Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Festival Director Has Star Pupil to Play "The School for Wives"

Cleveland Press July 26, 1965

Says he: "We'd like a home sometime, but right now wherever we are is home."

Says she: "I'm so tired of living out of a trunk I could scream. Besides, I want to have a baby."

He and she are Larry Linville and Kate Geer, both of the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival, married 3 1/2 years, an actor and actress who have found steady employment in the country's better regional theaters.

Tomorrow Larry will be in a role in which his wife will find it difficult to argue with him. He will direct her in Moliere's "The School for Wives."

How do they work together?

"Generally well, but it depends on the play. We fought like cats and dogs in "The Lady's Not For Burning'," Linville recalled.

LARRY LINVILLE was born and reared in California, had had high school and civic theater experience when he went to the University of Colorado to study aeronautical engineering, gave that up when it turned out he was color blind.

"Since aeronautics was out, I turned to acting," he said. "A lot of actors are interested in flying. I don't know what the connection is but there must be one."

He then spent two years on a scholarship studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.

"American dramatic schools talk a lot but don't do much. At the Academy you do everything -- act, direct, learn make-up, all the technical things.'

HE WAS with the Lakewood Festival last season, has spent four seasons with the APA "Association of Producing Artists in Ann Arbor., Milwaukee, and Boston; served with the Boston Arts Festival; Barter Theater in Abingdon, Va.; San Diego Shakespeare Festival; St. Paul, Minn., Theater and the Fred Miller Theater in Milwaukee.

"This is where the full employment is, in the regional theater. And it's good theater. You need both -- regional and Broadway. But the regional theater develops the potential playwrights, actors and directors."

Larry is the only actor in the family, comes from a line of doctors, lawyers and judges, has been a hod carrier and a glider pilot.

KATE on the other hand comes from an acting family, has been involved with the theater all her life.

Her father is the noted actor, Will Geer and her mother is Herta Ware, an actress and folk singer.

Was she born in the theater?

"No, but I was in a movie before I was born. In a movie called 'Fight for Life' father was a doctor and mother was a pregnant woman and she really was -- with me."

Kate's experience includes work with the St. Paul Professional Repertory Theater; the Fred Miller Theater in Milwaukee and two years with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

She plays the guitar and does some folk singing (her godfather is Burl Ives) and paints and draws.

KATE AND LARRY met In Milwaukee when their respective acting companies crossed paths. They were married in Carson City Nevada, in a courthouse with the sheriff and two cowboys as witnesses and a souvenir Indian ring for a wedding ring.

After the Great Lakes Festival is over they will probably go to St. Paul.

"My sister Ellie is with the Tyrone Guthrie Theater and she has a baby," added Kate, apropos of plenty.