Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Spotlight On...Miles Mandwelle

Name: Miles Mandwelle

Hometown: Glens Falls, NY

Education: A little here, a little there.

Favorite Credits: Mozart in Amadeus, for sure.

Why theater?: There is no more immediate way to connect

Tell us about Scratching: It's Britton Buttrill's gritty rhapsody on life in Georgia.

What inspired you to direct Scratching: Because it's good! I'm inspired by Britton's ability to bring empathy- the kind we need in society- to the forefront. The stakes could not be higher, and it's beautiful to see.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I was actually having this conversation last night with a colleague who thinks I should be working more in queer theater. I've always been on the outside looking in, and I'm clueless as to what will speak to me most of the time. I am devoted to Brian Friel. Same with Gian Carlo Menotti, Jeffrey Hatcher, Leonid Andreyev, Marius Von Mayenberg, Peter Schaffer and others. I'm new to new works, and Britton has me hooked. My friends, first of all. I'm really blessed to have a lot of talented, inspiring friends. In particular, folks like Anthime Miller and Isaac Bush who go boldly into a new and exciting direction with every project, or Britton whose plays are all distinctly different than one another, shifting in and out of shades of humanity. Then there are my actor friends who floor me with their invention- like Julia Register or Patrick Kiernan who are such quick, inventive and outrageous character actors, or on the other end of the spectrum you get Hunter Ringsmith or Mia Hutchinson Shaw who can play seven different characters in three minutes and they're all deeply moving. I feel the same way about the actors of Scratching. They surprise me with in new ways all the time, and I like to be surprised. Within reason.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I'm so lucky that that list is not long. There are brilliant women like Laura Roth who have been running in the cabaret circuit for their careers and I want to put them in an Albee play so bad. I want to assistant direct for John Doyle, Robert Falls, and Jesse Berger. Those are big dreams.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Scratching, by Britton Buttrill.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I've actually looked into this, but Linda Hunt's people never get back to me.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Original Broadway production of Follies. For sure.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: There's a John Waters moment in every show I do. I won't tell you. But I'm deeply obsessed

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Teaching Alexander technique in my hometown or working with refugees.

What’s up next?: Scratching! Then some irons in the fire.

For more on Scratching, visit