Dancer

  • 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 Susan Angerman – Costume Designer

    10-8-18 Interview

    10/8/18 Susan Angerman’s mother taught her to sew when she was eight years old, she made her doll’s clothes and her own clothes. She was passionate about Dance, especially Ballet, and at fourteen became part of the Charleston Ballet Company, where her sewing came in handy because, in this small company, dancers had to make their own costumes. Although she loved to dance, when it was time to move towards a career as a dancer, she knew that it was not the life for her. She studied design at the French Fashion Academy, where she then taught for several years. Finally deciding that costuming for the theater provided the perfect opportunity to combine her skills and interests, she went to work for the “most prestigious costume shop in New York,” getting freelance work and building a resume. After many years as costume shop manager, she has created a new career as an image consultant and is once again taking freelance costuming jobs; come see her costumes at Florida Studio Theater’s cabaret production of “Unchanged Melodies”

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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 actor, singer, dancer, musician Kyle Branzel

    7-30-18 Interview

    Actor, singer, dancer, musician, educator Kyle Blanzel realized that he was performer when his 2nd grade costar, Mrs. Claus, sang his line instead of hers and he went on with the show, just like a professional. Years of training and understudying Joe Kinosian, one of the writers of Murder for Two, in the National Tour of the show, made him the absolutely best choice to portray the role/s (12) he is currently playing in the Florida Studio Theater production. Don’t miss this!

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  • Interview with actor, singer, dancer Jared Joseph

    5-21-18 Interview

    5-21-18 Actor, Singer, Dancer Jared Joseph never actually decided to be a musical theater performer. His first love was art, he drew and painted and won awards while still in elementary school. But his mother encouraged him to join the choir and a teacher invited him to a poetry class – which seemed to lead to a drama club. And then they needed boys to sing… So somehow he wound up at the New York University Musical Theater Program, and the rest as they say – is history. It was a fortunate choice as anyone who has seen his portrayal of Coalhouse Walker Jr. in the Asolo production of Ragtime will attest. The production is so popular that an additional performance has been scheduled – this is no small part due to Jared’s powerful performance. Listen to this charming, spontaneous man talk about his ironic way to the musical theater stage.

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  • Interview with Actor, Dancer, Singer, Writer, Educator Marie Thomas-Foster

    5-14-18 Interview
    5-14-18 Marie Thomas-Foster knew by the time she was twelve years old that she didn’t want to follow in her families tradition – and become a teacher – she wanted to perform. She began taking dance lessons as soon as she could and convinced her friends to create “shows” in which they sang and danced. She misled her mother into thinking she was majoring in Education when she was actually studying Theater. And her determination paid off as her career has taken her to roles on Stage and Screen (big and little). But apparently the power of her early training never quite left her as she also taught theater at the City College of New York and created Theater Workshop where she gave hundreds of youngsters and opportunity to learn to sing and dance and act. Today she is staring in Having Her Say at the Goodman Theater in Chicago directed by Chuck Smith.

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  • Interview with Bill Selby Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits

    4-30-18 Interview

    4-30-18 Bill Selby was 11 years old when his mother asked him to accompany her to an audition. Bill had no idea that he would be auditioning. Listen to Bill describe how his “competitiveness” asserted itself the moment he understood that he was auditioning for the role of young Patrick in a production of Auntie Mame, He decided he would win the role, he did and the course of his life was set. Come see Bill demonstrate what that long ago director must have seen when he steps on the stage at Florida Studio Theater in the cabaret production of Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits,

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  • Interview with Leon Pitts of West Coast Black Theater Troupe

    4-30-18 Interview

    4-23-18 Leon Pitts was nine years old when he met his mentor, his “rabbi,” Nate Jacobs. Nate was a teacher at Leon’s school and although, neither knew it at the time, one day Nate would be the founder of The West Coast Black Theater Troupe and Leon would be one of its founding members. Today, decades later, Leon is a seasoned performer, he has sung, danced and acted in dozens of productions; recently getting his actors equity card. Listen to Leon describe the magical way he was convinced to turn his back on the career everyone thought he should pursue and follow Nate into the “fire’ where he discovered his passion, his commitment and the life he was meant to live. And come see the result of that courageous leap as Leon becomes one of the “Soul Men” in the current production at the West coast Black Theater Troupe.

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  • Interview with Actor, singer, dance, screenwriter Kathryn Parks

    4-9-18 Interview

    Actor, singer, dancer, and now film maker Kathryn Parks says that she always wanted to star in a film, and one day realized that she could create that opportunity for herself. This is a fascinating story of the evolution of an idea into its existence. Listen to the courageous, talented young woman describe the journey that took her from a wish to a success, and all of the unexpected benefits and bonuses she gained along the way. And come to see the final product – her film “50 Words” – appearing at the Sarasota Film Festival on April 13th at 3:00 and April 21st at 11:00. Learn more at http://50wordsfilm.com,

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  • Interview with Actor Joe Casey

    4-2-18 Interview

    4-2-18 Actor, singer, dancer, musician Joe Casey brings his talents once again to Florida Studio theater’s cabaret, this time in Blue Suede Shoes where he gets a chance to play guitars and sing Elvis’s songs. In this interview Joe tells us that he was interested in everything; he wanted to be a scientist and a detective, he picked up the piano and the guitar, he painted in oils, and wrote music. Finally unable to choose amongst his interests Joe decided that as an actor to he could be all of these things. Listen to this charming, clever man tell the story of his path and come see him do justice to Elvis and all the other early Rock and Roller’s, in FST’s Blue Suede Shoes.

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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 dancer, actor, singer, author Carole Schweid

    10-17-17 Interview

    10-17-18 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.

