WHO ARE YOU? Who are Chouinard and Vest?

 

Stephen Sondheim is somewhere smiling (I mean, like in Manhattan, he’s still with us!). Musicals have become deeply moving and fascinating. Topics that were too much for drama are now musicalized. We live in a world of transgender reality so the thought of changing our personalities is certainly a logical avenue.

Friends and colleagues, Simon Chouinard and T. Michael Vest, took the human psyche and added a G-Clef. Imagine the possibilities!

HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO BE SOMEONE ELSE?

WHO ARE YOU?
A musical by Simon Chouinard and T. Michael Vest
Directed by Richard F. Grasso
Musical Director: Sean P. Pallatroni
Assisted by Norris Person
Starring Daniel Bender Stern, Jean Ann Garrish, Ed Rosini, Noah Reece, Laura Mesrobian, David J. Raposo, and Maximus DeFrancesco

WHO ARE YOU? makes its world premiere at this year’s Midtown International Theatre Festival.

at the WorkShop, 312 W.36th Street, NYC

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE: TUES 8/01, 6:00PM; SAT 8/05, 7:00PM; SUN 8/06, 3:00PM

WHO ARE YOU?, a new original musical about three world-renowned imposters competing for a chance to start over with a new, guilt-free identity, is making its world premiere here at MITF. The show explores how everyone, at some point in their lives, has to grapple with who they are versus who they’d like to be.
Simon Chouinard and T. Michael Vest may be from two different countries, but that hasn’t stopped them from writing together! After showing their work at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London, they produced a stage reading of their musical “Who Are You?” at the Dramatists Guild Fund in NYC, and are now thrilled to be premiering the show at this year’s Midtown International Theatre Festival. They are also proud members of Ken Davenport’s Coaching Program.

So guys, tell me about your inspirational process. Is it equal for both? 

Well, let us tell you the story of how we met. It was one of our first classes as Masters students in London and we were supposed to write ideas for musicals we’d like to write on a big, long piece of paper on the floor. One group of students would write their ideas and the other students had to pick the ones they liked. Simon wrote down “Lord of the Flies” and everyone in class through it was a weird idea. Everyone except Tim, who was ecstatic. Thus began Chouinard & Vest. This illustrates what we love about art, theater, and specifically, musicals. We’re always the ones asking questions, pursuing the interesting, weird, strange, and scary stories. We want to challenge people in an entertaining way. It’s stories like that, stories people say “That could never be a musical”, that inspire us to ask, “Well… Why not?”

 

Do you find indie theater to be a welcoming atmosphere for exciting thoughts. 

When you’re kind of obsessed with doing unconventional things, you gravitate towards the communities who believe in what you like to do. That is the independent theater world. We want to work with people who like taking big risks. Our stories are risks and it takes a dedicated team to turn something a little strange into something powerful. We’re very excited to see more daring shows like “The Great Comet” making their way to Broadway with the support and backing they have, and hope this trend toward brave and challenging theater continues both in the independent sector and more commercial theater world. Either way, we think there will always be something magical about a crazy show happening in a little, confident space.

 

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