Powers’ theatrical background is expansive, from his dinner theatre days, co-starring with Dick Sargent (from TV’s “Bewitched”) in “Not With My Daughter” to serving as President of Lonny Chapman‘s renowned Group Repertory Theatre in Los Angeles where, among others, played one of his favorite roles, Pseudolus, the lead in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”
Also in L.A., he took the tour-de-force title role in “Inside Eddie Binstock,” which he co-directed with actor/playwright Tim Robbins, performed for an extended run and, on one memorable evening, for a delighted Lord Laurence Olivier!
As one of the eight-member trailblazing Hollywood improv comedy troupe, “Off The Wall,” Wayne improvised regularly with Robin Williams – and lived.
Powers’ television career spans several decades and includes his recurring role as the Cop on “Laverne & Shirley,” MacKenzie Phillips’ boyfriend on “One Day At A Time,” “Murder She Wrote,” several episodes of “Simon And Simon,” “Full House,” “Alf,” “Alien Nation,” “Doogie Howser,” “Adam-12,” a series regular on “A&E’s An Evening at the Improv,” as Joe Esposito in
the now-classic ABC mini-series, “Elvis and Me,” and many others, including starring for two seasons in his own popular NBC sitcom, “13 East.” (Check out the “13 East” page.)
His feature film career includes co-starring with good friend Paul Sorvino in the film comedy, “Vasectomy – A Delicate Matter.” Wayne wryly comments, “It was great fun but, frankly, one of those unremarkable films that make you wonder who you have to go to bed with to get your name OFF of the DVD package!”
After relocating his young family to North Carolina, Wayne appeared in several award-winning, hit productions of the Charlotte Repertory Theatre, including Steve Martin‘s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” and a reunion (after 20 years) with actress Bonnie Franklin in Alan Ayckbourn‘s “Communicating Doors.”
Powers has performed, taught and directed improvisational comedy at Hollywood’s famous Improv on Melrose. Wayne has privately coached several top actors, comedians, magicians and broadcasters. He has directed many professional acting, commercial and voiceover workshops and master classes, including at the Debbie Reynolds Studio in North Hollywood, with Darryl Hickman, Lu Leonard, and Charles Nelson Reilly.
On stage, Wayne’s theatre roots are still deep and strong, most recently playing The Fool to Paul Sorvino’s powerful “King Lear” for NYC’s “Shrunken Shakespeare Company” — and, in Illinois, the lead role in Neil Simon‘s “The Sunshine Boys” where Powers’ hilarious portrayal of vaudeville comic Willie Clark received a standing ovation every performance.