Horrors imagined and real in “The Pillowman”

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Well, the reviews are in… and they aren’t saying much.

The Seattle PI wrote “If there is truly any risk that stories can turn real, then Martin McDonagh is a social menace. His deliciously grim drama of a writer accused of serial killings in an unnamed totalitarian state feeds on the revolting twists of cruelty that fiction’s dark gods demand. In McDonagh’s world, the most fearsome four words are “once upon a time.”

Read the full article at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Misha Berson of the Seattle Times had this to say “In a nearby room, also in custody, awaits Katurian’s mentally disturbed brother Michal (Shawn Telford). He also knows these stories well. And what effects have they had on his stunted mind? Are they simply harmless imaginings? Or blueprints for torture and murder?”

She went on to add “As the damaged Michal, Telford is restrained in his craziness, and has a scrappy rapport with Miller in their long, revelatory scene together.”

Read the full article on-line at the Seattle Times.

…..psst! Leave a comment!

Men & their pillows

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But first a word from our sponsor:

The Pillowman is a disturbing and darkly funny new comedy-drama from Martin McDonagh (A Skull in Connemara, The Beauty Queen of Leenane) about a storyteller/writer in a totalitarian state whose macabre fairy tales may be inspiring a series of grisly crimes. A brilliantly bone-chilling exploration of the role of artists and artistic responsibility in contemporary culture.

Winner of the prestigious 2004 Olivier Award in London and nominated for Broadway’s Tony Award for Best New Play in 2005.

Pillowman begins previewing at ACT Theatre in downtown Seattle on Friday March 17th. The show will run only until April 16th with no hope of extension. The final week is expected to sell out, so mark your calendar and get your tickets now!

There are 2 “Pay-What-You-Can” Performances:


“I like the Pillowman. He’s my favorite.”

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I made a deal with myself: if I get cast in ACT’s production of the Pillowman, I’ll let my For-Hire license expire, rather than renew it. That means no more driving cabs, even as a fall back… The hope was that this symbolic gesture would force myself to believe in myself and show myself my commitment to this craft. In other words, it’s time to work without the net…

Well, I got the part!

Rehearsals begin late February just days before my birthday. The show opens in March and runs through April.

I can’t tell you how exciting this is. (more…)

Shawn gets 3 Footlight Awards… well, sort of

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At the end of every year, the Seattle Times does a recap of the year in theatre, commemorating the highs and lows with fitting rewards… I mean awards. (I never win anything!)

This recently deceased year—2005, two plays I worked on Red Badge of Courage and Vincent in Brixton, were distinguished as “Most Thoughtful Children’s Show” and “Best Mainstage Production” respectively.

“Shawn Telford and Anne Allgood gave praiseworthy performances as lovers in ACT’s “Vincent in Brixton”

As for myself, Misha cited me as one of the “Excellent, busy young actors we don’t get tired of: Shawn Telford, [along with] Gabriel Baron, Darragh Kennan, Alexandra Tavares, Lathrop Walker.”

If you don’t believe me, read the full article at the Seattle Times.

Eye Heart Music Dot Com

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…is coming soon. In fact, it may already be here?

I’m moving away from the idea of posting music reviews here on my main site, where (hopefully) people are coming to consider me for acting jobs. Instead, so as not to confuse anyone with the many things that interest me, I’m going to move all of the music stuff to…

Eye Heart Music Dot Com

A new site to and for new music!

And a place where I can continue the ever-dificult task of writing about music.

It’s up and coming. That is to say that it is not yet officially “launched” as it were, but it is floating on the web in various stages of completion.

Do you heart music?.

Van Gogh’s earnest realism shines through

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Seattle Times had this to say about Vincent:

A stocky, utterly sincere fellow in his early 20s (as vividly portrayed by Shawn Telford), this Dutchman abroad is fluent in English and French, a voracious reader and a sophisticated art lover.

But as Telford keeps reminding us, through the awkward pitch of his posture and blurting intensity in his voice, Vincent is also socially inept and agonizingly lonely. And when he discovers a kindred soul in that kitchen, he lunges for it and any communion it might offer.

“Vincent in Brixton” is a play about the making of an artist but, enrichingly, about other things, too. The desire to be a muse. The strains between domesticity and art. The overwhelming, insidious nature of mental depression, eased (however briefly) by love.

& then this:

ACT’s version prospers from Telford’s implosive/explosive intensity, but at least as much from Allgood’s ability to convey the full emotional spectrum of Ursula. This is a plum role for a versatile actress, and there isn’t a false note in how Allgood’s long-suffering Ursula reacts — with curiosity, humor, skepticism, and a poignant, fearful joy — to Vincent’s demanding outbursts, and later to his erotic tenderness

read the full article at the Seattle Times.

Actress Anne Allgood excels at emotional extremes

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Seattle PI Theatre Critic Joe Adcock had this to say about Vincent:

“Her Ursula starts severe and stoical. Shawn Telford, as Vincent, is not only raw and ruthless but also endearing and beguiling. Moved by his eccentric neediness, Ursula shifts from severe and stoical to giddy — giddy in a mature way — and affectionate.”


“Renata Friedman plays Vincent’s ghastly sister Anna. The role is little more than a crank to shift the plot’s direction. Devlin Borra, as Sam, an amiable working class craftsman/artist, provides a welcome contrast to Telford’s displays of boorish egotism.”

I can’t tell if he liked or didn’t like it. One thing is for sure, he’s a cynical writer.

Read the full article at the Seattle PI.

Grapes Of Wrath

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OCTOBER 14 – NOVEMBER 19, 2005

INTIMAN’s five-year American Cycle initiative continues with The Grapes of Wrath, directed by Linda Hartzell, Artistic Director of Seattle Children’s Theatre. This epic story of Tom Joad and his journey across America is both a family saga and an extraordinary evocation of our nation’s history during the 1930s. John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about migrant farm workers during the Great Depression combines social activism and spiritual urgency to stand as one of the greatest expressions of human dignity ever written. It speaks to an important moment in our country’s past — and expresses something profound about the human spirit, and our capacity to survive in the face of adversity. Frank Galati’s adaptation, described as “majestic” by Frank Rich in the New York Times, won the 1990 Tony Award for Best Play.

I play several characters, basically anyone who comes along to harass the Joads as they travel to California. Yes, all the assholes. But I get to shoot a gun and have a few fights. Did I mention that I’m also the fight captain? This means I get to come in early and run the fights, make sure no one gets hurt and it looks convincing. Lots of fun.

Vincent in Brixton

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I’m preparing for a new show at ACT Theatre in Seattle. Here is the info…


Before he knew he was a painter, brash, young Vincent van Gogh lived and worked in South London for three years as an art dealer, an experience that his mother would later recall as altering her son’s character. The emergence of genius and the costs of an extravagantly sensitive sensibility are the subjects of Nicholas Wright’s 2003 Olivier Award-winner.

Extrapolated from Van Gogh’s personal family correspondence, Wright weaves a rich, detailed exploration of the nature of artistic inspiration through an unlikely romance – a love made all the more unpredictable by the involvement of genius.