Sunday, July 5, 2015
Spotlight On...Devin Dunne Cannon
Hometown: Rochester, NY
Education: BFA Musical Theatre, New School University
Favorite Credits: Acting credit: Gwen Post in the world premiere of On the Head of a Pin, by a Frank Winters. Directing credit: The Woodsman at 59E59 Theaters.
Why theater?: Why breathe? Live performance is the most unique form of art--where for one brief moment in time, a large group of people experience one singular, living, breathing event. And then it is gone, and the next night a brand new group will experience something entirely different. It's fleeting and fragile and temporary and yet often stays with you forever.
Tell us about Spot on the Wall: This show, in many ways, is everything that I love about theatre in one show. This musical takes place in a museum, and yet the true "art" of the show are the living, breathing characters who exist within it, not what hangs on the walls. This show has modern catchy tunes, Classic Greek mythology, contemporary dance and a story with honesty and heart. It's theatre at its best.
What inspired you to direct Spot on the Wall?: I've been attached to this project for years...ever since the day in 2011 that these boys asked me to come down to the Jersey shore for a weekend and tell them what I thought of their "attempt to write a musical." I've been helping in its development since almost day one. Alex Mitchell and I went to college together, and when he came to me with this idea, I said, "Write it. And when we get to NYMF, I'll direct it." We were sort of kidding. But the universe wasn't.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: There is no one form of theatre that speaks to me. I love anything from a small black box play in the middle of Queens to a huge Broadway musical with million dollar sets; provided it is honest. Spectacle means nothing to me if the show has no heart. And minimalism means nothing to me if I don't believe it. Tell me a good story. That can be done with zero dollars, no words, and no set…. Just be honest. and I'll follow you anywhere. Who inspires me? If I am sticking with honesty, my friends. A group of my friends got together recently to sit in a room and read The Cherry Orchard, and drink vodka and talk about the play. And there was enough talent and open conversation in that room to last a lifetime. Those who inspire me to create and learn and grow are also those whom I love most.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Cliche? Maybe. But Meryl Streep. She has been a guide in my life for quite some time, and she seems to radiate a humbleness and joy that I imagine would make any room a more pleasant and collaborative one.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: Spot on the Wall. Tickets are selling fast, you don't want to miss it!
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I think I’d play myself, and it would be called "How to Die on Vacation."
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I don't need to go back in time, but I've yet to see "Sleep No More," and it is haunting me.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: The ID Network - TV shows about murderers and how/why they did it. I mean, the nitty gritty. That and a disgustingly wonderful bowl of ziti with soy sauce and Parmesan cheese.
If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: A blood splatter expert.
What’s up next?: I've been writing a very personal play for the last couple of years, and will begin workshopping it with my theatre company (Strangemen & co) this fall. But a vacation will take place in between.... In which a hospital visit will inevitably occur.
For more on Spot on the Wall, visit spotonthewall.com or nymf.org