Professional actor and director Ken Letner has been invited by the Fullerton College Theatre Department to direct the up-and-coming production of "Children Of A Lesser God."
Letner himself played' one of the lead roles (Mr. Franklin) in this play during its long run at the Huntington Hartford Theatre in L.A. three years ago. "It is a very solid drama," Letner said about the play.
"The story of the hearing impaired are rarely presented in a stage production," Letner explained."This is a good play to present the issue."
Letner is a friend of Tom Blank (instructor in the F.C. Theatre Department), who came up with the idea of Letner guest directing "Children Of A Lesser God." "Ken is a professional," Blank said. According to Letner, Blank called him when he was doing some work in Chicago.
Bringing in someone other than a staff member of FC to direct a show is not a regular occurrence, according to Blank. The Theatre Department only does this whenever they feel someone worthwhile is available. Blank said it is important for the drama student to work with outside professionals, and feel that it will be very profitable for them to work with Letner.
Letner has many acting as well as directing credits behind him. In the Broadway production of "Julius Caesar," Letner played Richard Dreyfuss' loyal general, Tintinius. He also played Rev. Anderson opposite Rex Harrison in "The Devil's Desciple." Letner has appeared on television espisodes of "Lou Grant," "The Rockford Files" and "Three's Company." He currently has a regular spot on "Falcon Crest." For six years, letner served as managing director of the Festival Theatre in El Paso, Texas. and has also worked with various repertory companies on both coast.
"Children Of A Lesser God" is dramaticly unusual in that several charactors will be acting. with sign language. Letner works through an interpreter in rehearsing with the deaf actors in this FC production.
"Children Of A Lesser God" opens a window for people who are not familiar with the deaf, and hopefully provides us with an understanding of their sensibility.
The performance dates of "Lesser God" are set for May 17-20 and May 22-26 at 8 p.m. in the Studio Theatre.