Peggy Rubin is the director of “Pompadour,” a new play by Molly Best Tinsley now playing with Ashland Contemporary Theatre. The one-woman show stars Jeannine Grizzard, ACT’s artistic director. Peggy and I visited in her lovely Ashland home.
EH: You came here with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival?
PR: Yes, I was an actor here for three summers. In 1957, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival was already a legend for people who love Shakespeare, partly because Angus Bowmer was such a glorious human being. He loved having people around who were equally skilled and some more so, in certain ways.
Ashland playwright Molly B. Tinsley’s “Pompadour” will premier Saturday, Jan. 19, with Ashland Contemporary Theatre. Peggy Rubin directs, and Jeannine Grizzard plays the titled mistress of King Louis XV of France. Molly and I met at Bloomsbury Coffee.
EH: What was the inspiration for “Pompadour”?
MT: There was an exhibit at the Portland Art Museum called “La volupte du gout (taste of the voluptuous): French Painting in the Age of Madame de Pompadour.” I went through it three times. I was fascinated by the overripe, color-saturated, complacently allegorical imagery.
Robin Downward’s Randall Theatre has been producing plays at a breathtaking rate while attracting an untapped audience through a pay-what-you-want policy. Downward also is a gifted actor, performing in his own productions and at other venues such as the Oregon Cabaret Theatre, where he sang and danced as Sherlock Holmes in “Holmes and Watson Save the Empire” and in Cole Porter’s “Let’s Misbehave.” Downward also teaches an acting workshop called Character Creation. We visited at the Randall Theatre in Medford.
EH: What do you cover in your Character Creation class?
RD: A lot of what I do in the Character Creation class, drama therapists do from the standpoint of analyzing yourself as a person, and turning things that you have experienced into positive emotions.