Saturday, August 13, 2011

Spotlight On...Dan Horrigan

Name: Dan Horrigan

Hometown: Buffalo, NY

Education: BA, Theatre Arts University at Buffalo

Select Credits:
The Big "A" as Dan Horrigan, The Cherry Lane Theatre

Why Theater?: Because I have no other choice. Theater for me is kinda like the mafia. I keep trying to get out but they keep pullin' me back in. Theater is all I've done since I was about 14 years old. It's the only thing I've ever wanted to do. I think it started as it does for many kids and particularly gay kids as both an escape from the world and a place where I could really be myself. It's where I'm most at home.

Tell us about The Big “A”: The Big "A" is an autobiographical show about my experience living with HIV. I've been describing it as a stand up / confessional mash up as it sort of oscillates between being very sincere and being very off the wall.

What inspired you to write The Big “A”?: I've always been interested in storytelling. Personal storytelling. For a long time friends were encouraging me to do stand up comedy and I thought 'well that'd be interesting' but I wanted to do more than crack some jokes. I thought, 'What if I do something that feels like stand up and will be funny but at the same time revolves around an issue has a bit more resonance with the audience and is a bit more personal?' So I decided to open up about my HIV status and have it revolve on that.

What is the hardest part of doing a solo show?: Rehearsing alone in your living room. Luckily I have a great director and stage manager at rehearsal but sometimes I have to run things on my own and that's the worst. I need the audience. They're my scene partner.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Theatre with a good story. I'm the artistic director of At Hand Theatre Company and we have a very specific aesthetic and approach which is minimalistic and focusing on story and character. We have been somewhat regarded as an 'issue' company and I'm fine with that but issues in a play or a piece of theatre mean nothing if they're not wrapped around a really good story.

Any role you’re dying to play?: I'm not really an actor. I just play myself. So if pressed I'd say I'd like to someday play a super successful version of me recounting his salad days.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I loved loved loved Jerusalem. I've been gabbing about that one like crazy.

What’s up next?: Well after The Big "A" closes, I'll chill for a minute but then it's back to work with At Hand. I'll be preparing for our next production. We'll be producing a new play by Mark Snyder in very early 2012.

For information on The Big "A", Dan and At Hand Theatre Company, visit and