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  • Interview with Dancer, Journalist, Advocate Carrie Seidman

    8-2-16 Interview

    8-22-17 Passionate, talented and courageous Carrie Seidman is a dancer, a journalist, a cancer survivor, and parent of child with mental health issues. She discovered her passion for dance at three years old while watching her older sisters do what she was “too young “to do. Although assured that she could not begin to study until she was five Carrie managed to bully her teacher into letting her begin at “almost five.” And that tenacity is the hallmark of her life. Soft spoken and basically shy Carrie has a will of iron. She has survived everything life has thrown at her and emerged not only victorious over her own and her son’s challenges, but as an advocate for others who are facing those challenges. A graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, Carrie has been a journalist for 35 years: a full time staff writer for the New York Times, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, Albuquerque Journal and Albuquerque Tribune, she currently writes features, critiques and long form projects for Sarasota Herald-Tribune where she specializes in the arts and mental health. Motivated by the difficult and painful experience of her son’s descent into mental illness, Carrie created a series called, “The S Word: The Stigma of Schizophrenia” for which she received the national Mental Health America Media Award, and became one of only 9 American journalists to be a fellow of the prestigious 2016-2017 Carter Center for Mental Health Journalism. She has won awards from state and national journalism organizations, including the Gold Medal for Public Service from the Florida Society of News Editors in 2015. Carrie turned the project into a book called FACEing Mental Illness: The Art of Acceptance a collection of the stories and artwork produced for her ongoing fellowship project of the same name, which is aimed at changing cultural attitudes about mental illness and eliminating the stigma of a mental health diagnosis. The book will be launched on Friday, September 1st at 6:00 pm at BOOKSTORE1 SARASOTA Listen to this remarkable woman tell the story of her life and come to Bookstore1 to see her, purchase a copy of the book, and support this important mission.

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  • Interview with Michael Mendez

    7-11-17 Interview
    7-11-17 Singer, dancer, actor Michael Mendez thought he was going to be a Doctor. He never intended to be a performer, he just loved to sing and wanted to get better and better at it. So when he learned that the theater “needed males” and was offered a role in A Chorus Line, he said yes – thinking it would strengthen him as a singer. Having no dance training he was completely unprepared for the dancing required, but Michael always wants to be “going for growth” so he just learned all the routines. And that was just the beginning. Listen to Michael describe his journey from a boy who just loved to sing, to the young man who aspires to learn every medium, performing in every way he can. And come see him in Black on Broadway, now playing at the West Coast Black Theater Troupe.

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  • Interview with actor, director, singer, dancer Michael Marotta

    6-20-17 Interview

    6-13/20-17 Actor, director, singer, dancer Michael Marotta knew from the age of seven what he wanted to do. He can still feel the intense pleasure he got from his first role as Santa, which he got because he was the only child who could memorize the names of all the reindeer. And watching the movie Tea for Two over and over on the Million Dollar Movie cemented his certainty that performing was his path. Having decided very early in life what he was meant to do Michael has never wavered. When you see him in Burt and Me, currently playing at Florida Studio Theater, you can see that he made the right decision. Listen to this charming, talented man talk about a life dedicated to bringing pleasure to audiences, while doing what he loves. And get a preview of some of the Burt Bacharach songs you will hear in the show

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  • Interview with Louisa Flannigan

    4-5-16 Audio Interview

    Louisa Flannigan was destined to be a performer but she had to travel a haphazard path to realize it. She fell in love with modern dance as a child but believed, as her family and extended community believed, that a career in dance couldn’t support you. She soon realized that majoring in elementary education was a mistake and became an art major. Still it took a serendipitous series of events to show her what she was meant to do. Listen to Louisa tell the story of how her fear of water is responsible for her finding what was so very definitely her destiny.

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  • Interview with Annie Morrison

    3-29-16 Audio Interview

    Multi-talented actor, singer, dance, writer, producer and advocate Annie Morrison’s, career includes standout Broadway and Cabaret performances. She won The 2010 John Ringling Towers Fund Award and the Best Actress Award at the 2012 United Solo Festival for her one woman show which inspired her to join with Blake Walton and David Coyle to create Sarasolo – a one person solo festival in Sarasota FL. She has also won the Theatre World Award©, a Drama Desk Award© Nomination, the Drama-Logue, SAMMY, HANDY and Sarasota Magazine Awards and a Best Plays Citation. Listen to this one of a kind talent talk about her early life, her commitment to creativity in all of its forms, collaboration instead of competition and encouraging creative humans wherever she finds them. And come see her in the Freefall theatre production of Sondheim on Sondheim. Also hear her singing a cut from the original cast album of Sondheim’s Broadway musical; Merrily We Roll Along in which she originated the role of Mary Flynn.

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  • Interview with Cecil Washington Jr.

    3-22-16 Interview

    Actor, dancer, singer Cecil Washington Jr. and his middle school friends were fooling around with a video camera, pretending to act out a movie. When Cecil saw himself on film he was hooked. The feeling in his body told him that this was what he was meant to do. But since he was skilled in math and science and his parents wanted him to be a doctor – he put his dream of being an actor aside. In college (while majoring in pre-health) he happened to see a call for auditions for a show – Cecil got that same feeling in his body and although he’d had no training went to audition. Listen to Cecil tell the story of that audition; of his re discovered his need to perform and the startling surprise discovery of gifts he hadn’t known he had. Finally Cecil accepted his destiny and changed his major. Come see the result of his powerful belief in what he was meant to do as he stars as Sam Cooke in the West Coast Black Theater Troupe’s production of Sam Cooke Story.

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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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