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Saturday, May 3, 2008

Interview- Paul Adams (Artistic Director, Emerging Artists Theatre)

The Fab Marquee interview by Antonio Miniño.

Paul Adams founded Emerging Artists in 1993 and has been Artistic Director for the life of the company these past 15 years. He previously was the Treasurer at the WPA for several years, along with Assistant Treasurer at the Orpheum Theatre. As Artistic Director, he reads all submissions, is responsible for overseeing all creative aspects of all productions and is also responsible for budgeting and day-to-day accounting of the company. He is also a playwright, director, and actor.

We caught Paul between shows at EAT’s SpringFest ’08 taking place right now at The Roy Arias Theatre Center through May 4, 2008.


How does it feel for EAT to be celebrating their “Quinceañera” (sweet 15) ?

  • I am amazed that 15 years have gone by in such a short time. I am so happy that Emerging Artists has moved to an Off Broadway Contract and that we now have 125 company members. Our next big goal is to find a permanent home with a theatre, office and rehearsal space. Hopefully that will materialize in the next 3 years.

Pretty amazing that we always talk about “emerging artists”, yet you were smart enough to snatch the name for your theatre co.

  • I felt that this company was always going to be dedicated to those “emerging artists”. I think that all artists keep emerging as they go through life and it is great to be able to provide an opportunity for the first time artists to see their work on a New York stage. But even more important is to be there as a home for artists who may have been working in their craft for years, but have never been given a chance to see their work developed and produced. I say every artist keeps emerging or I would hope they do as their life goes on.

Hunter Gilmore* & Jason Alan Griffin* in Break.
Photo credit: Erica Parise

You have a pretty action packed season, Spring EATfest going on right now at the Roy Arias Theatre Center, and the Developmental Series around the corner, what differentiates these?

  • The Eatfest is a new one act festival. The Fall is for pieces up to 20 minutes and the Spring for pieces up to 50 minutes. The Developmental Series is a unique opportunity for a diverse array of artists in all different mediums. It is a chance for them to workshop their work before an audience and then sit with the audience afterwards and ask them questions and get feedback on what the audience just experienced. There are 5 components that each last a week - one woman shows, one man shows(new this year), clown work and puppetry, cabaret performers, and new ensemble musicals. The artists can bring and present their work in whatever stage they are at in their process. EAT provides the performance space, prints the flyers and programs and gives them rehearsal space. There is no cost to the artists involved and the admission fee for audience is a simple $10. EAT is unique in that no other theatre company offers this kind of platform in such a varied scheme of work for artists to present their creativity to the public.

So your going to Ireland with Tom Cruise, and who else…

  • Well our Tom Cruise is a speaking dog that belongs to his gay owner. Yes EAT was very lucky and is headed to Ireland on May 10th to be part of the Dublin Gay Theatre Festival It will be the first international appearance for Emerging Artists. EAT will be performing 3 one act plays from last years Eatfests: Emily Breathes by Matt Casarino, Some Are People by Kathleen Warnock, and Tom Cruise Get Off the Couch by Kevin Brofsky. It will be a great experience to be one of 2 companies that will represent New York in the festival.

Your company members seem to be a very involved core with EAT, how do you keep the family lovingly together? A family of actors no less.

  • Actually it is a family of playwrights, directors, actors, designers, and technicians. When Istarted this company, I had 2 main rules - that it had to be enjoyable to work on developing/producing new work because no one is paid what they are worth and so it better be fun even if you’re working on a drama and second was that no one would ever raise their voice to another individual - respect for each other as artists and a true shared belief in new work. I really feel that you can see when work is presented where the artists involved really care for the material and each other. EAT is a collaborative creative family where artists are encouraged to explore different sides of themselves and feel supported in those attempts. It is a family and as with all families there are unique dynamics to keeping the family happy. But EAT also has an open door policy for company members because life is always here and can take hold of you at times. So a member can be active or go inactive and come back when their life permits them to. But I must say that I am incredibly lucky to have each and every member bring their own unique creativity to the Emerging Artists family.

For more information on EAT’s Season, visit

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