Choreographer

  • Interview with Tony Award Nominee Jeff Calhoun

    11-19-18 Interview
    11-19-18 By the time he was 9 years old Jeff Calhoun knew what he wanted to do: he wanted to be Dick Van Dyke, he wanted to be Fred Astaire, he wanted to join the Ernie Flat dancers on the Carol Burnet show. He wanted to be a dancer! It was, he says, “in his DNA.” And, as if it was meant to be, a series of circumstances propelled him on the path of dancer, choreographer and director of musicals. Listen to unexpected way he became the protégé of the amazing Tommy Tune and the remarkable series of happenstance’s that led to his directing such musicals as Jekyll and Hyde, Grease, Big River, Bonnie and Clyde – The Musical, Newsies, and Pulse. And luckily nor us he is back at the Asolo, teamed once again with the incomparable Noah Racey, to direct the Broadway classic Music Man. Listen to this thoughtful, generous, self-deprecating man talk about a life spent “imagining” for the theater.

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  • Interview with Eliza Ladd

    2-11-19 Interview

    Many artists describe themselves and their work with one or a few adjectives, they’re a writer, a painter, a musician, an actor, a singer, a dancer; they work with light or sound or design. Eliza Ladd uses all these adjectives and more to describe herself and her art. She has spent her life exploring every possible way a person can express themselves creatively. Although she didn’t know how she was going to use all the skills she pursued, Eliza followed her curiosity and instinct and has created an art which synthesizes all of the skills she studied, trained in and developed. Listen to this spontaneous, guileless, breathless woman describe a journey for which there was no roadmap, a life in which she had to be her own guide and in which she created an Art which is uniquely her own

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  • Interview with Dancer, Singer, Director, Writer Carole Schweid

    10-17-17 Interview

    2-17-18 The multi-talented Carole Schweid began taking dance classes at six and continued studying through the grueling program at Julliard. But by then she had already discovered her interest in and talent for acting and singing, and her passion for plays. Listen to the delightful story of how she got her first Broadway show – Minnie’s Boys, and the life changing experience of being part of the company of the iconic show A Chorus Line. But performing was not enough for Carole and in addition to raising her two sons, Carole and her partner Nancy Diamond created the hugely-successful Play with Your Food, a truly unique theater experience, and the basis for her newly published book Staged Readings – Magic. Listen to Carole’s funny, charming, disarming story, hear her describe how she went from someone who was “dancing from the minute she could walk,” to the singer, actor, writer, director, choreographer, producer, and author she became and see the flyer below describing a book everyone in or interested in theater should own. #chorusline #playwithyourfood #stagedreadings

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  • Interview with Director/Choreographer Josh Rhodes

    11-28-17 Interview
    11-28-17 In my 500th show I am airing an interview with dancer, singer, actor and Broadway director/choreographer Josh Rhodes who is in Sarasota directing his sixth show for the Asolo Repertory Theater; the stand out production of Evita. Listen to this charming story of a man who was drawn to musicals as a 5 year old boy, who dedicated his life to becoming the very best performer he could possibly be and was rewarded for his talent and his diligence with the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Choreography, and the Astaire Award as well as nominations for the Drama Desk and LA Critics Circle Awards and a career in which he never had to have a straight job!

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  • Interview with the extraordinary Wayne Adams Part 2

    12-12-17 Interview

    12-12-17 Part – 2 In this second part of my interview, Wayne Adams continues to relate his remarkable life. Listen to him describe his delightful meeting with legendary acting teacher Maggie Flannigan; and how his production of Ralph Pape’s Say Goodnight, Gracie directed by Austin Pendleton, resulted in his determination to bring Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company to Broadway; first in the production of True West with John Malkovich and Gary Sinise and then in the Lincoln Center production of And a Nightingale Sang with , Joan Allen. Wayne says “I’m interested in being the human being that I am,” and he reminds us that “life is taking chances, not doing what someone else thinks you should do but doing from yourself honestly according to your own instincts.” Listen and be inspired.

