"The only mistake an artist can make is to be afraid to make a mistake."

Experience

My Teaching and directing philosophies mirror each other. As a teacher, my goal is to empower students to visualize themselves as the creative artist; as a director, I empower a cast to trust their own creative instincts. As a teacher I prefer to work with focused and highly motivated students who challenge, stimulate and extend my imagination; as a director, I need to cast a focused, highly motivated actor who shows me something that challenges my understanding of character and play. The teacher in me wants the student to grasp something beyond their own vision. The director hopes the audience takes home something more than a ticket stub. I believe my approach to teaching and directing leads the student/actor towards trusting themselves to a point where they can embrace and encourage their mistakes, utilize their fears and head towards a most positive process. A collaborative artists’ development is directly proportional to self-confidence (point of view), knowledge and experience.

My teaching and directing pursue the development of these disciplines.

Acting By Mistake: Author

A practical guide to auditioning, rehearsing and performing that leads the actor to trust themselves, utilize their fears, create from their mistakes and head toward a more positive process. Available online at www.xlibris.com or Amazom.com. Also available on Kindle.

Produced Theatrical Works:

REMEMBER WHEN THE MUSIC
A musical review of the works of singer/songwriter Harry Chapin co-created with Alan Blumenthal. Unit set, five actors 3m/2f, five piece combo. There are 37 Chapin songs. All of Chapin’s songs told of the extraordinary lives of ordinary human beings i.e. TAXI, CATS IN THE CRADLE, W-O-L-D and many more.PRODUCED @ THE BARTER THEATRE 2008 & ACT 2 PLAYHOUSE 2007 (Reviews and photos available)

OH JONAH
A new musical based on The Book of Jonah. This pop-rock musical tells the story of Jonah and his journey into and out of the whale employing theatrics, puppetry and mask. Music by: Michael Gregorio Lyrics by: Michael & Joan Gregorio Book by: Roudebush/Gregorio.PRODUCED@ THE BECK CENTER THEATRE & THE JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER (Cleveland, Ohio) 1992(reviews and photos available)

Projects Under Development:UNPRODUCED

SONGWRITING 552
An original musical by the same authors as A LOVE TO DIE FOR(see below). This musical is a fictitious story of a six time Grammy award nominated song writer who is forced to teach a graduate class in song writing to survive. Forgotten by his old contacts and past achievements “Dr. D” struggles to maintain his relevance in the ever evolving digital world of music. He is both deconstructed and inspired by his five students. Book by: William Roudebush. Music and Lyrics by Austin Roberts and Michael Gregorio.

This show features several different styles of music and is also looking for a workshop production. Three Sets: Eight lead roles: Small chorus of eight (4m/4f)

THE PROPHET AND HIS WIFE
A completely revised version of OH JONAH (see above) with a new book written by Kelly Masterson(BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU”RE DEAD,KILLING KENNEDY) and revised lyrics by Peter Udell (TONY award winning lyricist)and music/lyrics by Michael Gregorio.

VILLAGE GATE FOLLIES
A musical revue based on the history of the iconic New York theatre, The Village Gate. A unit set, five actors 2f/3m, a 5 piece combo capable of playing show tunes and jazz. This revue contains a pastiche of the best musical numbers and comic sketches that played the Village Gate from 1959-1992. JACQUES BREL, ONE MO TIME, TOMFOOLERY, SCRAMBLED FEET, MACBIRD, LET MY PEOPLE COME, A…MY NAME IS ALICE, NATIONAL LAMPOON’S LEMMINGS and CLASS OF 86’ are just a few of the well known musicals along with the relatively unknown SHARE MY LETTUCE (starring Maggie Smith and Roderick Cook), LIES AND LEDGENDS, LOVE SONG, KUMQUATS (The world’s first erotic puppet show written by Weyland Flowers) and RAP MASTER RONNIE. This revue contains one gem after another and is all comedy all of the time.

A LOVE TO DIE FOR ( A ROCK DO-OPERA)
A new musical that connects rock music of the 80’s to its roots in Doo-Wop and tells the story of a 30 year old woman who tragically lost both of her parents on the same day in two completely separate incidents.

