The Producer's Perspective Podcast with Ken Davenport

By Ken Davenport

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Ken Davenport's popular blog, TheProducersPerspective.com, is now a podcast! On each episode, Tony Award Winning Broadway Producer Ken Davenport interviews a Broadway industry professional to get their perspective on The Great White Way. Collectively, guests on The Producer's Perspective Podcast have won 76 Tony Awards, 12 Grammy Awards, 7 Academy Awards, 5 Emmy Awards, and 1 Pulitzer Prize.

Episode Date
195 – Stephanie Lee
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Stephanie Lee, born into the family business, has worked her way through just about every position in the company! Now, as CEO/President, Stephanie has the unique advantage of being able to offer her team and clients more than 20 years of hands-on experience and knowledge of group trips to Broadway. This week’s #SongwriterOfTheWeek is Ryan Scott ... read more
Sep 22, 2019
194 – Mark Sendroff
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Mark Sendroff started his law career at the firm of Bomser & Oppenheim in 1975 and moved to the firm of Gottlieb, Schiff, Ticktin & Sternklar in 1979, eventually becoming a partner until that firm’s dissolution in 1995, at which time he founded Sendroff & Associates, P.C. In January 2007, he and entertainment lawyer, Jason Baruch, ... read more
Sep 16, 2019
193 – Julie Halston
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This week’s #SongwriterOfTheWeek is Zack Zadek! If you enjoyed the outro music in this episode, go on over to www.ZackZadek.com for more tunes. This episode is sponsored by Sunlight Studios. Use the code DAVENPORT by October 10 to save on renting studio space. Keep up with me: @KenDavenportBway This podcast was edited by Stanley Wiercinski.  www.theproducersperspective.com 
Sep 09, 2019
192 – Chad Beguelin
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Chad, the multi-talented and multi-nominated book writer/lyricist of shows like Aladdin, The Wedding Singer, Elf, and this season’s breakout original hit, The Prom, talks about his experience with failure, writing original musicals versus adaptations, and how to have confidence as a writer. We are taking a break on this podcast! Don’t worry . . . ... read more
Jun 03, 2019
191 – Warren Carlyle
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Kiss Me Kate‘s Warren Carlyle, nominated this season for Best Choreography, talks about how his dance journey started, what made him hang up his dance belt and turn to choreography, and his transition from the West End to Broadway.
May 27, 2019
190 – Paul Gordon
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Check out this week’s podcast featuring composer and lyricist Paul Gordon. He discusses how his successful career writing pop songs eventually led him to Daddy Long Legs and Jane Eyre, how he gets his ideas, and why he started StreamingMusicals.com.
May 20, 2019
189 – Robert Horn
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Robert Horn, the writer behind the show nominated for 11 Tony Awards this season (including Best Book of a Musical!), talks Tootsie and more. Through his experience writing for both TV and on Broadway, he has learned what makes something funny and exactly how to find it.
May 13, 2019
188 – Josh Bergasse
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Josh Bergasse, who earned On the Town a Tony nomination for Best Choreography, talks about his history with dance, how he creates his own luck, and how to work through pressure. Plus, he lets us in on his creative process and discusses why choreographers should be engaged early on in musicals.
May 10, 2019
187 – Michael Mayer
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In this episode, Michael Mayer talks about his experience directing Tony-award winning shows, including Thoroughly Modern Millie, Spring Awakening, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Michael also discusses how after all that, he can still feel like a fraud, and how he gets through those feelings when starting a new show.
Apr 29, 2019
186 – Dominique Morisseau
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Check out this episode of the podcast featuring Playwright, Dominique Morisseau. Listen to her talk about why she’s cautiously optimistic about where we are and where we’re headed with diversity in the arts, why she doesn’t read reviews, and her take on the term “emerging artist.”
Apr 22, 2019
185 – Julia Jordan
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Listen to Playwright and gender parity advocate Julia Jordan chat about why she thinks about her audience when she writes, the shocking statistics about gender in the theater, what Broadway means to her, and more!
