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2534 NW 52nd Avenue
Gainesville, Florida 32605

Chekhov used to say, I have my own theater, and people assumed he was talking about the Moscow Art Theatre, but then Chekhov would tap his forehead and say, . . . in here.

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The Chicago Way

I started out in theater at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, about sixty miles from Chicago. In 1972 I was in a production of They Shoot Horses, Don't They? directed by Nilo Manfredini, who went on to form the performance art ensemble Horses in Chicago on Halsted Street, next door to the St. Nicholas Theatre Company.

I moved to Chicago in 1973 and began working as an actor and assistant director with the Gill Community Arts Center, Old Town Players, Wisdom Bridge, Chicago Playwrights Workshop, Goodman Stage Two, and the Truck -- where I worked briefly with Megan McTavish (Emmy-winning writer for ABC's "One Life to Live," "General Hospital," and "All My Children"), Greg DeGraf, and Robert D. Mowry.

I met David Mamet, William H. Macy, Steven Schachter, and Patty Cox in 1974 when they were forming the St. Nick. I was writing about theater for the Pioneer Press and Southtown Economist then as well, and I wrote about the St. Nick's productions of The Poet and the Rent at Hull House, and A Midsummer Nights' Dream at the 1975 Oak Park Shakespeare Festival. Steven Schachter directed. David Mamet played Oberon (smoking a cigar), and Macy was Puck. Linda Kimbrough played Helena. The set was designed by Michael Merritt, who was our resident designer at the Gill and Old Town Players.

Sometimes we would hang with the St. Nick crowd at night on the Street as Lincoln Avenue was called. Bob Mowry built sets for St. Nick. He and I shared an apartment near Wrigley Field along with David Stettler, a builder and actor at St. Nick. David performed the curtain-raiser at the Opening of the St. Nick Theatre, a piece by Mamet called "Litko".

The Golden Age of Chicago Theater lasted well into the eighties. I was there from 1973 to 1978.

I moved to Key West in 1978. Bob Mowry and I started to collaborate on productions there, calling ourselves M&M Productions. We started The Everyday Theater in 1980.

I still hear from David Mamet once in a while. Bill Macy and I are friends after all these years. His pop, Bill Macy, Sr., lives here in Gainesville, and he is a great guy.