#67: Encores!

7Feb

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Take one part world class theatre organization, one part a roster of crazy-talented Broadway luminaries, and one part "hey kids, I've got a barn- let's put on a show!" What do you get? City Center Encores!, one of New York City's most beloved and unique musical theatre traditions. It's fast and furious, it's unlike any other theatrical experience you'll ever be part of, and the rewards are immense and immesurable. Our three guests (Charissa Bertels, Jimmy Borstelmann, and Nicholas Ward) have a wealth of experience with the Encores! family, and break it all down for you- the nine(!) days of rehearsal, the summer stock bonding, and why Encores is so special.

Containing Multitudes, part 3: Redefining Success on Broadway

31Jan

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Over the weekend of Jan 22-24, we went to BroadwayCon. And we had the BEST TIME! We fangurled over performances, took pictures with our favorite people, and most importantly, had some real discussions. Nikka and Christopher Gurr led a panel discussion with Geoff Packard, Jennifer Sanchez, Megan Sikora, Phillip Spaeth, and Marisha Wallace all about our favorite topic here at The Ensemblist: containing multitudes! We cracked open the word "success," talked about the things we do as artists and people to define success for ourselves, and what has surprised us most. Forgive the iPhone audio and enjoy!

#66: Broadway Parents

24Jan

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As we welcome Mo's brand new baby boy into the world (hi, sweet Brady!) with love and affection and the strength that his community provides, we also give you, our community, this episode. Broadway is hard, parenting is harder, and both come with unexplainable headaches, joy, scheduling snafus, the need to roll with the punches, and the ability to say "yes, and." Our three amazing guests (Ray Lee, Allyson Tucker-Mitchell, and Jessica Rush) tell all about balancing work and family, raising kids in NYC, and the magic of a theatrical family.

Th Ensemblist Unedited: Georgia Stitt

17Jan

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We couldn't resist keeping Georgia Stitt in the studio juuuust a little bit longer to grab some great stories about her amazing life and experiences. Georgia is incredibly accomplished, smart, and super-cool- she kept us riveted with tales of all the hats she wears in the pit, at the piano, and in her life. We are HUGE fans. Enjoy!

#65: Fall Theatre Roundtable feat. Patrick Hinds!

10Jan

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It's that time in the theatrical season, friends, where we gather 'round the microphone with a special guest or two and talk about all the shows we've seen over the past six months. This week, we've brought the one and only Patrick Hinds from the Theater People Podcast into Ensemblist HQ as our special guest, and we are THRILLED to have him! Patrick is the best, and you should listen to his show. After you listen to this one.

Are you ready to hear what we thought about our Fall 2015 theatregoing? Well...press play and find out!

The Ensemblist Unedited: J. Austin Eyer

3Jan

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Oh BOY, dear listeners, you are really lucky today! We snagged an interview with J. Austin Eyer, the incredibly accomplished Broadway MEGA-SUPER-swing-turned-professor-turned-FANCY-AUTHOR! He and Lyndy Franklin Smith have written the new book Broadway Swings, and we're SO excited he came to talk to us!
 
Broadway Swings is the ultimate performer textbook - for anyone who has ever had to swing a show, or is about to swing a show! J. Austin and Lyndy interviewed over 100 performers, choreographers, stage managers, and theatre professionals about swinging, their tips and tricks, and the best ways to stay safe, sane, and on your numbers - no matter who you're playing that day! It's really fabulous. Of course, we are obsessed with it.

Broadway Swings is available now on Amazon, and from Bloomsbury Publishing. Give it a read, and enjoy this latest Unedited with J. Austin Eyer!

#64: Listener Questions 2015 (with 2015 Ensemblist Award winners!)

27Dec

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We are madly in love with this one, because we are MADLY IN LOVE with these four unbelievable guests! We put out a call to you, our dearest most wonderfullest listeners, to ask your questions for the 2015 Listener Questions episode. You came back to us with fabulous queries! But were we going to answer them ourselves? Oh, no no no.

We asked our 2014 Ensemblist Award winners to pick a successor for the 2015 Awards, and we surprised this year's winners in the studio! Then we asked them all your questions, which we think they did a bang-up job answering, because they are exemplary ensemblists and humans. Presenting your 2015 Ensemblists of the Year: Cameron Adams, Jeffrey Schecter, Ryan Steele, and Betsy Struxness!

Enjoy!

Rehearsal Reports: Jesse Swimm #6

20Dec

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It's Jesse's final Rehearsal Report! We are so grateful that Jesse has taken the time to talk with us about his experiences in rehearsal with School of Rock over the past few months- it's been everything a Broadway rehearsal process can be- exhausting, exciting, and illuminating! In this episode, Jesse takes us through his final preview week and opening night experience, and we bid him a fond farewell into the run of his show.

Thank you for joining The Ensemblist family, Jesse! We'll miss you!

#63: Original AND Revival Casts, Same Ensemblists!

13Dec

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It's a fun one this week - and it all started with a cryptic email from our friend Grasan Kingsberry that came right before the casting for The Color Purple was announced. He asked us whether or not we knew of any ensemblists who had been in both the original and revival productions of a Broadway show, and that question immediately made us look at each other and say "I don't know, but THAT'S AN EPISODE!"

We discovered three people who were doing just that on Broadway RIGHT NOW, and so we sat them down to talk about their experiences! Get ready for Grasan Kingsberry, Krysta Rodriguez, and Lainie Sakakura to talk about what it's like revisiting material with more life experience, how different creative teams look at the same shows, and more. Enjoy!

Rehearsal Reports: Jesse Swimm #5

6Dec

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Lots of crazy cool things are happening over at School of Rock as they keep creating, and luckily we've got Jesse Swimm to tell us all about them! Previews finally begin, the kids meet their movie counterparts, and Jesse goes on for the first time! Because if we've learned anything from Rehearsal Reports, it's that #swingnation is always full out and focused! Enjoy!

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