RS: I loved reading this story as a child. Doing it as an adult, I recognize myself cutting hawsers to freedom yet uncertainty, riding out waves in unsteerable coracles, tromping through jungles looking for stockades and treasures. Grown-up digital cutlasses and three-piece suit pirates are no less dangerous!
Q: What shows might people have seen you in before?
RS: This season I’ve acted in Walking Across Egypt and Ghost Riders, and will be in Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Q: What is a typical day like for you?
RS: I’m retired from 25 years at the Post Office and 19 years teaching at UNCA, so I garden, hike with my dogs, search for the perfect martini, and struggle with the Braves batting average (hands inside the ball!).
Q: Have you met new friends in the cast?
RS: Yes! Jason, Jered & Elijah are great new shipmates, the Keystone Cop antics of Levi & the Jordans are (mostly) endearing, planning fishing trips with Haven is an extravagant buried treasure, and searching for a beer in Burnsville AFTER a show occupies my time with Andrew and Bruce.
Q: What has been your favorite moment from rehearsals?
RS: I enjoyed the rehearsal when Jason unleashed his Ben Gunn upon us. It was so warped, hyper-agitated, lyrical, and the only thing that calmed him was — CHEESE! (But if he lived with goats, why no cheese? I think RLS needs to rewrite!!)
Q: What is your favorite line from the show?
RS: Trelawney’s “I am extremely irked.” It is said by my son, Will.
Q: Are there people in your life who have never seen you on stage?
RS: My dog, Nina, was in “Outlander” with me, so she is a stage partner, but my daughter’s dog, Murphy, would want to vocalize on the “Yo, Ho, Ho’s”!
Q: At what age did you first know you wanted to act?
RS: In high school. I participated in my second public kiss on stage as Peter, locking lips with Anne Frank in an attic in Germany. But I drifted toward theatre as a career when I “cut the hawser” from Psychology in college. I wanted to do something REAL, so I chose the arts.
Q: What’s the #1 reason someone should see this show?
RS: If you’re still looking for your father and find him inside of yourself; if you still get excited by planning adventures to unknown climes (even if it’s just to Lickskillet or Bear Wallow!); if you can’t swim but still want to sign on to an ocean voyage; if you ever made a promise to your father or your mother and didn’t think you were good enough to make it come true — “Treasure Island” is for you.
Q: Do you have a favorite pirate slang or joke?
RS: Why can’t a pirate ever get to sea? Because he can’t decide which river to sail up past Pittsburgh!
Why can’t a pirate ever get drunk? Because he keeps dumping his cargo in Molasses Creek on Ocracoke Island!
Q: What is your favorite pirate movie?
RS: “Pirate Radio”, “Captain Blood”, “Ice Pirates”, but I’m waiting for the movie Jimmy Buffet will make: “A Pirate Looks at 60”. Maybe there’ll be a margarita after dark in Burnsville by then!
Q: Anything else that you’d like people to know about you?
RS: I love photography and am saving up my Green Stamps to get a better camera. Thanks to Parkway for allowing me to photograph this season.