RadioTheatre’s 6th Annual “H. P. Lovecraft Festival” — Part I

RadioTheatre presents the 6th Annual H. P. Lovecraft FestivalRadioTheatre was last on the podcast with their H. P. Lovecraft festival in 2012—and being a fan of the master’s fiction, the producer of GSAS! just had to get back to The Kraine to hear more of Dan Bianchi & Company’s adaptations of his classic stories.

After the first night of the festival, featuring The Moon Bog and The Shadow Over Innsmouth, I sat down with Bianchi again, as well as the three actors giving voice to the terror that evening—Frank Zilinyi, R.Patrick Alberty, and Joshua Nicholson.

Listen in as Dan, Frank, Patrick, Joshua & I discuss “Lovecraft” vs. “love craft” in the minds of unsuspecting patrons, performing at the new Lovecraft-themed bar (seriously, this is a thing), not looking at who you’re playing to, and how live radio drama differs from more “traditional” theatre.

…and yep, that “Part I” in the title means that there’ll be more aural cosmic horror discussed on the podcast soon!

“It’s more like a band, I always say…it’s kind of like doing sets in a band.”

RadioTheatre & Frigid New York present

The 6th Annual H. P. Lovecraft Festival

adapted/directed/designed by Dan Bianchi
based on the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft
sound/lighting by Wes Shippee

OCT 2: THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH/THE MOON BOG
OCT 3: THE DUNWICH HORROR/THE STATEMENT OF RANDOLPH CARTER
OCT 9: THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH/THE BEAST IN THE CAVE
OCT 10: FROM BEYOND/THE CALL OF CTHULHU/THE BEAST IN THE CAVE
OCT 11: THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH/THE MOON BOG
OCT 12: THE DUNWICH HORROR/DAGON
all shows @7:30PM

The Kraine Theater
85 E. 4th Street
Manhattan

tickets: $18/$15 students, available via HorseTrade’s website

RadioTheatre presents the 6th Annual H. P. Lovecraft Festival, photos by R.Patrick Alberty RadioTheatre presents the 6th Annual H. P. Lovecraft Festival, photos by R.Patrick Alberty RadioTheatre presents the 6th Annual H. P. Lovecraft Festival, photos by R.Patrick Alberty

photos by R.Patrick Alberty

David Haan, playwright of “The President Plays”

playwright David HaanGSAS! Producer’s Note: playwright David Haan is writing things you should read, produce, and/or go and see.

Case-in-point: his 42-play cycle The President Plays re-imagines the death of every U.S. president from Washington to G.W. Bush, a series so epic that the reading of it had to be spread over three consecutive Tuesdays. The intrepid folks at Blowout Theatre are kindly hosting the readings on off-nights from their new show, Jona Tarlin’s In Antarctica, Where it is Very Warm (which, though the podcast wasn’t able to get out to cover it, looks super-cool, pun intended—remaining dates are Thursday thru Saturday, October 9, 10, & 11, nightly at 8PM!).

There’s only one more night from the posting of this episode to catch the remaining plays in the cycle (Tuesday, October 7 @ 7:30PM!), and it’s well-worth seeing thanks to the wonderful actors you’ll see (including members of Amios and The Assembly), excellent direction from Liz Thaler, and, of course, David’s imaginative, intriguing, insightful scripts.

I sat down with David over a beer after Part II of the cycle last Tuesday — listen in as we discuss getting history wrong, collaboration, our love of Amios, dreams of marathon theatre, and writing the impossible.

