58 – american angel notes from the left edge of america (the year after the fall)

November 3, 2007

tuesday november 13, 2007 2:08PM santa monica, california

an open letter to kamela in thanksgiving;

dear kamela,

a year ago on this day i wrote my first cambridge entry to this “american angel” journal.

it was short and sweet. unlike all my other long winded entries. it’s worth copying here;

monday november 13, 2006 12:18AM cambridge, massachusetts

in my apartment 203.

tired and ready to sleep.


here i am.

with love,



and so began my great time as damiel in cambridge.

we were really beginning work on a new play, even though we had played it in amsterdam. the significant change for me, of course, was in my playing damiel. Read the rest of this entry »


Elliot Norton Awards

May 31, 2007

BritannicusLast week A.R.T. artists were honored with two Elliot Norton Awards. In addition, Artistic Director Robert Woodruff was honored with a special citation in honor of the 25th Anniversary of the Elliot Norton Awards. Here is the text of Robert’s speech delivered by Gideon: Read the rest of this entry »

No Man’s Land on YouTube

May 16, 2007

As part of our ongoing efforts to give you a behind the scenes look at our productions, we have produced a brief documentary about creating No Man’s Land featuring interviews with David and Lewis Wheeler and production dramaturg, Miriam Weisfeld. Read the rest of this entry »

Catch-Up Ball

May 15, 2007

Bullet points today, ‘cause that’s how my brain is frying…

  • Previews! Oh, what a pleasure to have an audience! Truly the missing link. The energy of the house, my nerves, the drive and purpose – all marvelous. And the energy tightened the performance so much! A challenge, always, to make that leap from the crew in the room to EVERYONE in the room, but the best challenge, and, after all, the purpose of the exercise. If no one ever saw the play, what would be the point? I wouldn’t do it. The PURPOSE of a piece of theater is the AUDIENCE. So, thank you for the challenge and the reward – come early and often! I think you’ll enjoy it, and get a lot out of it; your money’s worth, I hope. Read the rest of this entry »

Moving to the Loeb

May 10, 2007

On Sunday we bid farewell to our rehearsal hall, and yesterday began our technical rehearsals in the Loeb. The set is wonderful: the room looks cavernous and invokes that particularly English antique grandeur of high-vaulted wood paneling and leather, but by using levels and angles and furniture our designer, Michael Griggs, has created a variety of playing spaces within the grand room that allow for intimate and specific contact between actors. It’s very well done, and a pleasure to play on. Read the rest of this entry »

Somerville Journal – Paul Benedict enters darkness of Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’

May 9, 2007

Somerville Journal – Paul Benedict enters darkness of Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’

After 43 years in the theater, appearing in nine Harold Pinter plays, Paul Benedict has a good idea about what he’ll do when he finally gets some time to himself.
“Suicide,” says Benedict with perfect comic timing.

It’s natural for an actor to be in a dark place after rehearsing a Pinter play for a couple of weeks. The playwright’s material is hardly uplifting, with dark themes and uncomfortable pauses. Thankfully, Benedict’s sense of humor keeps him grounded.

The truth is Benedict was all set to retire from the stage and was looking forward to working at his vineyard. Then he got a call from director David Wheeler.

Read the entire article.

Boston Globe – The family that plays together

May 9, 2007

Boston Globe – The family that plays together

Lewis Wheeler has a distinct advantage over the other actors in “No Man’s Land.” He’s known the director all his life.

“I’ve been watching my dad in rehearsals since I was a little kid,” says Wheeler, whose father, the award-winning David Wheeler, is directing Harold Pinter’s bleak comedy for the American Repertory Theatre starting Saturday.

“I know what he wants from me, and we’ve got a definite shorthand,” he says.

His father looks over at him fondly. “I think we know how to collaborate,” he says. The two men are sitting in the ART offices, and it’s touching to see the obvious pride they take in each other.

Read the entire article.

Boston Phoenix – Land ahoy

May 9, 2007

Boston Phoenix – Land ahoy

Unlike The Birthday Party and The Homecoming, now staples of the repertory, this play by the 2005 Nobel laureate is seldom mounted. (In conjunction with this production, the Harvard Film Archive is screening nine Pinter-scripted films plus a bio-documentary in the series “Harold Pinter: Stage to Screen,” May 13-30; Michael Atkinson’s review will appear in next week’s Phoenix.) Paul Benedict (Waiting for Guffman, TV’s The Jeffersons), who plays Hirst, says of stepping into the shoes of Gielgud and Richardson, “People are afraid, perhaps in the way that batters were afraid for a long time to follow Babe Ruth.”

The action is simple, though the undercurrents are not. The curtain rises on the two elderly men sharing whiskey and conversation in Hirst’s comfortable living room. Hirst has invited Spooner home for a nightcap. Although Spooner claims to be a poet and Hirst is an established writer, nothing is certain about the pair’s past lives. The first act ends when two young men — servants, perhaps, or relatives — burst in and take control.

Read the entire article.


May 9, 2007

Last night’s performance of TONGUES WILL WAG was a fantastic gift from the audiences at ART–a wonderful full house, ready to hear a brand new story, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and time. We learned a tremendous amount about the show incredibly quickly, and I’m looking forward to the workshop performances at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Cape Cod Theatre Project later this year–it’s my hope that TONGUES WILL WAG will have a full production before the end of 2007, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed for that. Read the rest of this entry »


May 8, 2007

Tonight’s the night–we do TONGUES WILL WAG for the very first time. I can’t think of a better way to end our residency at ART than this, nor a more exhilarating, terrifying one–it is always this way, tempered a little by the experience of having gone through it 9 times before with other monologues.

I got a lot of work done yesterday, but much remains to be shaped this morning and afternoon–the principal outline is pretty fuzzy, even at this point, and huge discoveries happened yesterday that upended much of the structure that had been growing in my mind. That sounds negative, but many disruptions are bigger than that, and so was this one–I’m grateful for the new insights, which leaped out of a conversation with Jean-Michele, and I feel certain at this hour that it’s a deeper, richer choice. Read the rest of this entry »