Don Stephenson

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For the Canadian football player, see Don Stephenson (Canadian football).
Don Stephenson
Born Donald Ragan Stephenson IV
(1964-09-10) September 10, 1964 (age 52)
Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States
Occupation Actor, Director
Spouse(s) Emily Loesser (1991-present) 4 children

Donald Ragan Stephenson IV (born September 10, 1964), known as Don Stephenson, is an American actor and stage director. He has numerous credits on both television and in the theatre.

Biography[edit]

Early and personal life[edit]

Don Stephenson was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on September 10, 1964,[1] to medical technologist Diane Stephenson and chemical engineer Don R. Stephenson, Jr.[2] Stephenson graduated from Hixson High School in Chattanooga and the University of Tennessee.[3]

He is married to Emily Loesser, daughter of composer Frank Loesser, with whom he has four children.[4] They met while appearing together in The Secret Garden,[5] wed in 1991,[2] and have appeared in a number of productions together.[6]

Performance[edit]

On Broadway, Stephenson originated the roles of Charles Clarke in Titanic (1997), Mr. Peavy in Parade (1998),[7] Bingo Little in By Jeeves (2001)[8] and Renfield in Dracula (2004).[9] He also starred as Leo Bloom in the Broadway production and first national tour of The Producers in 2003.[10][11] Other Broadway credits include Private Lives (2002) and Rock of Ages (2009).[7][12] He was last seen on Broadway in A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (2013) in the role of "The D'Ysquith Family".[13][14]

Off-Broadway, Stephenson originated the role of Fidele in Death Takes a Holiday in 2011,[15] and played Vissi D'Amore Boy/Thurio in Two Gentlemen of Verona at the Delacorte Theater in 2005,[16] Sid Davis in Take Me Along at Irish Rep in 2008,[17] Anatoly in Chess, and Zach in The Tavern at Equity Library Theatre in 2007.[18]

Other roles include Tom Stoppard's Travesties at the Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, Connecticut in 2005,[19] and the 2014 Encores! staged concert of The Band Wagon as "Hal".[20]

Stephenson appeared as himself during his run on The Producers on Curb Your Enthusiasm episode Mel's Offer.[21] Other television roles include David Jordan on the soap Another World, and guest roles in The Good Wife, 30 Rock, Ugly Betty, the Law & Order franchise, and Glee.[21]

Directing[edit]

In 2010, Stephenson directed a production of Titanic at The Muny (St. Louis, Missouri).[22] Two years later he developed and directed a scaled-down chamber version,[23] which used 20 actors playing all of the roles, an abstract set design, projections, and new orchestrations.[24] Stephenson restored previously cut material from the original Broadway production and reassigned and reordered the existing material. This new intimate version opened in July 2012 at The Hangar Theatre in Ithica, New York,[25] and was nominated for eleven BroadwayWorld Awards including Best Director. The production was subsequently remounted at Westchester Broadway Theatre in January 2014. He also directed the staged concert of Titanic at the Lincoln Center in 2014.[26][27][28]

He has also directed productions of The Other Place at the Alley Theatre, Houston in 2015,[29] The 39 Steps at the Flat Rock Playhouse, North Carolina in 2010[30] Noises Off at the Pittsburgh Public Theater in 2014,[31] Lend Me a Tenor (BroadwayWorld Nomination for Best Director) at the Papermill Playhouse, New Jersey in 2013,[32] Deathtrap in 2013 at the Flat Rock Playhouse, North Carolina, [33] Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Oleanna, The Cottage at Theatre Aspen, Colorado in 2014,[34] Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at the Papermill Playhouse in 2015,[35] Buyer & Cellar at TheaterWorks, Hartford, Connecticut in 2016,[36] I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers in 2015 at Theater Works, Hartford, Connecticut[37] and The Great Unknown in 2010 at the Theater at St. Clement's, as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival.[38] He directed a reading of a new play, What Women Do , by William Youmans in 2015 in New York City.[39]

In 2015 he directed a new production of Guys and Dolls for Goodspeed Musicals.[40]

Stephenson developed and directed a re-conceived version of the Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley musical The Roar of the Greasepaint the Smell of the Crowd for Goodspeed Musicals. This new version of the show reduced the cast size to four actors and placed it in a post apocalyptic setting. The show was praised and Stephenson was nominated for the BroadwayWorld Award for Best Director. Also in the 2016-2017 season he directed The Producers and A Comedy of Tenors at Paper Mill Playhouse. The second show reunited the cast from his earlier production of Lend Me A Tenor at Paper Mill.

