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A Conversation with Choreographer: Warren Carlyle

WC: When casting, I like to do something from the show. I like to do something that has the style of the numbers. We were looking for amazing character actors. With Drood, it was very important that they were all able to act through dance, not just perform dance steps. They had to have something going on inside them. They had to be a barmaid or they had to be a boy that was chasing a girl through the dance. They all had to be able to tell the story though the choreography and on top of the choreography.

TS: I’m wondering if you would talk about your response to the show when you first experienced it. What did you think it was about?

WC: That’s an interesting question. I really don’t know if I got that deep in my first impression. I thought it was very funny and original. I was quite taken by this group of players, this group of actors who are all reaching. They’re putting on a show that is a little beyond their means. It was Rupert who said to me that he thought this band of players he created was being a tad overzealous. I’m going to give them some dance steps that are a little beyond them. I think their choreographer was a bit ambitious. Truly, I don’t think there is one word or phrase that can accurately tell someone what this show is about. It’s magnificent! If I can bring to life even a quarter of what Rupert has written, I will be a very happy man.

TS: Is there any question you wish I had asked you about your work or the show that I didn’t ask?

WC: I am excited that The Mystery of Edwin Drood is being revived on Broadway.  It hasn’t been produced in New York for a very long time and it’s going to be a great show.  When you see Anna Louizos’ set, you’ll understand why I feel this way. She’s created a magical world. From the moment you walk into Studio 54, you’re going to be transported to a completely different place and time.

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Roundabout Theatre Company Roundabout Theatre Company is a not-for-profit theatre dedicated to providing a nurturing artistic home for theatre artists at all stages of their careers where the widest possible audience can experience their work at affordable prices. Roundabout fulfills its mission each season through the revival of classic plays and musicals; development and production of new works by established playwrights and emerging writers; educational initiatives that enrich the lives of children and adults; and a subscription model and audience outreach programs that cultivate loyal audiences.