Starting this spring of 2012, Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre has a new Artistic Director! Taking over is Mikey Mulhearn, a Junior Acting major at Millikin University who recently just came back from studying abroad in London. I sat down with Mikey and asked him a few questions about his excitement of working with Pipe Dreams and his plans for the future.

Q: What excites you about working with Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre?

A: What excites me about working with PDST is the opportunity Pipe Dreams presents to the student body here at Millikin. It gives us a great opportunity to explore new works or works that we have simply wanted to explore and gives us an opportunity to branch out into other fields. If you’ve never directed before and you’re really interested in directing you can apply to do so. You can do so as well with designing or stage managing. On one of current shows we have someone designing who’s never designed before and I think that’s great. It’s another opportunity for the students of Millikin to perform as well.

Q: What are your goals for this upcoming season as Artistic Director of Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre?

A: I think my biggest goal is to get back to our mission and really produce work that reflects the mission that this company was founded on.

Q: What’s your favorite show you’ve ever seen put up in Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre? And why?

A: I think my favorite show I’ve seen in Pipe Dreams would have to be Titus Andronicus. And I think Titus Andronicus was my favorite because it really used the spaced wisely and really brought the quality of what Pipe Dreams could be, up. The director of that show really set a bar for other shows and I know how much work that whole team did for that show. It was fantastic, it was experimental, it was crazy.

Q: What are you looking forward to this semester in Pipe Dreams?

A: I think I’m just looking forward to working with everybody on the team, old and new. I just think it’s going to be an exciting semester because we’re working on a three year plan. So I think to be a part of that and to collaborate with other people who are just as passionate about the company, theatre, and arts in general it what’s going to be really awesome.

Q: What show would you most like to see in Pipe Dreams in the future and why?

A: I would really like to see a brand new work be produced again. This semester we don’t have one and I’d really like to go back to our mission of producing new work. That is in our mission to produce new work and to develop it. We have the program Ink Support which assists writers in writing their new work and this semester we’re going to work towards assisting one of the pieces from that class, working shopping it for a year, and having it go up next spring.

Q: What intrigues you so much about new works?

A: I think it’s because it’s the unknown and there are endless possibilities to go with it. No one has ever done a new work before so we can do whatever we want with it and explore what the playwright wants and bring it to a full production. It also give Pipe Dreams as chance to make a name for ourselves as a place that produces new works.

Q: Who do you look up to as an Artistic Director?

A: I pull from Cirque Du Soleil. The people there are so passionate about what they do and that company is so experimental and constantly pushing the boundaries of the imagination. They do a great job at challenging the audience and that’s just a unifying factor or idea that I look up to. And just how committed to the company the people are and how passionate they are about what they do.

Q: What are you looking forward to this semester in Pipe Dreams?

A: This semester I am really excited for two things. One, I can’t really say but it’s something really, really awesome in the works and something I think everyone will absolutely enjoy. The second thing I’m really excited for is furthering the development of ink support and really producing new works. As I said earlier we plan to pick a piece that we’re going to workshop and fully produce next year. That’s a project I’m just really excited about.

Q: What would you like to learn during your time as Artistic Director?

A: I think I would like to learn how to successfully aid in running a company. I’m not running this company alone; I’m doing it with seventeen other people who are a part of the Pipe Dreams team along with all the people who will be involved in our shows, audiences included. I’m excited to learn more about this craft and more about the business side of theatre.

Q: As a performer, what’s your dream role?

A: Easy. To be Elle Woods on Broadway.

Q: Okay, last question! If you weren’t in theatre, what would you do?

A: I would be an event planner for weddings. I could eat all their cake and food and just be happy all the time!

We at Pipe Dreams are extremely happy to have Mikey on our team! If you have any further questions for Mikey or want to get involved on any of his projects you may contact him at mmulhearn@millikin.edu.

-Jane Davis

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