ATW - Working In The Theatre
Summary: For more than 30 years the American Theatre Wing has been bringing together performers, directors, playwrights, designers, choreographers, producers and behind-the-scenes personnel from the American and international theatre, the seminars offer a rare opportunity for students and audiences to see the people who create theatre engaged in thoughtful conversation with one another. With more than 600 past guests, the seminars have become an unequalled archive of theatrical talk, a chance to hear from the people behind the characters, stories and productions that draw us to the theatre.
Working In The Theatre goes on location to NYC's Public Theater as host Patrick Pacheco talks with designer David Rockwell about his set design for the theatre (including "The Normal Heart" and "Lucky Guy"), his work with the Public Theater (including his newly designed restaurant, The Library) and George C Wolfe, among other topics. Later director Jack O'Brien and director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell join the conversation to talk about their collaborations with Mr. Rockwell ("Hairspray", "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", "Kinky Boots", and more).
From the pages of newspapers to tweets, blogs, chat rooms and twitter, the role of the theatre critic has been changing. Guests Lisa Fung, Charles Isherwood, Peter Marks and Elisabeth Vincentelli, along with moderator Patrick Pacheco, discuss how social media has impacted their work, their influence, and the world of theatre.
Director/Choreographer Rob Ashford, President and Executive Director of Rodgers and Hammerstein Ted Chapin and Director Scott Ellis talk with moderator Patrick Pacheco about re-imagining musicals for the stage and how directors approach a work to make it fresh and reinvented, how much change is allowed by the estates who control the pieces, and the challenges they face when classic works are re-imagined, rewritten or reinterpreted in any way.
Host Thomas Schumacher gives us a unique look at a song – what it is, where it comes from, the process from idea to stage, and how it fits in a show. He’s joined by Tony, Oscar and Grammy award winning composer Alan Menken who plays and sings us through the stages of some of his most memorable work including his numerous collaborations with Tom Schumacher and Disney Theatricals; Newsies lyricist Jack Feldman; and Newsies star, actress Kara Lindsay.
Among the topics our guests Alan Brown, Cynthia Hedstrom and Howard Shalwitz talk with moderator Ben Cameron about are how you measure the value of art and its' impact on audiences; what's important to audiences and how you make theatre interesting enough to draw them to a show and whether you can make them an active part of the experience or should their role simply be to observe and appreciate what is presented?
Theatrical lawyers Elliot Brown, Seth Gelblum and Nancy Rose talk with Patrick Pacheco about the behind the scenes work they do from negotiating rights and contracts to deals with unions and licensees and re-evaluating royalty pools.
The 2012 National Theatre Company Grant Recipients share their thoughts on attracting and cultivating audiences; the importance of regional theatre across the country; their role in reaching out to the communities they work in; the diversity of their work and the nurturing of new artists.
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. Our conversation is moderated by Julie James and takes an in depth look at the status of musicals today; early influences in our guests lives that led them to theatre; and whether television is helping to bring back interest in musical theatre.
On a special Tony Awards edition of "Working in the Theatre" host Ted Chapin, Chairman of the American Theatre Wing, takes viewers behind the scenes with Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss, Executive Producers of the Tony Awards, talks with past Tony winners Joel Grey and Jefferson Mays who share their feelings about winning and the TONY history-making achievement attached to each of their awards, and we'll hear from many of this year's nominees including Audra McDonald, John Lithgow, Cynthia Nixon, Linda Lavin, Nina Arianda, Harvey Fierstein and Christian Borle to name just a few!
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.
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.
The point at which they knew they wanted to act was one of the first things discussed in our conversation with David Alan Grier, Judith Light and Condola Rashad. They also talked about 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.
Casting Directors David Caparelliotis, Tara Rubin and Daniel Swee and moderator Patrick Pacheco discuss the role of the casting director; their collaboration with directors; recasting shows; and whether stars are necessary for success on Broadway today.
Playwrights Lydia R. Diamond, David Henry Hwang and Suzan-Lori Parks discuss their work and other American playwrights and how they influenced them; the moment each was aware they wanted to be writers; their process; experiencing their work on Broadway for the first time; and the role mentors played in their lives and their role as mentors.
Producers Jean Doumanian and Daryl Roth talk about creating a supportive environment for artistic teams bringing shows to the stage; collaborating with other producers; the benefits and challenges of casting stars in a show; and the economics and creative process of producing off Broadway vs. on Broadway.