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Our Team

 

BIG Theatre Company is a  creative collaboration lab for the ongoing development of original work and the artists who make it. From process to production, artists and audiences alike, we believe in moving, challenging, and encouraging people to see the world in a bigger way.

Artistic director • Olivia Hartle
Executive director • Ken Kruper
Managing director • Sarah Goncalves
Artistic associate • Mike Wirsch

 

ARTIST COLLECTIVE:  Lindsay Arber, Samir Abady, Alexandra Brown, Theresa Burns*Sammi CainsJoe Cantalupo, Gina Cucci, Kurt Cruz, Ben Danielowski, Ryan DeForeest, Vikki De Meo, Dwayne Dixon, Sarah Goncalves, Olivia Hartle, Ken Kruper, Lisa McGurnSarah Misch, David Nackman, Nicole Nole, Taylor Pedane, Alexa Peyton, Keith Plokhoy, Justin Phillips, Sita Sarkar, Mike Wirsch

* Denotes member of Actors Equity Association

 

creative collaboration lab

For information about licensing or touring opportunities for any of our original productions, please contact us.
 

 

CURRENT EXPERIMENT: IN THE GIANTS' SOUP (co-production)

A live episode of the long forgotten 1978 musical television program IN THE GIANTS' SOUP. Join Marion, Eugene, Panda, Willy & the whole gang in a special presentation of "The Birthday Bummer." A new character has dropped into the world of the "Soup" and everyone has forgotten about Eugene's birthday... or have they?

Book, music, and lyrics by Kirk Stevens and Mike Wirsch
Directed by Audrey Stanfield
Choreography by Olivia Hartle

Old Crone Joan/Randy The Vulture .......... Lizzy Furey
Willy ................................................... Jack Gilbert
Julie .................................................... April Lavalle
Panda .................................................. Shannon Odell
Marion ................................................. Kirk Stevens
Eugene ................................................. Mike Wirsch 

World premiere:  Monday, May 15, 2017, The PIT Loft, NYC

Now touring


COMING SOON: THE BIG THEATRE THOUGHT SALON

Inspired by the salons of the 17th and 18th centuries, BIG Theatre Company is staging an intersectional, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational gathering to discuss, play with, and perform some of today's most challenging topics. Come ready to build community, develop new work, and expand our collective horizons. Send us a note if you want to be there.

 Destiny is Judd Nelson ensemble in rehearsal (2014)

 Destiny is Judd Nelson ensemble in rehearsal (2014)


The Curse of the Babywoman

Taylor Pedane and Sarah Misch | Photo by Hunter Pedane (2016)

Taylor Pedane and Sarah Misch | Photo by Hunter Pedane (2016)

The Curse of the Babywoman is an absurdist comedy that explores fear, denial, and small town values intensified by the dreaded babywoman, a monster that lurks just outside of the city limits.

World premiere: FringeNYC 2016

Play by Mike Wirsch
Directed by Olivia Hartle

Cast
Francisco Sputum …………….. Taylor Pedane
Philomena ……………………… Sarah Misch
Artemis ………………………….. Ali McGhee
Nimrod Rodham Rodman …..… Justin Phillips
BooBoo Chicky ………………… Alexandra Brown
Silas ……………………………… Kurt Cruz
Barney/Server ………………..… Ryan DeForeest
Dot ……………………………..…. Alexa Peyton
Mayor ………………………….…. David Nackman

Crew
Stage Manager ……………………… Stephanie Oliver
Lighting Designer …………………… Joe Cantalupo
Puppet Designer …………………..… Mike Wirsch
Sound Designer ……………………… Kurt Cruz
Costume Advisor …………………….. Sean Pollock
Pianist/Composer/Lyricist ………….. Ken Kruper


COLLECTIVE CASTING EXPERIMENT

Collective casting for The Curse of the Babywoman (2016)

Collective casting for The Curse of the Babywoman (2016)

On Collective Casting

"I, the director, will not cast the play. You, a member of the ensemble, will cast the play in collaboration with other members of the ensemble.

The casting will be done collectively through an immersive, emergent, and ensemble-led process orchestrated over a series of sessions of experimentation and fun. 

Our artistic relationship is not transactional.  I want to make a play with you, and I will not make a determination about the value you bring based on my 'vision' or 'how well you read for a role.'

None of this is mine. Or yours. Or anyone’s. Theatre belongs to all of us and this play will belong to all of us. Therefore, this process is ours, and we will co-create it from beginning to end."


ROMAN FEVER

Theresa Burns and Amy Crossman (2014)

Theresa Burns and Amy Crossman (2014)

Based on the popular short story by Edith Wharton, Roman Fever is a tale of two American mothers who bring their daughters on a trip to Rome. Throughout their stay, the past is explored and secrets are uncovered that reveal the true nature of friendship, love, and trust.

