Stanley Martin, Michael Blatt, Yhá Mourhia Wright, Ashley E. Matthews, Luis E. Mora, & Jayson Kerr of “Opportunity”

The Riant Theatre's Strawberry One-Act Festival 2019 presents OPPORTUNITY, written by Stanley Martin, directed by Michael BlattListen in as Opportunity playwright Stanley Martin, director Michael Blatt, and cast members Yhá Mourhia Wright, Ashley E. Matthews, Luis E. Mora, & Jayson Kerr discuss mirrors of performers’ reality, universality in specificity, challenging body type stereotypes, finding a shared history from the subtext of the script, mining your dialogue in real conversations, representation not just in the theatre but in the cast and in the play, the beauty of this particular “opportunity,” and why despite it all, we love this mad business of the theatre.

“…it was important that these people were real people that everyone could relate to…if you mix a group of people from work, anywhere, and add lots of alcohol, and have a past, trouble’s about to stir. It’s just theatre people are a little more theatrical with it…”

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Nicola Korzenko, Cesar J. Rosado, Sheila Vand, Maggie Bofill, Brian Miskell, Knud Adams, Claire Siebers, & Anand Wilder of “Nylon”

Theaterlab presents Blockchain Theater Project’s production of NYLON, written by Sofia Alvarez, directed by Knud AdamsListen in as Nylon director Knud Adams, along with producer Nicola Korzenko, composer Anand Wilder, and cast members Maggie Bofill, Brian Miskell, Cesar J. Rosado, Claire Siebers, & Sheila Vand, speak with GSAS! correspondent Alex Randrup to discuss how best to tease your show, the cages we build for ourselves, “coming up from beneath the role,” the audience as an invisible character, making art on an indie theatre budget, jedi director tricks, demanding a response, making messy decisions and messing up, and balancing *you* with your character.

“…I loved when I first read this play, this idea that, we do create a narrative for our lives, and what happens when you start to confront the cracks in that narrative…?”

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Alice Pencavel, Paul Bedard, Jonelle Robinson, Rosie Sowa, & Alison Walter of “Totally Wholesome Foods”

Theater in Asylum, in partnership with The Episcopal Actors' Guild Open Stage Grant presents TOTALLY WHOLESOME FOODS, written by Alice Pencavel, directed by Paul BedardListen in as Totally Wholesome Foods playwright Alice Pencavel, director Paul Bedard, along with performers Jonelle Robinson, Rosie Sowa, & Alison Walter, discuss eerie prescience, gray areas, examining our political beliefs through theatre, true believers, “selling the crunchy,” contradicting oppositions, singing plants, connection through various languages, and how theatre can work to preserve community.

“…to me, community is messy, is disordered, is inconvenient…diversity just brings so many challenges, and it’s essential for community, but it’s not the orderliness of aisles, clean aisles that are spacious and labeled…”

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Kelsey Hercs & Drew Bolander of “Romeo & Juliet”

William Shakespeare's ROMEO & JULIET, directed by Drew Bowlander, at The Kraine TheaterListen in as co-producers of Romeo & Juliet, Kelsey Hercs (“Juliet”) and Drew Bolander (adaptor/director) discuss undermining romanticism, logic-ing your way through your feelings, finding the kernel of the play we all think we know so well, making limitations into opportunities, love overflowing into hysteria and violence, and what we’re willing to do for the people and things we care about.

“…all of the violence comes from a place of love…it’s coming from a place of trying to protect what’s ‘theirs’…I think it’s interesting, because then we can apply that to ourselves, and our own groups, and kind of see where other people are coming from, even if their actions are wrong, and bad…”

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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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Alex Randrup, Conrad Kluck, Gavin Myers, Cayenne Douglass, & Daniella Caggiano from “FEAST: A Performance Series”

Conrad Kluck, Alex Randrup, and Horse Trade Theatre Group present FEAST: A Performance Series at UNDER St. Marks TheaterListen in as the co-producers & curators of FEAST: A Performance Series, Conrad Kluck & Alex Randrup, along with several artists from the January 2019 edition of the series, playwright Cayenne Douglass, director Daniella Caggiano, and choreographer Gavin Myers, discuss encouraging cross-discipline collaborations, hearing from your high school bully, the excitement of eclectic evenings, finding creative partners, the art of the everyday, and growing community through art.

“…one of the things we wanted to put a high priority on is trying to create some kind of community base, for our artists to be able come back, and continue developing a project, or develop something new, or just have a home base…but also, art can’t exist without art-lovers, and the people in the audience. Both of those spaces are just as important…”

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Ria T. DiLullo & Katelynn Kenney of “Wendell & Pan”

The Skeleton Rep presents WENDELL & PAN, written by Katelynn Kenney, directed by Ria T. DiLullo, at The Tank NYCListen in as Wendell & Pan writer Katelynn Kenney and director Ria T. DiLullo discuss the kismet that made them collaborators, “magical dramedy,” ghosts, eating up the play of the theatre, and modern American myth.

“…how do we take contemporary stories, and lift them up into the style of an epic, into something that a bard would want to sing about?”

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Billy Ray Brewton & Ben Hethcoat of “A Beast/A Burden”

A BEAST/A BURDEN, written and directed by Billy Ray Brewton, performed by Ben Hethcoat, at SoHo PlayhouseListen in as A Beast/A Burden writer and director Billy Ray Brewton, along with the portrayer of Chris Burden, Ben Hethcoat, discuss what distinguishes Burden from idiots on YouTube, sculpture in performance, exploring the creator’s complicated history, why you might have a photo of yourself in front of his work and not even realize it, and how to bring a controversial performance artist’s work to life in a theatrical stage play.

“…we sort of go behind the scenes of what it takes to put some of these performance pieces…and some of them, too, we recreate in our own way…”

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Alex Roe, Erin Beirnard, Michael Turner, & Jessie Lynn Smith of “Shadow of Heroes”

Metropolitan Playhouse presents SHADOW OF HEROES, written by Robert Ardrey, directed by Alex RoeListen in as Shadow of Heroes director 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…”

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Elizabeth May, Lindsey Hope Pearlman, & Giverny Petitmermet of “Zodiac Math”

The New Collectives present ZODIAC MATH, written and performed by Elizabeth May, directed by Lindsey Hope PearlmanListen in as Zodiac Math creator & performer Elizabeth May, along with director Lindsey Hope Pearlman and producer Giverny Petitmermet, discuss crazy true family history, witchiness, telling personal stories with collaborators, midwifing the birth of an art baby, pre-forgiving mistakes, providing a space for healing, the power and magic of being in a room full of people, and “fate, compatibility, and things that are written in the stars vs. the things that we get to decide for ourselves.”

“…in the old versions of ‘I Dream of Jeannie’…the only part I ever really cared about is when you would go into Jeannie’s bottle, and you would see everything that was in there…basically, the making of the show is sort of me, making my own little Jeannie’s bottle that is the safe space that I need to make to tell all these stories…”

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