Spotlight Series: Meet Bill Brochtrup Who Rose to Fame on NYPD Blue, L.A. Stages, and is now the Artistic Director of the Antaeus Theatre Company


This Spotlight focuses on Bill Brochtrup who rose to TV stardom as PAA John Irvin on the ABC television drama NYPD Blue and continues to dazzle audiences as an actor, most recently in the Ovation Award-wining Daniel's Husband at the Fountain Theatre, and planning programming for the Antaeus Theatre Company in Glendale as its Artistic Director. And when he can, Bill enjoys traveling around the world and hiking in some of the most beautiful places on Earth.


Fountain Theatre Company's "Daniel's Husband" with Bill Brochtrup and Tim Cummings. Photo by Ed Krieger

Shari Barrett (SB):  What would you like readers to know about your theatrical background?

Bill Brochtrup (Bill): I started working in Los Angles theatre as soon as I got to town in the mid-1980s and that led directly to my work in film and television. But I’ve always returned to the Theatre, first as an actor and more recently as Artistic Director of the Antaeus Theatre Company. I’ve seen LA theatre grow and deepen and thrive, and I’ve been very lucky to experience what a close knit and warm community this is.

(SB):  What production(s) were you involved with when word went out you needed to immediately postpone/cancel the show?

(Bill): Antaeus had just opened a new production of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, which is an extremely pertinent and timely play. Word of mouth was going very well and we had a number of sold out performances coming up, so it was a blow to everyone involved to have to shut it down.

(SB):  How did you communicate the shutdown with your cast and production team?

Opening Night of Antaeus Theatre Company's Native Son at CTG'S BLOCK PARTY with Bill Brochtrup, Ana Rose O'Halloran and Kitty Swink

(Bill): Early on I met with Co-Artistic Director Kitty Swink and our Executive Director Ana Rose O’Halloran to talk about our options — and it was pretty clear that for the safety of our actors, staff, and audiences we needed to close the show.  We spoke first to the play's directors, Armin Shimerman and Elizabeth Swain, and then I wrote a difficult email to the cast and production team.  Everyone understood because it was becoming increasingly clear what the world would be up against.  With sickness, death, and true hardship on the horizon for many people, closing a play is a small thing — but it was sad news nevertheless.

(SB):  Are plans in place to present that production at a future date, or is the cancellation permanent?

(Bill): At this point it’s hard to say what we’ll do in the future because we just can’t be certain of any kind of timeline.  I will say that the set is still standing and the costumes are still in the dressing room, so it remains a possibility — I’d love for more people to be able to see our wonderful actors.

(SB):  What future productions on your schedule are also affected by the shutdown?

(Bill): We had just finished casting our next production, William Saroyan’s The Time of Your Life which was meant to begin rehearsal this month. We’re still determining how we’re going to proceed. And we were in the midst of finalizing Antaeus’ next season, which will be our 30th and some of those plans are now in flux. We will obviously be following all guidelines from the county and state about when we can reopen and get things going again.

(SB):  How are you keeping the Arts alive while at home by using social media or other online sites?

(Bill): Antaeus has numerous programs and many of those have been able to move online fairly seamlessly — a number of our Academy classes are meeting that way as is the Antaeus Playwrights Lab. We have weekly Zoom check-ins with our Company members, another with our staff, and we have also already enjoyed a really fun virtual Happy Hour with some donors and supporters.

(SB):  You mentioned what a close knit and warm community our L.A. Theatre world is. What thoughts would you like to share with them while we are all leaving the Ghostlight on and promising to return back to the stage soon?

(Bill): We believe that live theatre is about artists and audiences coming together in person to create a community, so we’re really looking forward to the time when we can gather together in real life. Antaeus isn’t going anywhere and we’ll be back with a vengeance as soon as we’re able.

(SB): I totally agree. Nothing can compare to being part of an assembly of people experiencing the magic of live theatre together. It’s so symbiotic, making each performance unique and special in its own right. Any other thoughts to share?

(Bill): On a personal note, I’m so proud to be a part of the LA Theatre scene in all of its vibrancy and diversity. I believe we’ll come through this stronger and more unified than ever.

