Beyond the Lights: A Conversation with Theater Professionals

Beyond the Lights: A Conversation with Theater Professionals

Welcome to Beyond the Lights: A Conversation with Theater Professionals. Theater is a community event and it takes a village to operate. From actors to designers to company managers to teaching artists to data nerds and dramaturgs and everything in between. So join me weekly to learn more about each person's journey and the "hustle" we call theater as we go Beyond the Lights.

Episodes

July 26, 2021 49 min

On today's show, I speak with Cándido Tirado a playwright, teacher, and chess master. Cándido and I discuss his time at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, why there is a rumor that he punched a critic after a bad review (spoiler, he didn't punch a critic), his status as a chess master, and how that informs his approach to theater.

For a full transcript of this episode visit beyondthelightspodcast.com.

Mentioned in this Epis...

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On today's episode, I speak with Dawn Chiang. Dawn is a lighting designer that has worked on Broadway, in opera, regional theater, dance, live events, I could keep going, truly. ?

I first met Dawn a few months ago as a part of the Actor's Fund LinkedIn Challenge, which we talk about extensively during this conversation. Dawn is the first lighting designer to come on the show and I'm so excited for you to listen.

For a ful...

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Cara Reichel is a co-founder and artistic director of Prospect Theater Company in New York City. If you've been listening to this show from the beginning, you may know of my history with Prospect--but if not, well...you're in for a treat. I worked with Prospect back in 2008 as an Assistant Director to Cara and have been a fan ever since. We talk about everything from her early years in NYC, Prospect's origins and ultima...

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On today's show, I speak with Kristi Ross-Clausen, a self-proclaimed eclectic theater practitioner. Kristi has been in the industry for 30+ years and has done everything from working in a large theater in Appleton, WI where she calls home to going on tour with Broadway shows War Horse, Mamma Mia!, and Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

For a full transcript of this episode visit beyondthelightspodcast.com.

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On today's show, I speak with David R. Molina a musician, composer, and sound designer. I have a not-so-secret love of sound design, and quite frankly I can't believe it's taken me THIRTY-NINE EPISODES to have a sound designer on, but here we are.  David has so much insight to share about composing for theater, film, radio plays, podcasts, you name it. This conversation was a lot of fun for me and gave me an even deeper...

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On today's show, I speak with Liza Luxenberg, the Senior Vice President of Aurora Productions. Aurora is a production management and technical supervision company that specializes in Broadway, Off-Broadway, and touring theater productions. Liza walks me through her journey from college stage manager, to intern, to her Senior Vice President role at Aurora. She is the first Broadway person I've interviewed since the announcem...

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Arianna Gass is a theater-maker who primarily occupies the multimedia theater space. They are a worker-owner of Obvious Agency, an artist cooperative in Philadelphia known for creating interactive live performance. They are also currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Chicago which we talk extensively about. This was an enlightening conversation for me and really exposed me to areas of theatre and performance theory that I di...

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On today’s show, I speak with Erica Andracchio. Erica is the Executive Director at Left Coast Theater in San Francisco. Left Coast is an independent theater that is dedicated to elevating new works by LGBTQ+ artists. We discuss her journey to becoming an Executive Director, what that looks like at a theater like Left Coast and some of the key differences and similarities between her role and that of an Artistic Director. Erica ...

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On today's show, I speak with Ryan McAlpine, a flying director with Flying by Foy. Ryan is a Flying Director on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in New York, San Francisco, and the Australia production which is currently on stage in Melbourne. Ryan is currently in Australia with the show and while we talk extensively about what it takes to fly in a production, he also gives me a good glimpse of the health and safety protocols ...

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April 12, 2021 49 min

On today's show I speak with navi, an Artistic Lead at Flying V theater in Washington DC.  We discuss their background in music and how that lead them to theater through the Capital Fringe Festival, what the DC theater scene is like, the definition of "nerdcore" in terms of music, and what it means to be the Artistic Lead of the R&D department for a theater.

