The Theatre Podcast with Alan Seales

Broadway Podcast Network

Intimate, personal conversations with the biggest talents from professional theatre, tv, film, and more. Hear their secrets, what makes them laugh, stresses them out, and how they manage the anxiety of success. We feature both stars and creatives such as producers, stage managers, directors, press and marketing agents, or even the people who own the theaters or productions themselves.​ This is a podcast for artists, made by artists. With over 2 decades of experience in film and theatre both as cast and creative, host Alan Seales speaks with Broadway, TV, film and beyond’s biggest talents to learn more about not only how the world of theatre and performing operate, but also what makes it so real and human. In-depth, personal, behind-the-scenes conversations will highlight special details of the industry that most people may not know exist, will always find out what makes the guests love their craft, what makes them tick, and what truly inspires them. Part of the Broadway Podcast Network.

Ep1 - An Introduction to The Theatre Podcast
Trailer 5 min 15 sec

All Episodes

Stephen Levenson is a Tony award winning playwright and screenwriter who famously won his Best Book of a Musical Tony for Dear Evan Hansen. He later adapted the script for the film adaptation. Stephen has numerous Off-Broadway credits, as well as a resume boasting TV and film. He was a writer for the Showtime series Masters of Sex, and served as show runner for the miniseries Fosse/Verdon. Most recently Stephen penned the screenplay for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s film adaptation of Jonathan Larson’s biographical musical tick, tick… Boom!, starring Andrew Garfield and available now on Netflix.  Stephen shares an inside look to all aspects of his newest project, from the research, to the writing, to casting, through production. He recalls acting in a production of tick, tick… Boom! in college, already having reverence for Jonathon Larson, and how desperately he wanted to be involved in 2017 when he heard Lin-Manuel would be directing a film adaptation. Stephen talks about the impact of COVID on filming, which shut down the production after only 10 days in March 2020, and how the pandemic gave the film a new urgency once shooting resumed. He also opens up about the weight and responsibility he felt telling someone else’s story in tick,tick… Boom!, versus writing a script with his own original thoughts and ideas in Dear Evan Hansen.  In this episode, we talk about:  The extensive research and process behind the script for tick, tick… Boom!  Having Julie Larson on board and in the room Andrew Garfield’s progression from non-singer, to musical theater performer Workshopping the film as if it were a stage production Working with Netflix versus a traditional big studio Watch the Tick... Tick... Boom! trailer: https://youtu.be/YJserno8tyU Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 30

31 min 34 sec

Actress and singer Julia Murney originated the role of Queenie in Andrew Lippa’s Wild Party (earning her first Drama Desk Award nomination), and later became one of the most well known Elphaba’s in both the national tour and Broadway companies of Wicked. Her other New York credits include her 2005 Broadway debut in the musical Lennon, Falling (earning her second drama desk nomination), A Class Act, The Landing, Saved, Crimes of the Heart, Queen of the Mist, and Time and Again (Lucille Lortel nomination). Julia was also seen in the Actors' Fund benefit concerts of Funny Girl, Chess, Hair, and the World AIDS Day Benefit Concert Pippin. She has been featured on television in Sex and the City, Ed, NYPD Blue, 30 Rock, Elementary, Succession, and Madam Secretary, among many others. She can now be seen in the Out of the Box Theatrics production of the Tony nominated musical Baby, which opened November 14th. In addition to our wonderful chat with Julia, we had friend Andrew Lippa crash the interview! Born and raised in New York City, Julia grew up making up shows in her childhood bedroom, and fell in love with singing after joining the choir in junior high. She shares an inside look at her newest project, a revival of the 1980’s musical Baby, noting the necessity for rewrites, and the beauty of having same sex and interracial couples represented on stage. She opens up about the ups and downs of playing the iconic Elphaba: from the weight of people's expectations to the extraordinary high of finishing the first act with broom in hand, aloft in a cherry picker. Julia also reunites with longtime friend and colleague Andrew Lippa, and together they share memories of their first meeting and the instant kinship they felt.  In this episode, we talk about:  Working with Baby lyricist Richard Maltby The influence of her childhood choir director  The fun of community and chosen family in theatre  Singing Meadowlark for Stephen Schwartz, accompanied by Andrew Lippa Recognizing a kindred spirit in Andrew Lippa Connect with Julia: IG: @pepamama Twitter: @JuliaMurney Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 23

53 min 33 sec

Actor, dancer, musician and producer Aaron Dalla Villa was most recently seen as the slimy Mordred in the Bay Street Theater production of Camelot. His Off-Broadway credits include Seeing You, and Sleep F$@cking: Revision, while regional theater roles include Mr. Mistoffelees in CATS, Treat in Orphans, and Peter Pan in Peter Pan Workshop (Broadway Asia). His slew of TV credits include Gossip Girl, Girls5Eva, Madam Secretary, Duels, Gotham, On The Verge, and Late Night with Seth Meyers. He can also be seen in numerous films including Alpha Rift, All Those Small Things, Pledge, Trick, and Immortal. Aaron is both a classically trained ballet dancer, and a rapper.  Growing up in Suffolk, Virginia, Aaron’s affinity for rap and hip hop put him on the path to becoming a trained ballet dancer, and eventually, an actor. He opens up about a creative endeavor which he has only recently begun sharing publicly - writing and producing his own music. He speaks candidly about his journey with therapy, sobriety, and self-reflection, which have all allowed him to stay grounded and focused on his artistic choices and career. Aaron also shares his hopes for inspiring “that little kid in the audience” (who was at one time him), and the beauty of capturing moments, albeit differently, on stage and on screen.  In this episode, we talk about:  A missed opportunity to audition for Billy Elliot on Broadway  Why “dance” is under special skills on his resume  His drive to be a movie star How he unwinds, recharges, and takes care of himself  The importance of consistently showing up Tracing his Italian roots Connect with Aaron: IG: @aarondallavilla Twitter: @aarondallavilla Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 16

54 min 38 sec

Ana Villafañe is an Outer Critics Circle Award, Astaire Awards, and two-time Drama League Award nominated actress and singer best known for originating the role of Gloria Estefan in On Your Feet!, and starring in the hit musical throughout its entire run on Broadway. She was named one of the New York Times 30 Under 30, and has been honored by the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts for trailblazing Latin representation in entertainment. Her TV credits include Mozart in the Jungle, South Beach, New Amsterdam and Younger, among many others, and she will soon appear as a series regular in the upcoming NBC series Night Court, a sequel to the classic sitcom. Ana is now helping to usher in the return of Broadway starring as Roxie Hart in Chicago, the Broadway classic.  Ana was a kid with a lot of energy, and performed in her first musical at a regional theater in Miami when she was nine years old. She opens up about being diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when she was 7, being confined to a wheelchair frequently as a result, and how her struggle with the illness growing up shaped her approach to life and her career. Ana recalls finding out about the open call for On Your Feet!, feeling “magnetically drawn” and called to audition, and what a life changing experience the show was for her. She also speaks candidly about embracing her inner dancer, and joining the well-established company of Chicago on Broadway as Roxie Hart.  In this episode, we talk about:  Moving to LA by herself at 18 years old  Being an empath  Learning the importance of discipline and self-care after burning out  Landing the role of Gloria Estefan  Being the daughter of immigrants Being on the set of Night Court with John Larroquette Connect with Ana: IG: @anavillafaneofficial Twitter: @aanavee Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 9

1 hr 1 min

Neal Brennan is a three time Emmy nominated writer, director, producer and stand up comedian known for co-creating and co-writing the Comedy Central series Chappelle's Show with Dave Chappelle, with whom he also co-wrote the cult classic film Half Baked. He is currently a creative consultant and on air correspondent on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, served as executive producer on Chris Rock's latest stand up special Chris Rock: Tambourine, and has performed stand-up on Last Call with Carson Daly, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Lopez Tonight, and Conan. Neal’s directing credits include the feature film The Goods starring Jeremy Piven, multiple episodes of Inside Amy Schumer, JAY-Z’s 4:44 documentary series, and Michelle Wolf's recent HBO special Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady, to name a few. His critically acclaimed one man show 3 Mics enjoyed a sold out Off-Broadway run in New York City in 2016, and now he is back for his new show Unacceptable, which has just been extended through November 21st.  Neal was always funny, and after spending years of grade school weekends traveling to NYC to see his brother perform in comedy clubs, Neal applied and got into NYU to study film. Neal shares how he met Dave Chapelle while working the door of a comedy club, why he dropped out of school, and how he started writing. He chronicles his journey to creating Half Baked, now a cult classic, and how that experience informed how he approached work on later projects like The Chappelle Show. Neal also opens up about his personal genre of theatrical comedy, performed in Off-Broadway houses rather than comedy clubs, and how their vulnerability sets them apart.  In this episode, we talk about:  The trial and error of stand-up comedy Why he didn’t like film school His turbulent childhood Using comedy as a coping mechanism  Why he would rather do something sober than drunk Connect with Neal: IG: @nealbrennan Twitter: @nealbrennan Web: nealbrennan.com/ Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nov 2

56 min 54 sec

Megan Hilty is a Tony Award nominated actress and singer who may be best known for her portrayal of Glinda in Wicked. Other credits include Broadway’s 9 to 5: The Musical as Doralee Rhodes and Noises Off as Brooke Ashton (which also earned her Tony Award and Drama Desk Award nominations), as well as Annie Get Your Gun and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at New York City Center. She became a worldwide triple threat known as Ivy Lynn on NBC’s musical drama Smash, with other television credits including Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce, The Good Wife, BrainDead, Sean Saves the World, Louie, Desperate Housewives, and Ugly Betty among many others. Megan has performed across the globe to sold out houses, including concerts with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center and the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center. She's recorded three albums of her own and is now making her 54/Below debut with a six show series running from November 2-7th.  Growing up outside Seattle, Washington, Megan was an avid singer and a veteran performer within her local community theater. She chats with us about what first drew her to theater as a child, and what keeps her coming back to the stage even with a successful film and tv career. While in LA with Wicked, Megan recalls realizing the need to diversify her career, and shares how she began her journey into the TV and film world. She reflects on the heartbreak of closing 9 to 5: The Musical, and speaks candidly about leaving NYC, pounding the pavement in LA, and finding herself in an audition room for Smash. Megan also gives us an inside look at her upcoming 54 Below debut, which she calls “a huge pinch me moment”.  In this episode, we talk about:  Almost going the opera singer route  Being inspired by Bernadette Peters’ career Landing Wicked in NYC right out of college  The reality of the harsh comparisons and criticisms actresses endure  Performing with Brian Stokes Mitchell  Connect with Megan: Get tix to her 54/Below event IG: @meganhilty Twitter: @meganhilty Subscribe to the 54/Below Podcast: bpn.fm/54below Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Oct 26

