Karl is playing Capulet in "Romeo and Juliet." I emailed him some spotlight questions and, as all of the cast members might assume, Karl's reply was articulate, funny and well-written. So instead of editing it or interspersing it with my own writing, I just want to post it.
"I graduated from Princeton University and received my M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. I have been teaching at Sweet Briar since 1975. Last summer I completed a long research project (don't ask how long) and published a book on the Harrowing of Hell (don't ask) in English Medieval art and literature.
Although I have been in only a few dramatic productions, one of my favorite roles was Dogberry in "Much Ado About Nothing." I was seriously considering the part of Capulet for our production when Bill asked me if I would like to do it. So I guess it must have been fate, which, when you think about it, occurs quite a bit in "Romeo and Juliet."
Karl in motion as Capulet, discussing his daughter's betrothal to Paris
While my field of specialization is in the Middle Ages, I have to teach many other courses at a college as small as Sweet Briar. So from the very beginning of my career here, I have taught a good deal of Shakespeare. Besides being a great dramatist (just compare him to his contemporaries--you'll see!), he represents a fascinating transition from the language and values of the Middle Ages to those of the Modern era. More than all of this, his plays are just great fun to act in.
By now, many of you have heard that I play the accordion (not something one puts on his resumé, by the way). If we have trouble with the waltz in the dance scene, I could always play "That's Amore." I think it would fit in really well, and after all, it is kind of an Italian song."
Karl is a joy to work with; he's incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining. Yesterday, we worked him and Montague into the opening fight scene, and let me tell you: Karl works wonders with a stick that happens to be lying hidden in the grass. I can only imagine the damage he'd do with an accordion.