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The Director's Chair, Artist Spotlight, Playwright's Corner, Choreographer's Cue, and Designer's Dialogue are weekly interview series highlighting entertainment professionals, working actors, singers, stage managers, producers, directors, designers and others in the arts and entertainment industry. Guests share stories about how they began in the business, their journey and helpful suggestions for others who aspire to their profession.

This week we were privileged to chat with performer, trouper, headliner — Emily Abeles, a class act indeed.

Join us as we explore her accomplishments, goals and challenges in another edition of Artist Spotlight.

JANUARY 24, 2021 — By Chris Daniels
This week’s Artist Spotlight is on Emily Abeles. An absolute delight! Most actors in this area already know Emily, or have worked with her on a production before. I’ve seen Ms. Abeles numerous times on stage, and progressively astounded each and every time. You may remember a few of her choice roles on this short-list below. Sometimes sweet as a ripe apple, sometimes even playing the villain (“One Man, Two Guvs”), but always possessing precise, calculated professionalism and a tantalizing talent that can send you reeling. Here’s a few of my previous reviews on her work:
EVITA — “Emily Abeles (“Parade,” “The Little Mermaid”) in a spotlight role is wounded and disconsolate as the exceedingly young mistress Evita sent packing from Perón’s palace. Her tender swan song in the show, however, entitled “Another Suitcase in Another Hall,” was one of the best performances of all.”
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES — “Ms. Abeles is a wonder as she embodies the loquacious, quick-tempered title character with carrot-colored pigtails and vivid imagination. As she effectively exudes this homeless drama queen’s spunk and jaw-dropping candor, she showcases a singing voice both pure and powerful, pulling off a character several years her junior with apparent ease.”
THE LITTLE MERMAID — “A luminous Emily Abeles personifies free-spirited Ariel with an effervescent likability and sweet voice, bedazzling the overflowing crowd with dreamy favorites, including “The World Above,” the velvety “Part of Your World,” and Ariel’s Lament “If Only.” Some of Emily’s credits include “A Chorus Line” (a Chance Theater production, which resulted in an Ovation Award Nomination), “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Parade,” “American Idiot” and “Fairy Hoax,” an OC Premiere.”
RECENT THEATRE: “Peter Pan,”—2020; “Evita”—2019; “Anne of Green Gables”—2019; “Goosebumps, the Musical”—2019; “The Little Mermaid”—2018; “A Chorus Line”—Ovation Award Nominee; TV: “The Fallen”—2018; “Kirby Buckets”—2014; “Family Moments”—2013; FILM: “The Dinner Party”—2019; “The Learning Curve”—2018; “Dust”—2018; “Fraction”—2017
We talked with Emily this past week, and asked her about her long-range plans for the stage and what she has been doing this past year, especially through this communicable pandemic. Here’s what she said:
  • Emily, this has been a very trying time for artists in general this past year. It does require a strong resolution to keep going in some cases. But I’ve never seen a more positive outlook than yours. Can you fill us in on your future plans for the stage, new projects or roles you’re looking at, and whether the pandemic has created challenges for you?
"It’s sweet of you to compliment my positivity Chris, because that’s something that I take pride in. It’s been a goal of mine to be a light and source of kindness for others, especially in an industry as rough as show biz. My light has definitely been tested though, don’t get me wrong! During the pandemic, I’ve struggled with loneliness, procrastination, lethargy, you name it. But, I learned pretty quickly that optimism isn't necessarily equivalent to hope. Hope stems from a confidence within yourself, and the power that you hold as a fearfully made individual.
Something that’s helped me keep my hope alive is (as simple as it sounds) dreaming big, which encompases things like writing my aspirations down on paper, reminding myself, “why I love theater” by bingeing Audra McDonald videos, jamming out to some Sara Berelis, or surrounding myself with other inspirations and people that I love and that encourage me to be the best, most authentic version of myself. As of right now, I’m working on graduating and finishing my BFA industry showcase, as well finishing some scripts of mine that I’ll hopefully produce someday!"
  • How did you get started in the arts?
"I was involved in the arts pretty early on, (probably five or six) as a ballet dancer. I even went en pointe for a few years! I fell in love with musical theater after seeing a 'so bad it was good' musical medley in Middle School, and despite the show being a wee bit cringeworthy, I was absolutely mesmerized, and have been hooked ever since."
  • What has been some of your proudest accomplishments so far?
"One of my proudest accomplishments came right out of high school, actually. I participated in a musical theater competition and was signed by a talent manager who was in the audition room. She was a mentor to me, and to this day I am humbled that I was able to learn and grow from her as both an artist and as a young business woman.
Another proud moment of mine was when I played Anne Shirley in 'Anne of Green Gables.' It was an extra special experience for me, not only because it’s one of my favorite books/movies, but because it was also my grandma’s favorite, who passed a few months before I auditioned for the show. I’d stay up hours watching the BBC adaptation with her, so it was such a dream portraying Anne and being able to honor her in that way.
I also keep the shows where I’ve flown ('Little Mermaid' and 'Peter Pan') close to heart!"
  • Emily, you are definitely a triple threat, showcasing more than a decade of dance and ballet, an exquisite acting style, and a most glorious voice. I’m anticipating big things down the road for you. But which of the three do you enjoy the most?
"Wow, how incredibly sweet! Thank you, Chris! That truly means a lot. I love each one dearly, though I do admit though, acting is something I've always treasured and valued, especially since I grew up a film junkie, and I’ll always have a soft spot for singing. I definitely couldn't live without it!"
  • Who do you look up to as your greatest creative inspiration?
"I mentioned them a bit earlier, but Audra McDonald and Sara Berellis are definitely among my top inspos, in addition to actors like Sutton Foster, Viola Davis, and Denzel Washington. Writers like John Steinbeck, The Gershwins, and Neil Simon are also inspirations for me, and the late and great Gene Kelly is also a huge influence to the artist I am now. In fact, 'Singing in the Rain' was the deciding factor that made me want to pursue musical theater for a living. It’s SO Good (and if you haven’t watched Gene tap in roller skates...well you have to, you just do.)"
  • What else are you passionate about when you’re not doing theatre?
"I’ve always been a writer, and thankfully I’ve remained passionate about it! Right now I’m working on a few screenplays, the hope being to stage one of them one day! I’m also passionate about mental health awareness, reading, faith, and cooking/baking. I’m actually working on some Broadway inspired cupcake recipes. I’ll keep you updated when they launch. Hopefully they’ll be quite “Popular!” (See what I did there?)"
  • Has there been a show you’ve done that has deeply affected you personally, perhaps even changed you in a permanent manner?
"Doing 'The Little Mermaid' was a very cathartic experience, because 'Part of Your World' was my absolute favorite Disney tune growing up, and there’s something to be said about playing such a popular, iconic redhead for over a thousand screaming kids. The pressure is definitely on. And the show is such a beast too, especially since we did our production outside, with a large cast, during the peak of fire season (there was so much smoke), and with harnesses galore. I learned so much about trusting my body and my abilities during the process, as well as the importance of humility and selflessness, especially as the lead of a show. The production is so much bigger than yourself. It’s a team effort. Everyone struggles, and everyone perseveres together. And when things click, that symbiosis is a very beautiful thing to experience. (I also learned how much I love Heelys!)"
  • What are your top three favorite plays or musicals?
"THIS IS SO TOUGH. Okay, right now I’m really into 'Something Rotten' because it’s um, BRILLIANT, but I also love 'Waitress,' the revival of 'Oklahoma!,' 'Crazy for You,' and of course, 'Singing in the Rain.'"
  • How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
"I am a spirited, empathetic, strong willed woman of faith (and occasional dork) whose determination is fueled by art, joy, imagination, and love from family and friends (and pup, Hashbrown!)"
  • And finally, what’s something you are really good at that few people know about?
"I can smell a sale from a mile away. If thrifting were a superpower, I’d be an X-man, no doubt about it."
Thank you Emily for those uplifting, inspiring words, and we wish you the best in your endeavors!
Maya Valenciano and Emily Abeles
"Anne of Green Gables"
Promo Trailer for the SAG New Media Pilot 
"The Fallen"
Emily Abeles as Kristine - The Chance Theater
"A Chorus Line"

