Thanks to the University of Illinois's hands-on Theatre program, The Brown Paper Box Co. was formed with a do-it-yourself mindset - a notion of starting from scratch, building theatre from the ground up, and keeping onstage moments simple and honest.
During our first production, James Still's And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank, the simple but important task of transporting the props, costumes, and set pieces became a key inspiration in developing our company's concept. Little things like scripts, hats, candles, and flashlights found themselves being stored and transported in cardboard boxes and plastic milk crates. This rough-and-tumble, bare-essentials feeling bled into The Brown Paper Box Co.'s mission statement: to create thought-provoking and accessible theatrical experiences without the glitz of overproduction.
I always wanted the "Co." in The Brown Paper Box Co.'s name to conjure up an image of a place, a building, a factory, churning out and distributing a product. A product that is sturdy, functional, original, and, if anything else, easy to transport.
Starting a theatre company from the ground up with Anna, Michelle, and Zev has taken time, patience, and gumption (are the kids still saying that, '"gumption?"), but it's been worth it. Working with a small team of people you know, love, and trust fosters the tightest of collaborations.
--M. William Panek
Brown Paper Blog
Making theatre. Writing about it. Announcements & interviews.