Artistic Director Joshua Morgan introduces us to the exciting 2014 season for No Rules Theatre Company.
Joel: Why did you select these shows for your upcoming season? Why are these shows important for you to produce now? How will 2014 audiences relate to them?
Joshua: Theatre allows us to reflect, especially when it’s happening in real time, in front of us. In the midst of our ever-changing world, I wanted to take the opportunity to explore identity in all of its forms.
During three memorable productions, we will take our audiences through a journey that uncovers hidden pasts, cultural understanding and character transformations.
There have been some changes in the past 6 months at No Rules. Tell us what’s been happening and what we can look forward to in the upcoming year.
Over the course of just four seasons No Rules Theatre Co. has shown unprecedented levels of growth. The company has quickly grown from a small start-up into a Helen Hayes Award-winning organization that has literally doubled in size each year by presenting full seasons of productions in Washington, DC, and Winston-Salem, NC.
In this past season we saw some of our greatest accomplishments. Our profile was exponentially elevated when we moved into residency at Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, a Tony Award-winning organization and one of the top regional theatres in the country. We saw our audiences grow substantially in the DC area and in North Carolina. Three of our productions in a row broke box office records and became the organization’s best sellers.
Moving into our fifth season, we just raised more than $100,000 in Winston-Salem to bolster our operations and are raising even more money in the DC market. We added some influential board members in both cities. We’re also looking forward to hiring our first Managing Director thanks to a generous grant from The Winston-Salem Foundation. We will be producing seven productions between our two cities that challenge conventions, open minds and expand the expectations of theatrical experiences.
Will we be seeing new members in the company this year?
You’ll be seeing many familiar faces that you’ve grown to love along but who are, in fact, new company members! For instance, Late: A Cowboy Song is directed by Rex Daugherty, starring Alyssa Wilmoth, who appeared in NRTC’s Stop Kiss. Late: A Cowboy Song is being designed by long-time NRTC collaborator, but new company member, Cory Ryan Frank. Boeing Boeing will be directed by No Rules Company Member Matt Cowart who directed Black Comedy and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown; the latter of which Helen Hayes Award-winning actress and No Rules Company Member Carolyn Cole starred in and who will be leading the cast of Boeing Boeing. This show is also being costumed by a new NRTC Company Member, Chelsey Schuller. We’re thrilled that August Wilson’s Seven Guitars will be directed by Michele Shay who was handpicked by Wilson for the role of Louise in the Broadway production of Seven Guitars, for which she was nominated for the 1996 Tony Award as Best Actress.
You are appearing as an actor in some local productions. Fill us in on that. Who will you be playing and why did you want to play those roles?
As you know, being Artistic Director of No Rules in two cities takes up the time of a full-time job, so when I choose to be in another a play, it’s for a special reason. As of now, in 2014, I will be appearing in The Piano Teacher at Rep Stage, directed by Kasi Campbell, playing the slightly-off role of Michael. Kasi and I have been talking about working together for some time. She felt strongly that this was the perfect show. I’m also slated to be in Awake and Sing! at Olney, directed by Kim Senior. I’m very excited about this show. I saw it eight seasons ago on Broadway and fell in love with it. It is such a period piece, but it has all the same heart and risk of a contemporary show. Also appearing in it are Rick Foucheux and Naomi Jacobson, so how could I have said, “No”?
No Rules Theatre Company’s website.