New Column Debuts: ‘A Quick 5′ For Cyndy A. Marion

Welcome to “A Quick 5.” This column poses 5 questions to people working in all aspects of the theatre. Some people you will recognize and some will be brand new to you. I have been working in the theatre for over 20 years and have come across a lot of interesting people. You will get a chance to meet designers, musicians, producers and of course actors that are all working in the DC and NYC theatre scenes. Some famous and some not, and some emerging – but they all have one thing in common – all of them are extremely talented and committed to their art.

Elliot Lanes

Cyndy Marion is the Artistic Director of White Horse Theater Company in NYC. Over the past 9 years her company has come to be known for their productions of works by Sam Shepard and Tennessee Williams. Her current production of Suddenly Last Summer is  running through Oct 2  to rave reviews and sold out houses. Since this is my current project as a Stage Manager and Cyndy has been not just an employer but a true friend to me over the last 5 years, I know of no better person to start off this column .

How did you get started in the theatre?

I first became interested in theater in grade school. I did a few skits and a teacher suggested I take acting classes. So my first foray into the world of theater was as an actor. With the amount of schoolwork I had to do it really became too much of a task to memorize lines and I was just not that committed to it. I found my real passion for theater when I took a directing class  at Davidson College. I went on to stage several new plays in NYC after returning home from College and then got my MFA in Directing at Brooklyn College. I have been directing plays with White Horse Theater ever since.

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Cyndy A. Marion.

 What is White Horse Theater Company’s mission? 

Founded in 2003, White Horse Theater Company is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to producing and developing American plays. We seek to investigate and celebrate American culture by re-examining American classics and nurturing new American voices. We are particularly interested in devoting ourselves to one great American playwright at a time, exploring their body of work including the less familiar or more problematic plays. We aim to shed new light on seldom-produced works or revitalize masterworks making our productions accessible to both the general public and a scholarly audience.

You tend to do the work of the same playwright for a few years before moving on to someone else. Any particular reason? 

As a director I enjoy immersing myself in a playwright’s body of work. Getting to know their entire canon and biography in order to better understand the context in which they were writing. This informs how I approach a particular play and allows me to be as true to a playwrights intentions as possible. I also tend to get very inspired by a certain writer and want passionately to explore as much of their work as possible. I think offering more than one play by a particular playwright also allows our audiences to have a deeper and more meaningful appreciation of a given writers work.

 What do you consider your greatest accomplishment thus far?

Building the White Horse Theater into what it is today: a critically acclaimed off-off Broadway theater company with a loyal group of patrons and followers which champions the work of American playwrights.

Is there a production you have not done yet that you are dying to produce?

Well, in our first five years as a company we explored the work of Sam Shepard. But, there was one play we never did produce: Curse of the Starving Class. I have always had a burning desire to stage this play despite some of its outrageous demands. One being the need for a live lamb onstage. How do you get around this one?


About Elliot Lanes

Elliot Lanes has been a professional stage manager/sound designer/board op for over 20 years. After relocating to Washington, DC from the New York City area and marrying the girl of his dreams Jennifer Perry, he has been privileged to work on productions at Theatre J, Synetic, Prince George's Community College and Studio Theater to name a few. He has contributed designs for many shows in the last three Capital Fringe Festivals, two of which garnered critical raves. He is also the creator of MD Theatre Guide's highly successful 'A Quick 5' column.