Geva Theatre Artistic Director Talks About Career on Stage
Geva Theatre Artistic Director Mark Cuddy spoke to a full room of residents and guests (considering a move to St. John’s) at Brickstone by St. John’s Wintergarden on Monday, May 23. He detailed the warm memories of his childhood and highlighted the places and people he encountered over his 47-year career in the theater with a mix of images, memorabilia, anecdotes, and storytelling. The talk was done in true theater fashion–causing the audience to laugh, be surprised, but primarily, be very much entertained.
Cuddy humorously stated that his acting career began at the very young age of six months when he was cast as the Baby Jesus in the Christus in Boston, where he spent his childhood; however, it was not until 14 years later that life changing feedback, “”I think you have talent. Go see these people. . .,” from a professor of Latin at the Boston Latin School where he attended, would officially launch Cuddy into the beginnings of his “Career on Stage,” the appropriate title of his talk.
Cuddy did some famous name dropping of people he met along the way such as Faye Dunaway, Van Johnson, Rip Torn, and John Goodman (before he had “made it big”) . He also had some notable moments of fame such as a cover article in the Boston Globe, time on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, and a brief role in the soap opera “Another World.”
There were also recaps of his time both acting and directing over the years and across the country. However, as Cuddy describes, it was when he and his young family arrived in Rochester in September 1995, when he would assume the role of Geva Theatre Artistic Director, that he found “home.”
Cuddy, who will retire from his role at Geva Theatre on July 31, reminisced proudly and with justification of his many accomplishments at Geva, including having the opportunity to direct his own son recently in Constellations.
As for what retirement includes? Perhaps, there will be more time to spend at his family’s Keuka Lake retreat and for theater passion projects. Cuddy also says that he will still be around to help as requested and looks forward to the 5oth Anniversary Season of Geva Theatre, which will launch in September.