We spoke with Sophie Gagnon (“Lisa”); John Hart (“Clint”); and Anna Hogan, assistant director.
What inspires you as an artist?
Sophie Gagnon: What inspires me as an artist is witnessing the journey the audience goes on with the characters in a play and the profound effect a piece of theater can have on them. Whenever I watch a play or a musical, I see myself get engrossed in the world of the piece, rooting for the protagonist, becoming invested in their success and sympathetic of their failures. As an actor, there is no greater feeling than when someone comes up to you after the show and tells you how much your performance meant to them, or made them question something in their life, or moved them, or made them laugh – because after all, that is our goal – to enchant, to scare, to call attention to, to move, and getting to see the outcome of that is really rewarding.
John Hart: I’d have to say, other artists who dare to create something new and original. When I see another artist: daring to push themselves, daring to be more truthful or more open or more original, daring to go beyond the ordinary surface value of what something is or what it might “appear to be” (whether it’s in: Acting, Music, Writing, Painting, Photography, whatever – all the Arts!) I feel challenged (and inspired) to push myself that much harder. To look deeper into myself and deeper into the craft for what originality or truth or insight I can bring out of a piece.
Anna Hogan: Collaboration inspires me as an artist. One of the most beautiful and efficient forms of collaboration comes to life in the arts. We have so many moving elements, so many dedicated and professional artists, and all of it centers on sharing some universal truth with our audience. Truth and empathy being the cornerstone of collaboration in a professional environment is what inspires me. I am inspired to share stories with the audience that speak of resilience, goodness, struggle, social issues, women’s issues, minority struggles. These all inspire me.
… and why independent theater?
Sophie Gagnon: Independent theater provides artists with the opportunity to create without boundaries, to produce shows that they otherwise would not have opportunity to work on – and likewise, gives audiences the chance to see important pieces of theater for an accessible cost.
John Hart: Because that’s where the risks are taken. That’s where the growth is. That’s where the truth is. And because of that, that’s where provocative new theater is.
Anna Hogan: Independent theater is a place where a lot of these socially-driven pieces are born. It’s a place where work is created. I think that is the most exciting part about working in independent theater.