Inducted into the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame, October 20, 2003.
When Greg (Smith) asked me to speak to all of you about Kevin, I resisted. First, I’m okay with other people’s words. At best I’m awkward with my own. Second, I really felt that my credibility was questionable. After all, I’ve been this man’s partner for 30 years this month and my feelings for him are a bit biased.
Given those qualifiers, let me say that there is no one more deserving of this honor than Kevin Moore. Since 1977, Dayton has been the lucky recipient of his unceasing passion for the theatre arts. As a performer he has been seen at the Dayton Playhouse of East 3rd and at the Wegerzyn Garden Center, Blair Hall at Sinclair, La Comedia, Kenley Players, the Fraze Pavilion, the Loft, and the Victoria. His Pirelli in Sweeney Todd was extraordinary. Nobody should sing that high. His Guido in Nine was sexy. His untimely death as Whizzer in Falsettoland broke our hearts every night. And his Seymour in Little Shop was wonderfully nerdish and funny. I know of no one with a more natural instinct for comedy than Kevin. And I still come to him when I need comic business on stage, both as an actor and as a director.
Speaking of directing, his credits form a distinctive list of truly memorable and bizarre shows – A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Beehive, The Rocky Horror Show, Zombies from the Beyond. He showed his expertise though when he stepped into Bob Hetherington’s shoes to complete the Human Race production of Angels in America with Perestroika. But let’s not forget A Beautiful Thing and my personal favorite, Children of Eden. So he acts, he sings, he choreographs, he directs, he does it all. The one that I’m most grateful for is he runs a theatre company.
In 1986 Kevin returned to Dayton from NYC to help start The Human Race Theatre Company. He didn’t do it alone but he was the company’s first employee, its first and only Executive Director. He has learned and grown with the company ever since. Kevin has always pushed the envelope with his inventive ideas. But it is those ideas that have marked the Human Race as a company of innovation and highest standards. In 1993 the Human Race became an Equity recognized theatre. Kevin was instrumental in making that happen. When the company was struggling and collaboration seemed a healthy solution, Kevin was there to make it work. The formation of Second Stage, now Season I continues a successful partnership with the Victoria. Kevin took this idea one step further with a production of West Side Story, a collaboration of the Human Race, the Victoria Theatre, the Dayton Ballet, Wright State University, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. I was thrilled to direct it and Kevin, as producer, had to make all those organizations work together. I am still amazed and very proud of that artistic achievement. Back to Children of Eden, Kevin had another idea and the Loft was transformed with beautiful murals done by aspiring high school artists; the Musical Theatre Workshops, which began in 200 and which brought some amazing shows to town, was his brainchild – rarely seen shows like Pacific Overtures, and Goblin Market. And new properties such as Prometheus Dreams, Convenience and Moby Dick. And the ideas keep coming so prepare yourselves to be amazed in the years ahead. His courage and creativity have earned him the respect of artists and arts administrators throughout the Miami Valley and across the country. His dedication and hard work have kept the Human Race going and have brought this company to a position of national recognition.
My own career as an artist in this community would not have been possible without the Human Race and from my biased view, the Human Race would not have been possible without Kevin Moore.