Lindsay Ann Crouse, the daughter of playwright Russell Crouse and his theater activist wife Anna, was born in 1948. During summers when her father was writing with his partner Howard Lindsay and others, she and her brother Timothy, a critic and author, grew up in Annisquam a village in a cul de sac near Gloucester. My sister Pip was Lindsay's age, and I was a few years older than Tim. Through his effort, I repCROUSE:ed him as rock critic for the Herald Traveler when he left for Boston After Dark and then Rolling Stone.
After a divorce from playwright, David Mamet, as a single mother of two girls, Crouse moved to Los Angeles to pursue work in movies and television. She has been nominated for an Oscar and won an Emmy. Despite her extensive résumé, she decided that she needed to focus more on her craft and first love of performing in theater.
With her husband Rick Blue, with whom she shares an interest in practicing and teaching Buddhism, Crouse moved full time to a vintage home in Annisquam. For the past decade she has had an association with the small but ambitious Gloucester Stage. It started with a solo production of The Belle of Amherst. Opening the summer season, we saw her in Lettice and Lovage.
Given the grueling schedule of an intense two weeks of rehearsal and a short run, she was gracious to receive us on a rainy Tuesday after the Sunday opening. We settled into the living room with her cat, a character in Lettice and Lovage, and two dogs demanding constant attention. In casual at-home attire she tried to prop up a leg still recovering from knee surgery last year. At one point Rick appeared with an ice bag. Given the obvious pain, it was remarkable to recall her agile and balletic performance as an eccentric docent in a historic British home.
By e-mail she told me that the play is a huge success and that "They are knocking down the doors." The reviews have been uniformly positive, particularly by the Boston Globe.
Charles Giuliano: What brings you back to Annisquam? It seems that you have come full circle.
Lindsay Ann Crouse: All the arrows pointed to a life in New York, Los Angeles or something like that. But this pCROUSE:e is so extraordinary. There is such richness here. Never mind the landscape. The people. It's such a community. What I found working for years in New York and L.A. was that I wanted to concentrate on the work itself. Living in L.A., there wasn't a huge amount of stage work.
GIULIANO: There's more theatre now.
CROUSE: Yes, but it's a morning town. It's not a night town. You can count on your hand the number of restaurants that are open at night in L.A. It's a total TV and film town. They are on the set early. Then they have to deal with rush hour to get to the theater. It doesn't work, so it's hard to do theater.
GIULIANO: Did you do theatre in L.A.?
CROUSE: Yes. I did some theater there. But in general, I found there just wasn't enough work. I wanted to grow. At this point in my life with some skills under my belt, I want to be chewing on something.
GIULIANO: That was evident (in Lettice and Lovage). You were very theatrical in the grand manner. You conveyed a British sense of theater with the grandness of gestures. Also what struck me was your background in dance. There was unique movement. You didn't just walk from here to there. The movement helped to convey the story.
CROUSE: It's a part like that. It's a role I wouldn't be cast in for New York. Broadway now is often taken over by movie people. To become a theater star in this country doesn't exist anymore.
GIULIANO: You have done TV and film, but you appear to be rooted in theater.
CROUSE: At the time I could have been building a huge career, I was a single mom. I had two little girls. My children were young when I took them to L.A.
GIULIANO: About what age were you?
CROUSE: I can't remember. Probably 30s or 40s. I was working all the time in New York, but it wasn't lucrative enough for me to support them. So I went to L.A. to try to get television work, etc.
GIULIANO: I saw you as a judge. Every time I would see you on TV I would shout "Hey Lindsay!"
CROUSE: (laughing) I hope I waved. I worked a lot but again I wanted to grow. I became attached to Gloucester Stage about ten years ago. They asked me what I wanted to do, and out of my mouth came The Belle of Amherst. I had never forgotten Julie Harris doing that on Broadway. I did it, and for me it was one of my great adventures in theater. So I worked ever year.
GIULIANO: You've done an annual production for Gloucester Stage.
CROUSE: I have. They've been kind enough to let me do that. Last year I had knee surgery so I pulled myself out. There was a year my mother was so sick I couldn't do anything. They have been wonderful and allowed me to explore. I wanted to try a play like this because it is so different from what I have done.
GIULIANO: In what way?
CROUSE:. I'm really enjoying it. There's a fashion now of doing a play in two weeks. It's absurd and I'm launching a campaign with this theater to allow for three weeks of rehearsal. Microwaving human relationships is simply not possible. You have to cook properly.
