Today we’d like to introduce you to Tony and Taylor Moschetti.
Tony and Taylor, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Tony: My parents signed me up for an Acting class at a youth community theatre in my hometown, Sierra Vista, AZ. Basically, they thought I needed a hobby. I had tried a few sports and they all made me cry. But theatre clicked the same way it clicks for a lot of people in the arts; I got to pretend to be someone different, and got an instantaneous positive reaction to my actions. So, I kept it up, went to college for it. Still didn’t know what I wanted, but then, I met Taylor and she pushed me to take it even more seriously and create something of our own.
Taylor: Growing up with artist parents, I had a lot of freedom to discover and learn different art forms. I was that child who wouldn’t keep her clothes on and would dance naked anywhere people would let me. Because of this, my family always thought I’d be a little performer, and I guess I liked pleasing them because here I am. I started seriously doing theatre in high school, and then went to college for it. In college, I met Tony and we both shared a passion for theatre. Once we graduated, we decided that creating our own company was our next goal and really dream. Education and theatre have always had a place in my heart, so creating a theatre where learning is at its core was very important to me. And based on that, Laughing Pig Theatre was formed.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Taylor: I mean money will constantly be a challenge, but we have been very fortunate to have wonderful people that make LPT possible. I also think theatre is an undervalued art form, so we are always looking for creative ways to engage our community.
Tony: Of course not! How many times has someone actually said: “Yeah, totally, it’s been smooth sailing since day one?” One of the big challenges of a company like us is also one of the main reasons for us existing: we want to do lesser-known and original work on a micro-budget. When we talk about that with other artists, it always seems exciting and pertinent. But what are the odds that the average theatre-goer in Mesa is going to show up at for a show they’ve never heard of at a company they’ve never heard of run by people they’ve never heard of? It’s a tough sell. Also, the amount of money our theatre has made this year is probably comparable to the costume budget of one show at some of the bigger companies in town, so we have to be really careful with budgeting. Plus, being at the theatre all the time makes it hard to balance a well-paying day job. Wow, that’s actually a lot.
Please tell us about Laughing Pig Theatre – what should we know?
Taylor: We pride ourselves in creating a safe space for artists of all levels to learn, grow, and create. Laughing Pig Theatre is constantly looking for unique plays that are about the strong characters and their journey, not the spectacle. Being an educational theatre in residence, education is at the forefront of everything we do. We believe theatre and storytelling is how communities connect, learn, and grow. Empathy lives in theatre.
Tony: Someone recently told me that one of the benefits of having a small theatre like ours is that we can take whatever risks we want. That was really impactful. I think that’s something we are trying to lean into. We do the projects we think are fun and interesting, or that mean something to us, or that give opportunities to people that deserve them. It’s not about pleasing a sponsor or fancy patron because it’s all just us!
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Well obviously, our families have always supported us in every way we needed. Neither of us could have gotten this far without their unending love and encouragement.
Our friend and local actor Tony Latham is pretty much the whole reason we were able to get a foothold in the community to get started. He had already been working a while and brought us in on a project, where we were able to make the connection we needed to arrange a venue to perform.
Ada McCartney and Tony Holt helped us start Laughing Pig during the first year and helped shape its identity and outlook, as well as create the logo.
Erin Cote Martin, Casey Anderson, and Clare Thompson all started as performers with us but have taken on larger roles and been invaluable to our growth.
Laura Wilde has been an incredible partner during our time with the Mesa Arts Center and is truly dedicated to cultivating artists.
Laura Durant has been so supportive of us from the beginning and is one of the cornerstones of the whole Valley Theatre scene.
And of course, anyone in the community who has shown up either in the audience or in front of it. We are so grateful for anyone who gives us a chance.
- Most Gen. Admission- $20
- Military, Students, Educators, and Theatre Artists – $5 off
- Improv Shows – $5
- Address: Mesa Arts Center Acting Studio
Studios South building
1 E Main St
Mesa, AZ 85201
- Website: laughingpigtheatre.org
- Phone: 928-421-1195
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Instagram.com/laughingpigtheatre
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laughingpigtheatre/
- Twitter: Twitter.com/laughingpigaz
Erin Cote, Julia Romano, Taylor Moschetti