We were excited to have the opportunity to interview Ian Scott of Antagonist Productions, the newest addition to the Central Kentucky theatre community, this week just before auditions on Wednesday evening, August 16, 2017, for its upcoming production of an exciting new show.
SHADELANDHOUSE: Antagonist Productions is the newest addition to the Central Kentucky theatre community. What is the mission of the company?
IAN: The mission of Antagonist Productions, a nonprofit company, is to create theatre in the Lexington, Kentucky, area with collaboration, unification, and a passion for the arts. We believe that the theatre community in Lexington is made up of many artists who want to share their visions, and we provide open collaboration between all artists, whatever their specialty. Our primary goals, as it stands today, are to impact, collaborate, encourage, and focus on the local artist:
IMPACT the Bluegrass region by strengthening the relationship between local talent and local business by presenting quality performances and entertaining the community.
COLLABORATE with local sponsors and our community of talented people. We want to collaborate with artists in playwriting, musical composition, stage design, directing, and acting to produce a series/variety of plays, films, and outdoor festivals.
ENCOURAGE new work by local artists by nurturing talented individuals in the Bluegrass.
FOCUS to provide a framework that will embrace all aspects of both theatre and film. We strive to give the Bluegrass the chance it deserves to come together in local partnerships and showcase everything it must offer.
SHADELANDHOUSE: Thank you, Ian. It sounds like you plan to provide a lot of new opportunities for theatre and film artists in Kentucky. Was there a particular source of inspiration for you?
IAN: The company started with my friend Carl’s script, Love, Lust, and the Middle Ground, and the rest is history. The particular source of inspiration was the fact that I noticed so many people talking about doing something and then not following through on their ideas. I hear great ideas everyday and then never hear about them again. I felt the desire to build on what I have learned and take it to a place much higher. I have been blessed with so many new faces in my life the past few years, and I have found a way to bring everyone together—to collaborate. So I get to make my community a better place, and I get to hang out with my friends everyday. Win- Win!
SHADELANDHOUSE: Why do you think it is important to support local playwrights?
IAN: I think it is irresponsible not to support something that someone has put their soul into. A script is something that someone thought of and created. “Local” is just a word that makes it more meaningful to a certain area on a map. I love our local community and everything it has to offer. It has given me a lot, and I have noticed that there is a lot of talent in my community that goes unrecognized. The spelling of the word “playwright” is interesting because the word “wright” is a word for a craftsperson, or someone who builds things. A local playwright is someone who can build a community with their craft.
SHADELANDHOUSE: Who is currently involved in the company?
IAN: As it stands today, we are made up of six board members: myself, Eric Henninger, Greg Jones, Kathy Jones, Trent Stephens, and Richard Wharton. There are also other people very involved with the company—Carl Trammel, for example. We also like to keep our crew in-house and very close like a family, and that currently includes Stephanie Pistello and Becki Tonges.
SHADELANDHOUSE: You mentioned earlier that part of the mission of Antagonist Productions is to strengthen relationships between local talent and local businesses. What businesses are you collaborating with so far in your first season?
IAN: To date, we have secured sponsorship and collaboration with North Lime Coffee and Donuts, Mad Mushroom Pizza, Bank of the Bluegrass, Collins Frame and Body, Stage Right Acting, and Your Better Half. The list continues to grow thanks to early support from our community.
SHADELANDHOUSE: What has the company produced to date? What is next?
IAN: In June we produced Love, Lust, and the Middle Ground, an original play by Carl Trammel, at Stage Right Acting. (That was the script that started it all and inspired my vision for this company.)
In July we produced The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare at The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. Obviously, Shakespeare is not a local playwright. However, Drew Davidson (Adjunct Professor of Theatre at University of Kentucky) adapted the script with a “WWE” theme and made it his own. This concept of producing Shakespeare scripts adapted by local artists is something we hope to do on an annual basis, always free to the public and family-friendly.
Next on the docket is I Come From, a collection of 10-minute plays selected from “The Voices Inside Project,” which will run September 21-24, 2017, at the Moondance Amphitheatre in Beaumount Centre, Lexington, Kentucky. Gates will open at 6:30 P.M., and the show will start at 8:00 P.M. At the event there will be food trucks, beer and wine sponsors, and guaranteed good vibes.
SHADELANDHOUSE: Wow! You’ve been working hard this summer! Can you tell us more about the upcoming show I Come From? How did that concept come about? How did you find out about the “Voices Inside” project?
IAN: The “Voices Inside Project Anthology” (a collection of short plays written by inmates at the Northpoint Corrections Facility in Danville, Kentucky) and its developmental history were presented to me by Bill McCann. I instantly knew this was one of those golden eggs I had been hoping to find. The idea of bringing this project to life seemed like an opportunity not only for my community but also the playwrights. Being a published playwright is no easy task, and these inmates achieved that from inside a correctional facility. Since then, I have met with Robby Henson from Pioneer Playhouse, the person who interacts with the inmates and knows them all personally, and he knows the impact this could make on their lives.
SHADELANDHOUSE: What do you hope to accomplish by bringing “Voices Inside” to life in Lexington? Why should Lexington residents and businesses be interested in attending and supporting this production?
IAN: We hope to entertain people. That is always our goal. It is what we have promised to do. We also hope to have an impact on the inmates and on the community through entertainment. Once the festival is over, we are taking the plays to the facility to perform them for the inmates that wrote them. That is exactly why people in the Bluegrass should attend and support it. It is something that couldn’t have been accomplished without the community they live in. Currently, our money doesn’t come from grants and loans. It comes from the businesses in our community and the people who want to see the arts thrive in the Bluegrass. Antagonist Productions wouldn’t exist without the help we have. By supporting I Come From, you are also supporting the businesses and people who make it possible, who make it happen.
SHADELANDHOUSE: Which scripts will be included? Who are the directors?
IAN: The scripts are “Moving On,” by Doug Stubblefield; “A Cup Overflowed,” by Derek R. Trumbo, Sr.; “Monster Shoes,” by Shaun J. Lindley; “An Episode over an Episode,” by Brandon Amos; “A Louisville Sky,” by Andrew Phillips; “Know Your Audience,” by Matthew Bowling; “Promised Land,” by Matthew Bowling; “Screen Warriors,” by Denny Holder; and “Conviction,” by Derek R. Trumbo.
We have chosen three experienced, locally-based directors: Drew Davidson, Stephanie Pistello, and Col. Trent Stephens. Each of them will direct three of the nine scripts. I personally have worked with all three directors in different ways and know they will knock this out of the park.
SHADELANDHOUSE: Can local actors audition? If so, when and where?
Ian: Absolutely! We encourage everyone to come out and give it a shot.
Auditions will be held at Moondance Amphitheatre (1152 Monarch St., Lexington, KY) on Wednesday, August 16, 2017, from 5:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.
If you go to our Facebook page, you will find more information. Our website is currently under construction, but it will be available soon.
SHADELANDHOUSE: If other businesses and individuals want to support Antagonist Productions and the company’s work, who should they contact?
IAN: We appreciate the support of our community. Any business or individual interested in supporting the company may contact Antagonist Productions at
SHADELANDHOUSE: Thank you, Ian! We wish Antagonists Productions the best, and we look forward to I Come From, September 21-24, 2017, at Moondance Amphitheatre. Break a leg!
Disclosure: This interview was conducted by Stephanie Pistello, Shadelandhouse Modern Press, who is also referenced by Ian Scott in his interview in her roles with Antagonist Productions.