Season 28, Episode 1: Critics19 January 2006
Some of the country's most read critics-Melissa Rose Bernardo of Entertainment Weekly, Michael Feingold of The Village Voice, Elysa Gardner of USA Today, Michael Kuchwara of the Associated Press and Jeremy McCarter of New York Magazine-share how they came to their current positions and what they look for when they go to a show.
16 February 2006
The writers' life is the topic for authors Christopher Durang (Miss Witherspoon), Lisa Kron (Well), Marsha Norman (The Color Purple), John Patrick Shanley (Defiance) and Diana Son (Satellites).
21 April 2006
Originally created as a skit for a bachelor party, The Drowsy Chaperone has traveled from Toronto to Los Angeles to Broadway, growing in size along the way without sacrificing its skewed view of classic musicals. This ATW Working in the Theatre seminar will explore Chaperone's journey from one-off entertainment into that rarest of musicals-one not based on a book, play or movie. The panel includes actor Edward Hibbert, composer/lyricist Lisa Lambert, actor Beth Leavel, author and actor Bob Martin, producer Kevin McCollum, author Don McKellar, producer Roy Miller, composer/lyricist Greg Morrison and director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw.
28 April 2006
Experiences on stage in America and England are the core of this conversation with actors Eileen Atkins (Doubt), Richard Griffiths (The History Boys), Jonathan Pryce (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Lynn Redgrave (The Importance of Being Earnest) and Zoë Wanamaker (Awake and Sing).
Season 28, Episode 5: Design5 May 2006
The creation of new worlds on stage and the work of their creators is explored with lighting designer Peggy Eisenhauer (Assassins), costume designer Jess Goldstein (Jersey Boys), set designer David Korins (Bridge and Tunnel), set designer Derek McLane (The Pajama Game) and costume designer Carrie Robbins (White Christmas).
Season 28, Episode 6: Directing15 June 2006
How an audience can discern the often invisible hand of the director is the starting point for this discussion with Scott Elliott (The Threepenny Opera), Doug Hughes (Doubt), Joe Mantello (Wicked), John Rando (The Wedding Singer) and Leigh Silverman (Well).
12 October 2006
The challenge of producing commercially Off-Broadway is the topic for producers and managers Ken Davenport, Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Marc Routh and Alan Schuster as they consider whether Off-Broadway is, as some of the press would have it, in crisis; reflect on the nature of the work that succeeds in that arena; and place their work in those venues in the context of both the not-for-profit theatre and the world of Broadway.
1 December 2006
The Grey Garden's creative team, Scott Frankel (composer), Michael Korie (lyricist) and Doug Wright (book writer) discuss the genesis of this new, highly acclaimed Broadway musical - why they chose this "cult" documentary to be the basis for a musical; how they all came together as collaborators; and what it took to make these characters "sing". Later in the show the stars Erin Davie, Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson join director Michael Greif to talk about how they worked together to inhabit the "Edies", as well as their personal connections with the characters in the piece.
1 December 2006
"Leading Ladies" Blair Brown (The Clean House), Blythe Danner (Suddenly, Last Summer), Swoosie Kurtz (Heartbreak House) and Julie White (The Little Dog Laughed) share their thoughts on their careers on stage, from the difference between working in plays and musicals, to whether they still audition for roles, to the experience of working with living playwrights -- and whether they feel they ever have any power on a production.
Season 28, Episode 10: Playwrights1 December 2006
Playwrights Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Dark Matters), Douglas Carter Beane (The Little Dog Laughed), Kia Corthron (Breath Boom), Daisy Foote (Bhutan) and Adam Rapp (Red Light Winter) discuss why they, as products of the age of electronic entertainment -- and as writers who work in various forms -- choose to tell certain stories in the theatre; consider whether one can be taught playwriting or whether one simply learns it; ponder the prevalence of 90 minute plays against the three-act classics of the past; and reflect upon the writers who most influenced their own work.
1 January 2007
On The Evolution of Encores!, guests Judith E. Daykin (founder), Rob Fisher (music director from founding to 2006), David Ives (book adapter for 18 productions) and Jack Viertel (artistic director since 2001) discuss the growth and success of the acclaimed musical concert series at New York's City Center, exploring how Encores! grew out of a concert at BAM in the late 80s; how the international success of Chicago impacted the series; how shows are selected; whether the addition of costumes, choreography and other "production" elements have moved the series away from its original goals; and whether there are shows they shouldn't have done or wish they could do again.
7 February 2007
Casting Directors Tara Rubin (Spamalot, The Producers), Laura Stanczyk (Translations, Sweet Charity), Daniel Swee (The Coast of Utopia, The Vertical Hour), and Bernie Telsey (Wicked, Hairspray) explore and explain the work of the casting director, touching on issues from the best advice they can give actors about auditioning, how they work with directors and writers in the casting process, the challenges of luring stars to the stage, how they feel about stunt casting and televised casting competitions, and why judiciously mailing head shots and resumes can be an effective job-seeking strategy for aspiring actors.
