Marshall Mason

Marshall Mason is back in town. After several years as drama professor at ASU (and theater critic at New Times!), Mason -- who's been nominated five times for Broadway's "Best Director" Tony Award -- returned to New York and his renowned career. This week, the reason for Mason's visit becomes our reason for celebration: Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, which Mason has directed for Actors Theatre. Here, he considers less significant matters.

I knew I wanted to be in show business when I realized I could stand upright in my mother's high heels.

The most memorable audition I've ever witnessed was Kelly McAndrew's audition for Sally in my 20th-anniversary restaging of Lanford Wilson's Talley's Folly for the Repertory Theater of St. Louis. In tears, I embraced the actress at the end of her reading, and we stood silently sobbing together. She got the part.

The one thing I won't ever ask an actor to do on stage is to be funny. The actor's job is to be truthful; if the author has written a funny script, it will be funny.

Something I have never admitted to anyone before is that an ATM once mistakenly gave me $500 and I kept it.

Currently I am reading both American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century by Kevin Phillips; and The Secrets of Judas: The Story of the Misunderstood Disciple and His Lost Gospel by James M. Robinson.

Working with a stuffed goat is a harrowing experience: She may be a cadaver, but she's a star.

The happiest day in my life was seeing the White Light during my first LSD experience.

If I could be anyone other than myself, it would be Pete Sampras or Alexander the Great.

It's not entirely true, but I sometimes tell people that my staging is entirely organic and based solely on the actors' impulses.

The fictional character I am most like is Winnie-the-Pooh.

The worst thing about working with famous people is that not all of them are talented.

I am utterly terrified of drowning.

The first time I got drunk I threw up the two martinis I'd consumed on my 21st birthday at a bar on Howard Street in Chicago.

Like my mother used to say, "If it isn't one damned thing, it's another!"

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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela