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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. 

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“It Was Like Going Back In Time.”

Mo Brady

by Angela Tricarico

Morgan Marcell

Morgan Marcell

Morgan Marcell has made an name for herself as an Ensemblist on the Main Stem, appearing as a swing and dance captain in the original company of Hamilton and as an original company member of Bandstand. Through these credits, she’s developed a working relationship with choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, who she first encountered as a dance captain on the In The Heights national tour.

Marcell was gearing up for the world premiere of Moulin Rouge! in the Fall of 2017, but she was also looking for some opportunities to get more experience choreographing for film.

“I have always kind of seen things in frames,” Marcell said, elaborating on her experience on the other side of the lens. “Those who are close to me know I always have a camera with me.” Marcell has directorial experience with a short film about The Eliza Project, which she founded during her time in Hamilton.

She sent a email to Blankenbuehler saying, “I’m trying to get my eye more into directing, and I know your vocabulary so well. I think it would be easy for me to assist you, and you would gain from it as well.”

Blankenbuehler wrote back about a project he couldn’t yet talk about, but said that he’d “love to have [Marcell] assist [him],” especially because other big names attached the project were the rest of Hamilton’s creative team - Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tommy Kail, and Alex Lacamoire.

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“He said it was an eight-part miniseries, and then he said it was about Fosse,” Marcell explained. “I basically died and went to heaven. This is more than I asked for. I was thinking a commercial, but great!”

As an assistant choreographer, Marcell worked on the first three episodes of the series. She never professionally danced Fosse before, but says she was familiar with the style prior to her work on Fosse/Verdon. During pre-production, a lot of Marcell’s focus was on overseeing the training of the series’ stars Sam Rockwell (Bob Fosse) and Michelle Williams (Gwen Verdon) and scheduling the rehearsal times around filming, once that began in October 2018.

Marcell also appeared as a dancer in episodes one, six and seven of Fosse/Verdon. She describes the shooting experience as “straightforward” and a shorter process than that of her last on-camera role in the ensemble of Rent Live.

“It was like you’re going back in time,” Marcell said about recreating classic musical theater numbers for Fosse/Verdon. “We were inhabiting characters set in the 70’s. That was really cool.”

Listen to more of Morgan’s story on episode #142 of The Ensemblist