Over fifty ferociously imaginative emerging artists are working together to bring our world premiere of Folk Wandering roaring into reality. Throughout the run of the show (until March 25!), we’ll be sharing interviews with each of these artists. These conversations will bring you inside this show’s very unique process of creation, and bring you a bit closer to this brilliant and wild group of emerging artists. Today, we are pleased to bring you a spotlight on assistant director Sam Leopld.
Read the full interview below and get your tickets to performances February 23 – March 25 today!
Pipeline Theatre Company: What first attracted you to Folk Wandering? What made you want to work on this project?
Sam Leopold: The heart in the music, the heart in all three of the stories and the ginormous hearts of all the artists working on Folk Wandering first attracted me to this project. I worked on the Philadelphia Polyphone workshop while I was still in school and knew I wanted to continue to tell these stories post grad. I’ve seen how the musical has had an effect on audiences and I want to continue to help spread that love here in NYC. I’m interested in creating projects that can change the hearts and minds of audiences, and this piece does just that. I so admire that about Folk Wandering and am feeling super grateful to be a part of something like this.
PTC: What aspect of the Folk Wandering story do you most relate to?
SL: I mostly relate to the acknowledgement of where we are in history and how that affects our past, present and future as a country. We all came from somewhere and have a deep history. Some of that history includes things that we’re proud of and some of that history includes things that deeply haunt us. As we figure out how to navigate our way through these turbulent times that we’re currently experiencing, we have to ask ourselves how we got here, we have to be honest about exactly where we are and we have to evaluate what kind of future we are looking for. That’s what the characters in the musical are forced to consider and I think we must consider asking ourselves to do the same.
PTC: What first attracted you to directing?
SL: When I was in high school I couldn’t focus on performing because I was too busy and interested thinking about all of the other elements of the production. I liked the idea of being able to execute my thoughts and ideas to the stage without having to feel the pressure of the spotlight. I started creating narratives and got people into rooms to find creative ways to communicate those stories and have been directing and curating ever since. I also have always loved making theater happen, which got me into producing. Helping people facilitate and execute their thoughts and ideas is one of the things that I do best.
PTC: What big dreams have you been chasing recently (or would you like to chase)?
SL: I just moved to New York, so I’ve been chasing after so many dreams both personally and professionally. I’m still chasing after some artistic dreams which include writing a play and making some new music, which I’ve started to do a little bit of. I’m dreaming of the day that I have the time to learn how to make delicious breads, pastas and bagels and would also really love to take some time to explore the Midwest and West by car (I’ll stop by Norma’s Pancakes in Sweetser) . There is so much beauty out there that I want to see and experience for myself one day before it’s too late.
PTC: Two truths and a lie, go:
SL: I love to sing. Everyone has one ureter tube attached to each of their kidneys but I have two on each side and they are twisted. I am related to King Leopold II.