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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

Creating "Opportunity"

Mo Brady

by Stanley Martin

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The original concept of Opportunity came from taking a Bob Krakower class with my Aladdin on Broadway cast mates at One on One Studios (I think I need an assistant to help me pick up all those names I dropped). Krakower suggested my cast mates and I should keep practicing and maybe create a filmed project that all of us could be involved in. We put up a group chat, and I brought up the idea of a “cast reunion.” That way everyone can play heightened versions of themselves, playing to everyone’s strengths.

My cast mates liked the idea and even added on to the concept... and then crickets. The momentum died. That’s when I thought: “Hey, it was originally my concept, why not turn into something?” So several readings, five hundred rewrites and a partridge in a pear tree later, I finally completed a version that was acceptable enough to be in a theatre festival.

Opportunity is about six dancers from the Broadway flop McKinleyThe Other American Musical, coming together for a cast reunion. It’s a dark comedy that delves into the lives of ensemble members in today’s industry and what internal and external struggles they go through to create and keep the opportunities they receive. To say writing this play wasn’t a cathartic experience would be a bald-faced lie.

I wrote this show as a response to the many times I have been blessed to have the opportunity to perform onstage but had to deal with theatre politics behind the scenes. It’s meant for the chorus member that’s ostracized in a community that’s supposed to be embracing. Whether it’s because of race, status, sexuality, gender or just simply refusing to succumb to a higher-up’s sexual advances, you are not alone and this show is for you.

All jokes aside, I have been working on this one-act for two years. I hope audiences enjoy viewing it as much as I had writing it.