• Interview with Mark Rucker

    1-10-12 Interview

    Mark Rucker discovered that he was a director in the third grade when, confronted by chaos, he spontaneously directed his classmates in a recitation of The Night Before Christmas. He says “I loved it, and they seemed to appreciate it.” I’m sure that they did. Mark has the skill of giving his actors “room to discover,” and still get what he wants on the stage. Listen to him talk about the many tools a director can use to create magic, and come see his delightful direction of Once in a Lifetime, a hilarious play he discovered and fell in love with when he was 12 years old.

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  • Interview with Michael Newton-Brown

    1-3-12 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 Dad was somehow able to allow Michael be who he really is – a deeply creative person who 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 60’s. He went on the road with the newly discovered Bette Midler and Barry Manilow. And luckily for Sarasota finally found a home there. He is currently directing the quirky musical Dear World, at the Players Theater in Sarasota. Listen to Michael’s unusual story and hear a song from the show.

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  • Jeff Calhoun and Bonnie and Clyde – The Musical

    Bonnie and Clyde, the Musical will open on Broadway December 1, 2011. In the weeks before the opening I will be re broadcasting interviews I did with the stars and the creative team when they worked on the show at the Asolo Theater in Sarasota FL., and adding new interviews. First up is my interview with the multi-talented, wonderfully engaging and generous director of Bonnie and Clyde The Musical, Jeff Calhoun.

    Interview with Jeff Calhoun 10-18-11 – By the time he was 8 years old Jeff Calhoun knew what he wanted to do: 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 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 such musicals as Jekyll and Hyde, Grease, Big River and most recently Bonnie and Clyde – The Musical, which will open on Broadway this December. Then hear one of the songs from Don Black and Frank Wildhorn’s wonderful score.

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  • Interview with Pamela Wiley


    Actor, Director Pamela Wiley started her career at the age of 6 when a photographer snapped a picture of her which he sold to a national magazine and which got little Pam an agent. From then till her teens Pam managed to balance a busy modeling/commercial career with her soccer playing/cheerleading/vice president of her class life as a ‘regular girl.” She celebrated her 12th birthday on stage at New Jersey’s Papermill Playhouse, where she had her first professional acting job in Annie Get Your Gun. Knowing that the theater was where she wanted to be Pam got a degree in theater at Dennison College. Once again she handled a difficult balancing act, this time between a busy acting/commercial career and her life as the single mother of three. Pam’s energy, passion and commitment to quality seem inexhaustible. And currently the Players Theater in Sarasota is benefiting from it – as she gets ready to direct “It’s a Wonderful Life” which will open December 2nd. Listen to this effervescent role model talk about life, her career and growing up.

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  • Interview with Bob Trisolini


    Five year old Bob Trisolini and his cousins entertained their parents by putting on plays which always ended with little Bobby being stood on his head and pushed over – a perfect beginning for the entertainer that Bob would become. But like KJ Hatfield, Bob was concerned about making enough money for the life style he wanted, so he took his talents to corporations. 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 from an overwhelmingly successful career which took him all over the world, and with a seemingly inexhaustible amount of talent and energy Bob continues to work here and there for FL based companies and to direct and perform in local theater productions. Just having finished directing “Stop The World” for Sarasota’s Golden Apple dinner theater, he is currently directing “Seussical The Musical” for the Players theater. Listen to this irrepressible dynamo and hear a song from “Seussical The Musical.”

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  • Interview with Stephanie Shine


    Stephanie Shine began dance class at three years old because the doctor said it would straighten her “wobbly ankle.” No one expected it to it to be the genesis of a life’s work. The mini-musicals she danced and sang in at the Linkletter Tot n Tot studio, and seeing musicals like Peter Pan, cemented her ambition to make a life in the theater. And seeing Franco Zeffirelli’s film Romeo and Juliet began a lifelong love affair with Shakespeare. Stephanie has worked as an actor and director and spent 25 years as the artistic director of the Seattle Shakespeare Company Stephanie met Sunny Thomson (listen to Sunny’s interview next week), and became the director of Sunny’s one woman show called Forever Blond, an homage to Marilyn Monroe. Listen to Stephanie’s description of the passion she and Sunny share to honor Marilyn Monroe on stage and hear Sunny bring Marilyn to life in a few of the songs from the show.

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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 Andrei Maleav-Babel

    6-7-11 Interview

    Andrei Maleav -Babel – is a Russian Immigrant. The son and grandson of writers and artists, Andrei wrote musicals and directed his parent’s friends in his plays, by the time he was 10 or 12. Luckily coming of age as Perestroika was occurring in Russia, Andrei was able to start his own theater as a very young man. Barely able to speak English, he met, courted and married an American Sociology student and became a Professor of Acting at the prestigious Asolo Conservatory in Sarasota Florida. Listen to his amazing story and his ideas about training actors. Keep these in mind when, in the following weeks, I air interviews with many of his students who have just graduated from that program, and talk at length about the impact that studying with Andrei had on them.

