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
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.
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