Bob Herried is directing the romantic comedy “The Owl and the Pussycat,” opening March 7 at the Randall Theatre in Medford. I first saw Herried as Marco the Magnificent in “Carnival” at the Camelot Theatre in 2004. Herried is a University of Oregon graduate in theater and business. Born and raised in the Rogue Valley, Herried has been performing and directing for 40 years. We met in his office at Addictions Recovery Center in Medford, where he is a drug and alcohol counselor.
EH: When you cast a play, what do you look for in your actors, and how do you relate to them?
BH: It’s the ability to take direction, the ability to change. A lot of times an actor will come in and read a line, and a week later, read it the same way. Rehearsal is the time to explore, to try different intentions, to play with the language and the character instead of trusting the first instinct: an actor who can adapt and move around with the ability to find the nuances. “The Owl and the Pussycat” is a show that has more nuances than anything that I have seen in a long time because the relationship between these two people is unique. These two are as opposite as can be.
Durang’s work often deals critically with issues of child abuse, Roman Catholic dogma and culture. While Durang’s use of parody and his criticism of many social institutions might appear overly cynical at times.
Cast members include: Lia Dugal, Mabrie Ormes, Vanessa Hopkins, Jeannine Grizzard, Judith Rosen, Lyda Woods, Jeff Golden, Richard Royce, Rudi Vest, Bradley Zentgraf, & Mike Evans
His plays have been performed nationwide, including on Broadway and Off-Broadway. We will performing, Mrs. Sorken, Business Lunch at the Russian Tea Room, Woman Stand-up, Furneral Parlor, Nina in the Morning, Medea and Diversions.
Durang has performed as an actor for both stage and screen. He first came to prominence in his Off-Broadway satirical review Das Lusitania Songspiel, which he performed with friend and fellow Yale alum Sigourney Weaver. Later he co-starred in one of his own plays as Matt in The Marriage of Bette and Boo, as well as Man in the original production of Laughing Wild.
Currently playing at the Randall Theatre Company of Medford is “The Odd Couple: The Female Version,” written by Neil Simon and directed by Dianna Warner. Warner, a talented actor and singer, most recently was featured in the Randall’s “Man of La Mancha.” We met for lunch along with Mike, her husband of 40 years, at the Wild Goose in Ashland.
EH: I’ve enjoyed many of your performances through the years, but you also direct?
DW: I taught for 36 years, and for most of those years, I directed students in high school and middle school. I also directed two plays, “Shakespeare in Hollywood” and “Lend Me a Tenor,” at the Camelot Theatre.