Cover image of ATW - Downstage Center
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Arts
Performing Arts

ATW - Downstage Center

Updated 2 days ago

Arts
Performing Arts
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The American Theatre Wing presents Downstage Center a weekly theatrical interview show, featuring the top artists working in theatre, both on and Off-Broadway and around the country.

Read more

The American Theatre Wing presents Downstage Center a weekly theatrical interview show, featuring the top artists working in theatre, both on and Off-Broadway and around the country.

iTunes Ratings

43 Ratings
Average Ratings
40
3
0
0
0

Where have you gone!?

By Kbizzle9 - Aug 31 2014
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I love the podcast… I want more!

Very intersting & informed discussion

By Tobiwan23 - Mar 01 2008
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Great questions by the hosts...terrific guests & quite timely!

iTunes Ratings

43 Ratings
Average Ratings
40
3
0
0
0

Where have you gone!?

By Kbizzle9 - Aug 31 2014
Read more
I love the podcast… I want more!

Very intersting & informed discussion

By Tobiwan23 - Mar 01 2008
Read more
Great questions by the hosts...terrific guests & quite timely!
Cover image of ATW - Downstage Center

ATW - Downstage Center

Updated 2 days ago

Read more

The American Theatre Wing presents Downstage Center a weekly theatrical interview show, featuring the top artists working in theatre, both on and Off-Broadway and around the country.

Rank #1: Allison Janney (#230) - August, 2009

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"9 to 5" star Allison Janney talks about her transformation into a musical comedy performer, and why the dancing didn't worry her but the singing did. She also discusses her theatrical education at Kenyon College, the Neighborhood Playhouse and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts; what it was like to be directed in her very first college show by Paul Newman and her subsequent tutelage under mentor Joanne Woodward; her challenge in finding an agent; what an aptitude test said she was most suited for professionally; how the movie "Hoosiers" helped her conquer her fear of making her Broadway debut opposite Frank Langella in "Present Laughter"; why she's not a Shakespeare aficionado in general and why we'll never again see her performing in Central Park, where she starred in "The Taming of the Shrew"; how "The West Wing"'s "walk and talk" sequences reminded her of theatre; and "the truth" about how she scarred Anthony LaPaglia for life when they appeared on Broadway in "A View from the Bridge". Original air date - August 17, 2009.

Aug 17 2009

51mins

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Rank #2: Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti (#350) - October, 2012

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Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti from "Once" talk about their Tony Award-winning musical and the successful run its enjoyed since its beginnings at the New York Theatre Workshop, their favorite songs, staying focused, and, what other Broadway shows they want to see.

Oct 31 2012

29mins

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Rank #3: Recording Cast Albums (#35) December, 2004

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The challenging business decisions that decide whether you get to hear your favorite musicals on CD is the topic of a roundtable discussion with three experts in the field of cast album recording: Kurt Deutsch of Sh-K-Boom & Ghostlight Records, Brian Drutman of Decca/Universal, and Bill Rosenfield, consultant to RCA-BMG. Original air date - December 24, 2004.

Sep 26 2006

58mins

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Rank #4: Sir Ian McKellen (#290) - October, 2010

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One of the greatest classical actors of his generation, Sir Ian McKellen reflects on his more than 50 years on stage, explaining that he's really only qualified to voice his opinion on two topics: gay issues and theatre. He talks about the recent production of "Waiting for Godot" in which he played opposite Patrick Stewart in London, then Roger Rees in both London and Australia, and which he'd happily perform in yet again (and wonders what the production would have been like had director Sean Mathias have received approval for McKellen's originally proposed co-star, Dame Judi Dench); why he feels that despite performing it in venues around the world, he never really "cracked" the role of "King Lear" and would like to try again; offers his first thoughts on recalling such roles as Iago, Macbeth, Richard II and Richard III; explains the British system which allowed him to move into a professional career quickly after his university days despite having no formal acting training; how he found himself on Broadway with Ian McShane and Eileen Atkins -- only six years after graduating from university -- in a Russian play that was a big English hit but a U.S. flop; explores the experience of playing the leading role in "Bent" in both the original production, prior to coming out publicly, and playing it again 10 years later after he had declared his sexuality; and why without his Broadway performance in "Amadeus", which was entirely the result of Paul Scofield declining to play it in the U.S. and McKellen having gone to school with Peter Hall, he might not even be sitting for a Downstage Center interview. Original air date - October 20, 2010.

