The Soul of the American Actor

INTERVIEWS with ARTISTS

BEN VEREEN

JEANINE TESORI

PSALMAYENE 24

SYLVIA MCNAIR

MICHAEL McELROY

DEIDRE KINAHAN

BOB ARI

PAUL TAZEWELL

PATRICIA ROZARIO

NANCY RHODES

MAIA DANZIGER

EARL “PEANUTT” MONTGOMERY

WILLIE RUFF

DENNIS D’AMICO

GRACE CACHOCHA

KAREN SAILLANT

JENNIFER HORNE

JEANIE THOMPSON

ROBERT PERRY

WAYNE SIDES

JAMIE LEE McMAHAN

“Use your knowledge, and your heart, to stand up for those who can't stand, speak for those who can't speak, be a beacon of light.”
– Julie Andrews

“...Beneath the surface of an ordinary everyday normal casual conscious existence there lies a vast dynamic world of impulse and dream...”
– Robert Edmond Jones

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
– Samuel Beckett

“Being an actor is a religious calling because you've been given the ability, the gift to inspire humanity.”
– Sandy Meisner

“Whenever you are reading beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.”
– Alice Walker

“The only reason to write is from love.”
– Stephen Sondheim

“To create one's world in any of the arts takes courage.”
– Georgia O’Keefe

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”
– Albert Schweitzer

“A word does not start as a word – it is an end product which begins as an impulse, stimulated by attitude and behavior which dictates the need for expression.”
– Peter Brook

Ronald Rand in Let It Be Art


Articles

Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company

Black Theatre United

Mabou Mines

Theater J

Pangea World Theater

Round House Theatre

Bucks County Playhouse

Charleston Stage

Maryland Ensemble Theatre

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

PURE Theatre Company

Ronald Rand’s “CREATE! How Extraordinary People Live to Create and Create to Live”

Virginia Stage Company

Constellation Theatre Company

League of Professional Theatre Women

Maryland Hall

BlackRock Center for the Arts

Great American Songbook Foundation & Academy

Kennedy Center REACH

Inter Act Art Theatre

“Grand Ball in the Belle Epoch” – Edwardian Period Style Salon

 

 

 

 

 

Ronald Rand in Let It Be Art

 

 

“The poem, the song, the picture, is only water drawn from the well of the people, and it should be given back to them in a cup of beauty so that they may drink - and in drinking understand themselves.”
– Federico Garcia Lorca

“Living consciously involves being genuine; it involves listening and responding to others honestly and openly; it involves being in the moment.”
– Sidney Poitier

“The artist must be a leader. He must be true to what is most eager, vital and boldest within himself. Only in this way can the audience gain something from him. By being awake himself, the artist must awaken the audience. This ultimately is what the audience also desires – to be awakened.”
– Harold Clurman

“Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably And never regret ANYTHING That makes you smile.”
– Mark Twain

“One must surrender entirely to the power of one’s artistic nature. It will do all the necessary things. Do not impose any solution upon yourself in advance.”
– Yevgeny Vakhtangov

“All I insist on, and nothing else, is that you should show the whole world that you are not afraid. Be silent, if you choose; but when it is necessary, speak—and speak in such a way that people will remember it.”
– Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
- Harriet Tubman

“It is a great piece of good fortune when an actor can instinctly grasp a play with his whole being. In such happy but rare circumstances it is better to forget all about laws and methods, and give himself up to the power of his creative nature.”
- Constantin Stanislavsky

“Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching.”
- C.S. Lewis

“Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The only revolution that counts is a revolution of the human spirit.”
- Henrik Ibsen

Virginia Stage Company

Virginia Stage Company is the premier professional theatre in southeastern Virginia, presenting performances at the Wells Theatre in downtown Norfolk. The theatre was fully restored in 1986 and is now a National Historic Landmark. Virginia Stage Company was founded in 1978 by members of the Hampton Roads community who had a deep desire to make “live” theatre a part of the area’s cultural life. Virginia Stage Company serves an audience of over sixty thousand patrons annually, both at the Wells Theatre and throughout the community.

Interior of the Wells Theatre in downtown Norfolk, fully restored in 1986, a National Historic Landmark, home of Virginia State Company

The Wells Theatre, built in 1912, was designed by the New York firm of E. C. Horn and Sons is significant example of Beaux Arts neoclassicism theater architecture in Virginia, and a representative of early 20th-century popular culture. The Wells served as the opulent flagship for Wells Amusement Enterprises, a string of forty vaudeville theaters owned by Jake and Otto Wells throughout the South.