2 March 2007
Four actors from the 42-member The Coast of Utopia company -- Jennifer Ehle, Josh Hamilton, Ethan Hawke and Amy Irving -- talk about the experience of appearing in Tom Stoppard's triptych of 19th century Russian intellectual history, including their own trepidation at working with the brilliant Stoppard; adapting language written by an English playwright for Russian characters to the comfort of American actors -- and audiences; the thrill of of working in a variant of a classical repertory company; whether they chose to research the era and their characters; and why they chose to spend a year of their lives with this project, playing parts both large and small.
Four acclaimed leading men - Jeff Daniels (Blackbird), Brian Dennehy (Inherit the Wind), Liev Schreiber (Talk Radio) and Kevin Spacey (A Moon for the Misbegotten) - discuss a wide array of topics, including whether the prefer rehearsal to performance, their experience in long runs and how great plays can carry actors along, the acting opportunities of appearing in many plays by the same author, how they find new challenges, whether they can still enjoy theatre as a member of the audience, and if its harder to do their work now that they're well known.
27 May 2007
The extraordinary legacy of playwright August Wilson and his 10-play cycle of African-American life in the 20th Century is explored in a two-part program. First, a panel of Wilson's collaborators -- producer James Houghton (Signature Theatre Company), dramaturg Todd Kreidler, director Kenny Leon (Radio Golf, Gem of the Ocean), actor/director Ruben Santiago Hudson (Gem of the Ocean, Seven Guitars), producer Jack Viertel (Radio Golf) -- discuss the process of developing and producing Wilson's plays. In the second half, the depth and variety of Wilson's characters are explored by Stephen McKinley Henderson (Jitney, King Hedley II), Harry Lennix (Radio Golf), Tonya Pinkins (Radio Golf) and Phylicia Rashad (Gem of the Ocean), joined by director Kenny Leon.
3 June 2007
The artistic directors of four major not-for-profit companies - Susan V. Booth of the Alliance Theatre, Oskar Eustis of The Public Theater, Emily Mann of the McCarter Theatre Center and Michael Wilson of Hartford Stage - discuss the unique task of the artistic director, touching upon issues including how they balance their personal artistic goals as directors with the institutional needs of their companies, whether their focus is on the local community or the larger national artistic community, the relationship between not-for-profit theatres and commercial producers, how they measure success, and their responsibility for developing the next generation of theatre artists.
4 November 2007
Four of Broadway's newest and brightest stars - Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins), Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening), Alison Pill (Mauritius) and John Lloyd Young (Jersey Boys) - discuss their road to the Broadway stage, the mentors who helped them, where their drive to perform comes from, their earliest roles, how they handle the audition process, facing their fears, keeping their voices in shape and what roles they'd love to play in the future. Additional resources: Mary Poppins: Official Site Spring Awakening: Official Site Manhattan Theatre Club Jersey Boys: Official Site
18 November 2007
In a one-on-one interview with playwright Horton Foote he talks about his early career as an actor, who was responsible for his becoming a playwright, how his connection to the past inspires his writing, what it was like to write for television's Golden Age, writing for different mediums, including his Oscar winning screenplays, and the influence his hometown of Wharton, Texas has had on his life and his work. He's then joined by four artists who have worked with him in recent years - his daughter, actress Hallie Foote; James Houghton, Artistic Director of Signature Theatre; Andrew Leynse, Artistic Director of Primary Stages; and Michael Wilson, Artistic Director of Hartford Stage - who discuss their roles in interpreting Foote's stories, the impact regional theatre has had in presenting his works, and how Horton Foote's plays relate to today's audiences.
The Artistic Directors of four off-Broadway not-for-profit theater companies - Douglas Aibel of Vineyard Theater, Charlotte Moore of Irish Repertory Theater, Tim Sanford of Playwrights Horizons and Jim Simpson of The Flea Theater - share their thoughts about attracting audiences to their shows, the cost of keeping their theaters going, the challenges they face competing with commercial productions, how they choose the works performed on their stages and what they hope to accomplish for their companies in the next several years.
Our panel of stage performers - Helen Carey, Elizabeth Franz, Jayne Houdyshell and Zeljko Ivanek - discuss their roles as featured actors and actresses, the range of work available to them, how they become their characters, dealing with stage fright and forgetting their lines, the audition process, performing in regional theater and how they prepare for each evening's performance.
