• 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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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 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.

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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 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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:


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  • Tony Award month on the Lynne Show begins with Jeff Calhoun

    6-5-12 – Interview

    Nominated for the Tony for his direction of the Broadway Musical Newies (which has 8 nominations including Best Musical), Jeff Calhoun knew what he wanted to do by the time he was 8 years old: he wanted to be Dick Van Dyke, he wanted to be Fred Astaire, he wanted to dance 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 circumstances propelled him on the path to becoming not only a dancer but a choreographer and a director of musicals like Jekyll and Hyde, Grease, Big River, Bonnie and Clyde – The Musical, 9-5 The Musical and many more. Listen to unexpected way he became the protege of the amazing Tommy Tune. And the remarkable series of happenstance’s that led to his working with such luminaries as Bob Hope, and Dolly Parton. Then hear one of the songs from Newsies wonderful score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman.

    Anything Goes featuring Jeff CalhounDolly Parton and Jeff Calhoun



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  • Interview with Jared Walker

    4-24-12 – Interview

    Jared Walker began his show business career as The Glum Bunny in a 3rd grade class production. He always loved to sing and make music and the Glum Bunny showed him how much he loved being on stage. But singing and acting were not enough for the talented and flexible Jared; he went on to become a director, lighting designer, and costumer. If you can do it in the theater Jared can do it. Currently he is directing a production of The Full Monty, a play he knows well as having played one of the roles himself, for the Players Theater which opens on April 22nd.

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  • Interview with Louise Stinespring

    4-17-12 – Interview

    At seven, Louise Stinespring played the pregnant Virgin Mary in the 2nd grade Christmas play. Exuberantly improvising her part, she rushed around the stage desperately looking for a place to lie down and have her baby (listen to her re-enactment by clicking on interview at the top of this post). After the play Louise’s mother reported that one of the other mothers had said that “Louise had talent.” Apparently that mother was right as Louise was accepted to sturdy at the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse with the iconic Sanford Meisner and one of the few asked to return for the second year. It has not been an easy path for Louise but she is not only a talented actress, director and teacher, she is a resourceful, passionate woman who has faced every disappointment and obstacle and found a way to survive, take care of her family and stay in the theater. Today she teaches acting and directs plays in Sarasota FL her “mini Manhattan home” at the unconventional Home Resource Contemporary Furniture space and the Players Theater where her production of ‘Night Mother’ opens on 4/19. Listen to Louise’s story, laugh out loud at her stint as the “Funny Bunny in a production which toured The Playboy Clubs, and be inspired.

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  • Interview with Corey Brunish

    4-3-12 –Interview

    Actor, Director, Singer, Writer, Producer Corey Brunish, says that he became all that he is in defiance of those who actively discouraged him. This is a remarkable story of a man who refused to listen when others told him who he could or could not be. A soft-spoken, gentle man Corey exudes a quiet strength that says I will decide who I am and what I can do and his life is the proof of that pudding. Listen to his remarkable journey, hear songs from one of his many CD’s and also a cut from the cast album of  Bonnie and Clyde The Musical which he produced.

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  • Interview with Kelly Woodland

    3-20-12 – Interview

    To get little Kelly Woodland “out from under foot,” her mom sent her off to visit her cousins. Those cousins were putting on a play and so six year old Kelly made her acting debut as Mustard Seed in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She says it wasn’t hard because she thought “everyone talked like that.” And of course she was “bitten” by the theater bug. After years of playing Louisa, Kelly decided she was actually a director and got a degree in directing. She must have been right because Noises Off which she is directing for the Players Theater in Sarasota is the 98th play that she’s directed. Listen to Kelly describe her philosophy of directing as well as explain why you’d want to see Noises Off which opens on March 22nd.

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  • Interview with Larry Barrett

    2-7-12 – Interview

    When twelve year old Larry Barrett sang in his school choir he made a discovery which has informed his entire life. He discovered that loved “collaboration.” He loved to be part of something larger than himself, working with others to create something new. Luckily Larry has many skills which allow him to do this in many areas of his life. An actor, writer, director and producer of theater as well as a dedicated and talented chef, Larry loves to combine his various talents and passions. Currently he is once again combining theater and food by presenting an evening of The Firesign Theaters’ Nick Danger, Third Eye, and a classic dinner from the famous Delmonico restaurant, every Wed and Thursday in February. Listen to him describe this delightful event, his unique take on afternoon teas and the ingenious dinner parties he has invented for his catering company Simply Gourmet. Also hear a piece from The Outrageous Firesign Theater.

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  • Interview with Clyde Compton

    1-31-12 Interview

    Clyde Compton arrived at his chosen career of directing in a very unusual way. A “regular boy” of 12 who played sports and had no interest in theater, Clyde was smitten by a girl who happened to be in a school play, so he allowed himself to be persuaded to take a role and was amazed to find that he really liked it. Although he still thinks he may one day go to Law School or become a neurologist, in the meanwhile Clyde is delighted to be assisting established directors Gordon Greenberg and Peter Amster, in their direction of “Yentl” and “Fallen Angels.” Listen to Clyde talk about directing and specifically the different approaches taken by directors who have or have not begun their careers as actors. And hear a review of ‘God of Carnage” by Sharon Leslie.

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