Producer

  • Interview with the extraordinary Wayne Adams Part 1

    12-5-17 Interview

    12-5-17 – 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 Ken Waissman

    5-24-16 Interview

    6-21-16 Broadway Producer Ken Waissman decided what he was going to be at 6 years old when he saw his first Broadway plays. He was so profoundly affected by this experience that he can still recall moments from those early plays, like seeing Ella Logan standing at the footlights singing “How Are Things in Glocca Morra” in the original production of Finian’s Rainbow. Knowing that his father was in ‘business’ little Ken asked him who was ‘the boss’ of this amazing thing and when Dad replied “the producer,’” the dye was cast. Unwilling to wait until he grew up to pursue this passion, Ken began producing plays in the family basement when he was 11 years old. Remarkable ingenuity and resolve went into these productions, the profit from which was donated to charity, and Ken, already showing marketing savvy, made sure that the donations took place on TV. Ken went on to produce TV shows in Bogota Columbia for the Peace Corp, apprentice to the iconic theater guru George Abbot, and then to produce such Broadway hits as Fortune in Men’s Eye’s and Grease. Currently he is working on “Josephine” a musical based on the life of Josephine Baker which he expects to bring to Broadway. Listen to this exuberant, passionate man talk about the work to which he has given his life.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Annie Morrison

    3-29-16 Audio Interview

    Multi-talented actor, singer, dance, writer, producer and advocate Annie Morrison’s, career includes standout Broadway and Cabaret performances. She won The 2010 John Ringling Towers Fund Award and the Best Actress Award at the 2012 United Solo Festival for her one woman show which inspired her to join with Blake Walton and David Coyle to create Sarasolo – a one person solo festival in Sarasota FL. She has also won the Theatre World Award©, a Drama Desk Award© Nomination, the Drama-Logue, SAMMY, HANDY and Sarasota Magazine Awards and a Best Plays Citation. Listen to this one of a kind talent talk about her early life, her commitment to creativity in all of its forms, collaboration instead of competition and encouraging creative humans wherever she finds them. And come see her in the Freefall theatre production of Sondheim on Sondheim. Also hear her singing a cut from the original cast album of Sondheim’s Broadway musical; Merrily We Roll Along in which she originated the role of Mary Flynn.

    continue reading
  • Interview with George Tynan Crowley

    March 8 Audio Interview

    George Tynan Crowley had a mystical experience at the age of 7 when he spontaneously volunteered to read the prayer at communion and knew that he was meant to “speak out.” From then on he followed this path to speak out by becoming a versatile, talented actor, director, writer, and producer. Listen to this charming, articulate man talk about his work in theater and film, his belief in the power of theater to transform lives and his personal philosophy of life. Come see his powerful performance in the meaningful and beautiful play, Outside Mullingar, currently running at Florida Studio Theater and listen to Sharon Leslie’s review of the play.

    continue reading
  • Interview with Rob Ruggiero

    11-11-14 – 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 old 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 theater works 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 fourth production for the Asolo Repertory Theatre Co, this time and intimate production of the Roger’s and Hammerstein musical classic South Pacific. Listen to this charming, ebullient, delightful man talk about his circuitous path to the place he calls home.

    continue reading
  • 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.

    continue reading
  • Audio Interview with Steve Binder – Part 2 (re-run)

    August 26, 2014 Audio Interview with Steve Binder – Part 2 (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
  • 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 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 Diane Ladd and Candice Russell

    Audio Interview

    Diane Ladd is an actress, film director, producer and author. She has appeared in over 120 roles on television, in miniseries and feature films; including Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974), Wild at Heart (1990), Rambling Rose (1991), Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), Touched by an Angel (1997) (TV), Primary Colors (1998), 28 Days (2000), and American Cowslip (2008). She is the mother of actress Laura Dern, by her ex-husband, actor Bruce Dern. Ladd has won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA and has been nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has recently published her 2nd book – a series of short stories called A Bad Afternoon for A Piece of Cake. Listen to this extraordinary woman talk about an extraordinary life in which she travelled the countryside with her veterinarian father; convinced her cousin playwright Tennessee Williams to let her do his play (Orpheus Descending), and then convinced the New York reviewers to come out and review it; and experienced the sensation of seeing a “white light” which convinced her that she would be an actress and a writer – which of course she had been.

    Author and journalist Candice Russell discovered Haitian Art seemingly by accident, but the minute she saw it, she was captured. And that capturing led her on a journey which would culminate 25 years later in the creation of her beautiful coffee table book – Masterpieces of Haitian Art. Early in life Candice fell in love with books, making the library her second home. She thought her life would be was dedicated to words and, not surprisingly, she worked as a journalist. In her early 30’s, seeing her friend Michele’s ability to create a beautiful environment and saddened by the thought that she had no “visual sense,” Candice prayed to develop an “artistic sensibility.” Remarkably her prayers were answered. Listen to Candice talk about the way she’s pursued what has become her passion – the advocacy of Haitian Art and Artists.

     

    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 2

    11-12-13 Audio Interview Part – 2

    In this second part of my interview, Wayne Adams continues to relate his remarkable life. Listen to him describe his delightful meeting with legendary acting teacher Maggie Flannigan; and how his production of Ralph Pape’s Say Goodnight, Gracie directed by Austin Pendleton, resulted in his determination to bring Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company to Broadway; first in the production of True West with John Malkovich and Gary Sinise and then in the Lincoln Center production of And a Nightingale Sang with Joan Allen. Wayne says “I’m interested in being the human being that I am,” and he reminds us that “life is taking chances, not doing what someone else thinks you should do but doing from yourself honestly according to your own instincts.” Listen and be inspired.

    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 Karyl Lynn Burns

    10-22-13- Audio Interview

    Karyl Lynn Burns says that she was a born producer. Listen to her delightful story about when her mother’s friends came to play bridge, how 4 or 5 year old Karyl Lynn would charge the children who accompanied them their allowance to watch her put on a show. Her childhood was filled with stories, invention and play acting; Karly Lynn says that she always knew her life would be about acting, producing and the telling of stories. But it has been that and more. She was also interested in writing and so she majored in Journalism in College, but she went on to study acting under Tony Nominated director Bill Ball at the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) an experience which changed her approach to her work and her life. Also through a series of coincidences she created a major Public Relations firm. But acting and producing remained her passion, listen to this delightful, charming, spontaneous woman describe the circuitous route which led her and her husband Jim O’Neil to the creation of the Rubicon Theater, a remarkable space for all kinds of theater.

    continue reading
  • Interview with David Shepard

    10-8-13 – Audio Interview

    David Shepherd is The Father of Improvisational Theater. He insists that he isn’t the father but the uncle, because it was he and Paul Sills who started the first improvisational theater in the United States. It was called Compass and it morphed into Second City which included Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Stiller and Meara, Barbara Harris, Alan Alda, Shelly Berman, Alan Arkin and many more. As I air this interview David is about to celebrate his 89th birthday. Listen to this remarkable man talk about his desire to “revolutionize the theater” and how he did it. Also hear about the most current version of his revolutionary idea – Life Play – improvisation on the telephone and learn how you can play along.

    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