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Before you knew me...

Trey and I moved to Chicago in 1995. We began a theatre company in 1996 and named it Ulysses Theatre Company. Ulysses lived for 6 years before company disagreements tore us apart.

As a company we were a bunch of actors trying to figure out what we were doing - but we had standards! At first, we produced seemingly random works (basically, plays that we liked) - many of which were Irish - many of which were gay. Eventually we began to pick shows that explored socially conscious issues, and would share our proceeds with not-for-profit groups who’s efforts complimented the issues dealt with in the shows. We had lots of critical success (though we always struggled for money) and did some amazing shows including: The Baltimore Waltz (Paula Vogel), The Shadow of Gunman (Sean O’Casey), The Hothouse (Harold Pinter), The Normal Heart (Larry Kramer), Corpus Christi (Terrence McNally), and Ourselves Alone (Anne Devlin).

In 1999 we were doing a show called The Secret Fall of Constance Wilde by Thomas Kilroy. It was a rich script, telling the story of Oscar Wilde’s life through his wife’s perspective. The show was attended by Zeljko Djukich, a director who had recently come to Chicago from a successful career in D.C., and who (upon seeing the show) was interested in working with us. After much thought and research, we agreed to tackle two short plays from a collection of shorts by George F. Walker; Adult Entertainment and Criminal Genius.

The show met with mixed reviews. Folks loved Adult Entertainment, but not Criminal Genius, and together they made for a long night of theatre. Success or no, that show opened doors for us as we developed a relationship with Zeljko (Z) who later invited us to join TUTA Theatre Chicago.

Z is one of the best directors I’ve ever worked with. In this first show with him (Adult Entertainment), I was not able to open to his work as much as I would later in life (and was really struggling with body image issues). Trey however, was amazing.

Trey played Donny, an alcoholic, corrupt cop who was obsessed with hookers. I played his ex-wife. Capturing a moment of unsettling "privacy", Z staged a scene which was not actually in the script, and which involved Donny (Trey) getting drunk in a hotel room by himself. Trey wore dirty, torn underwear, cowboy boots and a gun and holster (and that’s it). He gained weight for the role and shaved his hair line several inches back. He was shameless, he was gritty, he was shocking - and like a car wreck, it was hard not to watch him. Truly, it was like seeing into a hotel room - into a seedy private moment that one should not be seeing.

Today, Z sent me a link of footage from that show:


I don’t know how this is on the internet, but wow was it a trip down memory lane. While the camera is too far back from the stage to truly capture the meat and art of what Trey is doing - I still had to post this as a piece of joy and pride from our shared past. It may be boring as hell for you all, (being out of context and of bad quality), but I SO wanted to share.

And yes, that is me who enters at the end. The hair is the character’s fault - not a personal choice.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Sep. 24th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC)
Too funny.
Okay, Trey dancing around a stage in cowboy boots, a gunbelt, and BVDs is hi-larious!!!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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