What makes our faculty so very special? Besides the fact that they are excruciatingly passionate about their craft and can communicate it so well, they are working at their trade. Here are a few who are currently working and whose productions I think you would enjoy.
H. Richard Greene, shown on the left, is the epitome of the reverent stage actor even though he spends most of his time in Hollywood in front of the camera. His IMDb credits are numerous and his characters varied. When he teaches his love of acting seeps from every pore and students can’t help but go away from class feeling as though they have been in the company of a “master.” He has just opened in the acclaimed production of The History Boys at the Ahmanson Theater which will run through January 6, 2008. Get tickets now if you can and enjoy this fine, fine cast of actors. Dakin Matthews, another “old” friend from his American Conservatory Theater days in San Francisco is also in the cast. This is an opportunity to also see a cast of young actors who display a good grasp of their craft with new found technical skills.
Kay Cole’s Broadway credits include original productions in such ground breaking musicals as A Chorus Line and Jesus Christ, Super Star, and Hair. She currently spends most of her time choreographing and staging musicals for professional companies, both touring and resident productions. This month Atlanta an original musical by Marcus Hummon and Adrian Pasdar with Musical Staging by Kay opened at The Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, CA. Kay’s students will see the same attention to detail and high expectations she presents in the classroom brought to the professional stage.
Charlie Dougherty’s passion for long form improvisation theater has probably stood him in good stead for this current production of The Crucible at The Mattrix Theater. It runs Friday through Sunday’s December 12 to December 23 with matinees on December 9, 16, and 23 at 3:00 PM. No matter how busy Charlie’s career is with theater, film, television and commercial work, he still makes time to passionately teach students the importance of using improvisational theater to develop and understand the full depth of a character.
Not all of our faculty are working in the theater right now. Allison LaPlaca is working in my current all time favorite television show, Boston Legal. She started work yesterday in the first of three episodes that David Kelly has written specifically for her. As soon as I know the air dates I will let you know. Allison is married to the head of our Acting for the Camera program with UCLA, Philip Charles MacKenzie and has been a guest faculty in our UCLA Sit Com Acting program where she has shared her exquisite comedy timing with the UCLA Arts Camps students.
Cherene Snow joined Charlie Dougherty as a faculty member in our east coast Improv Camps (UMass and NYC) last summer and is eagerly returning to teach this summer. Charlie and his writer/director wife MaryLou Belli just returned from Hartford, Connecticut seeing Cherene in TheaterWorks magnificent production of Doubt which opened November 9 and will run through December 23. If you’re in the area, or like Charlie and MaryLou can travel to see good theater, I have it on great authority that this is a terrific show with very solid performances.
Back in LA, I heard today from one of our USPA alums. Annika Kucheman who is an alumnus of our UCLA Arts Camps programs and is now a UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television theater major, is appearing in her first professional production. The original play, A House Full of Letters opens November 30 and runs through December 8.
In addition to these friends whose productions I know about I am sure there are many others who will now contact me to let me know what they are doing…and I’ll be sure to tell you! I know we also have faculty currently appearing in Broadway shows and National touring companies as well.