GIULIANO: That's the problem with summer theater. It's the same in the Berkshires and all over.
CROUSE: It's too bad because with three weeks, you could have some extraordinary things happening. People put in a huge amount of work before they get to rehearsals.
GIULIANO: Is it frozen on opening night or do you continue to tweak?
CROUSE: We work constantly. We realize that the only way to get there is in playing. We'll be meeting tomorrow and rehearsing. We have a lot of work in what used to be the third act.
GIULIANO: Isn't that against Equity rules? Do you have to get a dispensation?
CROUSE: We don't talk about that. (Both laugh) It's a huge play. It's big. There are a lot of words. It's a huge talky play.
GIULIANO: How long was Belle of Amherst?
CROUSE: Very long. It's about a hundred pages. It took me a year to memorize. You have to have it so cold because there's nobody out there to help you.
GIULIANO: Is there a prompter? Can you say "line?"
CROUSE: You could say it, but God help you. (laughing) I came back here really for reasons of growth. I find New York too difficult to live in. Small regional theaters all over the country are so important. It became so coastal with New York and L.A., with Chicago trying to do something. Having taught all around the country, there are so many gifted, gifted people. Many of them have ended up in my lab in tears. At a university in the evening when we are just sitting and they are talking about their lives. They say we don't want to go to Los Angeles. We love our parents. We love our girlfriends and boyfriends. We don't want to leave them. What are we going to do? It's so touching to me but sad that we consider the final word to be New York and L.A. Granted, it's extraordinary, but there are great gifts all over the country.
GIULIANO: That's an interesting topic for me. Several years ago, we joined American Theater Critics Association and have attended meetings in Chicago, West Virginia, Louisville, Indianapolis, as well as New York. I missed the meeting in Philadelphia, but we plan to be in San Francisco next year. This has given us the chance to see and immerse with regional theater in addition to what we see in the Berkshires and Boston. Much of what we have seen is on a par with New York. In fact more and more regional theaters are sending productions to New York. The organization talks a lot about regional theater.
The down side of that is the norm of New York hits getting restaged all over the country. Too often regional theaters don't trust their audiences with new work and tough plays.
CROUSE: This is something to write about. When I first did Belle of Amherst, I was so amazed by its production and several plays later Going to St. Ives by Lee Blessing, a two hander with a black woman and a white woman. An amazing play. It's a tough play, but the audience ate it up. I kept saying (to artistic director Engel) "Go for it. Do the difficult stuff."
Truly, live theater is a medium that is so powerful to raise consciousness and awareness. It always has been and always will be.
The more that movies get overlaid with money, special effects and blah, blah, blah, is nothing like a live human being standing in front of you. Someone turning themselves inside out. It changes you for life. That will always be so. It's an important subject to talk about. It's an important subject to write about.
There's an important difference between the entertainment business, “the business,” as they call it, and the true theater in the Greek sense of a seeing place. It helps sort things out in your own mind.
GIULIANO: As Hollywood invades Broadway, there is a difference between performing for a camera and a live audience. Oscar winner Forest Whitaker bombed in O'Neill's Hughie. He wasn't prepared and didn't know his lines. In film you can do another take. Or as many as you need to get it right. Onstage there is just one shot.
CROUSE: I taught at USC and at UCLA. I taught seniors, graduates and undergraduates. I insisted in teaching Joseph Campbell's works to the seniors. The mythologist. I would ask the students what are the myths of this area of the world? Every year at the beginning of the semester I asked them "Do you think acting is a leadership profession?" The answer was never yes. In the seven years I taught the answer was never yes.
I would say "Would someone please come up and sit in this chair." Nobody would move. They would be scrambling for the back row. I would ask the question again. "Is acting a leadership profession?" I haven't even asked you to do anything. To just sit in this chair.
Sitting in this chair is a very brave thing to do. When there is bravery like that there's exposure. There's risk. Something great is possible to happen. Somebody is taking a very big step.
In the movies sometimes you're aware of taking a big step. But not always. You go to work. You say three lines. You go home. You cross the street. You go to work. You go home. It's a very different medium.
GIULIANO: How do you get into the head for just three lines?
CROUSE: Frankly, it was a big concern when I was first working in films. I thought this is not a respectable profession. I'm being paid, but what did I do today? I would go home and mow the lawn or something.
