Thursday, September 8, 2011

Getting to Know the Nominees

We have a very eclectic and dynamic and somewhat opinionated group of nominees this year and we wanted to get to know them a little better so we asked them to answer a few questions about their work. 

Here are their answers to question #1:
Why do you work Off-Off-Broadway?

“It’s always nice to see the whites of our audience’s eyes. These off-off-off-off-off closet spaces necessitate a more personal, intimate dynamic between the performer onstage and the folks watching it... which I think enhances the theatrical experience a hell of a lot more than when I’m sitting in a 500 seat theater. When I’m in the front row of an OOB show, I want the sweat from the performer’s brow to drip into my lap.”
– Clay McLeod Chapman, Outstanding Short Script nominee for both Diary Debris and Sixteen Again which was part of the Pumpkin Pie Show, Horse Trade Theatre Group

“I work OOB because I love the theatre.  I love the actors.  I love the collaboration, the rehearsals, the smell of the theatre, the butterflies... I love it all.”
- Jill Bianchini, Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role nominee for Balm in Gilead, T. Schreiber Studio

“It's accessible and affordable and you get to meet some truly generous and spirited people. It's easier to get something off the ground and make your voice heard.”

- Isaac Oliver, Outstanding Short Script nominee for Come Here, which was a part of The Spring Fling, F*It Club

“This was my first chance to be a part of the OOB experience. The chance to do astounding theatre in such an intimate setting was a huge draw. It is a wonderful thing to be able to bring new and exciting ideas to an audience... to be able to really dive into and explore your craft.” 
- Craig E. Treubert, Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role nominee for The Drowsy Chaperone, The Gallery Players

“The Off-Off-Broadway projects I have been able to work on have provided me with the consistent thrill of jumping into a new work, because they are usually innovative projects that have never been introduced to a New York audience before.  Being able to tackle something new is always rewarding and being able to connect with your audience during and after a show is also accessible through Off-Off-Broadway work. The artists I have met along the way have shaped my experiences by creating a sense of community and true collaboration from multiple aspects on and off stage.” 
- Deanna McGovern, Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role nominee for An Impending Rupture of the Belly, Godlight Theatre Company

Freedom to program and re-imagine both revivals and new works and to give opportunities to many theater artists.  I love it when I hear people say ‘How are they going to do that?’”  
- Heather Siobhan Curran, Artistic Director for The Gallery Players, which is nominated for Outstanding Production of a Musical for both Reefer Madness and The Drowsy Chaperone

“I enjoy working in town, as I'm sure we all do.  Regional work takes me out of town quite a bit, so it's nice to stay put for awhile.” 
- Robert Anthony Jones, Outstanding Ensemble nominee for The Drowsy Chaperone, The Gallery Players

“I want to be a part of original theatre in New York City and help tear down the boundaries set by categorizing theatre into classes set by the size of an audience.” 
- Belle Caplis, Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role nominee for Balm in Gilead, T. Schreiber Studio

“Working Off-Off-Broadway in strange, often surreal locations contextualizes each Sister Sylvester play as a singular event to be taken on its own terms. This allows us to create work with wholly unique dramaturgical rules and narrative structures, which evolve out of the specific combination of texts, environments, and artists that are realizing the piece.”
- Matt Wilson, Outstanding Original Full-Length Script nominee for Play America (Life is Short, Wear Your Party Pants), Sister Sylvester

“Working in Off-Off-Broadway gives artists the chance to explore a range of new works with great possibilities.  It provides the opportunity to really delve into the creative spirit, and find shows that the all types of audiences will enjoy.  The people working in OOB are more often than not, doing it for their love of theater, and not for the paycheck, which I find really influences the passion aspect of the productions.”
- Kelly Anne Burns, Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role nominee for The Navigator, Workshop Theater Company

I work Off-Off-Broadway primarily because as an actor with few credits, it is one of the best places to cut your teeth and do some really quality work. It's also a place where (if we're all doing our jobs) you are not only able to take risks but are encouraged to do so. It's a place that fosters innovation, free from the pressures that can squelch that type of creativity in larger productions.”
– Ian Bell, Outstanding Ensemble nominee for Balm in Gilead, T. Schreiber Studio

I have a full-time day job (that I actually like) so working OOB is manageable, as a designer, to do in spare time. Although sometimes it feels like more work!”
– Matt Brogan, Outstanding Set Design nominee for Balm in Gilead, T. Schreiber Studio

“I started working in Off-Off-Broadway because it just seemed like the natural thing to do.  I've always been interested in work that's off the beaten path, stuff that you can't just see anywhere. Fortunately I've landed in a community of other artists who feel the same way.”
– Kent Meister, Outstanding Ensemble nominee for Theater of the Arcade, Piper McKenzie & The Fifth Wall in association with The Brick Theater

“I work Off-Off-Broadway because it’s a way of working within the city and having the opportunity to have people hear about it and hopefully have it seen.” 
– Han Friedrichs, Outstanding Director nominee for The Drowsy Chaperone, The Gallery Players

