Let the Little Boy Dance
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Ray Durand and Michael Shepley
March 24, 2013
What is your job on this show?
Actor (Ray), Director (Michael) and Co-Writers.
What is your show about?
At his 50th High School reunion, a Bayou Boy shares his journey in story and song through family business, show business -- and the business of self-acceptance and love.
When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
Ray was in grade school when it started -- he went on stage, danced as a squirrel, and the class recited a James Whitcomb Riley poem and he was the only one to get to the end by memory. When he bowed, they applauded and that was the beginning. For Michael, it was in 4th grade when he appeared on stage with a confidence he never had in life. He sang "Getting to Know You" to Santa Claus.
What are some of your previous theater credits? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
The high point for Ray was when he appeared as a dancer in a touring production of "Ilya Darling" with Cyd Charisse, Raul Julia, and Titos Vandis. And there was a stint on 42nd Street in a burlesque called "We'd Rather Switch." The best part Ray ever had was in a summer stock tour of "The Odd Couple" as Roy, the accountant. Michael was never really an actor, though he did appear in "Craig's Wife" at the old WPA on the Bowery. He produced two off-off-Broadways shows in the 1970s -- "Funeral March for A One-Man Band" by Ron Whyte, Mel Marvin, and Bob Satuloff at Westbeth Theatre Center, and "Deli's Fable" by Susan Dworkin at St. Clement's.
Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
Ray had been doing cabaret versions of different characters in his life, on and off for 20 years. After Michael heard Ray's colorful stories about his past, he realized there would be a way to put the material together to tell a complete story of a life in and out of the theatre. We hope the show is a validation of the artistic gifts that we sometimes think we're denying when they actually come in good stead throughout one's entire life.
Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
Ray: Surprising! Michael: Surprising!
How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
Ray: Diversity brings real people to the stage, and gives everyone a chance to perform. I wish that the theatre would keep that in mind sometimes. R & M: Every human being that wants to should have a chance to perform. And the theatre should reflect the richness and fullness of life.