Interview: Patrick Schweigert, Director of Zero Circle Theatre Company

There’s a new quadruple threat theater company in town! What’s a quadruple threat you ask? Well, you may know a triple threat is a performer who can sing, dance, and act. Add in the ability to play a musical instrument and you have a quadruple threat. That’s exactly what the super talented cast of Love’s Labour’s Lost playing this weekend in the Aurora Studio consists of — quadruple threats!

We were graced with an e-interview from the director, Patrick Schweigert, of this hot new company Zero Circle Theatre.. Here’s what he had to say.

When did you first catch the theater bug? When I was 13 years old I was diagnosed with a degenerative form of arthritis and was forced to quit playing soccer. Going into high school, I wasn’t really doing anything extra-curricular because I had played sports my entire life. I found myself pretty lost in life. I took drama as my required fine arts class because I heard you get to watch movies. While in that class, a friend of mine convinced me to audition for the fall play. I ended up getting cast in ANATOMY OF GRAY, by Jim Leonard. About two weeks in, I knew I’d be doing this for a very long time.

Where did you get your theater training? I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Kennesaw State University (as does the rest of the core company of Zero Circle).

What are some of your most memorable theater moments? (on stage or off) My apprenticeship with Aurora Theatre (2014-2015) is definitely up there. I garnered my first professional credits in the apprenticeship and was able to meet most of the Atlanta Theatre Community because of it. However, the highlight of my career so far was last summer’s A NEW BRAIN. That show marked my directing debut and the beginning of what Zero Circle would become. Which brings me to…

How was Zero Circle Theatre Company formed? It all started several years ago when the 5 of us all met as students of Kennesaw State University. Cut to 2016, I found out Aurora had a program for former Apprentices to produce their own work in their studio theatre. I knew I wanted to direct but wasn’t sure of the show. My wife and I, as well as a few of our friends, started brainstorming and ultimately landed on A NEW BRAIN, by William Finn. Cut to Summer of 2017 and we produced a sold-out run of Finn’s musical with the entire cast acting as the orchestra for the show as well. After the success and artistic fulfillment of that show, myself, Rose Alexander, Daniel Hilton, Caty Bergmark and Elliott Folds knew we wanted to continue creating this type of work — but we weren’t sure how we wanted to proceed. After MANY Sunday morning brunches at our apartment, we knew we wanted to continue creating and creating together.  Thus, Zero Circle Theatre Company was born.

What gave you the idea to hire quadruple threats? During the casting process for A NEW BRAIN, we realized we had an entire band within our cast (piano, trumpet, trombone, guitar, violin) so we wanted to see what would happen if they played the show as well. It was so successful that we knew we wanted to do the same with our next show. LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST was a perfect fit.
Why the name Zero Circle? In looking for a name for our weird little group, we stumbled over a poem called “Zero Circle” by the poet Rumi. In it, he talks about not being “sure of anything, besides ourselves, and only that, so miraculous beings come running to help.” As a theatre company, we know we don’t hold all the answers to what makes the “best” production. But we are sure of ourselves, sure of our talent and creativity, sure of making theatre that is courageous, kind, and inclusive.

What can expect we see from you in the future? We don’t have our future fully paved just yet, but you’ll definitely keep seeing us around. Once we close this show we are going to sit down and start planting the seeds for what’s next. You’ll definitely see us again before the end of the year in some capacity.

Anything else you’d like us to know? We are on twitter, facebook, and Instagram (you can just search our company name, we are the only one ;)). Find us on there and keep track of what our future holds in store! We don’t know what’s next, but we can’t wait to see you there!
Love’s Labour’s Lost plays at Aurora Theatre Studio Friday at 8:00 PM, Saturday at 2:30 PM and 8:00 PM, and Sunday at 2:30 PM and 8:00 PM. This is considered a Speakeysie Must See show for July. get your tickets at the Aurora Theatre websiteor call the Aurora Box Office.
-Jody Key -Speakeysie Managing Editor

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