The Rose Theater is one of the largest and most accomplished children’s theaters in the nation, with a reputation for enriching the lives of children and families through top-quality professional productions and arts education. The Rose is committed to making the arts accessible to all children, providing opportunities for thousands of children throughout the community to attend shows and participate in classes each year. Matthew Gutshick is the Artistic Director at The Rose Theater.
Tell us a little about your business. – The Rose Theater is a professional theater for family audiences that is radically dedicated to accessibility. Our mainstage shows have something for everyone, from The Cat in The Hat to A Christmas Story; we work very hard to be inclusive of the whole family’s interests. Our education programs are world-class, regularly winning national awards for excellence. All of that happens at a price point that essentially negates financial obstacles to participation and attendance.
How did you get started in the business? – My mom made me and my three brothers take art classes to complement our interest in sports. I simply wasn’t good at pottery, or painting, so I tried a theater class. The rest is history.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – There’s a tendency to think of family theater as somehow less valuable than its counterpart for adults. That’s a false equivalency because when you look at Pixar’s accomplishments, it shows just how high the bar can be set for family entertainment.
What has been your most important achievement professionally? – Every show I direct feels like a new kind of victory because of the unique challenges involved. If things stay on track, A Christmas Story will be my largest achievement to date.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – Being mentored by a man named Peter Brosius at the largest children’s theatre in the country affirmed what I wanted to spend my professional life doing, but it also showed me how much I had to learn to get anywhere close to his level of energy and skill.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Only what you have not given can be lacking in any situation.” If I want people to be enthusiastic about our work, I’ve got find a way to emanate that through every fiber of my being.
If you could have a super power, what would it be? – Flying would be amazing. No more TSA!
Which talent would you most like to have? – The ability to write music. Specifically, really excellent rock music or movie soundtracks a la Thomas Newman.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? – I’m currently working through Marianne Williamson’s A Return to Love and it’s incredible.
What is your favorite local restaurant? – La Buvette for the ambiance and the staff.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? – Bruce Springsteen. Preferably before a show!
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? – Visit The Rose online at rosetheater.org or call (402) 345-4849.