The Zany Zoom Schedule: 5Qs with Ed Giron

By Steven Libowitz   |   September 10, 2020

Actor-director-playwright Ed Giron has been a very busy thespian despite the limitations of the pandemic. Although in-person appearances have been curtailed due to COVID, of course, the well-known Santa Barbara actor has found, or mostly fashioned, frequent opportunities to perform and/or direct theater events online.

Ed Giron has stayed hyper busy throughout confinement, writing, directing, and acting in a number of plays that will be broadcast starting this month

Giron’s lockdown list began with recording himself reading “Bedtime Stories” of tales from Edgar Allen Poe, including “The Masque of the Red Death,” a 180-year-old story about a prince who locks people up in his castle thinking that he’s impervious to the plague, and “The Cask of Amontillado,” which Giron said is “very appropriate for people who were quarantined at this particular moment.” More recently, Giron has acted and directed readings and other online productions for companies in Los Angeles, where he’s also booked for supporting roles in live-streamed Zoom productions of Frankenstein and Uncle Vanya with Topanga Actor’s Theater in the fall.

In the meantime, though, there are two evenings featuring run-throughs of new works he’s written since the shutdown began. Readings with Friends will premiere Giron’s Reservations as the centerpiece of a sandwich of three one-act comedies that also features David Ives’ Groundhog Day-esque Variations on the Death of Trotsky and Mystery at Twicknam Vicarage, a sendup of classic British suspense plays. The cast for the 7 pm Zoom show on Wednesday, September 16, includes Giron along with actors Paul Canter, Deborah Helm, Carol Metcalf, Jerry Oshinsky, Felicia Hall, Geren Piltz, Mindy Turano, and E Bonnie Lewis. The following Wednesday brings the debut of Parting Ways, a two-character drama which Giron will direct over Zoom. 

Q. What is it that’s made you so productive during this timeframe?

A. One of the reasons is the desire to perform and to relate performances in some way to COVID, which is why I recorded the Poe stories. Some of the Zoom theater we’ve done has been comedic plays to try and get people out of a feeling of not having the ability to be entertained or the ability to laugh. The motivation is generated by finding creative avenues in a time when you’re denied some of the regular outlets for those pursuits.

I directed a very obscure Noël Coward play called The Better Half that was literally lost for more than 80 years, so chances are you haven’t seen it. It was a great challenge to direct on Zoom but it turned out quite well.

You’ve had an affinity for David Ives’s plays ever since I can remember. Why?

The draw is that they’re very funny, they’re eccentric, and they’re very real with real characters that are just in bizarre situations. David has a great gift for comedic timing and a great gift for words. He’s also actually one of Broadway’s most sought after script doctors, tweaking shows before they open. The reason these plays are good for Zoom is that even though they’re short they have a true beginning, middle, and end. So the characters develop well and the situation resolves in 15 or 20 minutes. That’s much more digestible on Zoom than a two-and-a-half-hour play.

Based on reading your one-liner about Reservations, it sounds like it could have been another short comedy by Ives, two people having relationship issues in a restaurant.

It may be a little like Ives in that it’s a bit bizarre. The play bends the contours of time to show a relationship over a period of decades and some unexpected things that happen along the way. I’ll be directing Jerry Oshinsky, Felicia Hall, Geren Piltz, and Mindy Turano.

I’m doing the math: four actors and just two characters equals a lot of elapsed time. How did you come up with the story?

From an ex-girlfriend who, when she went to the restroom, used to take forever to come back. That’s a little clue to the passage of time.

What about Parting Ways?

It’s fiction based upon quite a number of people I’ve known in my life, including myself. It came from a revelation I had when I visited a gravesite of someone who was close to me, and how I’d neglected to visit for such a long time. And the grave itself was neglected. And I thought that when people die, we say, We’ll never forget you, I’ll always carry the memory, I’ll always come visit. And we don’t… I created two characters – one very young lady and the other a guy who’s more middle-aged, played by Felicia Hall and Paul Canter – who meet at a cemetery where they’re expressing their grief and feelings in totally different ways. It’s a relationship that starts between two people who have such opposite feelings and thoughts about how to observe passages in life. There are a few funny moments, but it’s more serious, which is why we decided to put it on its own night.

(For more info and optional free reservations, visit for the September 16 reading, and for September 23; both stream online at followed by a talkback with Giron and the actors. For the Poe story readings and to view a recording of The Better Half, visit Giron’s YouTube channel by searching “Edward Giron” on


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