Larry Phillips, Ben Liebert, and Peter Buck Dettmann of “Koalas are Dicks”

Randomly Specific Theatre presents KOALAS ARE DICKS, written by Larry Phillips, directed by Ben LiebertListen 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…”

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Hannah Sloat, Jack Sochet, Noelle Franco, and Ted Caine of “Jericho”

Attic Theater Company presents JERICHO, written by Michael Weller, directed by Laura BrazaListen in as Attic Theater Company‘s executive director Ted Caine, and cast members Hannah Sloat, Jack Sochet, and Noelle Franco of the company’s world premiere production of Jericho by Michael Weller, discuss working with the playwright in the room, loving and hating your protagonist, “having the conversation,” perspective from present day vs. the time of the play’s action, “doing the do of the play,” complicating the motives of your characters, and the importance of presenting hits that absolutely do not feel like kisses.

“…the only person that can change is you […] Just as he has to figure out how he’s going to change, the audience has to figure out how they’re going to change…”

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Craig Smith, Lori Parquet, Ariel Estrada, Elise Stone, Stacey Raymond, and Layan Elwazani of “The Cult Play”

Phoenix Theatre Ensemble presents THE CULT PLAY, written by Topher Cusumano and directed by Irene LazaridisListen in as Phoenix Theatre Ensemble‘s producing artistic director Craig Smith, along with performers Lori Parquet, Ariel Estrada, Elise Stone, Stacey Raymond, and Layan Elwazani of the company’s world premiere production of Topher Cusumano’s The Cult Play, discuss the play’s resonance with the current zeitgeist, how defense of one’s identity can put others in harm’s way, technology’s place in telling a story in the theatre, killing different characters in different drafts, surviving cults, what we believe and why we believe it, “truth” vs. “certainty,” and the responsibility of not just the leader, but of those who choose to follow them.

“…2.5 million Americans have been in cults in the past 30 or 40 years. It’s pretty widespread, and I think cults are enormously interesting. I think all of us, on some level, feel wounded, and maybe a bit fragile, and I think we’re more fragile than we think that we are, and we come under the spell of these folks like Mama Pearl […]”
“You don’t have to go political with this play. If you’re on Instagram, or Twitter, or whatever, you already follow someone…”

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Jamal Abdunnasir, Lauren Larocca, and Peregrine Teng Heard of “Sheila”

The Associates present SHEILAListen 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…”

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Ran Xia and Charlotte Arnoux of The Arctic Group’s FRIDGE Festival

The Arctic Group presents FRIDGE Fest 2017Listen in as Ran Xia and Charlotte Arnoux, co-Artistic Directors of The Arctic Group, presenting their Fridge Festival at IRT, discuss happy autocorrect errors, finding a fridge for your fridge festival, developing your climbing skills, the beauty of limitations, serendipitous curation, “figuring it out,” and what it means to “pick a snowflake out of an avalanche.”

“…it’s putting two different groups of people onto the same platform, so they can have a conversation…”
“…and just offering space to artists that we love, and ones that we have come to love…we wanted to create the theatre festival that we never had…”

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Julie Congress, Ryan Emmons, Steven Conroy, and Enrico de Trizio of “Friends Call Me Albert”

No. 11 Productions presents FRIENDS CALL ME ALBERT, written by Zachary DesmondListen in as some of the team behind Friends Call Me Albert—performers Julie Congress and Steven Conroy, director Ryan Emmons, and musician Enrico de Trizio, all members of the ensemble of No. 11 Productions—discuss how and why puppets ended up in their play about Albert Einstein, the meaning of “bio-epic,” cross-continental collaboration, impossibility, how to integrate Einstein’s concepts into the presentation of your show, “fluidity,” using real math onstage, and how their ensemble plays together on the journey of creating their work.

“…it’s like playing with gravity…”

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Chesney Snow & Rebecca Arends of “The Unwritten Law”

THE UNWRITTEN LAW, created and performed by Chesney Snow with direction and choreography by Rebecca Arends, at Dixon PlaceListen 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…”

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Patrick Vermillion and Emily Jackson of “Jessica”

Sanguine Theatre Company presents JESSICA, written by Patrick Vermillion, directed by Emily JacksonListen in as two of the creators behind Sanguine Theatre Company‘s world-premiere production of Jessica—playwright Patrick Vermillion and director Emily Jackson—discuss justifying your narrative, Sanguine’s “Project Playwright” process, why their AI story focuses on the building process, confronting the truth, the morality of technology, and what makes us human.

“…I wanted to create a sci-fi piece for the stage mostly because I was watching these really old, kinda shitty…[but] super-relevant, very socially-interesting television shows, with virtually no budget. It’s so much your imagination…kind of like with theatre…”

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Lucie Pohl & Kenneth Ferrone of “Hi, Hitler”

HI HITLER, written and performed by Lucie Pohl, directed by Kenneth Ferrone, at The Cherry Lane TheatreListen 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…”

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Ashley J. Jacobson, Elizabeth Sarkady, Faith Sandberg, Jenna D’Angelo, & Brandon Ferraro of “How to Be Safe”

The Dirty Blondes present HOW TO BE SAFE, written by Ashley J. Jacobson, directed by Cezar WilliamsListen 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…”

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