Listen in as The Unwritten Law co-creator & performer Chesney Snow, along with co-creator, director, performer & choreographer Rebecca Arends, discuss working with collaborators who can help turn your story into art, making “something different,” microphones and music, “the magic that happens between people onstage,” American issues, and how sound and movement come together to tell this very personal story.
“…I tell people, they’re coming to see a story of America…we’re looking at black life, and I’m hoping they’ll be able to follow the journey of where we’ve come from…I don’t want to preach at people, but I would love for people to hear the story, and maybe they’ll have a different perspective on some of the things that are happening today…”
Listen in as the duo Marina & Nicco—Marina Tempelsman & Niccolo Aeed—discuss beginning their new show Unpacking from a design idea, introducing nostalgia via live music, ephemera, melancholia in comedy, what happens when you trust your audience with your lighting design, and the ghosts that imagining the future can summon.
“…this is a very literal answer to, ‘why is this live,’ but I think it checks out really beautifully. It’s really fun and interesting to see the collective personality of an audience having such a direct impact on what you’re seeing on the stage…”
Listen in as Mine playwright Maria Deasy and director Rachel Dart discuss making connections, inspiration from Maria’s paralegal background, the brand-new Broadway Bound Theatre Festival, discoveries in rehearsal, how to deal with a show inspired by real-life events, how to be “rich and spare,” and where we fit in as links on this human chain.
“…I didn’t want to make a polemic…I didn’t want to tell a story from event-to-event-to-event…I wanted to explore the idea that we’re all connected…”
Listen in as writer and performer Lucie Pohl and director Kenneth Ferrone of Lucie’s auto-biographical solo show Hi, Hitler, currently playing at The Cherry Lane Theatre, discuss post-show snacks, David Hasselhoff, inhabiting dozens of characters, what is (and what isn’t) very German about the show, the ease with which you can kill your darlings, why you won’t find props in this show, and how to trust the moments.
“…it’s a ‘fish-out-of-water story,’ it’s about finding your identity, and it’s about trying to fit in…”
Listen in as the Elephant Run District team of Chris Harcum, playwright & performer, and Aimee Todoroff, director, of the company’s new show Martin Denton, Martin Denton, discuss finding safety and meaning in a community, “love,” the validity of our work, the ways in which our productions can live forever, how and why we do this thing called “indie theatre,” and more about this love letter to the scene.
“…what we’re doing is creating life, and then giving life back. And for me, one of the people who was there, and kind of charted what I was doing—and for whom I felt this very deep connection, and this person who, if he didn’t see my show, it felt like it did not happen—needed his story told.”
Listen in as the co-creators of Trump Lear, writer/performer David Carl & director Michole Biancosino, discuss their collaboration to put this piece together, playing Trump (and finding a way around the fact that Trump is inherently not funny), complicity, how to avoid preachy political theatre, tearing yourself down in your own piece, the importance of an excellent technician at the board, and the benefit of doing solo shows.
“…yeah, Trump and Shakespeare don’t really go together, usually…”
“Well, it works really well, in this instance…”
Listen in as The Dirty Blondes, Elizabeth Sarkady and Ashley J. Jacobson (whom you’ll remember from past podcasts on The Miracle Play and The Tunnel Play), along with the full cast—Faith Sandberg, Jenna D’Angelo, and Brandon Ferraro—discuss the company’s new play How to Be Safe, finding relevance in the present moment, the “low hum of anxiety,” the draw of terrible true crime shows, the incredible experience of having a theatrical home-base, being a sponge (then wringing yourself out), and finding safety & solace in the theater.
“…the election happened, and that made me question what I was going to be putting out into the world. It needed to be relevant, it needed to speak to something. And so I figured, ‘let me just create the most honest, emotional show that I could, because that felt like my own personal safety, and that felt like my own personal contribution, to talk about how afraid I feel, and how afraid I think other people feel…”
Listen in as playwright James L. Menzies and director Richard C. Aven of Go Get the Axe, along with co-producer/actor Christopher Halladay, discuss the process that brought two short Shotz pieces by Jamie into the full-length FIG Productions is currently presenting, fever-dreams from a bathroom floor, the benefits of a desk day-job, collaborator love, killing your darlings, and how to give good pod.
“…people have been so imaginative, and so creative, and everybody’s had input. And that makes me really really proud, because it’s been phenomenal, the individual pride and energy that’s gone into this…and I get to sit and watch it, and people make me look good.”
Listen in as the directors/writers of PLUTO (no longer a play), Jeremy Pickard and Lanxing Fu, discuss allegory, mass extinction, the definition of “eco-theatre,” community outreach, the benefits of imposed limitations, and how to work with the fact that “it’s a different world now.”
“…it is devastating, in a kind of strange, like, ‘oh, I lost something that I took for granted, that I really thought was there, and it’s kind of a simple thing that I didn’t really think about, but it matters somehow’…”
Listen in as playwright James Scruggs, creator of the sprawling, detailed, provocative, disturbing, and vital show 3/Fifths, discusses where the idea for SupremacyLand came from, why it took a space like 3LD to make it work, the magic and opportunity of having an artistic director asking you to “dream bigger,” what happens when you invite audiences to participate in a carnival of atrocities, the incredible bravery of the actors in this piece (and how they take care of themselves performing such heavy material), and why we have to talk about this terrible history so it never happens again.
“…it’s still happening, there are these loops. So what I’m really interested in doing is talking about it, showing it, in visceral detail, with the hope of ending the loops…”