I’m excited to work with such pros. I’ll let you know how things go in the coming week afer we have an audience and the reviews come in. (Remember: beware the Raptor!)
Theater: Funny guy Doug Jackson plays Ken Lay in Theatre Three’s ‘Enron’
Theater Critic firstname.lastname@example.org Published: 24 April 2013 05:53 PM
Doug Jackson is resigned to being a funny guy — most of the time.
For more than 30 years, the Dallas actor has been busy on many local stages as well as in movies and TV ads. At Theatre Three alone, where Jackson begins
performances as Ken Lay in Enron this week, he has helped set many records.
For example, he played the lead, Seymour, when Theatre Three’s 1986 Little Shop of Horrors compiled the longest run of any Dallas theatrical production. He also performed for years in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, which broke that earlier record by a mile. He has starred in everything from Neil Simon to Stephen Sondheim, and he has played Harpo Marx onstage four different times. He was even one of the few area actors who worked regularly at the Dallas Theater Center during the Richard Hamburger regime.
“Doug is right up there at the top of the people who are still around,” Theatre Three executive producer-director Jac Alder says. “There are not many people who can do as many roles. He’s a song-and-dance man, and he’s funny — which means he can do anything. You can’t trust an actor who can’t make people laugh.”
From the beginning of his long career, Jackson has known he’s not the leading-man type.
“I’m 5-foot-8 and don’t have a jaw line,” he says. “In The Music Man, I’d love to play Harold Hill. But I’m not Harold Hill, I’m the anvil salesman.”
Still, there’s one type of role Jackson thinks he should land, but fate always seems to get in the way. That’s “the guy who plays the lead who is really supposed to be a character man.” He gets upset when parts such as Cyrano de Bergerac or Fagin in Oliver! go to a conventional leading man.
“If you put a big nose on a pretty face, you are not serving the script,” Jackson laments.
Jackson went out on a national tour after finishing the Theater Center’s graduate acting program alongside other prominent local actors such as John S. Davies and the late Lynn Mathis. On that tour, he met his wife and frequent co-star, Amy Mills, currently starring in Pfamily Arts’ A Little Night Music. Both their daughters have embarked on acting careers, as well. When he’s not onstage or filming movies, such as The Last Stand with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackson is doing computer-aided design to pay for additions to his Oak Cliff house or his daughters’ educations.
Jackson credits a guest director of a Feydeau farce during his Theater Center training for one of his biggest secrets about being funny onstage: “To play comedy, you have to learn to stand still.”
Former Theatre Three actor-director Laurence O’Dwyer told him another: “The number one thing is to make sure the audience understands every last word. You have to get out of comedy’s way.”
Even in serious dramas such as Enron, Lucy Prebble’s study of the business shenanigans that brought down the Houston energy giant, such lessons can come in handy.
“I got excited when I saw Doug’s name on the audition list,” Enron director Jeffrey Schmidt says. “This character can’t be purely evil. He needs to have redeeming qualities. Everyone had a part in this collapse.”
Plan your life
Enron is April 25 through May 25 at Theatre Three at the Quadrangle, 2800 Routh St., Dallas. $10 to $50. 214-871-3300. theatre3dallas.com.
(Posted by Team Nicole)