Sandstone benches, Mary Rippon Theatre
As I sit and watch rehearsals, or walk around Boulder, or work on my text, I'm coming to a realization that, as privileged as I feel to be completing the canon as a performer, there's a stronger force at work on me this summer. It's beyond doubt that being here has made me feel nostalgia, wave upon wave of it at times. But I'm starting to feel that something else is in play here, and it's in the nature of a summing-up. Looking back over my career, it's clear that the five summers in Boulder-- especially the first four seasons, 1966-69-- were a personal watershed, an experience that in effect determined the course of the rest of my life. The influence of directors like Jim Sandoe and Edgar Reynolds, and actors like Jim Edmondson, Ricky Weiser and Barry Kraft among many others, formed my ideas of what theatre was and could be and began to give me a sense of how my own life path could fit the parameters of that world. I received training, encouragement, and wisdom at the hands of people who had made a lifelong commitment to the theatre and to the viability of Shakespeare in performance, and I think that by the end of those four years-- even well before the end-- the future direction of my life had effectively been decided. To return to the source of that baptism, and to measure how far I've come against the standards that were set for me then, is emotionally a very powerful experience.
Boulder and Long's Peak, from the southeast