(SB): Amen!


Featured headshot by Rory Lewis


This article first appeared on Broadway World.



Ear Candy: Podcasts on Better Lemons Highlighting Live Shakespeare in L.A.


Better Lemons' podcasts cover a variety of interviews of show creatives in Los Angeles, with many recorded live and direct at the venues, and published on SoundCloud. These interviews are from productions that have already closed.

Collected here are a series of interviews of show producers and artists who work toward providing live Shakespeare performances and experiences to Greater Los Angeles audiences. The following interviews cover a variety of topics - from traditional Shakespeare to what it takes to interpreting Shakespeare for contemporary audiences, from "bad" Shakespeare to honoring the Bard's original prose, and the enduring misunderstandings, history, and superstitions that surround the work by the most beloved playwright of the people of his greatest patron.


Audio Interview: the cast of "MacBeth" at the Grand Annex in San Pedro

"Fulfilling a desire to present educational and immersive theatre, House of Bards Theatre Company...launched their first production, Shakespeare’s powerful drama Macbeth."  This November 2029, Ashton Marcus interviewed several members of the cast. Most notable is his interview with actor Stephen L. Sears at the 11:15 minute mark, who played King Duncan in this production, spoke on the "layers" of Shakespeare" and superstitions associated with the Scottish Play.

Audio Interview: the cast of "MacBeth" at the Grand Annex in San Pedro


An Interview of Coin & Ghost's Zachary Reeve Davidson and Rob Adler: "Bad Hamlet"


An interview of Zachary Reeve Davidson and Rob Adler of Coin & Ghost by Monique A. LeBleu, for their play "Bad Hamlet: An Irreverent, Interactive, Inventive Bootleg," interviewed backstage at The New American Theatre in Hollywood, in July 2019.

Speaking with me, Davidson and Adler shared on Bad Quarto and bringing Shakespeare into an immersive experience, where Davidson at the 3:50 minute mark particularly elaborates on "misremembered" Shakespeare.

An Interview of Coin & Ghost's Zachary Reeve Davidson and Rob Adler: "Bad Hamlet"


Audio Interview: Armin Shimerman (Quark from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) the director of Measure for Measure


"Armin Shimerman, best known by his fans as Quark from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, is also an accomplished Shakespearean scholar and teacher. He is one of two directors of Measure for Measure."

Earlier this month, Ashton Marcus interviewed Co-director Shimerman live at the Antaeus Theatre theatre after the show and gets his thoughts on the #MeToo movement and how this classic piece has stood the test of time as applies to some current contemporary political issues and women's issues with regard to equality.

 


Ashton's Audio Interview: Armin Shimerman (Quark from 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine') the director of 'Measure for Measure'

Armin Shimerman, best known by his fans as Quark from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, is also an accomplished Shakespearean scholar and teacher. He is one of two directors of Measure for Measure.

Enjoy this interview with Armin Shimerman co-director of “Measure for Measure at the Antaeus Theatre Company, playing through Apr 6th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.

*taken from the website


For Hire, Gender-Equality, Theatre Relationships and More Local, National, and International News to Inspire, to Stir, and to Entertain

LOCAL

Darkness Comes Alive 7/6/18. Photo by Evan Lorenzetti.

Listen and Darkness Comes Alive

The sound is not the first thing you notice when you enter the Lili Lakich Studio, but it is the most surprising. You are surrounded by neon artwork created in Lakich's studio, but after a few moments you hear the most calming sound, a slight hum coming from the lights. White noise, maybe a few bursts of static, and immensely calming, meditative. The last thing you might expect from a room filled with so much light is to find such a soothing sound there. read more here


Audio Interview: The cast of “The Road-Trip Monologues” at Zephyr Theatre

Curated from over 25 submissions from writers all over the world, The Road-Trip Monologues is a RAW BiTES '18 page-to-stage production of new writing for stage. listen to the interview here


Audio Interview: Armin Shimerman (Quark of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine") in the Antaeus Theatre Company's production of "Three Days In The Country"

