Camping with Henry and Tom,
By Mark St Germain
Directed by Margaret Gudmundsson
October 24 thru November 22, 2003
The play is a fiction suggested by facts. That President Harding went camping with Henry Ford and Thomas Edison is fact; their evening "escape" from the media-packed campsite is fictional.
Conversations are fictional, but based on events, documented personal philosophies and the political climate of the time. Though many remarks are adapted from the actual words of these three men, there is no proof that such a dialogue took place.
What is indisputable is that Warren G Harding is a man who never wanted to be President, Henry Ford is a man who did, and after many annual expeditions, this was Thomas Edison's last camping trip with Henry Ford.
Michael I. Green (Harding) is making his debut at the AE with this extraordinarily talented cast. During his 20's, Mike was involved in 22 productions, acting, stage managing, and directing Off-Broadway and regional theaters. After a 39 year lapse as a physicist, he has appeared in 14 shows in 4 years at Pleasanton Playhouse, Odyssey Players, Onstage, Stage 1 Repertory, MIRA, and Solano College Theatres. Recent roles include: I'm Not Rappaport (Nat), Miracle on 34th Street (Kris Kringle), Prelude to a Kiss (Old Man), and Fiddler on the Roof (Lazar Wolf). Special thanks to his wife and family who are his best supporters.
Bob Gudmundsson (Starling) is making his acting debut with AE in this production. He has been active with AE for a number of years doing set construction work and Stage Managing. He blames it all on his mother.
Margaret Gudmundsson (Director) has directed several plays for AE including a sell-out Murder at the Vicarage in 1999. She also directed The Fire Bugs, and Coastal Disturbances. Her most recent acting role with AE was Bea in Other People’s Money.
Ralph Miller (Edison) last performed at Live Oak as Henry Drummond in AE’s production of Inherit The Wind in 2000. Ralph has worked with the Company for over 30 years and is on the Board. Other AE plays he has done in recent years are This Day And Age, You Can’t Take It with You, Painting Churches, and Breaking The Code. He’s also appeared with Marin Theatre Company, The Willows (Concord), Center Rep in Walnut Creek (Scrooge in A Christmas Carol), and many other East Bay community theatres. Ralph has also been active in films (The Californians) and TV (Nash Bridges). He and his wife, Virginia, live in Berkeley.
Tom Reilly (Ford) returns to acting in this production after a 22-year hiatus devoted to the practice of law. His last role was as dueling matinee idol Tony Cavendish in Actors Ensemble's The Royal Family in 1981. Mr. Reilly is pleased to be playing another historical character, having previously portrayed Abraham Lincoln, Henry David Thoreau, Jean-Paul Marat, Isaac Newton, William Shakespeare, Charlemagne, and the Angel Gabriel. He dedicates this performance to the 1958 Ford Edsel, the ugliest car of his childhood.