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  • Interview with Dancer, choreographer JoAnn Hunter

    5-24-16 Interview

    5-9-17 – Dancer, Choreographer JoAnn Hunter discovered that she was a dancer when, at eleven years old, her mother suggested she take dance lessons. Once exposed to dance JoAnn knew it was her passion. Serendipitously, the dance teacher her mother picked at random from the telephone book, turned out to be just the mentor JoAnn needed. Beginning with ballet she brought in specialists to teach every type of dance and JoAnn lapped it up. Listen to this vivacious, endearing woman talk about her determination to pursue her passion, the obstacles and the successes; appearing in 12 Broadway shows before taking the leap to choreographer. Hear her describe her current project as choreographer for Beatsville, new musical the Asolo Repertory Theater.

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  • Interview with Poet, Dancer, Choreographer, Director Harry Bryce

    4-4-17 Interview

    4-4-17 Poet, Dancer, Choreographer, Actor, and Director Harry Bryce says that he came out of the womb dancing. And when you talk to him you can well believe it. Precocious and wise beyond his years Harry began writing poetry (although he didn’t know it was poetry) when he was a young boy in order to “stay sane.” Curious and observant as few are, Harry began to notice everything. It became important to him to be “precise,” so he recognized the variation in the hues of different colors – and wondered about what happened to a seed. He couldn’t take ballet lessons like his older sister because ”boys didn’t do that;” but when she came home from her lesson his sister would take him into the back yard and do the lesson again for him. By the time they were ten years old Harry and his sister were a popular dance act appearing at local weddings and events. Harry went on to have a varied and productive career as the artistic director of Memphis Black Repertory Theater and creator of the Harry Bryce Dance Company, Choreographer in Residence for the prestigious Vinnette Carroll’s theater company and as professor of dance and theater at Atlanta’s Morehouse and Spellman colleges. Currently Harry is directing the West Coast Black Theater Troupe of Sarasota’s production of Dearly Departed. Listen to this charming, delightful and reflective man talk about his career and the

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  • Interview with choreographer Donald Frison

    3-7-17 Interview

    3-14-17 Choreographer Donald Frison never had a dance class. Dancing from the moment he could move, Donald says that he was simply” born to dance.” Listen to the way he used his dancing to crash his older sibling’s parties and how he explained to the dance company who’d hired him that he didn’t know any dance terminology – but if shown he could do whatever they wanted him to– and he did. Now the resident choreographer at the West Coast Black Theater Troupe for which he has choreographed as many at 7 shows and appeared in any number of them. Come see his electrifying work with the four extraordinary singers in the current West Coast production of Girl Groups of the 60’s

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  • Interview with Joel King

    5-24-16 Interview

    6-14-16 Artist, singer, dancer, actor, playwright, producer, director Joel King discovered his multiple talents unexpectedly. He would simply do these things; draw, sing, dance, write and act, and luckily for him people continually congratulated him on his skill and encouraged him to do more of it. Over time Joel realized that what he wanted to do was sing but to please his mother who, who recognizing his artistic skill and like many other parents wanted him to choose a career that would pay, encouraged him to major in Architectural Design. So Joel majored in Architectural Design and minored in music. Then after auditioning for and capturing a role in a play, Joel was’ persuaded by the heads of the drama dept. to add another minor in theater. He said “I still liked Architectural Design, but I loved theater.” Since graduation Joel has written, produced and directed many original shows and acted in many others. Currently he got to see a workshop production of his HipOpera “Real Life,” done by the West Coast Black Theater Troupe in Sarasota FL. Listen to this gentle, ingenuous young man talk about the ironic way he discovered his talents and his passions and what he wants to accomplish in his life

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  • Interview with Dewayne Barrett

    1-5-16 Interview with Dewayne Barrett

    Dewayne Barrett knew he was a performer by the time he was four. He was encouraged by a family that recognized and enjoyed his talent – putting him on the kitchen table to do the popular dances and getting him on the Romper Room. Always able to mimic whatever movement he saw Dewayne was offered scholarships wherever he applied; first at the Georgia Ballet Company and the Atlanta Jazz Theater and later with Steps on Broadway. All through high school Dewayne studied dance, voice and acting and remarkably a choreographer saw him dance and offered him a job and a place to live in New York City and Dewayne has been working dancer, actor, choreographer, director ever since. Listen to this charming Southern boy talk about his extraordinary ride, and hear some of the iconic songs from A Chorus Line which he is currently directing and performing in for the Manatee Performing Arts Hall.

