Broadway on the Web: Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherhead Take "Submissions Only" in Theatrical Web Series

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30 Sep 2013

Stephen Bienskie in "Submissions Only"
After the pilot was shot and edited, by Keenan-Bolger with the help of Final Cut Pro, "You went back into Poppins," Wetherhead said to Keenan-Bolger, "and I went away to Goodspeed [Musicals for James and the Giant Peach]. We released the episode early October, and I remember being at the Norma Terris [Theatre] in Chester, CT, and feeling so removed from the world, but knowing that our video had been uploaded… I had no sense of what the response was, and slowly I started to get some voicemails and texts and emails from people saying, 'This is actually really kind of great.'"

From the positive response, the duo planned to continue the series (on and flesh out characters, story arcs and plot lines.

"There were certain things in the pilot that were there to set something up," added Wetherhead, "but we didn't know what it was, so we [thought], 'Now we have to think about what happens.' Who are these people, and how are they tied to interact with each other? How will they affect each other's lives? What's the point? What are we trying to say now? And then it became a job… We could have never imagined what we were getting ourselves into."

The two got themselves into a six-episode first season, focused on struggling actress Penny, who works as an occasional audition reader for Tim (Hanlon) when not being sent on auditions by Tim's ex-boyfriend, and agent, Steven (Bienskie). Penny — getting back into the auditioning "game" — is down on her luck with both theatre and relationships, until she meets Aaron (Fontana).

Watch the second episode, "165 Flies," where Fontana's character is introduced:

"Certainty, when we started, I had no formal training," admitted Keenan-Bolger, who serves as the show's co-director/writer/creator as well as editor and director of photography. "It was basically, 'This looks right for my eye. Let's do this.' And, after Season One, I realized I was breaking quite a few rules of filmmaking — some that [were] worth breaking and some that were like, 'These shots don't cut together.' I've definitely read a lot of textbooks now, and we've stylized it. This season, we think more about the composition of shots…"

Wetherhead added that it's "been amazing to watch each season [become] more sophisticated."

Watch the season finale of the first season, entitled "Somethin' Else":


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