Part of the line of 1,600 “kiddies” who attended the performance at the Wells Theatre to benefit the starving children of Europe, Otto Wells gave the use of the theatre without charge.

Virginia Stage Company has presented twenty-eight world premieres at the Wells Theatre in its’ over forty year history, enriching, educating, and entertaining the region, producing theatrical art of the highest quality, while forging meaningful partnerships with many of the extraordinary arts, educational and social service institutions in Hampton Roads.

As a highly respected regional theatre company, Virginia Stage Company has attracted artists from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and other leading theaters across the country, and from the world of film and television.

Highlights of Virginia Stage Company include a groundbreaking production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with Virginia Symphony, the world premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical, “The Secret Garden,” Steven Schwartz’s “Snapshots” and Lanie Robertson’s “Nobody Lonesome for Me.” 

Mia Ellis, Ashton Heyl, and Rachel Moulton in “The Book Club Play” by Karen Zacarías at Virginia Stage Company, 2014. (Photo: Samuel W. Flint)

Virginia Stage Company produces a main stage subscription series of six productions (with special matinee performances for students), and the annual holiday classics, “A Christmas Carol” and “The Santaland Diaries.” Virginia Stage productions are created on site and from the ground up – costumes to choreography, sound to lighting — working with a mix of local artists and artisans as well as some of the leading actors, directors, and designers from around the country.

“A Christmas Carol” at Virginia Stage Company

Steven Minow and Bretteney Beverly in “A Christmas Carol”
at Virginia Stage Company, 2019 (photo: Samuel W. Flint)

Their 42nd season included: “Guys and Dolls,” “Detroit ’67,” “A Christmas Carol,” “The Santaland Dairies,” “Sense & Sensibility,” “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” which was their final show of 2020.

Their upcoming 2020-2021 season which had been scheduled included “Into the Breeches” by George Brant, followed by “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, “A Christmas Carol,” “Holmes and Watson” by Jeffrey Hatcher, “Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous,” and “Ain’t Misbehavin” with book by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby Jr.

Max Falls in “The Legend of Georgia McBride” at Virginia Stage Company, (photo: Samuel W. Flint)

Virginia Stage Company’s education and community engagement programming reflects the needs of the community, providing for students’ productions that coordinate with school curriculum. Students are provided discounted tickets to attend matinees in the historic Wells Theatre. The theatre’s directors, designers, and actors participate in a talk-back session with the students directly following each performance.

Virginia Stage Company also offers touring designed to stir the heart, stretch the mind and promote education. In addition, they offer in-school workshops and residencies, providing students, teachers and administrators with first-hand opportunities to work with professional performers, encouraging future artists and arts audiences.

Using the theatre as a catalyst to foster public discourse, Virginia Stage Company wants to expand the audiences’ thinking and to offer fresh perspectives and believes learning, critical thinking, and self-confidence all grow as ‘sitting together in one space to experience and contemplate our shared world.’

“Our Town” at Virginia Stage Company

Public Works Virginia is a major initiative of Virginia Stage Company that seeks to engage the people of Hampton Roads by making them creators of theatre rather than spectators.  Public Works was founded by the Public Theater in New York, and Public Works Virginia joins its affiliate network, which now spans theaters across the United States as well as the National Theatre in London.

“The Wiz” at Virginia Stage Company

Working with community partner organizations across Virginia, Virginia State Company invites community members to attend in-person and virtual classes, attend productions, and join in the creation of ambitious works of participatory theatre. For info: Virginia Stage Company 108 East Tazewell St. Norfolk, Virginia 23510, (757) 627-1234, www.vastage.org

“The Wiz” at Virginia Stage Company



"It is a law of life that man cannot live for himself alone. Extreme individualism is insanity. The world's problems are also our personal problems. Health is achieved through maintaining our personal truth in a balanced relation of love to the rest of the world. No expression is more emblematic of this relation than the creative act which we call art. No art by its very constitution typifies the social nature of that creative act more than the theatre. The theatre, to be fully understood and appreciated, must be seen as a manifestation of this process of interchange between society and the individual. It must be judged as a continuous development of groups of individuals within society, a development which becomes richer, acquires greater force and value as it grows with the society in which it originates. Only in this way can the theatre nourish us.  - Harold Clurman

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