Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Planet Connections Interview - Stacy Glen Tibbetts of "Dialing for Donna"

By Byrne Harrison

Name: Stacy Glen Tibbetts
Play: Dialing for Donna
Relationship to production: Composer/lyricist
Website: http://www.dialingfordonna.com/

How did you first get involved in theatre?

Performing in pit orchestras, then participating in NOMTI, Berklee College of Music’s New Opera and Music Theatre Initiative writing workshop. http://www.nomti.org/. I’ve also been a member of TRU (Theatre Resources Unlimited -- http://www.truonline.org/) for ten years, and am a member of ASCAP, the AFM, and the Dramatists Guild.

Who are your biggest influences?

Rodgers, Loewe, Bernstein, Kern, Arlen

What is your show about?

From the website: Flamboyant radio talk show host Donna Corleone has always enjoyed the support of her loyal Brooklyn-Italian listeners. But just as her family advice show starts to founder, an old flame returns to the neighborhood, seeking to buy out her station and come between Donna and her business partners. Can Donna stop him? Can her wacky station crew save their own jobs? Not before timeless bonds of loyalty and community have been stretched to the limit -- and sometimes broken -- in this family-friendly new musical.

"In the end, it always comes back to a family. Always. And by a family, I mean a group of people who lives by the rules I am telling you about. That's how it is." -- Donna Corleone, Dialing for Donna, WMFU, 86.2 FM

When asked about the inspiration for the character of Donna Corleone, librettist Pam Monk likes to say that she is a comic mix between Ann Landers and the Godfather. Advice you can’t say no to…

What inspired you to become involved with it?

My strong relationship with and trust in the librettist, with whom I’d previously written another musical, kept me interested in writing the songs. The opportunity to work with the amazing performers in this cast inspires me to write and produce.

Why was it important to you to be part of an eco-friendly theatre festival?

It’s become more obvious over the last five years that we are facing a possible global environmental crisis. We need to do what we can to raise awareness and change our consumption habits.

Planet Connections donates a portion of the box office for each show to a charity. What charity has your production chosen and why?

The Actors Fund – because trained actors often can’t make a living at it, and some have no other means. An obvious and worthy choice.

What's next for you after Planet Connections?

A solo singer/songwriter gig at an outdoor music festival, coming up on the day after the reading, actually.

Also, I’d like to write a small (two-character) revue about two young performers, a couple, who come to the city. I have a few great actors in mind with whom I’d like to work. Practical considerations ($$) are making me want to write a smaller show that I can afford to produce. I also have a regular routine of submitting work to various organizations for support.

And finally, if your play was food, what kind of food would it be?
This musical would be a big plate of your Nonna’s lasagna – with béchamel, marinara, and pesto sauces – or maybe pasta fagioli. A big Italian feast -- olives, ricotta salata, ciabatta bread, chianti – we got it all here!

Dialing for Donna
Friday, June 24 at 12:00PM

The Robert Moss Theatre
440 Lafayette Street

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