Dancer

  • Memorial to Jimmy Hoskins

    12-30-14 Memorial to Jimmy Hoskins – Audio Interview

    Dancer, choreographer, movement coach, director, painter, writer, storyteller, teacher, cook, Jimmy Hoskins was member on the of the Penn State University theater faculty for 10 years, professor emeritus of theater at Florida State University, staff choreographer for the Asolo Repertory Theatre for 45 years, visiting choreographer at Florida Studio Theater, The Golden Apple, the Sarasota Opera, the Banyan Theater, the Venice Theatre and the Players Theatre and adjunct faculty member of the Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, following his long and distinguished career in New York, California, Texas, Mexico and Paris.

    He wrote three books. “The Dances of Shakespeare,” for which he also did the illustrations; intended for dancer’s, choreographers and directors but which could also be understood by a lay audience. And his two book irreverent and delightful memoir “Our Hearts were Khaki and Gay,” and “No Fairies, No Magic.”
    Greg Leaming of The Asolo Conservatory says “He very strongly connected to his students as a friend, mentor and teacher. What he brought into the room was an infectious spirit and a love of the art form.” Richard Hopkins of Florida Studio Theater says “In an age before political correctness, in a society that all too frequently rejected people who were different, Jimmy was proud to be gay. He was adept at teaching us straight guys how to relax with the gay guys, how to revel in our differences, and how to appreciate the depth of our similarities.

    He was, as Carl Meyer his beloved partner of 19 years says, a “Renaissance man.” But for me the most enduring memories of Jimmy will be of his sweetness and his generosity. Jimmy was always giving – even when he was suffering he never burdened others with his distress. I was lucky enough to be one of the legions of people who benefited directly from his talent and his willingness to give it selflessly and joyfully. My life is changed forever by both what I learned from Jimmy and how he taught it.

    In 2011 the Asolo established the Jimmy Hoskins Visiting Artist Chair for Stage Movement and Dance, an endowed fund that brings guest artists in to work with conservatory students.

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  • Interview with James Jordan Part 2

    12-02-2014 Audio Interview

    In the second half our interview James Jordan describes the way the “flow” returned. How again – unexpectedly – he was called by Todd Bolender to return to the Kansas City Ballet Company as its ballet master and how he worked to grow into that role which he held for 23 years. This year James will be Honorary Chair of the Company’s Black Tie Gala, staging the last performance of Bolender’s Nutcracker and receiving its Pirouette Award and the thanks of a grateful company for his extraordinary 30 years of service. He explains that, fearing that the ballets of Anthony Tudor would be lost, he spent his own money to follow Donald Mahler, Senior Repetiteur of Tudor’s Ballets, so he could learn and document the ballet’s as Mahler staged them around the country. In this interview he also explains how he became ballet master for the Sarasota Ballet Company and describes its next ballet; Sir Frederick Ashton’s La Fille Mal Gardee, and talks in detail about the process of putting a ballet together with its score.

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  • Interview with James Jordan Part 1 re-run

    11-18-2014 Interview

    Re-run of Part one. James Jordan had no particular interest in dance until, at 17, having decided to check out a dance class being given in his small town, he took his first dance lesson. From then on a series of unplanned, unexpected and serendipitous events lead him inextricably to the life he was clearly meant to live; as a dancer and a ballet master. He was recruited by Todd Bolender to be part of the fledgling Kansas City Ballet Company where he was a member for 7 years. In the first half of our interview listen to this charming man describe how he followed the “flow” and what happened when the “flowing” stopped. Also hear him describe what a ballet master does and preview Sarasota’s upcoming ballet.

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  • Interview with James Jordan Part 1

    12-18-2014 Interview

    Although James Jordan had no particular interest in dance, when he heard about a dance class given in his small town he decided to check it out and at 17 (very old to begin ballet) James took his first dance lesson. From then on a series of unplanned, unexpected and serendipitous events lead him inextricably to the life he was clearly meant to live. Listen to this charming, self-deprecating man talk about what a ballet master does, describe the meandering way he wound up with as ballet master at Sarasota Ballet, and what Sarasota Ballet has in store.

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  • Interview with Stephen Hope

    11-4-14 — Audio Interview

    Actor, singer, dancer, choreographer, stage manager Stephen Hope has brought his talents to more than 30 productions at the Florida Studio Theater in Sarasota FL, and he is doing it again in the current production of Hairspray. All kinds of music was sung and played in Stephen’s home, but it wasn’t until his first role as the cowardly lion in a Jr High School production, that Stephen found what was “right for him. “ Knowing that “people were laughing because of what I was doing – that we were all laughing at the same thing so we weren’t separate, we were one, it was very powerful.” That night Stephen’s Dad said “this is what you should be doing,” and the die was cast. In his 20’s Stephen took a detour; attempting to see if another path was right for him, but he soon realized that while he could do it – his “heart wasn’t there.” So he returned to the theater, to what makes him “happy,” to doing what is “right for him.” Hear him talk about his life and the exciting production of Hairspray. Also hear a rousing song from the show.

