NCC Spotlight: Greg Parker
This summer the New Classics Company is thrilled to announce that one of our newest members, Greg Parker, will be writing and directed a MainStage production. That’s why we’ve decided this week to shine the NCC spotlight on him. We sat down with Greg to find out a little bit more about what he’s been up to, and what he’ll be bringing to the barn this year!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well if you want my life story we’re going to be here for a long time…should I focus on like one thing in particular?
How about your theatre career?
Ok. Well I first started acting in fourth grade. I played farmer #4 in the Wizard of Oz. That led me to Captain Hook in sixth grade. Where I was the most adorable Capt. Hook that has ever been. The year after that I got the part of Eugene in Brighton Beach Memoirs at the Village Players and it all kind of took off from there. In high school I was doing three shows a year. I was acting and directing in community theatre by fifteen. I still continue to work with them today. I originally went to college as a History major, but thanks to Justin I ended up double majoring. I graduated from Keene State College in 2007 with a B.A. in History and Theatre, and I’ll be graduating from UNH this year with a Masters in Education. This fall I’ll be starting my job as a 7th and 8th grade social studies teacher at Wilton-Lyndeborough Middle school, and I’m also involved with another start up company called Lend Me A Theatre, where we’ll be developing curriculums and workshops for after school drama programs around the country.
What brings you to New Classics this summer?
Well I first got to know Justin and Brett in college when we lived together, and Matt pretty quickly became our part-time roommate. So I’ve known the guys for a long time, and I’ve seen this whole idea really take shape slowly over time. I mean the idea of running our own theatre company was something we used to discuss as a kind of pipe dream so to see it come to fruition has been really awesome. As far as when I knew I wanted to be involved with NCC though, that was definitely when I came to see the Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). Like I said, producing our own work was something we had been talking about for years. But when I finally saw somebody actually doing it, and doing in the style and caliber that you guys were, I just knew that I needed to get involved as soon as I could.
Tell us a bit more about the projects you’ll be working on New Classics.
This summer I’m going to be writing and directing Alice, which will be a full adaptation of Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carrol, with element of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland mixed in. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how the designers and the production team approaches the work and sort of seeing where that’s going to take everything. Alice is almost more a setting than a story. Or rather I should say a style. That’s not to say there’s not a through line. It’s definitely the story of Alice maturing into a woman, and for our adaptation, we’re going to be setting her story in modern day. But really the central crux of Alice is so simple and straightforward, that it’s really about letting the designer’s sink their teeth into and really creating their own complex image of the world. As the director the book feels really like the skeleton of the work, and I think it’s going to be really exciting to see how New Classics sort of builds the muscle of it all. In that way it’s going to be a really collaborative work.
What excites you about working with New Classics?
Honestly, more than anything it’s the opportunity to do theatre in a more relaxed setting. I think as artist’s sometimes we get really caught up in the regiment of it all. At New Classics though it really feels like it’s theatre and only theatre. There’s nothing else wrapped up in it, and that really gives us as artists this tremendous sense of freedom that honestly just sounds fun. It sound cheesy but I really just feel like I’m looking forward to the escape of it all. I get to create theatre, and I get to do it on Cape Cod this summer. What could honestly be better than that? I also think I’m really excited for Alice, because it feels like it’s going to be a great lesson for me in patience, for both art and life. As a director, I tend to pick works that challenge me in the sense of controlling everything. I’ve always wanted to direct the Norman Conquests, because it’s a blocking nightmare, and those kind of plays really interest me. They demand that I have every single moment and element planned out and executed down to a T. Maybe it was the community theatre kid who used to do everything in me. But with Alice I’m not going to be able to do that. And I think it’ll certainly be frustrating at times, but it’s also really going to let me focus on growing as a collaborative artist.
Getting to know you better:
What’s your favorite band/album?
Dave Matthews Band and The White Album
What’s your favorite play?
Noises Off by Michael Frayn
What’s your favorite book?
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
What’s your favorite movie?
The Grand Budapest Hotel
If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who would it be?
Would you rather be a carrot or a potato?
If you could say one thing to our audience, what would it be?
Even the smallest of starts has great potential. Why not be able to say you knew us when?
We couldn’t be more excited to have Greg with us this summer and we can’t wait to see what he’s going to bring to the barn! In the meantime, don’t forget to check us out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/newclassicscompany, and check out this summer’s IndieGoGo campaign at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/new-classics-second-annual-summer-in-the-barn. Swing on by this summer to see Greg and the rest of the New Classics gang in action. We can’t wait to see you at the barn!