We all have our favorite movies, with all the memorable stars and scenes that continue to captivate us upon every viewing. Yet, have you ever wondered just what it would be like if you had a starring role in those beloved films? That’s the situation that one nerdy but imaginative young man experiences in vivid fashion in the new web series IAN, created by and starring Ross Evans in the title role.

IAN’s first season of 6 episodes is now streaming exclusively on the video platform Stage 17, an innovative new network with content created by some of Broadway’s biggest stars and creative talents. New episodes air every Thursday on its official show page located on the Stage 17 site.

The series stars Evans as the eponymous protagonist, whose seemingly boring existence is instantly transformed as a result of his highly overactive imagination, as well as his love of some of the biggest movies of the ‘80s. From there, Ian goes from passive viewer to the star of his cinematic fantasies in spectacular fashion – only to have his cousin (played by Ariana Shore of the Broadway musical THE PERFORMERS) end up seeing for herself the highly embarrassing denouements of those fantasies.

Each new episode features Ian in entertaining and elaborate fantasy sequences that brilliantly depict key scenes from movies spanning various genres (sci-fi, spaghetti westerns, teen romantic comedies, musicals, etc.).

Adding to the fun and excitement of each sequence are guest appearances by some of today’s best known and loved Broadway talent.

Among them – Krysta Rodriguez (NBC’s SMASH, plus Broadway’s THE ADDAMS FAMILY and FIRST DATE) as the beautiful and seductive Fly Goddess in episode 3, which presents itself as an obvious nod to the 1986 sci-fi thriller THE FLY. The impressive guest cast also includes Jake Epstein (DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION, SPRING AWAKENING and BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL) as the Black Cowboy in the spaghetti western spoof ‘The Showdown’.

Rounding out the stellar roster of Broadway stars featured throughout the show’s first season are Cortney Wolfson (KINKY BOOTS) as the Singing Seductress, Katie McLellan (from the recent J.J. Abrams NBC series BELIEVE) as the gorgeous Femme Fatale in the film noir tinged second episode ‘A Light, Doll?’ and Sarah Schenkkan (from the national tour of the hit musical WICKED) as the Damsel in Distress.

Evans found many parallels between himself and his fictional counterpart as he began working on the show’s overall storyline. “I’d call Ian my ‘fictional alter-ego’ with fictional in tiny print. Down to his taste in eclectic t-shirts, everything about him is some reflection of my personality and neurosis, neurosis in bold print,” he says.

“Our only concrete differences are that I’m a little older than 25 and not a virgin, barely. Ian’s a daydreamer. He has trouble distinguishing between fantasy and reality, which is something with which I wholeheartedly relate. The series lives in that delightful cross section of wit, slapstick and of course – neurosis.”

With the show’s incredible cast comprised of Broadway veterans who Evans knew from previous working relationships, plus several of his old college friends, the show’s production officially got underway. Incredibly, despite the large amount of on-screen personnel involved in each shoot of the 6 episodes, the entire season was filmed in a staggeringly short period of time.

That shooting schedule also included the production of a special musical episode, with original music composed by Adam Gwon and dance sequences choreographed by Sara Andreas. For Evans, the success of the three day shoot was made possible thanks to the talents and dedication of his team in front of, and behind, the camera.

“It took an incredible amount of pre-production between Executive Producer Ondine Landa Abramson and Supervising Producer Diana Basmajian at Stage17, myself, Zac Halberd, and (assistant director) Anthony Comis,” Evans recalls.

Throughout the show’s production, Evans’ creative inspirations were on full display, and so too was his willingness as a filmmaker to do the unconventional and the unexpected. Those inspirations are evident throughout all six episodes and in every fantasy sequence depicted in them.

“I’m always inspired by artists who take risks, who aren’t afraid to fail, and are telling stories on their own terms. Specifically for IAN, I was trying as best I could to emulate different filmmakers as I was diving into their genres,” he says.

“(I was) asking myself, ‘okay, what would John Hughes do here? Or Sergio Leone? Or (Bob) Fosse? Or (Quentin) Tarantino?’ Their particular aesthetic would influence the script and shot on every scene.”

In fact, Evans believes that the show’s amazing production quality and its manner of storytelling may well be what makes IAN a unique web series; one that will definitely attract fans of Broadway and Hollywood, as well as the dreamer in all of us.

“I think there are very few web series out there that are combining this level of quality with this level of risk-taking. The show is weird and funny and romantic and weird. At the heart of IAN is this idea that that fiction is almost universally superior to reality, but that’s no way to live. Fiction works best when you’re using it to infuse your reality, not hide from it.”

Thanks to its distinctive humor, impressive group of Broadway stars and high production quality, IAN is unlike any other web series you’ll ever see. It’s a show with plenty of laughs, thrills, chills, suspense, drama, romance – and heart. Furthermore, it proves that some of the most outlandish fantasies we could imagine can become, if but for a short time, a glorious reality – but only if we believe.

Says Evans: “I’d like to borrow five minutes of your day to make you laugh. I’d like to take you out of your world for a moment and bring you into mine. I’d like to share part of myself with you, and I hope you see a bit of yourself in that part as well.”

(Note: Regarding closed-captioning, Evans says: “There are plans for closed-captioning in the future, but no specific date has been determined.”)


STAGE 17: http://www.stage17.tv/series/ian

FACEBOOK (Stage 17 Network): www.facebook.com/Stage17

(Official Show Facebook): www.facebook.com/IanTheSeries

TWITTER: @IanTheSeries

INSTAGRAM: (Stage 17 Network) @Stage17tv