

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  • Interview with actor Greg Leaming

    7-19-11 Interview

    Greg Leaming thought he wanted to be an actor, but his height (he’s 6’6) made that very difficult, so he turned his talents and his interest to the study of directing. This stood him in terrific stead when, as associate and artistic director, he shepherded various regional theaters. Now, combining all of his skills, Greg is the Artistic Director of the Graduate Actor Training Program of Florida State University and the Associate Director of the Asolo Repertory Theatre, which administers the FSU program. Listen to Greg talk about the challenges faced by acting students, and the skills required to help them become as good as they possibly can be.

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  • Interview with Kate Alexander

    September 28

    Kate Alexander is not only assistant Artistic Director of the Florida Studio Theater, but an extremely talented actor and director. She was not an outgoing or precocious child and says that no one would have expected her to become an actress. Even in college where she majored in drama her teachers “didn’t know what to do with her.” But although she couldn’t say exactly why, Kate had decided at age 8 that the stage was her destiny, and difficult and discouraging as her path was, Kate knew she had to travel it, and it has brought her to where she always wanted to – and knew she should be.

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  • Interview with Richard Hopkins

    September 21, 2010

    Richard Hopkins has been the very successful Artistic Director of Florida Studio Theater in Sarasota FL for 30 years, but he didn’t see a play until he was 19. Coasting through college with no idea what he wanted to do with his life until a speech teacher told him he would get a better grade if he helped build sets, this led to taking a drama class and he was “hooked!” He had found his “window to the world.” And then, as he says he does everything, Richard became “obsessed,” and “followed his bliss” wherever it took him – even when the conventional wisdom said that path was a dead end.

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  • Interview with Jeffrey Kin

    July 27 Jeffrey Kin

    Jeffrey Kin is the artistic director of The Players Theater a community theater in Sarasota Florida. The youngest of six from a farm family in Central Ohio, Jeffrey broke the family mold by being the “creative kid.” Discovering very early his desire to entertain and the charisma that would later make him so compelling on stage, Jeffrey was lucky enough to have a mother who saw that he “belonged on the stage” and “took care of Dad’s disapproval.” So Jeffrey was able to develop not only his acting, singing and dancing skills, but his play writing, directing and finally the administrative abilities that make him the perfect choice to shepherd The Players Theater’ renaissance.

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  • Interview with Michael Donald Edwards

    February 02, 2010

    Discussion – Is there a danger attached to discovering those parts of you which you have had to hide undercover? Are there consequences, of which you are consciously unaware, to discovering aspects of yourself that you have hidden (even from yourself) or to making certain changes in your life? In this show I talk about the existence of these dangers and how to unearth them so you can be “all that you can be.”

    Interview Michael Donald Edwards is the producing artistic director of the Asolo Theater and in this show he talks about his production (he directed) of The Life of Galileo. In our last interview, Michael talked extensively about his interest in the impact of religion on us and our culture. This interview follows that one and in it Michael explains why he was drawn to Galileo’s story and why he thinks this play and Paul Whitworth’s extraordinary performance are a must see. In this show I am also airing Sharon Lesley’s review of the play – listen to see if she agrees.

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  • Interviews with Michael Donald Edwards and Jason Wells

    April 28, 2009

    In this show I air my interview with the producing artistic director of the Asolo Rep, Michael Donald Edwards, in which he talks about his vision for theater. I replay Sharon’s review of Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale, which Michael directed and about which he takes at length. I also air my interview with actor/playwright Jason Wells, whose plan Perfect Mendacity is about to open.

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