An illuminating and entertaining portrait of the great American poet Robert Frost, This Verse Business, by A.M Dolan, directed by Gus Kaikkonen. Told in Frost’s folksy yet penetrating style, this one-man play is full of poetry, wit and “promises to keep.”
This Verse Business features Tony nominated and Emmy Award-winning actor Gordon Clapp (Robert Frost) in his first appearance on Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s stage. His performance on NYPD Blue as Detective Greg Medavoy won Clapp a 1998 Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. He played instigator Dave Moss in the 2005 Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross. He has also been seen in guest roles on shows such as Damages, Deadwood, Cold Case, Without a Trace and HBO’s Taking Chance. His film appearances include Flags of Our Fathers, The Game Plan and The Grind.
Sharing the work of Robert Frost on stage has been a long-time goal of Gordon Clapp. “I grew up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire,” says Clapp. “When I went away to school in Connecticut I took Robert Frost with me and he brought me home. Over thirty years ago I promised myself to bring him back to life on stage. When I stumbled upon Andy Dolan’s wonderful script I knew the time had come. It will be particularly gratifying to perform the piece in Lowell, one town up river from Lawrence where Frost spent most of his boyhood. I look forward to working at Merrimack Rep. I’ve heard glowing reports from former company members and patrons alike. And I hope to meet many Frostaceans — my affectionate name for those who knew or crossed paths with Frost at some point in their lives.”
The creative team features Gus Kaikkonen (Director and Scenic Designer), Rob Shearin (Scenic Assistant), Lee Viliesis (Costume Designer), John Ekert (Lighting Designer), andJason Weber (Sound Designer).
“I am thrilled that Merrimack Rep has chosen to produce my play this season,” says A.M. Dolan, who appeared in The Front Page at MRT in 2000. “I never expected to return to MRT as a playwright, but I’m more than delighted to leave the on-stage work this time to the incredibly talented Gordon Clapp. Not only does he conjure up Frost as the poet, but the wickedly witty platform performer as well. He’s amazing.”
“When I first read Andy Dolan’s This Verse Business, it jumped off the page” explains Director and Scenic Designer Gus Kaikkonen. “Andy captures Robert Frost’s brilliance, wit and edge. Frost’s wily New England sensibility is the perfect antidote to our current national malaise. Gordon Clapp is deservedly a much awarded, world-class actor, who grew up in northern New Hampshire idolizing Robert Frost. His nuanced performance is not only authentic but hilarious.”
A.M. Dolan is an actor and playwright living in Falmouth, MA with his wife Zoe Cardon, a senior scientist at the MBL Ecosystems Center. His plays are: Five Live Poets (2001), In Country Heaven (2004), and This Verse Business (2010), which received its world premiere last September at the Peterborough Players in New Hampshire. He has acted with the Old Globe Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, Texas Shakespeare Festival, Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theatre, Payomet Performing Arts Festival, New Rep, New Century Theatre, Stoneham Theatre and many more.