Rick Tormone, founder and executive producing artistic director of the Foolish Theatre Company, fell in love with the theater as a child and is still waiting for it to become a reciprocal relationship. Recently named one of the fifty most respected lesser talents in the theater, Rick was born in a trunk. He was raised in a series of valises, a happy childhood except for a briefcase of measles.
A precocious lad, Rick made his acting debut in the sixth grade as James Tyrone in the Marin County Montessori School production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night. In high school he played the title role in Waiting for Godot. After graduating from Sacramento College of Unskilled Labor, Rick understudied Dr. Robert Udewitz in the Napa Valley Players production of How Tender Are Our Grapes. He later became the first white man to play the Sidney Poitier role in the Fresno premiere of Raisin in the Sun. However, after the critics said Rick paled compared to Mr. Poitier, he stopped acting and turned to directing.
His directing career began controversially when the Rogers and Hammerstein estate refused to let him to stage an experimental version of The Sound of Music set in a concentration camp. When he cut the songs and directed it as The Sound of No Music, his reputation as an edgy and daring director resulted in him getting grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and Ronald McDonald House. Further productions showed that although he was edgy and daring, he also couldn’t direct his way out of a paper bag (his second production was Twelfth Night set in a concentration camp, and his third was Barefoot in the Park set in a concentration camp). So he turned to playwriting.
Among his best-known titles are Crumbs in Bed, Ooo That Tickles, Am I Underappreciated!, and Death of a Salesman: The Early Years. Unfortunately, Rick never could come up with plays to go with these titles.
Finally, Rick accepted that he could neither act, direct, nor write, and so he turned to producing. On January 1, 2004, a light bulb went off and, having finally mastered how to use a light switch, Rick decided to start a theater dedicated to light comedies. He chose to call it the Foolish Theatre Company, because everyone he knew was already calling it that.
If he fails at this, he plans to enter politics.