Interviews


Photography by Tess Mayer

Photography by Tess Mayer

THE INTERVAL -

the Smart Girl's Guide to Theatricality:

October 26, 2017

Ilana is profiled on THE INTERVAL: the Smart Girl's Guide to Theatricality:

"Theatre directing remains a mysterious practice with many theatergoers not really knowing what it is a that a director does—or basing their assumptions off of that high school drama teacher who told you where to stand and acted out the part for you. Yet directing, with its many components, remains one of the hardest disciplines to master. We recently gathered a group of directors ranging from emerging to having directed on Broadway--Sash BischoffKel HaneyCandis C. JonesRachel KleinKimberly SeniorIlana Ransom Toeplitz, and Whitney White—to talk about their outlooks, mentorship, having authority, and more."

There is an excerpt below, and you can read the full interview here.

“I think because women entered the work force later, our relationship with mentorship is different than males, and I think we need to pay attention to that... Look at the older and more seasoned directors. I don’t think they had any female mentors in their lives, so they had to elbow their way through to their success through the old boys’ club. Whereas maybe the more middle career directors have had some exposure, but… I’ve made a commitment to only be mentored by female directors and mentor other female directors because I think it is different for us in this field.”
— IRT, the Interval
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Sash Bischoff, Ilana Ransom Toeplitz, Rachel Klein, Kimberly Senior, Candis C. Jones, Whitney White & Kel Haney pose for their upcoming feature in "The Avengers".


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July 14, 2017


Ilana was profiled on Hannah Wolf's "Ask A Director" blog.  Excerpt below, and you can read the full interview here.

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“I tried to make fully-realized productions of
The Nutcracker and Grease! 
happen before I was 12.

For my 11th birthday party, I threw a “Career-oke” party where we dressed up as our career ambitions, developed a 10-year plan, and then sang karaoke.”

Why and how did you get into theatre?

"I grew up around symphony orchestras so my favorite stories were always musical. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with The Magic Flute and The Wizard of OZ and when I went through my Annie phase, I wore a locket around my neck…with pictures of Albert Finney and Aileen Quinn inside (sorry Dad). When I was 9, I saw my first professional production: the National Tour of Crazy for You open in Pittsburgh, PA. That was like experiencing pure magic. Seeing that show changed me forever, and it was also when I was self-diagnosed with Stromania.
For my 10th birthday party, I adapted an original script based on the “American Girl Dolls” series, cast my friends in various roles, and then directed them for the party. I tried to make fully-realized productions of The Nutcracker and Grease! happen before I was 12. For my 11thbirthday party, I threw a “Career-oke” party where we dressed up as our career ambitions, developed a 10-year plan, and then sang karaoke.
After that, I took voice lessons and dance class every day and performed in as many musicals as my schedule would hold. I found directing and choreographing my senior year of High School (through Ahrens and Flaherty’s Lucky Stiff) Once I found it; that there was nothing else in this world that would ever make me as happy. It felt more fulfilling than performing because of the creative, collaborative, and organizational challenges a director/choreographer navigates."


 

MUSICAL MUSINGS

Ilana was interviewed by Carol De Giere for the August 2016 edition of "Musical Musings" - a blog dedicated to the development of new musicals and the people who make them happen.  Ilana was interviewed for her perspective on casting new musicals, specifically utilizing video auditions. Read an excerpt below or read the full interview here.

CD: Do you ever have to find out more from the authors because they need a fuller description of the character?
IRT: When I’m having trouble getting a clear vision of what the writer wants, I ask them to describe the character to me. Or I ask them to compare them to characters or personalities I might already know. This new show I’m doing, Spellbound by Ben Boecker, is a twist on a Fairy Tale and the protagonist has to have that Disney doe-eyed wonder but also have a very self-aware sense of humor. We decided it was like if a contemporary Snow White had a child and that child was in a production of Urinetown. Or like Amy Adams in Enchanted.


 

THE DRAMA LEAGUE DIRECTORS PROJECT FELLOWSHIP

June, 2016

lana was profiled by the University of Massachusetts - Amherst in the 2016 Summer Newsletter.  An excerpt of the interview is below, and you can read the full interview here. 

“I wanted to get to know the regional theater scene. So I packed up my dad’s Subaru Forester with different bins labelled by weather conditions, and got an internship at Signature Theatre — where I’ll be returning in August as part of my fellowship,” Toeplitz said. Over the following 18 months, she found internships in 6 different cities. “I found places to stay on an interns’ budget of $100/week by calling in favors, cat-sitting, doing whatever I had to do to be there.”
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