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Archive for June, 2014

In honor of Father’s Day, I would like to dedicate this post to a wonderful man that the theatre industry recently lost, Seth Popper.

I had the good fortune to work with Seth while he was at Broadway Across America. Seth was a lawyer specializing in labor relations and I provided support to Seth in the tracking and management of the many collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) across North America that BAA negotiated directly, or had an association with via one of our presenting partnerships. Seth was terrific to work with. Reliable, responsive, patient and clear, it was easy to feel confident in him and know that the complicated task of dealing with all the various labor agreements was in excellent hands. I was sorry when Seth left BAA to return to The Broadway League, but knew that the change was one that would make him happy, so I was happy for him. I didn’t get to know Seth well, but I had an easy rapport with him and, even after he left BAA, whenever we crossed paths I was always happy to see him and greeted him with a hug, as I had done at the Spring Road Conference less than two weeks before his untimely death on May 26. I am still reeling from Seth’s passing and so cannot even begin to imagine what his wife and two young children must be going through.

Life is precious and unpredictable and if I can gain anything positive from Seth’s passing it would be to not let petty gripes and setbacks consume me, and to remember to appreciate every minute of what I have, and who is in my life.

So, thank you, Seth for passing through my life. I’m sorry we didn’t talk just a bit more in depth about our histories on those elevator rides to and from the BAA office. If we had, we may have discovered that we had gone to the same elementary school, P.S. 117 in Briarwood, Queens (though different years) and likely had some of the same teachers, and we also could have determined if my mom had been your kindergarten teacher there. Though I did not get the chance to know you back at P.S. 117, I am so thankful I got a second chance.

Rest in peace, Seth.

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Welcome to the final installment of The Road 101’s “Acting On The Road” series with guest, Patrick Oliver Jones. This interview was conducted in mid-May. The Road 101 is so grateful to Patrick for taking the time out of his busy schedule on the road over the past six months to check in with us to let us know what it’s like out there on tour. We’re super excited to see what’s next for Patrick down the road, and wish him all the best!

THE ROAD 101: How long have you been out on the EVITA tour, and what were some of the highlights for you?

Patrick Oliver Jones: Rehearsals started last August, and I’ve been with the show from the beginning. We’ve been to some wonderful cities like Chicago, which is probably my favorite city to visit in the US, as well as new cities for me like San Antonio, which has a beautiful river walks that wind their way through the heart of downtown. The real highlight, though, are the people I’ve worked with and come to know. The cast is not only fantastically talented onstage but a pleasure to be with offstage as well. Each person is perfectly suited to their role and the friendships formed during these last nine months are ones I look forward to continuing long after the tour has ended.

TR101: I hear that you will be leaving the EVITA tour a little early. What’s next for you?

POJ: Yes, my last day with the tour was May 9. After a much-needed vacation and then a few days back in NYC, I started work in upstate NY at the Merry Go Round Playhouse to do Mr. Banks in MARY POPPINS. We open Wednesday, June 4 and have a spectacular cast of veterans from the Broadway and National Tour companies as well as those new to the show like myself. Once Poppins closes, I will make my way down to St. Louis to play the Grinch in SEUSSICAL. As it turns out, our director and production stage manager from EVITA were part of the original Broadway production of SEUSSICAL and they gave me some of the rich history and creative process of this unique show. My last 3 years have been filled with ensemble work in two national tours. I am truly looking forward to taking on two iconic principal characters in these upcoming shows. It’s set to be a wonderfully fun summer!

TR101: Do you plan on going out on the road and performing in tours again in the future?

POJ: At this point my sights are set on work in NYC. Life on the road is fun and involves going to some great places, but I moved to the city years ago with the goal of working in the city. So now is the time to concentrate on that. With so many workshops and shows on and off Broadway, I’m excited for the chance to perform in new works, including readings and concerts. Should a tour come along in the future that has a great role and a wonderful creative team, I might be persuaded to hit the road again. But for now, I’m happy to set my roots firmly in NYC!

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