|Richard Dreyfuss and Rene Auberjonois in BAM Theater Co.'s Julius Caesar. Photo: Martha Swope|
And so we got David Jones, who was one of the directors with the Royal Shakespeare Company and who had come over a few years before that to do two productions with the RSC. It was Maxim Gorky’s Summer Folk and Love’s Labors Lost. Those were two terrific productions, the Gorky and the Shakespeare. We got to be friends, and during the course of that engagement and later, we began to talk about really trying to start a repertory company in New York.
JOHN ROCKWELL: He reestablished himself in New York, did he?
|David Jones, director (seated), in rehearsal for The Winter's Tale.|
Walter Kerr was then the theater critic for The New York Times. He came, and the son of a gun fell asleep during the goddamn production and gave it a very mediocre, bad review. Much of it, he didn’t even see because he was asleep. And he can’t contradict me now because he’s dead. [Both chuckle.] But in any case, it was devastating. It was the first production that we were doing of a major thing. We’d raised almost a million dollars to start this thing, and it was a terrific production. It was a terrific production. And it got killed by The New York Times.
|Boyd Gaines and Christine Estabrook in The Winter’s Tale. Photo: Ken Howard|
(If you're hungry to know more about the BAM Theater Company, theatre critic Elisabeth Vincentelli will moderate a discussion with BAM Theater Co. veterans Austin Pendleton, Graciela Daniele and Rosemary Harris, this Monday, July 17, at 7 p.m. in the BAM Rose Cinemas. They will be joined by director Frank Dunlop.)