“…I’m very interested in the theatre as a collaborative enterprise…it’s kind of a conveyor belt, in which each part is kind of it’s own fully formed thing, but then becomes something greater…”

David Haan's The President Plays, directed by Liz Thaler, presented by Blowout Theater

Blowout Theatre presents

The President Plays
by David Haan
directed by Liz Thaler

Tuesday, 9/23—Part I: Washington to Buchanan
Tuesday, 9/30—Part II: Lincoln to Hoover
Tuesday, 10/7—Part III: Roosevelt to Bush

IRT Theater
154 Christopher Street
Manhattan
7:30PM
Tickets: FREE

David Haan's The President Plays, directed by Liz Thaler, at ANT Fest 2013, photo by Marielle Solan David Haan's The President Plays, directed by Liz Thaler, at ANT Fest 2013, photo by Marielle Solan David Haan's The President Plays, directed by Liz Thaler, at ANT Fest 2013, photo by Marielle Solan photo of David Haan by Liz Thaler; production photos of The President Plays at Ars Nova’s ANT Fest 2013 by Marielle Solan

Kimball B. Allen & Emma Hassett of “Be Happy Be Mormon”

Kimball B. Allen's Be Happy Be MormonIt’s time once again for the world’s largest solo theatre festival, United Solo (the last time GSAS! was there was in 2011, for the first iteration of Sylvia Milo’s The Other Mozart!).

This time out, the podcast takes in a very different, very personal show, brought to New York’s off-off-Broadway from Seattle—Be Happy Be Mormon, written and performed by Kimball B. Allen & directed by Emma Hassett. Kimball grew up gay & Mormon in rural Idaho—and given that combination, his life didn’t exactly go according to the plan his parents had in mind for him. A letter his mother wrote to him while he was still a baby provides the spark for this auto-biographical exploration through Kimball’s childhood, to his coming out.

Listen in as Kimball & Emma discuss the boxes that others set up for us check (and what happens when you don’t check off any of them), the changes a director can pull out of a solo performer, dinner-table collaboration, and how you travel across the country to present your solo piece (hint: minimal props).

“I just got to sort of hear the stories, and say, ‘hey, what about this, or what about that?’…it was a great collaboration.” “Yeah, we can’t wait for the next one!”

United Solo Theatre Festival presents

Be Happy Be Mormon

by Kimball B. Allen
directed by Emma Hassett

Wednesday, September 24 @ 7:30pm
Saturday, September 27 @ 7:30pm

Studio Theater
Theatre Row
410 West 42nd Street
Manhattan

tickets available via TeleCharge

Kimball B. Allen's Be Happy Be Mormon

Kimball B. Allen's Be Happy Be Mormon

production photos by Scott Wells

Kimball B. Allen, photo by Erin Schiedler Emma Hassett, photo by Pako Macias

Kimball’s photo by Erin Schiedler
Emma’s photo by Pako Macias

 

The Cast & Director of “The Drunken City”

Battalion Theatre presents The Drunken CityNew on the scene Battalion Theatre presents their second production, where a night of excessive partying and drunken carousing with handsome strangers leads to unavoidable confrontations with the realities of the relationships between a young bachelorette and her circle of friends—Adam Bock’s The Drunken City. It’s a premise that could easily devolve into cliche, but wisely starts at cliche before delving into the humanity underneath.

Listen in as director Emma Johnson, and actors Christine Spang, Conrad LeBron, Dan Gonon, Elena Kritter, Gadi Rubin, and Kullan Sinclair Edberg, discuss starting your theatre company at CraftBar, how your interviewer looks like Rocket Raccoon, love & magic, and taking a cold hard look at your own relationships. Oh, and there’s an on-air selfie.

“The play is a comedy on the surface, but for me it’s a tragedy, it’s about the lies that we call truths in the battle against loneliness…those lies, when called truths, build up and become the foundations upon which we build our lives…”

Battalion Theatre presents

The Drunken City

by Adam Bock
directed by Emma Johnson

The Kraine Theater
85 E. 4th Street
Manhattan

remaining performances:
Friday, September 26 @ 8PM
Saturday, September 27 @ 8PM
Sunday, September 28 @ 8PM

tickets: $20, available via Vendini

Battalion Theatre presents The Drunken City Battalion Theatre presents The Drunken Cityphotos by Battalion Theatre

Ari Laura Kreith, J. Stephen Brantley, & Jerreme Rodriguez of “I Like To Be Here…”

I Like To Be Here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or, This Is A MangoTheatre 167‘s I Like To Be Here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or, This Is A Mango is part four of a trilogy—yes, you read that right—looking at one of the most diverse neighborhoods not just in New York, but in the world. Through inter-connected stories taking place over one night, the play weaves a tapestry of this unique community and its residents.

