Husband-Wife Team Wins TPS' 2013 Gregory A. Falls Sustained Achievement Award; Ceremony Set for 10/28
Theatre Puget Sound (TPS) has announced husband and wife team, John Kazanjian and Mary Ewald as the 2013 recipients of the Gregory A. Falls Sustained Achievement Award. The committee of prior recipients has made this selection to honor their dedication to the Seattle theatre community, much of it through their efforts with The New City Theatre. This award along with 17 others will be presented at the 5th Annual Gregory Awards being held at The Neptune Theatre on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 7:30pm.
John and Mary met at U.C. Santa Barbara, fall of 1975. John was a first year grad student and Mary was a lowly freshman (after a year of sailing with my family). Meeting in a required DA 5 class--one of those classes with loads of trust exercises. They came together doing a "blind walk", using hands to try to discern who the person might be. Mary says, "But it was easy for me since he was the only guy in the class with a beard!"
After marrying in 1981, they moved to Seattle in 1982.
In response to the question, "What is the secret to working so closely and so well over the years?"
Well, I guess mutual respect is huge. There may be a large element of luck involved for a living/working/creating life together to work equally well for both parties. John and I share a mutual aesthetic taste, which draws us to the same texts and art works, and a mutual discipline towards the work. But the luck part may be that one of us has not been hugely more successful or "talented" than the other. We have very different skills which balance each other. When this is not the case, resentment can quickly sneak in. Sorry...long winded again. Obviously I can't articulate a simple "secret". I guess it's the simple fact that we love what we do, and enjoy doing it together.
A. adv. Together; at the same time.
B. n. (2a) The unity of performance achieved by two or more
players performing together.
Mary Ewald: Mary moved to NYC after graduating from UC Santa Barbara. While in NYC, she worked at the Soho Rep, the Hartman Theatre CT, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival MA., and at the Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Center, where she met Mr. Williams. Her first professional collaboration with future husband John Kazanjian was an award-winning production of Beckett's NOT I at the Direct Theater, NYC.
After seeing Mary in a workshop production at Playwrights Horizons, NYC, Burke Walker invited Mary to Seattle in 1982 to play Julia in The Empty Space's FEFU AND HER FRIENDS. Once in Seattle, she worked for three consecutive seasons as a company member at the Intiman, where she was fortunate to immediately start working opposite actors Clayton Corzatte, Larry Ballard, Bob Wright, and Peter Silbert. Mary has also worked with Garland Wright at the Seattle Rep, acting opposite Kevin Spacey and Danny Davis. Her first four years in Seattle included other work with the Seattle Rep, ACT, The Empty Space, as well as two productions with the Berkeley Rep.
John Kazanjian founded the New City Theater in '82, where Mary first worked as a choreographer, but quickly started acting in nearly every production. Some New City highlights are THE TOOTH OF CRIME, THE GHOST TRIO, THE FEVER, FAR AWAY, and THE DESIGNATED MOURNER. A very formative experience as an actor was the opportunity to work under the direction of some of America's top experimental playwright/directors, who John Kazanjian commissioned and brought to Seattle. Richard Foreman's premiere of EDDIE GOES TO POETRY CITY was invited to several European festivals. Mary had two opportunities to work with Maria Irene Fornes at New City: first as Julia in FEFU AND HER FRIENDS, and later as Tess in ENTER THE NIGHT, a role Fornes wrote for Ms. Ewald. Two additional national premieres were written and directed by artists Len Jenkin and Jon Jesurun. A nine month New City collaboration with Theatre X, Milwaukee led to A HISTORY OF SEXUALITY, which played in Milwaukee, Germany, and Sweden following its New City run. By far the most formative aspect of Ewald's career has been the ongoing benefit of working consistently with John Kazanjian. Most recently Kazanjian/Ewald collaborations include Beckett's Happy Days, TINY KUSHNER, and Kushner's HOMEBODY. Mary has also acted in several productions directed by Janice Findley, including THE SRKIKER, for which she has been nominated this year for a Gregory Award for outstanding actress.