A unit set with many variations, fast moving lighting, large cast (at least 20... 12m/8f) and a 5-8 piece rock band. The music and lyrics were written by Grammy winner and Oscar nominated (TENDER MERCIES) song writer Austin Roberts and his partner, former member of the BROOKLYN BRIDGE Michael Gregorio. Book by William Roudebush.

It has a broad intergenerational appeal, a compelling story line and plenty of new music that never stops. This show is looking for its first production or a workshop to explore further development. It has a broad intergenerational appeal, a compelling story line and plenty of new music that never stops.

My focus as an artist is process. I have a vision for each play or project I encounter that is developed to unite the individuals I collaborate with but the end result, when the process is most effective, is revealed to all involved. When we, as collaborative artists work for a result, our vision is immediately limited by the projected outcome.

I have worked with many inspiring artists in my career and the ones I remember most fondly possessed a great joy located at the center of their process. They always found a way to make things work. No anger. No demands. No tantrums. No manipulations. No power plays. I could go on forever listing what they didn’t do, but what they all had in common was a comfort with themselves and a love of process.

I want to find a place, call them all close and absorb their contentment. This would be a relaxed space; open. People listen and their creative thoughts are spun by what they hear. We all love a dilemma. The challenge of its solution is what brings us together. People suggest the absurd. It’s met by deserved laughter. In the calm that follows, we begin to create. I can listen all day without saying a word, then, all at once, my mind is enlightened, not with the solution, but with a question that embodies the entire afternoon of thought. We laugh again. This is the key element. It liberates age and abates time. We have no concern for time. We are lost in this process and we are safe.

Bill has been teaching for over 40 years at the following Universities:

  • American Academy of Dramatic Arts
  • University of Memphis
  • University of Miami
  • Temple University
  • University of the Arts
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • New World School for the Arts

Subjects Taught:

  • Auditioning
  • Scene Study (Basic & Advanced)
  • Directing (Basic & Advanced)
  • Collaboration
  • Introduction to Acting
  • Creativity
  • Theatre Pedagogy
  • Modern Theatre (Chekhov, Ibsen, and Strindberg)

Bill is also known for his programs developing young artists (Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Award for Outreach at the WALNUT STREET THEATRE). He was THEATRE SCHOOL DIRECTOR at the WALNUT STREET THEARE for four years developing the largest professional theatre training program in the Delaware Valley with over 500 students. He was also Director of Musical Theatre at the Performing Arts Institute for ten years where he created a guest artist program enabling students to work on stage and in the classroom with such seasoned actors as Austin Pendleton (TONY nominee) Robert Cuccioli ( TONY nominee) and David Canary ( 5 time Emmy winner). The photos in this section are taken directly from that PAI program.

Bill began his career thirty years ago as a marketing manager for the Boston based ‘Education for Management’, a small publishing company affiliated with the American Management Association. In the three years of his tenure, gross annual sales jumped from $90,000.00 to 2.4 million. Originally trained in education and theatre, he left his lucrative position in marketing to pursue a theatre career in Miami. While there, he built the largest drama department in the Dade County School System, was program director for the state of Florida’s International Thespian Society, and held the titles of stage manager, lighting designer, set designer, actor and director at various theaters in South Florida. He then went on to graduate school at Memphis State University where he supervised the undergraduate directing program and landed the job of Artistic Director for Playhouse on the Square.

In 1981 he was hired by Cleveland Play House’s Artistic Director, Richard Oberlin, to assist and consult, while the Play House constructed their new state-of-the-art theatre complex. Also while in Cleveland, Bill raised a half-a-million dollars in private funding to restore the city’s oldest road house, The Hanna Theatre.

After moving to New York in 1985, Bill consulted with Cleveland’s oldest community theatre at the Beck Center, and made the difficult decisions needed to return it to the position of leadership it now holds in the community. In 1995 he took over the position of Theatre School Director for The Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. In four years, the School grew from 118 students to over 500 students; sales increased from $90,000/year, to over $350,000.00/year.

He came full circle returning to the business world. He was a pilot director for the ‘Atacand Launch’ for Astra Pharmaceuticals. This was the largest business industrial in the history of Actors Equity Association, employing over 160 actors nationwide. Following this, he continued to work with Astra, under their ‘New Hire Learning Program’, until it’s merger with the Zenneca Pharmaceutical Corporation ended this ground breaking sales training program.

