I believe that my role as artistic director of Altarena Playhouse is to provide a focused, unifying vision for the total production that guides active collaboration, encourages expansive thinking, fosters a supportive environment for artistic risk, and ultimately facilitates the practical implementation of these factors through rehearsal and performance. While respecting well-established performance traditions I also hope to offer a dynamic forum for exciting new voices and diverse points of view. I look forward to promoting a distinctive, vibrant performance aesthetic by teaming with directors, performers and designers who are imaginative, resourceful, willing to take risks, and who share my love of the magic of the theatre.
Hailing from the rural bayous of Louisiana, I won the honor of being the 2014 Theatre Bay Area TITAN Award winner for Excellence in Theatre, the Dean Goodman Best Director in San Francisco Bay, two time winner-Lee Hartgrave’s FAME Best Play Award, and the BRAVO Award for Educational Excellence. I have served as theatre professor and lecturer at Loyola Marymount University, University of Connecticut, and Contra Costa College. I have performed and directed from Off-Broadway, national tours and regional theatre to the Special Olympics including The Blue Heron in NYC, The Jerry Rojo Environmental Theatre in CT, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, and The New Conservatory Theatre in SF portraying the title roles of Amadeus, Hamlet, The Dresser, Uncle Vanya, and The Elephant Man. Recently, I portrayed Lord Farquaad in Shrek, The Musical at Berkeley Playhouse, Roat in Wait Until Dark at San Francisco’s Victoria Theatre and Admiral Croft in Jane Austen’s Persuasion at The Ross Valley Players.
VISION: TRANSFORMATION AND CELEBRATION OF DIVERSITY
Theatre in the Bay Area engages, educates, and provokes our diverse community with excellent theatre and arts education, using art as a tool which positively impacts our world. It gives voice to, entertains, and promotes exploration in order to celebrate and foster communication for all artists, abled and disabled, the GLBT and allied communities, to effect personal and societal growth, enlightenment and change. I recognize, support, and value the perspectives, experiences, and contributions of people of all ages, abilities, national origins, racial and ethnic backgrounds, gender identities and orientations, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.
TRANSFORMATION Theatre is a transformative art – visually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually – and as an actor I attempt to embrace all of those aspects from conceptualization to closing night curtain. Theatre in the Bay Area teaches us about ourselves. It helps us understand how our minds and the minds of others work. It helps us to see how the environments in which we live affect who we are and who we will become. Understanding theatre helps us understand what it means to be human. It develops our ability to communicate our thoughts and feelings to others, improving our relationships and improving the world around us.
As an advocate of disabled theatre artists and of gender equity, theatre helps us understand people from cultures other than our own. We can learn a lot about people from cultures all around the world by studying their performance traditions. In doing so, we can learn to be less ethnocentric, and more accepting of others. I also acknowledge and commit to the study of the experience, perspectives, and contributions of all women. I have actively tried to empower and develop with the theatre community a sense of self-confidence, dignity, integrity, individuality, and adaptability through the creative dramatic arts. I seek to convey the social, political, cultural and historical forces that are relevant both to appreciation of where we come from, and how we live our lives today. In sum, my commitment to cultural pluralism and diversity is not just one aspect of my professional career; it has been central to my lifelong passion for the theatre arts.
“Clay’s vision, skill, and encouragement transformed my daughter’s acting experience and greatly fostered her self-confidence, both on and off the stage. She would tell you that working with Clay changed her life.” Claudia Huttner – A Very Grateful Mom
“I believe Clay is an asset to every production he is involved with. He was indispensable in his efforts to help promote and market, and his energy and talent on stage are unmatched.” Jayme Catalano – Actor
“Clay is a generous and versatile actor. He is a true delight to work with, whether creating a story as a character with onstage and working as a fellow actor offstage.” Emily Ludlow – Actor
“Clay is a gem on and offstage!” Michael Berg- Costume Designer – Actor
“Working with Clay is delightful. He is a generous actor and patient director. I’ve had the honor to join him on the San Francisco stage and every performance was dedicated, juicy and full of intrigue. I hope to work with my multi-talented friend again in the future. “ Matthew Jain – Actor
“Clay is all about love!” Mary Ann Rogers – Director
“I had the utmost pleasure of acting in three shows recently with Clay, and his passion for theatre is astonishing. I was stunned by the incredible amount of support he had for me and every other actor, his giving nature, and his complete involvement in the piece. Clay does it all: acting, directing, hair, make-up, and he throws himself with his whole heart into every project he does. I admire him greatly as a fellow actor and adore him as a friend. He is a true joy to work with.” Jocelyn Roddie – Actor, Singer
“Clay is a talented, generous, kind, and professional actor.” Steven Price – Actor
“Clay is so loving and has such a nurturing heart. He is love in action.” Rachael Kayhan – Actor