When Everyman Theatre was founded in 1990, the resident company included Kyle Prue, who went on to perform in two dozen works over the years. But in 2006, he moved from being in front of the spotlights to making sure the spotlights and everything else at Everyman functioned smoothly, as the company's production manager.
Prue had a practical reason for taking that job."I have a wife and family," he said. "I wanted a little more of a steady paycheck, something 52 weeks a year, instead of nine- or 10-week chunks."
Now, Prue has switched back, at least long enough to star as Henry Higgins in the original makeover story, George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion."
"Vinnie [Lancisi, Everyman's artistic director] told me he wanted me to do a play for our 20th anniversary season," Prue, 46, said. "I enjoy the production end, but it is reinvigorating to be onstage again."
As a comeback vehicle, the role of Henry Higgins "has been a little bit daunting, to say the least," the actor said. There's the issue of a British accent, for a start; Higgins' posh one has to be as convincing as Eliza Doolittle's cockney.
"There are certain sounds where I know I'm very American," Prue said. "I have to be very conscious of that."
Then there's the after-effect of the film version of the "Pygmalion"-based musical "My Fair Lady."
"Everyone has Rex Harrison in mind as Henry Higgins," Prue said. "I'm not a Rex Harrison type. I just try to be truthful, telling the story as Shaw wrote it."
"Pygmalion" runs through June 19 at Everyman Theatre, 1727 N. Charles St. $10-$45. Call 410-752-2208 or go to everymantheatre.org.