Director Ari Laura Kreith, playwright J. Stephen Brantley, and actor Jerreme Rodriguez join me on the mic to explain how one play about Ari’s neighborhood turned into four; listen in as they discuss what happens when you write a role that your director decides only you can play, getting inspiration from your neighborhood, and Ari & J. Stephen share their choices for best Indian restaurants (and Indian sweets) in Jackson Heights.

“…about the connections between really different cultures and communities, and what they have in common…with the Jackson Heights trilogy, it’s about all of these different cultures coming together in one place…that’s Queens, right?”

Theatre 167 presents

I Like To Be Here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or, This Is A Mango

written by Jenny Lyn Bader, J. Stephen Brantley, Ed Cardona Jr., Les Hunter, Tom Miller, Melisa Tien, & Joy Tomasko
conceived & directed by Ari Laura Kreith

thru September 27, 2014
Wednesdays thru Saturdays @ 8pm

The New Ohio
154 Christopher Street
Manhattan

tickets: $18 ($16 students/seniors), available via OvationTix

I Like To Be Here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or, This Is A Mango, photo by Joel Weber I Like To Be Here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or, This Is A Mango, photo by Joel Weber I Like To Be Here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or, This Is A Mango, photo by Joel Weber I Like To Be Here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or, This Is A Mango, photo by Joel Weber I Like To Be Here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or, This Is A Mango, photo by Joel Weber I Like To Be Here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or, This Is A Mango, photo by Joel Weber I Like To Be Here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or, This Is A Mango, photo by Joel Weber I Like To Be Here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or, This Is A Mango, photo by Joel Weber photos by Joel Weber

Matthew Foster, Andrew H. Lyons, & David Sedgwick of “The Club”

Australian Made Entertainment presents The ClubThis episode serves as both a “welcome back!” and a fond “farewell” to the excellent company Australian Made Entertainment (previously heard on the podcast with their wonderful shows Speaking in Tongues and Once We Lived Here), who are presenting their last show in NYC before founders Kathleen & Matthew Foster bring their family & work to Los Angeles. West Coast, our loss is your gain.

Fittingly for their final NYC bow, AME is presenting an Aussie classic, David Williamson’s The Club, about the back-room negotiations and maneuverings of a football club in the 1970s, directed by Andrew H. Lyons. As noted in the interview, it feels like this play occupies an interesting spot between Glengarry Glen Ross and Moneyball—and don’t worry, you don’t have to know a thing about business, or Australian football, to enjoy the brilliant work going on right now at Urban Stages.

Listen in as Matthew, Andrew, and actor David Sedgwick discuss the struggles between tradition and business, moustaches, and how a contemporary Australian classic resonates in modern-day U.S.A.

“…what I saw getting into it was this tipping point of tradition vs. business, bottom-line vs. tradition…that’s where we were, we were right there at ‘do we hang on to tradition, do we keep America moving forward to help ourselves, or do we cut our losses, cut all that stuff, and go for the money‘…it’s the moment of the tipping point…”

Australian Made Entertainment presents

The Club

by David Williamson
directed by Andrew H. Lyons

thru September 27, 2014
Wednesdays to Saturdays @ 8 p.m.
Sundays @ 2 p.m.

Urban Stages
259 W. 30th Street
Manhattan

tickets: $18 ($10 on Wednesdays!), available via BrownPaperTickets

Australian Made Entertainment presents The Club Australian Made Entertainment presents The Club Australian Made Entertainment presents The Club Australian Made Entertainment presents The Club

photos by Samir Abady

Nick Abeel, Kelsey Didion, Kyle Schaefer, and Kristin McCarthy Parker of “Hold On To Your Butts”

Hold On To Your Butts at The PITImitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

But in the case of Hold On To Your Butts, this isn’t straight imitation—while yes, it is a shot-for-shot live remake of elementary-school-you’s favorite movie (at least, elementary-school-me), it’s a madcap comic theatrical homage full of creativity, nostalgia (in the best of ways), and excitement. The team of director Kristin McCarthy Parker, actors Nick Abeel and Kyle Schaefer, and sound/foley artist Kelsey Didion, have recreated the sense of wonder and just plain FUN that you had when you first saw Jurassic Park back in 1994.

