A Surprise Visit…

It’s days like today that remind me that I’m actually here, at Actors Theatre of Louisville, working at one of the premiere regional theatres in the nation.

This is DAppleMan, signing in for my first post. I’m one of the new voices promised to all you readers out there, one of many from which you’ll soon hear. I and 21 other young theatre artists are here as apprentices, working in various departments around the theatre, such as in the scene shop, marketing, or the costume shop. In our spare time (haha), we rehearse, perform, and work backstage on shows. It’s a busy life, but I’m loving every minute of it.

Anyway, today we were fortunate enough to host a special question-and-answer session with none other than Sam Shepard, the Pullitzer Prize-winning American playwright.  Anyone who has taken Theatre 101 has read at least one of his plays, and you could make a compelling argument that he is one of the top five playwrights in American history. And he called us, the apprentice/intern company, out of the blue, to see if he could come and talk to us about playwriting.  Needless to say, we were happy to oblige.

He walked into the Victor Jory Theatre with Marc Masterson, Artistic Director, sat down at center stage, and without introduction began taking our questions.  We asked him all about his process in writing plays, what particularly attracted him to theatre, his film and stage acting, which writers he admires.  Shepard was very direct and to the point — he was plain with his words, and elucidated his answers precisely.  He writes all his text on typewriters, and doesn’t deal with computers at all; I find it ironic that he’ll never know I made this blog post.  He might not even know what a blog is.  After the session ended as abruptly as it began, I went down, shook his hand, left, and that was that.

When you can shake the hand of one of the movers and shakers of American theatre, as part of your everyday job…I’m constantly amazed at how lucky I am to be here.

~ DAppleMan

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