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…”
Listen in as Genny Yosco, the writer & director of (and an actor in!) im ur hamlet., discusses writing through food poisoning, creating for the Zoom medium, knowing who it is your parodying, creating a Shakespeare festival from afar, making community during a pandemic, and what happens when everyone wants to be the star.
“One of the things about this cast is…they all love each other, and I love all of them, so even though we were all playing at odds with each other, there still was this overlying, person-to-person silent communication that we all did really enjoy each other, which was perfect…”
Listen in as Mark Blankenship, editor and founder of The Flashpaper, discusses finding a way to let artists both share ideas and get paid, creating “a collective experience of good in a time of great crisis,” the power of a physical manifestation of our indie theatre world while our spaces are indefinitely shuttered, and the importance of community in theatre.
“…it’s a real treat for me, as someone who loves to get my hands as deep into the dirt of theatrical ideas as I can, to be able to support so much thinking about the theatre, but also theatre’s relationship to the rest of the world…”
Listen in as Erin B. Mee, conceiver & director of Play In Your Bathtub: An Immersive Audio Spa for Physical Distancing, discusses why we should call it “physical” distancing as opposed to “social” distancing, getting inspiration from quarantine, engaging all five senses, inviting the audience to be creative themselves, putting everyone on the same time-line from their respective locations, and the importance of giving us a sense that we’re going to an “event” in these strange days.
“A lot of our work is really co-created with the audience, in the sense that we have all kinds of ‘invitations’ …and I think this play is almost all invitation…because that’s where we are at this moment…”
Listen in as Really Really Gorgeous playwright Nick Mecikalski discusses what happens when the media is filtered through only one lens, trust in personal relationships, the journey from digging a script out of a drawer to getting on the stage, the power of celebrity, and “what happens when climate change gets personal.”
“We know this is already happening for people around the world…the really scary questions that I think creep in the back of our minds…will it change whether I can follow my dreams? Will it change my career? Will it change where I have to live? Will it change my relationships?…”
Listen in as playwright Johnny G. Lloyd and director William Steinberger of Or, An Astronaut Play discuss capitalism, Emerson, childlike wonder, designing to your space, stealing kids’ artwork, and why the play goes to space school (as well as literal space).
“…it’s a play about race, and privilege, and access, but also, still, about finding access to that inner child, and finding a way to negotiate that…”
Listen in as the performers of Lizzie Vieh’s new play Monsoon Season, Richard Thieriot & Therese Plaehn, discuss the development of this play from a 7-minute one-night-only solo piece to a set of solos, making something horrifying but also incredibly funny, how your performance changes when a play’s world expands, the benefit of working with smart, generous, welcoming people, and what can can happen when the seed of a piece is tossed into fertile ground.
“…so it’s dark, and the emotional terrain is dark, but there’s also, hopefully, occasionally, laughs […]”
“…I remember being disturbed…and sure enough, it’s funny as hell…”