Jeremy Bloom, Brian Rady, & Catherine Brookman of “The Upper Room”

Rady & Bloom present The Upper Room at The New OhioStart creating a new work of theatre from a classic fairy tale, and you might find yourself taking a detour through the “back to the land” movement, and wind up with a movement play full of original music, lovely light projections, and a manatee mask.

That’s an oversimplified way to describe Rady & Bloom‘s The Upper Room, currently playing at The New Ohio—but it’s a whole lot more than that.

Listen in as the Rady & Bloom, Brian Rady and Jeremy Bloom, along with composer/performer Catherine Brookman, discuss collaboration between song-writer and directors/creators, post-show parties, The Little Mermaid, working with your spouse, and the long haul.

“…there’s a thrust, there is a story, but we’re trying to express the inexpressible, we’re trying to express the feeling of, ‘what will happen next to me,’ or ‘what will happen to US…'”

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Josh Luxenberg, Jon Levin, Erik Lochtefeld, and Eric Wright of “Powerhouse”

Sinking Ship Productions presents PowerhouseChances are, you’re like me—you won’t immediately recognize the name Raymond Scott, but once you realize who he was, you also realize you’ve had his music stuck in your head at some point in time. Maybe even many points in time.

Director Jon Levin was once on the same page as you & I, casually humming Scott’s iconic melody from Powerhouse, when a friend introduced him to the story of this music pioneer. From there, he and playwright Josh Luxenberg, along with their collaborators in Sinking Ship Ensemble, began to devise this vibrant, imaginative piece of theatre, named for that very composition.

Listen in as Jon & Josh, joined by actors Erik Lochtefeld, who portrays Scott, & Eric Wright, one of the puppet-geniuses behind Puppet Kitchen (who provide, you might have surmised, puppets for the show), discuss faith in the post-atomic future, the difference between what you set out to do and what actually happens, and discovering your play in front of an audience.

“There’s something really compelling to me about the idea of something trying to do one thing, very specifically, and being undermined by a bunch of cartoons.”

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Barbara Kahn and Noelle LuSane, writers of “Island Girls”

"Island Girls" by Barbara Kahn and Noelle LuSaneHow does one go from writing contemporary comedies to writing historically-based musicals, reintroducing certain figures who popular culture have largely forgotten?

As Island Girls director/co-author Barbara Kahn notes in our conversation, she made that transition out of a desire to make social change. And although this play is set in 1927 at the women’s prison on Welfare Island, it’s surprising (and, I’m this case, sad) just how much things stay the same, no matter how much they change — the social change needed in the 1920’s is pretty similar to change we need now, in 2014.

Listen in as Barbara and co-author/composer Noelle LuSane discuss their “fluid, organic process,” why you should speak up for your artistic talents, and how you turn the history of a women’s prison into a musical.

“I think artistic talent is transferable….when somebody offers something like that, I usually jump on it.”

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