It’s turf the seven-time Emmy Award winner (“The
That season he had small roles (Sampson, Bardolph and Soldier) in "The Merry Wives of Windsor, "Romeo and Juliet" and "All's Well That Ends Well."
"I think the inside of the theater looks damn good," he says in a phone interview after the event.
There have been several attempts to revive the property since it closed in the early '80s. After the state spent more than a decade of finding satisfactory private-public development deals to reviove the property, the state reverted the ownership of the theater to the town of Stratford.
"I'm not a man for figures but I think this 1,500-seat theater could be opened in no time if people got behind it," says Asner. " But it needs a communal spirit to sweep away a lot of the naysayers. You've got to knock over those Pygmies."
The visit also brought back some memories to Asner. "I was a chunky 180-pound actor who nobody knew and who no one knew what kind of talent he had. I must have seemed un-frail so they used me like a good piece of furniture on stage. That's how Houseman cast me, doing these small roles, and I resented it."
He jokes that it was the first time he wore "woolen tights that clung to my body. I had a sexual experience just putting them on every night."
The actors for Asner's season were an impressive bunch: