Beth Duda still remembers being the tightrope walker in her kindergarten circus show, and cajoling her non artistic family to participate in and be the audience for the shows she relentlessly insisted on creating. But she followed her practical upbringing and became a teacher instead of a performer, until the twists and turns of her life made it possible for her to pursue/combine both of her passions, today she is the Director of Education and Resident playwright at Florida Studio Theater. Listen to this delightful, enthusiastic woman tell her charming story.
Multi-talented, Michael McKeever decided that he had a better chance of making money as an artist – something he was very good at and enjoyed doing – rather than in the theater where he “soul really was.” He majored in advertising design and did in fact make “stupid money” as an art director. But when life gave him opportunity and he jumped on it. He wrote his first play at 30 years old, and his “soul” must have been right because in the 15 years since he wrote that first play, Michael’s written 21 plays and all of them, including the first one, have been produced. Listen to this exuberant, passionate man talk about the joy of finally being what he was always meant to be. And come to Florida Studio Theater where his play funny, thoughtful, compelling play South Beach Babylon is currently running.continue reading
Do you like toe-tapping music, incredibly clever lyrics, and exuberant choreography performed by a remarkably talented ensemble? Then run right down to Florida Studio Theater’s Gompertz Theatre to see The World Goes Round a revue of John Kander and Fred Ebb’s music – much of which will be familiar to you as it comes from Chicago and Cabaret and many other of their splendid musicals. And in that delightful revue (which has been extended through June 29th) you will see the very talented Zak Edwards who says he was “always a musician,” having begun piano lessons at 5 years old and performing professionally by the time he was in the 4th grade. Listen to this skilled performer talk about his recognition of what he was meant to do and be, and hear his interesting explanation of what it means to be the dance captain of a show.continue reading
Billie Wildrick can’t remember a time when she wasn’t making up stories, becoming characters and singing all the time. Her Mom would carry little Billie into company so she could sing Thummertime, so it is not surprising that Billie became a performer. And she got lots of breaks as people easily saw her talent and potential. She was spotted by a talent agent in grade school and went to NY for auditions but her Mom wasn’t comfortable with the role of stage mother and brought her home. Right out of college, she was “scooped up” by the prestigious 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle, where she will be performing in her 20th production next year. But even with all her talent Billie’s journey has not been easy. At auditions and certain venues she suffered such severe anxiety, that her body shook and she could not sing “with her voice.” But she has found ways to deal with that obstacle and you can see the glowing result in her performance as Brünnhilde in Das Barbeque currently playing for another 2 weeks at Florida Studio Theater in Sarasota. You can hear her story and hear her singing in this interview, and see a picture of her as Brünnhilde here.continue reading
Katherine Michelle Tanner is one of the lucky ones; with an actress mother, artist father and concert pianist grandmother, she grew up surrounded by, and encouraged to, experience the all of the arts. As a result she’s played with and mastered virtually all of them; a dancer, who convinced her ballet master to take her on before she reached the mandatory age, a pianist, violinist, artist, singer and actor, Katherine is currently part of the ensemble cast of Next Fall at Florida Studio Theater. Listen to Katherine talk about the intricacies of this play – it will make you want to run out and see it and her.continue reading
On December 15th 1941, (following the bombing of Pearl Harbor) President Franklin Delano Roosevelt requested that Norman Corwin’s radio play “We Hold These Truths,” become the first radio program to be carried by all the network stations in the country. Written to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, and starring Edward Arnold, Walter Brennen, Bob Burns, Walter Huston, Marjorie Mane, Edward G Robinson, Corporal James Stewart.continue reading
The second half of my interview with 100 year old Norman Corwin begins with his description of Orson Wells’ narrating “We Hold These Truths,” which Norman wrote to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights and which was rebroadcast 50 years later on NPR to celebrate its 200th anniversary. Hear him tell the story of the program he created for Election Eve, the year that FDR ran against Thomas Dewey, and his unwillingness to be paid for it because of his concern that he would “not be safe” at CBS if he declared himself a Democrat. Norman’s story continues with the description of his relationship with actor Charles Laughton and how this relationship lead to a career in Hollywood and the writing of screenplays for films such as “Lust For Life,” the Vincent Van Gogh story which he wrote for director Vincent Minnelli and starred Kirk Douglas. Finally hear a portion of his radio play “Between American’s” – also narrated by Orson Wells.
And listen next week for the full airing of “We Hold These Truths.”
I’m interrupting the airing of my Bonnie and Clyde The Musical interviews to dedicate the next 3 shows to what I believe is the last interview given by Norman Corwin who died on 10/18/11 at the age of 101. I interviewed Mr. Corwin at his home shortly before his 100th birthday. Propped in his wheelchair, with little capacity to move his ancient body, Mr. Corwin was nonetheless lucid, erudite, and remembered virtually everything about his 70 plus year career. After the interviews I will rebroadcast one of his most beloved radio plays “We Hold These Truths.”
Norman Corwin has been called “the poet laureate of radio,” the Bard of Broadcasting, a “citizen of the world” “and “to radio what Shakespeare was to theater.” He is truly a national treasure. Listen to the hilarious “accidents” which propelled his career. Hear the story of his interview with world’s greatest ashcan roller, (who could roll an ashcan faster and further than anyone without spilling an ash,”) and was the very first interview ever broadcast on radio, to the production,”On a Note of Triumph.,” written to mark the end of the war in Europe, which then president FDR had alerted him was soon to come, so that he could have the piece ready in time.
The Plot to Overthrow Christmas
Orson Welles performs “Between Americans” by Norman Corwin 1 of 3
Orson Welles performs “Between Americans” by Norman Corwin 2 of 3
Orson Welles performs “Between Americans” by Norman Corwin 1 of 3continue reading
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.”continue reading
After recapping the creation of a Cover Story I explain how and why we hide some of our most important qualities Undercover, and that these qualities which we have, but deny, can be the very ones we need to do some things we’d previously been unable to do. Using brief descriptions of two movies “Juno” and “Miss Pettigrew” I talk about the importance of strong female role models in fiction and then play the second ½ of my interview with Sharon Lesley, who is not only a powerful role model but has written three theater pieces which highlight the lives of powerful woman.continue reading
Beginning with a recap of the concepts of Modeling and Anti-Modeling and talking about the dilemma of being an artist in this culture, this show goes on to demonstrate how the creation of a Cover Story stops us from doing what we would otherwise be able to do. It continues the series Anatomy of an Artist with the first half of an interview with Sharon Lesley, actor/singer/playwright/director, and includes cuts from CD’s by Sharon and her husband pianist David Ohrenstein.continue reading