1 hr 1 min

Gavin Creel is an actor, singer and songwriter who received a Tony Award for his performance as Cornelius Hackl in Hello, Dolly!, starring Bette Midler and David Hyde Pierce. He made his Broadway debut originating the role of Jimmy Smith in Thoroughly Modern Millie, for which he received his first Tony Award nomination, and has additional Broadway credits that include La Cage aux Folles, She Loves Me, Mary Poppins, Waitress, and Hair, which earned him his second Tony Award nomination. Gavin originated the role of Elder Price in the West End production of Book of Mormon (earning an Olivier Award), and reprised the role on Broadway and the US National Tour. On television he co-starred alongside Julie Andrews in ABC’s Eloise at the Plaza and Eloise at Christmastime, and stars in Ryan Murphy's new spin off American Horror Stories. Next up Gavin can be seen as part of the upcoming Halloween special “I Put A Spell On You: The Sanderson Variant”, which streams on Thursday, October 28th, with all proceeds going to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. From conservative Ohio, to the lights of Broadway, Gavin is a proud member of the theatre community, but also talks candidly about the mental, physical and emotional toll of a life on the stage. He reflects on the last few years through the pandemic, how he went “inward” in a way he never has before, and opens up about the ways in which therapy - “unconditional acceptance” and support - have helped him. Gavin talks about using his voice to support activists/activism, and shares the story of his involvement in getting the green light for the Broadway’s Hair to miss a show and join the National Equality March in Washington, D.C in 2009. He also chats about the history of Broadway Bares, and the magic of “I Put A Spell On You: The Sanderson Variant”.  In this episode, we talk about:  His friendship with Jay Armstrong Jones  The format for this years I Put A Spell On You event  Learning to set boundaries for your mental health  Activism through theatre and the arts  The new show he is writing through MetLiveArts Connect with Gavin: More info about "I Put A Spell On You: The Sanderson Variant" Get tix to his MetLiveArts event On the web: gavincreel.com Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Oct 22

1 hr 3 min

Cassie Beck is a star of stage and screen whose previous credits include the Broadway revival of The Rose Tattoo and the original cast of The Humans on Broadway. Other stage credits include The Norman Conquests (Broadway), The Drunken City (Playwrights Horizons), Happy Hour, and Oohrah! (off-Broadway). Her TV credits include Pose, Elementary, Connecting, and Chicago Med. Cassie is the former Artistic Director of Crowded Fire Theatre Company in San Francisco where she also appeared in several productions. She is currently on the road leading the national tour of What The Constitution Means To Me, and can also be seen in the Amazon Prime series I Know What You Did Last Summer, as well as opposite Mark Wahlberg in the feature film Joe Bell.  Cassie grew up a dancer in Redlands, California, until high school when she did her first musical. She shares memories of catching the acting bug as a teenager, and finding her way to the bay area after college where she joined the ensemble of Crowded Fire Theatre Company in San Francisco. She opens up about her experience in The Drunken City at Playwrights Horizons (her first professional performance in NYC, and only her second time ever in the city), and reflects on the opportunities that followed after deciding to move to New York when she was 30. Now leading the national tour of What The Constitution Means To Me, Cassie chats about her relationship with playwright and actress Heidi Schreck, how the play continues to adapt to changes in the political climate, and the impact of having young people take part in the show every night.  In this episode, we talk about:  Her first electric moment back onstage after 18 months  Her initial hesitancy to take over Heidi’s role  Training post college in South Carolina and San Francisco Having no experience with on camera work when she moved to NYC Working with Patti LuPone  Connect with Cassie: IG: @cassiebeckster Twitter: @cassiebeckster Check out the Constitution tour schedule Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Oct 19

53 min 34 sec

The smash hit Broadway play Is This A Room opened at the Lyceum Theater on Oct 10th, 2021. Guest podcast host Beatriz Westby takes us down to the red carpet to talk to Tina Satter, Amanda Villalobos, Andy Grotelueschen, Blyth Adamson, Chris Giarmo, Deirdre O'Connell, Frankie Grande, Judy Kuhn, Lee Kinney, and Steven Sater. Get tickets and info to Is This A Room and Dana H via thelyceumplays.com/ Follow Beatriz Westby on the Instas: @biaizidoro Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Oct 16

19 min 16 sec

Tarik Davis is an actor and writer based in New York City with a 20 year history of acting, performing improv and writing comedy. Past experience includes performing for The Upright Citizens Brigade in NY, Boom Chicago in Amsterdam, and The Second City in Chicago. He is a member of the longest running improv team at The PIT, The Baldwins, and also performs with Baby Wants Candy and Shamilton at UCB in Hell's Kitchen. Tarik is a founding member of the monthly improv show Comedy People’s Time that features writers and performers from shows like Late Night with Seth Meyers and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. He made his Broadway debut in Freestyle Love Supreme, which just returned to Broadway on October 7th, and is well known as the sidekick and announcer on The Amber Ruffin show on Peacock. A self proclaimed theater nerd, Tarik reflects on his recent Tony Award’s performance with Freestyle Love Supreme, calling it one of the best days of his life. He describes the fill circle moment he experienced as he held hands with Wayne Brady on the Tony’s stage, and shares that it was Brady’s performance on Whose Line Is It Anyway? that encouraged him to stick with improv years ago. Tarik opens up about the high’s and low’s of imposter syndrome, and learning to embrace life as an improviser, and say “yes”. He also takes us behind the scenes of his audition for Freestyle Love Supreme, how it played out, and what made it different from other auditions.  In this episode, we talk about:  How the FLS Tony Awards performance was crafted  When he realized 20 years of improv had prepared him for FLS What he learned from years of small black box performances in NYC Following your passion, and betting on yourself  The importance of comedy Connect with Tarik: IG: @tarikdavis Twitter: @tarikdavis Get tickets to Freestyle Love Supreme Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Oct 12

51 min 38 sec

“If you can do something that makes you happy and that you really feel passionate about, it's not going to feel like work, it's going to feel joyous.” Two-time Tony Award winning theatrical producer Jill Furman is part of the driving force bringing Freestyle Love Supreme back to Broadway this month, after having originally brought it to Broadway in 2019. She is also currently producing six productions of Hamilton, including one on Broadway and one in London’s West End. Additional Broadway credits include In the Heights, the 2013 revival of Cinderella, The Heiress, Seminar, West Side Story, The Drowsy Chaperone, Sly Fox, and Fortune’s Fool.  Jill grew up in New York City going to the theatre with her parents, reading Variety magazine with her father, producer Roy Furman, and always knew she wanted to be in entertainment. She chronicles her journey from NYC, to LA, and back again, through college, grad school, and starting her own production company. Jill shares how she became involved with In the Heights very early on in 2003 after watching Lin Manuel perform in the basement of the drama bookshop; and how later the same year, she witnessed Freestyle Love Supreme for the first time. Jill also opens up about how she chooses projects to work on, highlighting the importance of her shows having a positive impact on an audience in some way.  In this episode, we talk about:  The special Tony Award given to Freestyle Love Supreme  Deciding when and how to bring shows back post-shutdown  The thought process behind remounting FLS on Broadway  Her preference for working in theatre v. film  Two new projects she has in development  Connect with Jill: IG: @jillfurman Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Oct 5

46 min 24 sec

To celebrate it’s reopening on Broadway next month, the acclaimed director of Freestyle Love Supreme joins one if it’s first company members to talk about all things past, present and future for their show, and for FLS Academy. Tommy Kail is a director and producer known for his amazing work on Hamilton, In the Heights, Grease Live!, and Fosse/Verdon. James Monroe Iglehart just reprised his role as Lafayette/Jefferson in the newly reopened Hamilton on Broadway, originated Genie in Disney's Aladdin, and has other Broadway and TV credits including Memphis, Spelling Bee, Netflix's Maniac, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and the Tangled animated series. Both Tony Award winners, Tommy (director) and James (one of the first members to join FLS) are set to bring their hit show Freestyle Love Supreme back to Broadway next month for a limited run beginning on October 7, 2021.  Tommy and James recall their first meeting at James’ audition for Freestyle Love Supreme, where James was hired on the spot. James shares how he met, performed, and became friends with Chris Jackson, who later introduced him to Freestyle Love Supreme in its early years. Tommy gives us an inside look on what it’s like directing an improv show like FLS, comparing it to being the coach of a basketball team, and describing how important it is for him to find new members whose energies vibe with the rest of the group. They also open up about what makes FLS so unique and different from any other show they’ve worked on, highlighting the unfailing affection and admiration each company member has for the other.  In this episode, we talk about:  How Freestyle Love Supreme was born  The family they’ve created, and why they always return Discovering new member Aneesa Folds at the FLS academy  The impact of the audience storing their phones during the show  What Tommy looks for when casting a show like FLS  The future of Freestyle Love Supreme Connect with Tommy: Good luck! He's not on social media! Watch We Are Freestyle Love Supreme on Hulu Connect with James: IG: @jmiglehart Twitter: @jamesmiglehart Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sep 28

56 min 4 sec

Jenny Steingart is a powerhouse producer for theater, film, and television. She has worked alongside some of the greatest names in the industry, including Tina Fey, Joel Grey, Sir Patrick Stewart, Josh Groban, and Lin Manuel Miranda. Recent productions include Freestyle Love Supreme on Broadway, a limited engagement of Sir Patrick Stewart's A Christmas Carol, Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, Mean Girls and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. She most recently produced the documentary We Are Freestyle Love Supreme, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Jenny is the co-founder of Ars Nova, New York City’s premier theater for emerging artists and new work. She has also co-founded a Japanese animation studio called Ultra Super Pictures.  Jenny grew up in a creative household, where her mother, a singer and musician, and her father, a broadcaster, strongly encouraged her to pursue her passions. A theater kid, initially not able to conceive of doing anything else except acting, Jenny takes us back to her post college days when she realized performing was actually not going to be for her. She recounts her introduction to producer Margo Lion, for whom she became an assistant, and details how she began her own journey to producing. Jenny chats about the years she has happily devoted to the development and production of FreeStyle Love Supreme, and also candidly speaks about how the pain and grief of losing her brother became a catalyst for founding Ars Nova.  In this episode, we talk about:  The advice her father always gave her  Having powerhouse female producers as role models  Her oldest son’s interest in the performing arts  How failing is an essential part of any creative process Her favorite game in Freestyle Love Supreme  Connect with Jenny: IG: @jennysteingart Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sep 21

