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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

Playing the Stage Manager

Angela Tricarico

by Alessia Salimbene

James Moye (second from left) as Carl in  Tootsie

James Moye (second from left) as Carl in Tootsie

James “Jim” Moye has had an expansive career on Broadway beginning in 2000 in The Full Monty. From there he’s created more original roles in A Tale of Two Cities, Bullets Over Broadway, On The Twentieth Century, and most recently as Carl in Tootsie

Not only has Moye created original roles on Broadway, but he’s also stepped into iconic roles like standing by for the Sultan and Jafar in Disney’s Aladdin. He swung in Urinetown and understudied as Sam Phillips in Million Dollar Quartet

Moye spoke about how Carl came to life: “The writers asked me to do an early act one table read of Tootsie, about four years ago.” And as many original ensembles roles do, Moye had a hand in solidifying the name Carl.

“Actually, Robert [Horn] let me name him,” Moye said. “I was in rehearsal one day, and told Robert I felt like a Carl. He liked it, and that was how Carl was named.”

The character of Carl is a stage manager within the show, and Moye reflected on the work it takes.

James Moye

James Moye

“Being a stage manager is such a tough job,” he said. “They have to deal with so many different aspects of the production”.

Even though Carl was manifested by Moye, he remembers the many stage managers he’s encountered in his time as an actor and the important role that they play: “The best stage managers I’ve worked with are incredibly organized, are great communicators, and have a wonderful sense of humor.”

Moye tends to pull little bits from his cast mates’ performances to shape his own. He specifically mentions, easter egg moments he loves with my cast mates that evolve in the rehearsal scenes and ‘I Like What She’s Doing.’” Something more noticeable that people might catch about Carl is the wonderful costume design by William Ivey Long.

Moye says, “In the first act, Carl’s always in the same costume, just a different shade of shirt. Carl’s costume during “Most Important Night” is an homage to our own production stage manager Scott Rollison. He loves wearing purple for his opening nights, so Carl’s shirt is based on Scott.” 

Moye has shaped his characters from his Broadway debut until Tootsie. Every character, from ensemble to lead has their own little story with some incredible backstory. Carl shines in his own light every night in the Marquis Theatre in Tootsie on Broadway thanks to Moye and his incredible work.