In 1970 I was in my first play at CTC. I’m pictured here as a crippled boy holding a crutch in the play, Jerusalem, about the tragic story of the children’s crusade in the Middle Ages. My father saw an audition notice that read, “Wanted long haired boys” for a play at Minneapolis’ Children’s Theatre Co. He asked me if I was interested in trying out. I said yes, and after successfully auditioning my father began driving me across town for countless rehearsals all winter, and performances all spring.
Although legally blind my dad never had trouble passing the eye test when renewing his driver’s license. Looking straight ahead and reading a series of numbers and letters in diminishing sizes, had nothing to do with his inability to see after sunset, or his limited peripheral vision that dramatically decreased as the speed of his moving vehicle increased. We took the freeway. All the rehearsals began before sunset, but regularly ended late into the night. It was an adventure, and I was having a ball. My father was always visible sitting in the theater, patiently waited for my rehearsals to end.
The director John Clark Donahue was an artistic genius that had earned a national reputation. Years later this famous director was arrested for molesting boys exactly the age I was, when my father was patiently waiting in the theater, never leaving my sight.