Dan Knechtges (“connect-us” he graciously explained). Dan is a Tony nominated choreographer, who also loves directing, and could not have been more fun for us to hang out with. He sat down with us in the studio to explain his very “A CHORUS LINE” story of going from a nine year old boy stealing the spot light in his sister’s dance class, to choreographing basement shows to Mozart, to eventually earning a Tony nomination for his work on XANADU. Of course the road is never easy, and Dan has some great stories including what he did after being told he was the worst choreographer ever, and why he was ready to walk away to be a paralegal. Dan has a wealth of knowledge, and gives it out in a very entertaining fashion. Listen in to find out what inspired Bill Finn (while they were working on The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) to yell across the theatre, “You’re so gay Knechtges!”
Caroline Kaiser. This week we chatted with the former Casting Director/Associate Artistic Director of Theatreworks USA, Caroline Kaiser. Caroline is self professed “musical theatre nerd.” She started out acting and quickly learned she understood the business side of show business for more than she loved the politics of performing. Listen in as she talks about getting her start with Jay Binder Casting, her time at Theatreworks, and what’s next. Caroline is truly a casting director that is “actor positive.” She love working in a community of artists that share the same goals, and she offers some wonderful insight into the audition room that will help actors as well as aspiring casting directors. Oh and for those of you who know Caroline… Henry was there too.
This week we chat with Adam Kantor who is currently in previews of Fiddler On The Roof, playing the role of Motel. Adam talks about the challenges of finding his way in creating a role for an original Broadway revival. He also discusses traveling to Eastern Europe as both a personal journey as well as preparation for bringing more honesty to his portrayal of Motel. We also discuss reminding yourself that “You are enough,” even at times when you don’t feel that way. Adam offers a great example of this during his disastrous put-in rehearsal for his Broadway debut in Rent, when Michael Greif pulled him aside at intermission with some words of encouragement. Adam also discusses the role of mentors on his life, not being above an open call, and how it is good to be, “Always learning, always growing, always getting outside of yourself.”
Tom Wirtschafter currently is a Producer at the Barrow Street Theater, on the board at The Culture Project and the President of the Town Hall Foundation in New York City. He found himself in New York City with a minor from college in acting and after a month classes he went to his back up plan which landed him in a advertising job that sent him back to school for a MBA and pursued a career in the financial field. Tom now keeps his love of the theater alive on the producer side of the stage. We talk about; the day to day jobs of a producer, the financial considerations of producing a show, how to balance the box office with costs, advice to playwrights in getting their work produced, how audiences have changed or haven’t changed, the impact of social media on advertising and the legacy of Town Hall and it’s challenges for the future.
Nellie Beavers unravels the who’s who behind the scene on Broadway, from the assistant stage manager, company managers, conductor, music director to producer. She talks about auditions and what makes someone stand out, or get the job. Her answers might surprise you! She details many different stories from her experience in auditioning to being a stage manager and offers many gems of advice for anyone interested in pursuing a career on the Broadway stage.