Ray Yamanouchi, Axel Avin, Jr., Sydney Cole Alexander, Hunter Canning, Alex Herrald, Martin K. Lewis, Danie Steel, and Enrico de Trizio of “The American Tradition”

New Light Theater Project presents THE AMERICAN TRADITION, written by Ray Yamanouchi, directed by Axel Avin Jr., at 13th Street Repertory CompanyListen in as The American Tradition playwright Ray Yamanouchi, director Axel Avin, Jr., and performers Sydney Cole Alexander, Hunter Canning, Alex Herrald, Martin K. Lewis, Danie Steel, along with music & sound designer Enrico de Trizio, discuss getting into the difficult questions with laughter, true stories of daring escapes, examining allyship, Brecht’s alienation effect, theatricalizing moments, how racism gets coded, remembering who the story is for, the incredible space that theatre gives us to “look through the keyhole,” and acknowledging the history that we don’t want to acknowledge.

“…I felt like it was a conversation that needed to be had. It’s a broader conversation than just speaking about slavery, or the Antebellum time period. It speaks to what’s happening today, using America’s great sin of slavery to talk about what’s still happening today…”

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Ben Lapidus & Amanda Centeno of “Pop Punk High”

Listen in as Ben Lapidus, composer/lyricist/”Derek,” and Amanda Centeno, “Tib,” of Pop Punk High, discuss bonding over Sum 41, giving the audience permission to sing along if they’d like to, New Jersey basements, highly-reactive uncles, the overlapping Venn diagrams of “pop-punk people” and “theatre people,” and how you can travel back in time to join them in 2003.

“…it brings in people that aren’t ‘theatre people,’ and I wish theatre communities did that more, and sought to bring in people who are not as familiar with theatre […] that’s what makes the show alive, and different…”

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Paul Pinto of “Thomas Paine in Violence”

HERE and thingNY present THOMAS PAINE IN VIOLENCE, created, written, and scored by Paul Pinto, directed by Rick BurkhardtListen in as Paul Pinto, composer/performer of the new opera Thomas Paine in Violence, discusses difficult elevator pitches, millions of radio signals heading in millions of directions, “a shit-ton of words,” why Thomas Paine deserves this musical treatment,live editing, debating the ideas Paine himself was debating over 200 years ago, “words as texture, language as music,” and writing for his thingNY band-mates.

“…it’s juxtaposing Thomas Paine’s incredible writing with pop-culture…”
“…whatever that is…”
“…whatever’s on my brain at the time…it really is like radio stations changing all the time…”

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Matthew Roi Berger & Jonathan A. Goldberg of “The Fall of the House of Sunshine”

The Fall of the House of SunshineListen in as Matthew Roi Berger and Jonathan A. Goldberg, co-creators of The Fall of the House of Sunshine, discuss the show’s roots in Serials at The Flea, who gets to edit this epic, how to describe your multi-hyphenate-project, the importance of having a plan, and the freedom of doing a musical serial as a podcast.

“Do you like comedy? Do you like musicals? Do you like mysteries? Two outta three ain’t bad…”

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Margi Sharp Douglas, Rachel Murdy, Peter Szep, Joan Jubett, and Cynthia Croot of “The Millay Sisters”

Margi Sharp Douglas and Rachel Murdy of THE MILLAY SISTERS, presented by Vanderbilt RepublicIf you’ve ever wandered around Greenwich Village, you might have noticed a very tiny house at 75 1/2 Bedford Street, built on a former alley (it’s Manhattan, so if there’s land to be built on, someone’s going to try it). Stop and take a look at the facade, and you’ll notice a vermillion plaque, commemorating that this was once the home of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay.

If she’s unfamiliar to you, you’re in the fortunate position of getting to explore her work for the first time. And a great place to start would be The Millay Sisters, a cabaret/performance/play about Vincent (as she liked to be called) and her life, currently running at Gowanus Loft in Brooklyn.

GSAS! correspondent Tara Gadomski is back on the mic! Listen in as she and The Millay Sisters co-creators and performers Margi Sharp-Douglas & Rachel Murdy, musical director/musician Peter Szep, and co-directors Joan Jubett and Cynthia Croot discuss their process of development, light and dark, dramaturgy in Maine, giving your audience the opportunity to sing, and the importance of a bar at your show.

