Earlier this summer, our Marketing Intern took it upon herself to make sure that you, our friends and patrons, get to know our staff a little bit more. She's gone back to college for her senior year, but we have a new Marketing Intern, Connor Norton, joining us for our upcoming season! He'll be continuing our Staff Spotlight Series, and up next he's interviewing Patrick Mullins, our Associate Producer.
This week's Staff Spotlight is Patrick Mullins, our Associate Producer. He studied at Pensacola Christian College and earned his MFA at the University of South Carolina. He is from Atlanta, Georgia and currently lives here in Norfolk!
Marketing Intern: How would you describe your job to someone who might not be familiar to the title, such as myself?
Patrick Mullins: I, oh gosh. I assist in curating and programming, and I work with artistic and producing teams…and I direct productions for Virginia Stage, primarily on the Wells Theatre stage.
MI: You’re currently adapting Oliver Twist for Virginia Stage with Jake Hull. What has that process been like?
PM: It’s a powerful and iconic story. It’s already in the consciousness of the general audience. It’s really a ripe story for exploring parallels to the current political climate. It’s all about telling stories that aren’t being told. Jake Hull is working on the music for the show, which is contemporary. He’s taking Victorian work songs and instruments — the piano, hurdy gurdy, strings — and digitally mixing it to make a sort of aural landscape. The music kind of acts as a Greek chorus that’s commenting on and sometimes moving the story forward. Nehprii Amenii is creating visuals and vitalizing scenery, props, and the ensemble of GSA students to create a visually rich presentation of the story.
MI: What show in Season 38 are you the most excited for?
PM: Well, Oliver Twist. Also The Wiz. It’s so fun, and it’s a different type of partnership for Virginia Stage, with NSU. The Wiz is also such an important show in the history of Broadway. And, again, its fun!
MI: Which piece of art has influenced you the most as a person?
PM: We had these encyclopedias of Greek myths in our house when I was a kid, like from the '50s or something. I was a voracious reader, and these stories excited me, but also scared me and sickened me. It really had an impact on storytelling and made me think of things I didn’t know how to think about yet. And, I love music. I love music. It’s kind of the gateway for any piece I’m working on, is the music.
MI: How would you describe Norfolk’s art scene to someone who has never been here?
PM: Rich and ever increasing in diversity. We’re blessed to have great institutions that bring in national artists and to have great local artists. It’s also a very authentic arts scene in that all of the arts — visual, music, performing — are very unique to the area. There’s beginning to be a national and local integration, where we can find connections and tell stories.
MI: If you could have lunch with any person, famous or not, dead or alive, who would you choose?
PM: Hmm…Maya Angelou. She has an ability to synthesize our human condition and put it in to containers of poems that have such deep resonance, whether it’s your reality or the reality of someone you know.
MI: Well, thanks so much, Patrick!
We've got a lot of exciting stuff happening this fall, so keep checking our blog!