Using acting craft to change people’s lives

Simone Stewart will be playing in “How the Other Half Loves,” Alan Ayckbourn’s classic comedy about marriage and infidelity, which opens Feb. 24, at the Collaborative Theatre Project in Medford. I met Stewart for lunch at the BricktownE Brewery in Medford.

SS: There are so many places to be an actor in the Rogue Valley. The theater community has gotten bigger and stronger; it has grown and blossomed. There is so much going on. It’s funny how you do a lot of Community Theater here.

EH: What’s unique about Community Theater?

SS: You learn from each other. Everyone comes from a different background. You learn what other people do to prepare to go on stage. Actors have such weird superstitions. Some actors bring in a totem for good luck, whether it’s a Buddha statue or a rabbit’s foot. A lot of us say mantras before we go on to get ourselves centered. Continue reading Using acting craft to change people’s lives

A glove-maker’s son’s words reveal worlds

Scott Kaiser’s new play, “Shakespeare’s Other Women,” will be presented Feb. 16 to 19 at Southern Oregon University. We met in his office on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival campus, where he is director of company development. This is the second of a two-part column. The first was published on Dec. 26.

EH: You’ve written several books?

SK: Most of my writing has been deeply inspired by Shakespeare.

EH: Why do you find the study of Shakespeare so compelling?

SK: He understood human existence better than any other writer. As you move through stages of life, different characters, plays, scenes, situations and moral conundrums start to read differently. “Romeo and Juliet” is a great example of this. When you’re a teenager, you totally understand Juliet: the passion, the love. But as you get older, you start to look at the parents and what they’re going through; the death of children; hatred towards a rival faction; a prince that is trying to make peace and simply can’t do it. Continue reading A glove-maker’s son’s words reveal worlds