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BWW Interview: Scott Galina Talks MCC Theater's Virtual MISCAST20 Featuring Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo & More

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MISCAST20 will be streaming on Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 8PM ET.

BWW Interview: Scott Galina Talks MCC Theater's Virtual MISCAST20 Featuring Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo & More

MCC Theater's Miscast gala celebration is one of the most anticipated events of the year in the theater world, featuring Broadway's biggest stars belting out songs from roles in which they would ordinarily never be cast.

This year, Miscast is being presented in a virtual format due to the ongoing health crisis, and the star-studded event will be bringing every bit of energy, excitement, and creativity directly into viewers homes, just when theater-lovers need it most!

Miscast20 will be featuring Norbert Leo Butz, Robert Fairchild, Ingrid Michaelson, Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo, Isaac Powell, Thomas Sadoski, Laura Bell Bundy, Kerry Butler, Harvey Fierstein, Beanie Feldstein, Rob McClure and so many more of Broadway's brightest stars - with a couple of surprise appearances to look forward to as well!

Funds raised from Miscast20 will help MCC Theater produce new work and support its Youth Company, as well as supporting The Mental Health Coalition, which will receive 10% of funds raised during the broadcast.

Miscast20 will also be featuring a raffle to win a table for 10 at Miscast 21 and a toast with the performers onstage after the show. Auction items available for online bidding this year include an hour-long Mentor Session with Ross Golan, creator of MCC's The Wrong Man. Raffle entry and bids can be placed here: https://one.bidpal.net/miscast20/welcome.

We spoke with Scott Galina, who is producing the gala alongside Bernie Telsey and MCC about the process of presenting this beloved event in a virtual format for the first time, what we can look forward to during the broadcast and so much more!

Be sure to tune into the broadcast via BroadwayWorld's Facebook page HERE!

For more information on Miscast20, visit: https://mcctheater.org/miscast20/


First off, let's talk about you and your work history!

I straddle a couple different worlds. Working at Telsey + Company casting is my day to day job. I'm Bernie [Telsey]'s executive assistant and I'm a casting associate there. Just through working with Bernie and knowing him and being absorbed into his world, we work on the Casting Society of America's Artios Awards every year, we do Miscast every year, this past year we did a celebrity game night with MCC. And then I'm also working on films or readings or helping Bernie's day to day keep moving, so there's a lot of weird stuff every day!

Walk me through the process of putting together the first virtual Miscast.

We kind of just decided to do it and hit the ground running and then it took shape as we were putting it together. I think we never could have imagined what it is now when we set out to do it, but I think we never could have imagined anything when we set out to do it. We just knew that we wanted to do something to commemorate Miscast, it's the 20th anniversary, and regardless of any anniversary it's something that I think a lot of people look forward to every year and artists love doing.

BWW Interview: Scott Galina Talks MCC Theater's Virtual MISCAST20 Featuring Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo & MoreAt so many points since mid-March, there's just been this craving from theater people to have something to all watch together that recaptures, as much as we can, going to the theater. So, we knew that's what we were trying to do, we were trying to celebrate MCC, we were trying to bring the Miscast that people know and love to everyone, and do it in a way that was enhanced by the technology and not shying away from the fact that this is virtual, this is digital, this is being recorded where people are, and [captures] what they're doing, and leaning into that. We just started out with those basic, guiding principles to dictate what we were going to do from there, and then it became very technical and very into "How do we make this happen?" and "What do we need to do to make this happen?" to make it be as good as possible and as high quality as possible and as full of surprises as possible and full of different songs and different pairings or groups, and different looks and vibes. And then we just set out to do it and it all fell together and is still falling together.

Talk to me about the format of MISCAST20, how was it filmed and what is it going to look like on screen? What can we expect?

Miscast in person at our live event is split up into two sections of the evening. Most people just know about the performances because that's what goes online after. But, as part of the night, the first half is a cocktail hour and dinner and presentations by and about MCC to an artist alumni, to an alumni of their youth company, kind of telling the audience a little bit about the company, what's gone on in the past year. And so, we knew that we wanted to not only do the twelve numbers that we traditionally do in the revue, but we wanted to make sure that we were folding MCC's story into it, and letting people know the company that's behind this event that everyone's gotten to know through these YouTube videos over the years and weaving that through.

