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American Theatre Wing’s “Downstage Center” Reaches Milestone 300th Interview

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New York, NY –The American Theatre Wing’s (Theodore S. Chapin, Chairman, Board of Trustees; Howard Sherman, Executive Director) original interview series, “Downstage Center,” reaches a milestone today with the release of the program’s 300th interview. Following past milestone programs (#250 with Stephen Sondheim and #200 with Harold Prince), program #300 features legendary composer John Kander (Cabaret, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Chicago). In it, Kander talks about his decades-long collaboration with Fred Ebb, with particular focus on the four projects that were not fully completed before Ebb's death in 2004: The Scottsboro Boys, The Visit, All About Us (aka Over and Over) and Curtains, speaking directly to the issues of utilizing the minstrel show construct for Scottsboro. Kander also demonstrates in-studio how the same melody can be used to change tone over the course of a show, using examples from Cabaret and The Visit. The interview is now available online at http://americantheatrewing.com/downstagecenter/. Interview #301, to be released January 5, 2011, will be DSC's second hour with Sir Alan Ayckbourn, recipient of the 2010 Tony for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, recorded on location in Scarborough, England.

“Downstage Center” is the American Theatre Wing's acclaimed weekly theatrical interview program that spotlights the creative talents on Broadway, Off Broadway, across the country and around the world, with in-depth conversations that simply can't be found anywhere else. Now in its sixth year, “Downstage Center,” produced in association with CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, has been featured by the Associated Press and Slate.com as the place to go for in-depth theatrical talk.

A wide range of theatre figures have participated in “Downstage Center” programs, including: actors Kathleen Chalfant, John Cullum, Jessica Hecht, James Earl Jones, Angela Lansbury, Ian McKellen, Bernadette Peters, Marian Seldes and Charlayne Woodard; playwrights Edward Albee, Charles Busch, Eve Ensler, Horton Foote, Athol Fugard, David Henry Hwang, Sarah Ruhl, Anna Deavere Smith and Tom Stoppard; composers and lyricists Ahrens & Flaherty, William Finn, Sheldon Harnick, Jerry Herman, Michael John LaChiusa and Schönberg & Boublil; directors and choreographers Anne Bogart, David Cromer, Graciela Daniele, Garry Hynes, Mark Lamos, Jack O'Brien, Susan Stroman and Sergio Trujillo; artistic directors Michael Boyd (Royal Shakespeare Company), Joe Dowling (The Guthrie), Martha Lavey (Steppenwolf), Emily Mann (McCarter), Michael Wilson (Hartford Stage); designers Ken Billington, Christine Jones, Michael Yeargan and Catherine Zuber; and producers Daryl Roth, David Stone and Tom Viertel.

“Downstage Center” began life in 2004 when American Theatre Wing Executive Director Howard Sherman teamed with John Von Soosten of XM Satellite Radio. “Downstage Center” went on hiatus when XM and Sirius merged in the fall of 2008, following the program's 227th interview, featuring actress Jan Maxwell; it returned in August, 2009 in podcast format only, with Sherman hosting solo. The American Theatre Wing’s website has served out almost 1 million mp3 files of “Downstage Center” in 2010 alone, and more than 3 million since the podcasts began. New editions are available every Wednesday on the ATW website, where audiences can listen online, download past programs or subscribe to the podcast. All downloads are available completely free of charge, and also available for free via iTunes.


The American Theatre Wing (Theodore S. Chapin, Chairman, Board of Trustees; Howard Sherman, Executive Director) is a not-for-profit organization best known as the creator of the Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards®, which it presents annually with The Broadway League. In addition to “Downstage Center,” “In The Wings,” “Working in the Theatre,” and a host of other online resources, The Wing operates many activities, all dedicated to recognizing excellence and supporting education in theatre, including SpringboardNYC, the Theatre Intern Group, the National Theatre Company Grants and the Jonathan Larson Grants. Visitors to www.americantheatrewing.org can listen to, watch or download from ATW’s extensive media collection, and learn more about all of its programming for students, aspiring and working professionals, and audiences who want to learn more about the making of theatre. Follow ATW on www.Facebook.com/TheAmericanTheatreWing, www.youtube.com/americantheatrewing and www.Twitter.com/TheWing.


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