Apr 14, 2019
184 – Jason Moore
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This week on the podcast, Jason Moore talks about the fastest path to success for a Director, what Broadway and Hollywood can learn from each other, what it’s like to direct a bio-musical, and more!
Apr 08, 2019
184 – Meryl Streep
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This week’s episode features 3 time Academy Award Winner, Meryl Streep. Give it a listen to hear Meryl talk about how she chooses material, the importance of playing a diverse set of roles, and why she would consider starring in a revival of Mamma Mia! 
Apr 01, 2019
183 – Jennifer Tepper
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This week on the podcast, Jennifer Tepper talks about what her dream job is, how she got started producing, and more!
Mar 25, 2019
182 – Jason Alexander
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This week’s episode features Jason Alexander. Check it out to hear all about how he got his start acting, what Broadway can learn from the film industry, and how actors play a part in the creation of a TV show, play, or musical.
Mar 18, 2019
181 – Hillary Blanken
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Hillary Blanken joins this week to talk about what the best directors do during previews, being a woman in a backstage world dominated by men, and much more!
Mar 11, 2019
180 – Stephen Oremus
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This week, Stephen Oremus chats with Ken about how working with Lada Gaga differs from working with Stephen Schwartz, his role in the creative process, and much, MUCH more!
Mar 04, 2019
179 – Joan Marcus
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On this week’s episode, Joan talks about the keys to a great theater photo, keeping up with tech in the arts, and much more! Check it out!
Feb 25, 2019
178- Sean Cercone
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Broadway Licensing President Sean Cercone discusses the most important characteristics of a popular show in the high school market, how to market a show for licensing, and more!
Feb 18, 2019
177- Tom Viertel
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On this week’s podcast, Tom Viertel discusses the most important skill a Producer can have, what real estate and Broadway producing have in common, and much more!
Feb 11, 2019
176- Maury Yeston
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In Episode 176 of the Podcast, Maury Yeston talks about how critics have changed, the most important thing he learned in his decades with the Lehman Engel BMI Workshop, and more!
Feb 04, 2019
175 – Ryan Scott Oliver
0:00
This week on the podcast, Ryan Scott Oliver talks about his pros and cons for grad school, why and how he founded his Actor Training Program Actor Therapy with Broadway Star Lindsay Mendez, and more!
Jan 28, 2019
174 – Alfred Uhry
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Alfred Uhry discusses his process of sitting down and writing, how he kept writing after a couple of big Broadway disasters, and more in this week’s Producer’s Perspective podcast.
Jan 21, 2019
173 – David Chase
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David Chase sits in a very unique musical position on Broadway shows, as the #1 Dance Arranger on Broadway. Listen to David explain what a Dance Arranger does anyway, why composers don’t have to read or write music to compose a show and more in this musical masterclass!
Jan 14, 2019
172 – Sierra Boggess
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Listen to actress Sierra Boggess talk about The Little Mermaid, why she bounced back and forth between mega-musicals, and more in this week’s podcast!
Jan 07, 2019
171 – Paula Wagner
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Ken chats with Broadway AND Hollywood Super Producer, Paula Wagner about the skills she learned as an agent that help her be a better Producer, why Pretty Woman was made to be a musical and why it’s doing what she thought it would (gross over $1mm a week!), and much more!
Dec 17, 2018
170 – Max Grossman
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Listen to Max Grossman, Literary Agent, discuss how he finds new writers, the art of negotiating as an agent, and more in this week’s podcast.
Dec 10, 2018
169 – Rachel Chavkin
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Director Rachel Chavkin discusses why she doesn’t like to give advice, why she’s okay with a messy rehearsal process, and more in this week’s podcast!
Dec 03, 2018
168 – Bobby Longbottom
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Tony-nominated Director Bobby Longbottom talks about how he made the transition from one career to another inside the Broadway biz, how he convinced people to give him a shot, and more in this week’s podcast.
Nov 26, 2018
167 – Jack Viertel
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Hear Jack Viertel talk about how working as a critic made him a better producer, the changing role of the theater owner, what made him want to give all this up years ago, and much, much more on this week’s podcast.