World premiere: Midtown International Theater Festival 2014

Book, music, and lyrics by Ken Kruper

Cast: Theresa Burns, Amy Crossman, Stacey Lightman, Samantha Mantin


DESTINY IS JUDD NELSON

(L-R) Sarah Misch, Justin Phillips, and Alexandra Brown | Photo by Samir Abady (2014)

(L-R) Sarah Misch, Justin Phillips, and Alexandra Brown | Photo by Samir Abady (2014)

Humorous as it is poignant, strange as it is profound, Destiny is Judd Nelson follows a group of New Yorkers searching for meaningful connections in a city where timing is everything.

World premiere: FringeNYC 2014

Play by Sarah Goncalves
Directed by Olivia Hartle

Cast
Adam …………………….……  Joe Cantalupo
Mark ……………………...…… Dwayne Dixon
Judith ……………………..…… Lisa McGurn
Rich ……………………..……… Mike Wirsch
Amy ……………………..……… Sammi Cains
Nora ……………………..…..… Sarah Misch
Jimmy ……………………..……. Kurt Cruz
Man/Jack …………………….… Justin Phillips
Woman ……………………....… Lindsay Arber
Stranger 1/Therapist/NorEaster321 ..… Theresa Burns
Stranger 2/Rachel/MTA1984 …………… Alexandra Brown

Crew
Assistant Director and Stage Manager .... Alexa Peyton
Music Supervisor and Composer ............ Ken Kruper
Company Manager and Playwright .......... Sarah Goncalves
Lighting Designer ................................. Ben Danielowski
Costume Designer ................................ Taylor Pedane
Sound Designer .................................... Aaron Hanson
Assistant Stage Manager ......................... Vikki De Meo


GRIMM: A NEW MUSICAL

Jake Bridges as Rumpelstiltskin | Photo by Hunter Pedane (2012)

Jake Bridges as Rumpelstiltskin | Photo by Hunter Pedane (2012)

Led by an ensemble of familiar faces from the stories of the Brothers Grimm, GRIMM: A New Musical blends fairytale classics with a cast of new characters set to a stirring original score.

World premiere: FringeNYC 2012

Original book and lyrics by Ken Kruper and Jon Randhawa (2009)
Adaptations by Olivia Hartle and Ken Kruper (2012)
Music by Ken Kruper
Directed by Olivia Hartle

Cast
Catheine ................................. Theresa Burns
Angelica ................................. Gina Cucci
Jennadelia ............................... Kathleen Foster
Hansel .................................... Grant Bowen
Gretel ..................................... Sierra Marcks
Rumpelstiltskin ......................... Jake Bridges
Ensemble ...... Abby Bernbaum,  Jacqueline Burns, Cooper Jordan, Taylor Pedane, Sita Sarkar, Mike Wirsch

Crew
Stage Manager ……………………… Vikki De Meo
Company Manager ..................... Sarah Goncalves
Lighting Designer …………………… Joe Cantalupo
Costume Designer ....................... Taylor Pedane
Set Designer ............................... Keith Plokhoy
Sound Designer ……………………… Ben Danielowski
Production Assistants ................... Nicole Nole, Alexa Peyton


Tony Danza's Thought-a-Day Calendar

Tony Danza's Thought-a-Day Calendar performing in the NYC Improv Fest at The PIT (2017)

Tony Danza's Thought-a-Day Calendar performing in the NYC Improv Fest at The PIT (2017)

An experimental, two-person, independent improv team, Tony Danza's Thought-a-Day Calendar is just two more cisgender white people trying to make sense of this mess of a political moment.

Tony Danza's Thought-a-Day Calendar is Olivia Hartle and Mike Wirsch


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APPLAUSE

GRIMM: A NEW MUSICAL

"... a complex, deeply stirring and at times even provocative story that serves up a happy ending—but not before plumbing the depths of the darkest of human emotions...  a score so lush, evocative and beautiful that from the first notes of the opening ensemble number, I was catching my breath... for this to happen in a small theatre is a remarkable feat." 

         — THE HAPPIEST MEDIUM Online entertainment hub

"Kruper has a great ear for melody and themes and his harmonies are no slackers, either."

         — NYTHEATRE.COM
 

DESTINY IS JUDD NELSON

"A very well directed play that uses many inventive devices to transcend time, space and technology... playwright Sarah Goncalves and director Olivia Hartle have crafted a work of art that is sure to not be forgotten..." 

         — SOUND SPOTLIGHT MAGAZINE
 

THE CURSE OF THE BABYWOMAN

"The Curse of the Babywoman is a delight: sweet and well-constructed, with distinctive humor as its best feature... PURE FUN!"

         — THEATRE IS EASY