This week we talked with Richard Israel, a  four-time L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation Award winner and the recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Career Achievement Award for Directing.

NOVEMBER 15, 2020 — By David Šášik

If you are a regular theatregoer, most probably you have seen Richard Israel's name in a playbill somewhere. During the past 10 years, Richard Israel has directed a wide array of plays, musicals and new works, dividing his time between Southern California and New York. Most recently, Richard served as the Theatrical Coordinator for the HBO series BIG LITTLE LIES, in which he directed several on-screen sequences from AVENUE Q. And, for the past five years, he has been involved in the development of the Jeff Marx/Fat Mike musical HOME STREET HOME, (including workshop productions at the O'Neill Theatre Center and in New York).


Some of his recent theatre projects include THE WORLD GOES ROUND for Reprise 2.0, VIOLET for the Actor’s Co-Op (Ovation Award Winner for Best Direction of a Musical, Ovation Nomination for Best Musical),  25th ANNUAL ... SPELLING BEE for PVPA, WEST SIDE STORY and RENT for McCoy/Rigby Entertainment, OUR TOWN and THE BAKER'S WIFE for The Actor's Co-op, PROMISES, PROMISES and DO I HEAR A WALTZ for Musical Theatre Guild,  FLOYD COLLINS (Ovation Award Winner for Best Direction of a Musical and for Best Musical in a Large Venue), 110 IN THE SHADE (Ovation Award Winner for Best Musical in an Intimate Theater, Ovation Nomination for Best Direction of a Musical), SPRING AWAKENING for Cal State Fullerton, MEMPHIS, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE and CHILDREN OF EDEN for AMDA, KISS ME KATE and ONCE UPON A MATTRESS for Five Star Theatricals, BRONIES! THE MUSICAL, THE BURNT PART BOYS, THE FULL MONTY and FALSETTOS for Third Street Theatre, AVENUE Q for DOMA Theatre Company (6 Ovation Award Nominations including Best Musical), GLORIOUS!, DEAD MAN'S CELL PHONE and LEADING LADIES for International City Theatre, and the world premiere of HAVING IT ALL, first at the NoHo Arts Center and recently for the Laguna Playhouse (7 Ovation Award Nominations including Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Musical Ensemble and an NAACP Image Award Nomination for Direction).

Here’s what a few of the critics say:



"Among musical theatre circles, director Richard Israel has a well-deserved reputation for crafting memorable performances by bringing out the rich subtleties in a script and cultivating endless nuances of character. The result is an exquisite audience experience that satisfies on every level. his finest work to date."

"Wonderfully funny and deeply moving...When this richly evocative material is matched with director Richard Israel’s crisp and flavorful staging, the result is scintillating entertainment."


"A definitive production of a landmark show.  Richard Israel's superlative staging fully realizes the tension and fascinatingly complex dynamic...the tension is downright palpable."



“…Nothing can pull this production down from the theatrical stratosphere. SHE LOVES ME is transporting and thoroughly a heartwarming narrative, the kind of musical that even those with the hardest of hearts would find impossible not to love."

THE SHOW REPORT                                                                                                        

Currently, Richard is working on several original musicals, including ROCKET SCIENCE, HOME STREET HOME, THE MOLLYHOUSE, A VERY BRADY MUSICAL, and THE BABY PROJECT, and is a member of the musical theatre faculty of AMDA-LA as well as a member of the board of the Foundation for New American Musicals.


Here’s a closer, inside look at the man himself — Richard Israel:


Richard, how did you get started in the Arts?

“I began as an actor in college.”

What has been your story as an artist since that first artistic experience?

“I got my BFA in Musical Theatre at the University of Arizona, and immediately moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an actor in film and television. I had a good 10-year run doing film and TV, but was always working in theatre, doing shows in 99-seat theaters in L.A. About 15 years ago, I found myself performing in Equity shows in larger theaters, to the point where most of my income was coming from my work in musicals, rather than from film and TV. About 10 years ago, I started directing musicals, and found it to be much more rewarding than performing. I started directing exclusively with the theatre company that I managed, but was lucky enough to be hired by other theaters to direct shows for them.  For the last 5 years, I've been a freelance director, specializing in the development of original musicals in L.A. and New York.”

What are you most proud of? (This could be a career achievement, a personal achievement, a project you worked on, an upcoming project, something you have learned, etc. Don't feel limited in your answer.)

“The career achievement that brings me the most joy is a production of FLOYD COLLINS which I directed at West Coast Ensemble Theatre several years ago. It was the show that really put me on the map as a director, but more importantly, it showed me that I could take something that looked like an insurmountable artistic challenge and really figure it out.  I had the amazing good fortune to be given the opportunity to direct the same show at a much larger venue 5 years ago, and it was equally rewarding, and a great mile marker of where my career was headed.

