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Archives for : Director

2015 New Hampshire Theatre Awards

I am very pleased to announce that Into The Woods and Legally Blonde are well represented at the upcoming New Hampshire Theatre Awards, with four nominations each! Thank you to everyone involved. Excited to see you all at the awards.

Into The Woods:
Best Production – Musical – Community – Into The Woods
Best Actor Joel Iwaskiewicz as The Baker
Best Actress Jessica Dee as The Witch
Best Supporting Actor Colin Malette as Rapunzel’s Prince

Legally Blonde
BEST ACTOR (YOUTH): Zachary Spiegel as Emmett

Thankful for 2015

I write this while still recovering from Thanksgiving dinner, so I figured it would be appropriate to talk about what I am thankful for in my professional life in 2015, as well as talk about what 2016 will hold for me.

I am thankful that 2015 was the most successful year of my theatrical life ever. I was fortunate to direct seven productions this year, each one teaching me valuable lessons about myself as an artist and as a person. I closed out the directing year with “Into The Woods” and I have never been more proud of myself, nor the cast and crew that I have worked with. To not only finally get to work on Sondheim, but to work with such wonderful people was a dream come true. I cannot wait for another opportunity to work with the Actorsingers, as well as work on more Sondheim.

I would like to thank everyone who gave me opportunities this year, everyone I collaborated with, and everyone who I learned from in 2015. The lessons from this year will stick with me for a life time, and I feel like I am finally coming into myself as an artist.

My 2016 is already quickly filling up. I will once again be working with the Maskers Drama Club of Central High School, first directing their winter drama, Antigone, which I have written an original adaption of which we will use. I will also be returning to the Windham Actors Guild to direct Fiddler On The Roof, which has been on my list of shows to direct for years. My 2016 will also include the spring comedy with Maskers, and I am hoping to self-produce at least two shows with Cue Zero in 2016.

I do have one final project for 2015, though not directorial. I will be returning to the place where I got my start in the theatre world: Manchester’s historic Palace Theatre, where I will be working backstage on their annual production of A Christmas Carol. I am overjoyed that I will get to be going “home for the holidays.”

Hope 2015 was as kind to you all as it was to me, enjoy your Christmas season, and have a happy new year!

Out of The Summer and Into The Woods

The 2015 summer flew by in the blink of an eye. My first season with Little Church Theater was phenomenal. The experience I gained just from a single season as the managing director of LCT will be with me for years to come. It was nice to experience a new region where I had not worked before and having a lot of responsibilities, while at the same time a lot of freedom. The administrative duties of the day-to-day operations of a small community theater were actually a lot more fun than anticipated. I truly felt like I was living the dream, working full-time in the arts. I look forward to helping Little Church grow and prosper over the next several years.

We are already a few weeks into rehearsals for Into The Woods and I could not be more excited to be working with this cast. We had an amazing turnout at auditions made this one of the most difficult casting sessions of my career, and I mean that in a good way. Too much talent is always a great problem to have. Going from the tiny, intimate stage of Little Church to the giant auditorium where we will be staging this production is a great change of pace. It is so wonderful that in one calendar year, I will have worked on a nice variety of shows, in both subject matter, actor experience, and performance space. I hope you will all check out this show, which opens Friday, November 6th. Tickets will soon be available on the Actorsingers’ web page:

My Fall 2015 Project

Junior year of high school, after viewing the film version of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, I fell in love with the work of composer Stephen Sondheim. My obsession was such that my junior thesis was a twenty-five-page paper entitled “Stephen Sondheim’s Effect On American Pop Culture.” I am beyond excited to officially announce I finally will be getting a chance to direct a Sondheim piece with the Actorsingers’ production of Into The Woods this fall! This production will re-unite me with two other UNH alums: my Bye, Bye Birdie choreographer Danielle DiPasquale, who will serve as movement coach and assistant director, and Music Director Amanda Morgan, who I worked with when I was a performer in UNH’s production of Urinetown.

