Listen in as Complicity playwright Diane Davis, along with director Illana Stein, discuss finding a different way to approach a well-known story, the illusion of power, the timeliness of this play about history, holding each other accountable, “heart and humanity,” complexity in complicity, how systems perpetuate themselves, the importance of intimacy direction, and who is responsible when bad things happen.
“…this is the play of women trying to wrestle out their roles in allowing the deconstruction of rights…and the way that assault is perpetuated…We’d like to think it’s gone. The idealist is gonna say, ‘We’ve come so far!’…and yes, we’ve come a long way, but we still don’t have parity…those needles haven’t moved…”
Listen in as Retro Productions Artistic Director Heather E. Cunningham, who also plays Fanny in the cast, along with director Sara Thigpen, discuss looking at the past through the lens of theatre and theatre through the lens of history, enthusiasm to jump in and play, suggestions vs. specificity, getting back to the live space post-COVID, and how it seems like everything comes back around again, in their production of Eric Overmyer’s On the Verge.
“…I love what it says about America, what it says about our history. The language is beautiful…”
Listen in as White on White co-directors Alec Duffy & Lori Elizabeth Parquet discuss the Hoi Polloi process, developing and discovering a play with the playwright, avoiding spoilers, how to examine whiteness in a theatrical context, troubling the waters, taking theatre to an extreme place, and asking questions that we’re all “answering for ourselves, all the time.”
“…this is difficult stuff to talk about intellectually, let alone theatrically…to really tell the truth about what whiteness is. Because I feel like one of the tools of whiteness is to be vague about it, to be obscure about it, to not be straightforward about it…so that it can continue to exist…”
Listen in as Blake Habermann & Jae Woo, performers in Broken Box Mime Theater‘s newest show Take Shape, discuss being prepared, music for mime, outbursts from toddlers, the benefits and difficulties of being a mime when masked, making some last-minute adjustments pre-show, breaking through language barriers, and making theatre accessible to as many people as possible.
“…we’ve been working on accessibility as part of our approach for all of our productions…being more inviting to different kinds of populations, people with different kinds of needs to come into the theater…”
Listen in as Garbageman performers Kirk Gostkowski and Deven Anderson discuss seeing the familiar onstage, truth in absurdity, the benefits of repartee, how the audience interacts with juxtaposed seriousness and silliness, how a difficult piece morphs and changes over time, and searching for the American dream.
“…the bottom line with this piece is, I feel like this topic needs to be discussed. And people are afraid to discuss it. Because what does it mean? What does it mean about our humanity, what does it mean about our families, and our neighbors, and people that we know in our society…and we can’t just sweep it under the rug. The only way things gets better is if we discuss it…It’s about humanity, ultimately…”
Listen in as Ectoplasm playwright & director Sara Fellini, along with cast members Jillian Cicalese and Caitlin Dullahan-Bates, discuss “life and death and lust and love,” the stories we tell ourselves as we try to determine the truth, navigating society’s return to live in-person theatre while COVID is still a thing, layers of artifice and reality, and what it means to be making work together again.
“Right now, we don’t need tv. We don’t need movies. We have SO MANY SCREENS…you need a human being in front of you, who might make a mistake…who might do something brilliant and amazing that you would never see, you’d never feel the energy in the room…”
Listen in as longtime Bread & Puppet Theater collaborator John Bell discusses the history and activism of the company, bringing together collaborators from disparate locations, an “accessible and unpretentious” style of theater,” the use and meaning of different kinds of chairs, survival & mutual support, and the magical precarity of live performance.
“…it’s a different type of theater work than what I think of as ‘straight theater’…it’s different, it’s looking around and making due with what’s there…creating from your own experience, using what you’ve got, not being hampered or set back by the challenges, but just sort of making it happen with whatever you have with you…”
Listen in as playwright Andy Boyd, along with Theatre in Asylum co-Artistic Directors (and the play’s co-directors) Katie Palmer and Paul Bedard, discuss how it feels to watch a history play about something we all lived through, doing the thing, the value of gathering together, how Occupy issues are still a part of the zeitgeist, producing in a pandemic, finding the corners, and what happens when five very different people get together to try to change the world.
“…one of the things I love about the piece is that it shows the value of gathering together, and it shows the value of trying to do something whether or not you succeed…”
Listen in as producer/actor Sean Williams, director Jordana Williams, and playwright/actor Mac Rogers of Gideon Media/Gideon Productions discuss how they connected with legendary playwright Wallace Shawn to bring two of his stage plays to the radio drama realm, the outgrowth of Gideon Media from Gideon Productions, adapting Mac’s indie plays for audio podcasts, using short-hand with your long-time collaborators, getting through (and out of) the pandemic, how to get that “indie theatre” feel on the mic, the benefits of creating in a new medium, and why, come what may, we’ll all be back in those tiny dark spaces telling stories together, soon.
“…at any second, the whole thing might fall apart, and at any second, something magical might happen…”
Listen in as League of Independent Theater Managing Director Aimee Todoroff, and President of their Board of Directors Guy Yedwab, discuss the recently passed Open Culture program, what can be done, what the process looks like to do it, how to get your work out on the streets (safely), and LIT’s further efforts to sustain and promote indie theatre in NYC.
“…we’re all dying to re-open, and first, to really, truly re-open, we have to beat this coronavirus thing…putting it into structures where there’s safety in these performances is going to not only allow us to perform now, but build that world where we can go back to more performance, more normally in the future…”