2ND STORY THEATRE’S ED SHEA DOES IT ALL SO WELL
What an artful juggling act. Whew! Ed Shea, the artistic director of Warren's 2nd Story Theatre, is not only the administrator-in-chief of the company, we frequently see him among the actors on stage, and when he's not doing that he's often directing them.by Bill Rodriguez, CoxHub
Ed Shea in “The Goat” – 2012
“I never took a formal acting or theater course in my life,” he remarked, sitting on the set of one of two current productions. “It was just from sitting in a room in rehearsal and a theater for 30 years.”
“The Misanthrope” – 2006
“It developed,” he explained. “I didn’t direct much back in the days when we were doing 2nd Story at School One [in Providence], but I didn’t really know what I was doing when I was doing it. I started to understand at a certain point. But then I moved into teaching around the time I mastered the craft of acting. I got it. I remember getting it. I understood that it was about the words. When I got that, I wanted to start teaching. I wanted to pass that on.”
“I Am My Own Wife” – 2009
Shea has performed on stage this season, as well as directed, but he’s planning on taking a break from acting for a year or so, to charge his batteries.
“Freud’s Last Session” – 2014
As far as administering the operation, he says marketing is the main task that he’s carved out for himself as “the idea guy,” since he has Lynne Collinson doing the administrative heavy lifting as executive director.
“I do like the administration [responsibility],” he said. “I enjoy the business. I enjoyed the gambling aspect of it. I enjoy the fruit cylinder spinning. I do enjoy it. I find it occasionally frustrating, but for the most part I do.”
Summing up how he copes with his trio of responsibilities, he says the jobs haven’t distracted from one another.
“Sylvia” – 2014
“I think one invigorates the other,” he observed. “The administration, directing plays, acting, all of it. Each enhances the other. There’s a certain PT Barnum quality running this place that I like. There’s a certain magician aspect in making things happen. Alchemy, to make things happen out of nothing.”
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY RICHARD W. DIONNE, JR.