Meronymy: Book In Progress
For 2 years I have talked with over 40 people who are apart of the Chicago Theater Community. I have met with those who have come and gone, and those who have stayed. Those that create, live, experience and help shape the community into what it is.
My hope is to bring forth a series of perspectives that can offer a first hand description of what this community is.
Here is a list of the individuals I have interviewed so far, and a couple examples of what I hope to do with the content.
Albert William, Behzad Dabu, Bonnie Metzgar, Chay Yew, Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Christine Pascual,
Chuck smith, Danny Goldring, Dave Pasquesi, David Woolley, Elizabeth Laidlaw, Erica Daniels,
Fran Guinan, Hallie Gordon, Heather Gilbert, Joanie Shultz, John Judd, Jon Berry, Juan Villa, Kate Buddeke, Kimberly Senior, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Leah Karpel, Marty Lions, Mary Ann Thebus, Michael and Mona Heath, Michael Halberstam,
Michael Patrick Thornton, Mike Nussbaum, Mike Shannon, Rich Cotovsky, Rob Riley, Sandra Marquez, Sean Fortunato,
Sean Graney, Shade Murray, Shannon Matesky, Sheldon Patinkin, Stephen Louis Grush, Steve Scott, Tom Mula
Please consider donating to my fundraiser at https://www.gofundme.com/Meronymy
Thank you for your support!
“It’s a special place, Chicago.
Why do you say that?
I mean…it is.
Yeah…You can make a career here. We’d travel, Diane and I would go back and forth to LA. We’d roll the dice out there. You know, 3 months there, 3 months here, maintaining this as the home. But now, the people that were doing our roles before are not doing anything. They’re just going out there and spending money. And you got the people who had their own series, doing day player stuff….Guest stars. So it doesn’t really pay to go out to LA. You got several series shooting here, right now…. I got Boss here. I’m real happy with Boss. It’s a nice role.
I did leave the theatre for 13 years. I did King of Coons for Congo Square. That was the first time I’d been on stage for 13 years and didn’t realize it. I had been chasing the mortgage in LA, and doing OK. I left here in, when did I leave here? 1980, or 79. Something like that. I was on a soap opera for a while.
When you came back, how was it different?
When I came back, I didn’t realize, how much I missed it. And I was so emotional. I did an audition just to do it, because I had seen a production, and I thought Jesus, I want to do that role. I’m too old for it, I can’t do it now, but I wanna audition. So I did….I auditioned…and the Director knew me…and the stage manager knew me…at The American theatre company. They said, “come on up”, and I said I can’t cross that line. They were sitting on the stage. I said I can’t go up there until I’m ready to do this piece. It’s Holy Ground, and I could not go up there. When I was ready, I gave a really good audition, and when it was over I crumbled. Just crumbled, because I wasn’t allowing myself to do that. To be up there, where I belong. That’s all.
So, ever since then.…I honor where I am”.
*Danny Goldring- Excerpt from an interview with Ryan Bourque on 9/9/13-Location: Bird Sanctuary/Montrose Beach, Chicago*
“It’s really in the hands of these younger groups. People have seen what I do, you know…What we’ve done here. We’ve continued to reach new heights. We’ve continued to spike, you know? like any graph, we have our spikes. When things are hot we know things will cool off.
We know things can’t be hot all the time.
It’s really on to the new groups to bring in the fresh energy and the new ideas, and be innovative. It’s ripe for taking over. If a group can come in and show some people something new, and fresh and exciting, they can take over this town, you know? I always say that. It’s ripe for taking over, this town”.
*Rich Cotovsky- Excerpt from interview with Ryan Bourque 8/19/13 – Location : Angel Island*
“When we did Balm in Gilead here in Chicago it was sort of like you were watching the play, happen. When we moved it to New York, we did some of this in Chicago too, but the pre-show….the doors would open, and this street life… Lower east side. Heroin Epidemic. This “divey” Diner. And it’s the street life. You know, whores, junkies, hustlers, all of them running around. Four of five conversations, running all at the same time. Back and forth.
And so in Chicago, you would watch this…we did it at the Hull House. But when we moved it to New York, the guys that played the hustlers in the show, the street people, they went down to the toy district in New York, and they would buy all these toys, and umbrellas, and all the stuff that you see sold on the street in New York. They would actually buy it, and they would sell it to the people in the audience. They’d go “Hey man, come on, come on, COME ON. It’s only a buck, Come on”! They would intimidate people into buying it, and about every two to three months they would throw this huge party with all the money that they made, from selling this shit to the audience. Ha Ha
But then it’s, “I see you”. I mean, you engage the audience in a very, direct way.
In a way it’s much better. Because a lot of the stuff , certainly at Steppenwolf, you go to see a realistic play – Oh! And at North Light for instance. I did Stella and Lou. Takes place in a bar. It’s three characters. Most of it’s dialogue. Back and forth……And people don’t know that you can see them. I played a character that was like, constantly backing away from his relationship with this women. People would go “OH COME ON”! Like they’d be yelling at the TV or something like that. No awareness. I mean they were completely into the play, but absolutely no awareness that they were in a public space, or that there were actors that could actually hear them, and see them. In a way that’s kind of a compliment, and on the other hand, if someone answers their telephone and starts talking. My god”.
*Francis Guinan – Excerpt from an interview with Ryan Bourque on 8/14/13 – Location : Chicago River water front, Dearborn and Lower Wacker*
Email: RyanRBourque@gmail.com if you have questions or comments.