Between now and when Into the Woods begins, I will have five productions going up. May will see my teen productions of Is There Life After High School? and Legally Blonde: The Musical open. Then once we swap over to June, I will be heading up to Holderness for the Little Church Theater’s summer season, where I will be directing The Odd Couple and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, as part of their main stage series, as well as their Young@Arts middle and high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This brings my 2015 show total to an outstanding eight full productions directed.  I will also be serving as producer on two other shows for Little Church, as well as running their season kick-off Cabaret. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunities I have been given, and look forward to getting to work on all of these amazing productions.

An amazing start to 2015

Haven’t posted an update in a while, and there’s been a lot going on so I really should get something up here. Few major announcements:

First, I have accepted the position of Managing Director with Little Church Theater of Holderness, New Hampshire. It’s a job where I will wear many hats, including day-to-day operations, managing staff, producing the shows, public relations, as well as possibly directing a production. I do have some year round duties, and will be basically living at the theater from June through August. We have our first big meeting at the end of the month, and I can not wait for the summer to be here.
So what will I be doing in the meantime? Well, I have signed on to direct three productions this winter/spring! First, I am directing Timothy Mason’s Beauty and the Beast with the Maskers Drama Club at Central High School in Manchester. It’s a very interesting adaptation of the original fairytale (and predates Disney’s version by about five years.) I am working with some very excited students who I look forward to getting to know over the next month.

After B&B goes up, my focus will be shifted to directing one of my absolute favorite shows: Avenue Q! I cannot believe that only two short years after playing one of my dream roles (Trekkie Monster) I will now get to direct a production. I will be working with ACT Theatre Company in North Andover, MA on this show, and am at a loss for words over my excitement for this production.

Finally, shorty before Avenue Q opens, I will be in the director seat at auditions for Legally Blonde: The Musical, which is the Majestic Theatre’s spring teen show. I have performed several times with the Majestic, and am very glad to accept their offer for the teen show. The show will go up at the end of May, and then it’s on to Holderness.

So my 2015 is already almost completely booked, and it’s only day 12. I still will be mentoring FRC team 3467, as well as carrying out all my other duties for Cue Zero Theatre Company, who should be putting on at least two productions come the fall.
Thank you to everyone who is providing me with the great opportunities, 2015 is going to be a fantastic year!

A November to Remember

It turns out that November has been a very important month over the past few years. Thanks to the iPhone app Timehop, I have discovered a pattern of life changing moments that take place during the eleventh month of the year, and 2014 is turning out to be no different. November 2010: I declare myself a theatre major at UNH, the best decision of my life. November 2012: UNH’s production of Avenue Q goes up, the best show I have ever performed in. November 2013: I get the idea in my head that I should self-produce some of my work, which leads me to start Cue Zero Theatre Company.

This year November has entailed two directing projects that I am extremely proud of. First, we had the 24 Hour Play Festival hosted by TheatreKapow, which was a life changing experience. Going through the entire artistic cycle in under 12 hours was mind blowing. We were given a very difficult challenge, a extremely complex play, and actors who had all never met each other before, and put on a very solid piece of theatre. The entire endeavor made me direct without fear, without second guessing myself, and without a lot of the comforts of a regular directing process, and I learned that I can still operate without all the luxuries that provides (not that I want to start skipping all my beloved research, script analysis and sleeping on projects going forward)

My second directing endeavor, which opens next weekend, is one I am extremely proud of. The Windham Actors’ Guild production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is quite possibly one of my best theatrical undertakings. This was the first full production I have directed where I had not previously directed at least one of the actors in something previously, as well as the first time my cast had such varied levels of experience. From decades of performances to first time ever in a real show, we assembled a diverse group of actors, and I could not be more proud of them. It has been a pleasure to direct them over the past two months. I cannot wait to share this show with the world next weekend, and I know the audiences will love it.

I am currently attempting to figure out what my next move will be career wise. I am exploring many options and look forward to whatever life brings.