In a more general sense, I think the thing that I keep learning more and more deeply over the course of my career is how truly collaborative the art of Musical Theatre is. It's an art form that depends on dozens of people coming together to exercise the same vision with the same passion and sense of commitment. As I've directed larger shows and higher profile projects, the ability to collaborate and truly make room for my colleagues (actors, designers, producers) to be heard has been an incredibly gratifying discovery.”

What are you passionate about outside of the arts? (This includes hobbies, personal or social causes, fitness, etc.)

“I recently started a daily running regimen, and it's been a fantastic addition to my life. It was always something that I dreaded, and honestly thought would require more discipline than I possess, but I'm actually doing it, and it's changed my life.”

People often talk about how they are working toward their dream, especially artists and actors. What is your dream?

“My dream is to attach myself to an original musical that finds its way to a successful New York production, either on Broadway or off-Broadway. Being in the ground floor of something entirely original and seeing it to fruition in the epicenter of musical theatre would be the realization of a lifelong goal.”

The coronavirus pandemic has been an extremely difficult time for artists. How have you been keeping busy? Have you found other ways to be creative?

“I'm very lucky, in that I'm working with several writing teams on new musicals, and we're using this time to refine our material, so that we'll be ready when the world comes back.  I've also started teaching a Musical Theatre audition song analysis class which is so rewarding, and works great in a virtual setting.  So between script meetings, virtual readings and teaching, I've been able to stay busy and creative.”

Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to promote in this interview? If not, what are you looking forward to post-Covid? (This can include Zoom performances or any other virtual projects.)

“I just finished a virtual reading of a new BRADY BUNCH musical as a benefit for the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine, and we're hoping to launch a national tour at that theatre as soon as it's safe to do so. So that's definitely something solid on the horizon to look forward to!”

Lastly, please share with us a boring fact about yourself. (For example, I always brush my teeth before flossing and never the other way around. “Interesting facts” are just way too much pressure.)

“The only colors I have in my wardrobe are black, grey and blue.”


Many thanks to Richard Israel, and we look forward to his next production.

Eugene O'Neill Theater Center
HOME STREET HOME - Richard Israel.jpg
Into Light - Richard Israel
Home Street Home - Richard Israel
NOVEMBER 1, 2020

Center Stage this Week is Actor/Director/ Theatre Founder Craig Tyrl


Every actor craves a dexterous director—someone to inspire and guide your performance, someone to ensure a creative work space, someone to “speak actor,” and to build tone, impact, character, ideas—and most dramatically, someone who knows how to transform simple words on paper into, life!

Quite frequently, that director is also an outstanding actor. Today, we are privileged to greet one of the most well-respected individuals in the industry who does double-duty in the theatre—Craig Tyrl, a grand actor, and a brilliantly shrewd director. With a degree in philosophy, theology, and (over a decade later) an M.S. in theatre arts, Craig found himself yielding to his own “gentle nudging of his own soul,” an inner “tugging of his creative spirit,” giving way to the “quiet whisper of his own heart”—words fervidly expressed by Craig in his commencement address to the Class of ‘14 at the College of the Arts at Cal State Fullerton.

Now a Professor of Theatre Arts teaching acting at CSUF, Craig is also Artistic Director to suddenly one of the most popular theatres in Orange County. That may, of course, have something to do with the level of talent among his group of 13 directors, designers, actors and artists—most of them Cal State Fullerton faculty or alumni—but they have definitely found a home in the OC theater scene.

“The Wayward Artist,” a 73-seat theater at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, is a dream come true for Craig, who wanted to find a way to showcase the power of storytelling. “We’re about telling stories that have transformative value and power to them as well as providing the one thing we say most often — a home for the lost, the naked and the vulnerable,” he said, “and that really comes from this idea that we as artists are putting ourselves in front of the world in a really deep, vulnerable way. Some of us are lost in that search for meaning, trying to find a purpose, and we want to be that home.”

That mantra has indeed hit home at “The Wayward Artist,” having produced one giant hit after another since they opened only about two years ago, evidenced by the fact that Craig Tyrl was the recipient of the 2018/19 Steven Stanley StageSceneLA Scenie Award as “Best Direction of a Musical” for “Next to Normal.”

Last week, we asked Craig to pull up a chair and give us some insight on his career journey, and some of his motivations and goals. Here’s what he revealed:


Craig, how is The Wayward Artist connected to the CSUF Department of Theatre?

“We are an independent professional company with no official connection with CSUF. However, many of our resident artists, including myself earned our degrees from CSUF. We are proud of our Titan roots. Most of us are professional artists and educators and owe a debt of gratitude to our alma mater.”


As a Professor at CSUF, you have probably the highest rating of any acting teacher by their students. What is your secret of motivation, and what do you say to a fresh grad or ingénue who wants to continue to pursue theatre as a career?

“Thank you for the compliment. Teaching is indeed my passion and first love. I think what I do best in the classroom is build confidence and trust. I create ensembles where students can freely express their amazingly unique artistic voice. I'm a product of community - Saddleback Community College. My first voice teacher passed on the pedagogy of teacher Kristin Linklater. In a nutshell, if you can conquer fear and release the emotional, physical, and spiritual blocks your life history has ingrained within you, there is an awesomely sacred creative spirit within you just waiting to be released. No one else can make your sound. No one else can be you. You are enough! This pedagogy transformed my life. I simply share what was so freely given to me. This is what I think makes me a good teacher.”


It looks like production schedules are delayed until sometime next year. How are you coping with the pandemic in relation to your shows being postponed until this is over?

“Our 2020 season was cancelled in its entirety due to Covid-19. However, we cannot sit idly by waiting for the end of the pandemic. It's time to create new theatre and re-envision what is possible. We will be back in full swing, producing a complete season in 2021. It's a new world for theatre, and our company is part of the conversation to determine the identity of theatre in a pandemic world. The possibilities of innovation and re-invention are truly exciting. We must move forward.” 


Who would you say has been your greatest creative inspiration in “the business of show?”

“Along the journey of life, we meet individuals who guide and mentor our personal identities. In 2010, I met Jim Taulli, faculty member at CSUF, who cast me as Joe Hardy in ‘Damn Yankees.’ This collaboration and subsequent friendship transformed my life. Jim encouraged my application to graduate school. Jim fostered my love of directing. Jim supported me in starting The Wayward Artist. I owe him my life in theatre.”


