Christopher Diercksen and Daniel John Kelley of “That True Phoenix”

Team Awesome Robot presents THAT TRUE PHOENIX, written by Daniel John KelleyListen in as playwright Daniel John Kelley and director Christopher Diercksen of That True Phoenix discuss opera nerdiness, self-mythologizing, producing (and living) with limited resources, repeatedly turning down your future collaborator (then, working in the same office with your collaborator), cutting down your 290-page autobiographical play, “why we do any of this,” taking the time to do it right, and the most interesting man you’ve (probably) never heard of: Lorenzo Da Ponte.

“…they were like, ‘Daniel, you’ve written crazy plays before; I trust that you will write a crazy play again, let’s do this play.’ And I was like, ‘ok, sure, 10 years of this idea, maybe it’ll do…’ But they were 100% committed, even if I didn’t believe it, from the beginning, to say, ‘we trust you, we’re going to build this play…we’re going to figure out why we do this as we go along’…”

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Veronique Ory, Tom Block, & Hunter Bird of “Sub-Basement”

Athena Theatre presents SUB-BASEMENT at IRT TheaterListen in as Athena Theatre Artistic Director (and actor in the show) Veronique Ory, along with Sub-Basement writer Tom Block and director Hunter Bird, discuss eschewing the Mad Men path, writing to a company’s mission statement, the importance of absurdity in the theatre at the present moment, where to find the best poutine in the city, and the “absurdist odyssey to find your life’s purpose.”

“The entry point was really wanting to address the homeless in our city, and to find a way…[to] address it in a way that wasn’t stereotypical…in other cultures, this idea of how homeless people are thought to be mystics, they’ve come to an enlightened point in their life…that if they can have peace and clarity in their mind, then that’s all that they need. And part of representing them in this way is hopefully taking a small step to giving face and voice to our homeless population…”

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Erin B. Mee of “Pool Play 2.0”

This is Not a Theatre Company presents POOL PLAY 2.0, conceived and directed by Erin B. Mee, with original text by Jessie Bear and Charles MeeListen in as Erin B. Mee, who conceived and directed Pool Play 2.0, discusses our nation’s complicated history with public water, inspiration from your exercise routine, choreography in water, getting onlookers intrigued, rehearsing with lap-swimmers, audience reactions to truly “immersive” theatre, and how (& why) to hook up a deal with a unique performance space.

“…so I was reading that book…and I was swimming back and forth, and doing laps, and thinking, ‘we should a play in a pool…we should do a play in this pool…let’s do a play in this pool!'”

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Emily Owens, Hollis James, & Nat Cassidy of “Kyle”

Hot Tramp Productions presents KYLE by Hollis James, directed by Emily OwensListen in as Kyle playwright Hollis James and director Emily Owens—who are, combined, the newly-formed Hot Tramp Productions—along with actor Nat Cassidy discuss how a play can sneak up on you, overcoming the little demon inside of yourself, how to pronounce “publicist,” getting coaxed into the director’s chair, playing your playwright in his play (while he’s acting opposite you), and why you shouldn’t get a “Nat-Cassidy-type”—you should get Nat Cassidy.

“…I didn’t set out to write this story. I just sat down to try and write something, my writing partner and I…we were in a holding pattern, and we were sick of pitching, and going through all the rigamarole. So I just sat down to try to write something just for me, and I wrote this scene…and then I realized, ‘that’s me, back then…'”

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Hondo Weiss-Richmond, J. C. Ernst, Emily Kitchens, Natalie Hegg, Dan Morrison, and Patricia Lynn of “Messenger #1”

Hunger and Thirst Collective presents MESSENGER #1, written by Mark Jackson, directed by Hondo Weiss-RichmondListen in as Messenger #1 director Hondo Weiss-RichmondHunger & Thirst Collective Artistic Director Patricia Lynn, and actors J. C. Ernst, Emily Kitchens, Natalie Hegg, and Dan Morrison discuss class, intimate space (and the fun audience reactions it can provoke), “the swells,” the flow of information, telling the truth, and how this 17-year-old play feels like it was written for our present moment in the United States.

