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The Tricky Part

May 10, 2017

The Tricky Part is the latest play produced out of Entertainment & Arts Management Professor Brannon Wiles' 10-week course, “Producing for Live Entertainment”, which asks its team of fifteen students to generate a fully rendered, professional production from start to finish.

A much heralded recent one-man play, The Tricky Part, starring Martin Moran, tells the true story of sexuality, spirituality, and the mystery of human experience. Moran has performed The Tricky Part across the nation and internationally, but this production marks the show's Philadelphia premiere. It's been called "a translucent memoir of a play…shattering and affecting" by Ben Brantley of The New York Times. Following its New York premiere in 2004, The Tricky Part received a 2004 Obie Award, two Drama Desk Award nominations, an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination, and a GLAAD Media Award Nomination.

Wiles was the General Manager of the The Tricky Part when it ran Off-Broadway in 2004. Having already worked with Moran in the past, Wiles had been considering producing this play for some time. Due to the class' short time frame, Wiles selects the play in advance of the first class and on the very first day students begin reading and discussing the play that they'll soon produce. In just 70 days students work together to secure the rights to produce the play; seek out an appropriate venue; communicate with Actors' Equity to professionally compensate their actors and stage managers; coordinate all of Moran's transportation and housing, all on top of managing the fundraising and ticket sales while managing the marketing and budget. 

Wiles first taught this class four years ago, in a serendipitous situation that had him calling on students to help produce an improvisational piece with Laura Weedman of HBO's series Looking. The next year Wiles' students were working directly with Broadway star, Caissie Levy, in a reading of Any Other Way. Levy has had starring roles in Les Mis, Ghost, Hair, Rent, Hairspray, Wicked and was recently cast as Elsa for the Broadway rendition of Frozen. Just last year students were producing a 15th Anniversary concert reading of The Spitfire Grill, that reunited four original cast members and was directed by the original composer. As the class has continued to form each spring, the plays have grown from the experimental and developmental to a fully realized and formed production.

About Martin Moran:

Martin Moran grew up in Denver, CO, attended Stanford University and lives in New York City where he makes his living as an actor and writer. The Off Broadway run of his one-man play, All The Rage, received the 2014 Lucille Lortel Award and Outer Critics Circle Nomination for Outstanding Solo Show. Moran's Broadway and Off-Broadway performances include Spamalot; Cabaret; Titanic; Bells are Ringing; How to Succeed…, and Big River, to name a few. He's had guest television appearances on The Newsroom, Law & Order, and Law & Order Criminal Intent.

About Professor Brannon:

Arts and entertainment management professional Brannon Wiles spent several years of his career providing business affairs consulting to for profit and non-profit theater ventures. He earned his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, where he studied as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He obtained an M.F.A. in Theatre Management and Producing from the Columbia University School of the Arts, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Columbia-V.L.A. Journal of Law & the Arts and President of the Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Society.

His professional resume includes work with MBW Entertainment, the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Snug Harbor Productions, the New York Stage & Film Company, Robert Cole Productions, the Kathryn Bache Miller Theatre and the Dramatists Guild of America. Wiles recently licensed regional productions of Woody Sez, a new theatrical work celebrating the life and music of Woody Guthrie. He has producing credit on the Broadway revivals of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever starring Harry Connick, Jr. (2011-2012) and That Championship Season starring Kiefer Sutherland, Chris Noth, Jason Patric, Brian Cox and Jim Gaffigan (2010-2011) and several other Broadway and Off-Broadway general management credits, including the Tony Award-winning Elaine Stritch at Liberty and Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash.

Students work to build their own budget through crowdsourcing to create the best professional caliber show they can. To donate, click here. All donations are tax deductible.


Mon., May 22 & Tues., May 23 // 7PM// Adrienne Theater // Tickets available here