David Burrow has long been interested in speech and drama. In high school he won numerous awards in speech categories ranging from Literary Program to Original Oratory to Humorous Acting to Radio News Commentary. He also played the leading role of the Stage Manager in Thorton Wilder's classic Our Town.
As an adult Mr. Burrow has been active in the Countryside Community Playhouse in Algona. He has appeared in two of their productions of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, as the Ghost of Christmas Present and as Bob Cratchit. He had the lead as a villain ("that human skunk Pinkham Mudstone III") in the melodrama The Belle of Bisbee, but his favorite role was as the drunk old critic Axel in Larry Shue's The Nerd. He has also played Judas three times in a church production of The Last Supper Tableau and played lead roll in church productions of The Case of the Mysterious Benefactor and Debtors Prison. He has also played various character parts (a murderous Mexican gardener, a drunk father who beats up his son for laughs, Caesar's murderer Brutus, a small-town radio DJ, and another melodrama villain) in different incarnations of the Garrigan Extravaganza, a variety show that brings together students, faculty, and alumni. He has also done interpretive poetry readings at the Extravaganza.
Mr. Burrow also very much enjoys watching dramatic productions. He especially likes musicals, and in recent years he has had the opportunity to see many Broadway touring companies. His favorite big-name shows are Chicago (which he saw at the Schubert Theatre in its namesake city) and Rent (which he saw at the Des Moines Civic Center), Hairspray (which he saw at Chicago's Oriental Theatre), Urinetown (a musical parody, which he saw in the Stoner Theatre in Des Moines, and The Christmas Schooner presented by the theatre that debuted the show, the Bailiwick on the north side of Chicago. Among non-musicals, his favorites are the math-centered drama Proof (which he also saw at the Schubert) and a tale of friendship called Lonely Planet (which he saw at the Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro, Minnesota).
Besides the theatres already mentioned, Mr. Burrow has seen shows in a wide variety of venues. These include the beautifully restored Des Moines Temple for the Performing Arts; the Goodman, Royal George, Briar Street, Stage 773, Mercury, Lookingglass, Den, Raven, and Drury Lane Water Tower Theatres in Chicago; the modern Rosemont Theatre near O'Hare Airport; the historic State and Orpheum theatres, the New Century Theatre, and the new Guthrie Theatre,the Jungle Theatre, and the Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis; the Great American History Theatre in St. Paul; the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre in the Twin Cities suburbs, the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, Illinois; the California Theatre in San Bernardino, California; the Palace Theatre in New York; the Kodak Theatre (home of the Oscars) and Pantages Theatre in Hollywood; Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.; the Fox Theatre in St. Louis; the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto; the Carousel Theatre in Vancouver, B.C., and the Old Creamy Theatre which was then located in Garrison, Iowa.. He has seen shows at three historic theatres called "Pantages"--one in Toronto (now called the Canon Theatre), one in Minneapolis, and the other in Los Angeles (one of the most beautiful theatres in America). He has also been to the Dominion Theatre in London, England, and at numerous high school, college, and community theatre venues. Besides attending shows, he Mr. Burrow has taken behind the scenes tours at several venues, the most interesting of which were the famous old Chicago Theatre and the Strayer-Wood Theatre at the University of Northern Iowa.
In addition to stage drama, Mr. Burrow has seen a variety of music and dance productions. He has seen ballet in Moscow , Vancouver, and Chicago, folk and modern dance presentations in Kiev, Minsk, Mexico City, Cuzco, Seville, Reykjavik, and San Diego, opera in St. Louis, the Boston Pops and the Alaska Symphony Orchestras, and vocal presentations too numerous to name in venues ranging from auditoriums to churches to bars.
David Burrow as the Ghost of Christmas Past and Bob Cratchit
in two separate productions of A Christmas Carol
David Burrow as the villain in The Belle of Bisbee
David Burrow as Axel in The Nerd
Scenes from the Garrigan Extravaganza ...
Above Left: David Burrow as Ramon in Variations on the Death of Trotsky.
Above Right: David Burrow as the abusive father in The Last Touchy-Feely Drama on the American Stage
Below Left: David Burrow as Desmond Darkacre in The Wildflowering of Chastity
Below Center: David Burrow in Greater Tuna
Below Right: David Burrow reading Robert Service's poem "The Spell of the Yukon"
David Burrow (left) as William in the church production of Debtors Prison
David Burrow as Brutus in the readers' theatre Rinse the Blood off My Toga
Links to other sites on the Web
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Iowa High School Speech Association
National Forensic League
A Christmas Carol
The Belle of Bisbee
The Case of the Mysterious Benefactor
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