Today we’ll hear from Gary Bell, Artistic Director of Stray Dog Theatre!
Artistic Director Gary F. Bell has acted, directed, and taught for theatre, film, and television in New York City, Europe, and most recently Saint Louis. After attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Bell joined the American Ensemble Studio Theatre where he trained extensively with its Founder and Artistic Director, Stanley Harrison. While in New York, Bell had the opportunity to work with many distinguished directors and artists, including Tazewell Thompson, Robert Patrick, Willem de Kooning, and Aaron Copland.
A member of Actors’ Equity Association and American Guild of Variety Artists, Bell is also an accomplished composer/lyricist and playwright.
After moving to Saint Louis in 2000 for a self-imposed playwriting sabbatical, Bell decided to establish a new professional theatre company based in part on the philosophy of his mentor, Stanley Harrison.
Q: What was your first experience in theatre?
A: When I was 14 I auditioned for a show called “Off Broadway – Way – Way – Way Off!”
a theatre musical review. I played a ton of theatre chorus roles.
Q: What is the best piece of career advice anyone has ever given you?
A: Remember that even though you desire to be an artist – They don’t call it Show Business for nothing. Never ever take the fact that theatre is half “show” (read – Art), half business for granted. It’s the business side where most artists get screwed up.
Q: Tell us about a backstage or onstage mishap you lived through.
A: When I was younger I played Reverend Parris in the Crucible. No one knew any of their lines – so I had no cue lines coming to me. Thinking fast – I kept pretending to hear some one knocking at the door. This way I could exit stage and grab everyone’s
lines and my cue lines from the off-stage script. It was a very long night!
Q: What is your dream role/show?
A: I have already produced my dream show – Angels In America & Perestroika.
Q: What is your current guilty TV Pleasure?
A: I love the classics on Me-TV.
Thank you Gary -can’t wait to see the rest of your season!!
Grace Austin is an STL area Director and Educator.
See her work at gracemaustin.com.