David Cohn has been the photographer at Bellingham Theatre Guild since 2008. For the final show of the season, he steps out from behind his camera and goes on stage, playing the role of Feldzieg in the guild’s production of “The Drowsy Chaperone,” which opens Friday, June 12, and runs through Sunday, June 28, directed by Teri Grimes.
Question: Where are you from and what brought you to Bellingham?
Answer: I was born in New Jersey in 1953. I left when I went off to university and pretty much never went back except to visit family. We discovered Bellingham in 1988 while working in Vancouver, B.C., and chose to move here in 1991 when the magazine I edited was purchased by an Oregon-based publishing company.
Q: What’s your professional background?
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A: I studied architecture at McGill University in Montreal and then at Syracuse and spent 10 years with a firm in Memphis, Tenn. When we started using computer-aided design in the mid-1980s, I began to do some programming and also wrote the first of 12 books about AutoCAD. A magazine hired me as their senior editor and paid our move to Vancouver. Today, I work from home for a software company based in New Hampshire.
Q: When did your interest in theater begin and what other shows have you been involved with?
A: I took several theater classes in high school and college. Living close to New York, I got to see a lot of Broadway shows. I didn’t do much acting, however. I was more involved in tech. I was also busy with athletics and music.
Once in Bellingham, my acting ambitions took a back seat to my daughters Emma and Clarice, who both acted at Bellingham High School and BTG. The girls didn’t like it when I showed up for the same auditions.
I’ve helped on several shows that Teri Grimes directed at Bellingham High and got to act opposite her in “Arsenic and Old Lace” in Lynden. I was also in “Damn Yankees” at BTG in 2011, designed the set for “The Sound of Music” in Lynden, and am designing the sets for several other upcoming shows.
Q: Why did you decide to audition for this show?
A: “The Drowsy Chaperone” is a very funny show. My wife, Genny, costumes all of Teri’s shows. I read the script and decided I had to audition.
It’s a musical within a comedy. The show opens with the character named simply Man in the Chair playing the recording of a 1928 musical, which then comes to life in his cramped New York apartment.
I play Feldzieg, a Broadway producer. My leading lady is about to get married and leave show business. I have to find a way to stop the wedding. I get to play the straight-man opposite an incredibly funny, talented cast.
Q: What else do you do for fun?
A: I’ve been involved with local model railroad clubs for years. I also road bike and am a volunteer ski patrol at Mt. Baker.
“The Drowsy Chaperone”
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, June 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27; and 2 p.m. Sundays, June 14, 21 and 28.
Where: Bellingham Theatre Guild, 1600 H St.
Cost: $14 adults, $12 students and seniors, $8 children.
Details: 360-733-1811, bellinghamtheatreguild.com