Nov 19, 2018
166 – Kristen Blodgette
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Hear Kristen Blodgette define what a musical director does, what she thinks of shrinking Broadway orchestras, why she doesn’t write, and more.
Nov 12, 2018
165 – Kirsten Childs
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Kirsten Childs, writer of The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, shares how she transitioned from a career as an actress to that of a writer, how we are doing with diversity in the theater, and more.
Oct 29, 2018
164 – Michael Greif
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Michael Greif, director of Rent, Next to Normal, Dear Evan Hansen, and more, discusses how he started his career, what changed about Dear Evan Hansen since the first reading, and more.
Oct 22, 2018
163 – Daniel Goldfarb
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Listen to playwright Daniel Goldfarb chat about NYU vs. Julliard, why he writes at coffee shops, how he was discovered, the importance of critics, and more.
Oct 15, 2018
162 – Michael John LaChiusa
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Listen to five time Tony nominated writer Michael John LaChiusa reveal what gets him interested in a project, what he tells his students at NYU most often about writing, how feels about being a Tony Nominator, and more.
Oct 08, 2018
161 – Richard Maltby
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Listen to Tony Award-Winner Richard Maltby Jr. talk about curating revues, working as a lyricist, and advice for new writers.
Oct 01, 2018
160 – Joe Iconis
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Be More Chill composer and lyricist Joe Iconis chats about how the album went viral, why he works with the same “crew” on so many of his shows, how he dealt with the disappointment of his first show not going as far as he thought, and more.
Sep 24, 2018
159 – David Auburn
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Hear David Auburn, writer of one of the longest running plays of the last few decades (Proof), discuss why thinks it was so successful, why he enjoys directing other people’s work, but not his own, where he gets his ideas, and more.
Sep 17, 2018
158 – John Weidman
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3 Time Tony-Nominated Book Writer, John Weidman discusses how law school helped him become a better playwright, collaborating with Sondheim, and more!
Sep 10, 2018
157 – Rebecca Taichman
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Tony Award-Winner Rebecca Taichman discusses balancing life as a director, her rehearsals, and whether or not being a female director has changed with the times.
Jun 04, 2018
156 – David Lindsay-Abaire
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Pulitzer Prize-Winner, David Lindsay-Abaire, discusses what led him to become a playwright, and how he’s kept his skills honed for all these years.
May 21, 2018
155 – Nelle Nugent
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Nelle Nugent, one of Broadway’s most prolific play Producers, discusses her life as a woman in a male-dominant industry, how she worked her way to the top, and much more!
May 07, 2018
154 – Lisa Kron
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Lisa Kron, Tony Award Winning Writer, discusses why her early writing horrified her and how she got better, how performing stand-up helped hone her stage writing, and more.
Apr 23, 2018
153 – Warren Leight
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Warren Leight, Tony Winner & Pulitzer Prize Finalist and Showrunner, discusses how a lie about loving horror movies led to him writing one . . . and why you might want to fib a little too, why he binge writes, and more.
Apr 09, 2018
151 – Michael Korie
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Michael Korie, Tony Nominated Lyricist, discusses why he never speaks his lyrics out loud when working with a composer on a song, why he does so much research for his shows and why you should too, and more.
Mar 26, 2018
150 – Danny Burstein
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Danny Burstein, Six-Time Tony Award Nominated Actor, discusses why he thinks of himself like a Plumber, when Writers and Directors should listen to Actors and why, and more.
Mar 12, 2018
149 – Charles LaPointe
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Charles LaPointe, Broadway Hair and Wig Designer, discusses how he learned by doing, not by studying, and why this is important no matter WHAT you want to do in life, from making wigs to making musicals, where they get all the hair for these wigs, and more.
Feb 26, 2018
148 – Sergio Trujillo
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Sergio Trujillo, Tony Nominated Choreographer, discusses how he got the courage to audition for a dance show, having never taken a dance class in his life, his message to the politicians in NYC, and more.
Feb 12, 2018
147 – Walter Bobbie
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Walter Bobbie, Tony Award Winning Director, discusses how he knew he wasn’t long for life as an actor, the importance of a “safe room” for his actors on any play, and more.
