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The Ensemblist is an inside look at the experience of being a Broadway performer- from the first rehearsal through performing eight shows a week and beyond. Whether you’re an experienced theatre professional or a passionate fan, The Ensemblist will give you the opportunity to get to know new performers and the great work they do onstage, while also shedding light on some of the hidden innerworkings of the Broadway experience. Created and hosted by Mo Brady (The Addams Family, SMASH) and Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Chicago, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), The Ensemblist is the only podcast that shows you Broadway from the inside out. 

Blog

A Broadway Show's First Audience

Mo Brady

A few of our favorite ensemblists attended the invited dress rehearsal for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this week. We asked them how it felt to be the first American audience to see the show.

Listen to our episode on Invited Dress Rehearsals here.

Listen to Nick on our Live at Birdland episode here.

The final dress rehearsal is just that, a rehearsal. And I enjoy the rehearsal and creative process leading up to a show’s opening so much whether I’m in the audience or part of the show. I love to be able to come back to it later and see how it’s developed and settled in. It sort of feels like play-doe fresh out of the package and then you’re able to see all the bold and creative shapes it takes on later in the run.
— Nick Cearley
As a gypsy, going to an invited dress of a new show, you must understand where the cast and the show is in their process. Tech rehearsals, followed by public performances and then an opening night, feels like a marathon. Getting to see the final dress run, you must come with all of this in mind. I like to view it with as much love as I can give cause it’s a work in progress. It is the small resting point that the cast has leading in to an even more grueling portion of the labor of love we call “Putting Up A Broadway Show.
— Gaelen Gilliland

Listen to Gaelen on our Understudies episode here.

Gaelen Gilliland (on right, with Tiffany Engen

Gaelen Gilliland (on right, with Tiffany Engen

Justin Keats (on right, with Amy Quanbeck)

Justin Keats (on right, with Amy Quanbeck)

I was excited to be part of such an encouraging and loving audience for my friends in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. After putting in weeks of work and finally getting to perform a show for the first time ever in front of an audience, it’s nice to know that it’s full of people who love you and will cheer you on, no matter what may happen it’s nice to know it’s full of people who love you and will cheer you on, especially since, as a swing, one of my friends was sitting right next to me. It also made me feel like part of an exclusive group and who doesn’t enjoy that? It’s really something special.
— Justin Keats
It’s thrilling to be with the first people ever seeing a new production take flight. It’s a cool moment for the performers and audience alike. The energy in the room is something extremely unique, special, and always supportive.
— Christopher Rice

Listen to Chris on our Swings episode here.

Christopher Rice (on right, with Clay Thomson)

Christopher Rice (on right, with Clay Thomson)

Andrew Wilson (on right, with Jack Sippel)

Andrew Wilson (on right, with Jack Sippel)

Seeing a final dress run is thrilling because it’s the unveiling of the painting. We spend months and weeks with our canvas and have this deeply personal relationship with it, then the time comes and ouila! The exposure helps the painter to know what feelings are genuinely tapped into versus what we think will be. And who can beat seeing some of your dearest friends living an actual living, breathing dream in the epicenter of the theatre universe?
— Andrew Wilson