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Acting Means Doing !!


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Jim Cavanaugh is Emeritus Professor of Theatre Arts at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, where for 23 years he taught Acting and Directing, and seminars on contemporary theatre - and directed 38 productions. He also founded and produced the Mount Holyoke College Summer Theatre, where he directed 46 plays, and acted in 28 under other directors. Jim studied directing with Lee Strasberg at the American Theatre Wing in New York, and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Goodman Memorial Theatre and School of Drama, of the Art Institute of Chicago, which was awarded him with High Honors in Directing. On Broadway, he acted in one play and stage managed two musicals and, one year, the Tony Awards. He directed two plays off-Broadway. In community theatres in Rochester (MN), in Omaha, and in Heidelberg, Germany, he directed a total of 70 plays. He was elected president of the North Central Theatre Association, Vice-President of the National Theatre Conference, and one of the earliest to be honored as a 'Fellow' by the American Community Theatre Association (now the American Association of Community Theatres), on whose Board of Directors he served a long stint, and was a frequent adjudicator of performances at their state and regional theatre festivals. Earlier, in professional summer theatres from Sacramento to Chicago to Rangeley, Maine, Jim acted, directed, stage managed, and designed lighting. At NBC in New York, he directed three programs for the Radio Workshop. Translation/adaptations by Jim of three plays by Anton Chekhov have been produced off-Broadway and at regional, community and college theatres across the country. Jim reviewed many theatre manuscripts for Schirmer Books, and for that publisher helped complete the final work of the Dean of Broadway Musical Directors, Lehman Engel, "Getting the Show On." He began his theatre work at age fourteen with the Augusta (GA) Players, a community theatre for which his first assignment was to sit for several hours each day over a hot-plate in the orchestra pit (because that's where the only household wall plug was located) stirring a double-boiler containing the evil-smelling "sizing" which was then mixed with pigment paint, allowing it to adhere to the canvas scenery. The odors that clung irrevocably to his clothing and his skin removed forever any illusions about the glamour of a life in the theatre.

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