Tag Archives: Matt Graber

Being A Producer

2 Apr

Oh wow. I finally got my real dose of what it means to be a producer, and boy has it been somewhat of a whirlwind. Last month The Blank Theatre’s Producing Director, Matt Graber, left for a bigger and better job at The Arizona Theatre Company, Director of Marketing. While we were all very excited for him, it meant we were losing our Producing Director right as we were beginning rehearsals of our final mainstage, “Peter Pan: The Boy Who Hated Mothers”, and as we were beginning the selection process of our Young Playwrights Festival. The powers that be decided that rather than go through the hiring process  and bring someone new on, they asked if I would be willing to take on more responsibility and become a Producer. I would have producing partners for each production which I was super excited about (and made me believe that my sanity would stay intact, lol).

Peter Pan marquee

Producing theatre, more specifically producing non-profit theatre, is a very hands on job. Producers are usually pretty involved in all aspects of the show. Set designer needs help building the set? I grab a power drill. A prop needs to be picked up in a large car? I take my SUV to said location. Sink at the theatre is clogged? I reach my hand into the murky water and pull out unknown gunk. (Don’t worry, no pictures of that! LOL!) Oh yes, the life of a producer is glamorous.

Laying the foundation for the deck.

Laying the foundation for the deck.

Some of the set dressing. It was distressing to distress babies.

Some of the set dressing. It was distressing to distress babies.

It’s my job to make sure all components of the show come together and that designers and actors are all happy and have what they need to get the show opened. Sometimes I have to be the bad cop, but mostly I get to be the good cop and work with everyone to put on a great show. It’s been an exciting and stressful month (wow, can’t believe it’s been a month!), but when the first audience sees this play on April 20th I know it will all have been worth it.

Click for a sneak peak into rehearsals!

Click for a sneak peek into rehearsals!

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, or just need an excuse to come to Los Angeles, I highly recommend coming to see “Peter Pan: The Boy Who Hated Mothers” by Michael Lluberes and directed by the Ovation Winning Michael Matthews. (Tickets can be found here.) It’s a brilliant show and so beautiful to watch. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you might even cringe when you see Hook, but you will leave the theatre moved and wanting more. Great small theatre does exist, and it’s on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Wilcox Ave in Hollywood, CA.

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Pumpkin Spice Cookies for Matt

3 Jan

I’m not sure when my dad started making these cookies, but it was definitely during my college years. On a trip to Costco he found a box from Krusteaz with mixes for Pumpkin Spice Bread. It sounded delicious for the fall season so he bought one. The bread was very yummy! But also on the box was a recipe for pumpkin spice cookies (along with pancakes and waffles!)! We couldn’t say no to that and they’ve now become a staple in his baking. Those in my office love them, as do many of my friends. So when I asked my boss Matt what kind of cookies he wanted as a thank you for doing me a favor he asked for the pumpkin spice ones. He did have a special request though, he wanted me to use the cookie cutter he gave me, which was in the shape of a beer stein from New Belgium Brewing (it came with a cookie recipe which I will try this year). I said sure, no problem, not knowing the recipe wasn’t exactly built for cookie cutter cookies, lol. Oh well, I’ll try anything once! I even got white frosting (and sprinkles) for the foam head of the beer. I ended up making only 10 with the cookie cutter, the rest of the dough was formed into regular balls (about another dozen cookies). Matt loved them and shared them with his Living Room Series cast (the reading series at The Blank that I produce).

Pumpkin Spice Cookies as beer steins all frosted and with sprinkles!

Pumpkin Spice Cookies as beer steins all frosted and with sprinkles!

PUMPKIN SPICE COOKIES (2-3 dozen)

The ingredients L-R: White Cane Sugar, Crisco Shortening (butter flavor), Eggs, Pumpkin Spice Mix, Nutmeg, Cinnamon

The ingredients L-R: White Cane Sugar, Crisco Shortening (butter flavor), Eggs, Pumpkin Spice Mix, Nutmeg, Cinnamon

  • 1 Pouch Quick Bread Mix
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Butter or Margarine
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp White Sugar (to roll cookies in)
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together on medium speed (hand or stand mixer) the egg, butter and sugar. Add in the quick bread pouch and the cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix until well blended. Normally you would roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter then coat in the extra sugar and place on cookie sheet. For Matt I promised beer shaped cookies, and while my father said it shouldn’t be done, the dough isn’t the proper kind of dough for cookie cutters, I wasn’t backing down. But alas, my father was right and trying to make those cookies roll out was the hardest thing I’ve done in the kitchen. But I did it, ten times.

Had to cut each cookie out one at a time and flatten out the dough.

Had to cut each cookie out one at a time and flatten out the dough.

Rolling the cookies in white sugar

Rolling the cookies in white sugar

Ready to be baked!

Ready to be baked!

Fresh from the oven! Yummmm!

Fresh from the oven! Yummmm!

I took the rest of the dough and rolled them into balls, which was about a dozen. Once oven is ready, bake for 8-10 minutes. After removing from oven, let cool on sheet for a few minutes than transfer to a wire rack. For the cookie cutters one I took white frosting and spread at the top for the “foam” and per request, I used colored sprinkles too!

Cookie smells good! And then he ate it. Yum!

Cookie smells good! And then he ate it. Yum!

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