The series features interviews with actors, directors, technicians, composers, and more, including a few Princetonians — Broadway actor Adam Hyndman ’12, composer and lyricist Lewis Flinn ’89, and artistic director Carol Dunne ’87. As Wrinkle embarks on the second year of the podcast, she’s also shining the spotlight on regional theater companies and theater nonprofits and taking “deep dives” into some of her favorite shows, starting with A Chorus Line. She spoke with PAW last month.
Opening the curtain
“Our goal is to make theater approachable and inspiring. There are a lot of people who may not have experience with theater because they’ve either been intimidated, or they don’t understand it or don’t think it’s for them. So part of our audience is people out there who are interested in theater and want to know more but have found it intimidating. And part of our audience is people who love talking about theater and love learning more.”
Three more podcasts to check out this month
1. RANA CAMPBELL ’13 interviews New York Knicks executive CRAIG ROBINSON ’83 on Dreams In Drive.
2. On Stay Tuned, host Preet Bharara talks with DAVID REMNICK ’81 about his experiences as the New Yorker editor.
3. Author and actor DAVID DUCHOVNY ’82 discusses the craft of writing (with a brief mention of his Princeton thesis) on Time Sensitive.
“EnTrance Theatre Talk is really the product of midlife crisis meets empty nest meets just being a tired 50-something-year-old. I had been working in anti-human-trafficking and it was just emotionally exhausting for me. And I had a friend who said, ‘Kirsten, what do you absolutely love?’ I said, ‘Well, I absolutely love talking to people, and I absolutely love theater.’ So she said, ‘Why don’t you do a podcast?’ And I was like, ‘What’s a podcast?’ I was not really the podcast generation, although I know it surpasses ages. But I just hadn’t listened to a lot of them.”
Theater as a long-term love
“I was really lucky: My parents took us to theater growing up. My best friend and her parents were really entrenched in the arts community in Houston, Texas, where I grew up. So I was able to experience a lot of theater. In fact, I just had sort of a full-circle moment — I’ve done two interviews at TUTS, Theatre Under the Stars, in Houston, which is the theater where I grew up seeing professional theater, so that’s been super fun for me.
“I was a theater kid. It was one of those lifesaving things for me as sort of a nerdy, geeky, awkward, chubby, redheaded, freckle-faced kid who just wanted to fit in. I found the theater crowd. The love of theater has always stuck, and it has been a part of my life for a long time. I’ve been a patron and supporter of the arts and arts nonprofits. Now my daughter is 20 years old — I started taking her to theater when she was about 5 or 6 — and she is at Savannah College of Art and Design studying production design for theater. So it is really fun to share the theater love and the theater bug with her.”
“There is amazing theater going on around this globe. And I sometimes wonder if people say, ‘Well I can’t get to New York, so I can’t experience theater.’ No! In fact, anybody can experience theater. I don’t care if you live in a small town: Go to your high school musical. Where do you think these Broadway stars come from? They’ve come from their high schools and their high school musicals. Go see shows — there is brilliant work being done across our country that I want to highlight and celebrate and hopefully encourage people to get out there and to experience their local theaters. One focus of the podcast is what we’re calling our EnTrance Road Trip, which is really looking at regional theaters across the country. We’re starting with places like Charleston Stage (S.C.), Red Mountain Theatre Company in Birmingham, Ala., TUTS in Houston, and Actors Theatre of Louisville, in Kentucky. And we hope to continue — I hope people write in to me and say, ‘Hey, come out to Detroit, come out to Provo, Utah, we have a great theater here.’ That’s what we want to celebrate.”
Learning as you go
“Listen to the experts who say you are going to stink in the beginning and you are going to get better. You can go back and listen to your first podcasts and cringe because everyone else does that. I firmly believe when you know better, you do better.
“The lessons I have learned are be authentic. Be vulnerable. If you expect vulnerability, give it in return. And I am a thorough researcher. I joke about being a comparative literature major — I loved my major — and one of the things that I learned as a comp lit major is to do thorough research. You want to write an A paper, you want to do an A interview? Then you do the research on it. I have also learned lately that there is a time to stop doing the research. You get to that point where you’re not going to learn any more, and you just speak from your passion.”
Interview conducted and condensed by Brett Tomlinson
Alumni, if you have a podcast that you’d like to share with PAW readers, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.