Listen in as actor Peter Buck Dettmann (“Brody”), director Ben Liebert, and playwright/actor Larry Phillips (“Davey”) of Koalas are Dicks discuss turning a six-foot man into a koala, finding sight gags, inspiration from Charlie Sheen, writing to your actor’s Aussie accent, finding a balance between groan-worthy and intellectual humor, and using abstraction through the absurd to get closer to the ridiculous & terrible truth.
“…there’s a lovely irony that the koala is the only one who seems to understand how worthless what they’re doing is…it is very liberating, that fantasy element…being a six-foot-tall dude playing a tiny koala, if the audience follows you on that, they’re with you…”
Listen in as writer & performer Brett Evan Solomon, director & performer Kelsey Lurie, and performer Gabriel Vasquez of SOMEONEPLEASELISTENANDUNDERSTAND (they’re wiretapping our brains) discuss collaborative creation, mediatization, putting a podcast into the live theatre realm, “abstracting feelings,” how technology and the people around you can shape identity, surveillance, and developing a shared language with your close collaborators.
“…that screen is not a threat to me as a performer; that’s my friend…”
Listen in as three of the five company members of The Associates—director Jamal Abdunnasir, and performers Lauren Larocca & Peregrine Teng Heard—discuss their new collectively-devised “waking nightmare” Sheila, exploring the intersection of the mundane with the grotesque, the role of improvisation in their process, how they work with non-Associate associates, and why the company likes to make things just a little bit scary.
“…I think what we’ve found out about ourselves is that we write almost as much as we create in the room, that we all find a lot of value in putting down proposals on paper. Jamal happens to work a lot in stage directions, and I happen to work a lot in action, and then there’s dialogue people…the important thing is for everyone to be able to jump into all these characters…”
Listen in as director Jessica Burr and performer Nancy McArthur (“Gerda”) of Blessed Unrest‘s original adaptation of The Snow Queen discuss how the company came to create a show geared toward young people, working with 10-year-old collaborators in the rehearsal room, “dulling as we age,” Blessed Unrest’s devising techniques, the importance of having your designers involved all through the process, workshops on devising & physical theatre (2/13–3/6), and why kids can be the perfect audience for abstract storytelling.
“…for me, it’s the story of a really courageous young girl, who displays her power in a way that is actually very feminine…she isn’t violent, she doesn’t have to fight for what she wants, in fact she’s really smart…”
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 director Heather Cohn of Am I Dead? The Untrue Narrative of Anatomical Lewis, The Slave, along with actors Corey Allen, Alisha Spielmann, and Isaiah Tanenbaum, discuss feeling free to laugh through a very dark comedy, learning your Egyptian myths, the history and legacy of violence against black bodies, developing a play with the playwright, what we can learn as people through the artistic process, first noticing the costume changes of your cast-mates during a performance (“subtle, yet effective!”), the effects of an individual audience’s energy, and the necessity of having sticky, difficult conversations in the theatre.
“…I think what Kevin gives us the canvas to discuss is the ways that denial functions for a variety of people…how they choose to view their own reality, accept it or deny it […] and I think the audience is forced to decide, ‘which approach do I take?’…”
Listen in as The Werewolf of Washington Heights playwright Christie Perfetti Williams and director Charmaine Broad discuss adapting your own work to the stage, why you should put “awesome, talented, and kind” people in your cast, the importance of putting women onstage (and in the producer’s chair), doing your job vs. doing what’s right for the world, swapping the genders of your characters, what’s next for Carnival Girls, and what happens to a family when tragedy strikes in a dystopian near-future U.S.A.
“…Imogene says, ‘we all, all of us as humans just want to be heard, our stories want to be told.’ I think that goes across the board, for every person on the planet, we just want to know […] that our voices have been heard. And I think for women, we haven’t been. So this play was hopefully a small little piece of what’s missing in the puzzle…”
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 Erin B. Mee, who conceived of and directed This is Not a Theatre Company‘s Subway Plays, discusses the origin of the term “podplays,” how variables can enter into the “performance,” practical considerations when you’re dealing with the MTA as your venue, mindfulness and the opportunity to mono-task, and making your theatre work even more accessible.
“…what we wanted to do was create a piece [where] the audience member mixes the live experience with the recorded experience, and creates an experience that is unique to them. So there’s something kind of John Cage about it…”