Oct 20 2010

1hr 2mins

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Rank #5: Neil Patrick Harris and Marc Kudisch (#5) May, 2004

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Co-conspirators Neil Patrick Harris and Marc Kudisch consider their roles in the oft-delayed Broadway premiere of Stephen Sondheim's "Assassins" and the expectations and challenges of bringing that politically charged work to the stage in post-9/11 America. Original air date - May 21, 2004.

Dec 08 2006

48mins

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Rank #6: Nathan Lane (#190) - February, 2008

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Tony Award-winning actor Nathan Lane charts the course of his career, from touring New Jersey schools in the historical musical "Jerz" to starring on Broadway as the President of the United States in David Mamet's comedy "November". Along the way, he recalls losing out on the leading role in the original "Little Shop Of Horrors" and making his Broadway debut in George C. Scott's production of "Present Laughter"; discusses a few of the quirks of his next big show, the musical "Merlin"; considers his longstanding partnerships with both playwright Terrence McNally (revealing the only play that McNally specifically wrote for him) and director Jerry Zaks; chronicles his challenging and charmed experience as Max Bialystock in the musical "The Producers" on Broadway and in London; and reflects on the impact of "Butley" -- first when he saw it as a teenager, and later when he took on the title role in the play's Broadway revival. Original air date - February 22, 2008.

Feb 25 2008

1hr 2mins

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Rank #7: Billy Crudup (#140) March, 2007

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Billy Crudup recalls how he messed up his first audition but still managed to be cast in his Broadway debut, "Arcadia"; describes the communal spirit that guided the 2002 production of "The Elephant Man", and how it differed from his work with director Simon McBurney in "The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui"; relates the thrill of manipulating audiences in Martin McDonagh's "The Pillowman"; and reflects on whether we -- and he -- should be reading up on Russian history to prepare for "The Coast Of Utopia". Original air date – March 2, 2007.

Mar 05 2007

49mins

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Rank #8: David Hyde Pierce (#152) May, 2007

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David Hyde Pierce talks about joining in the development of the long-aborning "Curtains" and how he faced the challenge of a full-fledged character-driven musical on Broadway; recalls the circumstances that led him in very short order from his rejection by the Yale School of Drama to his Broadway debut in "Beyond Therapy"; considers his "on-the-job training" in theatre with such esteemed directors as Peter Brook and Mike Nichols; shares how working with Uta Hagen really opened up new horizons for him as a stage actor; and recaps the experience of translating the humor of Monty Python into the musical comedy format of "Spamalot". Original air date – May 25, 2007.

May 28 2007

40mins

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Rank #9: Stockard Channing (#305) - February, 2011

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Stockard Channing discusses her work in Jon Robin Baitz's new play "Other Desert Cities", acknowledging the ambiguity of the character for the audience and explaining whether she has defined her character's secret motivations with certainty. She also talks about her years breaking into theatre at Harvard, alongside other students like John Lithgow and Tommy Lee Jones, and her subsequent work around Boston before coming to New York and getting her increasingly bigger break in the Broadway musical "Two Gentlemen of Verona", which also began her association with John Guare; her years in Los Angeles, including a film gig she did simply because she needed money, namely "Grease"; her return to the stage in successive productions of "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg" at Williamstown, Long Wharf, Roundabout and finally Broadway; being given the opportunity to choose between playing Bunny and Bananas in the Lincoln Center Theatre revival of "The House of Blue Leaves"; how it felt, as a native Upper East Side New Yorker, playing an Upper East Side New Yorker in "Six Degrees of Separation", and how her performance had to change when she acted in the film version; whether she knew how divided response would be to Guare's "Four Baboons Adoring the Sun"; why she wasn't daunted about stepping into the shoes of Rosemary Harris or Katharine Hepburn for "The Lion in Winter" in 1999 -- and what about doing the show did give her pause; what it was like to do "Pal Joey", her first musical in over two decades (having previously followed Liza Minnelli into "The Rink"); and how she approached the role of Lady Bracknell in "The Importance of Being Earnest" for a production at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin, Ireland last year. Original air date - February 2, 2011.

Feb 02 2011

1hr 3mins

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Rank #10: Stephanie D'Abruzzo and John Tartaglia (#4) May, 2004

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Before "Avenue Q"'s Tony Awards triumph, original cast members Stephanie D'Abruzzo and John Tartaglia chronicle the show's journey from workshop to Broadway, share their own paths to leading roles in an unlikely hit musical, and talk about their hopes that they'll be seen as actors -- separate from the puppets they bring to life. Original air date - May 14, 2004.

