Judith Rosen and Don Matthews recently performed together in a charming production of Neil Simon’s “Same Time Next Year” at the Randall Theatre in Medford. Both actors have played in numerous productions at theaters throughout the Rogue Valley. Both actors have successful full-time careers. Matthews is classical music director and host at Jefferson Public Radio and a voice instructor at Southern Oregon University. Rosen is development director of the Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team and writer/dramaturg for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We met at Liquid Assets in Ashland. This is a first of a two-part column.
EH: Were you in theater before you came to Ashland?
JR: As a child, yes. People often come from one of two directions. They’re the constant exhibitionists and performers or, as I was, excruciatingly shy. So I could hide in a role and do things I could never do (as myself) in public. As you mature a bit, you realize that you can’t hide in a role. Continue reading Community actors balance day jobs, stage life→
Michael Wing, Camelot Theatre’s resident musical director, is acting in the musical “1776,” directed by Artistic Director Livia Genise and playing through July 22 in Talent. Wing plays Stephen Hopkins, a member of the Second Continental Congress, the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Wing and I met to chat about music, theater, “1776” and the founding fathers.
MW: “1776” plays to the brilliance of these men to come up with the Declaration of Independence. There was such a compromise that had to be done (with the whole issue of slavery) for them to agree that they would stand together, fight Great Britain and seek their independence.
The Constitution would not have had a leg to stand on, had there not been a well-written declaration that explained what we were as a nation. Later they added the Bill of Rights. In years since, they have added 27 amendments; that’s not many. The fact is that this is a darn good piece of work because people have been able to respond to it and make it work as the blueprint for government. Continue reading Michael Wing→
Tami Marston and Mark Turnbull share the musical direction of Truman Capote’s “Holiday Memories,” now playing at Oregon Cabaret Theatre. Tami and Mark perform in the show, as well. Mark is cast as Guitarist. He strolls through the stage action playing and singing his original music. Tami plays Woman, a series of memorable characters who enter and exit bringing color and humor to the various vignettes throughout the play. We got together over tea on one snowy afternoon.
EH: How many characters do you play?
TM: I play eight roles from age 1to 104 (in eight wigs), including Mrs. Ha-Ha, the saloon singer, with the Christmas bar song.