Welcome to “I’ll Drink To That” Ruby’s conversations with the future leaders of Broadway and beyond! Showbiz is in good hands with these brilliant and inspiring professionals.
Ruby sits down for a drink with the fabulous Jillian Robbins!
Ruby: Where are we and what are we drinking?
Jillian: We’re at Lillie’s on 49th Street. Pre-theater, I’m drinking seltzer with lime. Post-theater, drinking Lillie’s Pennies and swapping stories.
What is your current job title?
Finance and Business Development Assistant, Disney Theatrical Group. I am also a freelance producer.
Whose career do you aspire to have?
What’s one of your most embarrassing theater memories?
Falling asleep during a performance where I was in full-view of the actors and other audience members. It was not a reflection of the show – I actually returned to see the show again and really enjoyed it – but I had had a busy week and was exhausted.
What’s one of your best theater memories?
August 17th, 2007, I had a walk-on appearance in Rent on Broadway. It was my first time going backstage at a Broadway theater, it was my first time performing (ever), and it was the first time I witnessed the inner workings of a Broadway production. Preparing with the management team for my debut, it was then that I first understood that an entire business exists to make Broadway a reality each evening. Before then, I had only interacted with Broadway as an audience member. This experience gave me a glimpse into the Broadway industry. And I knew then that I wanted to be a (small) part of it.
What book are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading two; I am in the middle of The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (while I know I am late to the Jonathan Franzen party, I am enjoying the novel). I’m also reading Jerry Schoenfeld’s memoir, Mr. Broadway. It is enormously inspiring.
What book would you like to see made into a musical?
Showbiz by Ruby Preston!
What is your current theatrical project?
Upcoming projects include the next installment of Cutting-Edge Composers, to be held February 4th at Joe’s Pub, and the development of a new musical with an up-and-coming writing team.
What show are you currently recommending?
It depends on who is asking and their taste. Two productions I am currently recommending are Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Annie, two shows that I know and love but have never seen staged. Hard to believe with these two titles, but somehow, it happened.
What is your prized theater possession?
This would have to be a tie between two items: a personalized thank you note from Alan Menken for my work on Newsies and a Rent door panel from The Nederlander Theatre that hangs on my closet door.
Where do you keep your playbills?
In playbill binders, filed chronologically. I have ten full binders that I keep in my bedroom at my parents’ apartment; the rest are in my apartment. Almost all playbills have the accompanying ticket stub inside.