February 2nd, 2016


Set Designer of our upcoming Main Stage production, I Love You Because
PCS: The setting in a coffee house really sets a nice vibe for this production. Describe for us a little bit about your process as a scenic designer.

BS: I don’t know if I really have a process yet. But for this show, I thought about the spots in which I spent much of my 20’s – local coffee shops where I could lounge on a couch with a book and drink lots of four-dollar coffee. So with the assistance of Anne Marie, I tried to create the theatrical equivalent of that coffee shop down the block. I was thrilled when members of the crew were sitting on the set drinking and eating like it was home.

PCS: With being an attorney by day (Stradley Ronon) and running a non-profit theatre company (Mazeppa Productions) in Philadelphia, how do you find the time to volunteer with us at Players Club?

BS: Working with PCS has been such a joy. I played in a bunch of pit orchestras at PCS in the early ‘90s and it’s so surreal to be back. And I think I made the time knowing that I get to spend time with my oldest friend in the world and to meet some incredibly talented actors and technicians.

PCS: Rumor has it, you went to college at Notre Dame with Ryan Cunningham (Book / Lyrics for I Love You Because), have any juicy stories you want to share?

BS: I did. Ryan and I were very close friends in college and got into lots of trouble. I have many, many stories, but I will give you a couple clean ones. First one – Ryan used to write comedy songs all over campus. (My personal favorite was called “My Girlfriend is Only a Head.”) They were incredibly weird, but he nonetheless thought it would be a good idea to debut one in front of 2,000 drunk college students at a revue. So he does it, and it goes over like gang-busters, and this 130-pound freshman becomes an unlikely sex symbol. To this day, it’s Ryan’s crowning achievement. Second one – when he was writing I Love You Because, I was lamenting how no one writes songs for true baritones anymore. So a couple years later, Ryan emailed me a song that he and Josh had just written and suggested it would be perfect for me. And when I read it, it was about a guy who sleeps with tons of people, makes lots of omelets, and ends up alone. He’s a classy guy, that Ryan Cunningham.

PCS: Anne Marie Scalies (Director) tells us that you took her to Opening Night of I Love You Because Off-Broadway. What can you recall from that evening?

BS: I remember it being incredibly emotional. I couldn’t believe that one of my best friends was opening a show in New York. I was so proud of what he had accomplished and how charming and fresh the show was. And I remember them reading the rave NY Times Review at the after-party just like they do in those old movies. And most of all, I just remember feeling very honored to be there and to share that once in a lifetime moment with people I loved so much.

PCS: As a fan of I Love You Because, what do you hope for the audience to take away with them after the performance?

BS: Two things: First, I hope audiences just enjoy themselves. I Love You Because is a wonderfully charming look at modern dating and those emotions we all feel when we fall in love. So sit back and relax and hold tight to your sweetheart’s hand. Second, I want audiences to grow to love the writing team of Salzman and Cunningham. I can’t wait to see what is next.


Picture: Brian Seaman and Anne Marie Scalies on load-in day
(on the phone is playwright, Ryan Cunningham.)


I Love You Because runs February 12th – 27th on Main Stage at PCS.


Tickets are available by clicking here.

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