Q: How long have you lived in Greenwich?
A: Since I married Reba Beeson in 2005. Reba is a longtime resident of Greenwich.
Q: Do you have any children?
A: Two children by my first wife -- Loring, she's in graduate school in anthropology at Johns Hopkins University, and Clara is at McDaniel's College in Maryland. And two stepchildren, Emily Beeson in San Francisco and Morgan Beeson, graduating from Bucknell.
Q: Are you retired?
A: I was born retired -- I'm a writer. But no, not retired.
Q. What do you do full time?
A: I am president and CEO of Quill Entertainment Company, a nonprofit whose mission is "Teaching America's Heritage Through Story and Song." Quill creates and produces Mr. History Musicals for youth to get them excited about learning American history. I write the book and lyrics and direct the musicals, and three-time Emmy winner Stephen Lawrence writes the music (www.quillentertainment.org). I've been in professional theater my whole career, as an actor, director, playwright, librettist, lyricist, producer and teacher. I have an M.F.A. in Directing from The Catholic University of America. I ran the Walnut Street Theatre School in Philadelphia for seven years. My plays have been produced off-Broadway and regionally. I was nominated for an Emmy for a soap opera, and I have had several television productions of my written work. I began my career at Princeton University, where I was president of the Princeton Triangle Club.
Q: What was the most important thing you learned from your work?
A: The importance and necessity of cooperation and to be a good listener -- the two go hand in hand.
Q: What was a significant memory or defining moment in your childhood?
A: I grew up in the segregated south, in Greenville, S.C. We had help, but I always recognized that segregation was wrong. My father was on a bi-racial committee whose mandate was, "Let's integrate peacefully." Greenville managed to not be a part of a whole lot of tension. That made an impression on me as a child.
Q: What are your main hobbies and interests?
A: Reading. I love opera. I sing with the Greenwich Choral Society. I come from a musical family.
Q: Do you have a favorite sport?
Q: Do you have a favorite book? What is a recent one you enjoyed?
A: "Winnie the Pooh."
Q: Do you have a favorite work of art?
A: Picasso's "Guernica."
Q: What music do you listen to and what is a favorite piece of music?
A: The overture to "The Marriage of Figaro."
Q: If you could tell the president of the United States one thing, what would it be?
A: It's such a ridiculously hard job. Keep on trying to do the best you can do.
Q: What achievements in your life are you most proud of?
A: One of my proudest achievements is having cast the first woman ever in Triangle -- before Princeton was officially co-ed. The Triangle Trustees said the woman had to be a "Princeton student." Fortunately, there were 15 women in the Critical Languages Program at Princeton in 1968. When they arrived on campus, I courted them like crazy and finally convinced Sue Jean Lee, a Chinese-American, to join Triangle. She went on tour with us: 40 men and one woman. We all had a great time. And I am proud of writing and producing the play "Battle Cry" about the Civil War battle in Gettysburg, in 2009 -- from idea to the stage in 18 months.
Q: If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for?
A: Racial harmony.
Q: What, if anything, are you deeply concerned about?
A: I'm deeply concerned about the lack of knowledge of the American past and the fundamental priorities and core beliefs of our country. One study has shown that 38 percent of Americans can't pass an American history test. That's what happens to civilizations that disappear when they forget their roots.
Q: Best piece of advice to give to the younger generation?
A: Always do the best that you can. You'll feel okay no matter what happens.
Q: What brings you your greatest joy?
A: My family with a capital F. My children, my wife, my siblings and stepchildren. I'm incredibly blessed.
Q: What are you looking forward to?
A: Going to Florida next week.