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  • Interview with James Harkness of The Color Purple Part 2

    10-27-2015 Audio Interview Part 2

    In Part 2 of my interview with James Harkness, he tells the remarkable story of how he wound up on Broadway, before he really understood what a big deal it was In it he also talks at length about The Color Purple, explaining why he believes it such an important piece. And listen to more of the wonderful music from The Color Purple.

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  • Interview with James Harkness of The Color Purple Part 1

    10-20-2015 Audio Interview

    Part I James Harkness is currently appearing on Broadway in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. He took a leave of absence in order to make his directorial debut for the WBTT production of The Color Purple in which he performed and choreographed the Broadway debut in 2005 – and will return after the show opens. He recently performed alongside Betty Buckley in Grey Gardens The Musical. His stage credits include Aida, Guys and Dolls, Chicago, Dreamgirls and Smokey Joe’s Café. Film credits include The Maid’s Room and The Mend. He has earned numerous creative credits as a choreographer. Listen to this charming, delightful, spontaneous man tell the story of the ways in which life conspired to help him embrace the dancer he has always been, and to discover the choreographer and director he was always meant to be.. And listen to music from The Color Purple.

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  • Interview with Dewayne Barrett

    3-24-15 Interview

    Dewayne Barrett knew he was a performer by the time he was four. He was encouraged by a family that recognized and enjoyed his talent – putting him on the kitchen table to do the popular dances and getting him on the Romper Room. Always able to mimic whatever movement he saw Dewayne was offered scholarships wherever he applied; first at the Georgia Ballet Company and the Atlanta Jazz Theater and later with Steps on Broadway. All through high school Dewayne studied dance, voice and acting and remarkably a choreographer saw him dance and offered him a job and a place to live in New York City and Dewayne has been working dancer, actor, choreographer, director ever since. Listen to this charming Southern boy talk about his extraordinary ride. And come see his amazing work at The Players Theater where he directed and choreographed the stunning production of the Broadway musical Catch Me if You Can and to Florida Studio Theater where he choreographed the cabaret piece Never Marry a Girl with Cold Feet.

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  • Jimmy Hoskins – A Celebration of Life

    2-3-15 Audio interview with Jimmy Hoskins

    There will be a celebration of Jimmy’s extraordinary life at 4:00 on Mon 2/9 2015 at the Mertz Theater in the Asolo Repertory Theatre complex.

    Dancer, choreographer, movement coach, director, painter, writer, storyteller, teacher, cook, Jimmy Hoskins was member on the of the Penn State University theater faculty for 10 years, professor emeritus of theater at Florida State University, staff choreographer for the Asolo Repertory Theatre for 45 years, visiting choreographer at Florida Studio Theater, The Golden Apple, the Sarasota Opera, the Banyan Theater, the Venice Theatre and the Players Theatre and adjunct faculty member of the Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, following his long and distinguished career in New York, California, Texas, Mexico and Paris.

    He wrote three books. “The Dances of Shakespeare,” for which he also did the illustrations;. And his two book irreverent and delightful memoir “Our Hearts were Khaki and Gay,” and “No Fairies, No Magic.” which can be purchased at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

    Greg Leaming of The Asolo Conservatory says “He very strongly connected to his students as a friend, mentor and teacher. What he brought into the room was an infectious spirit and a love of the art form.”Richard Hopkins of Florida Studio Theater says “In an age before political correctness, in a society that all too frequently rejected people who were different, Jimmy was proud to be gay. He was adept at teaching us straight guys how to relax with the gay guys, how to revel in our differences, and how to appreciate the depth of our similarities.

    He was, as Carl Meyer his beloved partner of 19 years says, a “Renaissance man.” But for me the most enduring memories of Jimmy will be of his sweetness and his generosity. Jimmy was always giving – even when he was suffering he never burdened others with his distress. I was lucky enough to be one of the legions of people who benefited directly from his talent and his willingness to give it selflessly and joyfully. My life is changed forever by both what I learned from Jimmy and how he taught it.

