For this month’s “Meet the Member”, we decided to interview our current President and Director of our upcoming musical, Into the Woods, Brian Ives! Aside from these two tremendously important roles, Brian is also the Chair of the Incorporation Committee, the Chair of the Standard Operating Procedures Committee, and the Ranking Member of the Insurance Committee. When asked what all of these many jobs entail, Brian replied “I run Board and membership meetings, as well as meetings of all my committees. I ensure the company runs on a day-to-day basis. And for Into The Woods, I steer the proverbial ship, even if I don’t always know where the icebergs I need to avoid are.”
Right now, though, Brian’s main concern is SPARE’s big summer show. It’s his first time directing (and from a cast member’s perspective he’s doing an amazing job). “So far, I’m loving it.” Brian said. “We still have the most stressful couple weeks to go, but I think we’ve prepared well and we’re going to put on a phenomenal show. I won’t lie and say it’s been easy, because it definitely hasn’t — every day presents new challenges, whether those are at rehearsal or in a production team meeting or just out in the community promoting the show. But those challenges are completely overshadowed by the pride I have in this show. Everyone has an amazing work ethic and the collective drive of everyone involved is what keeps me motivated to work through my tough days and be the best director I can!”
While this is Brain’s first time directing, this is definitely not his first production with SPARE. You may remember his energized and most recent performance as Jacks in Jacks in the Fourth Wall. When asked about what SPARE has done for him, Brian told us that “as a performer, SPARE has given me opportunities I never would have gotten anywhere else. Are we a small company with limited means? Yes. But I think that makes our shows better. I have never been closer to the full company of people putting on a show — not just the actors — than I am when I’m working with SPARE. Everyone has to come together to put on a show when the budget is so small, the performance space so not-performance-ready, the set so difficult to come by — whatever the challenge may be.” Brian also commented that SPARE has a “family feeling” unlike any other company, that leads to lifelong friendships and long lasting bonds. “SPARE has ultimately made me a better person,” he said, “and I’m so proud of everything this company has achieved in just three short years. Here’s to a hundred more!”
Brian is a recent graduate of Syracuse University, with dual bachelors degrees in international relations and broadcast & digital journalism. He is currently applying for foreign policy jobs in the Washington, D.C. area, and hoping to move to that area later this year. Brian is well known for his love of playing the clarinet, which he played for four years in the Syracuse Marching Band. Brian also loves to sing, and teaches skiing in the winter time.