A fresh, breezy update by Patrick Marber of Turgenev's classic comedy A Month in the Country, this is a tale of unrequited passion, unfolding over the course of three days in the sunny Russian countryside. Full of wit, folly and heart, men and women, both young and old, learn the tender and ridiculous lessons of love. listen to the interview here


The Broadwater Plunge Unveils First Cocktail Menu

Five Drinks, Each A Nod to Duffy Family's History in Bars

The Owl menu is a reference to the rural Montana bar Patrick Duffy's parents, Terry and Babe, owned and operated when he was a child. Each of the five drinks on the menu is named for a particularly colorful regular at The Owl. read more here


NOW HIRING: Fountain Theatre seeks a new bookkeeper

The Fountain Theatre seeks a friendly, motivated individual to fill a part-time position as a Bookkeeper. Must be a team player with a positive attitude who understands and enjoys the non-traditional work environment of a non-profit theatre arts organization. The ideal candidate will possess experience in essential bookkeeping functions, such as managing accounts payable and receivable and preparing payrolls, invoices, and financial reports, reconciling bank accounts, and have a solid proficiency with basic accounting principles. Qualifications include proficiency with QuickBooks Online, a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) and an ability to work within a team setting. Ultimately, the Bookkeeper's responsibilities are to accurately record all day-to-day financial transactions and reporting requirements of our organization. read more here


Walking the walk: Art for art's sake is simply not enough anymore

By Bobby Steggert - About two years ago, I completely turned my back on an acting career that I had spent twenty years building. I found myself increasingly discontented by the lack of control that every artist must submit to, and I found myself nauseatingly self-concerned in a job that threw me off balance enough to never quite feel stable. That, and as the world spiraled into the surreal chaos that continues to swirl around us today, I found it harder and harder to justify my contribution as enough to make a significant difference. read more here


Lileana Blain-Cruz and Dominique Morisseau (Jeremy Daniel)

Stage Directions: Why Lileana Blain-Cruz Believes in Making Theatre an Epic Event

The Obie-winning director of PipelineRed Speedo, and more reveals her directing philosophy, early career missteps, and her pitch to the Park Avenue Armory.

“I'm attracted to the epic-ness of theatre,” director Lileana Blain-Cruz says. “Because it's the thing that makes theatre feel unique amid a lot of different forms and a lot of different distractions. If we're all alive inside of a life-giving event, it's thrilling.”

Blain-Cruz, an Off-Broadway Obie Award winner for her direction, currently helms The House That Will Not Stand at New York Theatre Workshop, now playing through August 12. The play by Marcus Gardley is inspired by Federico García Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba and is set in early 19th-century Louisiana, after the Louisiana Purchase. It deals with the lives of four women of color: a widow and her three daughters. read more here


NATIONAL

Book brings theatre journey home

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC-TV) - A new book by Rochester based theatre director Eric Johnson examines how dreams of Hollywood stardom led him to pursue his passion here at home.

Johnson discussed his book "My Quarter-Life Crisis" Monday during News 8 at Noon.

"For many years growing up in Pittsford, I really thought all of my life I was going to go off to Hollywood," said Johnson. "I was going to go off to New York. I was going to go off to one of these big cities where they have so much art, they have so much with movies and with Broadway shows, and I was going to become the next Steven Spielberg. Throughout all the role models and teachers I met along my journey from high school, college and everywhere in between, I found out that may not be the right path for me. Maybe being right here in Rochester, I can make difference locally. That's kind of where the book started and where the idea kind of came from." read more here


Music Theatre International Files Legal Action Against Virginia Community Theatre

The complaint states that Theaterpalooza Community Theater Productions, Inc. has presented at least 16 illegal and unlicensed productions.

Music Theatre International has filed a complaint against Theaterpalooza Community Theater Productions, Inc. in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia for presenting at least 16 unauthorized productions of MTI titles.

Theaterpalooza, which operates in and around Ashburn and Leesburg in Virginia and Hagerstown, Maryland, offers youth musical theatre classes that culminate in full productions of various musicals that are open to the public. Students pay tuition of up to $600 to participate, and the theatre also charges $12-$15 per ticket for the public performances of its shows. read more here


Join Our Team! BWW Is Seeking a Full-Time Entertainment Editor

BWW is on the hunt for a new member for our team- a full-time editor of our MoviesTV and Music sites.

