Contributed by Caitlyn Piccirillo
Hi all! My name is Caitlyn Piccirillo and I am the Off-Off Broadway Database Intern for the Innovative Theatre Foundation. As this is my first ever blog post, I thought it would be appropriate to tell you all why I began to love the theatre in the first place, and what inspires me. We all know the theatre can be a place of chaos, excitement, story-telling, intrigue, and social change; but for me, it all started out as magic.
When I was three, my mother took me to go see the original production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. Being a well-versed Disney-child, she figured that it would be the perfect place for an outing with a young kid. Little did she realize the obsession that would begin to bud from that first night.
I could not believe my little eyes. The lights, the costumes, the singing, the utensils were all real; something that I had seen dozens of times on a screen was alive in front of my eyes. If I wanted to, I could’ve ran up and touched them – I knew in that moment that I had to keep connected to this magical life. The life that brings animated characters from my dreams into reality.
From then on I saw at least one Broadway musical a year; being fed in the meantime with a cassette we had bought from Noodle Kaboodle (Anyone remember that store?) that had all the big numbers from all the popular musicals of that time. The one song that finally fanned my obsession into an open flame was “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. I listened to that song over and over; watched the 10th anniversary religiously. I was very determined to see that show. Every time I passed that billboard, I would beg my mom to take me to see it, and after so many Maybe’s I figured I would never get my chance.
But then one day, my mother finally realized I was “mature” enough to understand the show. That night was the best night of my young life. I watched Valjean sweat and spit; I figured out how the trapdoor worked; I caught the revolutionaries’ fliers; I spoke to the conductor at intermission. I knew from that day forward that I could not just be connected to the theatre; I couldn’t just be an idle observer – I had to create.
From close study of the musical Les Miserables, I realized I had a penchant for social justice issues (I mean, give Fantine a break – why can’t she be a single mother?). I realized as time went on that theatre wasn’t only for entertainment, but could be used to make a difference. By creating good theatre, I know that I can change someone’s entire life – either by helping a social cause, or by inspiring someone else to join our crazy, chaotic, magical world.
Caitlyn Piccirillo is currently a rising senior in Adelphi University’s Acting program. Besides working as an actress, singer, and stagehand, Caitlyn is helping develop the Off-Off-Broadway Database through the Innovative Theatre Foundation. Some of her favorite productions worked on include: The Vagina Monologues, Fahrenheit 451, and Who Will Carry The Word. She is excited to be embraced by the Indie Theatre Community, and hopes to continue immersing herself in its culture.