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Caleb Burnham

Sara Gaddis

If you had been given a Game of Thrones style name for your work in theatre what would it be?
Sara, Portrayer of Evil, Slayer of Demons, Dragons, and Kings.

What’s the most exciting thing you’ve ever done?
Naked improv comedy

What does theatre mean to you in three words?
Love, creation, communication.

What movie / play / novel do you wish you’d had a hand in creating?
The “What Kind of Man” video by Florence and the Machine hit me really hard.  I related a lot to the imagery there, and I loved the album of course. I’m not a great dancer, but I love to move to music, and the bombasticity of that song plus the video was perfect. I wish I’d written Dessa’s “Matches To Paper Dolls”, and really just wish I was Dessa.  Or Rhianna.  I love the style, the anger, the passion, the unapologetic additude. 

Why make theatre in Knoxville right now?
Art and love and creation must go on, in small communities and large.  We have the wonderful distinction of being the Scruffy City, and I truly believe Knoxvillians have a unique outlook on life and it’s ins and outs.  

Who is someone who inspires you in your work?
Frida Kahlo inspires the way I see my journey. Maria Bamford inspires me to relish the darkest of humor. There are some fictional characters who inspire me as well:  Tank Girl, Willy Wonka, and Q.

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Chad Wood

What does ensemble mean to you in 3 words? Team. Family. Squad.

What’s the most important thing for young theatre artists to keep in mind?
Do the work. Embrace the process. Be kind. Be patient.

What’s something you wish you’d been told about theatre instead of learning it on your own?
Don't let anyone’s negativity stop you from being your best self.

What’s the most exciting thing you’ve ever done?
First thing to pop in my head, I’d say jumping of a ninety foot cliff was thrilling.

What do you do to relax?
Watch movies, yoga, I enjoy good whiskey, and painting. The usual.

What’s one dish you can make really well?
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and my specialty.

If you had to give up theatre what creative endeavor would you pursue?
I would be a dancer or a tattoo artist.

Who is someone who helped you get where you are in your artistic work

Dennis Perkins, Bob Borwick, Charles Miller, Barrie and Lars Paulson, and Steve McBride.

Why should people come to the theatre?
Theatre inspires. Theatre poses questions. Theatre is alive... and actors got to eat!

If you could do anything for one year what would it be?
I would travel the world with a theatre troupe and perform for refugees across the globe.

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Debi Werthington

What's the strangest thing that's ever happened to you during a show?
I was performing at the Tennessee Medieval Faire And I was just about to begin a sword fight when this five year old kid ran up onto the stage and started giggling and running in circles around me. Somehow I managed to keep my sword away from her and guide her back to her seat while staying in character and improvising my lines. Her parents just stood there the whole time and watched; didn't even apologize. 

What's your favorite food?
Soup. Any and all kinds of soup. Soup is my soulmate.

What does theatre mean to you in three words?
Live. Catharsis. Truth.

What is the most exciting thing you've ever done? 
I felt pretty stoked the fist time I was able to fire juggle and fire spin.

What is the most important thing for young theatre artists to keep in mind?
Don't let one bad critique be louder to you than thousands of good reviews, it's exhausting trying to please everyone.

What's something you've always wanted to achieve with your work but haven't yet?
I've always had this crazy pipe dream of someday living on a solar powered general farm with a restaurant and bar attached to a theatre. As well as having a film studio on the land. There would be a housing commons for all of the actors and crew who could help out on the farm and at the restaurant.

JP Schuffman

Describe making theatre in three words.
Cleverly controlled explosions.

What is something you’ve always wanted to achieve with your work but haven’t yet?
Someday I want to provide a modest steady income for a small company of artists, designers, and techs.

What is something you do when you should be learning your lines?
Crushing my opponents in Rocket League on XBox.

What is your favorite story?
Siddhartha by Herman Hess.

Why make theatre in Knoxville?
The city is overflowing with creative and cultural voices right now. Theatre is a natural meeting place for those voices. And besides: this is home. Who wouldn't want to make art for their friends and neighbors?  

What’s your favorite food?
Sara makes a homemade pesto. I will put this on anything, and then I will eat that thing. Do not approach me while I am doing this.

What makes a good play?
When the audience feels like they got more than they anticipated.

What’s the best thing about being a theatre artist?
The people. Theatre people are the warmest, smartest, silliest, most earnest and passionate group of folks you can ever hope to spend your life around.

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Raine Palmer