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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 Harry Bryce Part 1

    10-21-14 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 Harry Bryce – Part 2

    4-29-14 Audio Interview Part 2

    Poet, Dancer, Choreographer, Actor, and Director Harry Bryce says that he came out of the womb dancing. And when you talk to him you can well believe it. Precocious and 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.” Curious and observant as few are, Harry began to notice everything. It became important to him to be “precise,” so he recognized the variation in the hues of different colors – and wondered about what happened to a seed. He couldn’t take ballet lessons like his older sister because ”boys 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. Harry went on to have a varied and productive career as the artistic director of Memphis Black Repertory Theater and creator of the Harry Bryce Dance Company, Choreographer in Residence for the prestigious Vinnette Carroll’s theater company and as professor of dance and theater at Atlanta’s Morehouse and Spellman colleges. Currently Harry is directing the Westcoast Black Theater Troupe of Sarasota’s production of Bubbling Brown Sugar. Listen to this charming, delightful and reflective man talk about his career and the importance of helping young people who have been discouraged to find and nurture their particular talents. And come to see his direction of the scintillating Bubbling Brown Sugar.

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  • Interview with Harry Bryce

    Audio Interview April 22, 2014

    Poet, Dancer, Choreographer, Actor, and Director Harry Bryce says that he came out of the womb dancing. And when you talk to him you can well believe it. Precocious and 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.” Curious and observant as few are, Harry began to notice everything. It became important to him to be “precise,” so he recognized the variation in the hues of different colors – and wondered about what happened to a seed. He couldn’t take ballet lessons like his older sister because ”boys 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. Harry went on to have a varied and productive career as the artistic director of Memphis Black Repertory Theater and creator of the Harry Bryce Dance Company, Choreographer in Residence for the prestigious Vinnette Carroll’s theater company and as professor of dance and theater at Atlanta’s Morehouse and Spellman colleges. Currently Harry is directing the West Coast Black Theater Troupe of Sarasota’s production of Bubbling Brown Sugar. Listen to this charming, delightful and reflective man talk about his career and the importance of helping young people who have been discouraged to find and nurture their particular talents. And come to see his direction of the scintillating Bubbling Brown Sugar.

     

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  • Interview with Patrick Noonan

    12-24-13 – Audio Interview

    Patrick Noonan didn’t come from an artistic family but he and his siblings all went into the arts. Following in his older sister and brother’s footsteps baby brother Patrick auditioned for school shows. A seemingly casual comment made, by of all people his gym teacher, after he’d seen Patrick in a production of West Side Story, changed Patrick’s life and set him on the path he wasn’t aware he wanted and which he has he’s followed ever since. Listen to him tell this remarkable story. Currently Patrick is cutting it on stage at Florida Studio Theater, with a bunch of of talented and hilarious actors in a side=splitting production of Spamalot. If you’ve never seen it – or even if you have – you owe it to yourself to go out and have a great time. Listen to Patrick talk about his life and this production and also hear some of the outrageously funny songs from the show.

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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 Annie Morrison

    8-27-13—Audio Interview

    Actor, writer, singer, dancer, storyteller, philanthropist and Druid Goddess, Annie Morrison is impossible to categorize. Like the Celtic Spirit she embodies Annie is a force for artistic creation. Raised in an artistic hothouse with a family dedicated to artistic collaboration Annie was trained to create, but not to compete. Listen to this charming, ebullient, creativity machine tell the story of how she became who she is and come to New York to see just some of her prodigious artistic expression; on Labor Day (Sept 2nd), at 54 Below where she will be performing NOW YOU KNOW An evening Steve, Lenny –and Annie (the work of Sondheim and Bernstein) and on Nov 14th at 4:00 PM at theUnited Solo of Theatre Row in New York to see her new one woman show Word Painting: Soliloquies around an Easel.

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  • Interview with Mary Testa

    Mary Testa, Tony Award Winning Actress7-9-13 – Audio Interview

    Mary Testa is a working actress, singer, dancer, Jill of all trades in the theatre, and winner of a Drama Desk Award for “3 decades of excellent work.” Most recently she starred as the intrepid Annie Edson Taylor in the musical Queen of the Mist, which was written for her by composer, lyricist and librettist Michael John Lachiusa, who has himself been nominated for several Tony and Drama Desk Awards. Like the character she plays in Queen of the Mist, Mary Testa “has greatness in her.” She found a way to survive a childhood which didn’t celebrate her. In Catholic school she was treated very badly because she “everything she wasn’t supposed to be;” Italian, when the nuns were Irish, curly haired and breasted, when the norm was straight hair and a flat-chest, out-spoken and defiant, when good girls were quiet and obedient. Refusing to go to Catholic High School Mary attended the public high school where she was the new kid in town and therefore, once more, odd man out. But Mary would not be suppressed and developed a full out – in your face – “I will say what everyone is thinking but no one else will say,” personality. Accompanying this outgoing personal style is Mary’s prodigious talent and that is what has kept her working in theater. Listen to this guile-less, passionate, funny, thoughtful woman talk about her life and her work, and come see her remarkable performance in the one woman tour de force in My Brilliant Divorce at the Asolo Repertory Theatre.

