Welcome to the DGF Fellows Spotlight.
This series of interviews put the spotlight on individual DGF Fellows and invites you to take a behind-the-scenes look at our program.
The 2020-2021 class of fellows was asked a series of questions exploring where they’ve been, what they’re up to now, and what they hope for the future.
Please take your seats, unwrap your candies, and silence your cellphones as we put the spotlight on Dylan MarcAurele!
What was your first experience with theater?
I didn’t grow up with much exposure to theater. I didn’t get to see a Broadway musical until I was in college. But I did go to a public high school without much arts funding, which is cool because one year I was asked to music direct the school musical. In retrospect I had no idea what I was doing, and I’m sure I would laugh if I saw a tape of it today, but I had a blast and have been working in theater ever since.
When did you decide to become a writer? Is there a writer, show, or piece of writing that was particularly influential on your path?
Harvard has a tradition called the “First Year Musical” where a group of first-years is selected to write, produce, and direct a two-act musical. I applied on a whim and somehow they let me do it, and we (including my DGF collaborator Mike Ross) wrote a very silly show about a guy who goes to Hell and attempts to freeze it over in order to impress a girl. I still feel like I’m ‘winging it’ as a writer just as I did back then, but I’d say I’m most inspired by composers like Bobby Lopez and Lin Manuel Miranda who write songs that are hilarious, heartbreaking, and catchy.
How do you describe your work overall? What sets your work apart?
I’m still trying to figure out my voice. But one thing I care about is accessibility. I try to ask myself, “Will my friends outside of the theater community like this?” “Will my PARENTS like this?” I never want to write for an echo chamber, and I think it’s possible to create meaningful work that engages even the least ‘theater-obsessed’ audience members.
Can you tell us a little bit about the work you’ve been developing as a Fellow?
Our show is a folky/americana musical tragicomedy called Lewis Loves Clark. It’s a show about the aspects of the Lewis and Clark expedition that the history books don’t tell. It’s evolving as we’re writing it, so I’ll stop there!
What do you find most rewarding about your work as a writer?
Watching people’s reactions on opening night.
Thank you Dylan, for contributing to the blog! Stay up to date on Dylan’s work here:
IG and TW: @rhonymusical