Cavan Hallman’s writing has been performed in NYC, New Orleans, Chicago, Ireland, on screen, and on tour with the Windy City Players. His touring plays, which he also directs, have been performed over 20,000 times for nearly 5 million students across the United States. Cavan directed the world premiere of the musical Pictures of Marilyn at the National WWII Museum, named one of the ten best musicals of 2016 by The New Orleans Times-Picayune.
He recently directed the Iowa premiere of Exit Strategy for Mirrorbox Theatre at CSPS. In Cedar Rapids he has directed for Playtime Poppy’s Summer Theatre Adventure; performed his solo show at RAYGUN, and worked as a writer and performer for SPT’s “Tales From the Writer’s Room.” Upcoming he is collaborating on two new musicals with Robert Lindsey-Nassif and Nancy Hill Cobb, writing an interactive comedy for The Foundry, writing for Playtime Poppy in collaboration with the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library, as well as directing Red Speedo, Luna Gale, and There Is a Happiness That Morning Is for Mirrorbox.
At TCR, Cavan teaches Scriptwriting and leads the social text analysis class “Let’s Get Lit!” He performed as “Gordon” in Dead Man’s Cell Phone, and served on the Underground Festival’s play selection committee, directing the world premiere of The Girl Wonder by Taylor James Foster.
Cavan is a Resident Artist with The CRY HAVOC Company, and the Artistic Director for Mirrorbox Theatre. He has an MFA in Playwriting from the University of New Orleans, for whom he has also taught writing and acting, both on campus and for their study abroad program in Ireland. The only things he likes more than the Orlando Magic and the play Fences are his dog, Pearl, and his wife, Katie, who deserves endless thanks for her intelligence, love, and support.
The fun balance for me is trying to come in armed with enough knowledge and planning that I can make sure we’re heading in the right direction, but to maintain enough flexibility that the final product is really tailored to the strengths of the cast and reflects their creative input. I am pretty far from the type of director who has everything plotted out with chess pieces before we get into blocking. I like to ask a lot of questions. And I like to give everyone the freedom to not try and “get it right” too early.
Thoughts on The Full Monty…
I was part of an all-male dance krewe in New Orleans, the 610 Stompers. While we mostly kept our clothes on, I have some real experience in the bonds that men can form by getting together and dancing, and how that experience can bridge all kinds of cultural divides. Also, I think musicals give us this great opportunity to explore the extremes of human behavior. The Full Monty is hilarious, but also full of characters who are in deeply desperate situations. Navigating those extremes with continuity and emotional honesty is a great challenge.
- Director, Teacher