Interview with Amanda Salvatore, Assistant Director of the World Premiere of North of the Boulevard, and Catherine Logan, Development Associate.
C: Hello Amanda!
A: Hi Catherine.
C: Where are you from originally?
A: I grew up in Allentown, PA, and currently reside in Queens, NY.
C: Did you go to school for Directing?
A: Yes! I went to DeSales University and earned my BA in Acting and Directing. I had the wonderful opportunity to perform in Matt Pfeiffer’s production of Short and to the Point: An Evening with Pinter and Mamet, as well as direct several short plays and our Senior Thesis Project, Charlotte’s Web.
C: DeSales? I think I have heard of that place!
A: Yes Catherine, you were my college roommate…
C: Oh yes I remember those fun times. You have been Acting consistently since we graduated in 2008 with many Equity theatres such as Goodspeed Opera House, PA Shakespeare Festival, and Barrington Stage Co, and now you have put on your director’s hat, and made your way to Philly! What was your first impression of the Philly Theatre scene?
A: I can’t get over the community aspect. Not only does everyone know everyone else, but the whole community is supportive and unbelievably talented. That first reading of North of the Boulevard I sat there and thought, “Wow! These guys are not only talented, but love what they do.”
C: There are a lot of powerhouses in this World Premiere.
A: Yes! Scott Greer, Lindsay Smiling, Bill Rahill, and Brian McCann. They are some funny guys.
C: What is a typical rehearsal like with those guys and Pfeif?
A: Well, there is always a debate about the best Philadelphia brunch restaurant, the Phillies upcoming season, and their fantasy leagues. Then we get down to work.
C: Oh boy, do you contribute at all?
A: I’m a Yankees fan, so not much in the baseball department. On the brunch front, I look forward to checking out some of their suggestions.
C: What is it like working on a Bruce Graham World Premiere?
A: I have never worked on a World Premiere before which is very exciting, but the best feeling is having the playwright in the room giving you new pages and insight on his process. Very rarely do actors and directors get to ask the playwright “What inspired this?” To have Bruce in the room with us to just lean over and clear anything up is pretty sweet. He is also a doll.
C: How do you like working for Theatre Exile?
A: Ironically all I've done as an actress are musicals. New York is just more of a musical theatre market. However my true passion lies with directing plays. I could see a play a day if I had the time and opportunity! When I arrived at Theatre Exile I was excited to be associated with a theatre that devotes it mission to bringing new works to life, and produces art for art’s sake.
C: If you could direct any play what would it be?
A: Oh hands down Bent by Martin Sherman, and The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh. I love Bent because it is a side of the Holocaust we rarely see and an important story to tell. Pillowman changed my life! Martin McDonagh is incredible. I have never sat on the edge of my seat like the way I did when I saw Pillowman the first time. Those are both dream shows.
C: Hopefully at Theatre Exile someday!
A: That would be delightful.