Jan 29, 2018
146 – Sheryl Kaller
0:00
Sheryl Kaller, Tony-nominated Director, discusses what Bob Fosse “fought for” in his direction, and how that inspired her, how she never felt like a female Director while she was in school . . . but only when she got into the business, and how that has changed (or not) since then, and more.
Jan 22, 2018
145 – Jonathan Lomma
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Jonathan Lomma, Powerhouse Literary Agent to the Stars, discusses his theory of how musicals changed after 2001, how an emerging writer gets on his radar, and more.
Jan 14, 2018
144 – Pam MacKinnon
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Pam MacKinnon, Tony Award-Winning Director, discusses how she went from pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science to a career in directing, why Broadway shows not slated for Broadway that end up there have an advantage, and more.
Jan 08, 2018
143 – Catherine Zuber
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Catherine Zuber, Six-Time Tony Award Winning Costume Designer, discusses how she was terrible at sewing when she started . . . and that did NOT impact her ability to design, why her favorite costumes aren’t the most beautiful, and more.
Dec 18, 2017
142 – Jerry Zaks
0:00
Jerry Zaks, Four-Time Tony Award Winner, discusses how he agreed to direct a show even though he didn’t know what directing really was, the best advice he ever got, which made him change his attitude overnight, and more.
Dec 11, 2017
141 – Doug Hughes
0:00
Doug Hughes, Tony Award-winning Director, discusses why his research for plays gets him a lot of frequent flyer miles, how directing a play is like a lawyer trying a case, and more.
Dec 04, 2017
140 – Mark Hoebee
0:00
Mark Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director of the Paper Mill Playhouse, discusses what Broadway had to do with the Paper Mill’s recession, working with commercial producers on out-of-town tryouts, and more.
Nov 27, 2017
139 – Mike Rafael
0:00
Mike Rafael, Broadway Ticketing Analyst, discusses why he learned what he knows from working Off-Broadway, how the price of your ticket tells a story about your show, and more.
Nov 20, 2017
138- Kwame Kwei-Armah
0:00
Kwame Kwei-Armah, discusses, how a political point influences all his writing . . . and then why he hides it, what the @#$% can we ALL do about diversity, and more.
Nov 13, 2017
137 – Trip Cullman
0:00
Trip Cullman, Broadway and Off Broadway Director, discusses why the first thing he does when he takes a job is make a mixtape, the super-secret, age-old blocking technique that you’ve got to try, and more.
Nov 06, 2017
136 – Carl Pasbjerg
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Carl Pasbjerg, Broadway General Manager AND Producer, discusses accountability . . . why he prides himself on it, and why it’s necessary, the first thing he does when he builds a budget, and more.
Oct 30, 2017
135 – Kyle Jarrow
0:00
Kyle Jarrow, SpongeBob the Musical Bookwriter, discusses how he got the job for SpongeBob (a process different than most musicals), how an idea informs what medium you should write it for, and more.
Oct 23, 2017
134 – Pat Cook
0:00
Pat Cook, BMI’s Director of Musical Theatre, discusses the best way to collaborate with your co-writer, what makes a great musical theater writer, versus just a great writer, and more.
Oct 16, 2017
133 – Jonathan Rand
0:00
Jonathan Rand, one of the most produced playwrights on the planet, discusses how entering a contest kicked-off his writing career, how a couple lines of HTML and ZERO expectations changed his life, and more.
Oct 09, 2017
132 – David Korins
0:00
David Korins, Broadway Set Designer, discusses the key to success while a show is in previews, the #1 skill that a designer needs, and more.
Oct 02, 2017
131 – Kelly Leonard
0:00
Kelly Leonard, Executive Vice President of Second City Chicago, discusses what improv is great at . . . and where it fails, how improv has changed in the era of Political Correctness, and more.
Sep 25, 2017
130 – Michael Passaro
0:00
Michael Passaro, Production Stage Manager, discusses the best thing to learn if you want to be a Stage Manager, the role of the Stage Manager in the creative development process, and more.
