The Official Blog of the
Williamstown Theatre Festival

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Special Feature | Six Degrees of Williamstown

by Kristin Idaszak, Dramaturg

It is a widely acknowledged truism that the theatre community is very small, so the cast and production team of WTF’s Six Degrees of Separation performed our own mini-version of the small world experiment to see just how small it is. If six degrees should connect us to anyone in the world (Nelson Mandela, Tina Fey, Gordon Brown)—how many degrees would it take for us to connect to each other?

I paired people who had never met before this production, from different parts of the country and in different stages in their careers. Each pair was given the task of figuring out what chain of mutual acquaintances connected them, without using anyone else from WTF. Pairs were also discouraged from using Facebook. Still, most of us found that we were only one or two degrees apart.

David Sugarman, Stage Manager (Boston/New York) and Clea Alsip, Tess (San Francisco/New York): 1 degree

From David: “Clea interned with Ted at the Public, who was the musical director of South Pacific at Lincoln Center, which I worked on! At first it seemed like it was going to be hard because she was all West Coast and I was all East Coast and I had never worked at the Public, but then we broke it!”

Kristin Idaszak, Dramaturg (Chicago) and Ben Mehl, Trent (Toronto/New York): 1 degree

From Kristin: “Ben’s Feldenkrais teacher at NYU, Scott, was my first director and mentor, the person who taught me that the arts were essential to a society’s health and who encouraged me to pursue a career in the theatre.”

Sam Hough, Photographer (East Texas/New York) and Ariel Woodiwiss, Elizabeth (North Carolina/New York): 1 degree

From Ariel: “We both know a friend in the city, Julie, who was working at The Studio. Sam was a photographer for their show Big Love and Julie was my roommate in Queens the year we both moved to New York.”

Amber Wedin, Assistant Stage Manager (New York) and Dominic Spillane, Woody (New York): 2 degrees

From Amber: “My best friend Emily, the Company Manager at the Public Theatre, used to work with Dominic's friend Steven.”

Adrienne Campbell-Holt, Assistant Director (Boston/New York) and Michael Bradley Cohen, Dough (Brooklyn, New York): 1 degree

From Adrienne: “So, it turns out Michael Cohen and I are connected through his lovely girlfriend, Chelsea, who worked as an intern for my theater company Colt Coeur during our production of Seven Minutes in Heaven in June.  We loved having Chelsea on our team and she brought Michael to the show and it was only when we played this game that he realized I had directed it...”

Tim Daly, Flan (Vermont/LA) and Caitlin Griffin, Company Management (Connecticut): 6 degrees of separation!

From Caitlin: “Tim is acquainted with Tony S, an alumnus of ART where Skip C is an associate production manager. Skip, the nephew of Karen Macbeth is a co-worker of Meg, my mother.”

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