Tate Donovan is currently going head to head with Frances McDormand in the Broadway premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People, but the popular actor has spent most of the past year directing episodes of TV shows such as Weeds, Gossip Girl, Damages and, most recently, the Valentine’s Day episode of Glee.
“Working with the cast of Glee was inspiring,” Donovan told Broadway.com. “To be around a group of kids who work so hard and love what they do is so refreshing. Oddly enough, it reminded me of [the summer season at] Williamstown—just the TV version.” The pace on-set at Glee is nonstop, according to Donovan: “If they aren’t rehearsing a dance number or recording a song, they’re shooting a scene. They are constantly working on something, putting in long days, but loving it.”
Donovan knows plenty about youth-oriented TV, having played Mischa Barton’s father in The O.C. Asked what’s special about Glee, he mused, “Glee has this unique way of being very profound and moving, without being preachy—it’s just fun and songs and humor. I often find myself tearing up. It has a beautiful message of acceptance and love that I find very moving, and that I, and the world, need to hear more of.”
In spite of his success behind the camera, Donovan is still passionate about acting, particularly his current role as a doctor in Good People. “The writing is just spectacular,” he says. “I was in the Los Angeles production of Rabbit Hole and I’m a huge David Lindsay-Abaire fan.” Manhattan Theatre Club is producing the play at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, where opening night is set for March 3.
A full Q&A with Tate Donovan will be posted on Broadway.com on February 21.