Meeting Roger Rees - Tyler Kent (MFA '15)
The break room at the Old Globe rehearsal halls is a busy place: Shakespearean tragedy (Othello) rehearsing on one side and a world premier musical (Dog and Pony) on another. Just another ‘day at the office’ in Balboa Park. A few weeks ago it also became the base for our latest forum with a visiting artist, this time with Tony and Olivier-award winning actor/director Roger Reese, in residence to direct D&P. Dashing between their sitzprobe and a meeting with the creative team, Roger took a moment to share with the MFAs stories from his remarkable career, from scenic painter to Royal Shakespeare Company intern to “Cheers” regular to Tony/Olivier-winner (for Nicholas Nickleby) to acclaimed director (Peter and the Starcatcher).
His compassion for the work of the actor was disarming and infectious. His stories took us backstage at the RSC, where a naughty Judi Dench invented on-stage games to keep performances fun during a long run. He narrated for us his transition from actor to director and talked about a lifetime of relationships with Shakespeare’s great roles, from non-speaking spear carrier to leading man.
Dog and Pony opened on June 5th and Roger is off to his next project, acting opposite Chita Rivera in Williamstown’s production of The Visit. What a treat to sit down with him amid the rush.