Exciting Week Ahead

Just want to write a quick post updating all the crazy things going on right now in my life.

This past weekend, I took in two great shows: UNH’s production of “Comedy of Errors” and my mentor David Kaye’s one man show: “How I Brought Peace To The Middle East: A Tragicomedy.” Both shows were wonderfully enjoyable. “Comedy of Errors” was delightfully hilarious, and David’s show was a brilliantly written and performed piece. After studying under Professor Kaye for years, it was still mind-blowing to watch the master at work. He effortlessly portrayed multiple distinct characters, made the audience laugh, cry and think, and was simply inspiring.

Now on to this week.

On Friday night, I will be heading back to my old high school for the selection processes of 24 Hour Play Festival, presented by TheatreKapow and Wax Idiotical Films. The five playwrights will be given their prompts, pull directors out of a hat, and then assigned their actors. We will all return the next morning to begin rehearsing on the plays the writers will spend all night slaving over. I have been asked to guest-blog for TheatreKapow about Friday night’s process, so be on the look out on their website for that. I cannot wait for this unique directing challenge.

After the 24 Hour Play Festival will have concluded, and I have gotten some much needed rest, I will head to 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee rehearsal. We will have the entire show staged and be having our first full run-thru of the show. I am extremely proud of how well the show is coming together, and that we will have just under a month to polish this musical. Mark your calendars for Nov 21-23rd so you do not miss what is going to be a very special show!

Also, we have been getting everything in place for next year’s Cue Zero Theatre Company productions. News and updates to come soon!

Hope to see you all at both of my next two performances.

Another great announcement!

I am very pleased to announce that I have been selected to be one of the five directors participating in theatre KAPOW and Wax Idiotical Film’ 24 Hour Play Festival 2014! Performances are 7:30 on Oct 18th at the Stockbridge Theater in Derry, NH.

Quick blurb about the Festival (from the Theatre Kapow website): “Some plays require years to write, cast, rehearse and stage, but not these!  The festival will present five 10-15 minute plays created entirely in just twenty-four hours.  At 7.30 pm on Friday, October 17, a group of playwrights will meet at the theatre to learn the theme for the festival, receive their list of guidelines, a director, and their cast. The next morning, the scripts they write that night will be distributed to the actors and directors to rehearse.  At 7.30 pm on Saturday, October 18, the curtain rises! That’s it, just 24 hours to write, rehearse and mount an evening of new plays.”

This will be a very unique directing challenge. As someone who enjoys taking weeks to prepare for rehearsals, hours dissecting characters and plots, and many rehearsals working with my actors, this will completely knock me out of my comfort zone and test myself as a theatre artist. I would like to thank Theatre Kapow for this awesome opportunity and look forward to competing in October!

A Week of Discovery and My Next Big Project

So this should really be two separate blog posts, but I’ve been so busy that I’ve fallen behind on updating the site as need be so I apologize for cramming two huge topics into one post. I want to talk both about my week at the TheatreKapow Artists’ Retreat, and my next directing project.

I spent the 11th-15th of August at the Chanticleer Gardens in Dunbarton, New Hampshire with some amazing artists. The TheatreKapow 2014 Artists’ Retreat covered many different types of theatre/actor training and was extremely refreshing, eye opening, and gave me some great moments of self-reflection. We explored the methods of Michael Chekhov, Viewpoints, and Integral Transpersonal Theatre:  La Poetica dell’ Invisible. The Transpersonal Theatre workshops were especially powerful, we were working with its creator, Valentina Lattuada, a theatre artist from Barcelona. With Valentina’s work, I initially was hitting a metaphorical wall. We focused a lot on breathe and being natural, following our actual impulses and not “creating” (forcing) anything. I really had to turn my brain off (something not easy for me) and just let my body/emotions do what they wanted to do. I was able to gain a whole new level of listening and person-reading through these workshops. The Viewpoints and Michael Chekhov work also helped me get in touch with various places in my psyche and physicality that I had previously not known how to reach. We also had a brief workshop in Shakespeare and Company’s technique called “Dropping in,” which is a way to create instant connection between actor and text. I cannot wait to use all of these discoveries about myself, as well as some new techniques, in both my directing and acting lives. I would like to thank TheatreKapow for their continual dedication to actor training, and for alway pushing me to be a better artist (and person.)

As for my next big project, I am very excited to announce that I have signed on to direct the Windham Actors’ Guild’s production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” This will be a very unique and fun directing challenge and I’ve spent the past week ripping apart the script, attempting to get at the soul of this character-driven musical that has a lot of heart. It is a show that is very quirky, and a lot more complex than meets the eye. I cannot wait for our first production meeting on Wednesday, and for auditions the following week. We will need some very talented performers to put this show on, and I’m certain we will find them. WAG is full of some delightful people, and it is an honor to get to work beside them on this show.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. I need to get back to dissecting the spelling bee script, re-reading “A Director Prepares” by Anne Bogart (one of my favorite books), reviewing some directing class notes, and so much more. Oh! Also, the first meeting of the school year for FRC Team 3467 is tomorrow. Really excited for that as well. I hope my schedule allows me to continue to mentor these amazing students. Okay, for real now. Signing off!

More publicity for CZT

Project Zero has come and gone and it was a wildly successful weekend. I will do another blog post about how everything went, but right now I just wanted to share another article that ran about the show/myself. This appeared in the July 10th edition of the Nashua Telegraph, written by written by Emily Kwesell

Back in November, Dan Pelletier set a goal for himself: “Before I turn 24, I want to direct an original piece,” he thought. This weekend, this goal will become a reality for Pelletier, as his acting troupe, Cue Zero, will be showcasing two original pieces in their “Project Zero” show, Thursday- Saturday at the Adams Memorial Opera House in Derry. The presentation of Pelletier’s own piece, “Future Endeavors,” will satisfy his goal of directing an original piece before he turns 24, as his birthday is the end of this month. Pelletier, of Auburn, graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2013 with a degree in theater. Through his studies at UNH, he was able to find like-minded people who shared his devotion to drama. It’s all about “finding people who are passionate about what they do,” Pelletier said, about getting people interested in participating in his group. Using this network of passionate artists and actors, Pelletier was able to form the Cue Zero Theatre Company. The company seeks to support young, talented artists who need a venue in which to showcase their works. Every Cue Zero show has an element of “newness” – whether they are using an original script, a new director or a different technique, all their shows will aim to be different. “They’re very unique pieces … they’re not your average piece of theater,” Pelletier said. The idea to use new techniques, actors, directors and stories was centered around the desire to “create our own opportunities,” he said. Sometimes creating these opportunities can be risky, especially for first-time business owners. Despite the risks involved with starting a business, Pelletier believes Cue Zero is being run professionally. “I did my homework and figured out what it would take. … We’re being very self-observant,” he said. Whether he is writing plays, going to dress rehearsals or trying to raise money for opening weekend, Pelletier has had a blast turning his dreams into a reality. “It’s been a wonderful process; it’s what we want to do. Not a single second of it has felt like work,” he said. Pelletier is optimistic of his and his coworkers’ hard work and hopes their opening shows will be the first of many as, Pelletier believes, the versatility of their shows will entrance all audience members. “Don’t think it’s just a show for dorks … everyone will get something from these shows. There’s something for everybody,” he said. “Future Endeavors” is a play about change, growing up and what we are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve our dreams. The other play, “We Could be Heroes,” written and directed by Joe Nelson of Manchester, looks at the life of a nerd as he uses his favorite fictional characters as life guides. Pelletier is confident that Cue Zero’s inaugural weekend will be successful, but he also promises consistent growth for the group. “I’m a big dreamer, I want this to be successful … I want every show to be the best show,” he said.