Carole Peterson Wendt's Memories (Part 3) | Main | Carole Peterson Wendt's Memories of the University of Minnesota Theatre (Part 1)

January 13, 2006

Carole Peterson Wendt's Memories (Part 2)

It was about that time that my boy friend, Bill Wendt, was cast as the young Marco in "Marco Millions." Our mutural interest in the theater --plus the fact that we both worked at Gray's Drugstore in Dinkytown -- drew us together. Bill and I married after we graduated and were together until his death in 1998.

Of course, I attended a performance of "Marco Millions" .. proud of my boy friend's acting. I was also struck by Lorraine "Tiny" Steiner's portrayal of a prostitute. Though I was a little bit shocked, I figured I must really be sophisticated to be able to watch such carryings on. Those were more innocent times. I was also amazed by the wonderful acting of Richard Halverson as Kublai Khan. I had seen a few plays in high school; I was even in one. But this was much different. This was a quality of performance beyond anything I'd seen before. Halverson went on to have a very successful career in regional theater. The great theater critic Brooks Atkinson praised his work highly at the Cleveland Playhouse. Atkinson almost never looked at any production outside of Broadway so it was quite noteworthy that he saw and wrote about Halverson's work.

After we married, Bill and I went to New York to try our luck in show business. I ended up working in television as a producer and writer on shows that included the Today Show, the David Frost Show, and the Jack Paar Show. My first foray into TV, however, came at the University. I played a leopard in an odd
little show called "The Blob." Myron "Mo" Odegaard played the blob. The whole thing was directed by Jerry Rumley. The details have faded but I do recall that I had a costume with a tail and that I entered from camera right -- backwards. I believe I was dancing or doing something that vaguely resembled dancing. We all thought it was quite avant garde. Bill, meanwhile, did something for stage and TV, which was much more serious and made more sense. Frank Sturcken directed him in a one act play titled "Hello, Out There." Bill played a tortured young man in jail being visited by his girl friend. The play was televised and was well received. I learned later that for years it had been shown to student actors and directors as an example of good work for television. (I would be grateful if anyone could find a copy of that show.)

MORE TO COME ..

Posted by utheatre at January 13, 2006 1:31 PM | University Theatre Memories

Comments

We found Carole Peterson Wendt's comments interesting. Especially her mention of Bill Phelps (William A. Phelps)- a close friend from the 50's and early 60's. Unfortunately, we completely lost contact after that and we've sought to re-establish contact for years. We would appreciate any information regarding him at this point in time (July, 2006). If you have any information about him or thoughts on further searching strategies, we would appreciate hearing from you.

Thanks in advance,

Tom and Marion Twaites
twait001@tc.umn.edu

Posted by: Tom Twaites at July 11, 2006 11:44 AM