Playwright Ruth Wire is a Member of the Board of the Directors of the Ashland Contemporary Theatre. Wire has written numerous plays and screenplays. Her latest full length play, “A Modern Woman” was produced by Oregon Stage Works. She also leads Haywire Writers’ Workshop in Ashland. We met at the Bellview Grange where she was making preparations for the theater to open the new comedy by David Hill, “Larry’s Best Friend”.
EH: What drives people to do theater?
RW: It’s an enhanced kind of living. What the playwright has done is to distill experience into a two-hour or fifteen minute glob, so that it’s all very pure, and it’s all very dramatic. Whereas you can go for years and nothing happens to you, then something big happens like somebody dies or they’re divorced or whatever. But in a play, it happens in two hours. And what I like about it is, if it’s a good play, it leaves you wringing wet; your heart’s pounding and you’re with those characters. You cannot leave them, It’s impossible. You’ve gone through an experience and you’ve learned something.
You may have seen actor Dayvin Turchiano in “Deathtrap” and “Glenn Gary Glen Ross” at Oregon Stage Works. Most recently he starred in “I Hate Hamlet” and will be appearing in “A Few Good Men” at the Camelot Theatre which opens February 2, 2011. Turchiano is also a computer software entrepreneur and an Asst. La Cross Coach at SOU. With his B.A. in Theater, Dayvin studied acting at the American Conservatory Theater and film acting at Yale. Turchiano chose to live in Ashland where he could enjoy family life and still be involved in theater. We met over lunch at Dragonfly in Ashland.
DT: My dream is to work with a company of actors in repertory, do different shows and perform a wide variety of work, even a small company. It doesn’t have to be a huge organization. I enjoy working with the same actors time after time, developing ideas in rehearsal, that’s the fun part.
Robin Downward, a gifted actor and theatrical entrepreneur, is currently planning SHREIK-TOBERFEST 2010, his big-themed theatrical Halloween event to happen in downtown Medford during late October. Robin’s year-round project is the establishment of the community based Randall Theatre Company, whose mission has expanded to include art therapy programs. When we met at the Higher Education Center at Rogue Community College, Robin gave me an update on SHREIK-TOBERFEST 2010.
RD: It’s sort of a traditional walk-through type haunted house with a lot more theatrics to it and a lot more lighting, sound, and plot-line. It’s this inter-active creepy experience with iconic October characters. The interactive experience expands the boundaries of the theater crowd. The audience is subjected to theater through these events, even though they don’t know it. If I can sneak theater in somehow and entertain people, then my job has been done.