I am an actor's daughter. My dad, the late Bill Hindman, was a force in South Florida theater from the time he moved to Miami in 1965 (the New York air was hell on his asthma) until he died in 1999. When he passed away, the ends of his white hair were still tinted a fading ginger. That spring, he had played his final role, portraying Irish-American farmer Phil Hogan in Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten at New Theatre in Coral Gables. He had dyed his hair red, because he was sure Phil's hair was red. In the photo at right, he's playing Clarence Darrow (also at New Theatre). He almost went for a prosthetic nose so he'd look more like the legendary lawyer, but settled for just the right suit and shoes and crisp handkerchief peeking from his pocket. Note the watch chain, draped just so across the vest. When it came down to the little details in theater, no one cared more than Dad did.
That tendency toward obsessiveness, that passion for the minutiae of all things theatrical, are things I like to think I inherited from my father. I have had a long run as The Miami Herald's theater critic, from 1979 to today, evolving (I hope!) from a curious neophyte to someone with enough hubris (or mileage) to call her blog Drama Queen.
Maybe you're wondering: Can you write about a subject for 28 years and still find it fascinating? Yeah. I really do. Thanks to the men and women who create theater here, the actors and designers who work here, the companies that endure and the ones that don't, South Florida theater is its own constantly evolving drama: sometimes great, sometimes painful, never boring.
Today we begin a different way of talking about all kinds of theater -- local, regional, national, international. We'll look at people, productions, issues, awards, controversies. Maybe even swap some backstage gossip. Ideas? Send me an e-mail. Curtain's up.