A conversation about the state of theatre today in a wide ranging conversation that highlights how theatre can survive during difficult economic times; whether celebrities can affect sales and audiences; and dealing with government and foundation funding.
Representatives from theatres receiving the American Theatre Wing 2011 National Theatre Company Grants discuss the challenges they face in tough economic times; their community outreach; and the creativity and diversity in the works they present.
Producers Jean Doumanian and Daryl Roth talk about creating a supportive environment for artistic teams bringing shows to the stage; collaborating with other producers; the benefits and challenges of casting stars in a show; and the economics and creative process of producing off Broadway vs. on Broadway. (moderated by Patrick Pacheco)
Playwrights Lydia R. Diamond, David Henry Hwang and Suzan-Lori Parks discuss their work and other American playwrights and how they influenced them; the moment each was aware they wanted to be writers; their process; experiencing their work on Broadway for the first time; and the role mentors played in their lives and their role as mentors.
Casting Directors David Caparelliotis, Tara Rubin and Daniel Swee and moderator Patrick Pacheco discuss the role of the casting director; their collaboration with directors; recasting shows; and whether stars are necessary for success on Broadway today.
Actors David Alan Grier, Judith Light and Condola Rashad talk about the moment the knew they wanted to act; the research they do when approaching a new role; interacting with, and reacting to, the audience; how they handle reviews; and their process and passion for the work they do.
Directors Sheryl Kaller, Pam MacKinnon and Stephen Wadsworth talked about their start in theatre; their process when beginning a new project; collaboration with playwrights and the challenges of handling the playwright in the room; listening to the audience; and what, or who, inspires and informs their work.
Super-Publicists Adrian Bryan-Brown and Rick Miramontez talk with moderator Thomas Schumacher about the new world of theatre publicity as it relates to social media; whether or not there's such a thing as "bad" publicity; handling negative stories; shaping stories for the press and potential audiences; the value of using quotes in advertising; and critics and the preview process; and how audiences are influenced by social media and traditional reviews.
The challenges and triumphs facing musical theatre today, both on and off Broadway, are discussed by actress Heidi Blickenstaff, Tony award winning choreographer Christopher Gattelli and Tony award winning composer and lyricist Robert Lopez. The conversation also takes an in-depth look at the status of musicals today; early influences on our guests that led them to theatre; and the impact current television programming has on stage musicals.
A behind the scenes look at the Tony Awards with the show Executive Producers. Also, past Tony winners Joel Grey and Jefferson Mays share their feelings about winning and the TONY history-making achievement attached to each of their awards.