Thanks to the University of Illinois's hands-on Theatre program, 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 Brown Paper Box Co.'s first mission statement: to create thought-provoking and accessible theatrical experiences without the glitz of overproduction.
I always wanted the "Co." in 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.
January 2011 - The Brown Paper Box Co., NFP becomes incorporated
November 2011 - Reefer Madness! is nominated for 4 BroadwayWorld.com Audience Awards (Best Revival of a Musical, Best Actress in a Musical, Best Actor in a Musical, & Best Scenic Design)
March 2012 - The BPBCo. becomes a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization
January 2013 - 6 Broadwayworld.com Audience Award nominations: Godspell - Best Revival of a Musical & Best Choreography (Daniel Spagnuolo), To Tree - Best Actor in a Play (Chris Hart), Best New Work (Aaron Golden) & Best Scenic Design (Ian James Anthony), Reefer Madness! 4/20 -Best Special Theatrical Event.
November 2013 - 2 Broadwayworld.com Audience Award nominations: Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls - Best Director (M. William Panek), Character Breakdown - Best Special Theatrical Event.
November 2014 - 4 Broadwayworld.com Audience Award nominations: A New Brain - Best Actor in a Musical (Billy Dawson), A New Brain - Best Choreography (Daniel Spagnuolo), A New Brain - Best Lighting Design (Cat Wilson), Proud at Mary's - Best Special Theatrical Event