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Scene
Scene and Heard: Chad Allen
August 2005

This fall, actor Chad Allen, best known for his roles in St. Elsewhere and Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman, debuts on here! as gay detective Donald Strachey. Although the seven planned films, which are inspired by the novels of Richard Stevenson, are set in upstate New York, filming began earlier this year in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. For Allen, 31, who's been publicly out for quite some, it is amazingly his first opportunity to play a gay character on television or film.

Scene: How would you describe the Donald Strachey films?

Chad Allen: Very classic noire style of mystery. They have a bit of that dime store detective. Donald and his boyfriend, Timmy, are like Nick and Nora of The Thin Man.

S: How do you feel about playing a gay character on film for the first time?

CA: My experiences so far have been fun. I have to admit candidly that I was very excited about the prospect of doing a love scene.

I want to be responsible for putting a committed loving fun gay relationship on TV so that those who are watching if they're young or old or in a relationship or not want to look up to this couple.

S: How do you like being part of programming for a gay network?

CA: It's really exciting. I have to admit, when they called me about doing this project I was skeptical at first because after 25 years in the business you learn to be skeptical. But I went and l met with them. I was really impressed with the reasons why Paul Colichman and his team put together here! The heart and soul that has gone into it are incredible. I was extremely impressed.

S: What do you think of reality television?

CA: As someone who's lived his life on television, I don't enjoy reality programming at all. But I have a number of friends who love it. I like watching one-hour dramas.

S : You have your own production company, Mythgarden. What sorts of projects are you developing?

CA: For television, we have a biography series of gay and lesbian heroes throughout history We also I have a wonderful series that takes classic fairy tales both familiar and lesser known and makes them gay. There's a fantastic book we optioned called Fairy Tales for Gay Men.

When I read the it for the first time, I found myself in a really nasty situation with my boyfriend at the time We were breaking up and I turned to him and blurted out, "What you want is not my idea of happily ever."

S: Will you continue to do theater as well?

CA: I had a I t-shirt I used to wear that read, "Theater is life, film is art, TV is furniture." While I am quick to add that I think It TV is an medium amazing getting the message out to more people than anywhere else, the fact is that theater is life in motion. When we start the ball rolling it does not stop until we're done. The audience and myself, as the performer, go on a journey together

In the theater, the actor's experience can't be separated from the audience's experience. We create it for them. scene

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