As Managing Director of Jackalope Theater Company, Nate Silver gets to oversee the incredible range of productions the Edgewater-based theater company commissions and puts on. Silver values his work with the company and the staff behind it. I’m taking a special interested in Jackalope this week because I want you to see their passion and integrity, and I hope you’ll catch one of their astonishing productions soon. Read my interview with Nate Silver after the jump.
What is the best thing about working at Jackalope Theater Company?
Jackalope Theatre Company is made up of passionate, hard-workers. It’s a great group of people to be around and the level of commitment the company shows to the work, each other, and the Chicago theater community is inspiring.
The story of how Jackalope came to be is incredible, can you tell our readers a little more about how you joined the company?
Well, I’m sort of the “new guy” who isn’t a part of the incredible founding story, but I do know a bit about it. In the spring of 2008, three senior directing majors at Columbia College Chicago joined together in a class project for their Theater Management Techniques course. Their task was to create a fictional theatrical production company. The project went so well that by summer, Jackalope Theatre Company was born. Since that time, Jackalope has evolved into a dynamic, respected arts organization.
I was approached in August of 2012 with the idea of me joining as Managing Director. Because I knew the company only peripherally we decided to embark on a sort of trial run. I worked with Jackalope the following winter on a production of Rich and Famous, and afterwards we agreed it would be a productive partnership. I came on as Managing Director in March 2013.
What has been your favorite production so far and why?
The Last Duck was my introduction to the company – the first show I ever saw. What struck me – besides it being a compelling play, with great acting – was the high production value. So many theater companies produce on a shoestring budget, and it looks like they’re producing on a shoestring budget. Jackalope has a way of stretching the dollar – through talent and resourcefulness – to create a level of work that seemingly exceeds our means. That was clear with The Last Duck and it was clear this was a company that believed in itself.
Is there a production in the future you’re excited to work on?
Jackalope’s 6th Season is phenomenal, featuring three world premieres. The Peacock is a great way to kick it off, but our winter show, The Killing of Michael X is our first venture into incorporating film into a theatrical piece, and our spring show, Exit Strategy, is very much a “Chicago play” written by Ike Holter. Starting with a period piece has been a great challenge, and I’m excited for audiences to travel with us, from 1946 to 2013 Chicago throughout the season.
What do you hope to see happen with the Jackalope Theater Company?
Jackalope has a lot of momentum. People are interested in the work we’re doing and are keeping an eye on us as we continue to grow. We need to capitalize on this opportunity and continue to prove ourselves as a vital cultural institution. We need a performance space of our own and to continue building ourselves as an Edgewater-based theater company. Most of all, we need a little bit of cash to make it all happen.
Nate Silver is the Managing Director of Jackalope Theatre Company, and is a Chicago-based director. Directing credits include Rich and Famous (Jackalope Theatre Company), Dates from Hell (Redtwist), Far Away (winterfall chicago), Run-of-the-Mill (CUT), and readings of Gambit and Tyler Family Portrait (Artemisia). In New York he assisted Kimberly Senior on Disgraced (Lincoln Center Theater) and Elise Thoron on County of Kings (Public Theater) and wrote, developed and directed the National Student Leadership Conference’s summer Theater Program. This winter he will be assisting Kimberly Senior on Hedda Gabler (Writers Theatre). Nate is a proud graduate of Vassar College.
Filed under: Interviews