BIG TICKET GIVEAWAY

Win 2 tickets to every event for a year! Click here to enter.

Present by The Daily Herald
The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


Weekend to-do list
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Friday, February 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Nurse and theater owner has full life

Melanie Calderwood believes you find time for the things you love.

  • Phoenix Theatre founder and actress Melanie Calderwood reads lines during rehearsal for the show "Wild Dust" at The Phoenix Theatre in Edmonds.

    Annie Mulligan / For The Herald

    Phoenix Theatre founder and actress Melanie Calderwood reads lines during rehearsal for the show "Wild Dust" at The Phoenix Theatre in Edmonds.

  • Annie Mulligan / For The Herald
A copy of "Wild Dust" sits on a table in the Phoenix Theatre during rehearsal for the show on Jan. 13th. The...

    Annie Mulligan / For The Herald A copy of "Wild Dust" sits on a table in the Phoenix Theatre during rehearsal for the show on Jan. 13th. The Phoenix Theater will produce the show Feb. 8th -- March 3rd in Edmonds. Photo taken 011313

  • Melanie Calderwood laughs with cast member Kenna Kettrick during rehearsal for the show "Wild Dust" at The Phoenix Theatre.

    Melanie Calderwood laughs with cast member Kenna Kettrick during rehearsal for the show "Wild Dust" at The Phoenix Theatre.

When she was a first-year nursing student in Cleveland, Melanie Calderwood performed skits and used to joke that she'd stick with nursing until she got her big break on Broadway.
Well, that break didn't come.
But today, Calderwood, 61, has found a way to combine her two worlds: She's a full-time nurse and an actor.
In fact, she's a theater owner, having taken over what used to be Edge of the World Theater in Edmonds in 2008 and turned it into The Phoenix Theatre.
Calderwood said she is often asked where she finds the time for both.
Calderwood's answer: "If you really enjoy something, you find time for it."
Calderwood has enjoyed acting ever since her first performance in a drama when she was 24 back East.
Locally, Calderwood acted at Edge of the World theater for 16 years before founding The Phoenix Theatre and becoming its artistic director.
Besides running the theater, Calderwood often stars in its productions. She has earned a reputation for having keen comedic timing and appears now in the comedy "Wild Dust."
Calderwood enjoys physical comedy but said one of her favorite roles was playing poet Emily Dickinson in basically a one-woman show that involved memorizing lots and lots of lines.
How does she do it?
Calderwood said she has plenty of time on her hands to work on theater stuff while she's taking the shuttle bus from her home to her job at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
Calderwood used to work at Group Health as a pediatrics nurse. Now, she is a transitional nurse with SCCA helping discharge patients who have undergone bone marrow transplants.
Her job is tense and stressful but primarily her patients are those who are doing well and going home.
Still, theater offers her a break.
"My job can be intense so it helps to have something to go to and escape," she said.
Calderwood believes theater benefits others as well; perhaps not as much as a good nurse but theater plays its part in fulfilling people's lives.
She sees that as artistic director at the Phoenix, adding that the theater is doing well and she has no regrets about taking the venture over.
"Besides," Calderwood joked, "what would I have done with my time?"
Time does become a factor when Calderwood's friends want to see her and she has work or the theater. She admits that's when she doesn't feel like she's being the best of friends.
It's those times that Calderwood might wish that theater paid the bills, not nursing.
"But nursing is something to benefit society and I believe that if you use the resources, you have to give something back," Calderwood said.
She paused, adding a bit wistfully.
"Theater is theater. If it paid the bills it's what I would do," Calderwood said. "Nursing has been good to me but in a perfect world if I could I would cut back on the nursing."
She said if she could take more time at the Phoenix doing administrative tasks the theater would probably be even more successful.
Still theater and nursing is a combination that she'll keep juggling for now.
"I enjoy both," Calderwood said. "And I'll do both as long as it's beneficial because that's what I need."
Story tags » TheaterEdmondsPeople

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

HeraldNet highlights

Staying power
Staying power: Mill's gone, but Mill Town Credit Union still thriving
Prep football roundup
Prep football roundup: Photos and stories from week 2 of high school football
Fall TV preview
Fall TV preview: 10 shows you might love, and 5 you'll probably hate
Taste of Oktober
Taste of Oktober: A look at 5 Oktoberfest beers and one harvest wild card