“I spend time in the class watching you in several different contexts. I watch you scene by scene, monologue by monologue. (Sometimes I pick the material, sometimes you do.) At first I simply critique the piece you have just presented, but gradually I try to form for myself a wider picture of what your acting problems may be. Every actor in the world has acting problems. There is not an actor anywhere who doesn’t. It’s a delicate process to get to the root of what problems you may have in the work (and I mean problems in the work: I don’t mean personal problems). It’s also a delicate process leading you to an awareness of them. Sometimes the way is to be blunt. Sometimes the way is to be subtle. Sometimes, as your work deepens and starts to acquire new colors, new problems arise with THAT. I try to stay on top of this. I try to assign, or let you assign yourself, a wide range of pieces: pieces in different styles, set in different eras, offering different interpretive and emotional challenges. I try to be friendly. Sometimes, if I’ve gotten to know somebody, I try to be a little bit mean. (Productively mean, that is my hope.) Sometimes I’ll praise you to the skies if the work you have done is a breakthrough for you, even if at the same time the work is not totally satisfactory. Sometimes I’ll question a perfectly realized piece if it seems to come from a place you’ve been sitting in for too long in your work. All this comes under one heading: I try to help.”
B.A. Yale University, 1961; studied acting in NY with Herbert Berghof, Uta Hagen and Robert Lewis. Apprenticed at Williamstown Theatre Festival; Acting: IVANOV (CSC), ROSMERSHOLM (Pearl Theatre), THE LAST WILL, LOVE DRUNK and ANOTHER VERMEER (Abingdon), MOTHER COURAGE and ROMEO AND JULIET (Public Theatre, Shakespeare in the Park), LIMONADE TOUS LES JOURS (The Cell), SMALL CRAFT WARNINGS (Mother of Invention), THE SUNSET LIMITED (Steppenwolf in Chicago, 59E59 in NY). Broadway: THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, DOUBLES, HAIL SCRAWDYKE! (Derwent Award), THE LITTLE FOXES and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Off-Broadway: THE SORROWS OF FREDERICK, THE BLACK MONK, HUGHIE, SOPHISTRY, EDUCATING RITA, THE LAST SWEET DAYS OF ISAAC (Obie and Drama Desk Awards) and OH DAD… Title roles in HAMLET, RICHARD 3, and RICHARD 2 (Off-Off-Broadway), KING LEAR, WAITING FOR GODOT and QUILLS (New Rep, Boston); IVANOV and TARTUFFE (Yale Rep); AMADEUS (Cleveland Playhouse). Film: BAD CITY (DVD), WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, TRIAL AND ERROR, THE ASSOCIATE, GUARDING TESS, MR. AND MRS. BRIDGE, THE MUPPET MOVIE, STARTING OVER, FRONT PAGE, WHAT’S UP DOC, SKIDOO, CATCH-22. TV: 100 CENTRE STREET, OZ, HOMICIDE, ST. ELSEWHERE. Directing–Broadway: SPOILS OF WAR, THE LITTLE FOXES (Tony nomination), JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN, THE RUNNER STUMBLES and SHELTER. Directing–Off-Broadway: HAMLET, IVANOV, THREE SISTERS and UNCLE VANYA (CSC); VIEUX CARRÉ and TOYS IN THE ATTIC (Pearl), FIFTY WORDS (MCC). Directing–London: DETROIT (National Theatre). Directing–Regional: THE BIRTHDAY PARTY, DETROIT, LOVE SONG, FRANKIE AND JOHNNY, HARVEY, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, THREE SISTERS, LOOSE ENDS, and SAY GOODNIGHT GRACIE (Steppenwolf). FATHERS AND SONS, BEACH HOUSE, THE MASTER BUILDER, MISS JULIE and THE DANCE OF DEATH (Long Wharf). KING LEAR, ELECTRA, ANGEL STREET, and THE CHERRY ORCHARD (Whole Theatre). Playwright: ORSON’S SHADOW, UNCLE BOB, BOOTH. Librettist: A MINISTER’S WIFE. Recipient of 2007 Drama Desk Special Award as Renaissance Man of the American Theatre.