|Robert Fletcher and Thayer David in "The Sorrows of Frederick," 1967.|
Fortunately, David's talents were no secret to the theater, and his resume reflects an actor who rebounded easily from professional setbacks. In June, 1967, the Manhattan resident appeared the world premiere of Romulus Linney's first play, ''The Sorrows of Frederick,'' at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. To give you an idea of what the forum's debut theatrical offerings were like in 1967, "Frederick" was sandwiched between productions of "The Devils" with Mark Lenard, Frank Langella and William Hickey, and "More Stately Mansions" with Ingrid Bergman(!) and Colleen Dewhurst.
David played a character simply named "The Chancellor." Despite his lengthy stage credits at the time, his published biography in the production's playbill cited his involvement in the then-struggling DARK SHADOWS. (Matthew Morgan is even mentioned my name!)
I could find no reviews of "Frederick," but write-ups of later revivals suggest the 1967 premier was plagued by problems. Gordon Davidson, who launched the Mark Taper Forum, was apparently not pleased with the results. "(Director Albert) Marre had no concept of what this theater was about," Davidson told the Los Angeles Times in 2004. "To him, it was a pre-Broadway tryout, it was about Sherman marching through Georgia."
"Frederick" opened in June and closed in August. David would eventually return to the cast of DARK SHADOWS near the end of 1967, going on to play a record eight characters on the series, as well as appearances in both HOUSE and NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS.