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Archives for : New Hampshire

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.

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.

Countdown to Zero

Rehearsals for both pieces in “Project Zero: A Night of Original One-Acts” have begun and I could not be more excited. This semi-scary bold adventure is taking off at a million miles per hour and there is no stopping it now. I am so glad I have the support of my wonderful friends who have made this process so much easier. From stepping up and taking on very important roles in the company, to helping find actors, to just spreading the word about the show, I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of generosity.

In the year it’s been since I first put up “Future Endeavors” (at the time titled “Cheap Heat”) as my senior project, I have forgotten just how much I love these characters, and what exactly they mean to me. During last night’s rehearsal, it all came flowing back. I had a fantastic one-on-one session with our new leading man, Nate Shaw, who is going to bring some amazing dynamics to the character of Kyle Jordan. This cast is full of some very talented performers who all bring unique perspectives to their work. I guarantee this show will not disappoint.

I don’t want to write an overly long piece just yet. Tho we only have 24 days, 8 hours until opening curtain as of writing this, I don’t want to drown on and on about the rehearsal process. There is so much to do in such little time, and I am looking forward to every moment of it.

See you all at the Opera House in July!

Bucketlist item checked off

This past week, I checked off both a goal for 2014 and a life goal. FIRST Robotics Competition Team 3467 took home both top honors at the UNH District event. Not only did the team win the tournament itself, but we were awarded the Chairman’s Award, FIRST’s highest honor. The Chairman’s award is given to the team that “that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.” Since joining FIRST all the way back in 2003, it has been a goal of mine to be apart of one of those special teams that is recognized for all of its efforts. When I came out of “retirement” from FRC back in October, I semi-jokingly said “I’m here to win you guys a chairman’s award.” I saw what great things team 3467 had accomplished in such a short time and knew this was a team on the verge of achieving greatness. I hoped with my special set of skills, I could get the team over the hump. I do not want to take too much credit for the team’s win. If anything, I was the 1% extra the team needed to go from “almost” to “there.” The incredible foundation had been laid over the past four years by some amazing individuals and I hope they are as proud of themselves as I am of them. I’m not really certain where the road of life is taking me, but I hope it is a path that allows me to continue to be a part of such an amazing organization. A huge thank you to my dear friend Scott Kukshtel for letting be apart of this team, and having the faith in me to lead his students to greatness.

This week I also attended the New Hampshire Professional Theatre Association job fair. I met some very awesome individuals all involved with various theatrical organizations around the state. The prospect of getting to work with any of these great groups is very exciting and I am eagerly waiting to hear back from them in the coming weeks.

Well, this week’s post was short, simple, and to the point. Got a lot of Cue Zero stuff to be working on over the next few weeks, on top of things for WAG’s “Oliver” (which opens April 4th, buy tickets!) and getting ready for family time in Florida. We will be spending a week just outside of Orlando to watch my younger sister play softball for Keene State College (as well as part at the “House of Mouse.”) It’s going to be a very busy couple of weeks, nay busy couple of months coming up, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!