Listen in as the performers of Lizzie Vieh’s new play Monsoon Season, Richard Thieriot & Therese Plaehn, discuss the development of this play from a 7-minute one-night-only solo piece to a set of solos, making something horrifying but also incredibly funny, how your performance changes when a play’s world expands, the benefit of working with smart, generous, welcoming people, and what can can happen when the seed of a piece is tossed into fertile ground.
“…so it’s dark, and the emotional terrain is dark, but there’s also, hopefully, occasionally, laughs […]”
“…I remember being disturbed…and sure enough, it’s funny as hell…”
Listen in as “Strangers in the Night” contributing playwrights Patricia Lynn (writer of Screwed, portrayer of “Molly”, director of Frank) & Philip Estrera (writer of the Frank monologues, who also performs “Stranger” in Bottling Dreams of the Tearful Don’t-Knower), along with fellow Bottling… actor Natalie Hegg (“Other Half”), discuss creating a complete theatrical experience out of one act plays, sketches in rehearsal, provocative nocturnal stories, doing that one thing well, collaboration, different extremes of theatricality, & the intimacy that can develop between total strangers.
“…one little thing would totally change the way the scene would go…a creative, supportive battleground…”
Listen in as The Sea The Mountains The Forest The City The Plain playwright Matthew Freeman, along with director David Cote & performer Robert Honeywell, discuss how to discover your character, propulsive changes & musicality, abstract simplicity, friendship and aging, moving through the words, finding your collaborators, embracing your influences, and moving on to the next thing on your journey.
“…change is a constant, and change can come with a sense of loss…you hit this sort of middle part of your life, and you look around, and you miss the things that came before, even if you love the life that you have. So I think that feeling is inspiring the piece a little bit…”
Listen in as the director/creator of Thoughts & Prayers, Lauren Hlubny, along with composer/”Felix” Thomas Giles, discuss the meaning of “dance-theatre concerto,” encouraging presence, developing a process to combine artistic disciplines, starting conversations, and not only reacting but taking action.
“…I think it’s very easy to become numb to it, and not know how to take action…creating this piece came, for me, as a point of wanting to do something, or at least wanting to be involved with other people, and start conversations…”
Listen in as actors David Barlow & Danielle Skraastad of PTP/NYC‘s production of Havel: The Passion of Thought—three short plays from Vaclav Havel, bookended by Harold Pinter’s The New World Order and Samuel Beckett’s Catastrophe—discuss why these plays work so well in conversation, the difference between performing them together in 1991 vs. in 2019, “On Tyranny,” the power of making theatre, “the politics of kindness,” and the importance of living the truth.
“…they felt so current, and felt so hopeful, in a galvanizing way…that art matters. Words matter. What do you want to do?…”
Listen in as the creators & performers of Crushing Baby Animals, Maria Swisher & Tana Sirois, discuss amazing synchronicity, combining genres in a multi-dimensional world, structured improv, cross-pollination among artists, “stylistic dis-integrity,” making space for the chaos and the wonder, how to build intense trust with your artistic collaborators, how to stick through the difficult stuff, and how “our sense of self is shaped by the people around us.”
“…stay with the trouble…something that we have learned is even when things feel very uncomfortable, or when you find yourself having to ask something that’s difficult of your partner […] and consistently make the decision to stick with it, and to experience what feels troubling and complicated, and know that you have a shared goal of moving past it […] and let that influence your work, and accept each other for that…”
Listen in as the cast of Friendly’s Fire—Matthew Weitz, Adeyinka Adebola, Desiree Pinol, Kyle Porter, Johnny Blaze Leavitt, & Ita Korenzecher—along with Artistic Director Akia Squitieri (with a quick note from Production Stage Manager Callie Stribling) discuss non-toxic male friendships, the sad timelessness of plays about trauma from war, the difference between cheerleading into war vs. receiving the warriors back into society, and how we use stories to make myths and to heal.
“…the same way kids believe in ghosts, and Santa Claus…and then you’re taught years later that these things are pretend, and made up, and that you need to get a job. So you’re pulled away from storytelling…and the healing powers that it has for people…”
Listen in as Retro Productions Artistic Director Heather E. Cunningham, who plays the eponymous Mary of Mary, Mary, along with fellow performers Chris Harcum, Robert Franklin Neill, & Desmond Dutcher, and director Shay Gines, discuss digging into a zippy comedy, gender roles in retro shows, leaving naive nationalism, playing the outdated references, the complicated lenses through which we see plays from the past, transitions, “playing for keeps,” and why plays about relationships will never go away.
“…when I set out to choose a play, I narrowed it down: ‘mid-century, female playwright, comedy’…”
“…I was very drawn to this character. She’s the smartest person in the play…she has flaws, she’s insecure, she’s a beautiful, robust, witty woman. I felt like she was so full, and rich in character…”
Listen in as Whore writer/producer/performer Suzanne Tufan and director Lindsey Hope Pearlman discuss “showing the emotion of little moments,” the various masks we create, working as a director with the writer/performer, the roller-coaster of baring one’s soul in a public setting, playfulness within serious personal material, and transformation, survival, and hope.
“I thought it was an important story to share, because I think we have so many misconceptions about women and sexuality. The word ‘whore’ is this dirty word, and women get these dirty words thrown at them from such a young age, for no reason…”
Listen in as Opportunity playwright Stanley Martin, director Michael Blatt, and cast members Yhá Mourhia Wright, Ashley E. Matthews, Luis E. Mora, & Jayson Kerr discuss mirrors of performers’ reality, universality in specificity, challenging body type stereotypes, finding a shared history from the subtext of the script, mining your dialogue in real conversations, representation not just in the theatre but in the cast and in the play, the beauty of this particular “opportunity,” and why despite it all, we love this mad business of the theatre.
“…it was important that these people were real people that everyone could relate to…if you mix a group of people from work, anywhere, and add lots of alcohol, and have a past, trouble’s about to stir. It’s just theatre people are a little more theatrical with it…”