Listen 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…”
Listen in as Shadow of Heroesdirector Alex Roe, along with actors Erin Beirnard & Michael Turner and lighting designer Jessie Lynn Smith, discuss modern resonance with pockets of history, humanizing historical figures, exploring the “why,” witnessing, finding the balance between fact and dramaturgy, and the “constant tension” between open societies and darker personal interests.
“…essentially, it’s about the life of, and possibilities of giving life to, an ideal, and the challenges those ideals face. But in the end, I think there’s something inspiring…”
Listen in as actors from Hip to Hip Theatre Company‘s productions of All’s Well That Ends Well and King Lear—Joy Marr, Nancy Nichols, Joel Leffert, & Kurt Kingsley—discuss grabbing the audience from the start, weathering the storm (“rain-pace!”), the esprit de corps of their hard-working company, children’s birthday parties at the theater, designing and preparing for a traveling show, what they love about working with Hip to Hip, and sending your audience away smiling, even after getting rained on.
“…it’s Shakespeare. There’s so much to listen to, there’s so much wonderful stuff…but it’s the basic emotions, it’s love, and hate, and jealousy, and I want that…”
Listen in as Alexandria playwright Vince Gatton, along with director Jordana Williams and set/lighting designer Tyler M. Perry, discuss grabbing the audience with words, curating our modern campfire stories, how to keep your play’s young character off his phone, “eavesdropping on the internal arguments happening in Christian America,” the struggle between the analog and the digital, trying to give gifts of love between characters, and hooking audiences with the immediacy of indie theatre.
“…I feel like this play asks a really timely question, in a very compassionate, sensitive way […]. At a certain point what you’re tolerating is sort of what you’re permitting, and where do you draw the line and what’s ok and what stand should you take, and when should you shut somebody down? And I don’t know the answer, and it’s something that I struggle with, and I love how honestly the play grapples with that…”
Listen in as collaborators on The Assembly’sSEAGULLMACHINE—conceiver/co-director Nick Benacerraf, co-director Jess Chayes, dramaturg Steven Aubrey, and performer Jax Jackson—discuss layering multiple theatrical sources, permission to find points of resonance, turning on a dime, the company’s development process, finding new roles through that process, bringing an audience into a world “oozing word-slime,” different versions of ourselves, and the question of whether or not theatre can produce change.
“…every night, by a certain time in the play, it feels like we’re also just people, human beings in a room with our audience. And that has been one of the most special experiences of it, to me…”
Listen in as Echo creator & sound sculptor Ran Xia, along with director Nicholas Orvis and performers Andrea Lopez & Max Henry, discuss inspiration from books about harmonicas, moving from sound collage to stage play, improvising to audio, physicality with constantly changing things, handling nakedly honest material, timelessness vs. time specificity, and the importance of simply listening.
“…when I was editing them, it’s like, I could cry, like every second, every other track, because everybody was just so open, and very real. You get real very fast…”
Listen in as The New Collectives Artistic Director & performer Giverny Petitmermet, director Rachel Dart, sound designer Elizabeth May, dramaturg Taylor Beidler, and assistant director Alex Guhde discuss bringing The Trojan Women to the present day, “folk songs from countries you’ve never been to,” why you should have a dramaturg & an assistant director on your show, “feeling your feelings,” finding the intersection between art and activism, where you’ll see Bob Fosse in this show, and how theatre can be the catalyst to a live conversation about what really matters.
“We do The Trojan Women in 2017 because the sad fact is that women who are displaced by war and conflict…continues to be relevant each and every day…”
“This really feels like the moment all the things that The New Collectives do comes to a head…”
Listen in as the director of Basement, Janet Bentley, along with actors Alexandra Cohler & Ian Campbell Dunn and sound designer Andy Evan Cohen, discuss radio-announcer-as-chorus, working in multiple languages in the same piece, sound as dramaturgy (and dramaturgy through sound), the benefit of having a medical professional in your production team, finding a place for a dance, and how to turn the traditional wartime romance narrative on its head.
“…theatre is always musical to me. There’s a rhythm to it…”
Listen in as director Michael Hardart, designers Sidney Fortner (costumes) and Michael LeBron (sets), along with actors Marc LeVasseur and Erin Beirnard of The Metropolitan Playhouse‘s production of Clyde Fitch’s The Climbers, discuss finding opportunity in constriction, pacing, showing & reflecting the mechanics usually reserved for the background, hearing from the servants, being in tune with your audience in an intimate space, achieving elegance by suggesting elegance, and why this play from 1901 fits in our “new gilded age.”
“…what it’s driven me to…is an appreciation of what I enjoy, what I love: when a play can continue moving forward, even in a set change…you make it something that’s part of the story…”
Listen in as some of the team behind Friends Call Me Albert—performers Julie Congress and Steven Conroy, director Ryan Emmons, and musician Enrico de Trizio, all members of the ensemble of No. 11 Productions—discuss how and why puppets ended up in their play about Albert Einstein, the meaning of “bio-epic,” cross-continental collaboration, impossibility, how to integrate Einstein’s concepts into the presentation of your show, “fluidity,” using real math onstage, and how their ensemble plays together on the journey of creating their work.