Listen in as Harmony Hall playwright & director Duncan Pflaster, along with the cast of Wyn Delano and Clinton Powell, discuss inspiration from terrible/wonderful Tennessee Williams adaptations, what is and is not a “pandemic play,” personal connections to the material, grounding your characters, the challenges of putting a show up in a festival, religious trauma, and the joy of working on poetic new work.
“…this is one of those things where we put our hearts and soul into it, all of us, it’s a very meaningful show…something where I think people will get a lot out of it if they see it, but to see it, you gotta do the old-school theatre thing and put your butt in the seat.”
Listen in as Randi Berry, Executive Director of IndieSpace, Robert Lyons, Artistic Director of The New Ohio, Kristin Marting, Founding Artistic Director of HERE, & Daniella Topol, Artistic Director of Rattlestick Theater, discuss the creation of their “super-team,” working with a Community Board, how this space will deepen the work of the participating organizations, securing a 99-year lease, big checks, big scissors, and how to get in on the action and rehearse there with your project.
“…I think a huge thing about this is the 99 year lease, is the fact that this is a solid space for a very long period of time…”
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…”