So, it's twelve songs and all shot remotely, and it's connected by these amazing speakers and presenters who all have a connection and a history with MCC talking about the company, their history, the youth company, the different sections and facets of the company, the work that they do and have done in the past, but also virtually since March. It should be an hour and a half. All of the songs, now that we've seen all of them together, they really are all very different, in the way that they're shot, in the places that they're shot, in the way that we've edited them to look, it has everything that you're looking for in a musical theater revue.

What has it been like working with this incredible team of both onscreen talent and those behind the scenes to put together MISCAST20?

We never ran up against anyone who wasn't so game to do it, and who wasn't so BWW Interview: Scott Galina Talks MCC Theater's Virtual MISCAST20 Featuring Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo & Moreexcited to make it happen. In every department, every person who is working on this is really putting in so much effort and time, so much more than usual, everyone is having to do double the lifting. An artist who does Miscast usually, comes in and we set everything up and it's ready to go and they show up, they sing, we have everything ready for them, but here it's like, "We're mailing you a camera, a tripod, a mic, and a ring light, we're asking you to set it up, we're asking you to film yourself, we're asking you to upload that footage and wait for us to let you know if it works and if the quality is good enough, or if you have to re-record it." So, everyone really was a partner, it's a like a Little Village that put this together. And our tech crew is all around the country but keeping east coast hours because that's where Bernie and I are, but making all meetings work and shipping things to everyone and making sure that everyone has the right internet connection. There's so much minutia that goes into getting the easiest things done. All I can say is that we got so lucky by surrounding ourselves onscreen and off with amazing, selfless, really hardworking people.

Are there any surprises that you can hint at? Anything we might not know yet, or anything that you are especially excited for everyone to see?

We have people who aren't announced who are going to pop up throughout the broadcast. Obviously I know what everyone is singing, but no one knows what everyone is singing, and they all hold up against your favorite Miscast performance from the Hammerstein [Ballroom], these are going to be just as watched and just as exciting and just as amazing. There's so much that I'm so excited for people to see. I'm excited for people to have something to do. I'm excited for that feeling of being on Twitter, being on Instagram, texting with your friends, and having something that we're all watching together that celebrates what we love and are missing so much. That's what's keeping me so excited, the idea of all my friends who I know are going to be watching, and I would be watching to if I wasn't going to be on headset calling the show. The idea of everyone watching it play out in real time, and knowing enough about it going in, about these amazing performers that we have. To be so excited already, and how doubly exciting it's going to be when first you see what they're singing and you realize it just as they start, and then when the performance unfolds. It's going to be really exciting.

There's not a single theater geek out there who doesn't love watching these videos, and it's exactly what everybody needs right now!

What's so exciting is that this night, so different than the day after our normal Miscast when our videos go up on YouTube, all of those people are going to be a part of this night now. Everyone is invited to Miscast, it's for everyone, and it's not something that you're seeing the day after, it's not something you're seeing on Twitter, someone who was there telling you who sang the song, it's playing out in real time for everyone across the world. We have 10 million views on our top-viewed Miscast number, and we have multiple ones in the millions of views, so we know that there are people all over the world who know about these videos, who love these videos and who watch them, and we have to assume that they're desperate for this, and we're so excited to share it with everyone.

How does it feel to be able to produce such a beloved event virtually during a time when not that long ago, we weren't sure how something like this could be produced at all in a digital format?

It fills what we do every day with a lot of purpose and a lot of responsibility, in that we've seen on social media and we've from people that we've spoken to, people have been excited about this since the day we announced it, they've been looking forward to this, so we know we have to get it right. It's a great feeling to have it to work towards. It's not a normal day job, it's something that we have so much fun doing and we are so excited about, and we get more excited every day as we see it being put together and as we think of new ideas. So, it's been such a blessing every day to have this to work on, to be working on something that we know is hopeful and uplifting and will bring people joy, and is something that people need and are missing.


Be sure to tune into MISCAST20 below!


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