Merrimack Repertory Theatre Blog



Our audience loves a good challenge. If you look at The Hub Review for The Persian Quarter, you’ll see the proof.

So what fun would it be if we couldn’t test you again?

We’ve gotten a few words out of Emmy Winner Gordon Clapp about his thoughts of playing Robert Frost in This Verse Business, and he’s calling for your attention. He is ready to engage with you and involve you in his performance. Besides, what is poetry if it can’t be shared?

What attracted you to playing Robert Frost in This Verse Business?

At the time I was in school, poetry was very much a part of the curriculum. And being from New Hampshire, when I went away to school, to other parts of New England – Connecticut and Massachusetts, I took him with me; he brought me home.

In 1977 I read his biography, and I said ‘someday, I’m going to do a one man show.’ A couple of years later I turned on a video camera and recorded some of his poems, and literally just a few weeks later a script came to me from a friend. He got me in contact with Andy Dolan and I read the script.

Did you utilize any source material to develop your character?

Over the years I’ve heard a couple of readings that he had done, this thing he had called ‘free verse,’ where he gave thoughts about different poems. It was like gold to find those recordings. He’s trying to get us to bring the meaning out of the poem instead of trying to bring the meaning to the voice.

What is it like to perform the show for an audience?

I’ve preformed almost exclusively for academics, and they’ve loved the poetry. That was the part that I wasn’t sure about; how were they going to respond these poems? What we’re doing this time around, which I haven’t been doing, I’ve been pretty much reading the poems until now, but Gus and Andy and I have discussed acting them. We leave the book behind, and putting different expression into the poems that Frost did.

I call it a 309 man show; the audience is very much a part of this, and I really bounce things off of them.


You can follow Merrimack Repertory Theatre on Twitter at @Merrimack_Rep to get all the latest production news.

Stay posted because coming soon is a video interview with Playwright A.M. Dolan and Gordon Clapp.

Visit Merrimack Repertory Theatre Online


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