From a Log Cabin to The Victorian

Jerry and MJ outside their Issaquah Victorian  |  post and photo by Claudia Kelly

MJ Roberts and Jerry Evans of Issaquah Dock are both accomplished creative professionals as well as long time professors. Just like many of us, they started with a funky pied a terre floating home on Main Dock, and then moved to The Log Cabin (on Issaquah) before landing their perfect boat, The Victorian. They both have roots in very special Southern California locations─Laguna Beach and Malibu─but are now happily berthed in Sausalito. MJ is a published author of plays, stories and poetry and they both continue locally with writing and directing.  Jerry was a television director in New York and Hollywood (Ryan’s Hope, General Hospital, Love of Life, etc.) earning two Emmys along the way. Years earlier and knowing of his directing credentials, MJ asked him to direct one of her plays. This intellectual collaboration coupled with a long commute on the 405 freeway developed into their personal collaboration.

While teaching senior citizens at several colleges, MJ developed a play which featured her 50 students on stage telling their life stories during World War II. There were missionaries, Auschwitz and Dachau survivors, American soldiers, wives at home, prisoners in Japanese Internment camps plus other people still alive from that time. This authentic story presentation was produced by the City of Santa Monica and directed by Jerry. It was so well received that it was featured on the local Public Broadcasting System (PBS) television network. One of the special emotional coincidences was when a Japanese-American man who had been imprisoned in the Manzanar internment camp was embraced after the performance by an enormous stranger who announced he was the guard in the guard tower whose rifle had been trained on that Japanese boy as he and his friends played baseball. The two became dear friends.

Among their many literary productions together, MJ wrote scripts for the very popular television soap opera General Hospital, where Jerry was the director. “Hated it,” she says but the money was great.

Be sure to wave greetings to them when you next see them kayaking or walking their big blond dog.

Related post: Swimming in a Sea of Talent