Applicants should be pop-culture junkies (theatre knowledge can't hurt, but not required), with excellent writing skills, great attention to detail, and a strong, self-motivated work ethic. The ideal candidate must also be able to multi-task and write quickly. Proficiency with Office programs and Photoshop is essential. read more here


INTERNATIONAL

Lyn Gardner: Finding a good mentor is crucial for a successful theatre career

In Daniel Kehlmann's The Mentor, seen at the Ustinov in Bath and in the West End last year, F Murray Abraham played an elderly writer living off the acclaim – and the royalties – from a play written when he was 25. During the play he is paid handsomely to mentor a rising young writer, but this transactional relationship turns out to be anything but nourishing.

In the real world, however, mentoring – both informal and formal – is often a crucial but hidden part of successful careers. Eddie Redmayne may have won an Oscar, but he still rings up his old school drama teacher for advice. read more here


Theatre Republic producer Manda Webber and director Corey McMahon (photo by Olivia Zanchetta)

Theatre for Generation Netflix

New performing arts company Theatre Republic tells modern stories worth getting off the couch for.

Adelaide and the Arts; a quintessential odd couple. On the one hand we're “The Festival State” with arts and fringe events among the world's biggest (when you're talking revenue). On the other, our audiences are notoriously apathetic outside the frenzy of Mad March, making it difficult for artists to sustain year-round careers.

This isn't news to local theatre-maker Corey McMahon. “If I had a dollar for every time I heard my non-theatre-going friends say, ‘The Fringe is on. I might go and see a show' – as though it's a special, one-off event – I could probably fund my shows.” read more here


Theatre relationships: ‘Real life is a lot less complicated.' | Photo Credit: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

For better or for worse: the pros and cons of theatre relationships

Last month I attended what I like to call a “theatre wedding”. Two people, involved in theatre, but more importantly two people who met because of theatre, exchanged vows/ took seven circles of fire/ entered into a holy union, surrounded by a fair amount of theatre people. A few years ago, both of them were replacements in an outstation play. And they fell in love on the flight back, thanks to a common love for scuba diving, Shah Rukh Khan, and, probably, theatre.

I've seen quite a few theatre weddings. I've also seen an unfortunate theatre divorce. Theatre relationships are a dime a dozen, but I'm focusing on more legal commitments here. I guess in some ways a theatre wedding is like a workplace wedding. Same environment, similar interests, regular contact, shared experiences, and something clicks. Mine was a theatre wedding too. read more here


 

A group photograph to mark the final major public event after a full year of campaiging by Waking The Feminists on The Rosie Hackett Bridge in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Yes we did: Irish theatre's gender-equality revolution

Irish theatre came out blazing this week, proving that gender equality is ‘not hard to do, if you want to'

What a difference a couple of years can make. Some top players in Irish theatre are chatting in the Lir Academy of Dramatic Art in Dublin. Anne Clarke says “there's a certain element of: just do it. Gender equality is not a hard thing to do, if you want to. This change came about because of a decision, to reverse inequality and give more opportunities to women.”

Lynne Parker observes that the situation “has changed so much already. And it's still changing.” Sarah Durcan says: “When we started doing this, none of us knew about unconscious bias, dignity at work policies or anything. So that language and knowledge has passed not only into the theatre sector but wider. We always said we wanted this movement to be a catalyst for change everywhere.” read more here


Ashton's Audio Interview: Armin Shimerman (Quark of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine") in the Antaeus Theatre Company's production of "Three Days In The Country"

A fresh, breezy update by Patrick Marber of Turgenev's classic comedy A Month in the Country, this is a tale of unrequited passion, unfolding over the course of three days in the sunny Russian countryside. Full of wit, folly and heart, men and women, both young and old, learn the tender and ridiculous lessons of love.*
Enjoy this interview with Armin Shimerman (Quark in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and the cast of “Three Days In The Country” playing at the Antaeus Theatre Company, running until Aug 26th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here

*Taken from the website