For our third and final PUSHPLAY event, as part of our Idea Lab series for The Wildness, we’ll be focusing on the theme of Uncertainty. Joining us this Thursday (3/17) will be The Wildness and Sky- Pony cellist, David Blasher, composer/performer/sound designer Katie Down, National Alliance of Musical Theatre’s Adam Grosswirth, and host Mark Blankenship from Theatre Development Fund. To read more about PUSHPLAY, check this out! You can also listen to the MIXTAPE made by our guests and audience members at our first PUSHPLAY event that focused on Faith, or our second MIXTAPE, which explored Doubt.
David Blasher is a lawyer, musician and teacher. He has a background as a corporate litigator and pro bono attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, and he is currently an e-discovery client services project manager at Epiq Systems. He also works closely with the All Stars Project in many volunteer capacities as a teacher, actor, producer, and director, helping to advance the All Stars’ mission of engaging poverty through developmental performance and conversation. David holds a BA in Theatre Studies from Yale University and a JD from the University of Oregon School of Law. For fun, David plays cello with the rock-pop band Sky Pony.
Katie Down is a musician who composes, performs, and creates sound scores for theatre, film, and dance. Recent theatrical sound design work includes Jessica Dickey’s Charles Ives Take Me Home at City Theatre in Pittsburgh, Roland Schimmelpfennig’s The Golden Dragon with Play Company (for which she was nominated for a drama desk award), Toshiki Okada’s Zero Cost House with Pig Iron Theatre, Aditi Kapil’s Agnes Under the Big Top at Long Wharf Theatre (for which she won the Connecticut Critics Circle Award). As a multi-instrumentalist, she performs regularly with NewBorn Trio, The Ukaladies, and Sofie Salonika, and has traveled to the Balkans, South Africa, and Ecuador for the past ten years, creating workshops in song writing and improvisation for young people in post-conflict regions, providing opportunities for music to be an agent of healing and connection. Learn more about Katie Down at www.mindfulmusicpsychotherapy.com.
Adam Grosswirth is the Membership Director at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, acting as a liaison to NAMT’s 200 members, tending to their customer service needs and traveling to theatres across the country. He is responsible for planning, implementing and maintaining NAMT’s many member services, programs and benefits, including two annual conferences, surveys, publications, member discounts and the website. Adam previously spent ten years as a stage manager, during which time he worked on many Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional and developmental productions, including Spring Awakening, Zanna Don’t!,Here Lies Jenny, The Big Time, Xanadu, Aida, The Green Bird, Serenade, The Secret Narrative of the Phone Book and Bright Lights Big City, and spent three seasons as the Stage Management Supervisor at the Williamstown Theatre Festival under the artistic direction of Roger Rees. Adam is a native New Yorker and a graduate of Tufts University.
As Theatre Development Fund’s Associate Director of Online Presence, Mark Blankenship edits the online magazine TDF Stages, produces and directs the documentary film series Meet the Theatre, and produces the Theatre Dictionary, which creates short films to define theatre lingo. He has written for The New York Times, NPR, American Theatre, OUT Magazine, and many others, and in 2015, he lived the nerd dream of competing on Jeopardy. He is a graduate of Emory University and The Yale School of Drama. Read more about Mark at www.markgblankenship.com.