VOSCO CALL SPOTLIGHT CONCERT AND MEMORIAL
W. Vosco Call founded the Lyric Repertory Company in 1967. For the past 52 years the Lyric Rep has produced musicals, dramas, mysteries, farces, comedies, and classics to the delight of audience members from Cache Valley and visitors from around the country.
It’s mission was to provide a professional theatre environment to give advanced undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to work with members of the professional theatre industry, providing a transitional experience from an academic theatre environment to a fully professional one and to provide northern Utah citizens, visitors and the university community with cultural enrichment through a summer season of professional theatre productions performed in “rolling” repertory from a variety of genres.
To honor our fearless Mr. Vosco, the LyricRep announced last year that it will be holding a Spotlight Concert every year in his name. All proceeds from the concert will go towards the operation of the LyricRep.
This year the concert will be held on July 14 at 7:30 PM (MT). We will be streaming live via YouTube (https://youtu.be/VgCupV_5Omo). This link will also allow you to set a reminder!
However, you don't have to wait until then to help us out! Click the button below, and it will lead you directly to our donation page!
Dear friends, faculty members, students, staff and alumni,
It is a sad occasion that brings us all here to honor Vosco Call, the man who taught so many and coached so many in the art of acting, producing, directing, theater and life, in general. He not only taught, he directed three shows each year, authored a few plays, and acted in a selected few. I clearly recall him tilted back in his chair in his home study, pipe in hand, grading papers, working on one of those scripts he was writing, or pre-blocking tomorrow’s scenes for rehearsal. He worked hard at his craft and was remarkably productive.
I don’t know if the department still teaches Aristotle’s Poetics nearly as assiduously as he did, but to him it was the foundational document of all theater theory and he taught it as such. Not just in basic or advanced theory courses but also sprinkling it throughout all of his classroom teaching. He wanted us to understand what the “unities” really meant, then and now. It was a very important differentiation considering the period being discussed through all of his history courses.
I arrived in Logan in June of 1964 to begin my summer internship at USU. It was a small school but well known to the School of Performing Arts on Broadway in Manhattan, New York, where I was the sound man for the school and especially the dance department. I was offered a work assistantship in technical theater at USU and I arrived as soon as possible to begin one of my most joyous and productive periods of my life.
I consider getting to know Vosco Call, being taught by him, and so greatly influenced throughout my life, one of the greatest things in my life. To this day I use light Stanislavsky techniques learned in his classes and a more British method for performance. It was an enviable balance.
Many of you will remember some of the shows and adventures we shared with Vosco Call at USU.
We opened the Morgan Theater with Cyrano de Bergeracin 1968 with Vosco taking the title role, while I was the blond-wigged Christian, the stammering lover who needed Cyrano to voice his love for Roxanne with the poetry and imagination that Christian was incapable of conceiving, let alone voicing. But Cyrano did so superbly. It was, as you may know, a three hour, five act tour-de-force that Vosco handled empathically and powerfully as each act required.
In the old days we used the Amphitheater, our 2,500 seat outdoor space, in the summer for dance concerts from our New York dance company’s associated with Performing Arts. It was their summer home and the local folks packed the stadium to see the best of the up and coming New York dancers. But we also did musicals and an occasional play. One musical Vosco directed was Destry Rides Again with full orchestra, cast and dance company. As I recall, I was an assistant stage manager and a member of the chorus. After the rehearsal, Vosco purposefully gave me a note that he was sure the whole cast could hear. He said I looked more like a coal miner than a cowhand to laughs all around. I was so embarrassed that I carefully refrained from using any black or even grey in my subsequent make-ups.
And finally, I want to describe the crowning achievement for our small , but oh so strong, department when we took our Streetcar Named Desireto the vaunted University of Utah’s theater department’s Intermountain Theater Conference in the Pioneer Memorial Theatre. As it was a conference, we effectively re-built Prof. Morgan’s set design based on the studs holding together this New Orleans flimsy apartment house in one day to perform it that night. Without bragging, they “never knew what hit’em.” The other schools were putting on shows like The House of Bernarda Alba a Greek chorus patterned show which highlighted their entire company while we hit them like a ton of bricks with Michael Nestor, a Performing Arts graduate in residence as dance instructor, as Stanley; and Sue Ann Lytle from St. George Utah, as Blanche. Even though many of them were our competitors, the house went nuts with standing ovations.
And that is how I got to know, respect, and eternally admire Vosco Call; for the quality he instilled in me and my fellows, a special admixture of us New York kids and the local ones. It was a special time and I won’t and don’t forget the lessons in theater, living, and acting that I received under his tutelage.
Rest In Peace dear Maestro.