Dude!  Where’s My Theatre Credits?!

Dude! Where’s My Theatre Credits?!

You can blame this long-ass, self-indulgent post on Robin Carlisle. Who’s that?  I haven’t a clue, but she tweeted me the other day:

theatre tweet1 Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!

That got me thinking:  Where are my theatre credits, anyway?  This then led me to the “oh shit” discovery that I had accidentally deleted my old resumes and now, literally, have NO record of all the plays I’ve done!

This was more a personal punch in the gut than a career misstep.  I’m an LA actor, not a Broadway baby.  And I don’t pursue theatre anymore. Haven’t in over a decade. But the fact that I now have to rely on my memory – a memory that’s been drenched in cast party alcohol and colorized by my past hallucinogenic halcyon days — means I’m [expletive]ed.

(I warn you now, this is long and more resume than anything.  I won’t be hurt if you bail.  Really just needed to keep these credits safe somewhere.)

So this post is purely my way of reconstructing what I remember, as best I can. I know, it seems like a “hook” just to ramble on about myself, but I don’t need an excuse to do that. Pretty sure the definition of “blog” is to describe one’s anus.

So, here we go:

Late 1970s – Community Theatre

• Little Red Riding Hood (Uncle Bill) CMT
Written & directed by John P. Healy, Jr.
Uncle Bill DC Douglas Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?! Yes, I agree. Sounds like a cliché. But I was Uncle Bill in this classic musical. After my mother asked me to start exploring what I wanted to do with my life (I was 11, mind you) I said “be an actor.” She told me to find classes. Luckily, I ended up finding Children’s Musical Theater San Jose (CMT) and John P. Healy, Jr.

John was the first person to simultaneously praise my talent and shame me for my lack of discipline. A theme I would embrace over the years… Also, it was the first time I kissed a girl backstage. Truly, nothing like it!

• Tom Sawyer (Can’t remember!) CMT
Written & directed by John P. Healy, Jr.
• Emperor’s New Clothes (Chorus) CMT
Written & directed by John P. Healy, Jr.

Early 1980′s – High School

• Hello, Dolly! (Horace Vandergelder)
Lyrics and music by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart. Directed by Willy Lambert.
hello dolly dc douglas1 Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?! The best way to get seniors to hate you is to get cast as the male lead in the high school musical when you’re a freshman. The constant dirty looks in the hallway and stress gave me the flu during production. And one night, an actual bloody nose during “It takes A Woman” number – my mustache turned rusty colored.

• Look Homeward, Angel (Eugene)
Written by Thomas Wolfe, directed by Henry DeLa Rosa.
look homeward angel dc douglas Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!One of my fondest high school memories where I watched a 17 year old Ann Ready show me what real acting looked like… Effortless and gut-wrenching.

• Charlie’s Aunt (Charlie)
Written by Brandon Thomas and directed by someone lost to history. 
Charlies Aunt DC Douglas Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!
• The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild (Roy Wild)
Written by Paul Zindel, directed by Troy Nelson.
• Lone Star (Ray)
Written by James McClure.
• The Curious Savage (Jeffrey)
Written by John Patrick, directed by Mark Somebody.
• Some Other One Act I Forget (Some Character)
Written by some British guy.

Early 1980′s – Community Theatre

• Alice in Wonderland (Frog Footman) Second Stage, Walnut Creek, CA.
Book & Lyrics by Henry Saville Clark, music by Walter Slaughter and Aubrey Hopwood.
Alice In Wonderland DC Douglas Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!

This would be my first play with actual adults playing adults! Plus, it was the first time I saw how image can outshine talent.

We were all informed that an actor from Los Angeleeeze would be coming in to take over the role of the Mad Hatter! Everyone erupted into giddy laughter, just knowing he would be dazzling… He was adequate.

• Death Knocks (Nat Ackermann) Walnut Creek Civic Arts.
Written by Woody Allen.
Death Knocks DC Douglas Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?! A summer repertory workshop for teens. I was 16 playing 60. Steve Zee played Death. What makes this remarkable?  Read this blog post. (I know, like this one isn’t enough!)

