Listen in as director Heather Cohn of Am I Dead? The Untrue Narrative of Anatomical Lewis, The Slave, along with actors Corey Allen, Alisha Spielmann, and Isaiah Tanenbaum, discuss feeling free to laugh through a very dark comedy, learning your Egyptian myths, the history and legacy of violence against black bodies, developing a play with the playwright, what we can learn as people through the artistic process, first noticing the costume changes of your cast-mates during a performance (“subtle, yet effective!”), the effects of an individual audience’s energy, and the necessity of having sticky, difficult conversations in the theatre.
“…I think what Kevin gives us the canvas to discuss is the ways that denial functions for a variety of people…how they choose to view their own reality, accept it or deny it […] and I think the audience is forced to decide, ‘which approach do I take?’…”
Listen in as The Werewolf of Washington Heights playwright Christie Perfetti Williams and director Charmaine Broad discuss adapting your own work to the stage, why you should put “awesome, talented, and kind” people in your cast, the importance of putting women onstage (and in the producer’s chair), doing your job vs. doing what’s right for the world, swapping the genders of your characters, what’s next for Carnival Girls, and what happens to a family when tragedy strikes in a dystopian near-future U.S.A.
“…Imogene says, ‘we all, all of us as humans just want to be heard, our stories want to be told.’ I think that goes across the board, for every person on the planet, we just want to know […] that our voices have been heard. And I think for women, we haven’t been. So this play was hopefully a small little piece of what’s missing in the puzzle…”
Listen in as the director of Basement, Janet Bentley, along with actors Alexandra Cohler & Ian Campbell Dunn and sound designer Andy Evan Cohen, discuss radio-announcer-as-chorus, working in multiple languages in the same piece, sound as dramaturgy (and dramaturgy through sound), the benefit of having a medical professional in your production team, finding a place for a dance, and how to turn the traditional wartime romance narrative on its head.
“…theatre is always musical to me. There’s a rhythm to it…”
Listen in as the writer & performer of Outside Paducah: The Wars at Home, J. A. Moad II, discusses creating dialogue through story and art, how he got to the stage from the page, the seeds of the stories he tells in this show, how those stories have touched audience members, society’s role in taking care of its veterans, and how war affects not only those who serve on the front lines, but also those who serve without a uniform at home.
“…these stories live in me…everything comes down to story, right? It’s that basic human impulse, from the time we’re a little kid and the first thing we say to our dad is, ‘tell me a story.’ If we embrace that idea, of how we learn through story, how story changes the way we see the world and the way we imagine the possibilities, it invites us into all these other places that we cannot begin to see…”
Listen in as director Michael Hardart, designers Sidney Fortner (costumes) and Michael LeBron (sets), along with actors Marc LeVasseur and Erin Beirnard of The Metropolitan Playhouse‘s production of Clyde Fitch’s The Climbers, discuss finding opportunity in constriction, pacing, showing & reflecting the mechanics usually reserved for the background, hearing from the servants, being in tune with your audience in an intimate space, achieving elegance by suggesting elegance, and why this play from 1901 fits in our “new gilded age.”
“…what it’s driven me to…is an appreciation of what I enjoy, what I love: when a play can continue moving forward, even in a set change…you make it something that’s part of the story…”
Listen in as James Godwin, co-creator and performer of The Flatiron Hex, discusses his roots in puppetry, accidental iconography, flood myths, how you know when your puppet is complete, astounding coincidences, mocking the sacred to make it stronger, how the show requested the puppets (and extreme physicality), and why you should make the kind of things that you enjoy.
“…you know your [work] is done when you’re sitting there, and you decide, ‘there’s one more thing I’m going to change.’ Don’t ever do that change. Because if you think there’s only one more thing to change, you’re about to destroy [it]…”
Listen in as Erin B. Mee, who conceived of and directed This is Not a Theatre Company‘s Subway Plays, discusses the origin of the term “podplays,” how variables can enter into the “performance,” practical considerations when you’re dealing with the MTA as your venue, mindfulness and the opportunity to mono-task, and making your theatre work even more accessible.
“…what we wanted to do was create a piece [where] the audience member mixes the live experience with the recorded experience, and creates an experience that is unique to them. So there’s something kind of John Cage about it…”
Listen in as Ran Xia and Charlotte Arnoux, co-Artistic Directors of The Arctic Group, presenting their Fridge Festival at IRT, discuss happy autocorrect errors, finding a fridge for your fridge festival, developing your climbing skills, the beauty of limitations, serendipitous curation, “figuring it out,” and what it means to “pick a snowflake out of an avalanche.”
“…it’s putting two different groups of people onto the same platform, so they can have a conversation…”
“…and just offering space to artists that we love, and ones that we have come to love…we wanted to create the theatre festival that we never had…”
Listen in as some of the team behind Friends Call Me Albert—performers Julie Congress and Steven Conroy, director Ryan Emmons, and musician Enrico de Trizio, all members of the ensemble of No. 11 Productions—discuss how and why puppets ended up in their play about Albert Einstein, the meaning of “bio-epic,” cross-continental collaboration, impossibility, how to integrate Einstein’s concepts into the presentation of your show, “fluidity,” using real math onstage, and how their ensemble plays together on the journey of creating their work.
Listen in as The Unwritten Law co-creator & performer Chesney Snow, along with co-creator, director, performer & choreographer Rebecca Arends, discuss working with collaborators who can help turn your story into art, making “something different,” microphones and music, “the magic that happens between people onstage,” American issues, and how sound and movement come together to tell this very personal story.
“…I tell people, they’re coming to see a story of America…we’re looking at black life, and I’m hoping they’ll be able to follow the journey of where we’ve come from…I don’t want to preach at people, but I would love for people to hear the story, and maybe they’ll have a different perspective on some of the things that are happening today…”