Aug 11 2006

51mins

Play

Rank #11: Angela Lansbury (#326) - June, 2011

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Returning to Downstage Center five years after a 2006 conversation, the legendary Angela Lansbury talks about her most recent Broadway roles, in Terrence McNally's "Deuce", Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit" and Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music". She also discusses her experiences with artists with whom she's frequently worked - Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Arthur Laurents and Edward Albee; her foray into Shakespeare, playing Gertrude opposite Albert Finney's "Hamlet" in London; why her career began on film rather than on the stage, her first love; and her opinions about the necessity of training and young people entering the acting profession to become celebrities, rather than excellent actors. Original air date - June 29, 2011.

Jun 29 2011

58mins

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Rank #12: Andrew Rannells (#331) - February, 2012

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Go backstage with one of Broadway's hottest actors from Broadway's biggest show. NY1's Frank DiLella interviews "The Book of Mormon" star Andrew Rannells in the latest "Downstage Center". From "Hairspray" and "Jersey Boys" to "The Book of Mormon"'s Elder Price, Oklahoma native Mr. Rannells relishes his time in the hottest show in town. Inspired by "Into the Woods" and "The Who's Tommy", he somehow found a way to keep a straight face during each hilarious performance on his way to his first Tony Award nomination in 2011. Listen to how he ended up in the current production and pranks his co-star Josh Gad on stage, what real Mormons think of his work, working with Trey Parker and Matt Stone and the sometimes controversial subject matter of their humor, and what happens when Oprah visits him after the show. Original air date - February 1, 2012.

Feb 01 2012

30mins

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Rank #13: Alfred Molina (#30) November, 2004

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Late in the run of his Broadway turn as Tevye in "Fiddler On The Roof", Alfred Molina discusses his role in that much-discussed production, recalls meeting his wife-to-be in the musical "Destry Rides Again" and his culture shock at being plucked from a small London theatre to appear in the film "Raiders Of The Lost Ark", and shares the challenge of his manic monologue in the Broadway debut of Yasmina Reza's "Art". Original air date - November 19, 2004.

Feb 07 2007

47mins

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Rank #14: Janet McTeer (#265) - April, 2010

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Janet McTeer talks about her experiences in "God of Carnage", having starred in the play's London premiere (where the characters were still French) and now playing it on Broadway (as an American) and whether there are differences between her performances as Veronique and Veronica. She also shares her highly fortuitous experience of applying to the top English acting schools, with virtually no prior stage experience; the shock of moving from her hometown of York to London and the emotional crisis that hit her while attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art; her first jobs out of school, including the Nottingham Playhouse, the Royal Exchange in Manchester and, after only two years, the Royal Shakespeare Company (in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as Hippolyta and Titania); her participation as more than simply a performer in the development and production of "A Doll's House" -- and why the role ultimately caused her to take a four year hiatus from the stage; why working on Broadway is such a thrill even after her great acclaim in England; the fun she had playing Petruchio in an all-female "The Taming of the Shrew" at London's Globe Theatre; and how she made the choice between playing Elizabeth or Mary in the acclaimed revival of "Mary Stuart". Original air date - April 21, 2010.

Apr 21 2010

1hr 1min

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Rank #15: Marin Mazzie (#284) - September, 2010

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Marin Mazzie talks about taking on the role of Diana Goodman in Broadway's "Next to Normal" and whether she and her co-star/husband Jason Danieley take their work home with them after the show. She also talks about her early professional experiences, including The Barn Theater in Michigan and An Evening Dinner Theatre in Westchester NY; appearing in the ultimately truncated national tour of "Doonesbury"; stepping into roles in the original productions of "Big River", "Into The Woods" and "And The World Goes Round"; her first opportunity to create a role, Clara in Sondheim and Lapine's "Passion", and having it created around her; the journey of "Ragtime" from Toronto to Broadway; her foray into the classics with Charles Mee's version of "The Trojan Women" for the site-specific company En Garde Arts; the differences between appearing in both "Kiss Me, Kate" and "Spamalot" in New York and London; and her forays into non-musical roles with "A Streetcar Named Desire" at Barrington Stage and "Enron" on Broadway -- and why she wants more opportunities to do more than just musicals. Original air date - September 8, 2010.