What are some of your proudest accomplishments and what might be your next project?

“My proudest accomplishment is the career change that took place at age 40. I was in restaurant management, and I never dreamt a life in theatre was possible. With courage and the support of family and friends, I took a leap of faith as a middle-age man with little experience in the performing arts. Today I live my bliss, and I'm so grateful for the transformation theatre made possible. Second, starting The Wayward Artist is indeed a proud accomplishment.”


If you had a chance to change something in the industry to make it easier to create artistic and compelling productions, what would it be?

“If I could change something about the industry it would be equity, diversity, and inclusion. In light of Black Lives Matter and the civil unrest seen this summer, theatre is taking a hard look at itself. The truth is we've been dominated by a white, male, Eurocentric approach to storytelling. BIPOC voice are often excluded and marginalized. Now is the time to ensure the art form is a safe and welcoming space for all voices. We are better off by creating space for BIPOC voices to participate in and shape the theatrical conversation.”


In your opinion, what is the most important quality in an actor to look for when casting for a new show?

“This is a tricky question. You look for so many different things depending on the role and production. If pressed, I'd say a sense of truth combined with bold choice making.”


What’s something you are really good at, that few people know about?

“I'm a master of scheduling. I can juggle many balls at once, knowing where everything is at a given moment. I also play a mean game of racquetball.”

How would you describe yourself in one word?

“Hardworking or Work-a-Holic, depending on POV.”


Many thanks to Craig Tyrl. Please inquire at for further information.

Photo Credits:

Jordan Kubat

Paul Rodriguez

OCTOBER 24, 2020
art spot.JPG

This Week, Ryan Salazar Discusses The Crazy Ups and Downs of an Acting Career


This week, The Show Report visited with the very talented Ryan Salazar, and decided a recent interview performed by VoyageLA Magazine in May of this year (and reprinted on the website of Westminster's Rose Center Theater, where Ryan is currently employed) deserved another run, so in this edition, we received permission to reprint that meeting yet again. Primarily because it is so good, and reveals the mind and personality of one of the busiest actors in Southern California, pandemic notwithstanding.

I have seen Ryan Salazar in action at RCT over a period of several years, not only handling management affairs but quietly overseeing the smooth operation of box office, so I can personally attest to the fact that this is one hard-working individual. You may also be surprised to know that Ryan is a successful television actor, known for his work on TV’s Criminal Minds (2020), Atypical (2019), Fresh Off the Boat (2019), Teachers (2019), Grace and Frankie (2019), Age of Summer (2018), S.W.A.T. (2017), Famous in Love (2017), NCIS (2016), Switched at Birth (2015), Stolen From Suburbia (2015), The Fosters (2015), Two Lunes (2015), Generic Girl (2012) and Up All Night (2011).


Check out the following dialogue and get a new perspective of the incredible Ryan Salazar!


Ryan, thank you for taking the time to share your story. Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?

"Well, a wise woman once said, “start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” Since Julie Andrews has yet to lead me astray in life, I’m going to continue to follow her advice. The first memory I have of performing – other than singing karaoke at family parties (a. Because I’m Filipino and b. I *used to* have a pretty impressive rendition of “My Heart Will Go On”) – was my first play when I was around six years old. This wasn’t anything professional, it was a week-long program offered through the city that culminated in a big performance for our friends and family of the work we had done in rehearsals that week.


The production was “Winnie the Pooh,” and I had my eyes set on role the of Tigger. Unfortunately, I was a quieter kid back then and I distinctly remember being asked to “Speak Up” during the audition. Needless to say, instead of being the rambunctious life of the party, Tigger, I got stuck with the Nervous Nelly, Rabbit. In hindsight it was perfect casting, but at the time, I was bummed. I buried my feelings in the work, learned my lines, and dedicated myself to the role.


Cut to the night of the big performance. A few hours before we were supposed to head over to the theater, the director called my mom to tell us that the kid who played Owl couldn’t make it to the theater that night and I had to step in. The only problem was, I hadn’t learned any of the Owl lines, nor did I have a home-made Owl costume. But my mom got crafty. She whipped together a makeshift owl costume and taped my lines to the rolling podium Owl stood at and sent me onstage.


I don’t remember much from that performance other than how fun it was to push the podium around the stage and how thrilling I felt being thrown into this new role last minute. I don’t remember worrying about how I, or the podium looked or if I knew my lines. All of my shyness and insecurity got swept away in the commotion of having to prepare last minute. Being on the stage ignited something in me that I hadn’t had in that audition room. Knowing myself, I thought I would have frozen, but I did exactly the opposite. I don’t remember what I said, nor how the audience reacted, I just remember how I felt.


Looking back, albeit on a micro scale, going through that program was my first taste of what it’s like to work as an actor. Though we’re many moons past that performance, the lessons learned from that weeklong program stay with me. Being present, staying authentic, and working to continuously learn and grow are still deeply rooted in my entire career as an actor. Most importantly, I don’t think I would have had the opportunities to share the stage/screen with incredible actors whose careers I admire if I didn’t remember to show up with that same sense of joy I felt while pushing around that podium."


Can you tell us about your work?

"In addition to helping out where I can at the Rose Center Theater, I’m an in Los Angeles. Shocking, I know. Being an actor, living in a city full of actors can make you feel redundant. I still remember the first time I walked into a casting office to find ten other similarly looking guys, wondering how I was supposed to stand out. I didn’t know the answer back then, but over time I’ve come to realize that the best way to stand out is to be yourself, and lean into your strengths in what makes you, you. I’ve learned that the things I spent my childhood suppressing —being gay, Filipino, emotional, quirky, having curly hair, dark skin— were not faults, but rather the parts of me that made me distinctive, unique. Through owning all aspects of myself and finding pride in my individuality, I’ve been able to find my true, unique voice. I feel that I achieve success in my work when I fully commit to a role and inject as much of my voice into the writer’s words. Plus it helps me to enjoy the work more!"


Has it been a smooth road overall? If not, what are some obstacles you've had to overcome?