1 hr 13 min

He began his career working as a cinematographer alongside the Coen Brothers, made a name for himself as a director, and now reflects on much of the journey which brought him to Schmigadoon, and a new memoir: Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother. TRIGGER WARNING: This episode contains talk of child sexual abuse and molestation. Barry Sonnenfeld is a filmmaker and writer who broke into the film industry as the cinematographer on the Coen brothers first three films: Blood Simple, Raising Arizona and Miller's Crossing. He was also the Director of Photography on Throw Momma from the Train, Big, When Harry Met Sally and Misery, among others. Barry made his directorial debut with The Addams Family in 1991, and went on to direct more films including Addams Family Values, Get Shorty, Wild, Wild, West, and the first three Men in Black movies. His television credits include Pushing Daisies, for which he won an Emmy, Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events, and most recently, Apple TV’s Schmigadoon. The paperback version of his book, “Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother”, is available now. When Barry decided to go to grad school for film, it wasn’t out of any love for film, but rather as a way to avoid spending three more years trying to figure out what to do with his life outside of school. He chronicles how his background in still photography set him up for a chance to work as a cinematographer with the Coen Brothers, who were also just starting their own careers. In talking about the subject matter and process for writing his new book, Barry opens up about his tumultuous childhood and the age-old question - did he become who he is because of or in spite of his parents? Barry also candidly shares what led him to direct Schimigadoon, despite his general dislike for the musical theatre genre, and chats about what filming was like. In this episode, we talk about:  His complicated relationship with his parents  Turning his teenage bedroom into a darkroom How all comedy is hiding pain  Meeting and working with the Coen Brothers  Almost directing Forrest Gump  The fun of pre and post production Connect with Barry: IG: @bsonnenfeld Get his book Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sep 14

1 hr 2 min

“I feel like, as an artist, and doing my art, that is how I am seen... and I want to do that for others by creating a safe space for them”.  Ciara Renée made her Broadway debut in 2013 as The Witch in Big Fish, before joining the Broadway revival of Pippin as the Leading Player. She also starred as Esmerelda in the Hunchback of Notre Dame at Papermill Playhouse and La Jolla Playhouse. Ciara can be seen on TV as Hawkgirl in the CW series DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, a spin-off of Arrow and The Flash, and has additional credits which include Law & Order, Master of None, and The Big Bang Theory. She was most recently seen on Broadway as Elsa in Frozen, and can now be heard as one of the leads on the new studio cast album IN THE LIGHT, A Faustian Tale.  Originally from small town, Pennsylvania, where she felt like she never fit in, Ciara knew early on it was “music or nothing”. She opens up about being one of the few people of color in her town as a child, which led to feeling “in between worlds”, but also to embracing musical theatre. She takes us back to the days she spent simultaneously training and preparing to play the Leading Player in Pippin, while performing in the final lab of Hamilton before it moved to The Public Theater. Ciara also speaks candidly about her short but sweet time playing Elsa in Broadway’s Frozen, and the opportunity it provided for little girls who look like her to see themselves as Queens.  In this episode, we talk about:  How her duel passions, psychology and theater, go hand in hand  Why theatre speaks to her more so than other mediums  Training to do 20 pull-ups, and fly on trapeze in Pippin Choosing Esmerelda and a TV show, over Peggy in Hamilton  Joining the cast of IN THE LIGHT, A Faustian Tale Connect with Ciara: IG: @CiaraRenee8 Twitter: @CiaraRenee8 Listen to In the Light Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sep 7

57 min 54 sec

Opening up about her first live performance since the COVID pandemic began, this performer shares her joy in welcoming enthusiastic audiences back to the theatre, and says if people didn’t know it pre pandemic, they certainly know it now - “life without the arts is not living." Susan Kelechi Watson may be best known for her role as Beth Pearson in This Is Us, but she made her Broadway debut in 2005 in a Richard Greenberg play, A Naked Girl on the Appian Way. She later found her way to a successful TV and film career, with credits including Law & Order, The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, Veep, Billions, and recurring roles on Louie, NCIS, The Following, Third Watch, and The Blacklist. Additional Off Broadway credits include Twelfth Night and A Raisin in the Sun. Susan also starred as Andrea Vogel in the Fred Rogers biopic A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood alongside Tom Hanks. She can now be seen in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Merry Wives, playing through September 18th.  Susan opens up about how her deep love and appreciation for her own Jamaican culture influenced and informed the work she put into her newest role as a Nigerian woman in Merry Wives. Part of her efforts to be as specific as possible included sending her script to friends for help with cadence and rhythm of language, as well as watching Nigerian movies every night for a month and a half. She calls theatre “magic”, and shares why she’ll keep coming back to it even in the midst of a successful film and TV career. Susan also talks about what it’s felt like to finally return to live theatre performance, and to be a part of a show which allows a crowd of people to laugh together once again.  In this episode, we talk about:  Welcoming people back to the theatre every night at Merry Wives Performing while the COVID pandemic continues  This modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s Merry Wives  Being a first generation Jamaican, born in Brooklyn  Why she switched her major from English to Acting in college  Connect with Susan: IG: @SusanKelechiWatson Twitter: @SKelechiWatson Shakespeare in the Park's Merry Wives Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Aug 31

48 min

After realizing he “didn't just want to get up there and do a kick ball change, and sing a high C”, but also wanted his art to make change in the world, this Broadway veteran decided social justice would become a theme in his career.  Jay Armstrong Johnson is no stranger to the stage, or screen for that matter, having six Broadway productions on his resume, as well as a recurring role on the ABC series Quantico. His Broadway credits include Phantom of the Opera (Raoul), On The Town, Hands on a Hardbody, Catch Me If You Can, and Hair (Broadway debut). Jay originated the role of Banko in Roundabout Theatre Company’s world premiere of Scotland, PA, for which he received a 2020 Outer Critics Circle Award Honor. He is the driving force, and a star of, the Hocus Pocus themed concert event “I Put A Spell On You”, which raised over a quarter of a million dollars for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS last year. Coming up next, Jay will be celebrating his birthday with all who tune in to his live streamed show from 54 Below on September 1st.  Jay grew up a “queer kid” in Texas, and when he joined a community theater group at 12 years old, he realized he had found his place and his people. Jay shares his deep love for the movie Hocus Pocus with us, and how it later inspired him to create the now yearly and widely successful “I Put A Spell On You” show/fundraiser. He opens up about how his Broadway debut in Hair was a “life changing experience”, one where they played the part of 60’s hippies on stage, and also walked the walk offstage going to rallies and marches for marriage equality as a cast. Jay also speaks candidly about the “reckoning” of the last year within the theater industry, and the need for representation both on and off stage. In this episode, we talk about:  Being bullied at school as a child  Growing up as a “scholarship kid” How he almost ended up a swimmer  How his parents divorce provided some “relief” Connecting with Bette Midler Connect with Jay: IG: @jay_a_johnson Twitter: @jay_a_johnson On the Web Get Tickets to his 54/Below Birthday concert Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Aug 24

44 min 46 sec

From the Broadway stage to the television screen, this performer opens up about her undying love for live theater, as well as the new bug she caught for doing TV while filming her new series. Alison Luff is a Broadway veteran, maybe best known for her roles as Jenna in Waitress, and Elphaba in the First National Tour of Wicked. Her other Broadway credits include Matilda (Miss Honey), Les Mis (Fantine), Ghost, Scandalous, Escape to Margaritaville, and Mamma Mia (her Broadway debut). On TV she has appeared in FBI and New Amsterdam. Alison now has a starring role as Staci Spade in the Starz wrestling drama Heels, which was just released on August 15.  Alison began performing professionally at age 10 in Texas, and opens up about the journey that took her from Houston, to New York City straight out of high school to pursue her dreams. From understudying greats like Carolee Carmello, to earning star billing herself, Alison charts her career by a series of brave decisions. She recalls the first time she read sides for her starring role on the new Starz series Heels, what attracted her to the role, and what the audition process was like. Alison also chats about what draws her to performing onstage, and while she will always return to the theatre.  In this episode, we talk about: Following her gut while auditioning for Elphaba  The Margaritaville connection that lead to her Heels audition  The stunt performances on Heels  Being one of the first shows to begin filming during COVID Performing emotional scenes on stage v. on camera Connect with Alison: IG: @alisonluff Watch HEELS on Starz Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Aug 17

49 min 25 sec

“Music is so beautiful, because it is the tapestry of our lives. There is a song or a lyric for absolutely every emotion - good, bad, high, low - it doesn't matter…” Toneisha Harris is a singer and songwriter who may be best known for receiving a four chair turn and becoming the runner up on the most recent season of The Voice. Coming up this November she will join the North American tour of Hairspray as Motormouth Maybelle. Starting at the age of five, Toneisha could be found singing with her family in church and on the road along Maryland’s lower eastern shore with her mother’s singing group. She didn’t know what it would lead to then, but Toneisha was tied to music for life.  Toneisha recalls her experience watching all four judges turn their chairs to fight for her on The Voice, and speaks honestly about the “meltdown” she had just moments before stepping on stage. She opens up about receiving her son’s cancer diagnosis in 2011, and shares how throughout nearly 4 years of treatment, Toneisha’s son continued to encourage her to get back on stage. Toneisha also chats about one of her biggest dreams (now coming true) - to get back into theater.  In this episode, we talk about: Why she decided to join #TeamBlake Filming parts of The Voice at home, with the help of her son  How her dad opened her eyes to the whole world of music  Her songwriting philosophy  Affirmations, and gratitude for the present moment Connect with Toneisha: IG: @iamtoneishaharris Twitter: @toneishaharris Get tickets to Hairspray Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Aug 10

45 min 40 sec

Antonio Cipriano starred in the World Premiere of Jagged Little Pill at the American Repertory Theater as ‘Phoenix’, and reprised this role for his Broadway debut in the fall of 2019. He previously won the 2017 Sutton Foster Ovation Award for Best High School Theater Actor and was a finalist in the 2017 NHSMTA - Jimmy Awards. His regional theatre credits include La Jolla Playhouse, York Theatre Company, Second Stage Theatre, New York Stage and Film, and Michigan Opera Theatre. Antonio has performed in multiple concerts at Feinstein’s 54 Below, and TV credits include “God Friended Me”, “City on a Hill”, and an upcoming supernatural TV series, “Safehaven”. Antonio can be heard now as a lead in the new studio cast album called IN THE LIGHT, A Faustian Tale, which is the brainchild of Michael Mott.  Antonio grew up in Michigan “a wild child”, and his parents sought different outlets for his energy. At summer camp when he was 8 years old, he played Zeke in a production of High School Musical, and he hasn’t stopped performing since.  Antonio chats about finding success right out of high school, including his journey to working on Jagged Little Pill. He opens up about making his Broadway debut a few months prior to the COVID shutdown, how he felt when the industry came to a screeching halt, and what he has learned during the downtime. Antonio also talks about working alongside big names on the new cast album “IN THE LIGHT, A Faustian Tale”, and how he was invited to be part of the project.  In this episode, we talk about:  His new love for golf Working with actors he’s looked up to while younger His stage door experience, and having fans  Imposter syndrome, and being humble  The Jimmy Awards process  Connect with Antonio: IG: @antoniocipriano_ Twitter: @AntonioCip_ Listen to In The Light Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Aug 3

