Posts Tagged Boston University

Getting Lively, Lush & Local With: Coriana Hunt Swartz

Who are you? Coriana Hunt Swartz

What do you do? What DON’T I do? I’m a costume designer and actress, I sit on the Flat Earth Theatre Executive Council, I like to try my hand at whatever needs to be done — “what I do” is best summarized “I do theatre.”

Where are you from originally? Here, actually! But I grew up mostly in central Vermont.

How long have you been working in Boston? Two and a half years, now

Why do you stay? I stay because this is where the community I want to belong to is building itself, and I am so excited to be part of that process.

What’s your earliest theatre memory? I started my first theatre company when I was, I don’t know, 8 or 9? It was called The Front Porch Theater and specialized in adaptations of fairy tales starring me, my best friend, and our stuffed animals.

What’s your first theatre memory in Boston? Coming to see my brother in a Wandering Minds show when he was at B.U.

What was your first job in theatre? Paying job? Costume Assistant and Child Wrangler for the Chandler Center for the Arts, Randoloph, VT, summer of 2006. I thought I was volunteering, but then they paid me. Real-with-a-contract job? Costume Designer for Brundibar, Commonwealth Opera of Western Mass, 2008.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had before a show? …I don’t know, if I eat before a show I’m not usually thinking much about the food. I can’t remember!

What’s your favorite rehearsal snack? That time I brought carrot sticks and pretzels and it felt like revisiting preschool, that was kind of fun.

Do you eat before you go on stage or do you wait until after your performance to eat? I usually eat *something* before going to the theatre, but wait till after for anything like a real dinner

If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be? More conversations. Not just in the lobby or at the bar after the show, but long term and across town — theatre that responds to and becomes part of the larger conversations in our community and the larger world, and wider-world conversations in which the theatre we are doing can participate.

What kind of theater excites you? I’m a sucker for emotional depth and universal human themes. (Also politically/socially active theatre, and anything with robots.)

What advice do you have for artists just starting out? Trust yourself and dive in.

The Boston Theatre Conference is focusing on the lively, lush and local aspects of our theatre community. What do you think? Yes please!

YOUR TURN! Write to us here!

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Getting Lively, Lush & Local With: Daniel John

Who are you? Daniel John

What do you do? landscape designer

Where are you from originally? Canada

How long have you been working in Boston? 10 years

What’s your earliest theatre memory? singing Christmas songs

What’s your first theatre memory in Boston? BU freshmen students

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had before a show? never

What’s your favorite rehearsal snack? Sam Adams

Do you eat before you go on stage or do you wait until after your performance to eat? after

The Boston Theatre Conference is focusing on the lively, lush and local aspects of our theatre community. What do you think? Joy

YOUR TURN! Write to us here!

 

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Why Boston?

by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary

When Stage Source’s Stage Page comes out, I get giddy.  I have this ritual of first circling all of the things I know I want to see and then I open my calendar and make my plan for the next 2 months or so.  This quarterly practice of mine isn’t just about keeping my schedule up to date – it actually pumps me up for the months ahead.  Since graduating from BU in 2008 and joining the staff at New Rep, I have had the privilege to attend many different kinds of theater in many different venues.  There’s a certain amount of theater that I see because “I should.”  Don’t get me wrong, I can get excited about obligatory theater too, but the majority of what I see is because I love theater, and specifically I love the theater here in Boston.  I am constantly inspired by other people’s work.  I have watched actors, designers and directors grow and change over the last several years and there is something thrilling about that.  During New Rep’s General auditions I can sometimes forget I’m there in some kind of “official” capacity and just get wrapped up in the work happening in front of me.  It is truly a wonderful experience.  I am still in awe when I run into people like John Kuntz, Anne Gottlieb, Scott Edminston, Ronan Noone, Kate Snodgrass, Will Lebow, Ben Evett, Nancy Carol, Karen MacDonald, Paula Plum and many others.  Their work has such an impact on me.

We have so many amazing and talented people that have chosen to make Boston their artistic home and this number continues to grow.  During the Stage Source auditions, my favorite moment is  when a brand new, just moved to town, actor shows up, totally nails the audition, and you feel the joint excitement in the room – like we all know the next “get me…” person has just arrived.  It’s happened every summer I’ve been here.

Over the last year I have tried to challenge myself to get off the beaten path and see more fringe work.  Sometimes the bigger our subscriber base and budgets get, the more afraid we can be to take the kind of risks that some of the fringe companies are taking to uncover all kinds of important, powerful stories.  Whistler in the Dark is flying this year!  How awesome is that?

I do what I do because I have to.  Quality people exist everywhere.  So, really for me, the “where” in what I do has to do with where I want to make my life, and who I want my community to be.    I stay here because this area is big enough to continue to surprise me yet small enough to still feel like my home.

Bridget Kathleen O’Leary received her MFA in Directing from Boston University.  She is the Artistic and Education Associate at New Repertory Theatre and lives in Watertown with her husband Chris.

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