Thursday, August 20, 2015

Spotlight On...Adam Overett

Name: Adam Overett

Hometown: Denver, CO

Education: Yale, B.A. in Music and Literature

Favorite Credits: Covering and performing Fabrizio in The Light in the Piazza at Lincoln Center and on national tour

Why theater?: My first grade teacher played cast albums from shows in music class, and I was hooked. Characters who expressed themselves in music – what’s not to love?

Tell us about Popesical: Popesical is sort of like the musical Spelling Bee in the Sistine Chapel -- a bunch of unlikely Cardinals from all over the world have come to compete to be the next Pope. They have to go through never-before-seen “Papal Challenges” to prove their worthiness. And in the process, they face their fears, confront their true identities, and learn what it really takes not only to be a great Pope, but to be a great human being.

What inspired you to write Popesical?: I always found the conclave a fascinating concept, and in 2011 I had the opportunity to write a 15-minute show for eight college students for the York Theatre, and decided this was my chance to write about it. I had a week to write the show, and when it was done I didn’t want to stop working on it. So I didn’t. And this is what came out.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love theater that uses heightened reality, in the way only theater can do. This is why I love musicals, which move between different “planes” of storytelling (song and speech), but I love it in non-musicals too. But really, like anyone else, I just love a great story. I love, and strive to create, pieces that can thrill me, move me, and make me laugh hysterically – that can have all those colors at once.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Meryl Streep. I mean … duh. And “working” could include polishing her silver, or whatever she wants, really.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I trumpeted August: Osage County to the rooftops as long as it was on Broadway. A couple seasons ago, Tribes blew me away. These days, I’m on the Hamilton train with the rest of the universe.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Meryl Streep would play me, in “The Boy Who Wanted to Work With Meryl Streep”. If she’s unavailable, please call Daniel Day-Lewis and retitle it appropriately.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I don’t believe in guilty pleasures – if you love it, and it doesn’t hurt anyone else, you shouldn’t feel guilty about it! That said, I’m utterly ashamed of how much I spend on coffee and eating out.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: A Supreme Court justice. (A sensible fall-back career.)

What’s up next?: Workshopping another show of mine, Call It Courage, with director Devanand Janki at the Bingham Camp Theatre Retreat in Connecticut this fall … and continuing development on my show My Life Is A Musical, which premiered at Bay Street Theater last year.

For more on Adam, visit