#297 – Creating Characters (feat. Jon Hoche)

#297 – Creating Characters (feat. Jon Hoche)

One of the most defining factors of ensemble characters is how undefined these characters are on the page. Often, the actors playing these roles are up to their own devices to decide who they are and how they fit into the world of the play. So how do you bring truth to a character who is intentionally surface-level? That’s the question I posed to Jon Hoche, who created the role of Chief Justice in the musical Soft Power. Here’s our conversation…

#222 – Creating Characters (feat. Jessica Rush)

#222 – Creating Characters (feat. Jessica Rush)

Developing a character based on a real person is a challenge for any actor, in part because whether or not the audience is familiar with that person you want to make sure the role feels authentic to the people that know them. Such is the case in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, where much of the ensemble takes on people in the life of the titular music icon. 

#209 – Creating Characters (feat. Jennifer Smith)

#209 – Creating Characters (feat. Jennifer Smith)

From Nellie Forbush to Evan Hansen, the librettos of Broadway musicals have been filled with complex characters for almost a century. And while those roles were originated and revived by astonishing actors, much of what makes those characters so fascinating is on the page, meaning written into the script itself. 

#205 – Creating Characters (feat. Jill Abramovitz)

#205 – Creating Characters (feat. Jill Abramovitz)

Jill Abramovitz is currently slaying Beetlejuice audiences in her duel roles of Maxine Dean and Juno. She’s so incredible that we here at The Ensemblist bestowed her one of our first ever Season Standout awards. We asked this veteran of Broadway’s Cinderella and 9 to 5 into the studio to talk about how she developed those roles into some of the funniest moments in what is already a very funny show. Here’s our conversation…

#203 – Creating Characters (feat. Ryan Knowles)

#203 – Creating Characters (feat. Ryan Knowles)

From Nellie Forbush to Evan Hansen, the librettos of Broadway musicals have been filled with complex characters for almost a century. And while those roles were originated and revived by astonishing actors, much of what makes those characters so fascinating is on the page, meaning written into the script itself. That’s what makes the work of our guests for this mini-series so remarkable. They’ve taken small supporting parts and turned them into fully realized characters – feeling just as developed and grounded as the leading counterparts. And what makes them even more remarkable is that they are often doing this for multiple characters within the same show. The Lightning Thief employs a cast of seven actors to bring the story of Percy Jackson on stage. Much of the show’s small cast is tasked with creating multiple characters, none more than actors Ryan Knowles. Using a versus title facility of voice and movement, he creates strikingly specific characters over and over in the show, including Charon, Hades and many many more. Here’s our conversation…

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