“The stakes in Off-Off are much lower than the other levels of theatre, so people are willing to take bigger risks and do something different.  Some of the most interesting work is in the Off-Off world.  And the community is filled with people who are doing it for the love of the process and the shows, not for the dollar, so there's a great enthusiasm that is hard to find elsewhere in New York theatre.” 
– M.L. Dogg, Outstanding Sound Design nominee for The Land Whale Murders, Shelby Company

“It allows me the opportunity to create new work with the people that I love to interact with outside of the theater, but also to take an unorthodox approach to the way we create theater and bond with an audience. Working 'outside of the box' places the audience in a similar situation that the actors are in, so we take the journey together." 
– Nick Paglino, Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role nominee for An Impending Rupture of the Belly, Godlight Theatre Company

Pure creative freedom is only possible Off-Off-Broadway.  Without the enormous financial obligations of large commercial theater, the focus can be on the work.” 
– Jeff Pagliano, Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role nominee for Fracturing, Sweeter Theater Productions

“Working Off-Off-Broadway gave me access to an amazing group of artists both onstage and offstage. Honestly, I feel privileged to have worked with these people and can’t wait for my next chance. I also value the opportunity to work in New York since so much of my work is at regional theaters, away from friends and family. As I write this, I’m headed to Florida to do a production of “Meet Me in St. Louis” at Show Palace Dinner Theater.” 
– Dawn Trautman, Outstanding Ensemble nominee for The Drowsy Chaperone, The Gallery Players

“I make my work Off-Off Broadway because it is where the most innovative and edgy theatre makers are creating their work. I want to add to that conversation with my work.” 
– Jenny Lee Mitchell, Outstanding Ensemble nominee for Radio Purgatory, Theater THE

"OOB takes changes and encourages development. It’s less about commercial success (please) then it is about a writer writing a play from his soul. Even if few get to see it." 
- Eddie Antar, Outstanding Original Full-Length Script nominee for The Navigator, WorkShop Theater Company

I work in Off-Off because it allows for more freedom of expression. There are no restrictions as to content or which artists can be involved. It feels like one of the pure forms of theater offered in NYC.” 
– Jennifer Conley Darling, Artistic Director for terraNOVA Collective and the soloNOVA Arts Festival which is nominated for Outstanding Performance Art Production for Woman of Leisure and Panic

“There's more creative freedom possible off-off. No one's in this for the money. There are far more scheduling problems than you'll find on bigger budgeted shows because of that, but the people who are willing to put up with three hours of rehearsal after an eight hour day job tend to just be doing the work because they love the work. Therefore, most people are willing to try more inventive work.” 
– Donya K. Washington, Outstanding Ensemble nominee for (oh my god I am so) THIRST(y), Little Lord (a theater company)

“After winning a couple of festivals, I knew that I just had to keep doing my show.  The only place that I could make this happen affordably was OOB. Not only is it affordable for me as a producer but it is also affordable for my audience. I was able to build my audience, some of which were new theater goers.” 
– Elaine Del Valle, Outstanding Solo Performance nominee for Brownsville Bred, Del Valle Productions, Inc.

Does best Flintstonian bird imitation* “GROK – It’s a living.” 
– Frank Padellaro, Outstanding Original Music nominee for Theater of the Arcade, Piper McKenzie & The Fifth Wall in association with The Brick Theater

Well... I happen to be a producer so there are practical answers to this question such as money, time, etc... but... the more I do it, the more I realize how much I love this community.  As large as it is it has grown smaller of the past few years, largely due to the IT Awards.  I also love being able to do the things that I want to do... that's pretty special.”
– Heather Cunningham, Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Actress in a Lead Role for Benefactors, Retro Productions

“I see it as a step to working on Broadway. These are my colleagues who will move onto bigger and better things, and want to be apart of their journey and have them a part of mine.”
– Ryan Moller, Outstanding Costume Design nominee for The Drowsy Chaperone, The Gallery Players

“I work Off-Off-Broadway because... why would I work with Broadway? Broadway is that pure-bred dog that is mentally disabled from being inbred and having its hair dyed too many times. It lives its life on a very short, very expensive leash. It’s unionized and sterilized and neutered. Off-Off-Broadway is that dog that is actually a mutt of creativity, part wolf in fact, that has a mind as sharp as its teeth and has hair as wild as its imagination. It has no leash. It does what it wants, wherever it can. It has the freedom to collaborate and procreate with whomever (or whatever) it chooses.”
– Kae Burke, Outstanding Costume Design and Outstanding Innovative Design nominee for Circus of Circus, The House of Yes

“I love working on new and unusual projects, and having the time and opportunity to experiment.  So many great projects and ideas come out of the Off-Off-Broadway world.”
– Quentin Chiappetta, Outstanding Sound Design nominee for the Navigator, Workshop Theater Company

“That’s the only forum that can tolerate my far”
– Aldo Perez, Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Sound Design and Outstanding Original Music nominee for Radio Purgatory, Theater THE


1 comment:

  1. Best Answer: Aldo Perez! awesome! Can't wait to see more of those visions!