UA-40868602-1 2019 June
The Ensemblist
#166 - Let’s Talk About Auditions (feat. Chris Kong)

#166 - Let’s Talk About Auditions (feat. Chris Kong)

June 27, 2019

Chris Kong currently plays piano in the orchestra of Broadway’s Frozen, Mean Girls, Pretty Woman and The Prom. But those four are just a few of the productions he’s played for in rehearsals or performance on Broadway and across the country. Additionally, Chris has been playing auditions in New York City since 2007. Playing both open calls and audition appointments for three different casting offices, Chris has seen what works - and what doesn’t - in the audition room. Here’s our conversation... 

#165 - College Prep (feat. Ben Bogen)

#165 - College Prep (feat. Ben Bogen)

June 24, 2019

Ben Bogen is a 2016 graduate of The University of Michigan with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Since then, he made his Broadway debut in the ensemble of Frozen. He’s also toured the country in the ensemble of Jersey Boys where he was also the assistant dance captain. This year alone, in addition to performing in Frozen, he played Pepper in Mamma Mia! at NC Theater and in the ensemble of The Flamingo Kid at Hartford Stage. Here’s our conversation...

#164 - College Prep (feat. Christine Shepard)

#164 - College Prep (feat. Christine Shepard)

June 20, 2019

Welcome to a new mini-series from The Ensemblist where I sit down with recent college grads about making the jump from college to Broadway. I wanted to know what they learned at school, which makes a musical theatre training unique, and if what they learned in school really prepared them for working on the Great White Way.

Christine Shepard is a 2019 graduate of Pace University in their Commercial Dance department. However, she spent much of her senior year on Broadway, working as a swing in the original company of Head Over Heels. Since then, Christine has joined her second Broadway show, Mean Girls, where she plays the ensemble role of Rachel Hamilton. Here’s our conversation...

#163 - Let’s Talk About Auditions (feat. Stephen Oremus)

#163 - Let’s Talk About Auditions (feat. Stephen Oremus)

June 16, 2019

Stephen Oremus’ resume as music supervisor is a literal catalog of the 21st Century Broadway hits: Wicked, Kinky Boots, Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon and Frozen. He also supervised or continues to supervise many of those shows’ international productions a well. He was the conductor on the film of Frozen, and music directed both The Wiz Live! And Rent Live! Oh, and he’s a two-time Tony Award winner. He’s one of the busiest guys I know but also one of the most gracious which is why I’m so glad he took the time to sit down with me and chat. Here’s our conversation...

#162 - Let’s Talk About Auditions (feat. Spencer Liff)

#162 - Let’s Talk About Auditions (feat. Spencer Liff)

June 13, 2019

Welcome to a new mini-series from The Ensemblist where I sit down with folks on the other side of the casting table to ask them what they’re really looking for in a Broadway ensemble. As performers, we hear time and again that the folks casting shows want auditioners to succeed. But what does that success actually look like?

Spencer Liff began his Broadway career as a dancer, performing in the original companies of Big, The Wedding Singer and Cry-Baby. But for the last ten years, Liff has worked on the other side of the table creating staging for both stage and screen. He’s an Emmy nominee for his work on “So You Think You Can Dance” where he has been a resident choreographer for a decade. Back on Broadway, he’s created the staging for Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Spring Awakening, Falsettos and Head Over Heels. I recently was able to speak with him on a short trip to New York where he was here casting a new workshop of Reefer Madness. Here’s our conversation…

#161 - Tony Awards 2019 Recap (with Billboard on Broadway)

#161 - Tony Awards 2019 Recap (with Billboard on Broadway)

June 10, 2019

Today, we're sharing a conversation about the 73rd Annual Tony Awards with Billboard on Broadway's Rebecca Milzoff. We talk about favorite performances, what worked - and what didn't!

Subscribe to Billboard on Broadway here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/billboard-on-broadway/id1211823315

#160 - June 2019 (feat. Hadestown, Jane Bunting)

#160 - June 2019 (feat. Hadestown, Jane Bunting)

June 6, 2019

On this episode, we share our review of Hadestown, announce our first ever Season Standout List and heat and incredible story from the national tour of Come From Away.

The story we have to share with you this month comes from Jane Bunting. Her relationship with Come From Away goes back to the show’s pre-Broadway tryout in Washington DC. Prior to traveling the country as a standby and dance captain for the show’s national tour, she briefly joined the Broadway company last summer. But an unexpected set of circumstances brought her back to Broadway last month - with her suitcase and wig in tow. Here, in her own words, is Jane Bunting.

#159 - Let’s Talk About Auditions (feat. Rachel Hoffman)

#159 - Let’s Talk About Auditions (feat. Rachel Hoffman)

June 3, 2019

Welcome to a new mini-series from The Ensemblist where I sit down with folks on the other side of the casting table to ask them what they’re really looking for in a Broadway ensemble. As performers, we hear time and again that the folks casting shows want auditioners to succeed. But what does that success actually look like?

Rachel Hoffman is a casting director with Telsey + Company, which she joined after beginning her career on the team at Dave Clemmons casting almost 20 years ago. In the last decade, Hoffman has been on the casting team of 10 Broadway musicals, including the Tony Award-winning Memphis. Her work can currently be seen with the companies of Come From Away, Frozen and Beetlejuice. In addition to her work as casting director, she is also a sought-after instructor and proud (very proud, maybe too proud?) graduate of the University of Michigan. In the studio, I asked her about what makes a good audition, what not to wear and her favorite story of an ensemble actor shining in the audition room. Here’s our conversation...