Listen in as producer/performer Olivia Webb, along with fellow actors Garrett Miller & Albrim Gjonbalaj from their new production of Twelfth Night, discuss finding freedom on the stage, overcoming the fear of Shakespeare, making a play come to life by “just saying it,” love for your director and cast, Queens bakery recommendations, last-minute genius discoveries, and why you should always be up for seeing a Shakespeare, again.
“I thought, ‘I really wanna do this…it kept on being moments of, ‘oh, this is actually happening’…and then it was truly real. […] You can set it at any time, any place, anywhere. You don’t need a massive budget. When they’re a huge budget, fun, great. But it doesn’t need it, so why have it? Just enjoy the process…”
Listen in as Go See a Show! correspondent Jason Wang speaks with 9 Kinds of Silence performers Hend Ayoub & Joe Joseph, along with production stage manager Siena Yusi and assistant stage manager Julie Cai, about working with the playwright/director to find the truth of a new play, teaching an audience how to watch a show (even before the show begins), non-traditional staging, the ways we listen, exploring sound & silence, and what, exactly, silence is and can be.
“…I think we all learned how to listen to each other in the rehearsal room, and then, as we entered tech and previews and performances…I think we’re all quite used to having so much external stimuli, and for it to hit us in a way that isn’t quite as refined. We really have crafted every aspect of how you can experience this show…there was a lot of thought…about what an audience member experiences…”
Listen in as BIOADAPTED creator & director Tjaša Ferme, along with performers Nasay Ano, Melody Munitz, Arianne Banda, & Thammie Quach, discuss the benefits of a long development process, collaborating with AI, learning as an actor just what all these concepts mean, how to welcome an audience of theatre-people into a show about those same difficult tech concepts, the deep space/slow time benefit of a residency, mosaics, and show as meatball.
“…even if you’re someone who doesn’t know a ton about AI, or what’s inside that black box, or how it’s functioning in society right nows on the levels we can’t always see, I think people have a perception about what it is: maybe it’s creepy, maybe it’s robotic […] we had a lot of conversations about playing into the expectations of what an audience would think an AI would be, and how can we bend those expectations and expand on them…”
Listen in as The Motherf**ker With the Hat executive producers Garrett Miller (who also plays “Jackie”) and Olivia Hewitt (who also stage manages the show), along with performers Sabrina Gómez (“Veronica”), Phanie Cherres (“Victoria”), and Michael James Duran (“Ralph D”), discuss self-producing, considering your audience, growth between iterations, seat-filling strategies & guerrilla marketing, taking over postcard stands, and the utmost importance of making sure you’ve got a great show.
“…I think if you’re doing independent theatre, you’re doing it because you really want to do it, and that shows…like, this isn’t as far away as you think. It is accessible. It’s a lot of work…a f*ckton of work. But it’s doable…”
Listen in as The Nobodies Who Were Everybody co-directors (and Theater in Asylum co-artistic directors) Katie Palmer and Paul Bedard, along with performer Jessie Atkinson, discuss the company’s devising process, why an important bit of American Theater history has seemingly been buried, moving from experiments to cabarets to full shows, working in theaters that aren’t “theaters,” on-the-fly rewrites, and how we might give artists, and audiences, what they need.
“Something’s gotta change. It’s a problem, that neither artists have the support they deserve, nor audiences have access to the art they deserve. That is a problem. […] Everyone in this country, artist or not, deserves to be able to put their skills to work, and put their passions to reality, and live a fulfilled life…”
Listen in as Molière in the Park founding artistic director Lucie Tiberghien, director of the company’s World English-language Premiere of Molière’s original three-act version of TARTUFFE or The Hypocrite, along with performers Michelle Veintimilla and Matthew Rauch, discuss inviting in the audience, staying focused, feminism in 17th century France, creating space for open theatrical magic, and bringing accessible, free theatre to Brooklyn.
“…really, the idea is to democratize access to theatre, and also play our part in diversifying access. We have this vision that Brooklyn is a place where everyone can benefit equally from access to the arts, and to theatre.”
“It’s been so cool to see people walk by, and see them be intrigued, and then decide to sit and watch…”
Listen in as HOUSECONCERT writer/director/performer/drummer Kara Feely, along with fellow performer / production manager Daniel Allen Nelson, discuss actors playing instruments and musicians doing actions, reacting to the energy of the audience, finding ways to get from one thing to another, how different audiences can interact with the same piece, and “resurrecting the ghosts of past house concerts.”
“…we got our start sort of performing in peoples’ living rooms, and going to house concerts and more informal things. So we had this idea that, coming out of the pandemic when we were all at home all the time…that it would be kind of interesting, instead of inviting people into our home, that we would turn the theater into our home…”
Listen in as performers Jess Wood, Lisa Graham Parson, and Henry Temple of The Best Punk Band in Conway, Missouri: An Oral History of Presley Cox and the Fallout Five, along with UP Theater Company’s Managing Director Laura Fois Bosley, discuss old punks looking back on impetuous youth, casting unique actors & discovering your multiple characters, growing up where you don’t fit in, playing in indie theatre “punk rock camp,” calling your cast-mates poseurs, and “being the person you want to be where you are.”
“…I don’t think you have to be from a small town to feel like you don’t fit in.”
“It’s never too late to enjoy yourself, to follow your dreams, to have fun: to find your tribe.”
Listen in as Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight actor/producer Amy Michelle, along with fellow cast member Zaven Ovian, discuss physics, inviting the audience in, those plays that follow you around until you put them up, staging opportunities, deep research, love for stage managers, differentiating your multiple character assignments, and exploring “purpose & passion.”
“…the question that Emilie asks at the top of the play, ‘What do we mean?,’ I think is much more existential than ‘what do you mean by that?’ I think it’s actually, ‘what do WE mean? What is our meaning? What does our existence mean?’…I think a lot of people are asking that question since the pandemic…”
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.”