Theater has always been part of my life. For the first half, I was a spectator, watching my talented mother go off to perform as leading lady in a company that toured the bases of the British Armed Forces in Germany after World War II, and hearing my father—Port Commandant of the port of Hamburg at the time—sing on the BAF radio. She had trained at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, and my father ‘s voice earned him a spot at the Guildhall School of Music, although he never pursued a musical career. It was natural that my older sister, Jill, followed in my mother’s footsteps, getting accepted at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (or RADA) and going on to perform in repertory, on television and even in movies—although I have never been able to spot her in the chaotic chateau scene of “The Dirty Dozen”! So, it was no surprise to me when my younger daughter, Kate, fell in love with the stage and went to college to act.



When I was a teen and at boarding school, one of my favorite treats was being taken to a play every birthday by my godmother—yes, the same one who put me on the path to my early passion: Richard III. You see, my godmother had been my mum’s best friend at the Central School, so theater was also a big part of her life. I could not believe it when some of my schoolmates admitted they had never been to the theater—I’d go as far as to say I was shocked!



I left theater well alone with those two stars in the family, until in my late 30s, when landing in culturally starved Northern New York, I found myself trying out for parts in the local musicals and plays and loving every minute on stage. Apparently, I have some of my family acting genes too, and I’ve now turned to directing in the active Newburyport theater scene, as well as chairing the New Works Festival for Playwriting at the arts center. It gives me another focus besides writing, research and the 15th century!


 


Get more on Anne Easter Smith at SimonandSchuster.com
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Published on November 18, 2008 00:00 • 119 views

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