BWW TV Exclusive: Meet the Nominees- Robert Askins and Moritz von Stuelpnagel- 'I'm Running for President of Broadway!'
We are yet another day closer to the biggest night on every theatre-lover's calendar- the 69th Annual Tony Awards, which will be co-hosted by Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming on Sunday, June 7 (8PM on CBS). Earlier this month, the 2015 Tony nominees gathered to meet the press and BroadwayWorld was on hand for the big day. Below, we bring you an exclusive interview with Robert Askins and Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Best Play and Best Direction of a Play nominee for Hand to God.
Robert was born in Cypress, Texas in 1980. He moved to New York in 2005. In 2009 his play Princes of Waco was produced by EST/Youngblood. His one act play Matthew and the Pastor's Wife was a part of Marathon 2010 at EST and The Love Song of the Albanian Sous Chef won a Dallas Outer Circle Critics award in 2011. Most recently Rob's Obie Award-winning playHand to God enjoyed three sold-out runs at EST in 2011-12 followed by a 2014 engagement of the play at MCC Theater. Mr. Askins is proud to be an alumnus of I-73, Youngblood, and a member of The Ensemble Studio Theatre. He has received two E.S.T./Sloan grants, an Arch and Bruce Davis Award and is one of the 2012 recipients of the Helen Merrill Award for emerging playwrights. His next play,Permission, will premiere Off-Broadway at MCC Theater in Spring 2015.
Moritz previously directed the EST and MCC productions of Hand to God. He is the Artistic Director of Studio 42. New York directing credits include Ensemble Studio Theatre, Ars Nova, Rising Phoenix Rep, poortom, Red Fern, FringeNYC, Vital, Drama League, Culture Project, Chashama, HERE, and others. Regional: Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Kennedy Center, Millbrook Playhouse, American Stage Festival, Red Barn, Allentown Shakespeare, and Boston Playwrights. Moritz has also helped develop new plays at the Lark, NYTW, Playwrights Horizons, Vineyard Theatre, Dramatists Guild, Ma-Yi, the Kennedy Center, New River Dramatists, Partial Comfort, 2G, TBTB, Williamstown, Astoria Performing Arts Center and Young Playwrights. He is a frequent collaborator with the Youngblood writers' collective at EST. He was the associate director for Broadway's Tony-nominated Cry-Baby. He has been a Resident Director at Playwrights Horizons, The Acting Company, and the Huntington Theatre Company.
The hilarious and provocative Hand to God centers on shy, inquisitive student Jason, who finds an outlet for his burgeoning creativity at the Christian Puppet Ministry in the devoutly religious, relatively quiet small town of Cypress, Texas. Jason's complicated relationships with the town pastor, the school bully, the girl next door and-most especially-his mother are thrown into further upheaval when Jason's hand puppet Tyrone-once soft-spoken-takes on a shocking and dangerously irreverent personality all its own. As Tyrone's influence over Jason steadily grows, Hand to God explores the startlingly fragile nature of faith, morality, and the ties that bind us.
Don't forget to tune in to BroadwayWorld for Broadway's biggest night, the 69th Annual Tony Awards. The stars will align at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 7, 2015 and we'll be bringing you exclusive, live photos, videos and blogs of everything that's happening from the red carpet to the winners' room; the pre-show ceremony to the after parties. We'll be there for it all, and there's no better place for comprehensive coverage this Sunday than BroadwayWorld! Don't forget to tweet us pics of your Tony Awards party using #BWWTonys!?