From The Pit


This is "From The Pit," where we talk musical theatre. From overtures to exit music and everything in between. 

(2.03) Josh Epstein

Chris talks with award winning Vancouver actor, writer, producer and now director Josh Epstein about his musical theatre life, and now his success in the film world as a producer/writer.


Josh Epstein


Josh Epstein’s work as a writer, producer and actor has taken him to all corners of the world. With fellow studio 58 grad Kyle Rideout, he’s currently writing an original feature for Paramount Pictures, re-writing a comedy for Mark Gordon/E1, an action thriller for a Berlin/CDN co-production, and a Norwegian comedic horror. He’s been invited to take part in the Reyjkavik Talent Lab, Berlin’s Trans Atlantic Partners, the CFC Features and Comedy Exchange and the NSI’s Totally TV and Features First Labs. 

Epstein and Kyle Rideout’s latest film Adventures in Public School stars Judy Greer, premiered at TIFF, opened TIFF Top Ten with theatricals in CDN/US/UK/JPN before finally landing on Netflix, TMN and HBO Eastern Europe. Their first film Eadweard won Five Audience Choice Awards at international film festivals, 15 Leo nominations and has been distributed around the world.

They are currently developing television, features, and a musical with the Citadel, Belfry and Musical Stage.

As an actor Epstein has won 4 Jessies, been nominated for 3 Dora's and is the recipient of the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Actor at the Stratford Festival. A Studio 58 Graduate he just directed their production of Cabaret, which is their highest grossing show in their 54 year history.

(1.07) Reducing The Pit - Clare Wyatt & Kevin Woo

What is the Broadway sound?

During the "Golden Age" of Broadway, it was easy to say:  Big and brassy, 18 to 25 players at least.  But now, money is tight, musical styles have changed, and shows now tour a lot. Money isbeing made by the rights companies like MTI, Tams Whitmark and Sam French renting out the rights to Broadway shows to high schools and local theatre companies. But how can you find the quality of player locally, and money to pay for the orchestra sizes of the past?

Most producers just simply don't budget enough and want to spend money on musicians.

I think as a music director I spend 50% of my time stressing about how to make the music maintain the original feel and intention by using less then half the allotted players, sometimes even less then that.

Some of the rights companies have reductions available for rent for some shows, but they are still too large for many producers to want to use?

So we reduce, and reduce and a music director becomes, pianist, arranger and orchestrator all in one, and that's what the public thinks we do now.

Should we do it?
Are there better solutions?
When we do have to do it, how do we do it?
On today's episode my guests and I will discussthese questions and more.  So let's reduce the pit… from the pit.

(1.06) Small Spaces - Studio 58

It seems like in every city there are production companies popping up everywhere that want to produce shows that speak to them. But not every company has the budget, or space to produce a Broadway size show.  In New York the shows that really bring in the audiences are big budgets in big theatres with big casts and big orchestras.

In Vancouver there aren't many companies that have large budgets or spaces to produce such big shows. So there is a movement to rethink or reimagine large Broadway shows for the small stage and in some cases just a small room.

In Vancouver Studio 58 at Langara College is a well know acting program and they have been successfully staging musicals in their quite famous black box basement theatre for many years.

42nd Street is the next musical opening this February in what is their 51st season of shows.  On today's episode we talk to the Associate Director David Hudgins and Artistic Director Kathyrn Shaw about producing musicals in this unique space. 

(1.02) Into the Room - Auditions

Auditions… Just hearing the word can cause an actor to break out into a sweat. Nothing gets the heart racing like walking into a big room with scary people staring back at you from behind a long table.

Now is your chance to be a fly on the wall!  Today on "From the Pit," my guests and I talk about auditions

We'll offer some tips and share some of our pet peeves to help you get a clearer picture of what it's like at auditions. 

So grab your number and wait in the hall, because you're on deck!