“I took the job here in Goshen, sight unseen. I took the job in the first couple of weeks of February, and I flew out here to see Goshen Theater for the first time at the beginning of March after I’d finished my job in Spokane. I just fell in love with the theater the moment I saw it. The way that it was renovated, the fact that it’s this 600-seat theater, but I feel like, standing on stage, I could connect with every single person in the space.
There is an intimacy to this theater – which I also feel Goshen has. There is an intimacy to this community that’s both shocking to realize and yet, at the same time, heartwarming to know. Because you know that when you connect with someone, when you’re talking with people, they listen.
Knowing that people in the community will listen but also want to work with you – the sky’s the limit.
We just announced that I’ll be directing You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at Goshen Theater, with Marcia Yost as music director. We’re running it for one weekend only, October 20 through the 23rd. We just announced that last week and that’s going to take up a lot of my creative energy doing Charlie Brown [laughs].
So I am a theatrical performer and producer. I have been working in theater for as long as I can remember. I’ve been acting professionally since I was an undergrad, so for at least 12 years now, and I work in all sorts of mediums. I helped pivot a theater from live performance to an entirely virtual venue during the pandemic. I created Masterpiece Monologues – it was a monologue review – that we filmed and did online.
I love theater just in general. Obviously! I have two degrees in it, a BA and an MFA. This is my life. But what I love about Goshen Theater, and what I love about what we’re trying to do, is that it’s not going to be about just acting onstage. It’s going to be about all aspects of art.
We’re going to look at dance, we’re going to look at fine arts, and we’re going to look at music. We’re going to look at theater, yes, but it’s not about just being a theatrical house. Because, yes, theatrical houses are important, but we have South Bend Civic Theatre, and we have Elkhart Civic Theatre. So what can Goshen Theater give to the community?
What Goshen Theater can give to the community is a place for artists to show what they love to do.
I would love to be a hub, a regional hub for the arts at Goshen Theater, where we’re not just doing one set of art, we’re not just doing one medium only. We’re focusing on all mediums, and we’re a place where everybody in the arts can come and feel welcome.
I would love to see us be a place in the city center where artists can come and collaborate and see things, and we can put on works for the community because there’s something special about this place. I mean, a theater that’s been there since 1907 after it was rebuilt when it burned down, one of the final remaining ones on the leg from New York to Chicago, a 600-seat, vaudevillian, proscenium theater: How do you beat that?
The biggest thing for me at the theater – and I always tell people this at events or First Fridays or whenever they come through – is that if you have an idea of something that you would like to be seen at this theater, something you would like to have done at this theater, reach out to us. Let us know.
We’re still building. We’re still creating what this theater will be – what this institution will be – for this community, so we want as much help as we can get.”