Emmy and SAG Award Winner, and Tony Nominee Gordon Clapp Joins Mimi Kennedy for Pru Payne
ATC audiences will be treated to a star-studded cast in Steven Drukman’s world premiere of Pru Payne, as Tony Award nominee and Emmy and SAG Award winner Gordon Clapp joins Mimi Kennedy as Pru’s love interest, Gus. A theatre, television, and film actor widely known for his role as Det. Greg Medavoy for all 12 seasons of NYPD Blue, Clapp is delighted to be coming to Arizona for Pru Payne.
“Reading the play for the first time, I couldn’t imagine anyone more suited for the role of Pru than Mimi,” Clapp remarked. “I can’t wait to get to the memory clinic and go to work.”
Clapp, whose theatre credits span more than 50 years, said he has been playing “old guy” roles since his days at Williams College. He noted that he played Davies in The Caretaker, Sam in The Homecoming, and Old Ekdal in The Wild Duck.
“I had all the character voices and gaits and role models in my imagination,” he shared. “It’s been fun to play ’senior’ roles in my ‘seniority.’
“The character of Gus in Pru Payne is right in my wheelhouse,” he continued. I don’t want to jinx myself, but his voice has been in my head for most of my life as a native New Englander. There’s a comfort not having to worry about authenticity. And some of his fears and sense of loss are now all too real for me.”
In the 1970s and ‘80s, Clapp worked in regional theaters in Canada and the United States, including five seasons at Canada’s National Arts Centre, a number of CBC movies, and a regular role on the sitcom Check it Out with Don Adams. He worked with John Sayles on two films, Matewan and Eight Men Out, and in 1989, he headed to Hollywood, where he landed a starring role alongside Farrah Fawcett in the mini-series Small Sacrifices.
He continued to act in numerous guest roles in sitcoms including Cheers, Night Court, Wings, and Wonder Years before a guest role on NYPD Blue led to his 12-year run as Det. Medavoy, for which he won a 1998 Emmy Award for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and the first SAG Award for Ensemble in a Drama Series. Other television credits include Damages, Chicago Fire, Mare of Easttown, American Rust, and Deadwood. Additional film credits include Return of the Secaucus Seven, Flags of Our Fathers, Peter and John, and Game Plan.
Although Clapp continues to act in numerous film and television roles, he returned to his first love – theatre – nearly two decades ago. In 2005, he received a Theatre World Award, A Drama Desk Ensemble Award, and a Tony nomination for his portrayal of Dave Moss in the all-star Broadway revival of Glengarry Glen Ross. In 2019, he portrayed J. Edgar Hoover in the Lincoln Center production of The Great Society.
His love of poet Robert Frost led to the development of Robert Frost: This Verse Business, which opened in 2010 and has seen more than 100 performances. Clapp and his wife Elisabeth live in Vermont and Boston, and he frequents theatres in New England including Vermont’s Northern Stage, Lost Nation Theatre and Dorset Theatre Festival; Connecticut’s Ivoryton Playhouse; New Hampshire’s New London Barn and Peterborough Players; and Boston’s Huntington Theatre and Central Square Theatre.