Spotlight on Blake Allen

The music for our upcoming world premiere musical, Folk Wandering, was composed collaboratively by nine emerging singer songwriters. In advance of our first performance on February 23, we’ll be sharing interviews with each of these composers, as well as with many of the key artists involved in the production. 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 composer Blake Allen.

Read the full interview below and get your tickets to performances February 23 – March 18 today!

Pipeline Theatre Company: How do you identify as an artist?
Blake Allen:
Composer and musician.

PTC: How did you come to work on Folk Wandering?
BA: I moved to the city from grad school in Cincinnati. My sublet roommate went to school with Andrew Neisler. My very first gig in NYC was playing/arranging for a Fresh Ground Pepper (Andrew, Jaclyn) musical series “Lay Miz.” And then later, they needed a classical musician for this workshop of a musical, so I said yes. Here we are. AND everything I have in my life (Broadway, TV, jobs, etc) stems from this first gig of mine with Andrew and Jaclyn. 

PTC: What has been different about this writing process, compared to others you’ve been a part of?
BA: It has paired me with composers and lyricists I might not gravitate towards. My writing style is very weird, and “stylized,” where opera meets musical theatre, so to sit and hear Annie’s folkie melodies or Mike’s indie chords has revolutionized my out-of-box thinking. And the more we grow with Folk Wandering, the more I see Andrew Butler, and Joel and the other composers in my work. 

PTC: What aspect of the Folk Wandering story do you most relate to?
BA: Catharine, the mother. Omg. She to me is the heart of the show. I don’t want to give anything away, but the new rewrites make her storyline tear. me. apart – her dreams for herself and her children are almost reachable. 

PTC: If you were to write a tagline for Folk Wandering, what would it be?
BA: The story that was created and exists in all of us. 

PTC: What other projects do you have coming up?
BA: On top of my Truth Triptych (Boston|Nebraska, the shards of an honor code junkie, and HOCKET), I have a new concert series called “An Evening With…” honouring artists in the early 20th century that need to still be remembered (Della Reese, Maureen O’Hara, Peggy Lee, etc.) and I have a commission to write and record a modern oratorio based on Poncho Villa and the Mormon Colonies and how angels saved a town from destruction, which has been very interesting and given me the freedom to write what I want and to experiment with styles I have been wanting to without it having a direct effect on the success of the piece. 

Folk Wandering begins preview performances on February 23, opens on March 4, and runs through March 18. Tickets are now available to all performances. Get your tickets today!