“COMMANDER” – HRC SHOWCASE THEATER
HRC Showcase Theater has been doing staged reading of new plays for the past 25 years and I have been lucky to be a part of their season for close to 15 of those 25 years! Their season consists of 5 new plays ending with the play that is awarded the W. Keith Hedrick award. Check out their season and past seasons on their website: HRC Season
Under the direction of Artistic Director Barbara Waldinger, they assemble a group of first rate actors for each reading. And what is unique about their process is that most, if not all, of these actors have never worked together before. We all head up to Hudson for the weekend and spend all day Saturday reading, blocking, stumbling and discussing our way through the play and then we’re up on our feet for the evening’s performance. Every reading I’ve done with HRC has been extremely well attended, a bit of a pleasant surprise my first go round. But what is even more astounding is that after the reading there is a lovely reception with the author, actors and director and then a talk back with the audience. And these HRC audiences LISTEN!!! They ask extremely well thought out questions and share how the play made them feel.
“Commander” by Mario Correa explores the idea “Is America ready for its first gay president” NOT a very unlikely question in this political season where we have candidates ranging from the extremely qualified, Hillary, to a billionaire buffoon, Trump! I was cast as the homophobic, foul mouthed campaign manger, Frank Desantis, pulling out all the stops to get his candidate on the ticket. I didn’t count them but I must have had hundreds of F-Bombs and enjoyed every one of them!
What is really at the heart of HRC Showcase Theater is that they are bringing these new works to a willing and wanting audience, in addition to serving the playwright allowing him (her) to hear their play and discover additional nuances in the process. As an actor it gives me the opportunity to stretch my wings, play and work all at the same time.
BRAVO! HRC Showcase Theater, here’s to another 25 years!!