Who had the most influence on your career in the theatre and how did that influence manifest itself?
The "who" was Esther Mullin, a wonderful actress. She headed the children's theatre program at the Cleveland Play House. This was during a period of Cleveland Play House history that brought significant national attention to it for becoming a professional theatre with a resident company of actors.
I thought it would be fitting to begin with the protean and erstwhile peripatetic Ted Herstand, who started the ball rolling while the subway rolled uptown. - David Fuller, NTC Vice President
My first experience with Miss Mullin was at the age of nine or ten when I became a student in her Saturday classes, one class for the younger children, one class for the older. I started in the early class, for one dollar per year, which my parents told me they could afford. The fee was obviously not for profit, but rather to make it seem more important to the kids. As I later figured out, this was the perfect class for developing some of the child and juvenile actors used in the theatre company's major productions. Soon I learned that it also could provide training for a life in the theatre in every other aspect of theatre employment and, of course, for the development for future audience members.
Living Legacies: celebrating and preserving the wisdom and experience of our members
The genesis of the Living Legacies series began during a conversation I had on the Uptown No. 2 Train (7th Ave. Express) during the 2015 NTC Conference, when I shared the trip to Harlem with long-time member Ted Herstand. We talked about one thing and another, but got around to personal history and Ted told me some interesting tales of his time as a child actor at the Cleveland Playhouse in the 40's, as well as working in radio and early TV. With the passing this spring of my father, I got to thinking about lives lived and how often stories remain untold. Fortunately for my family my Dad wrote some of his stories down.
But what of our NTC family? Are we preserving the past for the future? Our members all have lived and are living wonderful, full lives, specifically in the theatre and in show business generally. Certainly, many have written books, but some books don't get written simply because the potential writer is too busy living! Living Legacies is an attempt to bridge that gap.
- David Fuller, NTC Vice President
CELEBRATING AND PRESERVING THE WISDOM OF OUR MEMBERS