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The Drama Desk Presents a Panel and Reception, "The Art of Storytelling", at Sardiís
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The Drama Desk Presents a Panel and Reception, "The Art of Storytelling", at Sardiís

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Drama Desk Panel and Reception
The Art of Storytelling

(Drama Desk Website)
Isa Goldberg, Drama Desk President
Executive Producers, Drama Desk Awards:
Robert R. Blume, David S. Stone, Renee McCurry
Producer/Manager, Drama Desk Awards:
Joey Parnes Productions
Drama Desk Press and Public Relations:
Les Schecter

(Sardiís Website)

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 22, 2013

Read Theater Reviews of the Panel Participantsí Shows Here

David Hyde Pierce: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Bertie Carvel: Matilda
Jane Houdyshell: Dead Accounts
Kristine Nielsen: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Moderator: Ronald Rand: Drama Desk, Playwright, Publisher

The Drama Desk presented another lovely panel discussion at Sardiís today. The panel participants, listed above, were eloquent and effervescent, truly happy to be in the spotlight, with so many theater aficionados in the crowd. This sold-out event is always a big hit for Drama Desk members, and, after Moderator, Ronald Rand, completed his questions, the audience was invited to add questions or comments to enhance this lively exchange. Todayís lunch topic was The Art of Storytelling, and the panel made the most of this engaging topic. Kristine Nielsen, from Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, commented that she used her Maggie Smith imitation, so entertaining in the play, for her audition tryout. When Christopher Durang heard this, he added it to the show. Jayne Houdyshell, from Dead Accounts, spoke about the woman who inspired Barbara, and how much she was told the fictional matched the actual mother, who inspired the role. Bertie Carvel, from Matilda, spoke about his physical transformation into Miss Agatha Trunchbull, the bully headmistress in his show, with a very comical description. David Hyde Pierce, also from Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, spoke about his first role in La BÍte, and how he tries to imagine his character from within a directorís brain, in distancing his own emotions.

Proceeding along in the panel conversation, Ms. Houdyshell added additional wit in stories about her roles in Wicked (Madame Morrible) and Follies (Hattie). She revealed that in Follies she carried contents of the 60ís and 70ís in her stage purse to center her sense of place and time. Ms. Nielsen spoke about developing familiarity with Mr. Hyde Pierce, as they play sister and brother in their current play. Mr. Hyde Pierce added examples of the rhythm of his nightly comedy. Both actors, as well as Ms. Houdyshell, told tales of audience asides, heard from the stage, many of which were comically churlish. Mr. Carvel expanded the discussion, noting that the collective audience each night has its own energy and drives the acting momentum, while Ms. Nielsen added that she loves the way her productionís ensemble works with the audience to emote more sadness or craziness. Mr. Hyde Pierce mentioned that he feels creative at this point in his career and makes better choices to get into his role. Ms. Houdyshell chimed in that it was easy playing Coraline, a nine year-old, as she always feels like sheís nine. This Drama Desk Panel was, again, a huge success, with much mingling afterwards.

Drama Desk Panel (l-r): Bertie Carvel,
Jane Houdyshell, Ronald Rand,
David Hyde Pierce, Kristine Nielsen.
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Bertie Carvel, Plays Headmistress,
Miss Agatha Trunchbull, in "Matilda"
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Isa Goldberg, President, Drama Desk,
at Sardi's Panel, "The Art of Storytelling"
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Sardi's Theatre Art, Event Screen
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Sardi's Famed Celebrity Caricatures
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Sardi's Famed Celebrity Caricatures
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Robert Blume, Blume Media Group,
Les Schecter, LS Communications
at Sardi's Drama Desk Panel
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at