It's a different profession. You can get that sense of risk talking to the camera. But you have to really prepare that you are not actually talking to a camera. You are really talking to a human being behind it. I found that production of speech is very casual. When you talk to another person (low intimate tone) your whole body sinks. Going to theatre now I find that the level of sound is like the movies.
GIULIANO: Because it's amplified?
CROUSE: Yeah. I have so much respect for actors of the past who did eight shows a week, including singing, without a microphone. The level of commitment, effort and strength in that was intense. These are my Olympians. They were amazing.
GIULIANO: You have no mikes in Gloucester.
CROUSE: (laughing) No. In theater, there is complete dependence on your fellow player. What I'm saying about rehearsal is that it requires time. You need to be together for three or four weeks to create that level of greatness. You're in tune and working with the other person. You're helping each other with the cues. With the blocking, the lines, with the intention. You're open and close enough to be effected by the other person. That's when it gets really exciting.
GIULIANO: One might say that Lindsay Ann Crouse has had a cradle-to-grave life in theater. Not that we are anticipating its end, but you are in the arc of a trajectory. From childhood you have had unique immersion in theater. Your father was the playwright Russell Crouse (1893 to 1966), and your mother, Anna, was also involved with theater. You were married to playwright David Mamet by whom you have two daughters. They continue the family profession. There are renowned theatrical families and yours is one of them.
Can you recall for us your early awareness of theater? In particular, I remember summers when your dad was working on plays. Summer is a time of preparing for the Broadway season, with out-of-town tryouts in that era. It is also when there are auditions. So that provided a special flavor to summers in Annisquam. People came to work with him, including his partner Howard Lindsay (1889 to 1968). So there was an environment in the house that you and Tim grew up with.
CROUSE: That's a really interesting question. I was imbued with it. The operative word is work. There were many people who came in and out of our home who were quite famous in theater. But as I tried to explain to people in L.A., it was not glittering literati. They were hard at work. They worked for months and years on things. My father would work from two to four years on something he was writing.
For the amount of work, what you end up with is a two-hour evening. It's quite extraordinary. What I am most grateful for is having seen that discipline. I witnessed that level of care at the dinner table talking about rehearsals and what was going on.
GIULIANO: Did you talk to him about that?
GIULIANO: Or did your parents talk about it?
CROUSE: They talked to each other. We talked with them and listened.
GIULIANO: So you were a part of the process?
CROUSE: Especially when plays were in rehearsal, at dinner we heard what was going on. What had been tried. What was working and what was not working.
So we saw the process from the writing to rehearsing and then, of course, constantly going to see the plays. And other plays.
When my mother was very ill and in the ICU for three months, I missed the whole summer, I thought I would never get her into the theater again. I sat by her bed thinking about it a lot. When she recovered, one of the first things I did was to take her to one production and then another. They were plays that were not totally successful in their productions. After the second one I turned to her and said "I'm so sorry, mummy, that I wasn't able to bring you to the most spectacular things we've ever seen. There's problems."
She said "Oh no. I must go to the theater more." “Why is that?” I asked her, and she answered, "Because the problems are so interesting." (laughing) So she must have been a great partner for my father. I thought there's a great woman of the theater. It's work and it's constant work to bring it to life where it all coincides. The writing, the acting, the music.
That's where the arc is. I would insist on. Coming back and living in this beautiful community working in a tiny theater where I have people at my side for whom that is the priority. If we get two weeks, okay. Maybe there are glitches in the production on opening night. But I'm at work and I get to be for the rest of my life. If 200 people come to see it or if just five show up on a rainy afternoon, frankly, I don't care. I get to be at work.
GIULIANO: To reverse that as a member of the audience: granted it is still pre season (late May), and the show wasn't sold out (Sunday matinee). But I said to myself, shit, I'm at the last stop of Route 128, surrounded by fish and gulls, and I am seeing a great woman of theater giving a stunning performance. Just what doesn't make sense about that?
What is the likelihood that a regional theater, on a regular basis, is able to present an artist of your level and commitment? The local audience is seeing challenging theater where they might just go up the line and see a rehash of a Broadway musical at North Shore Music Theater.
I don't think it's a great play but it's an interesting vehicle.
CROUSE: But it's fun.
