Tony award-winning Andy Sandberg ’06 talks theater

Andy Sandberg ’06 has been all over New York’s theater scene in the past few years, working as a director, writer, actor and producer. In 2009, he produced the Broadway revival of “Hair,” for which he received a Tony Award, and since then has worked on more than five different projects. He is currently in rehearsal as a producer for a play called “A Perfect Future,” which is set to have its off-Broadway debut on Feb. 4. The News spoke with Sandberg to discuss his time at Yale, his career, and his busy schedule.

Andy Sandberg ’06 has been acting since his youth. In 2009, he won a Tony award for his production of the revival of “Hair” on Broadway.
Andy Sandberg
Andy Sandberg ’06 has been acting since his youth. In 2009, he won a Tony award for his production of the revival of “Hair” on Broadway.

Q How do you think Yale prepared you for your career path?

A I knew that I would have an opportunity as an undergraduate right out of the gate to do what I loved to do. For me the best opportunities I had at Yale were the extracurricular activities. I was a member and business manager of both the Alley Cats and the Whiffenpoofs. I worked as an actor, director and producer and sometimes all three at a time. At any given time at Yale, I was working on three different shows.

Q How did you get started in the theater?

A I started acting as young as I can remember. I was doing plays through elementary and middle school. I knew early on I could never be exclusively an actor. It’s very challenging because performing is only one component of that. It’s very much about acting and selling yourself and being able to pick up and go on a dime. I can’t just pick up and go and leave one of my projects behind.

Q What are you doing now?

A A new play called “A Perfect Future.” It’s opening off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theater. It’s a drunken evening gone wrong as a couple tries to marry their idealism with reality.

Q What made you decide to become a part of “A Perfect Future?”

A For me it all starts with the writing. If I’m not intrigued with the material that’s on paper, it’s hard for me to get excited. I wanted to be a part of developing it and moving it forward.

Q What is up next for you?

A There are several things in different stages of development. Rehearsals start tomorrow for “A Perfect Future.” I just did the Broadway revival of “Hair” that I also produced in London, and “The Last Smoker in America” will be brought into New York later this year. It’s challenging but exciting.

Q Is it difficult to work on different projects simultaneously?

A I juggle a lot of different hats. I’d love to keep my hand in a little bit of everything. You never know how something is going to pan out. You have to be prepared for whatever happens.

Q In the long run, what are your greater goals?

A I absolutely love what I’m doing, and I have managed to pursue for a living what I always did as an extracurricular activity in my younger years. I’ve learned better than to have a set five-year plan. Even as a producer I consider myself an artist. I love the sort of meeting of art and commerce. My goal is to move my projects forward and to make a living of them at the same time. I try to juggle it all as best as I can. It’s more of a lifestyle than a job.

Q What advice do you have for aspiring Yale thespians?

A My advice to Yale thespians would probably be to do as much as you can and find a way that it’s a learning experience at the same time. Some of the most difficult projects I’ve worked on have been some of the ones that have led to the best relationships and some of the best results. Be aware that if it is something you want to pursue as a living, it’s as much of a business as an art.

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