Late 1980′s – EHAW

In 1985 I moved to Los Angeles to study at the Estelle Harman Actors’ Workshop on La Brea Ave. In addition to their bi-annual showcases, I was cast in a couple of their Equity waiver productions:

• Magic Time (Larry Mandell)
Written by James Sherman, directed by Eden Bernardy (Harman).
magic time dc douglas Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!Aside from working with Estelle’s gifted daughter, Eden Bernardy, I was acting alongside good friends. And I learned a little fencing. Oh, and to use thought process in lieu of brooding (thanks, Eden).

• Emily (Stein, Waiter)
Written by Stephen Metcalfe, directed by Eden Bernardy (Harman).
Though I enjoyed being part of a comedic threesome as Stein, my favorite part was ad-libbing a new insult every night as the gay waiter.

Late 1980′s – Equity Waiver

• Murder by Night (Christina Cross)
Written and directed by Earl Boen.
murder by night dc douglas Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure if I have this title right. And as far as chronology, this would actually be the first “play” I did in LA. Though it was actually murder mystery dinner theatre where the characters ate and improvised with the audience in between scripted acts. $25 a show plus a nice meal (Cock and Bull restaurant on Sunset Blvd circa 1986, anyone?) I played the murderer disguised as a femme fatale. And I sang. There’s nothing like a Baritone in drag…

I distinctly remember sitting on a male audience member’s lap and “flirting” with him while thinking how it was only two years ago I was getting bullied in school and called “faggot.” Oh, if they could see me now…

What makes this one special for me is that it was directed by my first unofficial mentor, Earl Boen (Terminator films, voice over talent). He had a career I admired.  One night after rehearsal he asked me to stay and have a drink on their back deck.  That’s when he said that he and his wife had been talking about me and that they thought I had a real shot at a career in Los Angeles. I’m forever thankful to him for that.

Oh, and I got to meet Rip Taylor at the restaurant while in drag.  Funny and surreal!

• Oh, The Smell Of It! (Various) Oilio Theatre, Silverlake
Written by Section Eight, directed by D.C. Douglas.
oh the smell of it dc douglas Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!

This was my first independently produced show. An outgrowth of Section Eight – an improv troupe that was funnier when we wrote our jokes. A bizarre sketch comedy show where every scene was brought to you by “Beatrice” – our version of Big Brother. A joke you probably won’t get now, but every commercial back then seemed to be brought to you by Beatrice!  (Our title was a rip on a silly but popular perfume commercial then – Obsession.)

It was during the run of this show that I tried performing on cocaine one night. I realized it didn’t make our writing any funnier. Just made me an asshole at the cast party. Never tried it again.

Early 1990′s – Theatre of NOTE

Through actor and musician, Phil Ward, I discovered the New One Act Theatre Ensemble in 1989.  I was brought in as an understudy for Chad Einbinder (who later married SNL star Laraine Newmann who later starred in a film short with me in San Francisco. Bam.)

It was a great way to extend my acting workshop days with a new group of people. Eventually, though, I realized I was neglecting my on-camera career and had to move on… Aaaand breaking up with my “first love” girlfriend and seeing her dating other theatre company members was additional inspiration to leave, too! icon wink Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!

• Horse of a Different Color (Son)
Written by Christi Taylor-Jones, directed by Gregory Cooke.
I’ll always appreciate bonding with the director, Gregory Cooke, over a drink at Jumbo’s Clown Room (A disgusting strip joint back then that we mistook for a dive bar.) There we were, talking art and career while a heroine addicted dancer lazily flopped her breasts about… Beautiful memory.

• Subject To Rewrites (Forgot)
Written by Doug Birch, directed by Ed de Leal.
First and only time in my life that a director sent a note to me backstage threatening to throw an eraser at me during my performance if I delivered a line a funnier way than he directed.  Since I just love tweaking nipples, I delivered the line my way.  He threw the eraser.  Ah, theatre!

• Pay No Attention To… (Zsa Zsa)
Written & directed by Stewart Skelton.
pay no attention to dc douglas Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!

Nothing like playing a silly, gender-ambiguous nut in a farce that features Jesus and a 6 foot penis!  Thank you, Stewart Skelton!

• And Then There’s India When A Poem Doesn’t Travel Fast Enough
Written by Jason Oliver & D.C. Douglas. Directed by D.C. Douglas.
This was a special one-act where my friend, Jason Oliver, and I merged our poetry together in a way that created a journey of the soul.  With outstanding musical soundscaping by Mark Wilson (wherever you are).

