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.”
Listen in as Complicity playwright Diane Davis, along with director Illana Stein, discuss finding a different way to approach a well-known story, the illusion of power, the timeliness of this play about history, holding each other accountable, “heart and humanity,” complexity in complicity, how systems perpetuate themselves, the importance of intimacy direction, and who is responsible when bad things happen.
“…this is the play of women trying to wrestle out their roles in allowing the deconstruction of rights…and the way that assault is perpetuated…We’d like to think it’s gone. The idealist is gonna say, ‘We’ve come so far!’…and yes, we’ve come a long way, but we still don’t have parity…those needles haven’t moved…”
Listen in as Retro Productions Artistic Director Heather E. Cunningham, who also plays Fanny in the cast, along with director Sara Thigpen, discuss looking at the past through the lens of theatre and theatre through the lens of history, enthusiasm to jump in and play, suggestions vs. specificity, getting back to the live space post-COVID, and how it seems like everything comes back around again, in their production of Eric Overmyer’s On the Verge.
“…I love what it says about America, what it says about our history. The language is beautiful…”
Listen in as White on White co-directors Alec Duffy & Lori Elizabeth Parquet discuss the Hoi Polloi process, developing and discovering a play with the playwright, avoiding spoilers, how to examine whiteness in a theatrical context, troubling the waters, taking theatre to an extreme place, and asking questions that we’re all “answering for ourselves, all the time.”
“…this is difficult stuff to talk about intellectually, let alone theatrically…to really tell the truth about what whiteness is. Because I feel like one of the tools of whiteness is to be vague about it, to be obscure about it, to not be straightforward about it…so that it can continue to exist…”
Listen in as Ectoplasm playwright & director Sara Fellini, along with cast members Jillian Cicalese and Caitlin Dullahan-Bates, discuss “life and death and lust and love,” the stories we tell ourselves as we try to determine the truth, navigating society’s return to live in-person theatre while COVID is still a thing, layers of artifice and reality, and what it means to be making work together again.
“Right now, we don’t need tv. We don’t need movies. We have SO MANY SCREENS…you need a human being in front of you, who might make a mistake…who might do something brilliant and amazing that you would never see, you’d never feel the energy in the room…”
Listen in as playwright Andy Boyd, along with Theatre in Asylum co-Artistic Directors (and the play’s co-directors) Katie Palmer and Paul Bedard, discuss how it feels to watch a history play about something we all lived through, doing the thing, the value of gathering together, how Occupy issues are still a part of the zeitgeist, producing in a pandemic, finding the corners, and what happens when five very different people get together to try to change the world.
“…one of the things I love about the piece is that it shows the value of gathering together, and it shows the value of trying to do something whether or not you succeed…”
Listen in as producer/actor Sean Williams, director Jordana Williams, and playwright/actor Mac Rogers of Gideon Media/Gideon Productions discuss how they connected with legendary playwright Wallace Shawn to bring two of his stage plays to the radio drama realm, the outgrowth of Gideon Media from Gideon Productions, adapting Mac’s indie plays for audio podcasts, using short-hand with your long-time collaborators, getting through (and out of) the pandemic, how to get that “indie theatre” feel on the mic, the benefits of creating in a new medium, and why, come what may, we’ll all be back in those tiny dark spaces telling stories together, soon.
“…at any second, the whole thing might fall apart, and at any second, something magical might happen…”
Listen in as Genny Yosco, the writer & director of (and an actor in!) im ur hamlet., discusses writing through food poisoning, creating for the Zoom medium, knowing who it is your parodying, creating a Shakespeare festival from afar, making community during a pandemic, and what happens when everyone wants to be the star.
“One of the things about this cast is…they all love each other, and I love all of them, so even though we were all playing at odds with each other, there still was this overlying, person-to-person silent communication that we all did really enjoy each other, which was perfect…”
Listen in as Erin B. Mee, conceiver & director of Play In Your Bathtub: An Immersive Audio Spa for Physical Distancing, discusses why we should call it “physical” distancing as opposed to “social” distancing, getting inspiration from quarantine, engaging all five senses, inviting the audience to be creative themselves, putting everyone on the same time-line from their respective locations, and the importance of giving us a sense that we’re going to an “event” in these strange days.
“A lot of our work is really co-created with the audience, in the sense that we have all kinds of ‘invitations’ …and I think this play is almost all invitation…because that’s where we are at this moment…”
Listen in as playwright Johnny G. Lloyd and director William Steinberger of Or, An Astronaut Play discuss capitalism, Emerson, childlike wonder, designing to your space, stealing kids’ artwork, and why the play goes to space school (as well as literal space).
“…it’s a play about race, and privilege, and access, but also, still, about finding access to that inner child, and finding a way to negotiate that…”