184 episodes

The Ensemblist is the online advocate for the talent artists working in theatre ensembles. Through our podcast, website and social presence we are creating conversation what it means to be a successful artist in the theatre. Each of our miniseries highlights a conversation that effects performers in Broadway ensembles, with experts on the topic sharing their insights in candid interviews. The Ensemblist podcast has more than 1.2 million podcast downloads and was recently named one of the Top 50 Best Selling Performing Arts Podcasts of all time.

The Ensemblist The Ensemblist

    • Performing Arts
    • 4.9, 350 Ratings

The Ensemblist is the online advocate for the talent artists working in theatre ensembles. Through our podcast, website and social presence we are creating conversation what it means to be a successful artist in the theatre. Each of our miniseries highlights a conversation that effects performers in Broadway ensembles, with experts on the topic sharing their insights in candid interviews. The Ensemblist podcast has more than 1.2 million podcast downloads and was recently named one of the Top 50 Best Selling Performing Arts Podcasts of all time.

    #302 - Frozen Moves Out (feat. Nina Lafarga, Robin Masella)

    #302 - Frozen Moves Out (feat. Nina Lafarga, Robin Masella)

    Whether its your first Broadway show or your sixth, closing a show is an emotional experience. You’re saying goodbye to a creative journey, a community of artists as well as stability and a paycheck. When the company of Broadway’s Frozen was asked to move out of the St. James Theatre after the show closed during the Coronavirus pandemic, we reached out to members of the cast to tell us about visiting the theatre for the last time. Here’s what Nina Lafarga and Robin Masella had to say…

    • 12 min
    #301 - Smash'ed (Season 2, Episode 5)

    #301 - Smash'ed (Season 2, Episode 5)

    “The Read-Through” premiered on March 5, 2013. It was written by Liz Tuccillo, and directed by David Petrarca, both in their Smash debuts. The episode premiered to a viewership of 2.68 million this week, down .36 mil from the previous episode.
    We didn’t have a whole lot of music this week, despite hearing the read-throughs of two different shows. We saw a Bombshell fantasy Act 2 opener, complete with tap break, called “Public Relations” by Marc Shaiman and Scott Whitman, and a snippet of Hit List’s “Caught in the Storm” by Pasek and Paul, Jeremy Jordan rendition. We also saw a fantasy sequence to a cover of “Some Boys” originally by Death Cab For Cutie. 
    Bombshell has booked the Belasco! In a walkthrough of their new home, Tom imagines a new second act opener for Bombshell called “Public Relations” which looks remarkably like a song from Catch Me If You Can, down to the plane set and stewardess. Now finishing each other’s sandwiches, Julia and Peter stroll in late to the walkthrough late but thrilled with the new script draft they’ve created together. 
    Despite multiple sexual misconduct allegations, Derek has friends in high enough places to get Hit List a spot in the “Winter Fringe Festival.” But with the Festival in just two weeks, Karen and Ana rally Bobby, Jessica and the rest of their ensemblist cohorts join for a read through where they learn that while Jimmy's music is great, Kyle’s dialogue and the characters… aren’t. But after their failed reading, Jimmy, Kyle, Ana and Karen crack the code that could turn into a success: scrap the book scenes and make the show sung through. 
    A week into rehearsal for the Broadway revival of Liaisons, Ivy finally meets her co-star Terry Falls. But Terry doesn’t even know his stage left from his stage right, turning “a real drama into Spamalot!” However, Ivy will have none of it - refusing to stoop to conquer and teaching Terry how to act in the process. 
    Ahead of a reading of the new Bombshell script, Julia hears rumors that Peter has purposefully upended other shows by feeding the writers ideas bad enough to be fired. But despite those rumors, the reading goes off swimmingly with all parties impressed by the rewrites. So much so that Derek halts his plans to take Hit List to the fringe after all. 
    It’s an artistic triumph, but their new producer Jerry Rand says it’s not commercial enough to be a financial hit. With a hung jury of creatives, Jerry, Derek, Tom and Julia leave it up to Eileen to make the decision about which Marilyn musical to bring to Broadway: a sexy, provocative insightful musical or a lush, dazzling spectacle...

    • 22 min
    #300 - My Favorite Musical (Rent, feat. Mo Brady)

    #300 - My Favorite Musical (Rent, feat. Mo Brady)

    For many theatre artists, there’s the show that changed everything. A musical that - for the first time - reflected a part of the artist that they had never seen before. A show that gave that young artist a glimpse into their future - into an industry and community they would inevitably be a part of. And while that experience is by no means unique, it is often the kernel of why they’ve made the theatre their life’s work.
    So for The Ensemblist’s 300th episode, we are turning the tables. Today, I’ll be interviewing The Ensemblist’s co-creator and host, Mo Brady, about his favorite musical: the 1996 Broadway phenomenon Rent. Here’s our conversation…

    • 16 min
    #299 - Best of the Season (A Strange Loop, feat. John-Michael Lyles)

    #299 - Best of the Season (A Strange Loop, feat. John-Michael Lyles)

    On May 4, 2020, A Strange Loop made history as the 10th musical ever to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. And not only that, A Strange Loop is both the first musical written by a black artist, Michael R. Jackson, and the first musical without an announced Broadway run to be bestowed with this honor.
    A Strange Loop follows a black, queer writer creating an original musical as he faces a host of demons. When it premiered Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in May 2019, it resonated with both audiences and critics alike, making a lasting impression on the New York theatre scene.
    Here to discuss his experience as an original cast member of A Strange Loop is John-Michael Lyles. Most recently, John-Michael played the role of Toby in the world premiere of Bliss at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre. He contributed additional music to Second Stage Theatre’s We’re Gonna Die  and has performed Off-Broadway in Sweeney Todd, This Ain’t No Disco, and The Flick, among others. Here’s our conversation…

    • 20 min
    #298 - My Best Worst Audition (feat. Josh Lamon, Ellyn Marie Marsh, Syndee Winters)

    #298 - My Best Worst Audition (feat. Josh Lamon, Ellyn Marie Marsh, Syndee Winters)

    Today we bring you three stories of unlikely success in the audition room. Tales of booking the role, of not booking the roles, and somehow stories that are both. First up in a story from Josh Lamon. Host of “Josh Swallows Broadway” on the Broadway Podcast Network, he shares with us the story of his very first New York audition. Next up is a story from Ellyn Marie Marsh about how she almost made her Broadway debut… almost. Finally, here is Syndee Winters, a recent Nala in Broadway’s The Lion King, about when she first auditioned for a role more than a decade ago.
    Special thanks to Josh Lamon, Ellyn Marie Marsh and Syndee Winters for sharing their stories with us this week. 

    • 16 min
    #297 - Creating Characters (feat. Jon Hoche)

    #297 - Creating Characters (feat. Jon Hoche)

    One of the most defining factors of ensemble characters is how undefined these characters are on the page. Often, the actors playing these roles are up to their own devices to decide who they are and how they fit into the world of the play. So how do you bring truth to a character who is intentionally surface-level? That's the question I posed to Jon Hoche, who created the role of Chief Justice in the musical Soft Power. Here's our conversation...

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
350 Ratings

350 Ratings

williamsnikisha ,

Smash’ed

Loving hearing the recaps! Season 2 please?! It’s so fun hearing how true or false the show was to how broadway actually works.

Quarantined in NYC ,

SMASH recaps

SMASH recaps are irreverent, fun, and spot on! You MUST continue them for Season Two!

Caoilfhiann ,

I'm loving the Smash'd episodes!

I'm only a theater fan, but I love hearing all the ensemblist episodes. I'm particularly enjoying Smash'd episodes. Please do season 2.
I also appreciate hearing stories from ensemblists who have been affected by the Covid 19 shutdown of theaters. My heart goes out to everyone in the community at this time.

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