Our distinguished panel of theatre directors - Anne Bogart, Scott Ellis and Daniel Sullivan - discuss their early influences in theatre and how that impacted their work as directors, why they have such a strong and emotional reaction to the idea of "concept" in the directing process, their opposing opinions on the role of assistants, what plays interest them and which works they wouldn't direct, whether they each approach the process differently when directing a new work or a revival, and whether they feel directing is something that can be taught.
Ranging from their start in a church basement in 1976 to their current Broadway production of August: Osage County, Steppenwolf Theater Company Co-Founder Jeff Perry and Steppenwolf Ensemble Members Laurie Metcalf, Amy Morton and Rondi Reed discuss their formative years as a rebel theater group in Chicago, what they did in those early years to attract audiences, how the ensemble has evolved, how Steppenwolf transformed from upstart to institution, the development of August: Osage County, and the challenges that a New York success like August places on their work back home in Chicago.
With backgrounds rooted in rock and roll, television comedy and comics, our 4 guests have made the leap from their day jobs to the stages of Broadway and Off Broadway with their musicals. Ben Katchor (The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island), David Javerbaum (Cry-Baby), Heidi Rodewald (Passing Strange) and Stew (Passing Strange) discuss adjusting to the collaborative world of theater, the rules of theater they think were made to be broken, their reaction to producers' notes, and how they feel their shows fit within the context of traditional musicals.
Actors Roger Bart (Young Frankenstein), Brian d'Arcy James (Next To Normal), Priscilla Lopez (In The Heights) and Sherie Rene Scott (The Little Mermaid) - collectively veterans of more than 30 Broadway and off-Broadway musicals - talk about the differences between performing in musicals and straight plays; acting techniques and voice training; how they prepare for a performance; dealing with the "triple threat" of acting, singing and dancing; balancing their lives on and off stage and their opinions on today's new composers.
A trio of classical theatre veterans - Kate Fleetwood, Peter Francis James and Laila Robins - share their thoughts about the importance of language in performing the classics and the physical connection they feel to the language; why the classics force audiences to think; the reaction of younger audiences to classical theatre; tackling the pre-conceived ideas held by audiences about the classics; and their opinion on setting the plays in different eras.
What is the role of a producer? That was the question that started the discussion among four of Broadway's top producers - Roger Berlind, Margo Lion, Jeffrey Richards and Jeffrey Seller - as the conversation turned to whether they produce for profit or passion and how they balance between the two; what the shows they produce reveal about themselves; what the opportunities are for new producers; the increased role the internet and other new media plays in theater today; the escalating cost of producing a show on Broadway today; and what they feel are the major issues facing theater producers as they look to the future.i
23 October 2011
Disney Theatrical President and Producer Thomas Schumacher takes us behind the curtain and gives us an up close and personal view of how things work backstage. We'll meet the make up people from The Lion King, share secrets from a premiere Broadway wig designer, watch just how those quick changes happen in Mary Poppins, meet the man behind the puppets in The Lion King and hear one member of The Lion King orchestra as he demonstrates those signature sounds.
A conversation about the state of theatre today in a wide ranging conversation that highlights how theatre can survive during difficult economic times; whether celebrities can affect sales and audiences; and dealing with government and foundation funding.
4 December 2011
Representatives from theatres receiving the American Theatre Wing 2011 National Theatre Company Grants discuss the challenges they face in tough economic times; their community outreach; and the creativity and diversity in the works they present.
4 March 2012
Actors David Alan Grier, Judith Light and Condola Rashad talk about the moment the knew they wanted to act; the research they do when approaching a new role; interacting with, and reacting to, the audience; how they handle reviews; and their process and passion for the work they do.
1 April 2012
Directors Sheryl Kaller, Pam MacKinnon and Stephen Wadsworth talked about their start in theatre; their process when beginning a new project; collaboration with playwrights and the challenges of handling the playwright in the room; listening to the audience; and what, or who, inspires and informs their work.
6 May 2012
Super-Publicists Adrian Bryan-Brown and Rick Miramontez talk with moderator Thomas Schumacher about the new world of theatre publicity as it relates to social media; whether or not there's such a thing as "bad" publicity; handling negative stories; shaping stories for the press and potential audiences; the value of using quotes in advertising; and critics and the preview process; and how audiences are influenced by social media and traditional reviews.
15 July 2012
The challenges and triumphs facing musical theatre today, both on and off Broadway, are discussed by actress Heidi Blickenstaff, Tony award winning choreographer Christopher Gattelli and Tony award winning composer and lyricist Robert Lopez. The conversation also takes an in-depth look at the status of musicals today; early influences on our guests that led them to theatre; and the impact current television programming has on stage musicals.
3 June 2012
A behind the scenes look at the Tony Awards with the show Executive Producers. Also, past Tony winners Joel Grey and Jefferson Mays share their feelings about winning and the TONY history-making achievement attached to each of their awards.
9 December 2004
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