Sound Designers! Directors! Stagehands! Stockard Channing, Rupert Grint, Matthew Broderick and More Reveal Second-Choice Theatre Professions

News   Sound Designers! Directors! Stagehands! Stockard Channing, Rupert Grint, Matthew Broderick and More Reveal Second-Choice Theatre Professions
From the playwright to the producer, It's Only a Play, the Broadway work by Tony Award winner Terrence McNally that begins performances Aug. 28, spotlights the different artists that take part in the creation of a Broadway play. We asked the cast what they would do in the theatre if they weren't an actor.

F. Murray Abraham
F. Murray Abraham Photo by Monica Simoes

The production, which stars The Producers co-stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, has already taken in millions at the box office and will play a limited 18-week engagement through Jan. 4, 2015.

In It's Only a Play, according to producers Tom Kirdahy, Roy Furman and Ken Davenport, "it's opening night of Peter Austin's (Broderick) new play as he anxiously awaits to see if his show is a hit. With his career on the line, he shares his big First Night with his best friend, a television star (Lane), his fledgling producer (Mullally), his erratic leading lady (Channing), his wunderkind director (Grint), an infamous drama critic, and a wide-eyed coat check attendant on his first night in Manhattan. It’s alternately raucous, ridiculous and tender — reminding audiences why there’s no business like show business. Thank God!"


F. Murray Abraham, who plays Ira Drew, the critic:

I can't imagine not acting… I'd probably direct. I really love the theatre. I just simply… I'm in love with it! I'm a fool. What can I tell you?

Matthew Broderick, who plays Peter Austin, the playwright:

Oh, that's a good question. In high school, I always liked the backstage stuff. I liked lighting and things like that, so I would probably be involved in that… God, I don't know what I would do, but I'd like to be a part of the behind-the-scenes people at the theatre — probably more than a director or even an actor. If I could, I would be perfectly happy to stay in the booth.

Rupert Grint
Rupert Grint Photo by Monica Simoes

Stockard Channing, who plays Virginia Noyes, the star:


I don't think I have any talent for any… Except what I do. When I was younger, I tried to give [acting] up and do something, and it didn't work, so here I am!

Rupert Grint, who plays Frank Finger, the director:

I think I'd like to design sets! I think that'd be fun or maybe lighting… Yeah, I don't know. Director would be fun as well, but it's such a thrill being on an actual stage for an audience. I love it.

Micah Stock
Micah Stock Photo by Monica Simoes

Micah Stock, who plays Gus P. Head, a waiter and aspiring actor:


I like to say that I was a stage manager in another life because I think I'm borderline OCD, and I think a great stage manager is one of the most underrated positions in the theatre, and we happen to have an incredible stage management team [at It's Only a Play].

Terrence McNally, the playwright:

Not a director — that I know I wouldn't want to do. I don't think I'd want to be an actor. I think maybe a set designer. No, I know what I'd like to be… A producer! Bring people together, read a script and say, "That'd be a great play for Jack O'Brien to direct, and Nathan Lane would be good in it and Stockard Channing" — match people up. A good producer — I know they have to raise the money, that's the side I might not be so good at… But bringing people together, I think I'd be good at…because without the right cast and director, a new play is doomed. I don't think you can have a success with the wrong director and wrong cast for your play, unless you're very lucky and get a second production two or three years later!

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