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Finding Nero's six degrees of separation

posted by Sarah Moser on Mon, Jul 6, 2009
in Backstage buzz

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Connections, connections, connections. I loved hearing about who in the cast and crew of You, Nero had worked together before.  There's something kind of magical about how closely linked everyone seems to be.

YN six degrees

Danny Scheie (Nero) taught Susannah Schulman (Poppaea) how to act when she was studying at U.C. Santa Cruz. He cast her and directed her in plays like Hedda Gabler and Phaedre, because he knew she was really, really good. They have since performed together many times over at Cal Shakes and other theatres in the bay area.

Susannah Schulman, Mike McShane (Batheticus/Beppo/Burrus), and Richard Doyle (Zippo/Seneca/Patheticus) were all in a production of Cyrano at South Coast Repertory a few years ago. Susannah played Roxanne, Mike played Ragueneau, and Richard played Lingniere/Carbon de Castel-Jaloux. Susannah and Richard Doyle have performed together at that very theater many times, including various productions of A Christmas Carol.

Julie Haber, stage manager extraordinaire, has worked on a "million" shows with Richard Doyle, who has been an actor at South Coast Rep for nearly 40 years now. She stage managed a production of Six Degrees of Separation, which featured Susannah Schulman She worked with Kasey Mahaffy (Fabiolo) on Taking Steps at South Coast Rep and with Jeff McCarthy (Scribonius) on The Front Page at the Long Wharf Theatre. Lori Larson (Agrippina) was in a production ofBlithe Spirit at A.C.T. that Julie stage managed, and the two also worked together on Time of Your Life in Seattle.

Julie has also worked with Sharon Ott (director) several times, at Berkeley Rep and at Seattle Rep. Julie worked with Sound Designer Steve LeGrand (Sharon Ott's husband) a lot as well. She and Lighting Designer Peter Maradudin have done dozens of shows together, taking two to Singapore with South Coast Rep.

Maggie Mason (Ensemble) and I (Ensemble) played Rosalind and Celia together in As You Like It at Stanford, and Donnie Hill (Ensemble) and I were both in production of Restoration Comedy that our playwright, Amy Freed, directed for the Stanford Summer Theater. I took my first acting class from Amy Freed.

On the last Thursday of our run, there was a nice reunion when my aunt came to see the show.She and Jeff McCarthy trained and acted at A.C.T. together in numerous productions way back in the day, including a production of Buried Child. She and Lori Larson also had worked together in Seattle.

So many connections! And I know I'm missing a ton. Now that You, Nero has closed and everyone has scattered to the four corners, it's nice to know paths might cross again.

Above: Susannah Schulman, Danny Scheie
and Jeff McCarthy (behind the chaise) in You, Nero.
Photo by Kevin Berne


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