“…people are going to hear this, and think, ‘oh, it’s some sort of biopic;’ and there are a lot of facts in it. But really it’s about the emotional truth of what’s going on with her. When you see the show, you feel like you’ve met the person, not just sort of received facts from on high, and a lot of the music sets this sort of emotional world against which the poetry is then put…”

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Jeremy Bloom, Brian Rady, & Catherine Brookman of “The Upper Room”

Rady & Bloom present The Upper Room at The New OhioStart creating a new work of theatre from a classic fairy tale, and you might find yourself taking a detour through the “back to the land” movement, and wind up with a movement play full of original music, lovely light projections, and a manatee mask.

That’s an oversimplified way to describe Rady & Bloom‘s The Upper Room, currently playing at The New Ohio—but it’s a whole lot more than that.

Listen in as the Rady & Bloom, Brian Rady and Jeremy Bloom, along with composer/performer Catherine Brookman, discuss collaboration between song-writer and directors/creators, post-show parties, The Little Mermaid, working with your spouse, and the long haul.

“…there’s a thrust, there is a story, but we’re trying to express the inexpressible, we’re trying to express the feeling of, ‘what will happen next to me,’ or ‘what will happen to US…'”

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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.”

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Liz Muller, Collin Simon, and the cast of “Columbia: The Life and Death of Rospo D. Oro”

Pipe Dream Theatre presents "Columbia: The Life & Death of Rospo D. Oro"I’ll admit, I’m not much of a musical guy.

But if anyone’s going to convince me otherwise, Pipe Dream Theatre has got a great shot at it.

After two new Christmas musicals based on classic tales — The Nutcracker in 2012, and 3 Ghosts in 2011 (listen to the company’s first GSAS! appearance here) — the steam-punk geniuses behind Pipe Dream, Liz Muller (lyrics & direction) and Collin Simon (book and music) return with a new musical based on Kenneth Grahame’s classic The Wind in the Willows called Columbia: The Life and Death of Rospo D. Oro.

Listen in as Liz, Colin, and the cast discuss playing in a dentist’s chair, in a driveway, in 40-degree weather; drawing inspiration from Pink Floyd’s The Wall; and what it’s like putting together an original musical on such a large scale.

“…what she created was so much better than what I had in my brain…I love when they come with ideas…”

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Barbara Kahn and Noelle LuSane, writers of “Island Girls”

"Island Girls" by Barbara Kahn and Noelle LuSaneHow does one go from writing contemporary comedies to writing historically-based musicals, reintroducing certain figures who popular culture have largely forgotten?

As Island Girls director/co-author Barbara Kahn notes in our conversation, she made that transition out of a desire to make social change. And although this play is set in 1927 at the women’s prison on Welfare Island, it’s surprising (and, I’m this case, sad) just how much things stay the same, no matter how much they change — the social change needed in the 1920’s is pretty similar to change we need now, in 2014.

Listen in as Barbara and co-author/composer Noelle LuSane discuss their “fluid, organic process,” why you should speak up for your artistic talents, and how you turn the history of a women’s prison into a musical.

“I think artistic talent is transferable….when somebody offers something like that, I usually jump on it.”

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Catya McMullen, Kate Middleton, and Scott Klopfenstein of “Rubber Ducks and Sunsets”

"Rubber Ducks and Sunsets," by Catya McMullen, directed by Kate Middleton, presented by Ground Up ProductionsRegular listeners might have noticed that Go See a Show! was on a short hiatus until a couple weeks ago, as I was out playing trumpet & more in a regional show.

And as a trumpet player, and rock music nerd, I was stoked to see that Scott Klopfenstein, former trumpet player for Reel Big Fish, was composing original music for Ground UP Productions’ Rubber Ducks and Sunsets, running now at The Gene Frankel Theater. So naturally (or selfishly, rather) I had to check this show out, if only to geek out about my love of this guy’s old band.

Turns out I got to catch a great show, too.

Thankfully, I don’t think I gushed to the point of embarrassment—and it turns out the compositions figured prominently into the show, and helped guide the narrative in a beautiful way.

But the show’s a lot more than some nice music, as you can feel (and hear) in my interview with Scott, along with playwright Catya McMullen and director Kate Middleton.

You’ll hear lots of references to “concerts” and a “lullaby,” and while it might sound really cryptic if you haven’t seen the show, I don’t think I’m giving too much away to say that, yes, there is indeed a lullaby written by one of the characters, and concerts seen throughout the show—and both are lovely inventions discovered through the collaboration of the Ground UP artists.

Listen in as Catya, Kate, and Scott discuss leaving space in your script for other artists to fill, giving yourself a title as a way to make it true, why you’d throw out 92% of a script, and the magic of theatre, deadlines, and Vermont.

“A play about people that had grown up too fast…but also had incredible light…and also were really smart but unaware of the level of their emotional incapacity their journey through the grief together…about the way that friends become family…

“With jokes.”

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