They’re sharing that magic with you at The PIT for just three more performances from when I post this, so don’t delay. It’s the kind of show that, if you don’t catch it, all your friends who did are going to be admonishing you for years to come, saying, “aw, man, I can’t believe you didn’t see that!” So take this podcast’s name to heart, and go see this show.

At the very least, listen in to this episode as Nick, Kyle, Kelsey, and Kristin discuss inspiration over beers, why Jurassic Park is the best movie of all time, and when the idea is just stupid enough that everyone in the room gives it a “YES.”

“…we found out that our happy place in terms of performance is where we’re doing something really stupid, but we’re really committed to it…really dumb, but really committed…”

Hold On To Your Butts

created by Nick Abeel, Kelsey Didion, Kyle Schaefer, and Kristin McCarthy Parker
directed by Kristin McCarthy Parker

featuring Nick Abeel & Kyle Schaefer
sound/live foley by Kelsey Didion

remaining performances
Saturday, September 20 @ 11PM
Monday, September 22 @ 9:30PM
Tuesday, September 23 @ 7PM

The PIT
123 E. 24th Street
Manhattan

Hold On To Your Butts at The PIT Hold On To Your Butts at The PIT Hold On To Your Butts at The PIT Hold On To Your Butts at The PIT

Barry Rowell, Ralph Lewis, Catherine Porter, Donald Warfield, and Ben Nemser of “3Christs”

Peculiar Works presents 3 Christs, photo © 2014 Jim R Moore / VaudevisualsStudents of the sordid history of psychological treatment might be aware of social psychologist Milton Rokeach’s experiment, chronicled in his book The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, to lessen the delusions of three paranoid schizophrenic patients who all believed themselves to be Jesus Christ—by putting them in close contact and encouraging them to confront their conflicting statuses as the Christ.

Ethically questionable, to say the least, but it proves fascinating source material for Peculiar Works Project to mine for their new site-specific show 3Christs, presented, appropriately, at Judson Memorial Church.

Listen in as co-creators Barry Rowell & Ralph Lewis, actors Catherine Porter & Donald Warfield, and magic consultant Ben Nemser, discuss belief, site-specificity, the messy history of treating mental illness, magic tricks, and how to play crazy without stepping on everyone else’s crazy.

“…this is not a play about religion at all, it’s a play about belief, and what we believe in…”

Peculiar Works Project presents

3Christs

by SM Dale and Barry Rowell
based on The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, a psychological study by Milton Rokeach
directed by Kelly O’Donnell

September 11–28
Thursdays–Sundays
all performances @ 7PM

Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South
Manhattan

tickets: $18 ($12 students/seniors), available via OvationTix

Peculiar Works presents 3 Christs, photo © 2014 Jim R Moore / Vaudevisuals Peculiar Works presents 3 Christs, photo © 2014 Jim R Moore / Vaudevisuals Peculiar Works presents 3 Christs, photo © 2014 Jim R Moore / Vaudevisuals Peculiar Works presents 3 Christs, photo © 2014 Jim R Moore / Vaudevisualsphotos © 2014 Jim R Moore / Vaudevisuals

 

Lori Wolter Hudson, adapter/director, and David Hudson, actor, of “Drunkle Vanya”

Three Day Hangover presents Drunkle VanyaTake one part Chekhov, two parts drinking game, one part party, add a dash of improv, and you’ve got a recipe for fun, boozy theatre in a bar the way only Three Day Hangover can do it.

