Monday, Jan. 25, 2010

Two Actors Injured In Knife Attack

Andrew Edwin Voss and Jason Waszak victims of a senseless act of violence.

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Andrew Voss’ phone goes straight to voicemail. With things being as busy as they had today, I hadn’t gotten word about the physical assault of the Youngblood Theatre co-founder until relatively late. As soon as I’d gotten word of the incident I’d attempted to call him. No answer. Then I saw the note in the press release.

Earlier today, he was in critical condition. I’m at a loss. The latest info came in at 6:30 pm.  Michael Cotey says both Voss and fellow actor Jason Waszak were stabbed in the attack. Waszak continues to recover at home. Voss is in the ICU. His status has recently been upgraded to “satisfactory.” He is alert and breathing on his own. It’s unclear if Voss or Waszak have health insurance. The medical bills are going to be really, really unbearable.

In the interest of raising funds to help the actors out, Alchemist Theatre will be hosting a benefit for them starting at 7pm—Bo Johnson and others will be performing. At 10pm, Meanwhile will perform. I’m hoping to make it out to the Alchemist after opening night of Next Act’s Purgatorio.

Those unable to make it to the benefit can help out in one of two different ways. I’ll quote from Cotey’s most recent press release:

Online Donations
- The Alchemist Theatre has provided an opportunity to accept donations online. Please follow the following link to make a contributions.

Checks
- Those wanting to send checks, an account has been created in Raeleen McMillion's name through Guaranty Bank with an official nickname: Actor Aid. Please contact her for more details.

Here’s hoping Voss has a quick recovery. My sincerest sympathies go out to Voss, his family and everyone at Youngblood.

With Voss in the hospital, Red Light Winter ends its run after only one weekend. It’s a disappointment. There was genuine excitement in Voss’ voice when he talked about the show—a real passion for the script. And he only got to perform it for audiences a few times. Talking to him was easily one of my most memorably enjoyable interviews. The day after the interview, Voss emailed me to suggest that we continue that conversation we were having. (He had work—had to cut it short.)

Voss--when you’re up for it, we really should talk. I’ll bring the beer . . .

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