My husband Bob and I have had an half hour radio program on our local radio station WBTN for four years talking about all aspects of theatre and interviewing theatre people. Starting in January 2015, we are expanding it to an hour program, but there is still much more to talk about theatre, which is what I will be doing in this blog.
How is it that I want to talk about theatre all the time? When I was ten years old I started going to theatre thanks to a nice gentleman from my church who had tickets to children’s productions at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. When I was eleven, a friend of mine and I would spend Saturdays at her house enacting Shakespeare’s plays. I joined the Drama Club when I was in high school. Because I lived in New York City when theatre was still affordable, I went to as much theatre as I could while I was in college. There were many wonderful theatres on and off Broadway. Miller and Williams and Rodgers and Hammerstein were writing new plays and musicals. I even had a friend who taught me how to second act.
When I became the director of the Westport Cooperative Nursery School in Westport Connecticut, I would take the train into New York on Wednesdays for the matinees. I also got to know a lot of people in the theatre who lived in Westport.
When I met Bob, he was working as stage manager at Actors Studio which meant we not only knew theatre people, but got to see many productions and readings for free. Bob also stage managed off Broadway at the Fourth Street Theatre.
When we were married and expecting our first child, Bob got his Masters in Theatre and we moved to Cazenovia where he taught theatre at the college and I taught Childhood Studies and directed their early childhood program.
For his doctoral dissertation, we took our now two children to London where he did research on the Royal Shakespeare Company and Joan Littlewood among others. We went to many plays, all part of his research.
We then ended up at Bennington College and couldn’t have been in a better place to continue our love of theatre going. After the children were grown and left home, we made an annual pilgrimage each summer for twenty years to Stratford and Shaw while taking in some of the wonderful theatre at Williamstown and at Shakespeare and Company and the other theatres in the area.
Bob retired from Southern Vermont College where he had taught Humanities and I retired from Bennington College where I taught Childhood Studies. In retirement, Bob wrote Performing Shakespeare: A Way to Learn, and I wrote If Kids Could Vote: Children, Democracy and the Media. I am currently writing a book about Shakespeare and Children’s Literature. In 2013, Bob’s play Kaufman’s Barber Shop was produced by Shakespeare and Company. His mystery Deadman’s Float was published this year and he is currently working on a novel. We are theatre junkies and are happy that our radio program gave us the excuse to see 85 plays this past year at professional , community, college and high school theatres.