46 min 44 sec

A household name in Mexico, and now an Emmy award winning actor and Broadway performer, this bi-cultural artist commits himself to a life of learning and advocacy, and opens up his mental health journey through cancer and COVID-19. This summer, he hosts the Bryant Park Picnic Performance series here in NYC. Mauricio Martinez is an international star of both stage and screen, most recently seen in Papermill Playhouse’s production of Unmasked: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, after playing Emilio Estefan in Broadway's On Your Feet!, and leading the national tour of the same name. Mauricio is an International Emmy Award winner for the TV show El Vato on NBC Universal and became a household name in Latin America before crossing over to Broadway, having starred as the leading man in the Mexican productions of Beauty and the Beast, Saturday Night Fever, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Drowsy Chaperone, Sweet Charity, The Last Five Years and A View from the Bridge. He can currently be heard as Thomas in the Broadway Podcast Network original podcast soap opera As The Curtain Rises and is now the host of the Bryant Park Picnic Performance Series. When he was 13 and growing up in Mexico, Mauricio discovered that the movie musicals his mom always played for him were actually based on live theatre shows. After realizing, “Wow, you can do this for a living”, he sought out voice lessons, saved his money, auditioned for AMDA, and moved to NYC when he was 18.  Mauricio chronicles his journey from studying in NYC, to Berkeley summer programs, singing aboard cruise ships, and winning third place on Mexican Idol. He speaks about his love for working in multiple mediums at one time - doing theater while performing in concerts, or concerts while also filming for tv, or even better, a musical where he can sing, dance and act all at once. Mauricio also candidly opens up about his battle with cancer, touching on the importance of taking care of his mental health then and now. In this episode, we talk about:  Hosting the Bryant Park Picnic Performance Series  How El Vato allowed him to reach audiences across borders  His experience on Mexican Idol, which made him a household name Life and loss during the COVID-19 pandemic  Learning and relearning during times of social and cultural change  Connect with Mauricio: Instagram: @martinezmau Twitter: @martinezmau Listen to As The Curtain Rises Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 27

1 hr 13 min

With two Broadway shows and a record deal already to her name, this 13 year old actress and singer has something to teach us all about following your dreams whenever they find you.  Madison Lagares is a highly accomplished Broadway veteran, and she’s only 13. She was previously hand selected by Gloria Estefan for On Your Feet!, helped bring School of Rock to life with Alex Brightman, and has recently signed to a recording label, become buds with Andrew Lloyd Webber, and currently happens to be workshopping a new musical with John Mellencamp. Madison also has numerous TV and film credits including Blindspot, Search Party, A Walk Among The Tombstones, and Manhattan Night.  Madison was an active, energetic child, who by the age of 6 had already figured out what she wanted to do with her life - pursue a career in musical theater. On top of voice lessons, maintaining her grades in school, and auditioning, she made her Broadway debut at 9 years old.  Madison turned down the tour of On Your Feet! in order to stay in school, and she shares with us why school was, and still is, a priority for her. She opens up about learning the importance of organization when preparing for auditions, and what it’s like being a part of the professional Broadway world at such a young age. Madison also chats with us about being a part of her first professional workshop for a new musical by John Mellencamp.  In this episode, we talk about:  Her hopes for recording different genres of music  Auditioning for Disney  How her parents help and support her career  Actresses she looks up to and admires Representation on stage and screen  Connect with Madison: Instagram: @madisonlagaresofficial Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 23

39 min 25 sec

A witch, a squirrel, and soon a mom, this actress opens up about climbing the ranks since she was a teenager, and shares the joys and challenges that have accompanied some of her most notable roles.  Lilli Cooper is an actress and singer who made her Broadway debut at age 16 in the original Broadway cast of Spring Awakening, originating the role of Martha Bessell, and recently earned a Tony Award nomination for her role in Tootsie on Broadway. Lilli’s other stage credits include the Elphaba standby for the North American tour, Australian tour, and Broadway productions of Wicked, originating the role of Sandy Cheeks in the Broadway production of Spongebob Squarepants, and playing Hélène Kuragina in the American Repertory Theatre production of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. She has numerous TV and film credits, including The Good Fight, Bull, Elementary, Instinct, The Post, Dynasty, and Indoor Boys. Coming up next, Lilli will debut a brand new solo show at 54 Below at the end of July.  Growing up in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood in midtown New York City, and with two actors for parents, Broadway and the arts were ingrained in Lilli and her brothers at a young age. When she was 15 and a student at LaGuardia High School, an agent took notice of Lilli and opened the door to her first professional audition and Broadway credit - Spring Awakening.  Lilli opens up about the triumphs and challenges of landing Spring Awakening while still in high school, pointing out that while she didn’t really have a support system at school for being a working actor at that age, she luckily had that support at home with her family. She also reflects on the profound experience that was being in a musical about teenagers while being a teenager herself. Looking back on originating the role of Sandy Cheeks in Spongebob, Lilli tells us how she first heard about the project, and why it was such a magical process. And she also shares her feelings regarding her Tony Award nomination for her role in Tootsie, and why she struggles at the same time she celebrates.  In this episode, we talk about:  Developing her solo show for 54 Below while pregnant Singing in concert with her father, Chuck Cooper, and Seth Rudetsky Life as a standby for Elphaba  Booking Spongebob Squarepants with college friend Ethan Slater Hopes for major cultural shifts within the theatre industry Connect with Lilli: IG: @lilcoopz Twitter: @LilliCooper Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 20

51 min 59 sec

Since making a name for herself in the comedy world after starring in 30 Rock, this actress has shifted her focus to explore other genres, sharing she “always likes a challenge”, and happily found exactly that while working on her new film. Katrina Bowden is an actress you may remember best as Cerie, Liz Lemon’s clueless assistant on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, or as Flo Fulton on over 217 episodes (so far) of the CBS soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. Her additional film and TV credits are numerous and include Ugly Betty, New Girl, Psych, Dirty John, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, Scary Movie 5, and Sex Drive. Katrina can now be seen as Kaz in a brand new movie called Great White, which comes out on July 16th.  Raised in Wyckoff, New Jersey, Katrina is a self described “big ham” who loves a camera, and began modeling, doing commercials, and taking acting classes as a teenager. She knew she wanted to pursue an acting career, and had reluctantly began preparing to head to college in NYC when she booked 30 Rock at 17 years old.  Katrina gives us an inside look to her new film Great White, chatting with us about pre-production cast bonding and rehearsals, as well as the challenges of filming on, in, and underwater. She opens up about discovering her love for acting while taking classes with Ann Ratray in New York City, and how she still uses those same techniques today. Katrina also touches on how the tides of change within the entertainment industry are shaping how she’s moving forward in her own career.  In this episode, we talk about:  The whirlwind journey to landing 30 Rock Being drawn to new challenges in Great White  Avoiding sunburn while shooting on a beach all day Her love for therapy  Breath hold and scuba training for Great White Connect with Katrina: IG: @katrinakbowden Twitter: @katrinakbowden Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 16

37 min 50 sec

JoAnn M. Hunter is a performer and choreographer with 20 Broadway credits and five US National tours on her resume, including Jerome Robbins’ Broadway (her Broadway debut), Miss Saigon, Guys and Dolls, Damn Yankees, Chicago, Spring Awakening, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, School of Rock, Kiss Me Kate, Curtains, She Loves Me, and most recently Disaster!. She is now across the pond choreographing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s brand new Cinderella, set to open soon on the West End. Born in Japan, and raised in a small town in Rhode Island, JoAnn grew up as a first generation Japanese American in a “very white place”. She found somewhere she felt like she belonged around age 10 when she began taking dance classes, and later, after spending a high school summer dancing in NYC, she dropped out to move to New York and pursue a career.  JoAnn talks with us about working on Andrew Llloyd Webber’s Cinderella, a new iteration of the classic musical set to open in London’s West End at the end of July, and also opens up about her working relationship with Webber himself. She shares her hopes for the theater community as a whole to collectively come together and figure out how to make live performance work in the midst of a pandemic, circumstances no one alive has ever encountered before. JoAnn also chronicles her journey from performer to choreographer, a journey she admits was not easy nor a conscious decision, but later realized she actually loved it more than she anticipated.  In this episode, we talk about:  How Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella differs from other revivals  Frustration over societies devotion to sports over the arts  The impact of theatre immediately following September 11th  Leaving school for New York City as a high schooler  The lack of protocols for reopening theatre in the U.S.  Connect with JoAnn: IG: @joann_m_hunter Twitter: @joannmhunter On the web Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 13

53 min 9 sec

From a comedian in LA to a Broadway veteran in NYC, Jenn Colella is driven by connection and joy, and shares how she is moving through the shifts in her career as they come, including her latest podcast appearance on The Flame: An Original Podcast Musical. Jenn Colella is a comedian, actress and singer perhaps best known for her Tony Award nominated performance as Captain Beverley Bass in Broadway’s Come From Away; a role she originated, earning her Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards. Other Broadway credits include High Fidelity, Chaplin, If/Then, and Urban Cowboy (her Broadway debut). Jenn’s Off-Broadway credits include Closer Than Ever, Slut! the Musical and Side Show. She also has several television credits, including appearances on All My Children, The Good Wife, and Elementary. Jenn can now be heard as one of the leads in The Flame, an original romantic comedy musical podcast on the Broadway Podcast Network. Growing up just outside Charleston, South Carolina, where there wasn’t a great deal of theatre, Jen quickly became a “choir nerd” eager to sing anywhere she could. But while watching a production of Phantom of the Opera in high school, something clicked - she thought “I can do that. I need to do that”. Jenn chronicles her time in undergrad at Columbia College, during which she worked at an insurance company, was the lead singer in a rock band, and a company member at the only professional theatre at the time called TrustUs Theater. She shares her journey from grad school to stand-up comedy, recalling trips to LA watching sets at the Comedy Store and Laugh Factory, and encouragement by people “to just write a set” and try to get up there, and how she did. Jenn also opens up about her process for developing a character based on someone who actually exists in real life (namely Captain Beverley Bass), and the immediate kinship she felt upon meeting Captain Bass for the first time.  In this episode, we talk about:  One of her earliest memories, which connected music to joy Embracing downtime and learning to adapt during COVID-19 Her love for the rehearsal room The Flame, developed by an LGBTQ identifying creative team The courageousness stand-up comedy offered her Witnessing Captain Beverly Bass watch Come From Away Connect with Jenn: IG: @jenncolella Twitter: @jenncolella Subscribe/listen to The Flame Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jul 6

45 min 35 sec

In a special LIVE podcast panel discussion, Alan Seales hosts cast & creatives of THE PROM on Broadway to celebrate Pride Month. After premiering on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre in October 2018, The Prom was the first musical of the 2018–2019 Broadway season to be named a New York Times Critics Pick. To celebrate a Pride like no other, after a year like no other, The Prom creatives join to speak about their own personal reasons for bringing this story to the page and stage, highlighting the show's universal messages of acceptance, understanding, empowerment, and love. They are joined by members of the original cast, who discuss their personal journeys as they relate to the queer community, and why the show is, and always will be, important to them. Watch the video of the event here: https://youtu.be/laQQ4MAZ24I The Prom panel guests include creatives Matthew Sklar (music), Bob Martin (book), and four-time Tony Award winning Producer Dori Berinstein, as well as original cast members Caitlin Kennunen (Emma Nolan), Josh Lamon (Sheldon Saperstein), Isabelle Mcalla (Alyssa Greene), and Michael Potts (Principal Tom Hawkins).  In this episode, we talk about:  What Pride means to each A brief history of Pride  Reactions and responses from audience members  How the show’s journey affected personal journeys  Theatre as a tool for social activism  Making history at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade  Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jun 30

