My season planning starts with a series of conversations with different directors. I say, “What are you most passionate about these days?” Then we sort of LOOK IN EACH OTHER’S EYES for glimmers of excitement.
I was a little skeptical when Bartlett Sher, who is the director of THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, brought it to me, because I thought we didn’t need to explore this story any further than it had already been explored. I actually found [the musical version] quite remarkable and worthwhile, much to my surprise. [The creative team] look at it as a really romantic, sexy story about the lost true love of your life, and that sings really well.
Bess Wohl I’ve known for many years. A year ago February, she told me she was writing this new play called American Hero, and I immediately gravitated to the idea. Probably the thing that sealed the deal is when she told me there’s a DREAM SEQUENCE WITH A SANDWICH. Her idea is to set something in a franchise at a mall, a sandwich franchise — it could be anywhere in America — and really look at the blue-collar sort of the 99 percent workforce and how it gets treated by corporations.
As someone who runs a theater in Massachusetts, it was almost my duty to do A RED SOX MUSICAL. The creative team has been doing a lot of changes to the book and some new songs, so it will be significantly different structurally than what people may have seen at [Cambridge’s] A.R.T. I do hope that the Williamstown production sort of gives Johnny Baseball a greater life.
I think that Animal Crackers is going to surprise people in a really good way. I don’t think we have ENOUGH SILLY IN OUR LIVES these days, and I don’t think we have enough tap dancing, either. — As told to Amy Amatangelo
Interview has been edited and condensed. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.