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  • Interview with Jeff Calhoun

    5-31-11 Interview

    By the time he was 8 years old Jeff Calhoun knew what he wanted to do: 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 circumstances propelled him on the path to dancer, choreographer and director of musicals. Listen to unexpected way he became the protege of the amazing Tommy Tune and the remarkable series of happenstance’s that led to his directing such musicals as Jekyll and Hyde, Grease, Big River and most recently Bonnie and Clyde – The Musical, which is scheduled to open on Broadway this fall/winter. Then hear one of the songs from Frank Wildhorn’s wonderful score for Bonnie and Clyde sung by Jeremy Jordon as Clyde and Laura Osnes as Bonnie.

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  • Interview with Wes Grantom

    4-26-11 Interview

    Interview – Wes Grantom‘s grandfather would gather Wes and his 7 cousins around the campfire on weekends and tell stories – stories the kids believed were real. Including the night grandfather and uncles woke them up in the middle of the night pretending to be rustlers who’d come to steal the horses. These events are still clear in Wes’ mind and perhaps are the genesis of his desire first to be an actor and then to realize his calling as a director; a spinner of tales, a teller of stories – other people’s stories. Listen to Wes describe his trepidation at having to tell his grandfather and father that he’d given up his place on the football team to be in a show. And how he came to be directing Tartuffe for the Asolo Conservatory and about his involvement in the emerging piece The Steadfast, based on painter Steve Alpert’s extraordinary painting “Legacy.”


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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 Carole Kleinberg

    December 22, 2009

    Carole Kleinberg always wanted to direct plays, and even though her family discouraged her Carole was able to find the courage to pursue her dream. Trusting her instincts, she over and over again risked closing the door on one aspect of her life without knowing what is waiting for her. And over and over again something wonderful and completely unexpected was literally waiting in the wings. Carole has lived a life in sync with her deepest conviction of what is right for her and because of that her life has not only been exciting and fulfilling, it has also touched, influenced and encouraged many, many others.

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  • Review of ‘Contact’ and Interview with Iain Webb

    November 10, 2009

    I’m dedicating this show to a review by Sharon Leslie of the Tony Award winning musical “Contact,” which celebrates its 10th anniversary with a collaboration between the Asolo Repertory Company and the Sarasota Ballet Company at the Asolo Theater in Sarasota Florida till November 22nd. And an Interview with Iain Webb, Director of the Sarasota Ballet Company Iain has danced all over the world, with many of the world’s most prestigious companies. Because his career has connected him with some the ballet world’s greatest choreographers he is able to bring their works to Sarasota, making this season as remarkable as it is exciting. Iain’s story is compelling. Hear how a real live Billy Elliot found, protected and nurtured his dream of becoming a ballet dancer.

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  • Interview with Carole Schweid, Part 2

    October 27, 2009

    Discussion – Learn more about Uncovering Try the Who Am I Really exercise.

    Interview – The second half of my interview with Carole Schweid, which begins with the “era of children.” In it Carole talks about how the explosively creative mother of two manages to give both her family and her creatively what they require, and to do it with joy!

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  • Interview with Carole Schweid, Part 1

    October 20, 2009

    Discussion – Can you recognize your Cover Story? Do you know what qualities, characteristics, capabilities or skills you’ve hidden Undercover? In this show I talk about how this happens and describe the positive role of Denial.

    Interview – The first half of my interview with Carole Schweid, a founder with Nancy Diamond, of Play with Your Food, a truly unique theater experience. Listen to Carole’s funny, charming, disarming story. Hear her tell how she went from someone who was “dancing from the minute she could walk,” to the singer, actor, writer, director, choreographer, and producer she became.

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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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  • Interview with Pam Wiley, Part 1

    March 10, 2009

    I explain that families require balance and show how the roles assigned to each family member in childhood helps the family achieve and maintain that balance. I air the fist half of my interview with Actor/Director Pam Wiley.

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  • Interviews with Carolyn Michel and Howard Millman

    February 22, 2009

    Here I begin to describe how brain chemistry can be altered, and air Sharon’s reviews of The Imaginary Invalid and Visiting Mr. Green currently playing at the Asolo Rep, and also play parts of my interviews with Carolyn Michel, star of Invalid, & her husband Howard Millman, director of Mister Green.

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  • Interview with Stuart Kaminsky, Part 1

    January 06, 2009

    In the first show of the Year I explain why New Year’s Resolutions can be dangerous; tell my annual Holiday story, interview mystery and screen writer, professor, lecturer Stuart Kaminsky & air Sharon Lesley’s review of La Cage.

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