Meet the Staff Series: Daniel DP Sheridan
Meet Daniel DP Sheridan!
Daniel is proud to currently serve as Davenport Junior Theatre's Artistic Director. We asked him a series of questions ranging from silly to serious in order to get to know him a little better. The informal interview follows:
When did you first discover your passion for theatre? Was there one specific moment you can recall?
Hmmm... I started as a kid at DJT when I was 11 or so. However, I'd say the first time I realized storytelling was a profession was from the show HOME IMPROVEMENT starring Tim Allen. They always showed blooper reels and I remember being fascinated that the characters were being brought to life by a group of people having fun.
So I guess I owe Tim Allen some credit.
Probably Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
The character is so infatuated with performing and the feeling it brings him. It reminds me of the early days of theatre. I played it in graduate school when I was 24.
It is a role you can play at 34, 44, 64, 94. Whatever age, it would always have a sense of wonder.
What about a dream role?
Cliché, but Hamlet.
I have directed it, but not performed it. Directing it is interesting because you have such a close relationship built up with this actor who virtually never leaves the stage and you work through the character together.
Hamlet is also somehow aware he is in a play in a way no other character does. He moves beyond his playwright.
How do you spend your free time?
I like to get up early to do chores around the house and listen to podcasts. Mostly politics podcasts. But some non-politics podcasts are Beardy Dads, Reply All, Startup, Ted Radio Hour, and Freakonomics.
Beyond that, not much free time. I hang with my family a lot and make sure to see my boys a ton. Everyone says it goes so fast and I don't want to miss it.
What song always puts you in a good mood?
"Street Corner Symphony" by Rob Thomas.
Eeeshh.... DJT's 'Pinochio,' 'Adventure's of Aesop,' 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' and 'Scrooge.' QC Theatre Workshops 'A Green River.' Connecticut Repertory Theatre 'Pentecost,' 'Macbeth.' Saint Ambrose University 'Our Town,' 'Lonseome West.' DJT as a kid 'Winnie the Pooh,' 'Peter Pan'.
What's the best thing you've seen on stage recently?
I wish I went to theatre more.... I don't. Life is too busy and I focus most my efforts on Junior Theatre productions when I have the time.
Shakespeare. Martin McDonagh.
What quote do you live by?
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." Ghandi. It has actually guided me to make a lot of big choices.
Who are your heroes?
Mary Nighswander, DJT's founder. She created a program from nothing and it is lasting and vital. Standing on the shoulders of giants.
Harold Keller. My high school speech and debate coach. Taught me a lot.
Corinne Johnson. Head of the SAU Theatre Department when I was there. Still a professor. Also, built up a dynamic and lasting theatre program.
My Dad. He taught me work ethic, decency, and putting your family first. I have always been able to count on him and intend for my family to be able to say the same of me.
What is one thing you wish you had known when you were younger?
That it will all be okay. Truly just keep learning, working on what is in front of you, and don't get too far ahead of yourself or anxious about tomorrow. Tomorrow will come.
What is your favorite thing about Junior Theatre?
The mission. Serving the kids. Being surrounded by people who want to serve the kids well. It inspires me.
What do you love most about teaching children's theatre?
Children are ready to learn. They have a sense of wonder that adults often lose to time and experience. "Youth is potential, not inexperience." Seeing kids succeed and learn is special.
What is on your bucket list?
Skydiving. At least 10 more big trips with my wife. Holding a grandbaby.
How do you find inspiration?
I have to go back to the earth. I have to take a break from the world around me and focus on something else. Then when I come back to something, I realize the inspiration is already there. When I am open to inspiration, I find it everywhere. When I get weighed down or negative, it just becomes hard to see.
What was the best piece of advice you've ever received?
It's not about out performing others, it is about improving upon yourself. My Dad taught me that. I don't measure myself to other people, I measure myself to myself and do the best I can.
What was your favorite class in school?
Philosophy for sure. I wish I had been a philosophy major or minor as well.
What's your favorite food?
Probably anything Mexican. I love all of it and find the food delicious.
If you had one superpower, what would it be?
To ease the hearts of others.
To be or not to be?