R. Andrew Strickland
Since 8/11/00
This page was last updated on: April 9, 2007
Q:  Is that your real name?

A:  Actually, it is.  I used to perform under several stage names, but reverted back to my real name when I started directing.

Q:  Okay, so what does the "R." stand for?

A:  Despite rumors to the contrary it does not stand for rhubarb, ridiculous, renegade, or raucous.  It DOES stand for Robert, a name I am proud to share with my father.

Q:  Are you married?

A:  Yes, I have a wonderful wife named Janet.  We have been married for more than five years!

Q:  How did you meet her?

A:  She was cast as a nun in a production of The Sound of Music that I directed.

Q:  Any kids?

A:  Yes!  My first child was born last year.  His name is Luke Miles Strickland.  He already loves to dance!

Q:  Your resume lists credits from all over.  Where are you from?

A:  I was born in Hollywood, Florida -- a suburb of Fort Lauderdale.  No matter where I live, South Florida will always be my home.

Q:  Where are you now?

A:  I live and work in Macon, Georgia..

Q:  Which theatre do you work for at present?

A:  I am entering my fourth year as Director of Theatre at First Presbyterian Day School.  I hope to be at FPD for many years, developing a top-notch theatre program.

Q:  Are you continuing to work in theatre outside of FPD?

A:  Yes!  I have recently started Strickland Theatrical Consulting, a small company that provides direction, choreography, workshops, and other services to theatres, schools, and civic groups.  I am also writing freelance theatre reviews for newspapers.

Q:  If you did specialize in one theatre area, what would it be?

A:  Musical theatre, directing, and acting are all specialties of mine.

Q:  What was your first play?

A:  "The Pollywog's Tail" when I was in first grade at Sunshine Elementary.  I played an extremely near-sighted mole with a penchant for talking in rhyme.

Q:  Okay, that could be a little TOO far back.  What was your first non-school play?

A:  A Chorus Line.

Q:  An unusual first play.  How did that happen?

A:  I was a dancer first.  I always wanted to dance since I watched tap dancing on "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood".  A local production of Chorus Line needed male dancers to play some of the "cut" dancers.  I was cast, loved it, and never left the theatre.

Q:  What was your first play as a director?

A:  Funny enough, I directed a play I co-wrote with James DeLeo called Overdue back at the same elementary I attended (Sunshine Elementary in Miramar, Florida.)  It was part of an independent study I was doing at the University of Alabama.

Q:  Okay, enough with the elementary school references already!  What was your first non-elementary school directing experience?

A:  Hey, don't knock elementary school kids.  They are amazing performers!  The first show I directed with adult actors was Counterfeit Moonlight in Tuscaloosa, Alabama with a small, independent theatre company called Moondagger.

Q:  You list credits for many different areas of theatre.  How did you get involved with so many facets of theatre?

A:  Part of it was how I got into theatre:  I was a dancer and singer before I really got into theatre.  Choreography came naturally.  When I was at the University of Alabama the head of the directing program, Ed Williams, made me realize how important it was to understand all elements of theatre production to be a good director.  So, I started learning all the tech specialties.  I have worked at many theatres since where I have needed all of that experience!

Q:  What about music direction?

A:  I play many different instruments and have performed with all sorts of instrumental groups, but never thought about being a music director.  Snow Camp Outdoor Theatre called me back at an audition and asked if I would consider being a music director/actor with them.  I gave it a shot and rather enjoyed it.  I've gotten the chance to music direct many times since then.

Q:  What was your greatest acting experience?

A:  Hmmm...tough one.  In a musical, it would have to be "L.M." in Pump Boys and Dinettes at Weathervane Playhouse.  It was a trip to do a musical where all the actors had to play their own instruments and sing constantly.  A lot of fun and a wonderful cast.

Q:  What about in a non-musical?

A:  "Jaime Escalante" in Stand and Deliver with Corinth Theatre-Arts.  What an incredibly tough role -- made harder by the fact that the character is based on an amazing real-life teacher. 

Q:  What was your favorite directing experience?

A:  I HATE that question!  Every play brings different joys and challenges.

Q:  Stop stalling!

A:  Well, God's Favorite at Weathervane Playhouse was very special.  The show was pretty much an after thought in the season.  The cast was made up primarily of community actors and a few young professionals.  What an AMAZING group of people.  They created a sense of ensemble like I had never experienced before and pulled off a surprise hit.  I felt like the sense of collaboration the cast and I developed made our work extremely special.

Q:  What was your favorite theatre to work for?

A:  Easy question!  Corinth Theatre-Arts in Corinth, Mississippi.  In the course of three years and roughly thirty performances the wonderful people at CT-A became like a family to me.  Talented people with a great love for theatre -- a hard combination to beat!

Q:  What shows are you longing to direct?

A:  Gross Indecency, Taking Leave, Chess, The Tempest (really ANYTHING by Shakespeare), Miss Julie, Amadeus, What the Butler Saw, Oh Dad Poor Dad...,Passion, 42nd Street, Wicked, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and hundreds more.

Q:  Who is your favorite playwright?

A:  Mr. William Shakespeare.

Q:  Favorite musical theatre composer?

A:  Stephen Sondheim.

Q:  Favorite choreographer?

A:  The late Bob Fosse.

Q:  Favorite color?

A:  Green

Q:  Color you wear most often?

A:  Black.  I've been in theatre forever, what do you expect?