Stephenson will direct the Off-Broadway production of the new musical Attack of the Elvis Impersonators in the summer of 2017.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Benjamin, Ruth; Rosenblatt, Arthur (2006). Who Sang what on Broadway, 1866-1996: The singers (L-Z). McFarland & Company, Publishers. p. 715. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Emily Loesser, Actress, Marries" The New York Times, May 5, 1991
  3. ^ Rizzo, Frank. "Goodspeed Stays True To Beloved 'Guys And Dolls'" Hartford Courant, April 16, 2015
  4. ^ Peter Filichia. "Actor plucks a plum '1776' role", The Star-Ledger, April 16, 2009.
  5. ^ King, Susan. "Emily Loesser Carries On Family Tradition in 'Yiddle With Fiddle'" Los Angeles Times, January 19, 1991
  6. ^ Haun, Harry. "Most Happy Emily Loesser Pipes Aboard 'Titanic" Playbill, September 1, 1998
  7. ^ a b "Don Stephenson Broadway" Playbill (vault), accessed March 27, 2016
  8. ^ Isherwod, Charles. "Review: ‘By Jeeves’" Variety, October 28, 2001
  9. ^ "A bloodless 'Dracula' drains life out of the old vampire" chronicle.augusta.com (Associated Press), August 20, 2004
  10. ^ Elysa Gardner. "'The Producers' takes to the road", USA Today, September 17, 2002.
  11. ^ Kenneth Jones. "Don Stephenson Joins Bway's The Producers May 20", Playbill, May 20, 2003
  12. ^ "Stephenson Broadway" ibdb.com, accessed March 27, 2016
  13. ^ Cohen, Stefanie. "A Sickening Season on Broadway" Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2014
  14. ^ Gordon, David. "Lisa O'Hare, Eddie Korbich, and Don Stephenson Join Jefferson Mays in Broadway's 'A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder'" theatermania.com, September 3, 2013
  15. ^ Isherwood, Charles. "Set Aside That Scythe, and Let’s Put on a Show", The New York Times, July 21, 2011
  16. ^ Two Gentlemen of Verona lortel.org, accessed March 27, 2016
  17. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Irish Rep's 'Take Me Along' Revival Extended to May 4" Playbill, March 17, 2008
  18. ^ Goodman, Walter. "Theater: 'The Tavern'" The New York Times, October 5, 1987
  19. ^ Hernandez, Ernio. "Hewitt, Stephenson, Keating, More Join Sam Waterston for Long Wharf's 'Travesties'" Playbill, April 14, 2005
  20. ^ Rooney, David. "'The Band Wagon': Theater Review" Hollywood Reporter, November 9, 2014
  21. ^ a b "Stephenson filmography" The New York Times, accessed March 28, 2016
  22. ^ Brown, Dennis. "Don Stephenson, an original Broadway cast member, steers 'Titanic' to the Muny" River Front Times, June 30, 2010
  23. ^ Chris Jones, "Review: 'Titanic' by Griffin Theatre", Chicago Tribune, October 27, 2014.
  24. ^ "Ensemble Version of 'Titanic' Now Available" tamswitmark.com, accessed March 28, 2016
  25. ^ Hoffman, Phillip. "Philip Hoffman's Hangar Theatre 'Titanic' Journal" Playbill, July 24, 2012
  26. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Original Broadway Cast Member Don Stephenson Will Stage Avery Fisher Hall Concert of 'Titanic'; Creative Team Announced" Playbill, October 25, 2013
  27. ^ Michael Riedel, "Sinking money into raising the ‘Titanic’", New York Post, February 21, 2014.
  28. ^ Dennis Brown. "Don Stephenson, an original Broadway cast member, steers Titanic to the Muny", The Riverfront Times, June 30, 2010.
  29. ^ Downing, Margaret. "'The Other Place': A Mystery Inside Someone's Head" Houston Press, October 14, 2015
  30. ^ Ward, Denise. "Hitchcock hilarity: Flat Rock Playhouse's ‘The 39 Steps'" blueridgenow.com, August 27, 2010
  31. ^ Carter, Alice. "Pittsburgh Public Theater is taking on classic backstage farce 'Noises Off'" triblive.com, May 28, 2014
  32. ^ "'Lend Me a Tenor' Press Release" papermill.org, February 12, 2013
  33. ^ Winkler, Katie. "Review: Playhouse stages comedy to love ... or kill for? blueridgenow.com, August 24, 2013
  34. ^ Conniff, Michae;. "‘Cottage’ The Place for Summer Theatre In Aspen" Huffington Post, August 7, 2014
  35. ^ Sommers, Michael. "A Review of ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike' in Millburn" The New York Times, February 6, 2015
  36. ^ Arnott, Christopher. "TheaterWorks Probes Celebrity Culture With 'Buyer & Cellar'" Hartford Courant, January 7, 2016
  37. ^ Gold, Sylviane. "Review: ‘I’ll Eat You Last’ in Hartford Portrays Sue Mengers" The New York Times, July 31, 2015
  38. ^ The Great Unknown jimwann.com, September 7, 2010
  39. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Free Reading of 'What Women Do' Presented in NYC Today; Don Stephenson Directs" Playbill, July 7, 2015
  40. ^ Kristina Dorsey, "Director Don Stephenson offers unique perspective to Goodspeed’s ‘Guys and Dolls’", The Day, April 21, 2015.

External links[edit]