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ATW - Downstage Center

357 EpisodesProduced by American Theatre WingWebsite

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.


Jerry Zaks (#279) - July, 2010

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.

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