Successful Theatre Professional Andy Truscott Returns to College
by Myra Saturen,
As the director of marketing and development at Delaware Theatre Company (DTC) in Wilmington, Andrew Truscott '12 has known remarkable success. The 2015 DTC production of Diner, written and directed by Barry Levinson and with new songs by Sheryl Crow, broke all records at the theatre, with $400,000 in sales contrasted with the previous watershed of $270,000.
Since Truscott's arrival at Delaware's largest professional theatre in 2013, theatre subscribers have increased by 70% and ticket sales have increased by over 250%. Overall, Truscott and his colleagues have taken the theatre's stature from sagging to superlative.
Despite DTC's growing reputation and Truscott's major role in its accomplishments, he is eager to keep on learning. He already had a bachelor's degree when he enrolled at NCC. It is not unusual for bachelor's degree recipients to turn to community college to master more skills. "You have to learn every aspect of your profession," he says.
After earning an associate degree in business administration in 2012, he is now working on a second degree at the College, this one in marketing.
Truscott has been active in theatre since his student days at Bethlehem's Freedom High School, when he participated in three Freddy Awards competitions, winning two prizes. He credits the program with saving high school theatre in the Lehigh Valley. Except for one hiatus when he worked at Wegman's, he has involved himself in theatre ever since, winning the J.P. Adler Prize for excellence in theatre during his undergraduate years at West Chester University.
At the Delaware Theatre Company, Truscott has been involved in developing several new productions including Because of Winn-Dixie, a musical adaptation of Kate DiCamillo's popular children's novel by Nell Benjamin and Duncan Sheik, and Maurice Hines's Tappin' Thru Life which started at DTC in September 2015 and opened Off Broadway that December.
DTC is unique in its state for developing high-quality shows for Broadway. Like regional houses in other states, it give new productions a home where they can "grow" until they are ready for Broadway, off-Broadway or national tours.
While some shows move on, some plays are staged only at the DTC. Either way, theatre-goers benefit. "We've found a unique niche," says Truscott. "Audiences can see something no one else in the world has seen before." He says that DTC has been embraced by the community and that theatre-goers enjoy being on the ground level. People send e-mails and letters with suggestions, which are considered during the play's development phase.
A lifelong learner, Truscott carefully observes the artists involved in productions at DTC and is impressed with their attention to detail. Duncan Sheik sat in every area of the theatre during the rehearsal of Because of Winn-Dixie to check the acoustics. Levinson and Crow participated in rehearsals, Levinson attending all of them. "These people are artists, not just celebrities," Truscott says.
Truscott has earned renown of his own, recognition that reflects his love of teaching. He recently received the Region II Kennedy Center American Theatre Festival Gold Medallion, the organization's most prestigious award and one of the greatest honors in theatre education. He has managed the festival, which prepares a new generation for the theatre, since 2014.
"Good theatre is more than entertainment," Truscott says. "It examines the human condition. It has the audience leaving the theatre thinking, talking and acting upon something in a different way."
Truscott, whose mother, Eileen Truscott, works in Community Education at NCC, appreciates what he is learning at Northampton. He has gained knowledge of computer graphics programs, a practical skill that come in handy on the job. He values his marketing class for the chance to work collaboratively with fellow students to create presentations while thinking on his feet in order to answer questions.
The recent addition to his education has served Truscott well. "If I hadn't had this knowledge, I wouldn't be where I am today," he says.