GIULIANO: I would like get a sense of who is Lindsay Ann Crouse? What are the roles that you seek? This is my first time seeing you on stage. But of course, I have seen you in film and television. I am thinking of your dark character in “House of Games” (written and directed by her then-husband David Mamet). She was a tough lady. In that role, or “The Verdict,” you go off the edge with complex and interesting women.
One can even see that in your current character Lettice. She's not easy. Who is she? Where is she coming from? What's that all about? She's very layered, and there is the challenge of bringing out all the nuances. Is it fair to say that you seek complicated women?
CROUSE: I would say that's very true. Charlie, here's what I would really like to talk about. The role of women in current theater. It is so fascinating to see my generation of actresses coming up because I knew a lot of them. I worked with a lot of women in New York, and they were extremely intelligent. Not all of them have had the kind of careers that I felt they deserved. Many times I have seen them in parts that were not challenging to them — considering the kind of parts they could have been playing. First of all, it's been difficult to find parts and secondly parts that were challenging.
Episodic television is so quick. There's one episode I'm proud of on the old “Law and Order.” I was on that show several times and got to play different characters. One was written with such subtlety that you could actually do something with it. That pleased me no end.
I went to the director and said "Look most guest-star roles are one-dimensional, but this one could be more if we did something with it. Can I grab you every minute that I can to talk with you about it and the next scene we're doing? To give you some of the ideas I have. And he was up for it. He helped me and it was great.
I'm trying to seek things with depth and not just total simplicity.
GIULIANO: Are there roles out there?
CROUSE: The reason why Lettice and Lovage was because Maggie Smith went to Peter Shaffer and said "I'm running out of things to do. Could you write something for a woman? Let's do something together."
It's a vehicle play. But playing it, I can tell you, it's not an easy part. The challenge for the next couple of weeks is to see how we can tighten it up. Can we make it go really smoothly? I love a character where you don't quite know who she is. She's conducting a different kind of life.
Growing up here in the summer this is an extraordinary place. The women here are extraordinary. Ina Hahn (Rockport resident and dance legend died in 2016). Look at the artists here and Folly Cove Designers. Fiercely independent women of tremendous depth. They have an understanding of the world and are incredibly literate.
GIULIANO: Have you thought of writing?
CROUSE: I am writing, actually. A book about drama linked to what I know about Buddhism. I would like to talk about what it really consists of. Growing up as I did and teaching, I've come to realize that very few people understand what an actor is and does. What the purpose of drama is. As I worked in television and film people would give me scripts and say "This is based on a real story."
I would say "So what. What does that matter?" That's not the point of drama. If you have a real story, you might be in trouble trying to dramatize it. Because you haven't pulled the elements that really make it dramatic. Or you're going to get bogged down with the Oriental girlfriend or something.
This happened with “The Verdict.” When David was writing it, they wanted to bring in everything that was in the book. [“The Verdict” is a 1982 courtroom drama starring Paul Newman, Charlotte Rampling, Jack Warden, James Mason, Milo O'Shea and Lindsay Crouse. The film, which was directed by Sidney Lumet, was adapted by David Mamet from the novel by Barry Reed.]
That's not the point. Make a documentary then. You can't always bring every element of the life into it. You have to select the most dramatic aspect of the story.
GIULIANO: What happens when one medium is transferred to another? When a book, for example, becomes a play, then perhaps a film? What occurs during those transitions in which, for instance, people say that the book was better than the play or the play was better than the film. What are the pitfalls?
CROUSE: A play is a very tight dramatic form. Everything counts. A movie can be baggy. Look at The Sound of Music. You can put a travelogue of Salzburg in there. It wouldn't have made much difference. Really. But the play is tight as a drum. [The Sound of Music with music by Richard Rogers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, book by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse opened in 1959 with Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel. It won five Tony awards.]
GIULIANO: It was one of the great triumphs for the team of Lindsay and Crouse.
CROUSE: I know that play very, very well. It is very tight.
GIULIANO: Did you like the film?
CROUSE: I prefer to remain silent. The film has wonderful things in it. Of course it does.
GIULIANO: It's generally true that musicals don't transfer well to film. More often than not, they just don't work.
CROUSE: I don't want to be hard on the film. It's a lovely film. A novel, of course, is an art form that has a lot of interior dialogue. It may convey what someone is thinking. That has to be translated into what someone is doing. We are called actors for a reason.
GIULIANO: How do you do Henry James on a stage?
