Director

  • Audio Interview with Steve Binder – Part 1 (re-run)

    August 19, 2014 – Audio Interview with Steve Binder – Part 1 (re-run)

    Producer, Director Steve Binder has worked with virtually everyone in every entertainment venue – Film, TV, Recordings; He courageously refused to allow the moment that Petula Clark touched Harry Belafonte as they sang a duet on her special to be deleted – thereby breaking the color line on TV. He is famous for The T.A.M.I. Show one of the top five Rock and Roll films ever made, which included performance by Chuck Berry, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Leslie Gore, Mick Jagger and the Stones, The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean and even more famous for his direction of the Elvis Presley Comeback Special. All this and more in a career which he never intended to enter. Listen to this funny, passionate, talented man tell the story of how he lucked into the work of his life – certainly the work he was meant to do.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Mark Clayton Southers

    July 22, Audio Interview

    Director Mark Clayton Southers is an award winning playwright, poet, photographer, scenic designer, theatrical producer and stage director. He is the founder and producing artistic director of the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company. But he discovered his passion for theater late and mostly by accident. Working as a photographer he shot stills for theatrical productions but never stayed to see the play; it was “just not his thing.” While videotaping August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom he finally understood “the power of theater.” Years later his cousin asked him to stand in for an actor who was temporarily unavailable; that actor lost his job and Mark began a new career. Dedicated to giving his family all that they needed, Mark managed to balance his “good paying work” in the Steel Industry with his passion to pursue theater. Listen to this serious, multi- talented, self-deprecating man talk about his creation of a rich, diverse and satisfying life.

    continue reading
  • 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.

    continue reading
  • 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.

     

    continue reading
  • Interview with Bob Devin Jones

    2-11-14 – Interview

    Bob Devin Jones seemed to luck into the career to which he has given his life – theater. He followed in his big sister Renee’s footsteps by enrolling in a theater arts program in Jr High School; then he saw his friend on stage in a play and thought “I can do that,” so he auditioned for and got a role as a black Santa in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and the audience’s response to his appearance sealed his fate. He studied at Loyola Marymount University, the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. After graduating, he traveled the country as an actor and director. Bob has written more than a dozen plays including Uncle Bend’s: A Home-Cooked Negro Narrative, Manhattan Casino and Further Down the Road. He has made his living acting and directing. Bob and Dave Ellis created Studio@620 a creative space. Currently he has directed a wonderful production of August Wilson’s Two Trains Running for the American Stage Theater in St. Petersburg Florida. Listen to this thoughtful men describe his very special approach to directing, and hear Pam Wiley’s review of the play.

    continue reading
  • 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.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Wayne Adams Part 1

    11-5-13 – Audio Interview 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.”

    continue reading
  • Interview with Tom Aposporos

    10-29-13 – Audio Interview

    Tom Aposporos still remembers portraying the planet Mercury in his first grade class play. By fifth grade, Tom knew he wanted to be an actor and his parents made it possible for him to take acting lessons. Luckily, for Tom, there were professional actors with whom he could study and he attributes his success in all of his varied careers to that training at a young age. At age 20 Tom was acting professionally but not sure of the stability of such a career. He followed his father’s example and went into the real estate business. Very quickly, he also entered public life, elected to the Poughkeepsie, New York Common Council at age 25, then Mayor of his city two years later. Following four terms as Mayor, the shareholders of Progressive Bank, Inc., a publicly traded bank holding company, elected him to their Board of Directors and he later served as Chairman of the Board. However, Tom never lost his passion for acting and the theater. One of the founders of the Theatre Odyssey, based here on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Tom works steadily as an actor and director, and most recently appeared in Banyan Theater Company’s critically acclaimed production of Time Stands Still. He also writes a weekly column on the life and people of the local barrier islands for the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Elliott Raines

    7-16-13 – Audio Interview

    Elliott Raines grew up in what says is “now called the East Village, but when I grew up was called a slum.” Second generation, born to parents who believed in giving their children a “well rounded education,” Elliott studied piano and music theory, spent a year at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and most of his high school years in Drama Club, chorus and plays. He got a BA in Theater and an MFA in Acting, taught acting at his alma mater, and had some success as an actor. However at age 28 Elliott realized that the thing he hated most was looking for work, and acting – no matter how successful you are – is always about looking for the next job. Having realized this Elliott promptly went to Law School. He spent a career in law – with forays into acting and directing. And now having retired is once more able to pursue his passion for the theater. Elliott is currently directing The Boys Next Door at the Players Theater.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Meliss Kenworthy

    7-2-13 Audio Interview

    First a singer, then an actor and currently a director Meliss Kenworthy was the little girl with the loudest voice in her class. She fell in love with Opera as a very young child and pursued her passion for singing, until finally finding that where she really belonged was in Musical Theater, where her beautiful voice, acting ability and good looks made her a shoo-in. Currently she is expanding her reach by directing the Painting Churches the first play in the Banyan Summer Season – Listen to Meliss’s story and hear Sharon Lesley’s review of Painting Churches.

