It's All Done with Mirrors It's All Done with Mirrors


It's All Done with Mirrors Mirrors Mirrors Mirrors


IT'S ALL DONE WITH MIRRORS ... damn everything but the circus

"The art of acting
honed to a fine point."
Los Angeles Times

"This must have been what it was like
when Homer talked with a crowd."
Harvard University
"... a marriage of great acting
and extraordinary poetry."
Fordham University

?Stage and film actor Anthony Zerbe provides joyous access to the art and energy of one of America's most beloved poets. E.E Cummings still beguiles readers as the poet of being rather than doing, the poet of Paris, New York, the mOOn, violets, first loves, and the circus. Though lyrically in love with the natural world, he skewered the perversity of the human one.

A master character actor, Zerbe delivers Cummings' word-fracturing and image rich poetry as entertaining, uncommon theatre.

Capturing Cummings' antic spirit, he moves pell-mell through a parade of characters, accents and dazzling word play. Here again are the Cambridge ladies staunch in their religious belief and malice, the "defunct" Buffalo Bill, young men who can resist neither falling in love or growing old and a world-wise carnival barker hawking sex and imagination. While above it all, swaying on the high wire is the writer who finds in the precision and danger of the circus the perfect metaphor for his art.

As Zerbe shifts characters and as ideas and images unfold, a number of poems begin to reoccur as their mirror opposites. Passion and disillusion, patriotism and jingoism, belief and self-righteousness, art and pretension are flip sides of the same reality. There are poems both of passion and disillusion, patriotism and jingoism, lyrical beauty and a sad fade to black, belief and self-righteousness, art and pretension. Zerbe's wily carnival barker suggests what is true of the circus is true in life ... it's all done with mirrors.

Zerbe describes the evening as "consumptive not digestive" inviting his audiences to let go and lean into the avalanche of characters, images and scenes. "If you miss something then just grab onto what is coming next. Just make the movie in your head. It doesn't matter; it's your movie."

In urging people to "own" what they think and feel, Anthony Zerbe has much in common with the poet he so admires. An individualist in life and art, Cummings maintained: "Tom's can be Dick's and Dick's can be Harry's but none of them can ever be you. There's the artist's responsibility: the most awful responsibility on earth. If you can take it, take it -- and be. If you can't, cheer up and go about other people's business and do (or undo) 'til you drop."


EDWARD ESTLIN CUMMINGS (1894-1962) was a painter, essayist, author, and playwright. His body of work encompasses approximately 2,900 poems, two autobiographical novels, four plays and several essays, as well as numerous drawings and paintings. Along with T.S. Eliot, William Faulkner and Ezra Pound, he was one of the progenitors of the modern literary movement, manipulating language and typology to present poetry on the page in a radically new way. "He was everything an American poet should be: he was fiercely independent, unsparingly amorous, joyfully Bohemian, dourly patriotic and engagingly eccentric. He was our kind of genius: he was P.T. Barnum, Charles Ives, Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Armstrong, Robert Goddard, Buster Keaton and Frank Zappa." (America's Originalist Poet, Fred Chappell)


is recognized as one of the country's most versatile character actors with extensive credits in film, television and theatre. His feature films include: The American Hustle, 6 Dancing Lessons in 6 Days, Confession, The Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions, Star Trek Insurrection, True Crimes, The Touch, License to Kill, See No Evil -- Hear No Evil, Mismatch, The Dead Zone, Farewell My Lovely, The First Deadly Sin and Who Will Stop the Rain. His series of classic releases include: The Turning Point, Rooster Cogburn, The Laughing Policeman, The Parallax View, Papillon, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, The Omega Man, The Liberation of L.B. Jones, They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!, The Molly Maguires, Will Penny and Cool Hand Luke. He starred as Teaspoon Hunter in the television series The Young Riders and received an Emmy Award for his performance as Lt. K.C. Trench in the popular series Harry-O (with David Janssen). He has been a guest star in numerous television series from vintage classics such as Gunsmoke, Mission Impossible, Bonanza, Colombo, and Murder She Wrote to Frasier, and Judging Amy. His mini-series and movies of the week appearances include: "Asteroid," "On Seventh Avenue," "One Police Plaza," "Treasure Island: The Adventure Begins," Ari: The Richest Man In The World, Once an Eagle, North and South/Book II, Dream West, How the West Was Won and Centennial. His Broadway appearances include: The Little Foxes, Terra Nova, Solomon's Child, and Moon Besieged. For five seasons he was in residence at The Old Globe Theater where his roles included Coriolanus, Iago, Richard III and Macbeth. He also played Iago in the Mark Taper Forum production of Othello with James Earl Jones. His appearances at the Taper also included the American premieres of The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, and Brian Friel's Crystal and Fox. Other residencies include the Arena Stage in Washington, DC, the Stratford Theatre Festival in Canada, and The Theatre of the Living Arts in Philadelphia. Appearances in resident theaters include productions at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Long Wharf Theatre and the Huntington Theatre in Boston. In the latter two theaters, he played the title role in Cyrano de Bergerac. He was the Artistic Director of REFLECTIONS: A New Plays Festival in Rochester, New York for five years. He toured extensively with the late actor Roscoe Lee Browne in their critically acclaimed production of Behind the Broken Words. The production premiered at the Mark Taper Forum, played Off Broadway and subsequently in over two hundred theaters across the country including The Denver Center Theatre Company and A.C. T. He is currently working on productions of Lime Creek Christmas which he adapted from the novel Lime Creek by Joe Henry and which he performed with John Denver and more recently with Garth Brooks.