Remember the Lyric
Spiro Veloudos of the Lyric Stage Company chats with Lynda Sturner about the theater's growth and development.
The Lyric Stage Company is a multi award- winning Boston theater located in the heart of the city next to Copley Square, performing in a modern, intimate 244-seat space on the second floor of the YWCA building on Clarendon Street.
Spiro Veloudos is beginning his third year as producing artistic director of the company, which was founded in 1974 by Polly Hogan and Ron Ritchell. Since Veloudos' appointment, he has won three Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Direction of the LSC's productions ofLost In Yonkers, Assassins, and Never The Sinner. In 1999, he was named Best Theater Artistic Director by Boston Magazine. The LSC's 1999 production of John Henry Redwood's The Old Settler received the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production. The company's current offering is A...My Name Will Always Be Alice.
A graduate of Emerson College, Veloudos has worked as a director, actor, and teacher in the Boston area for the past 25 years. In 1981, he became the artistic director of the Publick Theater in Allston, Massachusetts, a position he held until last summer. In 1991, the Boston City Council gave him a special citation for continued service to the Boston Community.
TheaterMania: Is there a difference between The Lyric Stage and other Boston Theaters?
Spiro Veloudos: We are all doing work that we think is important. But the Lyric Stage is one of the few medium-sized companies that has it's own space.
TM: How do you select your season?
SV: I'm planning the 2001-2002 season now. I look for new trends in theater in America. I read scripts, see new plays and, if there is a play I'm interested in, we start the rights acquisitions, which is always the fun part of my job. I'm a producing artistic director, which means that both the business and the artistic aspects of the theater are under my aegis. We're currently looking for a business manager. I'm also acting as the development director along with an active money raising board. We definitely need a development director, because we can't grow without unearned income.
TM: What do you mean by growth?
SV: Growth is moving this theater company, which right now has an annual budget of $50,000, to a budget of over one million dollars. I hope to do that within the next five years.
TM: What happens when you reach your financial goals? What's the artistic impact of becoming a million-dollar theater?
SV: We'll be able to develop more new plays, and the budgets of the shows will be larger. I made a commitment to do a new play within three years of my coming here and, on April 20, 2001 we are premiering a new musical, The Curse of the Bambino by David Kruh and Steven Bergman.
TM: How did you start in theater?
SV: In a grade school Thanksgiving play called Father Talks Turkey. I played Father. I started out as an actor, but I always wanted to direct, because when I direct I get to play all the parts!
TM: What makes you say, "I want to direct this play?"
SV: I like plays that deal with families, in the broadest sense of the word; not just genetic relationship families. In Side Man (which closed at the Lyric on October 14), you have the genetically related family but you also have the broader family: the family of musicians. A play needs to tell a really strong story, or else why put all of those people in a dark room to see it?
TM: What makes you say, "I want to produce this play?"
SV: Our artistic mission is to do plays that entertain, provoke, and challenge. In the theater, there are two classes of producers; those who are explorers and those who are merchants. Producers who explore are very important for the art form, but if you don't make that crossover into the marketplace, than what's the point in doing theater? Theater can't exist without an audience. It's a reciprocal-response experience.
TM: How do you find your actors?
SV: We work with Boston-area Equity actors. We hold open calls and we use the Stage Source auditions every year. We are part of the New England Area Theaters (NEAT) that are having auditions in January. This is a theater about Boston theatrical talent.
October 20 through November 18, 2000
A...My Name Will Always Be Alice
Conceived by Joan Micklin Silver and Julianne Boyd
Directed by Andrew Volkoff
A marvelous kaleidoscope of contemporary women. A combination of the two critically acclaimed musical reviews, A....My Name is Alice and A... My Name Is Still Alice.
December 1 through December 30, 2000
By Daniel Sullivan and the Seattle Repertory Theatre Resident Company
Directed by Ron Heneghan
The perfect holiday alternative to The Nutcracker. A hilarious fusion of two Classics, Dicken's A Christmas Carol and Gogol's The Inspector General.
December 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19
A Special Added Holiday Attraction:
Holidaze: A Christian, A Jew, and a Ho Ho Homo Too!
Musical Director Jonathan Goldberg
Back by popular demand for their third season
In this world where differences are often misunderstood, Kathy St George, Bobbie Steinbach, and Robert Saoud come together in a sometimes irreverent, beautifully poignant, and riotously funny celebration of the loving spirit of the season.
January 5 through February 3, 2001
The Complete History of America
By Adam Long, Reed Martin, and Austin Tichenor
Directed by Daniel Gidron
A high speed ride through American History.
February 9 through March 10, 2001
No Way to Treat a Lady
By Douglas J. Cohen
Directed by Spiro Veloudos
Musical Direction by Jonathan Goldberg
A murderous musical in the vein of Sweeney Todd.... Winner of the 1996 Richard Rodgers Award, this stylish musical blends humor, romance and murder.
March 16 through April 14, 2001
Over the River and Through the Woods
By Joe DiPietro
Directed by Paula Ramsdell
To grandmother's house we go... A visit with the grandparents of a 30-year old marketing executive in Hoboken , New Jersey.
April 20 through May 19, 2001
The Curse of the Bambino
By David Kruh and Steven Bergman
Directed by Spiro Veloudos
Musical Direction by Steven Bergman
A new musical. A lighthearted look at the years of futility that began in 1920 when Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. We are hoping our production will break the curse on the Boston Red Sox.
140 Clarendon Street
Boston MA 02116
617 437- 7172 - Tickets
617 536 - 2830 - Fax