    continue reading
  • 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

    continue reading
  • Interview with Austin Pendleton – rerun

    Blyth Danner and Austin Pendleton4-9-13 – Interview with Austin Pendleton

    I start this interview by saying “I am here with the one and only Austin Pendleton.” This is not a casual or frivolous comment. Nominated for a Tony for his direction of Elizabeth Taylor in The Little Foxes, winner of a Drama desk and an Obie award, actor, director, playwright, producer, teacher and inspiration, Austin Pendelton is one of a kind; a singleton. Unique, special, extraordinary and esteemed by his peers (listen to Meryl Streep and Olympia Dukakis talk about him), Austin has somehow managed to stay under the radar of fame. His love affair with the theater began when at seven years old when he snuck down stairs to watch his town’s fledgling community theater group rehearse in his living room. But young Austin denied his interest in acting to his friends, he says “who would believe that a nerdy kid, who wore glasses and stuttered so badly could be an actor.” Apparently Austin did. Apparently Austin was right. While not able to stop him, his stutter remained an intractable stumbling block on the path to his beloved goal – working in the theater. But Austin is not only incredibly talented, he is also incredibly tenacious; listen to the determination with which he worked to overcome his stutter and so become, while not famous, a professional who is always working, always in demand. Check out Austin Pendleton Theatre Credits and Austin Pendleton – Filmography to see what I mean.

    continue reading
  • 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.

    continue reading
  • 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.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Michael Newton-Brown

    1-8-13 – Audio Interview

    Michael Newton-Brown’s Dad was a high school track coach, who might have wanted his son to be a jock. He tried to interest him in golf and put a pole vault in his hands and said jump (listen to Michael’s reaction to that). But, a deeply creative person, Michael was drawn to and consequently learned everything there is to know about making theater happen. There were many twists and turns in Michael’s path. He found himself in the middle of several violent eruptions in the 1960’s. He went on the road with the newly discovered Bette Midler and Barry Manilow. And luckily for Sarasota FL he finally found a home there. He is currently directing Sunset Blvd for the Players Theater. Listen to this thoughtful, knowledgeable man tell the fascinating story behind the creation of Sunset Blvd the movie and consequently the Sunset Blvd musical.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Brendon Fox

    1-1-13 – Audio Interview

    Brendon Fox was always interested in music, theater and literature, but it was in Jr. High School that he had the experiences which would define the rest of his life – listen to Brendon describe his father’s moving response to his performance. As much as he liked acting Brendon discovered that he also really liked directing – hear him describe the curious and serendipitous way his directing career got its start. Brendon’s path took him from Northwestern University to the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, then to Los Angeles and a Masters in Directing at UCLA, and now to a teaching position at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training in Sarasota FL where he is currently directing a production of The Aliens.. In this interview Brendon essentially gives us a crash course in directing and also describes the Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training philosophy of teaching – demonstrating why it is one of the top ten conservatories in the country.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Bob Trisolini

    12-4-12 – Audio Interview

    When five year old Bob Trisolini and his cousins entertained their parents by putting on plays, they always ended with little Bobby being stood on his head and pushed over – a perfect beginning for the entertainer that Bob would become. But Bob was concerned about making enough money for the life style he wanted, so he took his talents to corporations and had an overwhelmingly successful career which took him all over the world. Listen to the incredibly long list of companies for whom he created spectacular events which introduced products, celebrated successes, motivated sales forces etc. Now in retirement with a seemingly inexhaustible amount of talent and energy Bob continues to work here, there and everywhere for FL based companies and theaters. He loves to work with children so last year he directed Suessical The Musical and this year he is directing a production of Annie for The Players Theater of Sarasota. Listen to this funny, passionate, engaging man talk about the way he parlayed his talents into an extraordinary career.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Berry Ayers

    11/27/12 – Audio Interview

    Everyone in Berry Ayers family sang; his preacher grandfather sang to the congregation, his mother was a soloist in several professional gospel groups and aunt had a record deal. When Berry was 2 Mom and Aunt taught him and his six year old brother a song to sing in church and Berry performed 3 or 4 times a month from then on, learning along the way how to “work an audience;” how the little smile or wink would cause the audience to “go crazy.” To correct a foot deformity he was born with the doctor prescribed ballet or braces, Berry’s mother chose ballet (even though their Baptist religion frowned on it) and Berry has been singing, dancing, writing, acting, choreographing and directing ever since.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Preston Boyd

    10/16/12 – Interview

    Like Austin and Sheilah, Preston Boyd found his life path very early when his first grade teacher asked him to narrate the class play because he “had such a good voice.” He did and was hooked; having discovered not only that he loved performing but that it was also a way to escape his desperate shyness. Giggle along with us as he re-enacts his very first starring role and listen to this charming unself-conscious man talk about his diligent pursuance of a career in theater, and how he and his family wound up in Sarasota Florida where he now teaches acting, occasionally acts himself, and directs for most of the local theaters. Also listen to songs from Pump Boys and Dinettes the play he is currently directing for Manatee Players Theater in Bradenton FL which opens on October 25th.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Austin Pendleton – Part 2

    10/2/2012 Interview Part 2

    In the second half or our interview Austin Pendelton talks with humor and candor about his struggles with stuttering. How it helped him get – right out of college – his first role on Broadway; co-starring with the “breathtaking Harris” and “the amazing Jo Van Fleet” in Arthur Kopit’s enigmatic play “Oh Dad, Poor Dad.” Hear him describe the hilarious way he got the role, the ordeal of trying at the same time to, and not to stutter -which he believed was dragging the show down, and the kindness and generosity of director Jerome Robbins; who not only encouraged him to stay with it, but then cast him in “Fiddler on the Roof” – with Zero Mostel. Listen to the way he was coerced into his role in “My Cousin Vinnie,” and how that role in some way defined his career. Hear also about his time at the Hollins University and meeting Annie Glenn – the wife of astronaut and Senator John Glenn, who conquered a stuttering problem that was worse than Austin’s…

    If this is the first you have heard of him – take this opportunity to hear from this funny, sweet, accomplished, remarkable man. Watch the video, and donate to, the making of the Austin Pendleton Project, co-directed by Gene Gallerano and David H. Holmes. Donate here: http://www.indiegogo.com/austinpendleton

    [vimeo http://vimeo.com/47057982]

    continue reading