Sep 18, 2017
129 – Tom Kitt
0:00
Tom Kitt, Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award Winner, discusses, how to choose an idea to turn into a musical, why he isn’t on social media, and more.
Sep 11, 2017
128 – Chris Jones
0:00
Chris Jones, The Chief Theater Critic for the Chicago Tribune, discusses, how he deals with “Critic Fatigue,” the role of the audience in the writer’s process, and more.
Sep 04, 2017
127 – Chazz Palminteri
0:00
Chazz Palminteri, Author, Academy Award Nominee, and Art-repreneur, discusses how he had to talk a mob guy out of taking out a guy he was understudying, why he turned down an offer for one MILLION dollars for the rights to his story, and more.
Aug 28, 2017
126 – Randy Buck
0:00
Randy Buck, CEO of The Troika Organization, discusses when you should plan your national tour, can a show go on the road without a Broadway brand, and more
Aug 21, 2017
125 – David Javerbaum
0:00
David Javerbaum, 13-Time Emmy Award Winner and Tony Nominated Writer, discusses what he thinks about the current state of comedy on Broadway, the role of irony in writing, and more.
Aug 14, 2017
124 – Scott Elliott
0:00
Scott Elliott, Artistic Director of the New Group, discusses why The New Group doesn’t want a Broadway Theater, what happened to commercial Off Broadway, and more.
Aug 07, 2017
123 – Irene Sankoff and David Hein
38:29
Irene Sankoff and David Hein, discuss why they became musical theater writers solely to spend more time together, the Rules they have as a writing team to make sure they stay married…and stay writing together, and more.
Jul 31, 2017
122 – Sara Fitzpatrick
40:22
Sara Fitzpatrick, Digital Marketing Guru for Broadway (and beyond), discusses how she learned marketing from managing her dad’s restaurant, what she learned about selling theater tickets by setting up a booth in Malls on Long Island, and more.
Jul 24, 2017
121 – Don Scardino
33:04
Don Scardino, Broadway and Hollywood Actor/Director/Producer, discusses how he literally knocked on doors to get his start in the biz, why NOT getting the lead in a show ultimately led him to the career he has now, and more.
Jul 17, 2017
120 – Lia Vollack
31:18
Lia Vollack, President of Sony’s Columbia Live Stage, discusses how being terrified as a child led her to fall in love with the theater, what Broadway can learn from the way Hollywood tests its products, and more.
Jul 10, 2017
119 – Robert Fried
33:28
Robert Fried, Broadway Accountant, discusses the one skill that separates some Producers from others, what’s next for tax legislation on Broadway, and more
Jul 03, 2017
118 – Nancy Gibbs
33:11
Nancy Gibbs, Tony Award Winning Broadway Producer & General Manager, discusses why she won’t commission a show, the secret to increasing a show’s subsidiary value, and more.
Jun 26, 2017
117 – Eva Price
33:12
Eva Price, four-time Tony nominated Producer, discusses why she’s glad her first show only ran 6 weeks and did NOT succeed, how she raised the very first money she ever raised . . . with a COLD call, and more.
Jun 05, 2017
116 – Rob Ashford
34:43
Rob Ashford, Tony, Olivier and Emmy Award winning Director/Choreographer, discusses how he started dancing when he was 20, why it’s a natural progression for Choreographers to become Directors, and more.
May 01, 2017
115 – Scott Ellis
35:41
Scott Ellis, Tony Nominated Director, discusses why he loves to say, “I don’t know” during rehearsals, why he believes casting is 70% of a Director’s job, and more.  
Apr 03, 2017
114 – Sean Flahaven
47:00
Sean Flahaven, CEO of The Musical Company, discusses How working in politics helped him start a conversation with Stephen Sondheim, why he felt an MFA was important to his future career, and more.    
Mar 06, 2017
113 – Kathleen Marshall
32:02
Kathleen Marshall, Tony Award winning Director/Choreographer, discusses the downside of long-running shows on Broadway, why non-profit and commercial theater are more similar than not, and more.  