58 min 53 sec

This performer’s life changed after being cast in a summer stock production starring Rita Moreno, and she’s been gracing stages ever since.  Kate Reinders is a multi-talented performer who originated the role of Portia in the Broadway musical Something Rotten!, as well as the role of Caroline in the Broadway jukebox musical Good Vibrations. Other Broadway credits include June in the 2003 revival of Gypsy starring Bernadette Peters, Glinda in Wicked, Into The Woods, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and most recently Cynthia Weil in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Kate’s TV credits include Ugly Betty, Modern Family, and Anger Management. As of 2019 she has been portraying drama teacher Miss Jenn in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, currently finishing it’s second season on Disney Plus.  Kate grew up in small town Spring Lake, Michigan, knowing nothing about Broadway. But one summer while attending a theater camp, she was encouraged to audition for a nearby summer stock production of Gypsy (starring none other than Rita Moreno), and “that was the beginning of the rest of” her life.  Kate talks about growing up in a time before Broadway.com or podcasts existed; when her only knowledge of musical theater came from Fiddler on the Roof and Yentl, the first videotapes her father brought home after they bought a VHS player, and repeated viewings of Sound of Music which she taped from the TV. She candidly chronicles her career which began with a series of swing and understudy roles, and then “shot out of a canon” after landing the role of June in the 2003 Broadway revival of Gypsy. Kate also chats about growing up in a small Christian reformed Dutch community, and how her eyes were opened to the diversity and inclusion of the theater world, and the world at large, while briefly attending University of Michigan before moving to New York City.  In this episode, we talk about:  Her first professional show as a child, alongside Rita Moreno Being starstruck by Sandra Bullock only after working with her  Making her actual Broadway debut playing a pig  Flying to London to audition for Sam Mendes  Her comedy duo/band Tastiskank, with Sarah Litzsinger Playing Miss Jenn on High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Connect with Kate: IG: @katereinders Twitter: @katereinders Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jun 28

43 min 5 sec

A Broadway veteran, who finished a Tony and Grammy nominated run in Ain’t Too Proud just before COVID-19 shut the industry down, reflects on the inner work and reflection last summer's protests and pandemic prompted in both himself and the country, and shares hopes for audiences to watch Ain’t Too Proud and similar shows with new eyes. No stranger to originating Broadway roles, actor and singer Derrick Baskin recently earned Tony and Grammy nominations for playing Otis Williams in Broadway’s Ain’t Too Proud. Other Broadway roles he originated include Gator in Memphis (a role he reprised in the filmed version), Jetsam in The Little Mermaid, and Mitch Mahoney in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Derrick has numerous TV and Film credits including Marshall with the late Chadwick Boseman, Nate on three seasons of Hulu’s critically acclaimed sitcom Difficult People, starring alongside Ethan Hawke in the miniseries The Good Lord Bird, and a recurring role on Law & Order: SVU. Derrick’s concert experience includes performances with Wynton Marsalis, Michael Buble, Wiz Khalifa, and Mariah Carey, and now he has a brand new show coming up at 54 Below, playing June 29th to July 3rd.  Born in North Carolina, the oldest of six kids, Derrick Baskin’s first true love was music and singing; however, he was also a science geek. After graduating college with a biology degree (pre-med) and taking the MCAT, a self-reflective moment prompted Derrick to buy a one way ticket to NYC and never look back.  During our conversation, Derrick shares his early experiences in New York working as a waiter alongside other aspiring artists. He recalls “following them around”, and how he ended up at his first open call audition for Rent. Derrick opens up about his close relationship with Otis Williams (or “Uncle O”, as he calls him), who he portrayed in Ain’t Too Proud, sharing what it was like creating the show alongside him, as well as watching Otis experience the show as an audience member. Derrick talks about his time on set for the film Marshall, reverently remembering Chadwick Boseman’s infectious energy, and incredible work ethic. Derrick also fills us in on his upcoming show at 54 Below, and shares why this is the first time he is headlining at the venue.  In this episode, we talk about: The impacts of the BLM movement  How Dominique Morisseau honored the lives of The Temptations in her writing  The support system his parents have provided  How his dream found him while watching Rent for the first time  His relationship with best friend and fellow Broadway star James Iglehart  Performing at the Tony Awards while his kidneys malfunctioned Connect with Derrick: IG: @derrick.baskin Twitter: @derrickbaskin Web: derrickbaskin.com Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jun 22

1 hr 9 min

From iconic stage roles, to cabaret and rock band performances, this performer is building a successful artistic career while also navigating an autoimmune disorder with grace. - “I would so much rather have tried and failed, or tried and not gotten to where I want to be, than to have never have tried.” An actress, singer, and songwriter, Lauren Marcus made her Broadway debut as Brooke in Be More Chill after previously originating the role at Two River Theatre in 2015, and again off-Broadway at Signature Theatre in 2018. She also starred as Amy in Company at Barrington Stage Company alongside Aaron Tveit, and as Brigid in The Humans at St. Louis Rep., a performance which earned her a BroadwayWorld Regional Theatre Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama. As a retro pop singer/songwriter, Lauren performs regularly with her band around New York City, and in 2016 released her debut EP Never Really Done with You. She is also a veteran at cabaret clubs like 54 Below, Joe's Pub, and Rockwood Music Hall. Up next, Lauren will appear in the movie adaptation of Tick, Tick... Boom, and debut a brand new show on June 18th at 54 Below.  From Chicago, to New York, to Scotland, Lauren shares that she “always wanted to be an actor”. And like every artist, she has had a unique experience navigating life during COVID-19. She shares with us feeling like she’s “living COVID backwards”, having felt fine at the start, but now like she’s dragging; and how she pushed through to create her newest song (and video) “Big Hat” for the NPR 2021 Tiny Desk Contest. Lauren talks about her desire and drive to create and leave behind things that will outlive her; a legacy - things her future children can listen to. She candidly opens up about her journey with alopecia, both the internal and external struggles she navigates as a performer, and notes that losing her hair “affected every single aspect” of her life in a way that she never, ever would have guessed. We also discuss Lauren’s upcoming show at 54 Below on June 18th!  In this episode, we talk about: Lauren’s retro pop singer/songwriter style  Imposter Syndrome  How she and husband Joe Iconis support each other’s work  Writing a one woman show about her Alopecia journey  The number one thing Alopecia has taught her  Leading by example, and the importance of visibility Connect with Lauren: IG @laurmarcus Twitter: @laurmarcus Web: LaurenMarcus.com Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jun 15

54 min 28 sec

He didn't smash watermelons, he smashed cups of yogurt. After memorizing entire Gallagher comedy routines as a kid in West Virginia, Trevor Dion Nicholas and his family always loved musical theater. His parents encouraged him to follow his passion and put him into improv and theater classes. Being a "big black kid in West Virginia", the expectations put upon him were that he'd focus on sports. Able to put that pressure aside, he found his extended family on stage, and now a new home in London. Now West End royalty, he is co-hosting THE SHOW MUST GO ON LIVE AT THE PALACE THEATRE with fellow theater legend Bonnie Langford. "Theatre is not a passion, it's a profession." The Show Must Go On Live at the Palace Theatre is set to be the biggest celebration of musical theatre this year with 18 of the biggest musicals in London West End all performing! Including Tina, Dear Evan Hansen, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, SIX, Hamilton, The Book of Mormon, Wicked, Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical, & Juliet, Les Misérables, Disney’s The Lion King, The Prince of Egypt, Come From Away, The Phantom Of The Opera, Mary Poppins, Mamma Mia! Back to the Future The Musical and Pretty Woman The Musical along with a thrilling line-up of West End talent, a multi award winning creative team and the finest musicians in London. In this episode, we talk about: Dealing with the expectations of being a "big black kid in West Virginia" Performing all over the world What's to come with Aladdin: Live From the West End coming soon to Disney+ Navigating the emotional highs and lows of quarantine The athletic training required to prepare to play Genie Connect with Trevor: IG: @astonishingtrev Twitter: @astonishingtrev Watch The Show Must Go On: https://www.youtube.com/theshowsmustgoon Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jun 8

43 min 49 sec

After moving to NYC as a Broadway hopeful, and discovering the drag community, power and freedom simultaneously, Jackie Cox now looks ahead to a more inclusive future for the entire theatrical community.  Jackie Cox may be best known as one of the top four contestants from Season 12 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and was the first Queen of Iranian descent to appear on the show. In New York City. Jackie has long been a feature of the theatrical cabaret scene, with performances of her own original shows at the famed Laurie Beechman Theater. She's also appeared on TV in ABCs What Would You Do?, Fusions Shade: Queens Of NYC, as well as numerous appearances on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live. Jackie is back touring again doing her amazing live shows (ticket information can be found on her Instagram page, and she also hosts a podcast called “It Do Take Nerd” that is an amazing intersection of queerness and nerdom. As a kid, Jackie loved to tell stories. She loved making people smile, and sharing truth through theatre. But after moving to NYC in 2010 and discovering pretty quickly that the traditional theatre route wasn’t for her, she found drag “kind of by luck”. It was in drag that Jackie discovered power in the ability to own the stage and express herself in new ways.  During our conversation, Jackie talks about the inspiration for her podcast “It Do Take Nerd”, emphasizing the importance of representation and celebrating the queer themes that are found in a lot of “nerdy things”. She educates us on the intersection of the drag and trans communities, noting that trans women were really the pioneers in the gay rights movement. And in light of the conversation around gender happening across the country, Jackie honors drag as a welcoming space for all genders to participate or enjoy.  In this episode, we talk about: The inspiration behind and creation of her podcast “It Do Take Nerd” Discovering drag after moving to NYC  Peppermint’s contributions to the trans community and the drag community  Her YouTube series celebrating Broadway performers  The birth and growth of Jackie Cox  Making a living as a drag Queen  Connect with Jackie: Subscribe to It Do Take Nerd IG: @JackieCoxNYC Twitter: @JackieCoxNYC Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jun 1