“…sometimes at the very end, you feel like…we’ve all been a part of this together. It’s like this shared experience that we’ve all had, and you feel that very palpably because it’s an intimate experience…”

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Greg Kotis and Ayun Halliday of “Lunchtime” & “Zamboni Godot”

Theater of the Apes presents LUNCHTIME, written and directed by Greg KotisTheater of the Apes presents ZAMBONI GODOT, written and directed by Ayun HallidayListen in as Lunchtime writer/director Greg Kotis and Zamboni Godot writer/director Ayun Halliday discuss what it’s like to direct your own writing, physical transformations, adventures in parenting, “director” as “general contractor,” casting drinking buddies, getting outside your comfort zone, and what it’s like making theatre when you have—and then later, with—a family.

“To me, the ideal artist life is that you can do something like this, this residency, where you do whatever you want…just for fun, it’s why we came to it in the first place…Of course you want to have those projects and those opportunities that make money, and that can reach broader audiences, and that can have a life beyond. To have a variety, a diversity of work that you do, in a diversity of spaces, is really the ideal, I think…”

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Ken Urban, Benjamin Kamine, James Kautz, and Sean Patrick Monahan of “Nibbler”

The Amoralists present NIBBLER, written by Ken Urban, directed by Benjamin KamineListen in as Nibbler playwright Ken Urban, director Benjamin Kamine, Artistic Director of The Amoralists (and actor in the show) James Kautz, and fellow actor Sean Patrick Monahan discuss expanding your one-act, vulnerability, meeting the challenges of a show, looking for hope in dark times, getting “nauseatingly close” with your collaborators, songwriting for your script, just how autobiographical this dark comedy gets, and “pulling it off.”

No spoilers.

“…I’m going to paraphrase you, but I think it was something like, ‘can’t they just sit there and sing?'”
“I think that is what I said, ‘Can’t they just be still?’…”

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Ross Williams of NYSX’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” plus talkback with Shane Breaux and Dr. Jaime Wright

New York Shakespeare Exchange presents MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHINGListen in as New York Shakespeare Exchange Artistic Director and director of Much Ado About Nothing, Ross Williams, discusses finding resonance with the “fake news” of today in Shakespeare, getting rid of unnecessary jokes, blending characters (and why you might want to), achieving a sense of inclusion with your audience, and getting around having all those pesky messengers in Much Ado.

…and, after the brief interview with Ross, stay tuned for a recording of the post-show talkback between him, Dr. Jaime Wright, Associate Professor at St. Johns University, and the show’s dramaturg Shane Breaux.

“…Shakespeare was all about the exchange between the audience and the players, and I think all too often, Shakespeare done contemporarily is done with our contemporary understanding of the fourth wall…what I really like to encourage is a sense of exchange between the audience and the actors…”

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Genny Yosco, Zachary Millard, and Chris Weigandt of “A Fifth Dimension”

Sour Grapes Productions presents A FIFTH DIMENSION, An Unauthorized Twilight Zone Parody, written by Genny Yosco, presented as part of FRIGID Festival 2017Listen in as playwright, director, and performer Genny Yosco of A Fifth Dimension: An Unauthorized Twilight Zone Parody, along with fellow actors Zachary Millard and Chris Weigandt, discuss overacting the overacted, casting young actors, making your own opportunities, producing out of bitterness and hatred, and finding the horrifying contemporary relevance of your parody show.

“…it really took on a life of its own…each show that we do, we add our own lifeblood to it, it’s new every time…”

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The Playwrights & Directors of “The Refugee Plays”

THE REFUGEE PLAYS in The Frigid Festival 2017Listen in as playwrights Charles Gershman (also the Artistic Director of the producing company, Snowy Owl), Callie KimballCarlos Castro, and Sean E. Cunningham, as well as directors Rachel Dart, Logan Reed, and Dan Dinero, discuss the influence of current events, tragedy in timeless stories, superficial logic, how the outside world seeps into the rehearsal room, ethical casting, how to unite a series of short plays, and what theatre is supposed to do in difficult times.

“…I don’t think any of us want to have to write plays about topics like these, but things are pretty bad right now, and so I think we all responded to the sort of global call to draw attention to an issue that we think is important right now…”

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