"Has it been a smooth road? Absolutely not. It’s true when they say if you can picture yourself doing something else other than acting, do that instead. Otherwise you have to put your head down and just go, as hard as you can, for as long as you can. A mentor and friend once told me that an actor’s journey will have countless peaks and valleys. Rather than focus on the ups and downs of the journey, she told me the main focus of an actor is to grow. As a Virgo who tends to be particular, shall we say? The entertainment industry has taught me to only focus on the things that I have control over. There are so many factors that go into booking a role, many of which have nothing to do with me. With the amount of rejection, self-doubt, and anxiety this industry can create, the biggest struggle that I experience as an actor is internal. Finding ways to quiet my self-doubting inner voice, or self-saboteur allows me to have the self-awareness and mindfulness that is needed to stay present and open to receive new opportunities."


What do you consider your proudest moment?

"Since I’ve been talking about firsts, one of the proudest moments of my journey so far has to be my first television booking. I booked a 1-line co-star on a new network sitcom that was just picked up to series. I was so excited arriving at the studio the morning of the shoot, not knowing what was to be expected. Skip ahead a few hours – going through hair and makeup, sitting in a dressing room, taking a couple nervous trips to craftiest – a very nice AD comes to my dressing room to tell me that the scene I was supposed to be in was cut and I was being sent home. I remember the way they said it felt so matter of fact, as if this was something that was normal. Looking back in hindsight… yes, it’s completely normal and actually an experience I share with many other actors. Regardless, I was devastated. Having thought I had done something wrong that resulted in me being sent home, I packed up my stuff, went back to my car, called my agent, and cried. A couple days later, I got a call from my agent that the show was asking me to come back as the same role, but in a different episode. I was confused, but excited, to get to another shot. The night before the shoot, for what would be my second, first day on set, I was a nervous wreck. The morning of, I remember arriving at the studio, and my mentor, who I called before leaving my car, reminded me that I can only control what I can control and that my job that day was to stay open and be present. That day of filming was an absolute blur. I don’t remember much about it other than feeling like a new kid in school, navigating my way through a new environment with its new terminology. We shot my scene and I was sent home. Leaving the studio lot, I was so proud of myself, knowing how hard I worked to get that first booking. To add a cherry on top, the following week I got a call from my agent saying that I was asked back for one more episode. Even with the twists and the turns of my first booking, going from a one line co-star that was cut, to being asked back and having the opportunity to play and learn from the insanely talented Maya Rudolph and Christina Applegate was and is one of my proudest moments of my journey as an actor."


As an actor of color, do you feel that opportunities for BIPOC actors are improving?

"I would be amiss to not first acknowledge the journeys and struggles of the trailblazers before us. I don’t think we would see the growth in opportunities that we have seen over the last few years, without them. Do I think we have enough inclusivity in the arts industry? Absolutely not. We still have a long way to go, but I think we are heading in the right direction. With that said, I think it starts at the top. The way to ensure that BIPOC actors are adequately represented in the arts industry is to give us a seat at the table, or as it was put in the musical Hamilton, give us a seat "in the room where it happens." Without a seat at the table to help inform what art gets produced, or which stories get told, diversity in the arts will remain stagnant. Representation matters, and I am grateful to be a part of this new era of a more diverse arts community."


Given our current affairs, what are your hopes for the future of the arts?

"First, my hope is that we all start working together to get through this pandemic that has caused so much hardship within the arts community. Without live events, the livelihood of artists and all those who work in the arts industry are literally at stake. From stage technicians, to box office staff, to ushers, this pandemic has upended the lives of hundreds of thousands of families across the country. It is our responsibility to each other to do our part in wearing a mask, maintaining physical distance, and heeding the advice of science and health professionals to help us get through these tumultuous times.


Post Covid, my hope is that through this pandemic, we realize that the arts play an essential role in society. Without them, the copious amount of media consumed, be it music, books, television, movies, plays, and so many other mediums of art, would cease to exist. The only way to ensure that the arts are accessible, especially to the local community, is ensure that adequate funding for arts programs are available. Support your local theaters!"


Contact Info:

Instagram: @ryansalazar

Twitter: @theryansalazar


Image Credit:





Joanna Degeneres

OCTOBER 24, 2020

This Week's Director in Focus is Tim Nelson: Actor, Director, Playwright, Symphony Musician...Downhill Racer

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In the always creative, always wondrous world of theatre, most everyone knows who Tim Nelson is. He has undeniably been a leading force in Orange County Theatre for over 30 years, and is currently at the helm of the Rose Center Theater in Westminster. Balancing that schedule, he also serves as an award-winning Department Chairman for the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts Musical Theatre Department. Specifically, one of his many awards and honors has been becoming the recipient of the  International Arts Schools Network "Arts Educator of the Year."


A graduate of the University of Colorado in Boulder, with further training at Boston University’s School for the Arts, Tim played Oboe with several symphony orchestras before turning his talents to the stage, and has directed, musical directed, conducted, authored and performed in over 200 shows throughout the country. Tim is also proud to have had one of his original musicals, “Alice in Wonderland,” performed in 7 different countries over the past year - Canada, New Zealand, England, Scotland, China, Germany and the good old USA! You may visit his website at for more information. We visited with our good friend Tim Nelson this past week, and a number of our questions revealed several surprises about his passions, his goals, and other skills we weren't aware of. Here's what we found out:

You seem to be one of the busiest directors around, with your work at Park Playhouse in Washington Park, as Artistic Director at Rose Center Theater in Westminster, and as Musical Theatre Director of the Academy for the Performing Arts in Huntington Beach. How does one juggle that workload, and what do you do when you’re not doing theatre? 


"Chris - throughout the years the workload and schedule for all of these places have sort of dovetailed together. Each performance slot is different from the other, so somehow this all works together!  What it doesn't allow for, unfortunately is any days off. I sort of got used to a 24/7 schedule until Covid hit! I love each of these venues and the communities each of them serve. For me it is like having family all over the country! When everything went on hold and I finally was able to enjoy my own life I did massive amounts of Gardening! My homes in New York and Minnesota have never blossomed so well as this summer, and Mary and I got to do it all together! I also practiced instruments and wrote just for my own enjoyment. I had a wonderful time writing a 'Flute Duet' for my cousin and myself this summer - 'Whistling Birds!'"


Considering the pandemic at hand, you have impressed loyal fans with your innovative outdoor productions. What other challenges are you coping with right now, and what have been some remedies? 


"Well - along with trying to stretch out our bank balance at the theater so we can remain open, my Virtual release of 'Together' in July and August was really what helped saved the theater.And then when I had this idea for outdoor concerts when outdoor gatherings were officially approved, we have been able to hold our own thanks to the support our audiences have given! Because we are a unique venue, we have this beautiful outdoor stage and gated area where we can keep good control of our audience size and keep things socially distanced."