51 min 22 sec

Best known for credits that include performances as the original Amber Von Tussle in Hairspray, the original Elle Woods in Legally Blonde (for which she earned a Tony nomination), Tina in Ruthless (Outer Critics/ Drama Desk Nominations), and Glinda in Wicked, Laura Bell Bundy cannot be stopped. Outside of New York City her credits include the national tour of The Sound of Music, and Gypsy at Paper Mill Playhouse. Laura has appeared in over 100 hundred episodes of television including roles on Good Behavior, American Gods, How I Met Your Mother, The Guest Book, Home Improvement, Hart of Dixie, Fuller House, AJ & The Queen, and Anger Management. She has toured in concerts worldwide since 2010, released several studio albums, and penned hundreds of songs. Along with her cohort Shea Charter, she co-hosts Women Of Tomorrow, a musical podcast that explores issues women are facing today, examines the history of those issues and provides solutions for moving forward. Their album Women of Tomorrow (which inspired the podcast) is out now and available everywhere you listen to music.  Raised in Kentucky, Laura was 5 years old when she was introduced to show business as a beauty pageant contestant, which led to an unexpected modeling contract in NYC. But Laura realized really quickly that modeling was boring, and acting, singing and dancing were much more fun. Laura opens up about her early experiences in NYC as a child, renting out rooms in small apartments with her mom, and the cast of characters they encountered. She speaks passionately about the creation and mission of her album and podcast of the same name, Women of Tomorrow, and credits the work behind both for igniting her passion for learning more about women’s history. Laura also shares her thoughts on the important roles both truth and vulnerability play when you are an actor.  In this episode, we talk about: Her experience in the world of beauty pageants The importance of self-awareness  How the 2016 election inspired the creation of Women of Tomorrow  How women’s rights have changed over time  Her spiritual beliefs about our collective human experience Connect with LBB: Listen to Women of Tomorrow (the album) Listen to Women of Tomorrow (the podcast) IG: @laurabellbundy Twitter: @laurabellbundy Web: laurabellbundy.com YouTube channel Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 26

1 hr 20 min

Our BPN Podcasters bring you exclusive interviews with cast and creatives from In the Heights, in theaters on June 11 2021. Watch the video version of this event here: https://youtu.be/py3YLSt8MSo. Interview 1: Daphne Rubin-Vega, interviewed by Salisha Thomas http://bpn.fm/bhbl Interview 2: Olga Merediz and Jimmy Smitts, interviewed by Dori Berinstein http://bpn.fm/ddb Interview 3: Quiara Alegría Hudes (screenwriter), interviewed by Jesse McAnally http://bpn.fm/mwc Interview 4: Scott Sanders (producer), interviewed by Ruthie Fierberg http://bpn.fm/wwt Interview 5: Gregory Diaz, interviewed by Eli Tokash http://bpn.fm/takeabow Interview 6: Melissa Barrera, Corey Hawkins and Leslie Grace, interviewed by Alan Seales http://bpn.fm/ttp For more info about these podcasts and over 100 more, visit http://broadwaypodcastnetwork online, or download our iOS app (http://bpn.fm/app). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 22

58 min 54 sec

The Broadway shutdown has been hard for people across the country, but this performer shares that amidst the difficulty, it’s also “been an incredible reminder of how lucky I've been... What a great career that I feel I've personally had.”  Max Von Essen is an actor and singer who most recently starred on Broadway as Gleb in Anastasia, followed by touring the country as Marvin in the Lincoln Center production of Falsettos. Max performed in the Broadway revival of Evita in 2012, playing Agustin Magaldi while frequently stepping in for Ricky Martin in the role of Che, and in 2016 he completed his Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominated run in An American in Paris. Other Broadway credits include Jesus Christ Superstar and the first revival of Les Misérables, as well as the national tours of Xanadu, Chicago, West Side Story (European Tour), and a backup singer for Liza Minnelli. Max’s regional theatre credits are numerous, and his TV credits include The Good Wife, Gossip Girl, Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order: SVU, and Elementary. Next up, Max will be performing on May 24th in the Town Hall’s Signature Series Broadway by the Year: The Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber Years virtual concert.  Born in Queens, and growing up in Long Island, Max has always been a New Yorker, and from a young age knew he would end up in NYC. Introduced to the magic of piano in elementary school, he begged for piano and voice lessons, which naturally led him to musical theater.  Max shares that while he didn’t go to college for theater, he still performed anywhere he could during his time there. He opens up about knowing he had the potential to succeed, even though it was going to be hard. Max also speaks candidly about how COVID has affected this chapter of his life; the difficulty, as well as the positive realizations - “I do it for more than just a job… I do it because I love it so much, and it's like part of my soul”. And while he loves the Broadway stage, Max talks about his affinity for regional and touring productions, sharing that some of his best experiences have been at different theaters around the country.  In this episode, we talk about:  His early memories of being enchanted by the piano What he would be doing if he wasn’t performing The importance and success of touring productions  His experience playing the title role in Jesus Christ Superstar Virtual performances during quarantine Connect with Max: Get tickets to Broadway By The Year IG: @maxizpad Twitter: @maxizpad Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 18

37 min 35 sec

He may have made his mark playing a famous yellow sponge on stage, but this artist is passionate about exploring all colors of a creative career, and looks “forward to building back the most accessible kind of theater in every angle”. Ethan Slater is an actor, singer, writer, and composer who made his Broadway debut in the title role of SpongeBob SquarePants the musical, for which he won Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and TheaterWorld Awards, as well as a Tony Award Nomination. He is a familiar face on screen with TV credits that include Instinct, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Fosse/Verdon. As a writer Ethan has a number of pieces in development, including the musical Edge of the World, and as a recording artist has released two EPs. Next up he is part of a phenomenal lineup of people performing on May 24th in the Town Hall’s Signature Series Broadway by the Year: The Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber Years virtual concert.  Born and raised in Washington, DC, Ethan's auspicious debut came at age four when he played Toto to his sister’s Dorothy in a community production of The Wizard of Oz - and he loved it. He went on to perform in his high school productions, and later found his way to New York.  Ethan opens up about his experience with the SpongeBob musical, a project he joined while in college and worked on for 7 years. He takes us from the first audition, to dealing with the harsh criticism the Broadway show received a year before it even opened, to knowing in his heart that they were “gonna show all the haters”, and it was “gonna be glorious”. Ethan shares one of the biggest parts and passions of his career is writing, and that while the pandemic has been a rollercoaster, focusing on being a “writer who acts” has benefited his mental health. He also speaks about the challenges and beauty of artistic collaboration, and his affinity for the rehearsal process.  In this episode, we talk about: What songs he’ll be singing for the Town Hall concert  Being a writer who acts, and an actor who writes  Why he was worried about a year long run with Spongebob  Handling criticism as an artist Advice from classmate and fellow actor Noah Robbins  What he’s looking forward to once theatre is back Connect with Ethan: Get tickets to Broadway By The Year IG: @ethanslater Twitter: @ethanaslater Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 11

49 min 25 sec

The voice on the soundtrack of many childhoods, this performer made a name for herself on stages from New York to South Korea, and continues to connect with audiences virtually until theatre is back in full force. Liz Callaway is a Tony nominee and Emmy Award winning actress, singer and recording artist, who may be best known by some as the singing voice of Anastasia in the 1997 animated film. Liz made her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, received a Tony Award nomination for her performance in Baby, and for five years, won acclaim as Grizabella in Cats. She has also starred in the original casts of Miss Saigon, The Three Musketeers, and The Look of Love. Other New York appearances include the legendary Follies in Concert at Lincoln Center, A Stephen Sondheim Evening, Fiorello!(Encores!), and Hair in Concert. Having released six solo albums, Liz has also established a major career as a concert and recording artist, and is now part of a phenomenal lineup of artists performing in the virtual concert Broadway by the Year: The Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber Years on May 24th for The Town Hall’s signature series. Liz grew up in Chicago, and even though she loved to sing as a child, she would only do so if people left the house. As “kind of a loner”, it wasn’t until high school that she discovered the wonderful feeling of family you get being involved in theatre, and at 18 years old moved to NYC with her sister to pursue performing.  During our conversation Liz opens up about how early sibling rivalry grew into a close, enduring relationship with her sister Ann, also an artist who has made her mark as a singer, pianist, composer, award winning songwriter, and Tony-nominated performer in the hit Broadway musical Swing!. She speaks about her surprise when fans approach to tell her Anastasia was the soundtrack of their childhoods, saying, “I had no idea, because you’re in a studio, so you don’t know the effect”. Liz also chats with us about new skills she’s acquired during the pandemic, emphasizing how important it is to keep learning and challenging ourselves no matter what stage of life we are in.  In this episode, we talk about: The Callaway Sisters: Side by Side live Zoom concert Plans for her first performance post shutdown  Her connection to TV sitcom The Nanny  Moving to NYC with her sister when she was 18 Craving connection with others during the pandemic  The power and influence of music on our brains, memory  Connect with Liz: Get tickets to Broadway By The Year Get tickets to The Callaway Sisters: Side by Side live Zoom concert IG: @lizgoeson Twitter: @lizgoeson YouTube: @LizCallaway Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

May 4

1 hr 20 min

A Tony and Grammy nominated actor, this actor and new dad dishes on what it takes to keep himself going, and his latest sources of inspiration(s). Originally preformed live in the "before times" back in Feb 2020, Jeremy's cabaret show Carry On is being virtually reprised for 3 weeks only at 54/Below (tickets here). Part comedy, part therapy session, Carry On dives into what makes Jeremy who he is today piling onto what he describes as his "rocky childhood," which opens up a side of himself that most audiences have never seen before. As a child, Jeremy would almost only sing in the shower. After being encouraged by his mother to start singing in class (partially because he was "just ok" at sports), he was picked for the boys chorus. The rest, as they say, is history, building up his confidence enough to almost go to college for a vocal major. However, it was a local production of The Fantasticks where he was cast as The Mute where he felt he really learned how to act. Unable to sing, he was forced to listen, which only made him realize what he had been missing to help him round out his craft. In this episode, we talk about: The type of love he's discovered as a father His grandma casting him in community theatre Our constant fear of... {insert your favorite item here} Being unable to show your unfiltered self unless you write your own material Getting in trouble with police in Times Square during Bonnie & Clyde How his career began to snowball while performing Bonnie & Clyde at night and rehearsing for Newsies during the day Connect with Jeremy: Get Tickets to Carry On IG: @JeremyMJordan Twitter: @JeremyMJordan Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Cheryl Hodges-Selden, Paul Seales, David Seales If you would like to see your name in this show notes or get a shout out on the pod itself, visit ttp.fm/patreon to become a member and show your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Apr 27

