Lynnea Benson, Marcus Watson, Amy Frances Quint, Erick Gonzalez, Kyle Primack, and Kevin Hauver of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Frog and Peach Theatre Company presents William Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, directed by Lynnea BensonListen in as director Lynnea Benson and performers Marcus Watson, Amy Frances Quint, Erick Gonzalez, Kyle Primack, and Kevin Hauver of Frog & Peach Theatre Company‘s new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, discuss why the company returned to the forest outside of Athens, bucket-list roles, the politics of Midsummer, playing different roles in the same play after six years, trusting collaborators to push you in new and exciting directions, and how to not only give the audience what they want, but what you think they might need.

“…we wanted something that could also reach out to families with children, and younger people, people who think they know Midsummer but maybe don’t know it the Frog & Peach way. Also, we never miss an opportunity with the present company to do a comedy…”

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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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Brett Evan Solomon, Kelsey Lurie, and Gabriel Vasquez of “SOMEONEPLEASELISTENANDUNDERSTAND (they’re wiretapping our brains)”

"SOMEONEPLEASELISTENANDUNDERSTAND(they’re wiretapping our brains)" at The Brick, part of the 2018 Exponential FestivalListen 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…”

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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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Jessica Burr & Nancy McArthur of “The Snow Queen”

Blessed Unrest presents THE SNOW QUEEN, written by Matt Opatrny, adapted from the story by Hans Christian Anderson, directed by Jessica BurrListen 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…”

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Ben Lapidus & Amanda Centeno of “Pop Punk High”

Listen in as Ben Lapidus, composer/lyricist/”Derek,” and Amanda Centeno, “Tib,” of Pop Punk High, discuss bonding over Sum 41, giving the audience permission to sing along if they’d like to, New Jersey basements, highly-reactive uncles, the overlapping Venn diagrams of “pop-punk people” and “theatre people,” and how you can travel back in time to join them in 2003.

“…it brings in people that aren’t ‘theatre people,’ and I wish theatre communities did that more, and sought to bring in people who are not as familiar with theatre […] that’s what makes the show alive, and different…”

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Paul Pinto of “Thomas Paine in Violence”

HERE and thingNY present THOMAS PAINE IN VIOLENCE, created, written, and scored by Paul Pinto, directed by Rick BurkhardtListen in as Paul Pinto, composer/performer of the new opera Thomas Paine in Violence, discusses difficult elevator pitches, millions of radio signals heading in millions of directions, “a shit-ton of words,” why Thomas Paine deserves this musical treatment,live editing, debating the ideas Paine himself was debating over 200 years ago, “words as texture, language as music,” and writing for his thingNY band-mates.

“…it’s juxtaposing Thomas Paine’s incredible writing with pop-culture…”
“…whatever that is…”
“…whatever’s on my brain at the time…it really is like radio stations changing all the time…”

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Giverny Petitmermet, Rachel Dart, Elizabeth May, Taylor Beidler, and Alex Guhde of “The Trojan Women”

The New Collectives present Euripides' THE TROJAN WOMEN, A New Version by Brendan Kennelly, directed by Rachel DartListen 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…”

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