Mark A. Marple

The Pilot Theatre

One of the first shows I produced and directed in L.A. was part of the
Texas Trilogy by Preston Jones called "The Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia". It was at a 99 seat theatre on Santa Monica Blvd. The
money for the rental and advertising and, well, everything else came
from my tips as a bartender and winnings playing pool. Will Geer helped
me with costumes and getting the word out through his theatre
Theatricum Botanicum.

I played Rufe Phelps and Colonel J.C. Kinkaid was played by
Howard Wilson who used to go by his stage name, Val Voltane the perfume magician. He was Will Geer's stand in on several movies and was a
tall man with a booming voice and a very good actor.
He appeared on Broadway in the 30's.

Our lighting / run crew was B.J. Jackson who was the T.V. director
of Soul Train and one of my best friends. He tested that friendship
one day when I got a call at 3:00pm at the theatre as I was setting
up for a performance. Seems he got arrested for being in a bar fight
and it took all of my savings to bail him out so that he could
make the 8:00pm show.


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