by Almeda Girod
Amy Morrow Greenwood was four years old when she observed her older friend performing in a drama. Amy, an only child, had parents that did not encourage but did support her interest in acting. They found a woman in their Chicago neighborhood who served as her drama coach. This was shortly after the end of World War II and her first part was that of a little girl in an air raid that was separated from her mother.
Another drama teacher, Flovia Drazy, was located but she would only accept Amy if she read. Amy was determined and learned to read by age five and was accepted into the program with older children. Ms. Drazy had “connections” in the Chicago theater community and this led to small parts and later an audition to be the grand-daughter on the radio show, “Ma Perkins.”
Amy, who stood on a stool to reach the microphone, remembers the director asking. “What would you do if a piano was moved across the stage?” Her simple response, “I would keep on reading.”
She got the part and for five years (ages 6-11) Amy performed as Paulette making appearances on holidays and other times to bring some “comic relief.” The cast of “Ma Perkins” reported at 10 a.m. for a two-hour rehearsal and then broadcasted live at 12:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. with lunch sandwiched between. Amy also had parts of several young girls on the Sky King show, as well as a radio show aired on Friday afternoons in the Chicago public school classrooms.
“Ma Perkins” moved production to New York when Amy was 11. She continued drama being one of two Chicago students who were chosen as a “cherub” in the Summer Institute of Speech at Northwestern University. It was then that Amy decided to not major in drama but to focus on art. This led her to study art at the University of Michigan where she met her husband, Glenn, and they returned to Chicago, where she graduated from The School of the Art Institute.
Amy and Glenn married and pursued careers in art education and law as they reared two children. They moved to Calvert Landing three years ago. Amy says that she is pleased that she can continue to pursue her first love of drama through the Riderwood Actor’s Studio.