• Lives of The Neo-Modern Fang People (The British Director)
Written by Grubb Graebner, directed by various.
Lives of the Neo Modern fang People DC Douglas Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!

A raunchy late-night soap opera farce that ran for two and a half years.  Written by the talented Grubb Graebner.

• Neo Gothic (Various)
Written & directed by Various.
the october game dc douglas Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!

• Critical Crossroads
Written & directed by D.C. Douglas.
critical crossroads1 Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!A futuristic comedy where two ex-lover meta-critics come on stage to psychically review the audience.

• Time Sharing (Steve)
Book/Lyrics Written & directed by D.C. Douglas.
Time Sharing DC Douglas Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!My first stab at a musical.  Sadly, musical theatre never quite recovered from said stab.  Music, again, by Mark Wilson.

Early 1990′s – Equity Waiver

My sense of chronology is hampered by my lack of chronological sense, so I’m grouping the shows I remember in chapters.

So, during my NOTE days and afterwards, I also acted in other independent productions.  The constant struggle to get friends and strangers to come see these shows began to get tiresome, as did the occasional realization that I was committed to a bad play for 6 weeks.  Broadway this wasn’t.

• Kathe Kollwitz: A Dangerous Act (Peter Kollwitz) Theatre Imago.
Written by Dena Saxer, directed by Mimi Mekler.
kathe kollwitz dc douglas Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!

My fleeting memories of this involved the producer insisting the entire cast do 20 minutes of Tai Chi before rehearsals.  It was nice… Not sure it helped the play, unfortunately.

• Best of Times (Ed?) Theatre of NOTE – outside production.
Written by Chris Berube, directed by Ed de Leal.
best of times dc douglas Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!

I primarily remember Barney’s farts backstage and getting a nice review in Drama-Logue from Polly Warfield, who seemed to give everyone really nice reviews.

• Artistry of Hell Avenue Theatre.
Written & directed by D.C. Douglas.

This is my baby!  I spent two years writing a semi-fictionalized account of my sister’s bizarre experiences as a stripper in San Francisco. Became a love it or hate it theatre experience for many and a cult favorite with 12 people.

• Casbah Rejects (Various) Avenue Theatre.
Written by Various, directed by D.C. Douglas, Stacey Havener, Sarah Lilly, & Jack Hamblin.
casbah rejects Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!

I realized that doing all these plays was not garnering me much attention with film & television casting directors… And, after all, that’s why I was in LA.  So I produced this showcase for film & television casting directors.  Not sure if they knew that since none of them came.

• Go Fish (Alan) Gardner Stages.
Written & directed by Donald Jarman.
Go Fish DC Douglas Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!

In the back of many actors minds (including mine) you hope the play you’re doing eventually gets made into a film and that they take the cast with them.  This was one of those plays where half of the scenario came true.  (Damn you, George LePorte!!!  j/k)

• Some Things You Need To Know Before the End of the World (A Final Evening with the Illuminati) (Brother Lawrence, Produced by) Hollywood Court Theatre.
Written by Larry Larson & Levy Lee.  Directed by Jeffrey Alan Arbaugh.
What do you do when you inherit $20,000?  If you’re an impulsive actor, like me, you put it all into a production and make it a fundraiser for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation!

I still love this two man play. And I had the honor of working with Kevin Carr (who was one of the founders of Theatre of NOTE back in the early 1980s.)

We struggled to get half full houses, but then becoming Pick of the Week in the LA Weekly helped the second half of our run (not sure this particular clip shows the greatness of the production, but it’s all I could find).

Though I loved acting in that play, the character, the dialogue, the message, I was still depressed by the notion that no one will ever see the work we did after that 6 weeks… And my $20,000 was gone.  So, when I got another inheritance years later… That’s right, I made Duck, Duck, GOOSE!

• Late Night Attics (Various) The Attic Theatre.
Written by cast, directed by Chris Berube.
For those of you LA theatre veterans, this was Chris Berube’s first LA project… There ya have it.
• The Beethovens (Karl Beethoven) Gene Dynarski Theatre.
Written by Frederick Kurth, M.D., co-directed by Simon Levy & another guy I can’t remember!
the beethovens dc douglas1 Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!

Played Beethoven’s suicidal nephew.  I’ll always remember this play for the Russian Doll emotional prep I would do (too much reality mirroring my character in the play who was mirroring Werther in “Sorrow of Young Werther”), working with newly transplanted Simon Levy (a super nice guy who is now Producing Director/Dramaturg of The Fountain Theatre) and being robbed at knife point closing night!

