John Stadelman’s hilarious performance as the obsequious yet self-important Vice Principal Douglas Panch in the “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” is truly unique. I was curious as to how he prepared for the role.
John sings with the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers. He performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for six seasons. He has directed theater up and down the West Coast, at Ashland High School and the Oregon Cabaret Theatre.
A Stanford graduate, John graduated from law school at the University of Southern California before pursuing a career in film and theater. John is also a landscape designer; the name of his company is Green Man Gardens.
We met in the Oregon Cabaret Theatre’s elegant restaurant section on a weekday afternoon.
At 29, DaRon Lamar Williams has found success in show business. He’s played in theater Off Broadway, toured nationally with “Jesus Christ Superstar” and performed with Michael Jackson on video.
In Oregon Cabaret Theatre’s “The 25th Anniversary of the Putnam County Spelling Bee,” Williams plays Comfort Counselor Mitch Mahoney, who delivers hugs and juice boxes to the losers. We got together at Starbucks on Main Street one afternoon.
EH: Were you always interested in theater?
DW: I grew up watching “The Wiz.” As a little 4-year-old, I learned all the choreography and all the dialogue. I would cast kids from my grandma’s day care, and we would do it in the garage. I would make my grandma and her friends come to watch. Everyday it was a different scene from “The Wiz” or a dance number or something. I knew even then that, in some shape or form, I’d be doing this the rest of my life. I used community theater and community bands as my creative outlet. Then I decided to move to New York.