Actor Kate Mulligan of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival recently played Maria in “Twelfth Night.” Mulligan has been part of OSF’s
acting ensemble for the past eight years. Before that, she worked in film, television and with an experimental theater, The Actor’s Gang, in Los Angeles. This is a second of a two-part column. The first part was published on Oct. 31.
EH: What do you value most in a director?
KM: I love a director who says, “I don’t know.” A director thinks that they have it all figured out is not going to be a joy to collaborate with. Sometimes, anybody in a leadership position is afraid to admit that they don’t know what they’re doing. Somebody right in front of them might have the answer they’re looking for, if they just have the lack of ego to ask.
Kindness and great communication goes a long way. Then being a great leader saying, “We’ve shaped this. This is what we’re going to do. Do it again and again and again. Remember why you found this beat. Remember why we chose this moment to be the way it is,” so that you’re not recreating what you did yesterday, but re-finding it so you can make it new. Continue reading A good director can say ‘I don’t know’→
Kate Mulligan of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival will be playing Mrs. Potts in “Beauty and the Beast” next season. Mulligan, with her husband, Brent Hinkley, came to OSF from Los Angeles after longtime affiliations with Tim Robbins and The Actor’s Gang. I visited with Mulligan at Mix Bakeshop in Ashland. It is surprising that this trim, young, attractive woman is such an accomplished character actor. This is the first of a two-part column. The second will be published on Nov. 14.
EH: As an actor, what was your attraction to theater?
KM: I was drawn to the danger of live theater: You don’t get to stop and take another take; things go wrong all of the time, and, “How do you tap dance around it, to make sure that nobody sees all the disaster that’s occurring?”
Doors started opening, and I walked through all of them. I learned what I love, what I was good at, how I could improve, and to have great respect for all aspects of the job. I’ve learned how to take criticism well because I’ve gotten a lot of it. Continue reading Advice for an actor — Don’t show it, be it→
Peter Alzado and Jessica Sage, as co-producing artistic directors, are re-launching Oregon Stage Works as the lead — and only — actors in a production of “Annapurna.” Directed by Liisa Ivary, the play opens Friday, Oct. 28, at Temple Emek Shalom in Ashland.
Oregon Stage Works, with Alzado as its artistic director, closed its doors in 2010 after six seasons in its charming black box theater on A Street in Ashland. Sometimes thought of as an off-Broadway theater, it produced plays ranging from Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” to Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and “The Great American Trailer Park Musical.”
While relying mainly on volunteer actors and crew, the theater focused on developing the actors and the text to stage creative and challenging theatrical works while providing the community with affordable high quality theater.
Alzado recently directed and performed in the highly acclaimed production of “Red” at Ashland Contemporary Theatre. Last spring, Sage directed Ashland High School’s winning production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Ashley D. Kelley plays Dorothy in Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s “The Wiz” opening June 18 in the Allen Elizabethan Theatre. The daughter of a Baptist minister, Kelley developed her musical abilities singing in the choir. She graduated from Temple University with a major in theater and has been working ever since. In the last eight years she played upwards of 30 roles in regional theaters. We met at Mix Bakeshop in Ashland.
EH: When did you know that you wanted to act?
AK: Since I was able to talk — ever since I was a little kid, I was always performing in front of people. My parents would have friends over, and I would always be the center of attention.
Helena de Crespo is on her way to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with her one-woman-performance of “Elective Affinities” by David Adjmi. The play is often staged in a beautiful home, featuring Alice Hauptmann, full of charm and charisma.
In 2012, De Crespo performed the piece for an invited audience at Stan and Maurine Mazor’s chateau in Ashland. In 2011, “Elective Affinities” was performed by Zoe Caldwell in the Soho Rep’s site-specific production in an Upper East Side apartment in New York City.
De Crespo and I visited as we drove through heavy traffic to the Portland Airport.
Southern Oregon University’s extraordinary production of William Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale” is filled with passionate performances, skillful direction and dynamic staging. As the play opens, King Leontes, falls into a jealous rage over his wife’s interest in his best friend; the tragic and comic consequences drive the rest of the story. I chatted with play director David McCandless and actors Esau Mora (King Leontes) and Aleah Zimmer (Queen Hermione) on the mezzanine of the Southern Oregon University Student Union.
EH: The Shakespearean verse was so clearly delivered, what was your process of putting the play together?
DM: We began around the table for three days going through the play, going through the verse, talking about what things meant in a sort of micro-sense. Some of the language is rather obtuse, especially Leontes’ lines; the syntax is so tortuous and the meaning is really allusive. Continue reading SOU digs deep into ‘The Winter’s Tale’→
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→