    In 2011 the Asolo established the Jimmy Hoskins Visiting Artist Chair for Stage Movement and Dance, an endowed fund that brings guest artists in to work with conservatory students. Contributions to the Jimmy Hoskins Visiting Artists Chair in Stage Movement and Dance are welcomed by sending a check, payable to FSU Foundation (reference Jimmy Hoskins Fund in note section) to the Florida State University Foundation, Suite 300, 2101 Levy Ave., Tallahassee, FL 32310, or by giving online at one.fsu.edu/community/.

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  • Memorial to Jimmy Hoskins

    12-30-14 Memorial to Jimmy Hoskins – Audio Interview

    Dancer, choreographer, movement coach, director, painter, writer, storyteller, teacher, cook, Jimmy Hoskins was member on the of the Penn State University theater faculty for 10 years, professor emeritus of theater at Florida State University, staff choreographer for the Asolo Repertory Theatre for 45 years, visiting choreographer at Florida Studio Theater, The Golden Apple, the Sarasota Opera, the Banyan Theater, the Venice Theatre and the Players Theatre and adjunct faculty member of the Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, following his long and distinguished career in New York, California, Texas, Mexico and Paris.

    He wrote three books. “The Dances of Shakespeare,” for which he also did the illustrations; intended for dancer’s, choreographers and directors but which could also be understood by a lay audience. And his two book irreverent and delightful memoir “Our Hearts were Khaki and Gay,” and “No Fairies, No Magic.”
    Greg Leaming of The Asolo Conservatory says “He very strongly connected to his students as a friend, mentor and teacher. What he brought into the room was an infectious spirit and a love of the art form.” Richard Hopkins of Florida Studio Theater says “In an age before political correctness, in a society that all too frequently rejected people who were different, Jimmy was proud to be gay. He was adept at teaching us straight guys how to relax with the gay guys, how to revel in our differences, and how to appreciate the depth of our similarities.

    He was, as Carl Meyer his beloved partner of 19 years says, a “Renaissance man.” But for me the most enduring memories of Jimmy will be of his sweetness and his generosity. Jimmy was always giving – even when he was suffering he never burdened others with his distress. I was lucky enough to be one of the legions of people who benefited directly from his talent and his willingness to give it selflessly and joyfully. My life is changed forever by both what I learned from Jimmy and how he taught it.

    In 2011 the Asolo established the Jimmy Hoskins Visiting Artist Chair for Stage Movement and Dance, an endowed fund that brings guest artists in to work with conservatory students.

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  • Interview with Stephen Hope

    11-4-14 — Audio Interview

    Actor, singer, dancer, choreographer, stage manager Stephen Hope has brought his talents to more than 30 productions at the Florida Studio Theater in Sarasota FL, and he is doing it again in the current production of Hairspray. All kinds of music was sung and played in Stephen’s home, but it wasn’t until his first role as the cowardly lion in a Jr High School production, that Stephen found what was “right for him. “ Knowing that “people were laughing because of what I was doing – that we were all laughing at the same thing so we weren’t separate, we were one, it was very powerful.” That night Stephen’s Dad said “this is what you should be doing,” and the die was cast. In his 20’s Stephen took a detour; attempting to see if another path was right for him, but he soon realized that while he could do it – his “heart wasn’t there.” So he returned to the theater, to what makes him “happy,” to doing what is “right for him.” Hear him talk about his life and the exciting production of Hairspray. Also hear a rousing song from the show.

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  • Interview with Harry Bryce Part 2

    10-28-2014 Audio Interview

    Poet, Dancer, Choreographer, Actor, Director, Harry Bryce is the former artistic director of Memphis Black Repertory Theater, and creator of the Harry Bryce Dance Company and Choreographer in residence for Vinnette Carroll’s theater co, taught dance and theater at Atlanta’s Morehouse and Spellman colleges Harry says that he came out of the womb dancing. And when you talk to him you can well believe it. Wise beyond his years Harry began writing poetry (although he didn’t know it was poetry) when he was a young boy in order to “stay sane.” He couldn’t take ballet lessons like his older sister because boys simply didn’t do that; but when she came home from her lesson his sister would take him into the back yard and do the lesson again for him. By the time they were ten years old Harry and his sister were a popular dance act appearing at local weddings and events. Listen to this exuberant, reflective man talk about his life and his work – which is currently directing the West Coast Black Theater Troupe’s ground breaking production of the comedy horror rock musical Little Shop of Horrors.

