Douglas Young is performing in Theatre Convivio’s production of “The Fantasticks,” opening Thursday at the Bellview Grange in Ashland. Young works in the computer industry; but with a bachelor’s degree in theater and his love for acting, Young often can be seen on stage in community theater productions. We chatted at Ruby’s Neighborhood Restaurant one summer afternoon.
EH: What attracted you to acting?
DY: It was the ability to explore the inner workings of people very unlike me, that exploration of other people in a very real way. I embodied them. I had to think about, “How do they feel, and how would they represent themselves externally to other people?” It’s almost a physical knowledge of another person and how they might behave. It’s still my imagination, but it’s informed by my study of this other character.
Julie Oda has been very active raising a family since leaving the Oregon Shakespeare Festival five years ago. Before joining OSF, Oda graduated from Mills College, trained at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre and acted in New York. She and her husband, Raleigh Grantham, own Ashland’s Tudor House vacation rentals.
We visited in her colorful and inviting Tudor home, while her children napped.
JO: I was with the company for eight seasons, from 2000 to 2007, and cast in a wide variety of roles, including Cecily in “The Importance of Being Earnest,” Hermia in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Celia in “As You Like It.”
Diane Nichols’ play “Tigers in the Entry” appears in Ashland Contemporary Theatre’s summer readings, “Moonlighting 2013,” Saturday and Sunday at Grizzly Peak Winery. Her play “Tomatoes” was recently produced at Barnstormers Theatre in Grants Pass. Over tea one afternoon, Nichols gave me her perspective on theater as a playwright, director and actress.
DN: It’s magical. I think we get to live vicariously through these other characters and experience intense things. It makes us expand. There is something mysterious and wonderful about theater. I love the stories.