You consistently helm some of the best productions in Southern California, both as Musical Director and Director. What are some of your proudest accomplishments and what might be your next project? 


"Two Years ago I directed "Phantom of the Opera" at the Academy for the Performing Arts and really had the most incredible match of students to roles. This was a world class production, and when Michael Crawford himself showed up and sang our praises - well, it doesn't get much better than that! Having 3 students win the National Musical Theater 'Jimmy' Awards in NY has been a high point as well! But, honestly, the best for me is when these wonderful actors from years gone by still think to come back and visit me and support the theater of their youth! As far as the next project - I am looking at an "Audience Immersive, socially distanced" following of 'Alice in Wonderland' throughout the buildings and grounds of the Rose Center in November."


As someone who has done it all — playwright, actor, song and dance man, conductor and director — who would you say has been your greatest creative inspiration in the business? 


"Well - I have had two incredible mentors in my life - Kent Johnson who really helped me to start my Musical Direction and Directing career, and John Ferola from the Curtain Call Dinner Theater who taught me so much as an actor as well as the business of theater. I would not be where I am now without these 2 wonderful men. Most recently, though, it has been my best friend Vincent Aniceto who has inspired me to continue pushing forward creatively. Again - through 'Together' - a Musical review of my songs which he encouraged and helped to make a reality, and a new musical project which is underway between us!" 


If you had a chance to change something in the industry to make it easier to create artistic and compelling productions, what would it be? 


That is an overwhelming question - I can't even think of an answer!


In counseling young barnstormers or ingénues who want to professionally advance their skill levels in the arts, what would you say to them? 


"I do get asked this often, and honestly - there is no one path to success that I know of. You really have to know what success means to you, and make sure you LOVE what you are doing! It is also so important to be a good person, and put in the work. I don't think there is an easy way or shortcut, but what I have found is that I love 'practicing' as much as I love 'performing,' and I think if that is true of you, you will keep growing and moving forward."


What is the most important quality in an actor you look for when casting for a new show? 


"From my years of performing, I know how close casts work together, and that cast members really do end up 'living' together for the period of time you are rehearsing and performing. So, I always am on the lookout for that special talent that also fits well into the 'family' of the show. There are many wonderful actors out there, but it is the positive energy and the way you treat other actors that sets you apart from the rest."


What is something you’re really good at, that few people know about? 


"Hmm - I guess most people don't know that I am a classical musician and play the Oboe with the Vietnamese-American Philharmonic and most recently during Covid with Australia's 'Virtual Concert Band.' I also have been an avid downhill skier/racer for many years!"


What’s the first hook that gets you interested in directing something new? Is it a theme, the script, or perhaps the characters? Does success on Broadway, or being a well-known box-office draw play a part in your decision? 


"Almost always it is how the music in a production speaks to me. The connection of music to lyric to plot that really grabs me is what I fall in love with first. When the music stirs my emotions, I am hooked! Good examples - 'Once On This Island,' 'Sideshow,' 'The Secret Garden,' 'She Loves Me.'"


How would you describe yourself in one word? 



Thank you Tim Nelson!

"Whistling Birds"
Based on the Call of the Black-Capped Chickadee, this Flute and Piccolo Duet was written and filmed in Litchfield Minnesota and features Tim Nelson (Piccolo/Composer) Greta Hulterstrum (Flute) and Katie Hulterstrum (Piano)
Rodgers & Hammerstein in Concert
Wednesday November 4 at 7:30 PM
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Michael Crawford in attendance at the production of Academy for the Performing Arts "Phantom of the Opera"
OCTOBER 18, 2020
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An Exclusive Chat This Week with  Melissa Cook— Actress, Virtuoso, Dillettante, Cat Lover


This week, The Show Report caught up with Melissa Cook, who some describe as one of the best vocalists in Orange County. Melissa, however, can be defined not only as a professional actress and singer, but she can also be found (on most normal days) high in the sky working as an American Airlines hostess, mostly commuting back and forth between her home in Charlotte, North Carolina to usually a lead role somewhere in Southern California. I say most normal days because things have been relatively quiet in the travel industry this year.

You may have seen Melissa at one time or another at Rose Center Theater, where she performs quite frequently as one of the resident artists there. If you did, I'm sure it was a very memorable experience. There are relatively few people who can match her vocal power. Here's an inside look, somewhat, into the witty mind of Melissa Cook:

Who would you say has been your greatest creative inspiration in the business?

“Oh gosh...Mary Murphy-Nelson is my gut reaction here. She’s one of the most authentic actresses I’ve worked with, one who’s able to make any role entirely her own. She also happens to be funny as heck!” 

If someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

“Jessica Rabbit!”

What do you do when you’re not doing theatre?

“Well, not much right now. I’ve recently been furloughed from my job with American Airlines so I suppose I spend most of my time at home in North Carolina with my boyfriend and two cats on the quest to craft the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. I think I may have finally done it though...”

Has there been a role that has deeply affected you personally, perhaps even changed you in a permanent manner?

“Sally Bowles (‘Cabaret’) had to have been the most difficult. She makes several choices that are completely antithetical to what I value. The first time I read the role, I absolutely hated her.  As an actress, I have to find a way to not just rationalize but commit to these choices and earn the empathy of the audience. It was hard work to do but, I think, resulted in opening my mind. I tend to see a million shades of grey now, rather than black and white.” 


A little more than a decade ago, you co-owned the Curtain Call Dinner Theater in Tustin. I remember it to have been a charming little theater with a storied history, and the setting for a perfect family night out. How has that experience affected you, and have you ever thought about going back into theater management?

“I had worked there as an actress for 8 years before we took over and my mother had been bringing me to shows there - she worked in the box office - since I was seven or so. John Ferola, the Managing Director there, wrote my recommendation letter to get into OCHSA. The Curtain Call was a staple in my life for, well, most of my life. So when the Great Recession hit and things didn’t work out, it broke my heart and spirit for years, honestly. Because of that, if I were to go back into management, it would be in a role in which I did NOT have the “final word.” The burden of that responsibility is too heavy for my heart when it’s something so dear to me.”

Your vocal range is truly spectacular. To me it says — serious voice lessons. Did you achieve that golden voice on your own, or through formal training?

