Director Bill Rauch has had quite a busy year. He’s the director of All The Way on Broadway which has snagged two Tony Award nominations this week. He’s also the full time artistic director for Oregon Shakespeare Festival. All the Way is about a pivotal moment in President Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Originally commissioned by the Festival, the play has taken a journey along the way, with writer Robert Schenkkan making changes right up through the previews of the show on Broadway. Bill Rauch discussed being able to revisit and rethink this play as a director, the impact of Jack Willis as LBJ, and what Bryan Cranston brought to the role.
Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance was also staged a few years ago at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Portland Opera’s Christopher Mattaliano saw an opportunity for collaboration, giving Bill Rauch his Opera debut as they are set to stage the operetta in May.
Rauch discussed the journey of All the Way and more on the Pirates of Penzance in this extended interview.