59 min 50 sec

“My writing about theater in general, is to inspire people to go to the theater... But I especially like to inspire people to dip their toes into the oceans of Sondheim.”  An award winning theater critic since 1986, Rick Pender was named Ohio’s best critic in 2002 and 2017 by the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the former editor of the Sondheim Review, and currently the executive editor and publisher of Everything Sondheim, a website and nationally distributed quarterly magazine. For his new book, The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia, Rick has compiled a trove of detailed entries about nearly every subject Sondheim touched, bringing to life not only the man's well known collaborators and projects, but also many names you may have glimpsed in programs, or on cast albums, and has gathered definitive descriptions of lesser known works and influences that you'd have to search dozens and dozens of books to to uncover. Rick holds a PhD in English Literature, and has interviewed Stephen Sondheim, onstage and in the studio, several times. The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia is now available for purchase.  As a child in Ohio, Rick was “kind of a theater geek”, and participated in his high school productions. He had an early attraction to the lyrics of West Side Story, the first LP soundtrack he purchased as a teenager, but at the time was still unfamiliar with Stephen Sondheim. It was after a surgery in the 80’s when Rick discovered a CD called A Collector’s Sondheim, and his passion took hold.  “By virtue of having all that education in literature, the whole concept of storytelling is very important to me”, Rick shares. He opens up about his initial attraction to Sondheim’s work, noting the words and lyrics in particular first drew him in, and describes his love for Sondheim's integration of music and lyrics to fit and expand upon character. Rick also takes us through the timeline for the creation of The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia, which he originally thought would be the work of multiple contributors, and chronicles the development of his own relationship with Stephen Sondheim himself.  In this episode, we talk about: The making of The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia Being inspired by West Side Story  Why he thinks of Sondheim as a modern day Shakespeare  The intellectuality of Sondheim’s music and lyrics  The working relationship between Sondheim and Hal Prince Hammerstein mentoring Sondheim, who later mentored Lin Manuel Miranda  Connect with Rick: Download and/or purchase The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia Visit Everything Sondheim Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Cheryl Hodges-Selden, Paul Seales, David Seales If you would like to see your name in this show notes or get a shout out on the pod itself, visit ttp.fm/patreon to become a member and show your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Apr 20

49 min 5 sec

From Iran to Italy to Canada and finally to London, this performer forged a path uniquely his own, knowing the only failure is not trying. “When someone puts a seed in my head, I'll dive in not knowing how deep it is, but I'll just go for it and just see what happens.” Ramin Karimloo is an Olivier and Tony Award nominee who made his name in the early 2000’s starring in some of the West End's most enduring productions, notably Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables, after becoming the youngest actor ever to play the Phantom in 2007. Ramin later originated the role of Phantom in the 2010 sequel Love Never Dies, and made his Broadway debut in the 2014 revival of Les Misérables as Valjean (earning a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical). Throughout his career he has released two EP’s and two albums as an independent recording artist, including his 2019 album From Now On which landed on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. Ramin now hosts his own podcast called “The Hang” on the Broadway Podcast Network, and in addition to playing the dreamy Dr. Kian Madani in Holby City on the BBC, he can be heard playing the dreamy Stavros in “As The Curtain Rises”, Broadway’s first original podcast soap opera.  Shortly after his birth in Iran during the Iranian Revolution, Ramin’s family escaped the country and found themselves in Italy. After several years in Italy, and relocating to a small town in Ontario, it was a 7th grade field trip to see Phantom of the Opera when things changed for Ramin. He left the theater that day thinking, “I want to make people feel like this…”.  During our conversation, Ramin chronicles his journey from high school, to cruise ships, to London - a journey fueled by his endless pursuit of the goals he set for himself as a teenager. Ramin emphasizes the impact encouragement from others can have on your life, and speaks fondly of the bar owner/father figure who championed his dream of one day playing the Phantom. He also revisits the initial impact of COVID-19 on his creative pursuits, and shares details about his most recent creations - a clothing line, a production company, a podcast, and more.  In this episode, we talk about: His family’s journey from Iran, to Italy, to Canada  Being inspired by Colm Wilkinson   Shadowing Phantom Peter Karie in Toronto when he was 16  Life lessons from Mike Nelson, bar owner/dean of the school of life  The serendipity of meeting his first agent in London  His passion projects, and their challenges Connect with Ramin: Twitter: @raminkarimloo IG: @raminkarimloo & 8xCommunity https://www.raminkarimloo.com/ YouTube @ARoamingIranian Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Cheryl Hodges-Selden, Paul Seales, David Seales If you would like to see your name in this show notes or get a shout out on the pod itself, visit ttp.fm/patreon to become a member and show your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Apr 13

45 min 2 sec

“When you give the artist the opportunity to be free and respected, they will give you the world with their performance.” Claire Warden is a Drama Desk Award winning intimacy coordinator, fight director, teacher and actress with over 20 years experience in theater, TV and film across America and the UK. She has worked as an intimacy coordinator and consultant on numerous television productions under various studios, including HBO, Hulu, Amazon, and Showtime, as well as major motion picture studios such as Sony and 20th Century Fox. Some of Claire’s credits include work on the series Mrs. Fletcher, Your Honor, Finding Alaska, Hunters, Billions, the feature film of West Side Story, and many more. She recently made history as the first intimacy director on Broadway with Frankie and Johnny, and also worked on the Broadway productions of Slave Play, The Inheritance, Jagged Little Pill, Linda Vista, West Side Story and Company. Claire is part of the collaboration team advising SAG-AFTRA on their effort to standardize, codify and implement guidelines for on-set intimacy coordinators, and in 2019 she was awarded Variety Magazine's '10 Broadway Players to Watch'. Claire began her career in the UK as an actor, a fight director, and a teacher. As a teacher she specialized in supporting actors with various traumas - emotional, physical, and psychological. She had always felt a calling, a feeling of purpose, so when she just happened to read about intimacy direction for the first time in the NY Times, she realized, “Oh, that’s why I’m here.”  Claire opens our eyes to the discipline of intimacy direction, which has only been around in its “beginning form” since the end of 2016. She chronicles the team effort to actually codify an approach to sex scenes, intimacy, and nudity for an actor - something that had never been done before. Claire also walks us through her process and approach when starting a new project and working with new actors/directors, the goal always being to empower artists. And she gives us a sneak peek into her work on the Broadway productions of Jagged Little Pill and Slave Play.  In this episode, we talk about:  How to become an intimacy director / choreographer yourself via idcprofessionals.com An intimacy coordinator vs. an intimacy director  How intimacy direction rides on the waves of social movements  The lack of understanding about intimacy on stage and screen  Why she asks her actors if they’re “confident” rather than “comfortable”  The importance of strong “closure practices”  Her work on Jagged Little Pill and Slave Play Connect with Claire: Twitter: @clairewarden IG: @clairewarden_ IDCProfessionals.com Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Cheryl Hodges-Selden, Paul Seales, David Seales If you would like to see your name in this show notes or get a shout out on the pod itself, visit ttp.fm/patreon to become a member and show your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Apr 6

1 hr

Many people know Andrew Barth Feldman made his Broadway debut in the title role in Dear Evan Hansen and is now starring in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, but what most people don’t know is that while he was in DEH performing his 6 shows a week, he was also attending Yale -- and obtained a master’s degree that has landed him his latest gig being the Science Consultant on the forthcoming Avvatar The Musical. Find More about Avvatar the Musical: IG: @AvvatarOnBroadway Web: http://avvataronbroadway.com/ As The Curtain Rises Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Cheryl Hodges-Selden, Paul Seales, David Seales If you would like to see your name in this show notes or get a shout out on the pod itself, visit ttp.fm/patreon to become a member and show your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Apr 1

11 min 46 sec

A Disney prince and a family man, this performer opens up about the importance of faith, hard work, and determination, and shares a look behind the curtain of his career both past and present.  Adam Jacobs is an actor and singer maybe best known for originating the title role in Aladdin on Broadway, a performance which garnered him both Grammy and Drama Desk Award nominations. Adam’s other Broadway credits include The Lion King, and Les Miserables, as well as the national tours of Mamma Mia!, Cinderella, Les Miserables, The Lion King, and Aladdin. Offstage, Adam’s talents and credits range from writing, and directing, to producing, and even visual effects. His latest film project, Adam Jacobs Behind The Curtain, features a live recording of his 2019 cabaret at Feinstein's Upstairs at Vitello's in LA, as well as interviews and a behind the scenes look at Adam’s artistic journey.  During our conversation, Adam speaks candidly about his mixed-ethnicity and the confusion it led to as a child trying to figure out where he fit in. He recalls it first feeling like an obstacle he had to overcome, but explains how he later discovered his heritage was an advantage, allowing him to play a variety of roles. Adam also talks about the decision to leave NYC and move to the suburbs of Chicago with his family a few years ago, which has offered him more performance opportunities, and a homebase between LA and NYC. And we delve into the evolution of Adam’s latest project Behind The Curtain, from live cabaret to filmed “docu-concert”.  In this episode, we talk about:  Overcoming self-doubt and challenging the status quo The impact of his high school mentor and teacher  His experience in NYU’s CAP21 program  Having other interests outside of performing  How his family influences career decisions The creation of the Behind The Curtain film  Connect with Adam: IG: @AdamJacobsNYC Twitter: @adamjacobsnyc Stream on Spotify Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Cheryl Hodges-Selden, Paul Seales, David Seales If you would like to see your name in this show notes or get a shout out on the pod itself, visit ttp.fm/patreon to become a member and show your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Mar 30

37 min 48 sec

From a meteoric rise to fame at 20 years old, to all the performances he hopes to still tackle in his 60’s, this artist opens up about balancing multiple passions, and serves as an inspiration for all to keep plugging away at your dreams. Widely recognized for his rise to fame as Ralph on one of the most successful television sitcoms of the 1970’s - Happy Days, Donny Most is a multi talented artist with an amazing career spanning decades across stage and screen. Donny’s numerous stage credits include two national tours - Grease in the 90’s, and Damn Yankees with Dick Van Dyke in the 80’s; while he also boasts a slew of TV and film credits including The Love Boat, Glee, Star Trek: Voyager, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Bold and The Beautiful, Edtv, Murder, She Wrote, Baywatch, and Family Guy. In addition to acting, Donny is an accomplished producer, director, writer, and singer, with 2 albums and 4 singles and EP’s to his name. Adapting to the time of COVID, he can currently be seen starring in a virtual stage production of Middletown, now available for streaming online.  During our conversation, Donny describes his journey on Happy Days as “an incredibly exciting time”, and reveals why he actually turned down the initial offer. He talks about how the notoriety from the show changed his life, in great but also challenging ways, and also opens up about the brick wall he hit when he left the show after 7 years. Noting how he now feels he is at an age where people can accept him as a different sort of character, Donny shares some of the “cool roles” that have been coming his way, and gives us an in depth look at his latest project, Middletown.  In this episode, we talk about:  His fathers early influence on his acting career   The decision to leave college and move to LA  Working with Gary Marshall and Ron Howard  Life after leaving Happy Days  Developing a TV series with his wife  His love for singing, and Bobby Darin Connect with Donny: IG: @donmost1 Twitter: @most_don Get tickets to watch Middletown Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Cheryl Hodges-Selden, Paul Seales, David Seales If you would like to see your name in this show notes or get a shout out on the pod itself, visit ttp.fm/patreon to become a member and show your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Mar 23

