The Comeback Project – Outdoor Performance
Are you one of the many theatermakers around the world attempting to make–or perform in–outdoor productions for the first time this summer? This panel, featuring American theatermakers who are pioneers in creating outdoor productions during the pandemic, focuses on sharing best practices around both outdoor productions and audience health + safety. From our panelists, we’ll learn about how they and their colleagues effectively and artistically created–or are planning to create–outdoor happenings, what new elements they’ve had to contend with, and thoughts for theatermakers looking to follow suit.
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Creators / Moderators / Panelists
Sammi Cannold (Moderator & Co-Creator) is a director who is one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 in Hollywood & Entertainment, class of 2019. Recent theater credits include Evita (New York City Center), Endlings (New York Theatre Workshop, A.R.T.), Ragtime on Ellis Island, Violet on a moving bus (A.R.T.), and Allegory (La Jolla Playhouse WOW). Upcoming projects include Carmen (Lincoln Center w. MasterVoices), a documentary film, and two feature films. Associate director credits include the Broadway production of Natasha, Pierre… (dir. Rachel Chavkin). Sammi has also served as an Artistic Fellow at the A.R.T., a member of Cirque du Soleil’s Creative Cognoscenti, and a Sundance Institute Fellow and developed work with Playwrights Realm, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, New York Stage and Film, Cirque du Soleil, and Nickelodeon. She holds a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. from Harvard University. www.sammicannold.com. @sammi.cannold
Panelists will be announced shortly!
Jessica Paz is a Tony Award-winning Sound Designer for theater, film and music. Most recently, she collaborated with Nevin Steinberg on the sound design for Anaïs Mitchell’s acclaimed production of Hadestown, which earned the duo a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle nomination.
On Broadway, Jessica was an Associate Sound Designer on projects including Dear Evan Hansen, Bandstand, Disaster! The Musical; The Assembled Parties (MCC); and Fela!.
Other design credits include Little Shop of Horrors (Westside Theater); Kiss My Aztec (Berkeley Rep); Twelfth Night, Othello, Miss You Like Hell, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Nights Dream, and As You Like It (The Public Theater); Burn All Night (A.R.T Oberon Stage); Ugly Lies the Bone (Roundabout); A Sucker EmCee, and The Muscles in Our Toes (LAByrinth); The Kings Whore (Starcatcher Productions); Becoming Dr. Ruth (Westside Theater); Looking for the Pony (Vital Theater Co.); Women Beware Women (Red Bull Theater); STRETCH – A Fantasia (New Georges); Welcome to Fear City (KC Rep); Scott & Hem in the Garden of Allah, and See How They Run (Barrington Stage); Legally Blonde, and 9 to 5 The Musical (North Shore Music Theater); Romeo & Juliet, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, and Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare on the Sound’s Productions); SCKBSTD (Virginia Stage Co) ; Volcanoes Birthright (Organic Magnetics); TempOdyssey, And Her Hair Went With Her, Bookends, and Minstrel Show (NJ Rep).
Jessica has been a Front of House Engineer for musicians including The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Antibalas, Julia Haltigan, Femi Kuti, Lady Antebellum, Candy Shop Boys, People vs. Larson, Michael Arenetta, Bugaboo, Carte Blanche, King Holiday, The Woes, Stone Cold Fox, The African Children’s Choir and many others. She has also been a Lecturer of Sound Design in addition to student advisor for Princeton Universities production of Next To Normal, and was the Sound Designer of the Actor’s Studio Drama School’s yearly Master’s Thesis productions from 2009 – 2014.
Jessica is fascinated by music studio and live concert techniques. She is constantly learning and researching innovative approaches from the traditional music recording world, and bringing them into her theater work. A proud member of IATSE Local 829; Soundgirls.org; Woman’s Audio Mission; USITT; and Co-Chair of the board of the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association. She currently resides in New York. Pizza is her favorite food group.