CROUSE: It's very hard. In L.A., everyone has a screenplay, but not everyone understands what the medium is about. When I was at USC, this is something that had to be really laid out and taught to young directors. The people I was teaching had no clue that actors form actions. It isn't about “think of the death of your kitten,” and go on. It was quite a labor to teach the directors that when actors ask them a question, they didn't want to be spoken to in terms of what you're feeling.
The generation of Marlon Brando had a huge influence of people in terms of what they thought actors should be doing. That was an era when people were exploring the nature of feelings and how they arise. How we can move people on stage?
GIULIANO: Have you seen anything recently that moved you? Have you seen Hamilton?
CROUSE: No, and I'm sure it's fantastic. You would have to slay me to pay that much to go see it. I'm the daughter of the woman who created TKTS. Look up the story in the Times. You can't get me to pay $1,500 for a ticket on Broadway.
In the past year I haven't seen a lot. In the past couple of years, a number of people in my family died including my mum. My brother and I took care of her for a number of years. It restricted our ability to go see things.
One of the things I saw and loved was a British production of The Norman Conquests. We ended up doing it at Gloucester Stage. I loved Audra McDonald playing Lady Day. (Laughing) I loved Anything Goes, which I got to see a number of times.
GIULIANO: Have you seen the current Connecticut production which Tim and a partner rewrote?
GIULIANO: Living in Annisquam, you're an hour from Logan Airport. You could easily get to New York and L.A.
CROUSE: I don't have a home in New York anymore. I go less and less because I have to figure out where I can stay. To just take a weekend and go see a play is so expensive it's thousands of dollars.
That's a part of it, but we did have those years of taking care of my sweet mom and a number of people in my family. So we landed here and were exhausted.
GIULIANO: As an actor, you can only speak lines that the playwright gives you. Regarding the lack of adequate roles for mature women that's a familiar subject. During a November meeting of the American Theater Critics in New York, I attended a panel on the opportunities and lack thereof for women in theater. In the Berkshires, uniquely, the artistic directors of the four Equity companies are women, and their programming reflects that. So we have seen a lot of work with a focus on strong women. But it is an issue of real concern.
You have a unique relationship to major playwrights, so can you discuss what that entails? (pause) Or being around during the creative process as a daughter and wife. Can you describe that?
CROUSE: I'm trying to think of something my mother said: "A playwright's wife is the only woman who knows how her husband feels when she's having a baby." The idea is that writing a play is bringing something to birth. It's something out of the deep, deep unconscious. When Mamet wrote Glengarry Glenn Ross (1992), he went upstairs, and the typewriter started to pound. He used an old-fashioned typewriter. It didn't stop for four hours. He came downstairs and literally hurled this pile of papers at me. He said "Would you read this? I don't know if I've written American Buffalo all over again. I don't know what just happened."
I think that was true. It just came pouring out of him.
GIULIANO: Can you describe the emotion of being the first to see what turned out to be iconic theater?
CROUSE: From an actor's point of view, it is very interesting arriving at a play. The reason I use that example is because there's a fire (emphasis). There's a fire. There's that kind of transaction happening in a human being. Very often, things are pouring out of a playwright and, hopefully, in that moment, they are not in command of them. They are totally in a moment of surrender, and they are allowing it to pour forth, as you well know. Then comes the craft of trying to form it. That's where the discipline comes.
For an actor, they want to reproduce the fire. But the fire is not in the words. The words don't mean anything.
I can say to you "Hey Charlie, you're really a jerk you know." And you know that I am really expressing affection to you. Or I can say "You know you're really a jerk." (Sharp emphasis in a different tone of voice.) The same words. They're empty. They don't have meaning in themselves. For the actor, it's like coming upon ash. The fire is gone. You know there was a fire because the ash is there. Now you have to work backwards to recreate the fire.
Like coming upon an ancient city and their buildings are round or pyramid shaped. What was actually happening? Which is why you're called an actor. You're going back there to find out or interpret for yourself. What are we doing here? If you don't actually articulate it, there will never be a fire again. Those words will remain on the page no matter how hard the actors are working.
GIULIANO: Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill both ravaged their tormented personal lives to create characters and plots for their plays. Who owns our life and what is owned to loved ones and survivors? Williams and O'Neill, two giants of theatre, were consumed by their work. In the end, there was nothing left of them. But that's not how I remember your father. It seems to me that he focused on being a loving husband and father. You would see him at the club wearing a sailor's cap waiting for you and Tim to come home from a race or swim at Lighthouse Beach.
