It’s no secret I love going to the theater. What I didn’t quite understand until I started writing about the theater and doing these interviews is the business aspect of the industry. And that’s one of the things I love about this episode. I got to sit down with Elizabeth Doran, North Carolina Theatre’s President/CEO, and Eric Woodall, Producing Artistic Director, to not only talk about NC Theatre’s upcoming season, which opens in October with WEST SIDE STORY, but also to gain a little bit of insight into the decision-making process, as it pertains to licensing, casting, and building an entire season from scratch. For more information about NC Theatre, visit https://nctheatre.com/.
About the Guests
ELIZABETH DORAN joined NC Theatre in March 2017. With over 15 years of experience as an arts leader and theatre producer, Elizabeth has successfully led several arts organizations serving as the CEO of San Diego Theatres, executive director of The Pasadena Playhouse, the State Theater of California, and as managing director of The Actors’ Gang. Along with producing theatre internationally in Europe and South America, Elizabeth has worked on the development side of major Broadway-bound shows such as JERSEY BOYS and ONE NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN, and has presented many Broadway touring shows including PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and THE LION KING. Beyond her depth of experience in producing and presenting the arts, Elizabeth’s focus on education, audience development, and diversity and inclusion have attracted millions of dollars of funding to support programs which break down barriers by merging the arts into schools, universities, prisons, underserved and new-immigrant neighborhoods, and businesses. Elizabeth has an MBA in strategy and entrepreneurship from Rensselaer (RPI).
ERIC WOODALL has a long history with NC Theatre; as an actor, teacher, and director. As a high school student, he performed in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR and GEORGE M! at NC Theatre. After successful years on stage and television, Eric returned to NC Theatre in the late ’90s to direct and help cultivate the existing Summer Theatre Arts School program into the NC Theatre Conservatory. For the past16 years, Eric worked as one of New York’s top casting directors in the office of Tara Rubin Casting. Through casting and developing new musicals, Eric has been lucky enough to work alongside Stephen Sondheim, Cameron Mackintosh, William Finn, Sir Richard Eyre, Stephen Daldry, Susan Stroman, Stephen Schwartz, Casey Nicholaw, James Lapine, Phyllida Lloyd, and Hal Prince. A few of his Broadway casting credits include SUNSET BOULEVARD, ALADDIN, FALSETTOS, LES MISERABLES, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, BILLY ELLIOT, MARY POPPINS, THE LITTLE MERMAID, and MAMMA MIA! (Broadway, National tour.) Past NC Theatre directorial credits include GYPSY, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, MARY POPPINS, BILLY ELLIOT, DRIVING MISS DAISY, and STEEL MAGNOLIAS. Other directing credits include NEXT TO NORMAL, WEST SIDE STORY, BIG RIVER, ON GOLDEN POND (Casa Manana); BIG FISH, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, PARADE, AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY and VIOLET (Theatre Raleigh); AMADEUS (Memphis’ Playhouse on the Square), and HAY FEVER (Playmakers Repertory.) As a guest lecturer, Eric has taught at universities and training programs around the country including NYU, Baldwin Wallace, and Elon. Internationally, Eric was invited to lead workshops in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia through Actors Equity of Australia. Last year, American Theatre named Eric one of the “People You Should Watch” in its “Role Call: Six Theatre Workers You Should Know” series. Eric is a drama graduate of Carnegie Mellon-University and is a member of SDC and CSA. He is grateful to be “home” at NC Theatre.