For a full transcript of this episode visit beyondthelight...

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On this episode, I speak with Keith Josef Adkins, a playwright and artistic director of The New Black Fest. Keith originally went to school for broadcast journalism with the dream of becoming a weatherman, so how exactly did he transition into playwriting and becoming an artistic director? Keith takes me through his artistic journey, how he became a playwright, and the inspiration for starting The New Black Fest.

For a full transcri...

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March 29, 2021 65 min

On today’s show I speak with Judith Franklin, or as Matthew Neff from episode 17 calls her “Broadway’s Judith Franklin”. Judith and I discuss how she went from the Sunshine Choir at her local church, to performing in Ethiopia, to her journey to Broadway and appearing in both Donna: The Donna Summer Musical and most recently her ensemble turn in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.

Mentioned in this Episode
[00:21:19] Atlanta Lyric Theater
...

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Ngozi Anyanwu is an actor and award-winning playwright (Good Grief, Homecoming Queen).  During this conversation, we discuss her early years in theater, how she went from actor to playwright, her journey to landing an agent, what it means to make The Kilroys List (2016), and so much more. 

For a full transcript of today's episode go to beyondthelightspodcast.com.

Mentioned in this Episode
[00:01:43] The Thespian Conference
[00:05:...

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Sarah Enloe is the Director of Education at the American Shakespeare Center. We discuss the role an education director plays for a theater, the practical research efforts that infuse performances at the ASC, and how scholarship informs all aspects of the company. For a full transcript of today's episode go to beyondthelightspodcast.com.

Mentioned in this Episode
[00:01:36] American Shakespeare Center
[00:01:58] Shakespeare Theater...

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Guy Kwan is a Broadway Production Manager with Juniper Street Productions. His current shows include Come From Away, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and Moulin Rouge.  Guy walks me through his early start with Mirvish Productions in Canada, how he eventually made his way to Broadway, and exactly when he becomes involved with a Broadway show.  I learned SO MUCH from our conversation about the role a production manager and technic...

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March 1, 2021 51 min

Joseph Ahmed is a Philadelphia-based theatre-maker. Joe wears many hats in the theater community which we discuss at length, including actor, director, and most recently playwright. He’s also currently working as an arts administrator for an organization that is helping to provide emergency funding to artists hurting during this current economic climate.

For a full transcript of today's episode go to beyondthelightspodcast.com.

...

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February 22, 2021 54 min

On today’s show, I speak with playwright Carmen Rivera. If you recognize Carmen’s name it’s because her play La Gringa is one of the longest-running off-Broadway shows in history. Get this, La Gringa celebrates its TWENTY-FIFTH YEAR at the Spanish Repertory Theatre this year. Carmen and I have a really insightful conversation around new play development, why she believes La Gringa continues to have such a long and successful life, ...

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On today’s show, I speak with Buist Bickley a Broadway Props Supervisor. Buist has worked on more shows than I can actually count or keep track of, and when Broadway shut down he estimates he had about nine shows running on Broadway or on tour. Buist walks me through how he became a props supervisor, what’s considered a prop and what’s not (spoiler, Evan Hansen’s cast? Not a prop), and what exactly a props supervisor does during re...

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February 8, 2021 55 min

On today’s show, I speak with playwright Migdalia Cruz. You may remember Elisa Bocanegra mentioning Migdalia in episode 18 for her work on María Irene Fornés’ documentary. We discuss her experience working with María Irene Fornés, how she helped Migdalia uncover her true playwrighting voice in a way that Columbia was unable to do, as well as her current project turning her translation of Macbeth into a podcast. I loved speaking wit...

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Joseph Corella is a dancer, choreographer, and founder of 567Broadway! Joseph takes me through how he got started in dance, his journey to the Broadway stage, and why he wanted to create 567Broadway! If you’ve never heard of 567Broadway!, I am so excited to introduce you to Joseph AND to the popular dance fitness class--and don’t worry if you have zero dance skill (like myself), the class is for all levels!

For a full transcript of ...

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