CROUSE: He was unusual in that sense. My mother had a theory which I think is true. Playwrights have a streak like a comet. If the streak is finished in their lifetime, they can really struggle. We saw that with Arthur Miller. They keep trying to write, and it doesn't come out of them the same way. There's a peak and burnout with a struggle to keep up with themselves. It's God given. It's over or it's not.
GIULIANO: Taste changes. The style that won them acclaim is no longer in fashion. After Williams's break with Kazan, his plays began to fail on Broadway. They became harder to produce.
CROUSE: It's also true that that they don't always have the best perspective on their work. It's a joke in L.A.: "Please don't bring the writer to the set we're just going to be in trouble."
For playwrights, there's that third step. You write the play, produce the play, then you have to take a back seat. Whatever you thought the play was about, now it's in the hands of other people. If they haven't made their own decision about that, the play can't mean anything.
The fire is out. It's gone. There's ash there. It's up to someone else to ignite themselves and transfer that spark to an audience. They've got to find their own meaning in it. The playwright might be resisting that because it's the baby they're carrying. They give birth to it, and then the baby has to grow up.
Either the playwright is okay with that and they're well adjusted about that, or they can be extremely upset by that. It's a human thing and very tricky.
The process of being a playwright (pause and exhale) is wow! (emphasis) Extremely complex. Handing over a deep and hidden part of themselves. Their own deep insecurities. Their terrible fears. Their dreams or their most childlike aspirations of how to find solutions to these terrible human dilemmas. It's all completely exposed, and they must feel like lost sheep when their productions are going up. There's tremendous vulnerability in that situation. Which I know.
GIULIANO: The critic is not always equipped to understand it. In 2012 I saw a Mamet play, The Anarchist with Patti LuPone and Debra Winger. The LuPone character had been the activist, now prisoner, and the Winger character was charged with evaluating her for a potential parole. The play was informed by an aftermath of the radical politics of the Weathermen in the 1960s. It got scathing reviews and a short run.
Critics and audiences were unwilling or not equipped to deal with its political and historical premise. As a Brandeis graduate during the era of Marcuse, Angela Davis, and activists Susan Saxe and Kathy Powers, who robbed a bank and killed a police officer, the play was very absorbing to me. For me it was a brilliant take on a difficult era. The play deserves other productions and as a two hander with a simple set would be perfect for regional theaters. The playwright puts his life out there, and the audience may or may not be ready for that.
CROUSE: Ultimately, the playwright's job is to make that experience a universal one. Sometimes it's just not the case. There are people who like certain circumstances and not others. People who like musicals and comedies but can't stand dramas. I remember my father seeing Virginia Woolf I for the first time. When he got home he sat down very slowly. I asked him "What's the matter?" He said, "I'm very disturbed by this play, and I'm asking myself, is this the purpose of the theater?"
It was so interesting to be in that family. Again, he was at work thinking about it. He was asking what is the experience of the audience today? Did it make a better day for them? Did it lift them to some place? Where did that take them? He was thinking again, “what are we doing?”
That's a responsible playwright deeply thinking. Virginia Woolf was not his cup of tea, but it was a worthwhile experiment.
GIULIANO: Tough play.
CROUSE: What he was thinking of is that you can deal with difficult material, but where does the playwright leave someone off? I have studied and taught Buddhism for many years. When Buddha laid out his four noble truths, he didn't say, “life is suffering, see yah.” He said, “life is suffering, but there's a cause, and it can be ended.” That has always been for me the pinnacle of spiritual practice. It's what a spiritual leader does. They say we're going to take you to somewhere other than this deep pit of suffering.
My father and Howard (Lindsay) had deep spiritual lives. That was brought into the process. Anyone who falls in love with theater falls in love with that. They have been transformed by seeing a piece of theater. They have been elevated by it. There is greatness in it, and in giving an entire life, as you say, even to the point of burnout, it's worth it. It gives us glimpses of the heavenly life. That's what causes people to do productions for nothing. Or spend years in L.A. trying to get into a movie or years in New York trying to get on Broadway.
GIULIANO: Is there a chance that you will pursue some of the great classic roles for women? Perhaps in future seasons of Gloucester Stage?
CROUSE: The company just doesn't have the money. It will take millions of dollars to create the kind of theater this community deserves. There are so many talented creators who live here and nearby in Boston. We would love to see that happen.