Rogue Playhouse News
November 10, 2021
Radio plays open this Friday
Radio plays from the Lights Out series, the Black Museum and Sherlock Holmes take the stage opening this Friday with “Ghost Party” and its séance gone wrong, “Four Small Bottles” – was it murder?, and Holmes and Watson in “The Musgrave Ritual.” It’s “Elementary, my dear Watson.”
Meet the actors
Well, one of them. With a cast of 12 including the live sound effects people and the keyboardist, I’d like to introduce you to them starting with one who’s been around local theater so long, I don’t know how I’ve missed interviewing him before.
Meet Chip Weinert
When I told Chip I like to start with the question where are you from and how did you get here, he reminded me that’s two questions. Wisconsin was the answer to the first question. His
father was from Germany and mother from Czechoslovakia. His grandmother was one of the first
women doctors out of Eastern Europe – Hungary, in about 1930.
How did you wind up here?
He’d been working for the Hood River News, the year 1993, a professional wind surfer. The Windtracks Magazine here in Gold Beach was going from B&W to glossy color, and Chip came here to be managing editor, associate publisher of the wind surfing magazine owned by Clay Feeter and his wife Laura (who I remember teaching children’s dance).
How did you wind up in theater?
The magazine eventually sold to a New Hampshire outfit, but Chip remained here, liking the area and its people. At a dinner at the Feeter’s with Jon and Maggie Muellner attending, Jon said to Chip, “You’re in my next play.” It was “The Whole Shebang” at Soakers (coffee shop between what used to be Wild Rivers animal rescue thrift store and The Crow’s Nest). I somehow missed that play. Les Stansell was apparently in it. And Jon was legendary for early local theater. From Chicago, University trained, professional theater person – Jon was the jumping off point for some of us to get our start. Michael Hall for one. And for me, it was the magic of theater that Jon created. It was in the air that followed him around. He started the “Greater Tuna” series that had people laughing hysterically. And Michael has carried on that tradition with just one more in that series to be brought to stage here. Let’s hope.
Chip mentioned he met Michael when Michael was a waiter at Spaghetti West. Apparently I didn’t get out much when I moved here. I seem to have missed out on a few things theater. Chip was in the “Greater Tuna” performed at Spada’s back before it was the Chowder House, with Brad Wood, Michael and Tracy Ellenbecker. I was there the night the mildly inebriated diner walked by the stage jovially inquiring where the men’s room was, which briefly blew Brad off course in his dialogue. Memorable moments in the life of theater. Chip was in another Tuna performance at HoneyBear, where I got to sit at the sound table with the Richman and director Michael. Chip has also performed at Ophir Grange. Again under the direction of Michael Hall.
Wind surfing to ski team
Chip’s degree in Broadcast Management didn’t happen in Hollywood. It was Utah State University, where since he scored “really well” on his ACT’s, he was invited to a scholarship competition, which he didn’t get. But when the ski team learned of his wind surfing background, he was awarded an athletic scholarship. He worked at the campus radio station, and was set to go with NPR All Things Considered, but it fell through right before graduation.
The ‘Curious Cat’ book series
Chip has published two books in this series. The scene is an alternate universe where humans evolve from not only apes, but cats, dogs, bears, etc. In “Curious Cat in a Dead Dog’s Town,” a feline solves the murder mystery of a prominent canine’s death. In the other, Duke the detective is hired to solve the mystery of seals poaching salmon.
‘Battle of Battle Rock’
This is a screenplay waiting to be brought to life, about the men surrounded by Indians on Battle Rock, who manage to sneak away before dawn and escape by running northwards towards Coos Bay. With a couple hours head start, they manage to escape 100’s of Indians on their trail.
There’s an app for that
There’s also a Hear Here app for phones whereby listeners can hear stories about an area as they’re passing through that locale. Chip has written something like 5,000 of these. Wow! And I was so proud of my measly 780 weekly theater columns I’ve written over the past 15 years.
Chip’s 20 years of wind surfing has taken him all over the world. He recalled being part of the American team that competed in a world championship event in Tunisia, North Africa in 1984.
A bit of humor about his performance in the radio show “Casa Blanca” directed by Michael Hall, Chip’s sister was born in Casa Blanca, Morocco.
Chip has written a couple plays for fun – rip and read, where 6 or 7 people are brought up on stage from the audience, given scripts, and told they’re on in 10 minutes. I like that idea! Hmm… .
Radio shows curtain at 7:00 p.m.
So Chip refers to himself as semi-retired now in his “corduroys and tie dye.” But you’ll see him on stage this weekend in suit and tie harkening back to the era of radio days. Performances are Friday and Saturday, November 12, 13, 19 & 20 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday matinees November 14 and 21 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets $10 at the door. For reservations, call 541-247-4382.
See you at Theater!