Sep 08 2010

57mins

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Rank #16: Jerry Zaks (#279) - July, 2010

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Veteran director Jerry Zaks talks about his role as Creative Consultant on "The Addams Family" since joining the production after its opening in Chicago and the work he has planned for "Sister Act" as a result of seeing its current London staging. He also talks about his introduction to theatre while a student at Dartmouth; his early years as an actor in productions including "Grease" and "Tintypes"; his role in the founding of Ensemble Studio Theatre; finding Christopher Durang's "Sister Mary Ignatius" and why a nice Jewish boy was drawn to a play about a nun; how he fully made the shift from acting to directing; his relationships with playwrights Durang ("Beyond Therapy", "Baby With the Bathwater", "The Marriage of Bette and Boo"), Larry Shue ("The Foreigner", "Wenceslas Square") and John Guare ("The House of Blue Leaves", "Six Degrees of Separation"); how he approached productions of such revered classics as "Guys and Dolls" and "Anything Goes"; why he likens his relationship with actor Nathan Lane to that of orchestra conductor and concertmaster; his plans for the new revue of Randy Newman songs "Harps and Angels"; and why he's always hoping to provide his audience with an "ecstatic experience." Original air date - July 28, 2010.

Jul 28 2010

1hr 2mins

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Rank #17: Daphne Rubin-Vega (#130) December, 2006

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"Rent" veteran Daphne Rubin Vega talks about the challenge of tackling the "classic" music of "Les Miserables" after being known for rock-oriented show music, and why she feels a bit lonely as Fantine in "Les Miz"; chronicles how she transitioned from fine arts to rock and roll to theatre; recalls the origins of "Rent" at New York Theatre Workshop; and why she wanted to take a two month break from her fourth Broadway show in order to do a four-character play with LAByrinth Theatre Company in 2007. Original air date - December 15, 2006.

Dec 19 2006

39mins

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Rank #18: Laurie Metcalf (#317) - April, 2011

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Laurie Metcalf talks about her role in Sharr White's play "The Other Place" at MCC Theater, and the challenge of playing someone whose mental faculties are diminishing in a non-linear play, requiring her to constantly leap between varying states of mind. She also talks about her embrace of theatre during her college years at Illinois State University, where she first studied German, then anthropology, before settling on theatre; being one of the original company members of the acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre and her satisfaction with her day job during those early years; her Chicago breakout role in "The Glass Menagerie" and how that production fit with the company's reputation for "rock and roll theatre"; her participation in both the Chicago and New York productions of Lanford Wilson's "Balm in Gilead", and how she is still approached on the street by people recalling that show 25 years later; her regular returns to the Steppenwolf stage throughout her television run on "Roseanne" and other TV and film work; her opportunities to play Kate Keller in "All My Sons" twice -- both at London's National Theatre and Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse; how The New Group's production of "A Lie of the Mind" "saved" her after the brief run of "Brighton Beach Memoirs" and the failure of its companion piece, "Broadway Bound", to open; her affinity for the play "Voice Lessons", which she'll be returning to for a third time; and the appeal of Steppenwolf's "Detroit", scheduled for Broadway in the fall. Original air date - April 27, 2011.

Apr 27 2011

55mins

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Rank #19: Laura Linney (#203) - May, 2008

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Actress Laura Linney talks about returning to Broadway as the Marquise de Merteuil in the Roundabout production of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" and whether she thinks her character is truly evil. She also discusses her earliest theatrical experiences, including working on the stage crew at a summer theatre while still in her "tween" years; appearing in a play written by her father, inspired in part by their own relationship, while a student at Brown; battling back from stage fright while at the Juilliard School; her big break appearing in the original production of "Sight Unseen" in its Off-Broadway debut -- and what it was like to return to the play, in a different role -- in its Broadway debut a dozen years later; how she handles appearing in shows that -- both fairly and unfairly -- don't meet with critical and popular success; and taking on a much-read but not often-seen classic like Arthur Miller's "The Crucible". Original air date - May 23, 2008.

May 27 2008

50mins

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Rank #20: Eric Bogosian (#144) March, 2007

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Author and actor Eric Bogosian explains why he left the text of "Talk Radio" essentially unchanged for its current Broadway revival, but made more significant rewrites in "subUrbia" for its revival at Second Stage last fall; shares why he was perfectly happy to pass the role of "Talk Radio"'s radio host Barry Champlain on to Liev Schreiber; recalls the genesis of his acclaimed solo shows, including "Sex Drugs Rock and Roll" and "Drinking in America" in the 1980s and 90s; and frankly declares why, after a lifelong passion for theatre, he has turned to writing novels. Original air date – March 30, 2007.

Apr 02 2007

50mins

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