Memphis native returns for one-man Truman Capote play
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — For the past 25 years, actor Mark Chambers has called San Francisco home. He has returned to his hometown — Memphis — to portray writer Truman Capote in a one-man play this month.
Jay Presson Allen, who died in 2006, wrote “Tru,” which takes place in Capote’s New York apartment in 1975. The plot follows Esquire publishing an excerpt from Capote’s novel, with the author’s friends recognizing themselves in the words, and their reactions to the fact.
″(Capote) is very complicated,” Chambers said.
Theater company Cloud9Memphis is presenting the production, in a special arrangement with Actors’ Equity Association and Samuel French. Cloud9Memphis, whose mission is to tell stories of those aged 55 and up, is a resident company at TheatreWorks/Evergreen Theater.
Cloud9Memphis is in its fourth season; the company stages two productions a year.
This will be the fourth time that Chambers has performed “Tru” in the past six years. He has also performed the role at the Florida Repertory Theater (Fort Myers, Florida), The Studio@620 (St. Petersburg, Florida) and the Greenbrier Valley Theatre (Lewisburg, West Virginia).
“I grew up on these stages and learned a lot of my craft from great actors here in Memphis,” Chambers said. “It’s nice to bring my skills and the storytelling of this particular project back to my home, where I was born. I created a home in San Francisco. But the minute you get back home — and especially in Midtown where I grew up — everything has a sense of memory for me.”
Glenda Mace, founder of Cloud9Memphis, met Chambers in tap class at Memphis State University in 1978. She started acting classes there the following year.
She turns 80 in March.
“I started acting as an elder adult — at age 40 — when I went back to the University of Memphis,” Mace said. “Then I moved to New York for 10 years.”
She moved back to Memphis in 2000 and served as facility manager for TheatreWorks for nine years.
“I thought that there was a need to tell the stories of elder adults,” Mace said. “Every once in a while there will be one, but I think our literature that we have produced so far has been right on. Everything’s been pretty well accepted.”
Outside of running her company, Mace works 40 hours a week as a bookkeeper, is a performer with Playback Memphis and teaches a yoga class once a week. She also is a judge for the Ostrander Awards, Memphis’ annual theater awards.
“So, I see all of the shows in Memphis,” she said.
Information from: The Daily Memphian, http://https://www.dailymemphian.com/