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New York, NY
USA

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. 

Q&As

Connect with each of our guests as they tackle The Ensemblist's Q&A!

Q&A: Lynn Ahrens

Nikka Lanzarone

Connect with Lynn

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Lynn's Episode: Writing for Ensemblists (#34)

Where are you from? New York City (and Neptune, NJ for my high school years, but I ran back to NYC as soon as I could!)

Broadway credits: Once On This Island; My Favorite Year; Ragtime; Ragtime 2009 Broadway Revival; Seussical; Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life; MSG’s A Christmas Carol (does this count as Broadway? It ran for ten years in a 5000 seat house!!); Rocky.

How did you hear you’d booked your first Broadway show? Once On This Island began at Playwrights Horizons, and the reviews pointed to a possible move, but it wasn’t official until Andre Bishop told us they had secured the Booth Theater. The Booth!!! That was our first Broadway house, and will always be first in my heart.

What is your favorite event in the Broadway community? I’m a fan of the annual Lilly Awards, which isn’t exactly a Broadway community event, but certainly embraces Broadway writers, directors, producers, designers etc. It’s always brilliant, hilarious, heartfelt and meaningful, and honors women who have managed to make their mark in this crazy business.

What’s something about Broadway that fascinates you? I could write a very bitter, cranky answer—like, “I’m fascinated by the sheep-like, slavish adherence of the…(fill in the blank)…to what the critics say.” Or, “I’m fascinated by how…(fill in the blank)…ever got to where they are.” Or, “I’m fascinated by people who feel it’s their God-given duty to give you their notes.” But instead I will be upbeat and cheerful and “nice” (even after a pretty shitty—sorry—disappointing– season) and say that I’m fascinated by the fact that despite the myriad disappointments and frustrations, it’s a miracle that so many of us continue to write instead of jumping from some Times Square ledge. It’s because in the face of everything, we get to do what we love. Fascinating!

What, other than theatre, has inspired you recently? The view from my house upstate. Ever changing, ever enthralling.

If I could have coffee with any living person, it would be… Oh, just my husband. How boring is that?

If I could trade places with anybody for a day, I would choose… Well, if you promise it’s just for a day, my mother. So I could understand better what she’s going through.

To be successful in this business, it takes… the continual desire to rewrite until its perfect; an intuitive knowledge of psychology; kindness, even when you want to kill; and sense of humor.

Tell us a secret. At some point, I’m planning to go back to school.