DS9's Garak Is All Over the L.A. StageBy Michelle
January 13, 2007 - 11:16 PM
Andrew Robinson's involvement in west coast theatre, from teaching and fundraising to acting and directing, makes him appear to be "the busiest man in Los Angeles", according to one of his colleagues at the University of Southern California.
This Sunday's Los Angeles Times has a profile of Robinson, who played Garak on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and directed episodes of Deep Space Nine and Voyager. "This is insane, what I'm doing," Robinson said of his current schedule, which includes teaching and supervising the graduate acting program at USC as well as directing the Pasadena Playhouse's new production of Defiance as well as regular acting jobs onstage and at festivals.
Robinson, who will soon turn 65, teaches a course called "Physical Approach to Acting" that encourages his students to fine-tune their bodies to portray emotions. He recently directed a campus undergraduate production of The Threepenny Opera while preparing to play Theseus in the Antaeus Company's production of Phaedra. His current directing challenge, John Patrick Shanley's controversial drama, is set in 1971 at the US Marine base in Camp Lejeune where a married couple's problems are framed against issues of patriotism and racism during a turbulent era.
"When in my life am I ever going to get a chance to do Seneca?" asked Robinson by way of explanation for his grueling schedule, adding, "I'm having a good time, but I need more sleep."
Robinson lost his own father in the Battle of the Bulge and says he spent his entire adult life "waiting for my father to show up, and he never showed up", a situation for which he only recently received closure by visiting his father's grave in Luxembourg. Raised by an alcoholic mother, he was sent as a juvenile delinquent to boarding school where he was drawn to literature and theatre. A fellowship at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art followed, then roles at the Public Theater in New York before he became famous as the killer in Dirty Harry.
Jaded by Hollywood typecasting, Robinson returned to his theatrical roots and found his way back to L.A. stages, as an actor and director. He said that although the stage is his first love, he believes that some of his best acting can be seen in his recurring role as tinker-tailor-soldier-spy Garak.
The full interview is here.