After a decade of serving the Burlington community with an endlessly varied and ambitious array of theatrical productions, Artistic Director Mark Nash has decided it’s time for him to move on and try something new. Mark has hired me for a number of productions over the last decade, so when he called to invite me back up to Vermont to participate in a one-night-only farewell gala performance in June, Tim and I rearranged a vacation to make sure we can be there. I first worked with Mark when he asked me to participate in Vermont Young Playwrights Festival (his predecessor, Blake Robison, invited me for my first festival, then Mark hired me for 10 more, making a total of 11 consecutive and wonderful years with that great program). In 2002, right after 9/11, Mark hired me to play Vladimir in what turned out to be a fantastic (and sold out) production of Waiting for Godot. Three years later, he invited me back to play Charlie in The Foreigner, which he directed, and which remains one of VSC’s biggest hits. Over the next couple of years, he asked me to participate in two seasons of their holiday offering Winter Tales, which he also directed. Then in 2007 he hired me for I Am My Own Wife, directed by the wonderful Sara Lampert Hoover, and later that year asked me back to play Wayne in the production of Inspecting Carol that he was directing. Most recently, he brought me back to play the Fool in King Lear, VSC’s first full-scale Shakespeare production, and he did a fantastic job yet again directing that challenging show. So a good part of my career over the last decade has taken place in Burlington, Vermont, and I’ve grown an enormous amount as an actor in an environment that always felt welcoming and full of positive creative energy. Mark Nash is the man who made it all possible.
I’m sorry to hear that Mark is leaving VSC, but I’m sure wherever he lands, whether it’s in the theatre or another line of work altogether, he will do creative and wonderful things. I count myself a very lucky person, and an extremely lucky actor, that Mark Nash came into my life. And I’m deeply honored that VSC is bringing me up to Burlington to help pay tribute to him. Hail, and Farewell, old friend! I will have more to say about Mark’s work at VSC in another blog post after the June performance.