• Big Al (Ricky) Avenue Theatre.
Written by Brian Goluboff & directed by Jeffrey Alan Arbaugh.

Big Al DC Douglas Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!

• Neon Tetra (8 characters) Angels Theatre.
Written by Sebastian Stuart & directed by Alexa Hunter.
I only vaguely remember doing this show. Probably because I had eight costume changes for eight characters and no time to make memories with backstage antics… Plus the backstage was just a closet.

I do remember working with funny lady Nancy Reed, the kind Kate Asner (Ed Asner’s daughter) and, of course, the radiant Vicky Lea Graham.

Late 1990′s – 99 Seat Theatre

• Prelude To A Kiss (Taylor) ACME Theatre.
Written by Craig Lucas, directed by L.J. Stevens.
This is where I learned I was a small actor (as the saying goes).  My role as Taylor was very small, but enjoyable.  However, spending 90% of my time backstage for $5 performances (the 99 seat rate) made me want to suck on a grenade.

• Unravelling: Myth (The Self) Hollywood Moguls Theatre.
Written by Albert A. Dayan, directed by Jessica Kubzansky.
This was the last “proper” play I acted in to date.  At this point in my career I had decided to put my efforts into promoting myself or producing projects on film.

I don’t remember the play very well, but I DO remember the people, and they were great.  The sweet Jon Beauregard and I played two halves of the same person’s psyche, physically manifested.  Our psychiatrist was the funny and talented Bonita Friedericy.  The play was directed by Jessica Kubzansky, who went on to much success in the theatre scene.

The 21st Century

Not sure if these really count as they were cabaret, but just so I don’t look like such a millennial slacker, here they are:

• Lance Baxter & The Burned Bridges
. Music by various, Book & directed by D.C. Douglas.

This was me playing Lance Baxter ruining other people’s songs at the Lava Lounge in Hollywood.

• Lance Baxter – Half Way Through My Life If I’m Lucky.
Book, lyrics & directed by D.C. Douglas.  Original music by Lilly Popova & Abraham Peraza.

And this was me as Lance Baxter ruining my own songs at the M Bar in Hollywood.  You can learn more and see the whole show here.

La Fin

Whew!  That’s all that I can remember so far!  Thank you, Robin Carlisle.  Had you not tweeted me, I may have forgotten even more!

Truth be told, if I were offered a nice role in a good play tomorrow and knew that it could work around my VO gigs and film/tv auditions, I’d do it in a heartbeat!  Even for free.  There is nothing more exhilarating than being on stage in front of an audience without the safety net of retakes.  Nothing more electric than the psychic handshake between audience and cast. Nothing more freeing than getting drunk at cast parties and annoying the civilians in the restaurant…

That being said, I’ll now sit and wait by my phone. icon wink Dude!  Wheres My Theatre Credits?!

  • Craig Lachman

    Was "Some Things You Need to Know…" the one that ended with your being able to fold a map correctly? If not, you need to add that one.

    Weren't you in _La Ronde_? I know Ari was in it, but I remember you there too. Similar question about _Andersonville Trial_ at the Avenue. I could have sworn you were in that.

    Also, I remember you in a Jeff Arbaugh play (the one where he laments about losing single socks in the dryer).

    Also, you forgot your heart-wrenching Ophelia to my quite handsome Laertes in _The Denmarkian Prince Brings in da Noise but Leaves Out da Funk_ at the Mark Taper Forum.

    Great to see Jack and Stacy in those shots!

    • http://www.dcdouglas.com/ D.C. Douglas

      Yes! I forgot about the map!

      No, Stacey was in La Ronde, but not I.

      No, Andersonville Trial I thought was a year before I got there – 1984… Maybe after I left? 1991?

      I was in a staged reading of his play, but never the actual run, which was over at the Tamarind Theatre.

      The last one you mentioned will stay with me until I die, but it’s just a memory for us… No one else…

  • D.C. Douglas

    Switching over to Disqus. Please stand by…

About D.C. Douglas

D.C. Douglas is a voice actor and film / television / theatre character actor based in Los Angeles, California. He also dabbles in gadflyism during slow weeks. Leery member of Google +.
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