Catching the Red Eye to theater innovation

The tiny theater company celebrates 25 years as a launching pad for local talent

Over the years, the Red Eye has developed a who's-who of theater talent. In a follow-up email, Must ticks off local actors, playwrights, and visual artists who have worked at the Red Eye in one capacity or another. There are more than a hundred names on her list, including such local heavyweights as Open Eye Figure Theatre's Michael Sommers, Frank Theatre's Wendy Knox, and the crew from Bedlam. The acting roster includes such recognizable big-stage names as Luverne Seifert, Tracey Maloney, and Jim Lichtscheidl.

Still, Must and Busa are resolute in looking forward rather than to the past. When Must is asked to name a favorite performance over the years, she mentions Samantha Blossom in Sheila Callaghan's Dead City, just a couple of shows back. Of his fondest directing stint, Busa diplomatically says, "The one I'm doing now is my favorite."

He does break form, though, when he's asked to fetch a memory from the past. Busa breaks into a grin.

Nick Vlcek

"We had full-frontal male nudity in a show one time," he remembers. "And there was this old woman, in her 80s, in the audience. [An actor] is doing this wild naked dance. So the old woman said to her friend, 'Let me have your glasses.' And she stares at the actor for a while and says..."

Busa pauses.

"That's not so much to talk about."

Everyone's a critic.


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