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  • Interview with Jeff Coulhoun

    5-28-13 Audio Interview

    Jeff Calhoun knew what he wanted to do by the time he was eight: he wanted to be Dick Van Dyke, he wanted to be Fred Astaire, he wanted to dance with the Ernie Flat dancers on the Carol Burnett show; he wanted to be a dancer! It was “in his DNA.” And, as if it was meant to be, a series of surprising circumstances propelled him on the path to becoming a dancer, choreographer and director of musicals. Listen to unexpected way he became the protégé of the amazing Tommy Tune and the remarkable series of happenstance’s that led to his directing Newsies, Bonnie and Clyde The Musical, Jekyll and Hyde, Grease and many more. And hear him talk why he decided to collaborate with Noah Racey who he thinks is the best dancer he has ever seen.

    Anything Goes featuring Jeff CalhounDolly Parton and Jeff Calhoun

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  • Interview with Noah Racey

    5-21-13 Audio Interview

    When he was just three years old Noah Racey’s Dad gave him a snare drum and was stunned to hear, within the first week, his infant drummer playing an entire John Phillip Souza album. Discovering a place to put his excessive energy and deriving a feeling of belonging and pride at being allowed – by age six – to play with his father’s drum circle, Noah put his foot on the path that would define his life; a life that has grown to include dancing, singing, acting, writing and the creation of his own extraordinary company of triple threat performers. Come see Noah and his troupe perform the premier production of his very own creation; Noah Racey’s Pulse, at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota Fl, and listen to the thoroughly delightful, spontaneous, joy-filled man talk about his love of the work to which he is giving his life.

    Noah has danced in or choreographed for Fine and Dandy, Curtains with David Hyde Pierce, Busker Alley, Where’s Charley?, Babes in Arms, Do Re Mi, Never Gonna Dance, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Baby and Johnny Project, and Look Ma, I’m Dancin’!

    Noah Racey Dancing
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  • Interview with Robert Fowler and Rita Rhen

    Audio Interview

    Although always surrounded by music in his childhood, Robert H Fowler followed his parent’s advice and became an electrical engineer. He was working as an engineer and studying gymnastics as a hobby when his coach suggested he take a dance class. Someone in his class offered him a job dancing in Las Vegas and he never looked back. Although that job fell through it freed him from his previous life and set him on the path to a career as a dancer, a singer, and an actor. Rita Rhen was not only a working professional by the time she was 11 but an entrepreneur as well. She and her sister created The Entertainers – a group of young girls who put on plays and became so successful that they were in demand in their community. Listen to these two talented people talk about the interesting and very different paths they took to becoming professional performers. And come see the result of all their hard work in By Gershwin and The Book Of at Florida Studio Theater.

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  • Interview with Rick Kerby

    3-12 13 – Audio Interview

    Actor, dancer, singer, director choreographer Rick Kerby says “my life has been one big wave, which I’ve ridden wherever it took me.” 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; touring and touring and touring in Oklahoma, The Best Little Whore House in Texas, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers 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, which is opening their brand new space with a production of Miss Saigon.

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  • Interview with Kevin Morrow

    1-15-13 – Audio Interview

    Kevyn Morrow is an actor, dancer, singer, director and choreographer, who hit the ground running. Seen performing as an all American College Band Dancer at Disneyland, he got an audition and his first professional a job at 19 in the National Touring Company of A Chorus Line, where he worked with the legendary Michael Bennett, and again in Dreamgirls. He made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award nominated musical Leader of the Pack. And from there he has done everything, including music videos with Stevie Nicks and a background dancer for Ann-Margret and Cher. As a boy Kevin was interested in everything; and he was lucky enough to have had parents who supported whatever it was their son wanted to do – even when that was acting – something they didn’t understand and were concerned would not support him. He excelled in sports, played the violin and drums, and trained in ballet, and minored in architectural design. But it was the image of his older brother, saying his one line in a local production of Peter Pan, which captured his 6 year old heart and stayed with him. And it was singing, dancing and acting that became his abiding passion. Currently you can see Kevyn’s directing and choreographing skills on stage in the Florida Studio Theater (FST) production of Smokey Joe’s Café and his acting chops in the FST production of Best of Enemies. Listen to this charming, funny man tell his own story and hear him sing a song from a show he was in.

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  • Interview with Jeff Parker

    12-11-12 – Audio Interview

    Jeff Parker as John DickinsonJeff Parker began appearing in musicals as a youngster and although he did four years of actor training at California’s USC. But knowing that he could always fall back on ‘the family business,’ Jeff says that he “kind of coasted.” Then a friend set up a surprise audition for him at the theater at which she was working. He was hired and literally never looked back. Last year Jeff starred as the charming, erudite, if arrogant Henry Higgins in Asolo Repertory Theatre production of My Fair Lady at directed by 2 time Tony winner Frank Galati. This year he is back as – the passionate, erudite John Dickinson, who was the only member of the Continental Congress to refuse to sign the Declaration of Independence – in The Asolo’s production of 1776 which is also directed by Frank Galati and he is so convincing you almost want him to prevail. Come see this multitalented actor, singer, dancer, in this extraordinary production.

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