1. How did Two River Theater help jumpstart the creation of Be More Chill?
Two River commissioned myself and Joe Tracz to write Be More Chill. The theater supported us artistically and financially through our creative process. Two River nurtured me as a writer and as a human being. I’ve never had a better time working at a regional theater and I’ve never experienced a community as supportive and engaged as Red Bank.
2. What was it like to premiere the show at Two River Theater?
A complete thrill. The theater feels just removed enough from the intense, watchful gaze of New York City but close enough to still feel connected to the NY theater scene. The staff at Two River is a collection of the smartest and most passionate human beings I’ve had the privilege of working with, under the gorgeous leadership of John Dias and Michael Hurst. It feels like a family business in the best way.
3. What were your expectations for the show following its premiere?
My dream of dreams was that the show would transfer to a fancy non-profit theater in NYC and then move to Broadway. It became clearer after opening that that particular dream wasn’t in the cards for Be More Chill and that was hugely disappointing but not entirely surprising. The fact that the show was reborn two years after closing at Two River and went on to an off-Broadway production and, now, a Broadway production is the biggest surprise of my entire career. Or possibly my entire life.
4. How did the Two River Theater original cast recording impact the show’s future success?
The show would not have found its audience without the original cast recording, period. Two River
made the recording happen, period. Without the album there would’ve been no viral sensation and no off-Broadway production and no Broadway.
5. What are you most looking forward to as the show moves to Broadway?
My dream has always been to have a show on Broadway that I care about, surrounded by artists I love and respect. That dream is coming true this February on 45th street. I’m looking forward to seeing this misfit musical we birthed in a beautiful regional theater in New Jersey come to life in a beautiful old theater in New York City. The only downside is that I won’t be able to run to the Molly Pitcher for a nightcap after the show. Just another reason to get back to Two River to work on a new musical as soon as humanly possible.