Thursday, January 12, 2017

Spotlight On...George Simon

Name: George Simon

Hometown: Peekskill, NY

Education: Muhlenberg College, B.A. in Theatre and Religion Studies

Favorite Credits: Company Manager of Dust Can't Kill Me, Forest Boy, Newton's Cradle, and Tink! in the 2016 New York Musical Festival, Producing Intern on The Color Purple with Just for Laughs Theatricals.

Why theater?: There is no other experience like telling a story to a live audience. I also love the community and the collaborative nature of theater.

Tell us about The Fresh Grind Festival: The Fresh Grind Festival is a new developmental reading series featuring ten original plays and musicals taking place at Theaterlab in Midtown Manhattan. The pieces were selected from over eighty submissions and are receiving public staged readings. It's a chance to connect with other artists, work closely with new material, and showcase up-and-coming theatre artists in New York.

What inspired you to create The Fresh Grind Festival?: I wanted to give theatre artists a chance to work on new and original work in an age where revivals and spin-offs dominate the Broadway stage. I don't think there's anything wrong with revivals or spin-offs, but new stories are necessary in our changing world.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: My favorite theatre always features realistic, messy human-beings. A musical that achieves this is Falsettos. The characters are deeply flawed but also so lovable! I've seen the revival six times. William Finn is a musical hero.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I would have loved to have worked with Elizabeth Swados -she made such interesting theatre! Otherwise, I would love to collaborate with other trans and non-binary theatre artists.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: It's no longer on, but the revival of A View From the Bridge last year was breathtaking.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I feel like Ellen Page could play me, but I'd probably prefer a non-binary actor. It would be called "Unabashedly George"

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I'd probably want to see Ethel Merman in Gypsy. Maybe Patti LuPone in Evita. I love my Broadway divas!

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Splurging on Broadway tickets.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: A journalist.

What’s up next?: Continued development of new works under Black Coffee Productions

For more on the Fresh Grind Festival, visit www.blackcoffeeproductions.org and www.facebook.com/blackcoffeeprod

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