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  • Interview with Harry Bryce Part 1

    10-21-14 Audio Interview

    Poet, Dancer, Choreographer, Actor, Director, Harry Bryce is the former artistic director of Memphis Black Repertory Theater, and creator of the Harry Bryce Dance Company and Choreographer in residence for Vinnette Carroll’s theater co, taught dance and theater at Atlanta’s Morehouse and Spellman colleges Harry says that he came out of the womb dancing. And when you talk to him you can well believe it. Wise beyond his years Harry began writing poetry (although he didn’t know it was poetry) when he was a young boy in order to “stay sane.” He couldn’t take ballet lessons like his older sister because boys simply didn’t do that; but when she came home from her lesson his sister would take him into the back yard and do the lesson again for him. By the time they were ten years old Harry and his sister were a popular dance act appearing at local weddings and events. Listen to this exuberant, reflective man talk about his life and his work – which is currently directing the West Coast Black Theater Troupe’s ground breaking production of the comedy horror rock musical Little Shop of Horrors.

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  • Interview with Harry Bryce – Part 2

    4-29-14 Audio Interview Part 2

    Poet, Dancer, Choreographer, Actor, and Director Harry Bryce says that he came out of the womb dancing. And when you talk to him you can well believe it. Precocious and wise beyond his years Harry began writing poetry (although he didn’t know it was poetry) when he was a young boy in order to “stay sane.” Curious and observant as few are, Harry began to notice everything. It became important to him to be “precise,” so he recognized the variation in the hues of different colors – and wondered about what happened to a seed. He couldn’t take ballet lessons like his older sister because ”boys didn’t do that;” but when she came home from her lesson his sister would take him into the back yard and do the lesson again for him. By the time they were ten years old Harry and his sister were a popular dance act appearing at local weddings and events. Harry went on to have a varied and productive career as the artistic director of Memphis Black Repertory Theater and creator of the Harry Bryce Dance Company, Choreographer in Residence for the prestigious Vinnette Carroll’s theater company and as professor of dance and theater at Atlanta’s Morehouse and Spellman colleges. Currently Harry is directing the Westcoast Black Theater Troupe of Sarasota’s production of Bubbling Brown Sugar. Listen to this charming, delightful and reflective man talk about his career and the importance of helping young people who have been discouraged to find and nurture their particular talents. And come to see his direction of the scintillating Bubbling Brown Sugar.

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  • Interview with Harry Bryce

    Audio Interview April 22, 2014

    Poet, Dancer, Choreographer, Actor, and Director Harry Bryce says that he came out of the womb dancing. And when you talk to him you can well believe it. Precocious and wise beyond his years Harry began writing poetry (although he didn’t know it was poetry) when he was a young boy in order to “stay sane.” Curious and observant as few are, Harry began to notice everything. It became important to him to be “precise,” so he recognized the variation in the hues of different colors – and wondered about what happened to a seed. He couldn’t take ballet lessons like his older sister because ”boys didn’t do that;” but when she came home from her lesson his sister would take him into the back yard and do the lesson again for him. By the time they were ten years old Harry and his sister were a popular dance act appearing at local weddings and events. Harry went on to have a varied and productive career as the artistic director of Memphis Black Repertory Theater and creator of the Harry Bryce Dance Company, Choreographer in Residence for the prestigious Vinnette Carroll’s theater company and as professor of dance and theater at Atlanta’s Morehouse and Spellman colleges. Currently Harry is directing the West Coast Black Theater Troupe of Sarasota’s production of Bubbling Brown Sugar. Listen to this charming, delightful and reflective man talk about his career and the importance of helping young people who have been discouraged to find and nurture their particular talents. And come to see his direction of the scintillating Bubbling Brown Sugar.

     

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