Listen in as the playwright of Hitler’s Tasters, Michelle Kholos Brooks, along with director Sarah Norris and actors Hallie Griffin, MaryKathryn Kopp, Kaitlin Paige Longoria, & Hannah Sturges, discuss the timeliness and relevance of this story in October 2018, relatability to “bad people” (who may be “good people in a bad situation”), social media, feeling valued, the difference between the women who served the Reich and the women who currently serve Trump, the role of theatre in this dangerous political moment, “feeling things” in the intimacy of the theater, and why it’s important to put young women’s stories on the stage.
“…it’s just so very real. And I think it’s just so relatable, and that’s what’s kind of scary about it, because these are girls we see in our lives every day…”
Listen in as New York Shakespeare Exchange‘s Artistic Director Ross Williams and Kim Krane, both of whom direct in this edition of the company’s ShakesBEER pub crawl (Kim also acts!), discuss how they create their unique experience of Shakespeare erupting in a bar, how to get the locals interested (and attract curious folks from the street), custom beer koozies, picking thematic scenes, rehearsing for audience interaction, the magic of language, and how the company works to “create community through Shakespeare.”
“…who do we need to talk to, and warn them that we’re about to stand on their table and do iambic pentameter…?”
Listen in as Worse Than Tigers producer/director Jaclyn Biskup and actor Braeson Herold discuss collegiate connections, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia’s Rhinoceros?,” using your space, how to play an insufferable drip (hint: kindness & generosity), unexpected journeys, the importance of openness & trust in your rehearsal room, and “sausage casing” as metaphor.
“…I really like to direct absurdism the same way that one would direct realism, because I feel like it’s a really fine line. And I think today, our lives are very fu**ing absurd…”
Listen in as actors from Hip to Hip Theatre Company‘s productions of All’s Well That Ends Well and King Lear—Joy Marr, Nancy Nichols, Joel Leffert, & Kurt Kingsley—discuss grabbing the audience from the start, weathering the storm (“rain-pace!”), the esprit de corps of their hard-working company, children’s birthday parties at the theater, designing and preparing for a traveling show, what they love about working with Hip to Hip, and sending your audience away smiling, even after getting rained on.
“…it’s Shakespeare. There’s so much to listen to, there’s so much wonderful stuff…but it’s the basic emotions, it’s love, and hate, and jealousy, and I want that…”
Listen in as playwright & performer of Scum, Sarah Shear, along with fellow cast members Aaron Mauck, Adrian Abel Amador, & Jay Cobian, discuss nuclear overlay maps, Bartle’s Taxonomy of Players, playing against type and finding commonality with your character, emotional vs. physical labor, personal playwriting challenges, doomsday prep, healthy compromise, and just what scum is, both externally and internally.
“…the reason why I think Scum is a little bit more universal […] is because it’s really about personal politics, more than anything else. It’s about how do we operate, and how do we, essentially, love each other…”
Listen in as the co-producers & performers of the U.S. premiere of Charlie Falkner’s Sex Object, David De Almo & Kelly McCready, along with director Susanna Wolk, discuss bringing this Australian play to the States, embracing the space, “how you perceive yourself and how you’re presenting yourself to the world,” having the audience on your side, sibling relationships, sex-shop sponsorship, and what a Black Mirror episode might look like in real life.
“…marrying all the different comedic elements to the heartfelt core was something that was really exciting to me about this play…”
Listen in as Christine Hamel and Jake Murphy, members of the cast of PTP/NYC‘s new production of Brecht on Brecht, discuss how they found their version(s) of the George Tabori collage, “balancing the dark and the light” of the opposites inherent to Brecht’s theories, relevance, audience reactions to Epic Theatre, how the production has changed in the 18 months between presentations, and speaking truth to power in 2018.
“…it’s interesting, because if one of the purposes of theatre in this style is to activate, and wake people up, one of the questions I have is […] to do what? What do we want them to do? Waking up is the first thing…”
“…and not being seduced by normalizing our current reality, pointing it out for the horror it is…”
Listen in as performers Bonita Jackson and Samantha Clark, along with director Alex Randrup, of Corey and Vanessa Present an All-Female Educational Touring Production of Of Mice and Men, discuss how they devised the show (“putting wonderful, badass, creative ladies in a room together”), making your collaborators laugh, getting out of the way or your collaborative process, and “power, performance, learning to trust your scene partner, and learning to trust yourself.”
“…is there a way that we could dig into the fields of feminism, and womanhood, and humanity today, and the things that we know best—which is creating a production—and dealing with it. Could we dig up some kind of tool, or weapon, that an audience member could take out with them to smash the patriarchy, or to fix the democracy, or to do something really active…”
Listen in as Smith Street Stage‘s Executive Director (and director of this show) Jonathan Hopkins, and Beth Ann Hopkins, Artistic Director (& “Titania”), discuss their new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Carroll Park, why this was the right year for the company to produce this comedy, playing to a large & diverse audience, going beyond actor voice for the outdoor stage, the overlap of personal/professional partnerships, making original music & sound, advice for producing in public places, and why it’s important to be an active part of the community you’d like to perform in.
“…I think last year, we tried to afflict the comfortable, and this year we’re trying to comfort the afflicted…”
“…although this is not a ‘Midsummer’ of just clowns and fools, there’s a lot of deeper ground that we’re digging…”
“…it’s a play about the power of art to change people, and bring people outside of the normal boundaries, and it’s a play about how people change themselves, and the circumstances in which people are changed…”
Listen in as Cannibal Galaxy: a love story playwright Charise Greene, along with the duo behind the producing company Between Two Boroughs—the show’s director, Jenn Haltman, and Becca Schneider, who plays “Claire”—discuss impossibility in the theater, finding communal experiences in the wake of trauma, “the relationship between violence, science, and spirituality in our country,” embracing the structural elements of a space, galactic cannibalism, magical realism, irrevocable change, and where creativity and violence collide.
“…I always ask the question, ‘why does this have to be a play?’…for me, impossible plays are an opportunity to welcome collaboration…Becca’s ‘Claire’ coughing up peach pits, or ash, is going to be very different than another actress, and I want Becca’s version of that, and Jenn’s version of the larger picture…to me, it’s a leap of exciting theatricality that is the reason why I go to the theater.”