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Downstage Center
Go in-depth with the leading artists and professionals working on stage today when you go Downstage Center. Downstage Center is the American Theatre Wing's acclaimed weekly theatrical interview program that spotlights the creative talents on Broadway, Off-Broadway, across the country and around the world, with in-depth conversations that simply can't be found anywhere else. Now in its sixth year, Downstage Center, produced in association with CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, has been featured by the Associated Press and Slate.com as the place to go for theatrical talk. New editions will be available every other Wednesday from this website, where you can listen online, download the programs or subscribe to the podcast.

Stephen Sondheim
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Stephen Sondheim

Legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim is the guest for the 250th Downstage Center interview. He discusses a wide range of topics, including whether, as many have asserted, he actually dislikes giving interviews and why; his experiences doing Q&A sessions with Frank Rich around the country; how the upcoming Sondheim on Sondheim is developing and how he feels about being the central character in a Sondheim show; his process in preparing the forthcoming two-volume, annotated edition of his complete lyrics, to be titled Finishing the Hat; his reaction to seeing his work done in scaled down versions; how involved get gets with major revivals of his works and whether he makes adjustments to shows long after their original productions; whether he ever gets the urge to write songs outside of the context of musical theatre; why he considers his work on the films The Last of Sheila and Stavisky the two happiest working experiences of his life; who originated the many projects he's undertaken over the course of his career and how he's worked with such collaborators as Arthur Laurents, John Weidman, George Furth, James Lapine and Harold Prince; what he thinks about seeing opera companies produce some of his shows; why he was moved to found Young Playwrights, Inc. and why it's not Young Composers instead; if he has had the opportunity to mentor young composers, just as Oscar Hammerstein has mentored him; and whether of all of his songs, all written for specific characters in specific situations, there are any that most reflect him personally.

Original air date - January 3, 2010
Running Time - 59:37

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