Last season at Oregon Stage Works Dennis Klein directed the hilarious and terrifying mystery thriller “Death Trap.” Dennis and I met before a rehearsal of his next production, a free, late-night workshop of Sam Shepard’s “True West.”
EH: How did you come to direct at Oregon Stage Works?
DK: I drove by this theater. I had heard an advertisement on the radio. So I came in. I fell in love with this space because this place has a soul, it has a palpable feel. It is a theater: it has blood, sweat and tears of theater. I felt it. It washed over me. I loved the place, and so I wanted to be part of this. I wanted to share the experience and to help if I could. It’s been an interesting ride.
EH: How does being in theater affect family?
DK: It’s very difficult. It causes a lot of tension because it requires so much time. It’s not just the physical time, it’s the emotional time. It’s stressful on a family. Ask anybody who is married. They are on the edge of divorce all the time because it excludes the other person. It pushes them away, because you are so focused. The people you are working with become the most important people to you for a while. For families, that’s hard. Donna, my wife, has become involved in costuming. It’s something she loves to do. She has now become part of the theater group, which instead of being exclusive has become inclusive.