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Nicholas Thurkettle


Time in Greater OC: 20+ Years

Neighborhood: Huntington Beach

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

What are you currently working on?

Always too much! I just completed writing/directing a new audio drama, I'm prepping to make a new short film, and we've begun the film festival journey on a spooky feature film I produced. In the meantime I'm trying to rewrite a play in time for a submission deadline and revise that novel I wrote and haven't published yet. Also - keep up with my semblance of an acting career. If you're struggling to keep all that straight; trust me, I am too.

What's been inspiring you recently?

Those people who are able to break through all the distractions, the demands of commerce, the constant screaming stress of the moment, and our culture's disastrous lack of financial support for the arts and artists, and not just bring something to life, but imbue it with that transcendent something extra which endures long after the curtain drops

Tell us a story from your childhood that illuminates who you are as an artist.

I was in sixth grade the first time I tried to write a novel. In seventh grade I ditched that idea and started a different novel. Then in eighth grade I did it again. When I grew up is when I started to understand the value of finishing things.

Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

The Canadian playwright John Krizanc created "Tamara," a forerunner of immersive theatergoing which I saw in Los Angeles when I was in high school and had to go back to see again because it exploded all my expectations of what "seeing a play" could actually be. Then there's basically every director or producer or other theater artist who ever took a chance on me and gave me an opportunity to grow.

What kind of theatre excites you?

I admire craft and daring in equal measure. In order to stay alive and vibrant, the theater needs people who can execute the familiar with polish and fresh enthusiasm, even as it needs people who can shake up what's familiar and change our perspective on it. If you can make me laugh at a chestnut I've seen five times before, I salute you! But if you can do something that catches me completely off-guard but wins me over, I salute that too!

What's the craziest thing you have ever needed to do for theatre?

I would honestly say there are too many to list. The first thing that springs to mind is my college years when I was producing/co-writing a 24-Hour Theatre event; I was awake for 30 straight hours and legitimately hallucinating without the assistance of drugs by the end.

Outside of a theatre, what's your favorite hot spot in Orange County?

Downtown Santa Ana has had such thrilling energy for the past few years. Every time I go, I discover some new little thing about it; and any given night I can go there without a plan and believe I'll have a good time regardless.

What surprises you the most about your role in the theatre community?

How open and flexible the role has been and how accommodating the community has been to it. Sometimes I'm onstage, sometimes I'm writing, sometimes managing a troupe, sometimes I'm helping organizations, sometimes I'm just a voice coming out of a speaker; but I'm always thrilled to be telling stories

What advice do you have for theatre artists just starting out in Orange County?

Showing up is first and foremost - we build our muscles, our networks, and our reputations in the community by putting on shows and you can't be involved if you don't show up. Don't count on one organization or one collaboration to be everything; your own path is going to be complex and distinctive, and that's what's great about it!

Go ahead, promote your things...

@NThurkettle on Facebook, Instagram, and Vimeo

Manager of the Modjeska Shakespeare Players, on Facebook as ModShakes and Instagram as @modjeskashakesplayers

Audio dramas from Earbud Theater, available on all major podcasting platforms

Program Coordinator at Arts Orange County, the county's non-profit arts council for the promotion of local arts and culture

Proud member and former Board Member, OC Playwrights Alliance:

Nicholas Thurkettle
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