A longstanding and beloved PPF veteran of over 20 productions, Craig Geoffrion, is retiring and moving away with his perpetually-patient wife, Debbie.
Craig’s interest in theater goes back to the 2nd grade – when he was voluntold to play Cupid (in a diaper) for Valentine’s day. What clinched it for him was the time he played McDuff in a preteen version of Macbeth. He beheaded the villain, held up a coconut head, got a huge laugh – and was hooked. He learned actual stagecraft from his Drama teacher at Falls Church High School. The class produced many plays including Craig’s final show, Ten Little Indians, which included another PPF veteran Mike Mattheisen.
Years later, he ran into PPF veteran John Coscia, an enthusiastic recruiter for the company, who encouraged Craig to audition the upcoming one act, Mere Mortals, which was to be directed by … Mike Mattheisen. The show was fantastic fun and Craig was hilarious. At last, he had found his theater home and proceeded to act in eight plays in a row (including, Cash on Delivery, The Good Doctor, Harvey, 12 Angry Men, Crimes of the Heart, and The Skin of Our Teeth). His performance in our production of The Man Who Came to Dinner won him a WATCH award for Best Cameo Performance.
He finally took a break for a few years but returned to perform in a Tom Stoppard musical – Rough Crossing which takes place on an ocean liner. Craig landed the role of an unflappable, perfect shipboard steward. At one point, he even saves someone who has fallen overboard, then arrives dripping wet to serve cognac. Unfortunately, opening night, Craig was so excited to play that moment that he doused himself, grabbed the tray with the cognac, and arrived onstage – 2 scenes too early. He quickly exited, leaving Patrick David and John Coscia to figure it out ….
In spite of that gaffe, he continued to be cast in our productions of Auntie Mame, Is He Dead?, Side Man, Glass Mendacity, Play On, You Can’t Take it with You – (where I forgot a line which Craig supplied in character), and The Front Page – where he played the crooked Mayor. He also appeared in our production of Rumors, which won the WATCH award for Best Play.
He has enjoyed not only acting but also working on sets – especially the wallpapering and painting – which was his business until his recent retirement. He received multiple nominations and won a WATCH award for his work on the set of Saturday, Sunday, Monday.
Craig has been a beloved and valued member for almost 20 years. His last performance was in And then There Were None (aka Ten Little Indians). Although he is a fine dramatic actor, this charming and affable man has found comedy especially joyful. I guess it hearkens back to the day he played Cupid and that first laugh!
He and his lovely wife Debbie (who has supported him behind the scenes in the box office, as props mistress, moral supporter and actor’s widow) will be moving to South Carolina this summer. However, Craig assures me that he will really miss the Providence Players, especially camaraderie with other actors – laughing over trivia and crossword puzzles while waiting in the wings. “It’s like leaving a family – it has been my family, and I am moving away from people I love dearly.”
Tina Hodge Thronson