August 6, 2018
2018 Institute: Meet the Players: Stephen Earnhart
This summer we traveled to the other side of the country to make a new play called, The Cardinal with and about the people of Queens New York, the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world. The production is part of Cornerstone’s Institute Summer Residency, which has brought together thirteen participants (“the players”) from across the United States and Canada to live, learn, and create together. In one month’s time, and working alongside Cornerstone staff, Ensemble and community members, these creative souls are learning Cornerstone’s process for creating community-engaged theater. By participating in classes, workshops, and taking part in every aspect of the play-making process from casting, auditions, rehearsals, costume/design build, and acting. This blog series is an opportunity for you to “Meet the Players”!
Stephen Earnhart AKA Movement Associate
A little bit about Stephen
“Hi folks! I’ve been working in the New York film & theater worlds as a director/writer/performer for over 20 years. As a theater maker, I focus on visual storytelling to create cinematic stage productions. My last full-scale production was a multimedia adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s best-selling novel “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.” In the film world, I was previously Director of Production for Miramax Films and did three seasons at SNL. Documentaries I directed include “Mule Skinner Blues” and “Source of Pride: The Making of Pride & Glory.” I produced video content for David Byrne, Barnes & Noble, IBM, American Express, Kenneth Cole, and Radio City, and internet content for artists such as Santana, KD Lang, The Who, Seal, Sammy Hagar, Sheryl Crowe, and The Wallflowers. I just finished my first year at Naropa University’s MFA program for theater performance. I’m also a Kundalini yoga teacher. I’m searching for new ways to use my skills at the intersection of art, wellness, healing and social impact, and I’m super excited to be a part of the summer intensive!”
What inspired you to join Cornerstone’s Institute Summer Residency this year?
“After years of making theater and film for my own delight, I’m now leaning into different ways to use art as a healing process to heal rifts between people, communities and within their own selves. Cornerstone has such a rich history of using theater to inspire and to bring people together, so I wanted to soak up their practices during an immersive experience like this. I’d also heard that they have a lot of fun along the way!”
What has been your favorite moment thus far?
“My favorite moments so far have occurred while working with the choreographer, Edisa, whom I’m assisting. Edisa’s been so open and generous with allowing me into her process and incorporating some of my ideas. I really love watching her work–it’s been fun! Watching the cast members, many who’ve never acted before, bravely step onto the stage and put themselves out there has also been really inspiring.”
What do you hope to learn from your experience this summer?
“I’m hoping to get as many tools as I can to be able to lead a process like this on my own since it’s new territory for me. I’m also really curious about finding the balance between teaching, community engagement and demanding high aesthetic standards that Cornerstone shoots for. It seems challenging but deeply rewarding.”
Complete this sentence. Queens is….
“… a gem within New York that people sometimes overlook but should experience, whether as a tourist or native New Yorker.”
Why do you think people should come and see the play?
“I think seeing a lot of non-professionals collaborating with seasoned artists and rising to the occasion will be really inspiring and heart-warming. It’s a captivating and authentic story, the music is wonderful, and of course, great movement and choreography!”
The Cardinal performs August 10 & 11th. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets today!