ATW - Downstage Center
Summary: The American Theatre Wing, in association with XM Satellite Radio, presents Downstage Center a weekly theatrical interview show, featuring the top artists working in theatre both on and Off-Broadway and around the country.
In the latest Downstage Center, "Annie" stars Katie Finneran (Miss Hannigan) and Anthony Warlow (Daddy Warbucks) discuss the current revival, James Lapine, past roles, the audition process, reputation, and awards, among other topics.
(A Special encore edition) Broadway’s premier animal trainer Bill Berloni got his foot in the door in 1976 as a teenager when he rescued and trained the original Sandy for the Goodspeed Opera House original production of "Annie." Sandy went to Broadway in 1977 and so did Mr. Berloni, and he never left. Michael Price, Goodspeed Musicals Executive Director, interviews the 2011 Special Tony Award winner and friend Mr. Berloni about his career in the theater: from "Annie" to "Camelot" (with Richard Burton) to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s "Woman in White"; the work he’s most proud of; and the special pride he takes in being an advocate for his four legged co-stars.
Downstage Center celebrates the season with cast members from the hit holiday musical, "Elf." Cast members Beth Leavel, Adam Heller, and Mark Jacoby discuss the play, the adaptation from the film, tap dancing on stage, music in plays, other roles, and their lives in the theatre.
In this special Downstage Center, we celebrate the legendary Stage Door Canteen (a war relief effort founded by early members of the American Theatre Wing). Opened on March 2, 1942 in the 44th Street Theatre, the New York Stage Door Canteen serviced an average of 3,000 servicemen a night as a recreation center before many of the soldiers went off to war. In all, eight Stage Door Canteens throughout the United States as well as in London and Paris served soldiers. Theatrical luminaries gave of their time (as volunteers) and talents (singing, dancing) in the Canteens. Listen now as Pia Lindstrom talks with one of the original Canteen volunteers, Phyllis Jeanne Creore.
"Ten years after its New York premiere, The Exonerated still has the power to unsettle." - NY Times. Celebrating the ten year anniversary of their ground-breaking and thought-provoking docu-play, its writers, Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, talk about its creation, style, relevance, cast, and the latest production at NYC's Culture Project.
Currently in residence at the Signature Theatre, playwright (and Wing board member) David Henry Hwang is recent winner of the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. This edition of Downstage Center was originally recorded in 2007. Playwright David Henry Hwang talks about putting a version of himself -- and his father -- onstage in his new play "Yellowface" and why he doesn't want to reveal what in the play is fact and what is fiction; recalls his extraordinary leap from having his first play produced in his college dorm to having a series of plays done at The Public Theatre only a short time later; explains the origins of his award-winning Broadway hit "M. Butterfly"; reflects on his role in the controversy over the hiring of Jonathan Pryce to appear in "Miss Saigon"; shares his thoughts on the failure of his farce "Face Value"; describes his work on the musicals "Aida", "Flower Drum Song" and "Tarzan", and contemplates what he hopes to explore next on stage.
Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti from "Once" talk about their Tony Award-winning musical and the successful run its enjoyed since its beginnings at the New York Theatre Workshop, their favorite songs, staying focused, and, what other Broadway shows they want to see.
In the latest Downstage Center, actors Rob McClure and Christiane Noll discuss "Chaplin", from the research they put into their roles (Mr. McClure as the legendary silent film actor and Ms. Noll as his mother) to the audience and Chaplin family reaction to the production. They also discuss past roles: Mr. McClure in "Avenue Q" and Ms. Noll in "Ragtime" and "Jekyll and Hyde," and the special moment when Mr. McClure met his hero, Anthony Warlow, backstage.
The latest edition of Downstage Center goes backstage with "Tribes", the provocative new play written by Nina Raine. Director David Cromer and actor Jeff Still discuss the play and the challenges they faced with the subject matter, deaf theatre, their friendship, and the Chicago theatre scene, among other topics.
In the latest Downstage Center, "Silence! The Musical" writer Hunter Bell and actress Jenn Harris discuss the show The NY Post called "Gleefully submissive" and The NY Times "a hilarious take down." From its premiere at the 2005 New York International Fringe Festival to its current home off-Broadway, the uproarious show continues to keep its audience in stitches!
Downstage Center goes to Texas. Listen as Primary Stages Artistic Director Andrew Leynse talks with actress Hallie Foote about her father Horton's work, world, and new Primary Stages production "Harrison, TX," three plays by Horton Foote. In addition to discussing the current production directed by Pam McKinnon, Ms. Foote discusses acting, the family history, and her father's legacy.
Five time Tony-winner and new ATW Chairman William Ivey Long talks about his extensive career as one of Broadway's top costume designers, from his earliest days on stage -- living in a dressing room at the Raleigh Little Theatre in North Carolina -- to his upcoming projects "9 To 5" and "Dreamgirls". Along the way, he describes how shocked he was by the first thing he saw on stage at the Yale School of Drama; how his career developed largely thanks to the support of his drama school friends; how he came up with Anita Morris' iconic body suit for "Nine" -- and how it resulted in his never working with Tommy Tune again; whether there's a difference between designing musicals and plays; how the paintings of Gauguin influenced his designs for "Guys And Dolls"; what its like to revisit the "Chicago" costumes for a variety of different actresses; and why he chooses to wear a largely unvaried "uniform" every single day. Original air date - August 22, 2008.
"Spider Man: Turn Off The Dark's" Patrick Page and Isabel Keating go one-on-one about Broadway's favorite super hero and his nemesis, Page's Green Goblin. The actors talk dialects, quick changes, character development, improvising and background stories they create for their roles in the play. It's not ALL Spidey; the duo discuss acting techniques, other favorite roles, and Judy Garland, among other topics.
Martin Pakledinaz passed away on July 8th, 2012. This edition of Downstage Center was recorded in 2010. Costume designer Martin Pakledinaz talks about creating the clothes for the recent Broadway revival of "Lend Me A Tenor", the commencement of planning for the spring 2011 production of "Anything Goes" and the revival of "Oklahoma!" that will be part of Arena Stage's opening of its furbished and expanded venue. He also talks about his early thoughts of acting and who finally disabused him of that notion; his early working doing sketches for the legendary Theoni V. Aldredge and how he ultimately had to rediscover his own voice instead of speaking through hers; his very early - and short-lived - Broadway experiences with "Inacent Black" and "I Won't Dance"; developing his skills through productions at The York Theatre, the New York Shakespeare Festival; the McCarter Theatre; and the Roundabout Theatre Company; why he tried to costume the kids from the 2007 "Grease" without using leather jackets - and how long that idea lasted; the differing production timetables of theatre and opera and how each effects his work; and how much of his designs rely on the particular actor cast in a role. Original air date - August 18, 2010.
Originally performed on Broadway in 1960, Gore Vidal’s "The Best Man" returns to Broadway with an all star cast and a Tony-nomination for Best Revival of a Play. In the latest Downstage Center, two of the shows stars, Donna Hanover and Jefferson Mays, go behind the scenes of the topical political barnburner and dish the dirt on their characters, co-actors, and the view from the wings of the star–studded cast. In addition, they discuss their careers, acting process and other roles.