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Saturday, June 1, 2013

No Elevation without Trust: A Conversation with Brian Hinds


Brian Hinds with Leah Michelle Roberts in The Rover,
with Savage Rose Classical Theatre Company.
Photo by Harlan Taylor.



By Keith Waits

Entire contents are copyright © 2013 Keith Waits. All rights reserved.

Next weekend Brian Hinds will be featured as Jake, the conniving husband in Tennessee Williams’ 27 Wagons of Cotton. It will be included in a program of American One-Acts being produced by Savage Rose Classical Theatre Company in The MeX Theatre, the others being Cocaine by Pendleton King and Hello Out There by William Saroyan. Mr. Hinds is a familiar face in Savage Rose productions (Macbeth, The Rover) and has worked with Kentucky Shakespeare and Walden Theatre, but his calendar became even busier in the past year, as he became full-time faculty at the Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS) and joined The Louisville Improvisors.

As an actor, Mr. Hinds has one of the best deadpan deliveries in town. Tall and unassuming, slightly hang-dog in countenance, he can provoke fits of laughter with an economy of delivery that leaves you wondering at times just what he did to make you think he was funny. For The Louisville Improvisors, his quick wit and unforced manner conjure up vivid images of humor and pathos that resonate in the mind. I can still recall a scene from an Improvisers game in which he portrayed a clown with no sense of humor. The resolute quality of his features and the forlorn look in his eyes gave surprising depth to a scenario born from audience suggestion and given life but for a few brief moments onstage.

As a teacher, that same sensitivity informs a generous attitude to his students at YPAS. Although he has 10 years' experience teaching theatre, beginning at the Children’s Theatre of Maine in his hometown of Portland, Maine, the opportunity to work at greater depth in a program structured to foster a singular connection with a class of students has proven to be a profound experience for Hinds. The department assigns one faculty to each grade level, “…so each day I spend 90 minutes with the same freshman theatre students.” It is an approach that resonates on a personal level for the actor, allowing him “…to help students step outside of their comfort zone. I never talk down to young actors and, in fact, find they love to collaborate.” There is great emotion in his voice when he relates the experience of his first year at YPAS. “It is important that you allow them [students] to discover their own personal connection to the text. You build trust through empathy and collaboration, and there is no elevation without trust.”   

Brian came to Louisville from Maine by way of NYC. While in the Big Apple only a few months, it was there he began working with Pamela DiPasquale. When she came to Louisville to work with Kentucky Shakespeare, Hinds followed shortly thereafter and joined her as an actor and educator in the venerable company. It was there that local audiences first saw him, in various productions including Macbeth and The Tempest. Now he is finding time to direct, most recently with an unorthodox production of Rachel White’s The Gardeners at the Tim Faulkner Gallery; and next season at YPAS, Hinds will direct his first mainstage production there, William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors.

Savage Rose Classical Theatre Company presents
American One Acts

June 7, 8, 10*, 13, 14, 15 at 7:30 p.m.; June 15 at 2:00 p.m.
*Community Night Performance

The MeX Theater at The Kentucky Center
501 Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202

Tickets: $17.00 general admission
$12.00 for students
$14.00 for groups of 10 or more.
$14.00 for June 10 performance
Call (502) 584-7777, order online at
www.kentuckycenter.org, or in person at the box office.
 


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