TeddyDave Hibler
MonaElaine Rinner-Singer
PearlWendy Ross
JoyceBonnie J. Stone
RozBrenda Robinson
DerrickTom R. Raftery
JessicaLisa Wolfson
NickJim Payton
DeidreChristine Doyle
EddieJim Clevenger

"Trivial Pursuits' director works with gusto"

North County Times/Friday, June 27, 1997
Revue by Bill Fark, Staff Writer

Director David Kelso works with an intensity and focus that contradict the title of the Poway Performing Arts Company show "Trivial Pursuits." With opening night less than a week away at the time of this interview, Kelso coached, cajoled and threatened his cast of 10 actors in daylong rehearsal sessions.

"This is the only way I can concentrate on minute details," he said in a rare break period. The play is shaping up beautifully. The actors behave like an ensemble that's been working together for an entire season.

"But the story line depends on personal touches that we haven't been touching on during regular run throughs."

Kelso's concerns differ greatly from those of the director in Frank Vickery's backstage play. The plot centers around the Managin Director of the amateur Trealaw & District Operatic Society, who has promised star parts to four different people, all with artistic temperaments far larger than their talents.

The characters are a typical melange representing every community theater that ever existed. Queen of the group is the too-old juvenile Teddy, Choreographer Mona is determined to make dancers the dominant figures. Others pushing their cases are a talented, alcoholic actress and jealous spouses - including one who holds the mortgage.

"I'm the only one in this show who's allowed to show any temperamnet," Kelso said. "having so much in the play is more than sufficient."

"Right!" said Kathy McCafferty, a PowPAC board member. "I've seen too many little theater groups split up because everyone over-reacted."

"Every year, we try to balance the season with a variety of play genres. We also look at the people who want to direct in terms of how they work to make sure they fit in. And (we) invite them to suggest plays. That's much easier than picking the shows then trying to marry the director to a script."

Kelso came well-prepared to sell "trivial pursuits," along with this directorial expertise. "I read voraciously, piles of scripts that I might want to direct. Once a month I invite a group of actors to read plays in my living room.

"Very few things grab me, but this one did. Iit's hysterically funny but requires very close ensemble acting. It's very much like 'blue window,' which I think is the best ensemble piece I've ever seen.

"I was on the play-reading committee for Scripps Ranch Community Theatre, but they didn't want to do it. then I heard about PowPAC, and when I saw their ad for directors I jumped in."

"Trivial Pursuits" is actually Kelso's second venture with the company. He staged "all in the timing" for PowPAC in March, touring the show around North County to raise money for the company.

"I came to auditions because of this man," Elaine Rinner-Singer, who had just arrived for the tutorial like rehearsal session with Kelso.

Rinner-Singer, a veteran performer with the now-inactive Mission Playhouse, gave up the theater for a long spell.

"The man in my life wasn't interested. now i'm back!"

"We have work to do," Kelso said, ending the discusssion. "Two more people will be here in less than an hour."

Jim Clevenger and Dave Hibler, regulars in Patio Playhouse shows, are also in Kelso's cast. Others involved are Jim Payton, Brenda Robinson, Wendy Ross, Bonnie Stone, Tom Raftery, Christine Doyle and Lisa Wolfson.

Jim Payton
Brenda Robinson
Dave Hibler
Bonnie J. Stone
Elaine Rinner-Singer
Wendy Ross
Tom R. Raftery
Christine Doyle
Jim Clevenger
Lisa Wolfson