By John F. Kaiser III | Navarro County Gazette
If you did not make it to see Our Town at the Warehouse Living Arts Center, you missed out on John S. Davies powerful performance as the show’s narrator, the Stage Manager. It was Davies second time performing the role, second time directing the show, but first time doing both at the same time.
While still new to Corsicana, having retired and moved here in 2020 with his lovely wife Lou, Davies is no stranger to the stage and screen. Davies had a thirty year career as an actor, director and teacher. He’s performed in movies such as RoboCop and Magnolia; been in television shows Friday Night Lights, Walker, Texas Ranger among others, and acted in more than 70 professional shows in theaters all over Dallas/Ft Worth. Davies also directed for Shakespeare Dallas, Circle Theatre, Storm Theatre Off-Off Broadway, and for a number of independent and community theatres. Least not is his teaching credentials having taught acting at KD Studio, Actors Conservatory of the Southwest, Richland College, and principal instructor for The Actors Group, which he owned.
“I thought I left all that behind, but then John Kaiser called…” Davies says jokingly.
I asked Davies “Now that I’ve pulled you out of retirement (for the interim), is there a dream role you’ve always wanted to play, or a production you’ve always wanted to direct but never got the opportunity to?”
“There are plenty of roles I’d like to play but I’ve aged out of most of them. The one I’d really like to tackle would be King Lear but I fear there’s very little chance of that happening. The one role that got away was the Scottish King, although I’ve played many other roles in two productions of that show, including Banquo and Duncan. I would love to take a crack at directing Midsummer (hint, hint).” Davies answered.
I then asked Davies about how in the playbill for Our Town he professed his love of Shakespeare. He has directed Richard III for Shakespeare Dallas and has performed in The Tempest, Twelfth Night, and Macbeth to name a few. I was curious, of the bard’s plays, which is his favorite and why he thought Shakespeare’s narrative poems often get overlooked.
Davies responded “The narrative poems are overlooked, I think, because one, they’re not on the level of the dramatic poetry in terms of story-telling and character development. Secondly, that style of poetry (strict meter, rhyme) is very out of fashion. I don’t think there are many poets in the last 100 years or so who have explored that format. As for Shakespeare’s plays, I don’t have a favorite. I’ve enjoyed all my encounters with Shakespeare.”
[pictured left is John S. Davies in the role of Prospero in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Photo courtesy of John S. Davies]
Lastly I asked Davies: “Looking back on your 30 year career on stage and screen, would you do it all again, and what advice would you give to those who are actively working to make it or thinking about making the leap?”
“I would certainly do it all again BUT the landscape has changed so much that the career I had, as an anonymous actor who nevertheless managed to put together enough work to stay challenged and interested, is probably not possible.” Davies mused. He then went on: “The in-person audition is getting rarer and I always felt that was my strength. And nowadays one’s follower count, on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, is factored into casting decisions. So I don’t have advice for anyone who wants to make a career as an actor other than–take every opportunity to act. Produce your own stuff. Read.”
Speaking of reading, you can experience John S. Davies’ rendition of William Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis at 7:30pm on Saturday, October 15, 2022 in the Fator Studio at the Warehouse Living Arts Center. It is a one night only event, and seating is limited. Tickets are only $10.00, and are available by purchasing online at www.theWLAC.com, or by calling the WLAC Box Office at 903.872.5421. Box office is open Monday through Friday, 12:00pm to 5:00pm.
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The Hull Creative Arts Foundation and the Lampier Family.
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