While I was in college (a ten year stint for me) two of my brothers, Andy and Greg had written a play The Wailing Mist, derived form an earlier one-act Andy had written in high school. They asked me if I would take on the role of producer and it went pretty well. Around that time my brother Steve had developed a relationship with Vasek Simek at the Perry Street Theatre. (Some of the pictures on this page are of his wonderful clown troup).
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After about ten years it didn't seem to be getting any easier and Greg and I decided to shut down the company, but our passion for plays, new plays in particular, has remained undimmed. Greg went on to found a theatre in the San Francisco area and I became active with Centastage Performance Group in Boston, which concentrates on new plays by New England area writers. For eight years I have been a reader/evaluator of scripts for New Fest the annual festival of new plays at Emerson College.
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I challenged the popular concept of a producer. I told them what a real producer was, that his task was not only to raise money, but as Oscar Hammerstein once said, a producer has to be a "rare paradoxical genius, hard-headed, soft-hearted, cautious, reckless, a hopeful innocent in fair weather, a stern pilot in stormy weather, a mathematician who prefers to ignore the laws of mathematics and trust intuition, an idealist, a realist, a practical dreamer, a sophisticated gambler, a stage-struck child."

(Max Gordon describes his address at Brown University, 1961)
In the mid 1970's I managed movie houses, worked as a press agent and attempted to produce a play. The pay wasn't much but I worked in some of the most beautiful theatres in the country, and doing so instilled a great appreciation of theatrical architecture. One of several that I worked at was the Gary Theater on Stuart Street in Boston. Alas, it was torn down to make way for the state transportation building.
Eventually we formed the PACT theatre company and over ten years we presented sixty-seven plays, the whole spectrum from staged readings to full blown productions, mostly at the Perry Street but also uptown on Theatre Row and other places. Most of the plays were new plays and we got a kick out of working with the playwrights and helping them perfect and realize their vision. It was always feast or famine (mostly famine), and we supported our theatre habit with other jobs. We also fostered investment in a couple of Broadway shows, thereby earning ourselves a share of them.
In life's endless informal competition for the most misguided venture, try this combination: a first-time playwright; a cast of relative unknowns; a depressing and largely forgotten incident of history; and a director born in France and trained in Britain making his U.S. debut with a show about a quintessentially American subject, baseball. The result would seem foreordained to be disaster. But Out!, the story of eight Chicago White Sox players who deliberately lost the 1919 World Series for a few thousand dollars a man, is instead an off-Broadway joy. Poignant, intelligent, funny and morally alert, it shows what the theater can do far better than TV or movies in dealing with historical material: bring characters alive by letting them explain their dilemmas directly to the audience.
The lead of William A. Henry III's review of Out! for Time magazine captured in three sentences what we were trying to accomplish for ten years at the Perry Street:
from Two-Realers
from Waxworks
from Out!