The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
It was a rainy day in New York City.
At the corner of 72nd Street and Columbus Avenue, Evan Bergman and Ellie Clark were heading for the subway station and some shelter from the elements. Bergman grabbed Clark’s hand, turned her around and kissed her.
“I was like, ‘Oh, he does like me,’” Clark says.
Says Bergman, “It was a hot kiss in the rain.”
It was just three weeks after their first flirtation, when Bergman started playing with Clark’s ponytail at a mutual friend’s birthday gathering.
Three years later, Bergman and Clark live in Lexington, Clark’s hometown. They have become one of the area’s prominent theater couples through Project SEE Theatre, which they co-direct with Transylvania University theater director Sullivan Canaday White, and they work for other area theaters.
This week, they will play one of the stage’s iconic couples, Stanley and Stella, in SummerFest’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire.
Opportunities such as Tennessee Williams’ classic are what brought the couple from New York to Kentucky.
Clark grew up in a theatrical family. Her mother, Trish Clark, directed the drama program at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School for years. Ellie Clark was in that program and then studied theater at the University of Kentucky.
In 2001, she scored a coup for a young stage actor: She was accepted into the acting apprentice program at Actors Theatre of Louisville, working there for much of 2001 and 2002.
After that, like many aspiring actors, she moved to New York, trying to break into the theater. And like many aspiring actors, she worked in a restaurant: Sambuca, an Italian restaurant on the Upper West Side of New York, less than a block from Central Park.
It was a nice job that allowed her time off when she got roles, even ones that required her to travel to theaters around the country. Eventually, one of her tasks at the restaurant was training new employees, including another aspiring actor, Evan Bergman.
It wasn’t love at first sight.
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich