Every now and then you are given a new piece that truly engages your senses, emotions and gets your creative juices flowing, and ultimately fills your soul.
The exploration and discovery of a piece is truly exciting, and working on a production set in 1908, one would think that the values and societal norms would be completely different than the times you are currently living in. However, you quickly discover that we are actually fighting the same battles, it is cyclical. Gender fluidity, how you identify, social norms, and add stardom. How does one get through the daily bombardment of what one “should” be versus what you are? Yes, even in 1908 we were asking these questions.
The Headliners is a breathtaking piece written by playwright Jeffrey Neuman. This piece is about two of America’s most renowned Vaudevillians, Eva Tanguay and Julian Eltinge. Set in the 20th century, these two performers come together and face the reality of who they are individually as well as together. What does it mean to their careers and what are the ultimate sacrifices they must face.
I am so grateful to direct this piece, and the production team is beyond compare. So much compassion for the art and allowing artists to do their jobs, sometimes it was overwhelming, and in a good way. Truly grateful. The team: stage manager Misha S. Zimmerman expertly watched over us all, David Nehls and his musical mastery, and Max Silverman the genius with patience and the ability behind the magic… Every one of them out-did themselves with the support that was extraordinary.
My two performers, Isabella Duran and Jeremy Rill both took on this project and made it their own. It’s a very complicated show, and both soared.
I’ve loved this piece from the beginning. I’m grateful for Jeff Neuman’s compassion, artistry, and joy. Throughout the process, I loved our chats, his guidance, thoughts, and most of all friendship. I can’t wait to see where this goes.
I would truly be honored if you took 90 minutes of your day to support local theater. The Headliners a story you won’t want to miss. It’s a poignant story so very relevant today.