Bill is adept in conceptualizing, creating, executing and motivating organizations and individuals to achieve beyond their visions.

Currently based in New York City, Bill has been coaching actors for over 40 years in the following areas:

  • College Auditions: Creation & Execution
  • Monologues for the Professional Actor
  • Prepared Sides
  • Commercial & Film Acting
  • Basic and Advanced Acting Techniques

Rates for individual actors range from $75 to $100 per hour based on the actors current employment situation.

CREATE A CLASS
To save money get several individuals together and create a weekly, bi weekly or monthly class. Numbers of students and rates are negotiable.

Bio

Bill began his career as a high school drama teacher and built the largest theatre program in the state of Florida involving more than 250 students. He was named State Program Director for the International Thespian Society and hosted the convention at the University of Miami. After five years, including one year’s sabbatical as resident actor, director and designer for the Players Rep Company in Miami, he was awarded a graduate assistantship at The University of Memphis where he supervised the undergraduate directing program, taught classes and received his MFA in Directing.

After graduation he was immediately hired as Artistic Director of Playhouse on the Square, Memphis’ only professional theatre company. He presided over a seven show season increasing attendance from 55% capacity to over 70% in one season dramatically raising the theatre’s profile in the community. The following season he was offered a permanent position at our nation’s oldest repertory company at the Cleveland Play House. He cut his professional teeth working with his great mentor Richard Oberlin. As assistant to the Artistic Director, resident actor and director he was involved in over ten productions along with directing the theatre’s fellowship program. Building on this success he raised over a half a million dollars in private investments creating a sub – chapter “s” corporation renovating Cleveland’s 1500 seat road house, the Hanna Theatre. He produced a five show season collaborating with Chicago’s Wisdom Bridge Theatre, The British Academy of Dramatic Arts, The Famous People Players as well as producing a national touring production of Tom Lehrer’s TOMFOOLERY. Since then he has directed well over 200 productions at such theatres as Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Fulton Opera House, Syracuse Stage Company, Theatre Virginia, The Walnut Street Theatre, GeVa Theatre, the Barter Theatre and many others.

Building on the contacts he made as a producer and presenter he moved to New York to focus on developing new plays. He directed the play reading series at the Bruno Walter auditorium at Lincoln Center for the director’s union SDC for over four seasons. He created another reading series at the historic John Houseman theatre called TEN MORE BY NOONAN working side by side with the Irish American playwright John Ford Noonan, David Canary, Barbara Barrie, William Hickey, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara and many others. Noonan’s play TALKING THINGS OVER WITH CHEKOV was later produced off – Broadway. He adapted his musical VILLAGE GATE FOLLIES and directed productions at Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Mint Theatre Company, The Actors Outlet, The Broadway Theatre and many other small venues in and around New York City.

He was then offered a job as Director of the Theatre School and Educational Outreach at the nation’s oldest and most historic theatre The Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. He developed award winning educational programs (Adopt-a-School, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts) reaching over 25,000 students each year and increased the size of the theatre school from 118 students to over 500 in his four year tenure as director. He created innovative master classes headed by such industry leaders as Tim Jerome, Austin Pendleton, Sam Waterson, and David Canary among others. He also created a summer program for kids including a Discovery, Development and Young Masters division. All evolved into what was to become the largest professional training program in the Delaware Valley. For ten years Bill was Musical Theatre director for the Performing Arts Institute at the Wyoming Seminary in Pennsylvania. His students performed at an 1800 seat road house venue at the Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The students in this unique program performed with award winning guest artists Austin Pendleton, David Canary and Robert Cuccioli along with a 26-28 piece orchestra. During his tenure he created an annual fundraiser which enhanced production values and funded scholarships for under privileged students in need of financial aid. Bill has also taught at New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, Temple University, Virginia Commonwealth University and, most recently the University of Miami and the New World School for the Arts.

Bill is currently based in New York City coaching actors for film, television and theatre while developing several new musicals for full or workshop productions.

Bill is always looking for projects to direct and develop for the stage as well as reviving classics for today’s audiences. He is also committed to creating cutting edge programs for theatre education and outreach.