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Spring Hill actor wraps 'Hysteria' in Cape Cod, his first road trip, before resuming role in St. Pete

As many of us stare at the Weather Channel's big red balloon billowing over Tampa Bay, Spring Hill-based actor Peter Clapsis is making plans to fly right through it Monday night on his way home from Cape Cod, Mass., where he has been having the time of his life for six weeks.

In mid July, he flew to Cape Cod with the cast and crew from St. Petersburg's American Stage to be in Hysteria, an award-winning factual fantasy based on a true life meeting in 1938 between Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dalí. Clapsis plays Dr. Abraham Yahuda, Freud's friend and physician.

"It's my first road trip acting gig," Clapsis said shortly before he left. Six weeks later, he says it has "been an adventure" and hopes it's "the first of many." He loved sharing digs and swapping theater stories with fellow players and being recognized on the streets during a day trip to Provincetown.

The troupe did 20 shows on the Julie Harris Stage at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater. It's a 220-seat theater, and "the crowds have been great," Clapsis said shortly before Friday night's show. The $7 million venue is beautiful, he said.

The whole production — sets, cast, crew — is coming back to Tampa Bay to do Hysteria at American Stage, with previews on Sept. 12 and 13 and regular shows Sept. 14 through Oct. 21, when local fans will get a chance to see Clapsis in action. Tickets are $29 to $49 for adults, $20 for students at or by phone at (727) 823-7529.

Clapsis has been a mainstay in local theater since 2005, mostly at Stage West Community Playhouse and the Show Palace Dinner Theatre. The HAMI Award-winning actor played the beleaguered slave Pseudolus in Funny/Forum, the title role in The King and I and a gay dance instructor in one of my all-time favorites, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, at Stage West, and the plum role of Ali Hakim in the Show Palace's Oklahoma, plus many other roles there.

Clapsis got rave reviews for his Cape Cod gig. Among them, reviewer Mary Richmond of The Barnstable Patriot in Hyannis wrote, "Clapsis' … timing is always perfect." That's that's one of theater's highest accolades.

Film deadline extended

The deadline for entries in the 2nd annual Thomas Meighan Film Festival 2012 at Richey Suncoast Theatre has been extended for three weeks to Sept. 21. The original deadline was Sept. 1.

DVD or QuickTime files no more than 20 minutes long can be submitted in several categories: narrative, documentary, animated, experimental; and in three divisions: high school student, college student or adults.

For entry forms, go online to

The Thomas Meighan Film Festival is the local version of the world-famous 31-year-old Black Maria Film + Video Festival, which has made three stops at Richey Suncoast as it travels around the world from its base in New Jersey. They both feature short films in a variety of formats and have drawn capacity crowds to Richey Suncoast Theatre.

The Thomas Meighan Film Festival was founded by Bob Mateja and the late Charlie Skelton. Meteja will be director this year and can be reached at (727) 375-4773 with questions.

Last year's show was simply wonderful, with unforgettable films from around the world, plus a couple of local ones. Mateja is hoping for more local entries this year, with dreams of having an all-locally-produced festival in years to come.

Film lovers can see the entries at Richey Suncoast at 8 p.m. Nov. 10. Tickets are $6, open seating, and available at the theater box office, 6237 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey, or at

Spring Hill actor wraps 'Hysteria' in Cape Cod, his first road trip, before resuming role in St. Pete 08/24/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 24, 2012 8:32pm]
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