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Q&A with ASU's Colleen Jennings-Roggensack

April 16, 2010

Talk about a hard act to follow. Coming off of a season that included “Wicked,” “Legally Blonde,” “Avenue Q” and “Mary Poppins,” did you at all feel like it might be hard to top it with the new 2010-2011 season?  

The 2010-2011 season will be the best season to date because of first-rate shows such as "Shrek," "Billy Elliot," and "Hair" push that bar even higher.


There are some definite crowd-pleasers in the new season such as “Mamma Mia!” and “9 to 5” balanced with some classics that have long defined Broadway such as “Les Miserables” and “Hair” (which we will get to later). How do you go about selecting the shows for any given season?

We select shows of the highest quality, only first-rate, which reflects our ASU Gammage mission of connecting communities. The community leads the selection process.


“Fiddler on the Roof” is a lot people's all-time favorite musical – an oldie, but goody. What do you know about this specific production? What makes it worthy of reclaiming the stage?

"Fiddler on the Roof" is the ultimate Broadway classic. The production values for this "Fiddler" are very high, and the casting is done with an eye toward Broadway.


“Hair” has always been “that musical where everyone gets naked.” What can audiences expect from the Public Theater’s new Tony-winning production? Is it only for former children of the 60s – or will younger generations enjoy it as well?

I took my teenage daughter to see "Hair" and she loved it. This Tony Award winning "Hair" brought back the feel of the 60s, but with a relevant nod towards today. The issues have not changed, nor has the attitude of today's youth trying to find their own way.


I’m not sure if people realize that ASU Gammage is a major economic player in the Valley, accountable for millions of dollars that get pumped into the state.

ASU Gammage adds $41 million dollars annually into the state economy with ancillary spending.


With all of today’s emerging technology, industries that have thrived for centuries now are treading dangerous waters (for example: the print industry). Is live theatre safe? Do you think that people put as much emphasis on “going to the theatre” than in past times?  

Yes, live theatre is even more important today. People want to escape the realities of daily living or more closely examine them in a communal setting. Live theatre continues to thrive, and people continue to hunger for the experience. Great work fosters great audiences, and ASU Gammage serves them both.