One noon hour some years back, I had the extraordinary luck to wander into Dale Luciano’s drama in Western culture class at Southern Oregon University. The class explored great dramatic literature within its historical context. I was intrigued; I enrolled in the year-long class.
Dale also teaches directing and forms and meanings, a class he describes as an “ongoing experiment” that examines parallels between theater and major art movements in history. His theatre arts classes are challenging. He chooses exciting material and requires his students to process, communicate and create.
I met Dale at the Bloomsbury Coffee House. Dale directed Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labor’s Lost,” now playing at Southern University’s Oregon Center Stage Theater. I have seen the production. It is elegant, exuberant, masterfully directed and thoroughly entertaining. I highly recommend it.
John Cole, director of Lanford Wilson’s “HOT L BALTIMORE,” shared his thoughts on the play during early rehearsals.
JC: A lot of it is boldfaced honest raw humor that’s really funny. “HOT L BALTIMORE” is the HOTEL BALTIMORE neon sign with the “E” burnt out. The play is about a beautiful old hotel now fallen into disrepair and inhabited by street hustlers, prostitutes and senior citizens. These people are living in the margins and have nowhere to go. While trying to get by living in this hotel, they get notice that the wrecking ball is going to tear down the joint.
“HOT L BALTIMORE” is what happens to those marginal people in dire economic straights when our society is bent on creating a shiny new future, and we forget about moving forward with our hearts. It helps us remember those people we walk past on the streets. It helps us remember how valuable they are.
If you have seen plays at Rogue Community College’s Riverside Theater, you have seen productions directed by the team of Ron Danko and John Cole — important plays with large casts, high production values and superb direction. Their comedies are especially joyous, with highly imaginative staging and impeccable comic timing. Their next production, “Hot L Baltimore,” runs May 1 to May 17.
Ron Danko has spent his life in theater. He has been an actor, director and educator. He began his career by doing stand-up comedy, touring in two-man comedy teams. After earning an MA from Southern Illinois University he went on to pursue additional postgraduate work in theater at Southern Oregon University and the University of Oregon. He has established a number of large Shakespeare festivals and created theaters and college theater programs in the western United States, including The Western Stage in Salinas, Calif. Ron has been directing plays with John Cole since 2004 at RCC, where he currently teaches Communications.
If we can behave humanely with each other, you won't have to kill my kids and I won't have to kill yours. — Molly Tinsley
I met Molly Tinsley at Bloomsbury’s coffee shop. Energetic yet very soft-spoken, her friendly, down-to-earth manner belies her PHD in English, her 20 years as a professor of English literature at the Naval Academy, two books of fiction and her text on creative writing. Molly’s play, “Glacial Genes,” is now playing at Oregon Stage Works.
“Glacial Genes” is a story of a romance that blossoms in a sperm bank in the months leading up to Christmas at the beginning of an ice age. The bank’s director is “concocting designer babies,” while the world confronts “inescapable doom,” a side effect of global warming.