Listen in as the director of Basement, Janet Bentley, along with actors Alexandra Cohler & Ian Campbell Dunn and sound designer Andy Evan Cohen, discuss radio-announcer-as-chorus, working in multiple languages in the same piece, sound as dramaturgy (and dramaturgy through sound), the benefit of having a medical professional in your production team, finding a place for a dance, and how to turn the traditional wartime romance narrative on its head.
“…theatre is always musical to me. There’s a rhythm to it…”
Listen in as Erin B. Mee, who conceived of and directed This is Not a Theatre Company‘s Subway Plays, discusses the origin of the term “podplays,” how variables can enter into the “performance,” practical considerations when you’re dealing with the MTA as your venue, mindfulness and the opportunity to mono-task, and making your theatre work even more accessible.
“…what we wanted to do was create a piece [where] the audience member mixes the live experience with the recorded experience, and creates an experience that is unique to them. So there’s something kind of John Cage about it…”
Listen in as Ran Xia and Charlotte Arnoux, co-Artistic Directors of The Arctic Group, presenting their Fridge Festival at IRT, discuss happy autocorrect errors, finding a fridge for your fridge festival, developing your climbing skills, the beauty of limitations, serendipitous curation, “figuring it out,” and what it means to “pick a snowflake out of an avalanche.”
“…it’s putting two different groups of people onto the same platform, so they can have a conversation…”
“…and just offering space to artists that we love, and ones that we have come to love…we wanted to create the theatre festival that we never had…”
Listen in as some of the team behind Friends Call Me Albert—performers Julie Congress and Steven Conroy, director Ryan Emmons, and musician Enrico de Trizio, all members of the ensemble of No. 11 Productions—discuss how and why puppets ended up in their play about Albert Einstein, the meaning of “bio-epic,” cross-continental collaboration, impossibility, how to integrate Einstein’s concepts into the presentation of your show, “fluidity,” using real math onstage, and how their ensemble plays together on the journey of creating their work.
Listen in as two of the creators behind Sanguine Theatre Company‘s world-premiere production of Jessica—playwright Patrick Vermillion and director Emily Jackson—discuss justifying your narrative, Sanguine’s “Project Playwright” process, why their AI story focuses on the building process, confronting the truth, the morality of technology, and what makes us human.
“…I wanted to create a sci-fi piece for the stage mostly because I was watching these really old, kinda shitty…[but] super-relevant, very socially-interesting television shows, with virtually no budget. It’s so much your imagination…kind of like with theatre…”
Listen in as Wheelhouse Theater Company founders Jeff Wise, who also directs the show, and actors David Kenner and Michael Schantz, discuss the company’s production of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, rebuttal plays, parallels to today (the phrase “drain the swamp” is in the text—seriously), reactions to overtly political plays that aren’t political screeds, the toxicity of forced conformity, and letting the audience draw their own conclusions.
“…the thing that really motivated me to do this play, the theme that I think stands out the most, is this idea of what it takes to step outside the collective, and have a new idea. And that is something that I think Ibsen was directly pointing at…”
Listen in as And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little director Shay Gines, performers Sara Thigpen and Christopher Borg, along with returning guest, Retro Productions Artistic Director and “Miss Reardon” herself, Heather E. Cunningham, discuss absence, finding yourself right in the middle of incredible social change, loving (and fearing) vintage props, finding characters from 50 years ago, teasing your play with wonderful photos (see above), who’s left behind, getting to the right time to produce that play you’ve always wanted to produce, sexual repression in a time of sexual freedom, and how the more things change, the more they stay the same.
“…it’s sort of a subtle thing, but so many of the characters make references to the fact that this outside world is encroaching on their lives…everybody’s afraid, we don’t know how to conduct ourselves so we can’t blame ourselves for not having a footing in this ever-changing landscape…”
Listen in as Boomerang Artistic Director Tim Errickson, along with the full cast of their current production of The Reckless Season—Chase Burnett, Brian Morvant, Trace Pope, and Amanda Tudor—discuss balancing the heavy with the comedic, what the room was like putting this show together, researching what it’s like to be on some crazy drugs, when a character won’t leave a play alone, finding salvation in a video game, and trying to create a family with the very different, very broken people around you.
“…if The Deer Hunter met, like, Silver Linings Playbook…there’s a lot of dark humor in it, there’s an undercurrent of sexuality to it, there’s relationship stuff, there’s brothers against brothers, there’s a lot of comedy…”
Listen in as playwright Daniel John Kelley and director Christopher Diercksen of That True Phoenix discuss opera nerdiness, self-mythologizing, producing (and living) with limited resources, repeatedly turning down your future collaborator (then, working in the same office with your collaborator), cutting down your 290-page autobiographical play, “why we do any of this,” taking the time to do it right, and the most interesting man you’ve (probably) never heard of: Lorenzo Da Ponte.
“…they were like, ‘Daniel, you’ve written crazy plays before; I trust that you will write a crazy play again, let’s do this play.’ And I was like, ‘ok, sure, 10 years of this idea, maybe it’ll do…’ But they were 100% committed, even if I didn’t believe it, from the beginning, to say, ‘we trust you, we’re going to build this play…we’re going to figure out why we do this as we go along’…”
Listen in as Athena Theatre Artistic Director (and actor in the show) Veronique Ory, along with Sub-Basement writer Tom Block and director Hunter Bird, discuss eschewing the Mad Men path, writing to a company’s mission statement, the importance of absurdity in the theatre at the present moment, where to find the best poutine in the city, and the “absurdist odyssey to find your life’s purpose.”
“The entry point was really wanting to address the homeless in our city, and to find a way…[to] address it in a way that wasn’t stereotypical…in other cultures, this idea of how homeless people are thought to be mystics, they’ve come to an enlightened point in their life…that if they can have peace and clarity in their mind, then that’s all that they need. And part of representing them in this way is hopefully taking a small step to giving face and voice to our homeless population…”