In a world full of screens that turn viewers into zombies, Thicket & Thistle challenges audiences to break down the 4th wall and meet the performers halfway. In addition to being a band, we are a writing collective filled with unabridged curiosity. Our hope is that this curiosity will draw in a new generation of theatre-goers, and welcome those jaded by the theater and its quirks with open arms. Thicket & Thistle strives to surprise and delight, to enchant and enlighten. There are an infinite number of ways to tell a single story and we choose roads paved with cultural relevance, moral responsibility, mesmerizing music and, most importantly, heart.
Get to know us!
Once Upon a Time...
In February of 2014, Kyle Acheson, Sam De Roest, and Jonathan Foster met at a bar on 46th street and Broadway - the heart of the NYC theatre district - to discuss creating a new brand of musical theatre: actors collaborating with one another to create musical stories with verve, wit, and a dash of theatre magic, all while playing the instruments themselves. Soon after, they brought on Corley Pillsbury, and the group immediately began working on What’s Your Wish?, gathering in apartments to brainstorm, write, and laugh late into the night.
The group quickly found a rhythm as writers and collaborators and, two months later, Nyssa Duchow was added to the mix, further bolstering the character and sound of the group, and forming a four-part folk band with Kyle on guitar, Sam on mandolin, Corley on accordion, and Nyssa on violin, with Jonathan at the helm as director.
Through spring, summer, and autumn, Thicket & Thistle continued sculpting What’s Your Wish? into a tight, fast-paced 10-minute musical, using their strengths as individuals and collaborators to fashion a darkly-tinted gypsy folk score coupled with a cheeky, exuberant story.
In December of 2014, after nearly a year of preparation, What’s Your Wish? made its debut at Theatre Now New York’s Sound Bites 10-Minute Musical Festival. At the festival, Thicket & Thistle were awarded the honor of Best Music, with Sam De Roest taking home the award for Best Actor.
After Sound Bites, it became evident that audiences were intrigued by What's Your Wish? and the group behind it, so in January of 2015 Thicket & Thistle began growing their 10-minute script into an hour-long piece. The group expanded to welcome Joshua Stenseth as an actor/musician, and Sarah George as managing director/producer and, at the end of February 2015, staged a reading of the new script.
Through an amalgamation of audience feedback and many brainstorming sessions, Thicket & Thistle began revising the script to What's Your Wish? in order to be submitted to FringeNYC (the New York International Fringe Festival). Having submitted the application to FringeAL FRESCO, the group crossed their fingers and began to work on promoting the show and its music by playing in various venues around New York City, including Bryant Park, ShakesCon (the first annual NYC Shakespeare Convention), and the Elizabeth Street Garden and the Daryl Roth Theatre as part of Make Music New York.
At the end of May, Thicket & Thistle got word that the show had been accepted into FringeAL FRESCO - however, Nyssa Duchow had been cast in a production of Ring of Fire, which meant she would be gone for the entirety of the rehearsal process and run of the show. Nervous but hopeful to find a fitting replacement, auditions were held and the group was thrilled to find the effervescent Lindsay Zaroogian to join the cast of What's Your Wish? during the FringeAL FRESCO.
Thicket & Thistle planned the outdoor version of What's Your Wish? which premiered at the 6th Street and Avenue B Community Garden in August 2015. They utilized their suitcase-theatre aesthetic, choosing to hand-make the set and props. The managing director, Sarah George, painted the backdrops, which were hung over rolling racks, and the cast worked together to build most of the props of the show. The show was packed throughout it's 5 performances, and Thicket & Thistle was asked to perform the show again at the Checkov Theatre Festival last November.
In January, the group decided to use it's excess Kickstarter funds to become Thicket & Thistle, LLC and to put the show on for two nights at the Access Theater. Head over to What's Your Wish? for more info about tickets.