Sunday, August 17, 2014

Spotlight On...J.W. Crump

Name: J. W. Crump (@jwcrump,

Hometown: Lenoir, NC

Education: Economics Major at Wake Forest University, Play writing minor

Favorite Credits: Larry in Mr. Marmalade (mostly because it's the best review I've ever received)

Why theater?: Live performance is just You HAVE to be there to experience it fully and that's a quality that's held true of the form over decades and centuries. I do a lot of live comedy as well (standup, improvisation) and there's nothing like a live audience.

Tell us about Bonerz Coffee?: Bonerz Coffee is my attempt at making a web series that's shown to the audience as a stage play. There're a lot of fun multimedia tricks as well as an episodic structure. The comedy is high-energy, silly, and witty, and the aim is to show the audience a different type of theater. We take the modern day concept of a web series and serve it up in stage form. As the title implies, it doesn't take itself seriously.

What inspired you to create Bonerz Coffee?: I was writing the show as an exercise to see just HOW FUNNY I could be with no production restraints. When I sent it around to personal colleagues for notes (like you do), the positive response I got was overwhelming. Originally, I had never intended to actually FILM it because I've done web series in the past and wasn't interested in doing another, and that's when the idea of staging it live popped into my head. After speaking with some actors that I thought would rock their parts, I moved forward. People were excited to try something inventive and fresh.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love theater that makes use of its live presentation. If it's something that could be produced as a movie with the same result, then why not just do that since it's permanent. Make use of that kinetic, frenzied, live energy! I also always dig on big ensemble casts (just like the ones in Bonerz). Most any comedian inspires me, because I know that the good ones are always expressing their real personalities and ideas, and that's a scary thing to do.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: John Mulaney, Seth Meyers, Tina Fey...which I guess just means I want to work on Saturday Night Live.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Clybourne Park is a consistent favorite. I saw a production of this show at the Woolly Mammoth Theater in Washington, DC years ago, and it was the first show to ever make me cry. And I'm not a crier. I'm also a huge fan of the Improvised Shakespeare Company; I've seen them three times.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Adam Scott, and the title would have to be a huge pun. I love puns.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Any and all of Gordan Ramsey's shows.

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: Recently, "On Our Way" by The Royal Concept. I also like cheesy, bad pop music too. You'll hear a lot of it in my show.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: A chef. I always loved food and cooking, but was never really good at it. There's a reason Gordon Ramsey's television programs are my guilty pleasure.

What’s up next?: I perform every week at the Peoples Improv Theater ( as part of a Monday night ensemble called Night Shift. We recently began our second season. I also produce two monthly shows for that theater, one called Sktch Shw where I serve as Head Writer. We write, rehearse, and perform an hour-long sketch show in one day. The other is called Gas Station Horror ( where comedians use terrible b-movie clips to inspire comedic scenes. It's got a very grindhouse, anything goes, vibe to it. I also host a podcast called "Talk Party" (look for it on itunes!) where my co-hosts and I interview up-and-coming creative artists in tons of different fields.