For 24 years, with his partner Kristin Caskey, Mike has produced more than 25 Broadway musicals and plays, national tours, off-Broadway plays, and London productions. Last season he produced the highly acclaimed David Byrne’s American Utopia, which made every major “Top 10” list for 2019, and became a highly acclaimed film by Spike Lee for HBO, for which he also served as an executive producer. Just as the COVID shut down of Broadway began, he was awaiting the first preview of their production Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite starring Mathew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker. Mike and Kristin are also developing Becoming Nancy a new musical which had its world premiere at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre in 2019. Mike also served recently as a supporting producer of The Unsinkable Molly Brown starring Beth Malone at The Transport Group. In 2015, he received the Tony® award for “Best Musical” for the ground-breaking Fun Home. Other producing highlights include Dolls House, Part 2, The Humans (2016 Tony® Award, Best Play); Bring It On The Musical (2013 Tony® nomination for Best Musical); Red (2010 Tony® Award, Best Play); Legally Blonde the Musical (2011 Olivier Award, Best Musical); Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002 Tony® Award, Best Musical); You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; If/Then; The Seagull; Burn This, Caroline, or Change; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest starring Gary Sinise, and Death of a Salesman (1999 Tony® Award). For the IPN, he served as producer for the Broadway productions of Spamalot (2005 Tony® Award, Best Musical), Ragtime (revival) and The Color Purple. All told, his productions have received more than 98 Tony® Award Nominations, and 29 Tony® Awards. He has served on the Board of Governors of The Broadway League as well as the Tony Administration committee. In March of 2017, Mike received the Commercial Theatre Institute’s prestigious Robert Whitehead award in recognition of his producing career.
Isaacson is also the Artistic Director and Executive Producer of The Muny, the third person to hold this position in The Muny’s 103 -year history. Now in his tenth season, he has produced 57 Muny shows, 23 of which have been new to The Muny audience. The Riverfront Times wrote, “Under the leadership of executive producer Mike Isaacson the quality of Muny productions rose like the proverbial phoenix.” During Isaacson’s tenure, The Muny has produced new developmental productions of Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, Lerner and Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon, and The Unsinkable Molly Brown. During its record-breaking 100th season, The Muny became the first theatre in the world to produce the legendary Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, doing unprecedented archival work on both the artistic and the business side to make it happen. During that same epic season, The Muny produced the U.S. regional premiere of Jersey Boys. Isaacson has changed the look and feel of The Muny, overseeing a transformation in every aspect of production that culminated in 2019 with the arrival of the theatre’s extraordinary James S. McDonnell stage, a state-of-the art stage house that includes revolutionary LED technology, automated sets, and a host of other innovations. During the summer of 2020, when The Muny was closed due to COVID, Mike produced and created The Muny 2020 Variety Hour, an online show that reached more than worldwide audience of more than 400,000.
With Michael Arden: Deaf West’s Spring Awakening (Conception/Development and Performing Company, Broadway), Maybe Happy Ending (Associate Director, Alliance Theater). Theater: The View Upstairs (Soho Theatre, London), Marius in the 2014 revival of Les Miserables (Broadway), Wicked (National Tour), Spring Awakening (National Tour), Tommy (Denver Center), Bent (Mark Taper Forum), and Carrie (MCC). Television: “Smash” (NBC), “The Flash” (CW), “Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings” (Netflix), “GONE” (WGNA). Writing: the musical Burn All Night with Company Member Van Hughes (ART) and the middle grade fiction series The Backstagers from Amulet/Abrams. Recording: “The Jonathan Larson Project” (Ghostlight Records). Training: University of Michigan. @andymientus
Gerry McIntyre – Choreographer: Has won widespread acclaim for his most recent choreographic credit: the Berkshire Theatre Group’s production of Godspell — sold out, twice-extended, with rave reviews. He was recently made Associate Artistic Director of the York Theatre. Gerry made his directing debut at The York with the 2018 Musicals in Mufti presentation of Hallelujah Baby. Kinky Boots — The Hangar Theatre,Soon of a Mornin – Lions Theatre. Once On This Island – Martin Beck Theatre, Virginia Stage,Pioneer Theatre, Actors’ Theatre Of Louisville, La Mirada Theatre (Robby Award for Best Director, Ovation nomination for Best Choreography and Best Musical); Ain’t Misbehavin – Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, Gateway Playhouse and Theatre By The Sea Chicago – Ogunquit Playhouse; Joseph….Dreamcoat starring Diana Degarmo and Anthony Federov – Lyric theatre; The National Tour of Dreamgirls. As a Choreographer: Anything Can Happen In The Theatre and Forbidden Broadway The Next Generation at the York Theatre. Side by Side, Tommy and My Fair Lady at the Berkshire Theatre Festival; A Saint She Aint – Westport Playhouse; Laura Comstocks Bag Punching Dog (LA weekly nomination Best Choreography). The Wiz-Broadway Sacramento, Priscilla-Gateway Playhouse, After The Storm documentary. Gerry is the choreographer of the hit off Broadway show Spamilton. As a performer the original company of Once On this Island, Anything Goes with Patti Lupone. And one of the three Americans cast in the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. With Donny Osmand. www.gerrymcintyre.net