The Kentucky Cycle

The Kentucky CycleAfter I left the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s resident company in 1991 I traveled the country, doing shows at the various regional theatres that dot the map. I worked in Portland, Montgomery, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Phoenix and Seattle. While doing a new play at A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle I had a meeting with Warner Shook, who was the Artistic Director of the Intiman Theatre. As I walked to the meeting that Autumn morning I felt on top of the world. It was a gorgeous day—and there is nothing like a gorgeous day in Seattle. The sky was blue, the air was crisp and cool, and the leaves were beginning to turn color. An invigorating breeze was coming off the water. I was walking toward the Space Needle, which I have always loved. Life was good.

The Company of THE KENTUCKY CYCLEThe meeting with Warner went well. I was interested in doing something at Intiman, but as he went through the season show by show, he found that he had nothing that was right for me. Then he stopped and said “Wait a minute. I might have something for you, after all. I’m doing a new play which may be transferring to Broadway. It’s called The Kentucky Cycle“. I knew of the play. Friends had seen it in Seattle and LA, and raved about it. It was an amazing six hour marathon of mythic storytelling. Warner gave me a script, making sure I understood that I would have to audition, and that no promises were being made. Just then, dozens of crows alighted on the tree outside his window.  It was an astonishing sight. The sky seemed to turn black and the noise of their cawing filled the air. I said “Do they do this every day?” and Warner answered, “No, this is the first time.” I took the script home to read the play. When I opened it I read these lines.

When I hear the crows, I know I’m dreaming…

I got the part and moved to New York.

Since that day, crows have always been lucky for me. When I hear one calling or see one in my path I say, “Thank you, friend”, because I know something wonderful is about to happen.