“Wow! Thank you! You know, I was extremely lucky to have voice teachers and coaches that helped me craft a technique that is tailored to my instrument -Tim Nelson and Jo Monteleone, to name the most influential and with whom I’ve worked for over twenty years. I was never pushed into a ‘type’ and because of that, have been able to sing an incredible variety of music.” 

If you had a chance to change something in the industry to make it easier to create artistic and compelling productions, what would it be?


“Yeah, fully-funded arts education! There’s still this idea that the arts are luxuries when, in reality, they are necessities. When we come into this world, it is through the arts that we ‘jumpstart’ our learning, creativity, critical thinking, and communication. The arts tell our stories after we’re gone. It would be AMAZING to see what this world would look like if we were all encouraged to be artists, musicians, storytellers.” 

What, in your opinion, are the three most important qualities in an actor?

“Professionalism: it’s hard to work if no one wants to work with you. Active listening: whether it’s your 459th performance or you're being tossed in last minute, the story is being told not just by you, but by everyone (thing) around you. When unpredictable moments happen, being present will allow you to navigate those – and those are the stories you’ll be telling for years. Authenticity: as difficult as it is, you MUST find a way to ‘connect’ with your character and those around you. The audience can sniff out insincerity in an instant.”


What is something you’re really good at, that few people know about?


“Untangling necklaces. Small fingers and tons of patience.” 

How would you describe yourself in one word?


Here's a quick look below at one of Melissa's amazing demo reels. Some of her favorite credits include The Lady of the Lake (“Spamalot”), Lily (“The Secret Garden”), Johanna (“Sweeney Todd”), Fiona (“Brigadoon”), Anna (“The King & I”), Sally Bowles (“Cabaret”), Julie Jordan (“Carousel”), Aldonza (“Man of La  Mancha”), Susan (“Company”) and Winifred Banks (“Mary Poppins”), Sarah (“Guys and Dolls”), Clara (“Passion”), Witch (“Into the Woods”), Eva Peron (“Evita”) and most recently a Broadway World “Best  Supporting Actress” Nominee for her role  of the  Beggar Woman (“Sweeney Todd”). Melissa traveled 4 years (and 111 countries) as the Lead Classical Vocalist for Silversea Cruises. Various other credits include lead roles (villains) in anime series “Nanoha” and “The Familiar of Zero.” 

Thank you Melissa Cook!


Please contact us HERE if you have recommendations for upcoming interviews for artists in theatre or performers in the entertainment field.

OCTOBER 11, 2020
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Center-Stage This Week is Entertainer Allan P. Cason


Highlighting our Artist Spotlight this week is DJ, Emcee, Sound, Lighting, and artist extraordinaire, Allan P. Cason. An entrepeneur at heart, Allan can be seen in various shows around Southern California, most recently in the Broadway Knight's series benefit for Tara's Chance, a local non-profit that specializes in therepeutic horse-back riding to help establish an emotional overall wellness of children with disabilities and special needs. His smooth baritones and spot-on impressionist vocals are always a favorite with the crowds.

We caught up with Allan earlier this week and found he's been even busier than we imagined. Here's a few highlights of some of the questions asked:

Boxcar Theatricals, a new community theatre operating in La Habra, lists you as Executive Producer. I also see quite a few familiar names on the company roster. How did you get involved with your new venture?


Answer: I've been a fan of theater since I was in Jr. High School, but I actively avoided it for a couple of decades while I built an entertainment business. A friend of mine wrote a Jukebox musical a few years ago and asked me to perform in it. Long story short, that's all it took to get the theater bug back in my head. The owner of the theater saw me, liked my performance, and asked me to audition for "Donkey" in Shrek: The Musical. I did. I was cast and that is where I met Tyler Stouffer (artistic director), Brittani Prenger (President), and Tallon Trevino (Board member & prolific idea man). The theater world is a tight community. Everyone on this team has worked with someone else on the team in some capacity and achieved success. When I was asked to join, it made sense. When a group of talented people like that see value in you and then decide that they want you to be involved, it's quite honoring.


When did the company actually form, and has there been a final selection made for your first virtual performance yet? 


Answer: The company began to take shape on a handshake basis in 2018. It was a growing idea that got better and more unique with each new member of the team. It was officially formed this year, and, it's not the only enterprise that we're launching. An artist that one of my other companies (APC Entertainment) is representing, Luna Rose (Like Rose-ay, the wine), is launching her first single, Rainbow Road, on October 11th. We're very excited about that. We haven't quite figured out what our 1st virtual performance will be. We have a committee that is reviewing which shows offer rights that accommodate our standards of excellence. We should have a decision within weeks.


Other than the obvious pandemic, what other stage production challenges are you coping with right now?


Answer: We find it troubling how many people aren't adapting like we are attempting to. It occurred to us very early, in part because of the pandemic, that we had to make adjustments in how we operated in case things like this happened but also, in the early stages of our development, we took issue with the number of "starving artists" there are. It's been a challenge to engineer a production where revenue is to be fairly distributed rather than to just shoot up to the top execs and then just disappear from the economy Boxcar is a great way for us to start overcoming challenges for our community and our industry!


Boxcar has some exciting Halloween activities planned this month, like Psycho Circus and the Creepy Cruise. They both sound fun and appear to be drive-thru exhibitions. Do you anticipate large crowds and require advance reservations?

Answer: Yes! We are expecting both events to be sold out and we DO require reservations that can be purchased on our website, The tickets are limited so we advise everyone to purchase their reservations EARLY!! We've already started planning for adding Friday the 30th if our original date of the 31st sells out. We shall see.


You recently were among a small group of entertainers selected from Broadway Knights for a gala benefiting Tara’s Chance. Would you say that the group helped to make the benefit a success?


Absolutely! The level of talent that Broadway Knights brings to each and every performance is nothing less than mind-blowing and I'm SO honored to be continually asked to participate in their shows by my friend Rob Kruger.


As an entertainer, who is your greatest creative mentor in the business?


To be honest, I never really had a mentor, so to speak. I've just kind of learned as I went along. I DO have certain entertainers that I admire and that have inspired my vocal style and how I perform. Prince, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, and Otis Redding come to mind from the R&B side. From the Classic Rock side, I've always preferred intelli-rock from bands like Rush, Yes, the Alan Parsons Project and the like. Geddy Lee (Rush) is the reason I picked up the bass guitar.


If you had a chance to change something in the industry to make it easier to create artistic and relevant productions, what would it be?