When you love Chekhov the way adapter/director Lori Wolter Hudson does, contemporizing Uncle Vanya for a New York bar audience must be equally thrilling and daunting; if the experience of this podcaster (who typically loathes Chekhov) is any indication, she’s got a hell of a lot to be proud of. The podcast doesn’t editorialize, as I always say — but you’d do well to take this episode at its word, and go see this show.

Listen in as Lori, along with fellow Hangover-er (and portrayer of Astrov in the show) David Hudson, discuss the element of randomness, playing games, the difference between original scripts and what actually ends up on stage, structure around improv, and how to make Chekhov fun (in a bar).

Будем здоровы!

“Hell yeah, I wanna do Chekhov in a bar on the Upper West Side!”

Three Day Hangover presents

Drunkle Vanya

based on Uncle Vanya, by Anton Chekhov
adapted & directed by Lori Wolter Hudson

remaining performances; all shows 8pm
Monday, September 15
Tuesday, September 16
Wednesday, September 17
Thursday, September 18

The Gin Mill
442 Amsterdam Avenue (bet. 81st and 82nd Streets)
Manhattan

tickets: $15, available via BrownPaperTickets

Three Day Hangover presents Drunkle Vanya, photo by Lloyd MulveyThree Day Hangover presents Drunkle Vanya, photo by Lloyd Mulvey Three Day Hangover presents Drunkle Vanya, photo by Lloyd Mulvey Three Day Hangover presents Drunkle Vanya, photo by Lloyd Mulvey Three Day Hangover presents Drunkle Vanya, photo by Lloyd Mulvey

photos by Lloyd Mulvey

Estefanía Fadul & Matthew Paul Olmos of “Así van los fantasmas de México, primera parte”

Repertorio Español presents Así van los fantasmas de México, primera parte, written by Matthew Paul Olmos, directed by Estefanía FadulIn 2009, in the town of Praxedis G. Guerrero, Chihuahua, México, the police chief was tortured and beheaded, a victim of the drug cartels. A year later, with all but three of the town’s police officers having quit, Marisol Valles García, a 20-year-old woman working on a criminology degree, was the only person willing to step up and take on the job of police chief.

García’s bravery was an international news story, and became a central element of Matthew Paul Olmos‘s play So Go the Ghosts of Mexico, part one, presented at La Mama last year. This season, the play returns, but in a Spanish language translation by Bernardo Cubria at Repertorio Español, now entitled Así van los fantasmas de México, primera parte and directed by Estefanía Fadul.

And while García’s story provided the inspiration for the play, the production is much more than a biopic — vengeful ghosts, an invisible child, and a magic car stereo help to create a powerful piece that is less an historical telling, and more a theatrical meditation on action and consequence in the midst of the drug wars on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Listen in to this episode of the podcast as Estefanía and Matthew discuss the effects of translating the play into the language of the other side of the border, who the audience is, magical realism, and how you integrate sound as the sixth character in your five-actor play.

“…it’s really fascinating to see it translated…there’s a certain fluidity to it in Spanish…there might be something interesting about having the original writing from a perspective of an American, now being told from, it feels like, more the Mexican side — maybe there’s some sort of balance that gets found in that…”

Repertorio Español presents

Así van los fantasmas de México, primera parte

written by Matthew Paul Olmos
translated by Bernardo Cubria
directed by Estefanía Fadul

performed in Spanish, with live English translation available

one remaining performance!
Sunday, August 31, 2014 @6:30PM

Repertorio Español
138 East 27th Street
Manhattan

tickets: $12, available via Repertorio.org

Repertorio Español presents Así van los fantasmas de México, primera parte, written by Matthew Paul Olmos, directed by Estefanía Fadul Repertorio Español presents Así van los fantasmas de México, primera parte, written by Matthew Paul Olmos, directed by Estefanía Fadul Repertorio Español presents Así van los fantasmas de México, primera parte, written by Matthew Paul Olmos, directed by Estefanía Fadul Repertorio Español presents Así van los fantasmas de México, primera parte, written by Matthew Paul Olmos, directed by Estefanía Fadulphotos by Michael J. Palma