Tech and previews are NO JOKE, guys. They are some long, exhausting, exhilarating, infuriating, and joyful (all at the same time!) days. And luckily, we have School of Rock superswing Jesse Swimm to tell us all about them- the good, the bad, the hilarious, and everything in between. Enjoy!
You know how the #1 thing we're into is being a whole entire person and containing multitudes? You've heard us talk about that before. And how when we put out our Parallel Careers episode last year, we found out how many of you needed to hear from brilliant successful performers who maintain another career on the side? This one is sort of like that one, but with a twist.
We gathered up three of our favorite people on the planet (Laura Marie Duncan, Christopher Gattelli, and Michelle Kittrell) and talked to them about their incredibly successful Broadway performing lives, how they decided to transition into a new career, the challenges they faced, and what it took to make it all work.
He's back, he's in tech, and he's ready to tell you alllllllll about it! Find out how the past two weeks have been for School of Rock's Jesse Swimm as he begins the long process of putting up such a massive new show! Enjoy!
We are SO excited to bring you this one, as it's been in the works for a long time. We're always trying to find different angles and experiences on ways we (as humans) tell stories, and how those stories make it to Broadway is another level we can't stop talking about. Making sure those stories are accessible to everyone who wants to experience them is yet another level on top of that level, and one way to accomplish that is with American Sign Language (or ASL) and interpreting for the deaf and hard of hearing. How do Broadway actors interpret ASL for the stage? What are the cues like for the deaf and hard of hearing actors IN the shows? How do interpreters prepare for a show? What is it like to be speaking two languages at the same time, all while trying to remember everything else??
We answer all those questions and more in the episode. Enjoy!
Joshua Castille (Spring Awakening)
Cathy Markland (interpreter for SO MANY SHOWS)
Kevin Massey (Big River, Tarzan, Memphis, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder)
For the deaf and hard of hearing community: we have already sent the episode off to the Transcription Divas (seriously. that's what the company is called.), and will make it available on our website for everyone as soon as we get it!
We sat down with Spring Awakening cast member/trailblazer/generally super-awesome lady Ali Stroker to chat about making her Broadway debut, her time with Glee, and the zig-zagging cross-country back-and-forth journey that it took to get her to this point. Enjoy!
Jesse Swimm is back with another installment of Rehearsal Reports - hear what it was like to rehearse that crazy 360° video, how things are going over at School of Rock, and what we can expect from those kids in the band! YAY!
Don't forget to submit your questions for the upcoming Listener Questions episode! We've got some amazing people ready to answer all the burning queries you might have about how Broadway really works! Ask us anything on any platform, tag it #EnsemblistLQ, and wait for the answer on an episode this winter!
Not the history OF Broadway, because that's too much for one episode! This is about history ON Broadway: fact and fiction, time periods, historical accuracy, and more! We talk to three Broadway vets about the different ways an ensemblist can play history in a show, how they approach a character based on a real person, the kind of research that might be different, and how design elements help ensemblists find their way to truth in storytelling. Enjoy!
Briana Carlson-Goodman (Hair, Les Misérables, Doctor Zhivago)
Brittney Johnson (Motown The Musical, Les Misérables, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical)
Jon Rua (Hamilton, Hands on a Hardbody, In the Heights)
We sat down with the vivacious life force that is Aléna Watters to talk about her favorite side gig: performing with the USO Show Troupe! She tells us all about how she got involved with the USO, her favorite places she's traveled, what the whirlwind rehearsal process is like, and how it feels to give back to our military personnel. Enjoy!
Hi! In case you missed it, we teamed up with Greg Young and Tom Meyers of The Bowery Boys to put on a really cool concert at 54 Below in September. We got in our time machines (yeah, we have time machines) and put the St. James Theatre in context throughout both Broadway and New York City's histories, from 1927 all the way to today.
Luckily, we didn't have to do it alone: we snagged some of our most fabulous ensemblist friends, all who have performed on the St. James stage, and had them sing music that premiered at the theatre- sometimes even music they premiered! Our amazing guests also told their favorite St. James stories, and we're here bringing those songs and stories to you. Plus, you may hear us do a little singing as well...enjoy!
The Bowery Boys (listen here)
Greg Young and Tom Meyers
Piano/Arrangements/Additional History/General Brilliance:
You've got us - Ensemblist HQ is just a massive collection of Google Docs shared between the staff, but that doesn't mean that fall isn't truly underway over here! We love fall. Okay, we just love how cute we look in cozy sweaters, but can you blame us? Everyone looks cute in cozy sweaters.
Cozy sweaters aside, fall means a new Broadway season full of new shows and ensemblists to celebrate! Yay! So we wanted to introduce you to your next Rehearsal Reports correspondent - School of Rock swing Jesse Swimm!
School of Rock is Jesse's second Broadway show (Mary Poppins was the first), and he's chomping at the bit to tell you all about what it's like to be in the room creating a brand new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical! Get to know Jesse in his first installment, and stay tuned for more!