BWW Turns its Spotlight on Vegas: A Chat with Michael Gill
RD: Let's start, if you don't mind, with some basic questions for the people who might not know who you are...
RD: What first got you interested in theatre?
MG: Oh my God...I've never thought about this question, but let me take a second. It was something that I was always attracted to, interestingly enough, never on the performance side, but always on the back stage side. When I was a kid my parents took me up to see the '64-'65 World's Fair and then we saw Golden Boy with Sammy Davis Jr., at the Majestic Theatre. All I remember about it is that I was 6 or 7 at the time and I didn't want to go, because in those days you got very dressed up to go to the theater. When we arrived, the thing that stood out in that show for me was that there was a playground set where everything was on track from the floor and so a swing came from stage left and a sliding board came up from stage right and something else came on from upstage, and they all sort of collided magically. I knew that it wasn't being pushed on by a person because you couldn't see anybody but it all sort of happened, and I pondered that moment for months after that. I would say that if I had to point to any one thing, that would have probably sparked my interest as much as anything.
RD: Were you raised in the New York area?
MG: I was raised in the Amish country of Pennsylvania.
RD: Where did you go to school?
MG: I went to the local public school, local high school and then I went to Syracuse University for my Bachelors Degree.
RD: Me too.
MG: You did?
MG: There you go. I actually graduated from the Newhouse School in Television and Radio. How about you?
RD: I graduated from the Information Management School. So, that was your major there?
MG: Yes, Television and Radio production.
RD: How did you end up getting from there into theatre management?
MG: Well actually, even though I was in TV/Radio, I always intended to go into theatre on the management side. When I was in college in the late 70s there wasn't a producing or management degree back then, like there is now. There was a theatre management class, and I think that was about it, so the television degree gave me a lot more marketing and advertising classes and things I was interested in. While I was in college I got a job working at on the stage crew at Valley Forge Music Fair, quite close to where I grew up.