THE FRIDAY SIX
Click Here for More Articles on THE FRIDAY SIX

THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As with Your Favorite Broadway Stars with Ensemble Studio Theatre's Marathon Playwrights, Series A!

Want to know what hooked your favorite Broadway stars to a career in the theater? Dying to know more about their dream roles? Their Broadway crushes? Every Friday afternoon, BroadwayWorld is bringing you THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As with the best of Broadway and beyond.

In this week's special edition, we caught up with playwrights from Ensemble Studio Theatre's Marathon of One-Act Plays. Series A features El Grande by Maggie Diaz Bofill, How My Grandparents Fell in Love by Cary Gitter, The Fork by Emily Chadick Weiss, Showtime Blues by France-Luce Benson, and Blue Handed by David Zellnik. For more information, visit: www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org


THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As with Your Favorite Broadway Stars with Ensemble Studio Theatre's Marathon Playwrights, Series A!MAGGIE DIAZ BOFILL
What is the first Broadway show you ever saw?
The first Broadway show ever saw was Les Miserables. I didn't know plays were completely sung. That's how I thought about it then. And I'd never seen a set change get applause. The scope of it blew my mind. Especially as I had just read Victor Hugo's novel. It kind of exploded the world of possibility wide open.

What is your most unique writing ritual?

I have whole conversations out loud - wherever I feel inspired to do it - between my characters - which I record on the phone. They often end up being what's on the page. I look like a crazy person but it works.

Do you have any memorable "the show must go on" moments?

So many. Once when I was acting the only light that was supposed to be on stage was a TV. It shown on me while I did my monologue it was a really cool effect. The chord fell out of its plug from the ceiling. I had to continue doing my monologue as I walked backstage to plug it into the dressing room which was just behind the set. I finished my monologue in front of the TV as it was supposed to be. People applauded. It was funny.

What are you working on next?

A play about my mom. And Cuba. And when she came from there with my dad and two sisters... She was kind of a beautiful force. She still is. Just from the Celestial Heights. Giving God an earful every day I'm sure.

Who is your Broadway or Off-Broadway crush?

Reed Birney

Where can people follow you online?

Facebook. Most active and recent.


THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As with Your Favorite Broadway Stars with Ensemble Studio Theatre's Marathon Playwrights, Series A!CARY GITTER

What is the first Broadway show you ever saw?
The hit revival of Guys and Dolls in the early '90s. My dad took me out of school to see a Wednesday matinee when I was 6. We were in the front row. Changed my life.
What is your most unique writing ritual?
I write all my first drafts longhand in a notebook-mostly in coffee shops and bars-and only then do I type them up.
Do you have any memorable "the show must go on" moments?
When I was a college intern at the Ensemble Studio Theatre back in 2008, I was driving some scenery downtown in a U-Haul truck when I swiped a parked car and took off its side-view mirror. I slammed on the brakes and looked in horror at Graeme Gillis, EST's associate artistic director, who was sitting in the passenger seat. He said, "Just keep driving." And I did.
What are you working on next?
I'm writing a full-length sequel to my Marathon one-act. My one-act is about my Jewish grandparents meeting in Poland in 1933, and the full-length is set 20 years later in Hoboken, New Jersey. It's a romantic comedy-drama about immigrants and their children in 1950s America.
Who is your Broadway or Off-Broadway crush?
Well, my favorite playwright in the whole wide world-and I know I'm far from alone here-is Annie Baker.
Where can people follow you online?
I'm not on social media, but here's my website: https://www.carygitter.com
And my work is also on the New Play Exchange: https://newplayexchange.org/users/8520/cary-gitter
What is the first Broadway show you ever saw?
Peter Pan.
What is your most unique writing ritual?
If I'm feeling jammed up, I'll relax via cute home decoration on Pinterest.
Do you have any memorable "the show must go on" moments?
Not as a playwright, but in college, I was performing in a circus act and the music stopped before my trapeze routine ended. I hope I'm never abandoned in the air in a leotard again.
What are you working on next?
A play about the year 2051 when families are given privileges over single people, the Zika virus has forced people to stay inside, and we still haven't elected a female President.
Who is your Broadway or Off-Broadway crush?
I think my husband Steven Boyer is pretty dreamy. I also have talent crushes on Philippa Soo and Sutton Foster!
Where can people follow you online?
Instagram @EmilyChadickWeiss
Twitter @EChadickWeiss
www.TheShareSitcom.com - featuring my web sitcom "The Share" starring Steven Boyer, William Jackson Harper, Robert Askins, Lucy DeVito, Maureen Sebastian, Katie Kreisler and more!
What is the first Broadway show you ever saw?

I believe it was Phantom of the Opera, but it might have been Born Yesterday. Both on the same trip to NY I took with my junior high Drama class.

What is your most unique writing ritual?

Don't know that I have a ritual that is unique. But sometimes I'll go to a muesum or look through an art book and try to experience the work from my character's perspective. I also keep something called a "resistance page"; which I use to keep me writing through resistance.

Do you have any memorable "the show must go on" moments?

Not really. I did have a production in which the lead actress fell off the stage. It was the last moment of the last performance of a 3 month run. It was terrifying. But the show did not go on. She went to the hospital and everyone went home. Thankfully, she is fine now.

What are you working on next?

I'm completing a two part full length play about the Haitian Revolution called Deux Femmes on the Edge de la Revolution. I am also collaborating with SteveBroadnax III on a full length version of Showtime Blues.

Who is your Broadway or Off-Broadway crush?

Leslie Odom Jr.

Where can people follow you online?

On FB - France-Luce Benson
Twitter: @francelucebenso


THE FRIDAY SIX: Q&As with Your Favorite Broadway Stars with Ensemble Studio Theatre's Marathon Playwrights, Series A!David Zellnik

What is the first Broadway show you ever saw?

Technically, "Barnum." But when I saw the original Broadway touring company production of "Sweeney Todd" in Philadelphia with George Hearn and Angela Lansbury at age 9 (my mom brought me to "Sweeney Todd." At age 9! Thanks mom!) it changed my life.

What is your most unique writing ritual?

I love to go somewhere in the city I've never been and find a place where it seems like I know no one and no one knows me, and write in a restaurant or café. If I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by people speaking a different language all the better. If it's another country then it's the best. I like the public feeling of writing in a café or restaurant. It feels closer to what it is to ask for people's attention in a theatre.

Do you have any memorable "the show must go on" moments?

Three days before my musical "Yank!" opened Off Broadway we cut a song, integrated a new one, and opened with it! Director Igor Goldin and choreographer Jeffry Denman routined it perfectly - it involved a ton of tap dancing - and the cast hit it out of the park.

What are you working on next?

Lots! Finished a new musical "Ruth and the Panda" with my brother, composer Joe Zellnik. It's inspired by the true story of a 30s New York socialite who succeeded at what no man had done: getting the first live panda out of China, setting off a worldwide craze that I would argue we are still in. I've also in rewrites for a play about three friends in Berlin and later New York called "The Letters," which traces their lives over 14 years through their shared fascination with Proto-Indo-European, the language from 6000 years ago that gave birth to English, German, Greek, Hindi, Persian, Celtic, etc. And I'm in the midst of creating the project, "Break the Wall" with my friend and collaborator Ismail Khalidi. It's an open source web site for diverse writers to create short, sharp plays that wrestle with Palestine/Israel, that can be downloaded for free and performed anywhere.

Who is your Broadway or Off-Broadway crush?

Jenn Colella. Mia Barron. Chekhov.

Where can people follow you online?

Twitter: @DavidZellnik

Related Articles







More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram
   



  SHARE