Posts Tagged 11:11 Theatre Company

Getting Lively, Lush & Local With: Louise Hamill

Who are you? Louise Hamill

What do you do? Literary Manager for 11:11 Theatre Company, actress, costume designer

Where are you from originally? Ipswich, MA

How long have you been working in Boston? About four years now

Why do you stay? The song says it all, Boston you’re my home.

What’s your earliest theatre memory? I have vague memories of elementary school, but my first real theatre memory is doing Little Shop in middle school.  Gold lame dress.  One doesn’t forget something like that!

What’s your first theatre memory in Boston? I remember coming into town over summer break in college to see shows at the Huntington.

What was your first job in theatre? Stage Manager

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had before a show? Greek Salad!

What’s your favorite rehearsal snack? Popcorn or gummy bears.  Horrible, I know.

Do you eat before you go on stage or do you wait until after your performance to eat? I try to eat at least two hours before curtain.

If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be? More roles for women.  Even gender blind casting would be fun.  But at the moment, there are way too many talented women out there looking for roles, and the parts just don’t exist.

What kind of theater excites you? Theatre that is unexpected in any way.  Dramatic.  Visually stimulating.  Honest.

What advice do you have for artists just starting out? Don’t give up.  Just don’t give up.

The Boston Theatre Conference is focusing on the lively, lush and local aspects of our theatre community. What do you think? LOVE IT!  I’m never more annoyed than when I read a program bio and see that the actor on stage is someone brought in from NYC.  We have plenty of wonderful, talented people here who deserve to be cast in all of the dozens of productions that happen in Boston EACH MONTH.

YOUR TURN! Write to us here!

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Getting Lively, Lush & Local With: Melanie Garber

Who are you? Melanie Garber

What do you do? Director/Playwright/Actor/Artistic Associate for 11:11 Theatre Company

Where are you from originally? Peabody, MA

How long have you been working in Boston? Little over a year

What’s your earliest theatre memory? My Mom taped “Into the Woods” off of PBS when I was really little thinking I might like it. She was right.

What’s your first theatre memory in Boston? Child Wrangling at the Huntington for their production of “Fences.” Kenny Leon saying “Tell the story!” over and over.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had before a show? Mussels and french fries.

What’s your favorite rehearsal snack? Swedish fish

Do you eat before you go on stage or do you wait until after your performance to eat? Eat before. Need the fuel!

The Boston Theatre Conference is focusing on the lively, lush and local aspects of our theatre community. What do you think? I think alliteration is a good thing. Boston is growing into its theatre identity. The town is small enough to know each other and large enough to generate great productions…both from the major theatre companies and the fringe scene alike.

YOUR TURN! Write to us here!

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Where Do You Fit In?

By Robyn Linden

Boston is wonderfully saturated with arts organizations, as well as with diverse and dedicated students across many theatre arts collegiate programs. From Cambridge to Jamaica Plain, our town is buzzing with productions, events and education. As a recent graduate of Emerson (December 2008), I have felt continuously inspired and exhilarated by the sheer amount of theatre happening around me. However, I have found the chasm between being a student in a theatre program and being a graduate and new member of the professional community to be quite wide. Many of Boston’s local theatre companies have had years to grow and take shape and, for a new young professional, the experience of encountering these lauded organizations can feel much like standing at the entrance to the Prudential Center looking up, up, up. A flood of questions arises: How do I get in? Where do I start? Will they even notice me? Where do I fit in amongst these established organizations?

Happily, the small theatre scene is largely comprised of young professionals volunteering time and talents to produce, produce, produce. Doing Marketing work with 11:11 Theatre Company and the Small Theatre Alliance of Boston has allowed me to play an active part in the presence and energy of small theatre all over town. Busy as we fringe companies may be, though, it’s hard to ignore the divide between our work and that of the bigger companies’. We hope they’re aware of what we’re up to, but we have a hard time actually connecting to them without applying what little time we have left to volunteer as interns and ushers.
Enter: the Boston Theatre Conference. In years past the conference has been held in August a little ways out of town. This year, though, the conference will be held in February right beside Boston Common, making the event more highly accessible. The conference committee’s efforts to begin the conversation months ahead of time through the Boston Theatre Conference blog represents an open invitation for practitioners of all backgrounds and levels of experience to share in the exploration of home grown theatre. I know I’ll be attending the event to listen, learn, and count myself in as a member of our lively, local community. I do hope to see other students and young professionals participate as well. We may not have years of experience producing professional theatre, but what better way to continue a theatre education than to explore the growth of our community alongside those who have steered it for many decades? Unless, of course, the conversation stops there.

While I look forward to the event, I hope it won’t be the only catalyst for deepening the relationship between companies of all sizes and individual artists of varying levels of experience. Can we use the momentum of the conference to create opportunities beyond February to partner and learn from one another? SpeakEasy is printing their history piece by piece throughout their programs this season, illustrating their evolution over time and proving that fledgling Boston artists can cross the great divide to achieve professional standing. How can we smaller groups learn more from the trials and tribulations of our larger, more seasoned colleagues? By attending open rehearsals and seeing how their productions are born? By taking seminars on budgeting and scaling up logistically?  By inviting the movers and shapers to our industry night performances (hoping they have the time to come) and asking for constructive feedback?

I hope the upcoming conversations about our home grown theatre scene will lead to new opportunities for communication and discovery. I hope to see the possibility of mentor/mentee relationships between the folks who have fought hard for seasons and those of use who are desperate for the chance. If we’re truly home grown, we have to work together to sow and nurture the seeds of our art.

About Robyn Linden:

Robyn will be directing the upcoming world premiere of Her Red Umbrella for 11:11 Theatre Company.  You can follow Robyn’s blog at, Arts Marketing A-Musings.

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