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Shay Gines, discuss digging into a zippy comedy, gender roles in retro shows, leaving naive nationalism, playing the outdated references, the complicated lenses through which we see plays from the past, transitions, “playing for keeps,” and why plays about relationships will never go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 Totally Wholesome Foods playwright Alice Pencavel, director Paul Bedard, along with performers Jonelle Robinson, Rosie Sowa, & Alison Walter, discuss eerie prescience, gray areas, examining our political beliefs through theatre, true believers, “selling the crunchy,” contradicting oppositions, singing plants, connection through various languages, and how theatre can work to preserve community.
“…to me, community is messy, is disordered, is inconvenient…diversity just brings so many challenges, and it’s essential for community, but it’s not the orderliness of aisles, clean aisles that are spacious and labeled…”
Listen in as Wendell & Pan writer Katelynn Kenney and director Ria T. DiLullo discuss the kismet that made them collaborators, “magical dramedy,” ghosts, eating up the play of the theatre, and modern American myth.
“…how do we take contemporary stories, and lift them up into the style of an epic, into something that a bard would want to sing about?”
Listen in as New Yiddish Rep Artistic Director David Mandelbaum, who also plays Estragon in the company’s production of וואַרטן אויף גאָדאָ (Waiting for Godot), and fellow actors Eli Rosen (Vladimir), Richard Saudek (Lucky), Gera Sandler (Pozzo), and Myron Tregubov (The Boy, sharing the role with Noam Sandler), discuss how the play’s musicality aligns with the musicality of the Yiddish language, surviving catastrophes, fake & real tolerance, Didi and Gogo as refugees, the work of New Yiddish Rep, connecting through sound, and the importance of Vladimir’s line “Was I sleeping while the others suffered?”
“…the context of the play is particularly meaningful when you look at the circumstances under which it was written: a couple of years after a catastrophic world war. What could be more natural than for it to be translated into Yiddish?…”
Listen in as Zodiac Math creator & performer Elizabeth May, along with director Lindsey Hope Pearlman and producer Giverny Petitmermet, discuss crazy true family history, witchiness, telling personal stories with collaborators, midwifing the birth of an art baby, pre-forgiving mistakes, providing a space for healing, the power and magic of being in a room full of people, and “fate, compatibility, and things that are written in the stars vs. the things that we get to decide for ourselves.”
“…in the old versions of ‘I Dream of Jeannie’…the only part I ever really cared about is when you would go into Jeannie’s bottle, and you would see everything that was in there…basically, the making of the show is sort of me, making my own little Jeannie’s bottle that is the safe space that I need to make to tell all these stories…”
Listen in as Hunger and Thirst Theatre artistic director, producer, actor & playwright of Your Invisible Corset, Patricia Lynn, along with her co-stars Patrick T. Horn, Emily Kitchens, and Elizabeth Anne Rimar, discuss getting away from sexy sparkly vampires, internal horror, jump scares & gore effects, seduction through feminism, walking into the fog, the human drama in a supernatural story, and the horror of strapping one’s self into a corset.
“…the parallels are very, very now…there are Draculas in this world that would like to see women be smaller, be more constricted, who think that is the shape that a woman should take. And that’s the horror of the story…”
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 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…”