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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. 


5 Debut Questions: Anastasia's Stephen Brower

Mo Brady

Today on our blog, we welcome Anastasia ensemblist Stephen Brower to Broadway and learn about his journey to the Great White Way:

Stephen Brower in  Anastasia

Stephen Brower in Anastasia

1. What's your name and hometown?

My name's Stephen Brower. I'm from Tulsa, OK.

2. What is your role/track in your Broadway debut?

Well that's a little complicated... Right now I'm a vacation swing/Dmitry understudy. By the time April rolls around, I'll be in the ensemble full-time, covering Dmitry. I debuted in the track that I'll take over, so that was extra exciting.

3. How did you find out you had booked the part?

I got a heads up from my agent a couple hours after my callback, like a "they love you, waiting to confirm, should know by the end of the day" situation. But 6pm rolled around and still no call. Around 7pm, I was on the train to a class in midtown when my phone starting ringing. I was sweating bullets, I couldn't pick it up, I was on the train!! I got off, got the voicemail, and literally sprinted with joy through that little market in Columbus Circle. I looked crazy. Called my mom, cried, the whole bit...

4. What's been the most surprising thing about preparing to perform the show?

Truthfully, how normal it's felt. I was a replacement swing for the Pippin tour and the vibe is pretty similar. It's intimate rehearsals with just you, the dance captain, and the stage manager, lots of number writing, and prop finagling, and swapping stories. Everything is very chill. I think maybe I was expecting this sacredness or this revelatory level of working because it's Broadway. When in reality it's just another show and just another company. That's been an amazing, relieving aspect of it all.

5. What are you looking forward to most about your experience on Broadway?

Routine. I love the ritual of theatre. Everyday doing the exact same thing backstage; I put on this costume, I pick up this notebook, I high-five so-and-so, grab a sip of water, and walk onstage. And then when you're out there you get to be fresh, and vibrant, and honest. You can have the worst day or the best day, and regardless you show up and walk your path. You see really quickly how everyone in the theater from the doorman to the star plays a part in creating something that doesn't exist outside of this building. My friend David calls it the "Christmas village," which I think is hilarious. That's what I miss most when I'm unemployed, having a little village to return to and play pretend.

Stephen Brower

Stephen Brower