Scott Aiello, Jordan Lage, Benjamin Rosloff, Stephanie Gould, & Forrest Malloy of “Bernie and Mikey’s Trip to the Moon”

Strangemen Theatre Company presents BERNIE AND MIKEY'S TRIP TO THE MOON, written by Scott Aiello, directed by Claire KarpenListen in as Bernie and Mikey’s Trip to the Moon playwright Scott Aiello, along with performers Jordan Lage, Benjamin Rosloff, Stephanie Gould, & Forrest Malloy, discuss getting personal, creating a theatre family to create an onstage family, relating to your character, backstage donuts, not pulling any punches, your favorite Elvis Presley song, keeping your artistic heart full, writing fan-fiction for the show you’re in, “typecasting,” and love & inspiration from your family.

“…it speaks to the fact that any human being, whatever disability they have, physical, intellectual, anything, wants love…”

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Leah Abrams, Gabriel Grilli, Trish Lindstrom, Eric Rice, Dave Sikula, Matthew Van Oss, & Andrea Gallo of “Kurt Vonnegut’s Mother Night”

The Custom Made Theatre Company presents Kurt Vonnegut's MOTHER NIGHT, Adapted and directed by Brian Katz, at 59E59Listen in as producer Leah Abrams, along with most of the cast of Custom Made Theatre Company‘s production of Kurt Vonnegut’s Mother NightGabriel Grilli, Trish Lindstrom, Eric Rice, Dave Sikula, Matthew Van Oss, & Andrea Gallo—discuss why you should take the chance and just ask, the hearty challenge of leaping through time, the beauty of adaptation, searching for a Schenectady accent, what we relate to and what we don’t, and the timeliness of this story written in 1961.

“…it’s a really specific sensibility. There’s a drollness, and a darkness to it, that I hope we’ve captured…”

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Alexander V. Thompson, Brad Raimondo, Greg Carere, Simon Winheld, & Rosie Sowa of “Pete Rex”

The Dreamscape Theatre presents PETE REX, written by Alexander V. Thompson, directed by Brad RaimondoListen in as the team behind the world premiere of Pete Rex—playwright Alexander V. Thompson, director Brad Raimondo, and performers Greg Carere, Simon Winheld, and Rosie Sowa—discuss the uses & dangers of fantasy, making your hometown a central character in your script, eerie resonance with the political moment, fun actor challenges, familiarity with the characters and situations onstage, loving someone while hating their inaction, crossing Ionesco with Albee, and, of course, dinosaurs.

“…this place that had been something, and turned into kind of a ‘non-place’ through the loss of industry, and the loss of jobs, and the economy. And we were all, ‘that feels like it should be in here now’…I think that’s something that we really want people to take away…the experience of these places…that have gone from thriving, to nowhere, and what that does to people…”

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Mac Rogers, Kate Middleton, & Sean Williams of “Asymmetric”

Asymmetric by Mac Rogers at 59E59, directed by Jordana WilliamsSome things just go great together. Turkey & stuffing. Pumpkin pie & whipped cream. Calvin & Hobbes.

Add to that list the theatre companies Gideon & Ground UP, who have teamed up to present Mac Rogers‘s Asymmetric at 59E59.

Listen in as Mac, along with the show’s co-stars Kate Middleton and Sean Williams, Artistic Director of Ground UP and Producer/Founding Member of Gideon, respectively, discuss working with your friends, bringing downtown to 59th Street, inspiration from The Cure, and why we need a spy thriller set in 2015, in 2014.

As with my last interviews with these cats — Mac & Sean’s episode with Rebecca Comtois, for Gideon’s show Ligature Marks, and Kate’s episode with Catya McMullen and Scott Klopfenstein for Ground UP’s Rubber Ducks and Sunsets — this is a great, in-depth interview, so it’s worth the slightly longer run-time. I do hope you’ll take a listen.

“…and it’s incredibly exciting—it’s like you get to have your smartest friend debating himself, and spinning the chess board and playing black as hard as he’s playing white. And that’s really cool…” Continue reading

Billy Carter, Ruairi Conaghan, Trevor Cooper, Catherine Cusack, Frank Grimes, and James Hayes of “All That Fall”

Samuel Beckett's "All That Fall" at 59E59As my friends, and regular listeners to the podcast know — I love Samuel Beckett.

[Pro-tip: produce a Beckett show off-off-Broadway, or anything even related to his work, and Go See a Show! will be there if at all possible.]

All That Fall, one of the master’s radio plays, is seldom-produced, and one that I’d actually never heard. So when I saw that Trevor Nunn‘s production from the Jermyn Street Theatre in London would be coming to 59E59, even though it’s not technically off-off-Broadway…well, I had to go and see what was up.

And notice I said “see” what was up, because even though the Beckett estate keeps a tight reign on productions of his works, they’ve permitted the folks behind this production to stage it live — almost like you’re watching a live recording of the radio play, but with some light, simple, highly effective choreography.

Listen in as (much of) the cast & I discuss watching radio drama (something that’s ubiquitous for our English-speaking friends across the Atlantic, but not too prevalent Stateside), Beckett as road-movie, the destruction of great classical plays by modern concepts, where you find the laughter in the bleak, and what it’s like playing Beckett for the first time.

“You gotta laugh at it all. Otherwise, it would be terrible.”

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Blythe Duff and Andrew Scott-Ramsay of David Harrower’s “Good With People”

"Good With People"Many people try to avoid their hometown as much as possible. Maybe it doesn’t hold anything for you anymore; maybe it’s bad memories; or maybe it’s people you just don’t want to have to run into. For Evan, one of the two characters in David Harrower’s Good With People, it’s a combination of all three.

Set in Helensburgh, Scotland — once a thriving resort town, and now home to the British military’s nuclear defense program — Good With People depicts a chance encounter between Evan and Helen, the mother of one of his schoolmates, that forces them to face the personal and political histories they might both rather avoid.

Listen in as actors Blythe Duff and Andrew Scott-Ramsay discuss the growth and development of this two-hander, levels, dramaturgy, the relief that Americans laugh at the right bits, and commuting through Central Park to get to work. Continue reading