57 min 28 sec

From the non-stop nature of a Broadway performer's life, to the slower pace of TV, this Tony Award winner opens up about her struggles as an artist during the pandemic, and the importance of stopping to “look back and realize how far you have come” on your way to your goals.  Lena Hall is a Tony Award winner and Grammy nominee known for her phenomenal performance of Yitzhak in the 2014 Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Following her award winning run, she toured North America with Josh Groban on his Stages tour. Lena’s slew of Broadway credits include 42nd Street, Tarzan, and Cats, as well as originating the role of Nicola in the Tony-winning musical Kinky Boots. She is a recording artist, with 2 albums and 12 EP’s to her name, and numerous TV and film credits including Girls, BoJack Horseman, Sex and the City, and All My Children. Lena can now be seen as Miss Audrey in Snowpiercer on TNT. Currently in Canada quarantining and filming season 3 of Snowpiercer, Lena opens up about how her “light” shooting schedule leads to nostalgia for the workhorse nature of being a Broadway performer. She speaks candidly about the impact the pandemic has had on her creative mind and vision; and shares how she has struggled with the stress, the anxiety, and the not knowing, while taking solace in the knowledge that “we are all in the same boat”. Lena also takes a look back at her career and chronicles how tonsil problems from hell led to a chance to re-start, re-learn, and explore new parts of her voice.  In this episode, we talk about:  Working on TV versus working on Broadway  Missing her creative mojo  The impact social media and sitting in front of screens has on our brains Singing for Pope John Paul II when she was 7  Getting a re-do, and learning how to sing again after tonsil surgery  Her “Obsessed” series  Connect with Lena: IG: @LenaRockerHall Twitter: @LenaRockerHall https://www.youtube.com/lenahall Watch her "Obsessed" series Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Cheryl Hodges-Selden, Paul Seales, David Seales If you would like to see your name in this show notes or get a shout out on the pod itself, visit ttp.fm/patreon to become a member and show your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Mar 16

1 hr 7 min

The amazing podcast crossover event that no one asked for but everyone needs! Joe Carroll and Dan Tracy, two dudes who love musicals and have numerous Broadway credits of their own, sit down with me to discuss... what else... musicals! Or maybe I sit down with them? We were never quite sure what was going on, but all we know is that we love Broadway. Think of this episode as an origin story - for both podcasts. We recount why and how both podcasts start, how everyone's pivoted during COVID and the Broadway shutdown, and all of our hopes for the future. Connect with Guys Who Like Musicals: IG: @GuysWhoLikeMusicals Twitter: @MusicalGuys Facebook On the web Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Cheryl Hodges-Selden, Paul Seales, David Seales If you would like to see your name in this show notes or get a shout out on the pod itself, visit ttp.fm/patreon to become a member and show your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

E

Mar 9

1 hr 16 min

From Broadway performer to Broadway educator, this performer opens up about the teachers that became his mentors, setting him on his unique course, and urgently encourages us all - “Don’t let your parade pass you by!”  Robert Hartwell is a Broadway performer and Founder of The Broadway Collective. His Broadway credits include Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler, Motown The Musical, Cinderella, Nice Work If You Can Get It, and Memphis, as well as the National Tours of Dreamgirls and Motown The Musical. As a Director/Choreographer Robert’s work has been seen at Lincoln Center, Music Theatre Wichita, Pace University, Naples Performing Arts Center, and The University of Michigan. He also served as the Assistant Director on the First National Tour of Once On This Island. Robert is a member of the Tony Award winning Broadway Inspirational Voices, and is currently the Associate Artist at North Carolina Theatre.  Robert opens up about his teaching journey. At the height of his Broadway success, Robert realized that although he loved performing, his true passion was teaching the arts. This led him to create The Broadway Collective, a musical theatre training academy where he and his team of performing arts professionals train the next generation of Broadway stars. In order for this endeavor to be successful, Robert discusses the Imposter Syndrome he defeated by realizing that his value was not attached to being in a Broadway show. He also talks with us about his working relationship with Eric Woodall, which has allowed him to return to North Carolina Theatre as an Associate Artist, as well as a director and choreographer.  In this episode, we talk about:  Working on Memphis at NCT before COVID-19 forced them to close Founding The Broadway Collective  Building trust in your company  Focusing on self-care with his students, before their 16-bar cuts  The spiritual moment he experienced nightly in Hello, Dolly!  Principal v. Ensemble journeys Connect with Robert: The Broadway Collective IG: @SirRobertTakesPics Twitter: @SirRobTweets Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Cheryl Hodges-Selden, Paul Seales, David Seales If you would like to see your name in this show notes or get a shout out on the pod itself, visit ttp.fm/patreon to become a member and show your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Mar 2

48 min 22 sec

Rebecca Moore, better known as Rebecca Vocal Athlete, is a vocal coach, mentor, singer, songwriter, YouTuber and entertainer with more than 20 years of experience within the music industry. She provides ongoing professional training in reputable vocal techniques, methodologies, vocal anatomy, physiology, and voice research. Over the years, Rebecca has cultivated a massive social media following with her videos, particularly on YouTube. Her 2018 album “Black and White Sunset” is currently available on Spotify and iTunes, as is her 2020 EP “Golden Daffodils”.  Based in England, Rebecca’s fascination with music started very young; her father recalls her dancing in front of the TV when she was 2 years old. As a child, she quickly fell in love with voice, sound, music, and even doing impressions. This soon evolved into a love for songwriting and all of the ways “we express ourselves”.  Rebecca speaks candidly about her struggle with depression and anxiety over the years, and the impact negative self talk can have on our bodies. She opens up about the operation she had in 2016 to remove a non-cancerous tumor, involving the removal of one of her ovaries, and shares that the recovery afterwards was “the worst” as she wasn’t able to walk for a while. However, it was also during this time that Rebecca delved into self-improvement, meditation, yoga, and a journey to expand her platform on YouTube. With 1.14 million subscribers, Rebecca’s reach continues to grow as she helps people all over the world learn about their voices and gain confidence in their art.  In this episode, we talk about:  Her interest in the physiology of the voice How she would conduct a lesson with a new student Inviting failure  The YouTube journey  Her operation in 2016  Dealing with internet trolls Connect with RVA: YouTube IG: @RebeccaVocalAthlete Twitter: @RVA_Official On the web Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Cheryl Hodges-Selden, Paul Seales, David Seales If you would like to see your name in this show notes or get a shout out on the pod itself, visit ttp.fm/patreon to become a member and show your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Feb 23

55 min 20 sec

"I only ever want to be Ben Harper famous." Drew Gasparini is an award winning musical theatre songwriter and performer. Currently he is writing the scores for a number of new stage musicals including the Broadway-bound adaptation of The Karate Kid, an adaptation of Night Shift for Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, and an adaptation of the Ned Vizzini novel/film It's Kind of a Funny Story for Universal Theatrical Group (book by Alex Brightman), among others. Some of Drew’s original musicals include Crazy Just Like Me (winner of “Best Of Fest” and runner up for “Best Book” in the New York Musical Theatre Festival 2011), and Make Me Bad (book by Alex Brightman, Bloomington Playwrights Project, winner of PACE New Musicals). Drew was a contributing composer for the fictional musical Hit List on the NBC series Smash, and in 2019 wrote the music for Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical, a highly publicized PR stunt starring Michael C. Hall for Super Bowl LIII. He has released several of his own albums, and on January 13th, Drew launched his new podcast "Now We're Talking with Drew Gasparini" on the Broadway Podcast Network.    Born and raised in southern California, his father a drummer and his mother a music teacher, Drew recalls that “music was like water, food, and oxygen” in his household. But it was ultimately his music teacher in high school who, after listening to some of his original songs (which he began writing when he was 12), challenged him to work harder and inspired him to dedicate his life to songwriting.    Drew chronicles the journey which took him from living out of his car in LA, to writing his first musical and moving to New York City; where a few years later, he put up a concert of his songs starring Titus Burgess, Jeremy Jordan, and others. He shares that some of the best education he’s had has come from failing in New York, and reiterates that there are going to be down moments for all artists, but if you love it, you have to stick with it. Drew has signed 5 contracts for projects which were Broadway bound but never made it, which he says only makes him hungrier - “I want to write something that’s left behind in a big way.” This dream could just be on the horizon, as Drew recollects landing his current big project - writing the score for the Broadway bound adaptation of Karate Kid.    In this episode, we talk about:  Wanting to be Ben Harper famous  Getting “permission” from success The first song he ever wrote at age 12 Leaving school to travel the west coast with his band “Drew G and the B” Creating his “Now We’re Talking” podcast  Connect with Drew: Subscribe to his podcast IG: @drewgasparini Twitter: @drewgasparini Listen to him on Spotify Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Cheryl Hodges-Selden, Paul Seales, David Seales If you would like to see your name in this show notes or get a shout out on the pod itself, visit ttp.fm/patreon to become a member and show your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

E

Feb 16

1 hr 2 min

Stephanie Hsu is a familiar face on both the stage and screen, maybe best known for originating the role of Christine in Be More Chill at Two River Theater, and then on Broadway. She previously made her Broadway debut as Karen the Computer in the original cast of Spongebob Squarepants: The Broadway Musical. Her TV and Film credits include The Path (seasons 1-3), Set It Up, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Awkwafina is Nora from Queens, Asking For It, and Mei in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Born in Torrance, CA, Stephanie shares that it was mostly just her and her mom growing up. The two clashed at times - her mother was not sure America was built for her as an immigrant, while Stephanie was “adamant about being an American.” As a child, Stephanie was very into basketball, and fought against the urge to become a “drama geek”. But when a fellow classmate in high school arranged an audition for her with the drama teacher, it “launched everything”, including heading to NYU to study acting.  Stephanie stresses the importance of visibility in the arts, and candidly talks with us about her role on The Marvelous Maisel - Mei, who as a bilingual, strong and independent Chinese American woman in the 1960’s, was “unlike any character” she’d ever seen in her life. During our conversation, Stephanie continues to bring us back to themes of “love”, sharing, “Love has always been my favorite thing in the whole world,” (her college thesis was about love). When she was recently commissioned by Works & Process, the performing arts series at the Guggenheim, to create a piece of self expression, she found herself in the silence of the pandemic trying to understand “if being in love is ok”. Stephanie walks us through the creation of her piece “Another Love Letter”, where she battled between feeling the desire and responsibility as an artist to be productive and to make something big, but also feeling drawn to explore the poetic parts of quiet simplicity.  In this episode, we talk about:  Creating her virtual commission “Another Love Letter”  One of her favorite things to do at museums  Working on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel The importance of making work you care about with people you care about  Her journey to landing a role in the new film Everything Everywhere All At Once Connect with Stephanie: Watch Another Love Letter IG: @hsulace Connect with The Theatre Podcast: Support us on Patreon: Patreon.com/TheTheatrePodcast Twitter & Instagram: @theatre_podcast Facebook.com/OfficialTheatrePodcast TheTheatrePodcast.com Alan's personal Instagram: @alanseales Email me at feedback@thetheatrepodcast.com. I want to know what you think. Thank you to our friends Jukebox The Ghost for our intro and outro music. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @jukeboxtheghost or via the web via jukeboxtheghost.com. A very special thanks to our patrons who help make this podcast possible! Cheryl Hodges-Selden, Paul Seales, David Seales If you would like to see your name in this show notes or get a shout out on the pod itself, visit ttp.fm/patreon to become a member and show your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Feb 9

58 min 34 sec