Feb 27, 2017
112 – Matt Sklar
34:34
Matt Sklar, Tony Nominated Composer, discusses what the Mickey Mouse Club had to do with the beginning of his composition career, what he does while he waits for shows to get Broadway theaters, and more.
Feb 20, 2017
111 – Derek McLane
26:15
Derek McLane, Broadway Set Designer, discusses why a fish tank led to his career in design, the one piece of advice that got him accepted into the Yale School of Drama, and more.
Feb 13, 2017
110 – Neil Pepe
36:41
Neil Pepe, Artistic Director of the Atlantic Theater Company, discusses what he worries about with about current political administration, why he doesn’t fill one of his season’s slots on purpose, and more.
Feb 06, 2017
109 – Stacey Mindich
29:22
Stacey Mindich, Tony Award Winning Producer, discusses how being an Editor for a major magazine helped prepare her for a career as a Broadway Producer, how one lunch eight years ago led to Dear Evan Hansen, and more.  
Jan 30, 2017
108 – Glenn Slater
31:45
Glenn Slater, three-time Tony Nominee, discusses how working in advertising made him a better writer, why he never listens to the cast recordings of his shows, and more.
Jan 23, 2017
107 – Beowulf Boritt
38:14
Beowulf Boritt, Tony Award Winning Set Designer, discusses how The Lord of the Rings inspired him to be a designer, the difference between designing a musical or a play, and more.
Jan 16, 2017
106 – Natasha Katz
27:40
Natasha Katz, Six-Time Tony Award Winning Lighting Designer, discusses how a simple internship unexpectedly lit the way to her career, why she and all lighting designers have to be chameleons, and more.
Jan 09, 2017
105 – The Rego Brothers
37:41
The Rego Brothers, Tony Award Winning Producers and Entrepreneurs,  discuss how producing a show that didn’t work, led them to produce Urinetown, what they learned about merchandise from hanging out in a grocery store as kids, and more.  
Jan 02, 2017
104 – Jerry Mitchell
31:47
Jerry Mitchell, Tony Award Winning Director/Choreographer, discusses, how he transitioned from an almost naked-dancing Indian to a choreographer and how his mentors  (You know, people like Bennet and Robbins) responded, why he actually enjoys previews, and more.  
Dec 26, 2016
103 – Heather Hitchens
26:34
Heather Hitchens, CEO of the American Theatre Wing, discusses how she transitioned from behind a drum set to behind the American Theatre Wing, three things she looks for when deciding whether or not to give an organization money, and more.
Dec 19, 2016
102 – Howard Sherman
42:01
Howard Sherman, Arts Administrator, discusses what NY Producers can learn from Regional Theaters, why Movie Studios coming to Broadway may very well be a good, good thing, and more.
Dec 12, 2016
101 – Kenny Leon
35:36
Kenny Leon, Broadway Director, discusses why all Directors should try their hand at acting, what he did when a teacher told him he shouldn’t be a Director, and more.
Dec 05, 2016
100 – David Stone
36:36
David Stone, Broadway Producer, discusses the moment he knew Wicked was going to be a hit, the advice he got from the industry after his FIRST Broadway show closed in only one week, and more.
Nov 28, 2016
99 – Chris Herzberger
34:43
Chris Herzberger, VP of Live Theatricals for Universal, discusses why he gave up acting to pursue a producing career, will TV shows inspire the next wave of Broadway shows, and more.
Nov 21, 2016
98 – Alex Timbers
37:39
Alex Timbers, Tony Nominated Director, discusses what a right-wing Christian preacher has to do with his success, how he matches up the people he wants to work with, with the projects he’s working on, and more.
Nov 14, 2016
97 – Jack O’Brien
37:39
Jack OBrien, Tony Award Winning Director, discusses what losing his hair had to do with his directing career, why he believes his job is to get out of the way, and how not getting a directing gig taught him so much about how to get one, and more.
Nov 07, 2016
96 – Andrew Lippa
49:05
Andrew Lippa, Composer, Lyricist, and more, discusses what Edward Albee taught him about writing, his work as The President of the Dramatists Guild Fund, and why it’s important to writers, and more.
Oct 31, 2016