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I'm the Local Gal in Richmond, Indiana, exploring my hometown and heart. I write about all thing local, sometimes global. It's a small world after all.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tempest II, Interview with the Composer John Bronston

Studio 10 Site
It's time for the second installment of the III part Local Lady series on Studio 10's production of the Tempest. It's my pleasure in introducing you to John Bronston, a talented composer, lyricist and musician who has been collaborating over the phone and through e-mail conquering distance with technology in order to bring an original sound accompaniment for Shakespeare's play the Tempest 
especially for Richmond Civic Theatre. 

Without further ado, the composer of the incidental score to the Tempest soon to play at Richmond Civic Theatre, John Bronston, here we go:

What are some of your best Richmond memories?

John Bronston, Talented Composer, Lyricist and Musician
"I have many Richmond memories tied to Richmond Civic Theatre and the theatre in general. I grew up there and had some of my happiest early performing experiences there in such productions as Fences (directed by Tempest cast member David Cobine) and the first RCT production of A Chorus Line. Even before becoming active at RCT, I had participated in Junior Players productions where I met the director of this production of the Tempest, Joshua Robinson, when we co-starred in The Ransom of Red Chief. I returned to Richmond for a brief period over ten years ago to work as a director and choreographer at Earlham College. I currently work as a writer, musical director, educator, and occasional performer and director all over the country. 

 In the last twelve months I have done shows in Manhattan, New Jersey (a production of Amahl and the Night Visitors that Joshua Robinson was the producer of and I musical directed), Colorado (with the designer of this production Andy Darr who designed lighting for the production of Hairspray that I directed and choreographed for Midtown Arts Center in Fort Collins), and upstate New York where I am currently. I am hoping to get to come back to Indiana in time to see this production of the Tempest."

What's it like to stretch your wings and then return home? 

"I have been back a number of times over the years, most recently I saw the fundraiser production of Rocky Horror Show that Andy Darr mounted a couple of years ago at RCT which was a blast. I love that theatre, it is one of the most remarkable spaces I have had the good fortune to perform in and audiences in Richmond are always willing to try something new. My career in the theatre has happened because I am willing to wear a number of different hats and that began for me in Richmond. While I was there, I performed, I directed (Shadows In the Theatre which was a benefit for the Richmond AIDS Task Force at Civic Hall in 1996 among others), I designed costumes, I played in pit bands, I did whatever I was aksed to do. That is the spirit that has seen me through and it all started in Richmond."

What kind of inspiration led to producing an original score for this particular play?

"The inspiration for creating an original score came from Joshua asking me to do it. Over the last ten years, we have formed a writing partnership that has seen our musicals performed all over Manhattan. Our original show "Fairy Tale" was originally produced by the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) in their reading series and then went on to be produced in a commercial run by (re:) Directions Theatre Company at the 14th Street Theatre in Manhattan. Our next show, "Confessions of A Reality TV Star" was produced in concert by New York Theatre Barn and we have had other developmental runs of projects that we have written together and separately." 

What can we expect to see in Studio 10's version of the Tempest? Any sneak peek or 
titillating tidbits you're willing to share?

"The sound of this show will definitely be something different for local audiences. It is an attempt to meld a neo-classical melodic line with a late nineties acoustic rock harmonic framework. I hope that people find it beautiful and intriguing and sensual and romantic and surprising. It isn't designed to shock the ears but to support the beauty of Shakespeare's language with a modern tone. On this particular project our collaboration has been taking place primarily on the phone and over email, although we did have a number of face to face meetings to discuss the tone before I was ready to put pen to paper."

How are you guys enjoying the collaborative work? 

"It is always a joy to return home and that is what I feel like I am doing whenever Joshua and I collaborate on a project."

Thank you so much for you responses, John. I hope you make it home in time for the show! 

<3 Your Local Gal

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