Answer:  I love this question because we feel like this endeavor IS our chance to make change. We speak often about creating, and then growing a part of the industry that attracts artists because we're focused on ethics and excellence! We hope to incentivize decent people to do honest work and with that will have engineered a safe environment for these artistic and relevant productions.


What is your favorite musical or play? 


Answer:  That I've performed in: It's a toss-up between Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar. That I just Enjoy? Phantom or Jekyll & Hyde.


If you were counseling fresh grads who wanted to professionally advance their skill levels in the arts, what would you say to them? 


Answer: Another intuitive question! Our Youth Outreach Director (Mykaela Sterris) has plans to create a program that includes counseling, and, our manager has some high concept ideas about creating programs so that our next generations can develop their craft without going into overwhelming student debt, and we would advise them honestly so they can make better decisions on how and where to invest their time/credit and then we could be proud when they have more lucrative careers.


What are some of your proudest accomplishments?


Answer: My sons. They've turned out to be amazing boys and I love them more than my own life.


In your opinion, what is the most important quality in an actor? 


Answer: Dependability.


What is something you’re really good at, that few people know about? 


Answer: That's a tough one. Perhaps, diffusing volatile situations(?) Unless, of course, I'm the catalyst for the volatility. It's rare, but, It happens...

Thank you Allan! If you would like to book Allan P. Cason to DJ, perform or provide expert technical assistance, you can contact him at APC Entertainment, You may also reach him at, or by email at 

The Artist Spotlight and The Director's Chair are regularly featured weekly segments on Please contact us here if you have recommendations for upcoming interviews.

OCTOBER 4, 2020

This Week's Focus is on IVRT's Co-Founder

Frank Minano

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It is an exception to see an artist discussing their craft with such candor and probity as this, and in this short dialogue, we attempt to find an even more revealing look into one of the most respected directors in Southern California—Frank Minano.

The award-winning IVRT (Inland Valley Repertory Theater) was actually formed in 1990 by Frank and his wife, Donna Marie. They developed a loyal audience almost immediately by being the first company in the region to produce such shows as “Sweeney Todd,” “Follies,” and “Amadeus."

After growing up in Upland and Claremont, Frank Minano did his undergraduate work at UC Irvine (class of ’85) and received an MBA at the University of La Verne. While in college, he attended the Summer Professional Conservatory at Costa Mesa’s Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory. “It was here that I met founding director Martin Benson, and many of the founding SCR Members,” he fondly recalls. “I fell in love with what this company did for Orange County and I wanted to build a similar nonprofit company in the Inland Empire.”

And the rest, so they say, is history. Since 2008, IVRT has made its home at the Candlelight Pavilion in Claremont, using a unique mid-week arrangement known as "set modification," that is, upcycling the sets that the Candlelight Pavilion uses for its dinner theatre on the weekends. It is an arrangement with which they have dealt exceedingly well, as 2020 marks their thirtieth anniversary.

Besides his work at IVRT, Minano also is an actor and serves as a freelance director for other theatrical companies, having directed productions like "Steel Magnolias," "On Golden Pond," "Side by Side" by Sondheim, "Fiddler On the Roof," and his adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" in 2007.

Simply put, Frank Minano has done it all—Founder, Producer, Artistic Director, Actor. We spoke recently about his most recent projects, expectations, uncertainty, and what challenges he now faces with the advent of Covid 19.


How are you coping with the pandemic in relation to your shows being postponed in production until this is over?

“By reinventing and reimagining everything we used to do and by staying in constant communication with our audience. Midway through our first show of the season, A Streetcar Named Desire, the pandemic forced us to close down. We began by doing a staged reading of Streetcar on Zoom. Then we added more and more staged readings as they became available. We gave our patrons the choice of donating their tickets, getting a voucher for future productions, or receiving a full refund. Our patrons have been extremely generous and understanding; only a handful opted for a refund. 2020 marked the 30th anniversary year for Inland Valley Repertory Theatre Company as a non-profit organization. While we were unable to meet and celebrate the way we originally planned, a documentary premiered on You Tube on the IVRT Channel with much enthusiasm and support!  Going forward, with a very supportive and active board, we are planning a virtual representation of shows for 2021.”
Who do you look up to as your greatest creative inspiration?

“I look at this ‘dark time’ as way to be innovative and to learn – to grow and try new things. The through line to keep going for 30 years is the voice of my spiritual guide, the late Msgr. William Barry who told me ‘with IVRT you are serving the community!’”
What do you do when you’re not doing theatre?

“I read plays, cook, play cards, do some gardening and focus on the house, and spend time with family!”
If you had a magic wand, what show would you like to personally direct next?   


“The Glass Menagerie, Sunday in the Park with George, Come From Away, The Humans.”

 What are some of your proudest accomplishments?

“I would have to stay sustaining the company over 3 decades and connecting with the community while developing young talent to soar is pretty spectacular!”

What’s the first hook that gets you interested in directing or producing a new show? Is it an image, a theme, or perhaps a character?

“The ‘hook,’ if you will, is the story. Do people need to hear this story? I look at theatre as a place to be entertained, and also a place to learn, experience, grow and share.”
How do you normally approach casting a new play or musical, working with characterization and motivation with cast and crew, and making the play a relevant work of art?

“If you look at a play from the standpoint of its story, it is the story that needs to be relevant. Whether I am looking at one of the classics (an R&H musical or an Arthur Miller play) or any other story, we are living in 2020 so it needs to speak to today’s audience. Our modern culture may look different than it did 70 years ago, but human emotion hasn’t changed.”

 What are some of your favorite plays or musicals?

“Come From Away and Bright Star. Favorite plays would be The Humans and Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike.”
What would you say to a fresh graduate who wants to pursue theatre as a career?

“The same thing that was told to me 35 years ago—if you want a career in this industry then you need to make your own work because you can’t wait for them to call you.”
How would you describe yourself in one word?

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

“I wish it wasn’t so expensive to produce quality productions.”

What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in a Director?

“Having a vision and coming in with your homework completed.”
What’s something you are really good at that few people know about?

“Once upon a time I had a pretty good singing voice.”


A critically acclaimed regional theater company, garnering widespread honors for its theatrical works, IVRT receives funding from the California Arts Council, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the city of Claremont, and the Claremont Educational Foundation, as well as from corporate and individual donors. More information may be found on the website at or by calling (909) 859-4878.

“The 30th Anniversary Celebration” was held virtually on Saturday, September 26 complete with a Red Carpet Reunion at 6pm and a Virtual Celebration at 7pm. Check out the video for highlights.

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