Adam Dannheisser is the Resident Director of Rock of Ages on Broadway as well as an original and current cast member. He's currently directing Sandy Rustin's (Rated P [For Parenthood]), (mostly) non-violent, romantic comedy, The Cottage presented by The Award-Winning Astoria Performing Arts Center (APAC) at Good Shepard United Methodist Church, 30-44 Crescent St (@30th Rd), in Astoria, Queens.
The Cottage is a rollicking farce inspired by the works of Noel Coward. Set in the English countryside in 1923, this tale of sex, betrayal and, oh yes, love, unfolds when Sylvia Van Kipness decides to expose her love affair to her husband and her lover's wife. Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a director? I have wanted to direct for a long time. I love performing, but feel that I experience a fair amount of tongue biting -- always wishing to have more of a voice in the shaping of things. I was most inspired in grad school (NYU acting program) by innovative and daring directors such as Mark Wing-Davey and Robert Woodruff.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I have so many amazingly talented friends that I have never gotten a chance to work with. That is why it is a real joy to be directing Kevin Isola in The Cottage. We went through NYU together -- his ethic, aesthetic and comic abilities have always floored me. I haven't gotten to spent this much time with him since 1995 :-)
3. What attracted you to directing The Cottage? The play is really well crafted and realized. I instantly felt connected to it. The style, the comedy, the room for some playful conceptual ideas -- I'm thrilled that Sandy felt like writing a play. :-)
4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? I want people to laugh, to recognize themselves at times in the play and to think for a bit about the meaning of fate, love, fidelity, and true destiny. But not for too long. I don't want anyone leaving their spouse over it :-) Although that would be kind of cool. Ha?
5. What are you looking forward to about working with this cast? They were all my first choice for their respective roles. They are hilarious and honest actors. Brave and curious. And awfully nice people to boot.
6. What has your favorite part of the creative process to bring Sandy Rustin's script to life? Sandy and I have a wonderfully collaborative relationship. Maybe it's because our kids play baseball together in the suburbs of New Jersey. But it has been a real joy shaping this with her. We both love funny, and know that it must be steeped in truth. It's not enough to lay on top of the covers of this play-- you've got to get under the sheets. Basically, Sandy and I are metaphorically sleeping together.
7. What do you get from being a director that you don't get from being a performer? A fuller voice. A chance to work with this creative and committed design team. And I don't get into trouble for being late to rehearsal.
8. What have you enjoyed most about being the resident director and a performer at Broadway's Rock of Ages? I love the challenge of maintaining the tautness of comic storytelling -- both as director and performer. It is one thing to make people laugh, but a far greater challenge to make people laugh at the same moment 1500 times. It's a real exploration in comic detail and freshness.
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Marry Jen West.
10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Gotta go with Spinjitzu. My sons would never forgive me. Google it.
11. Favorite way to stay in shape? Wait, who said I was in shape? Just kidding. Triathlons.
12. Boxers or Briefs? Neither. Wink.
Broadway: Cymbeline, The Coast of Utopia, Proof, Twelfth Night, The Tempest. National Tour of Contact (Ovation Award Nomination). Off-Broadway: Henry V, Henry VIII, The Tempest, Macbeth (All with NYSF, Public Theater); The Arabian Nights (BAM), The Blues Are Running (MTC). Regional: Awake and Sing! (Arena Stage), Safe In Hell (Yale Rep.), The Provok’d Wife (ART), Beast On The Moon (Portland Stage). Film: Down to Earth, A Price Above Rubies. TV: Damages, Law And Order, Brotherhood, Third Watch, Law And Order: CI, Sex and the City, Mad About You. MFA: NYU.