Heather E. Cunningham, Chris Harcum, Robert Franklin Neill, Desmond Dutcher, & Shay Gines of “Mary, Mary”

Retro Productions presents MARY, MARY by Jean Kerr, directed by Shay GinesListen 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Shay Gines, discuss digging into a zippy comedy, gender roles in retro shows, leaving naive nationalism, playing the outdated references, the complicated lenses through which we see plays from the past, transitions, “playing for keeps,” and why plays about relationships will never go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…”

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Suzanne Tufan & Lindsey Hope Pearlman of “Whore”

WHORE, written and performed by Suzanne Tufan, directed by Lindsey Hope Pearlman, at Paradise FactoryListen 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…”

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Rachel Cohen, Heather Cornell, Lynn Wright, & Jon Harper of “Tilt”

Racoco Productions presents TILT, written, directed, and choreographed by Rachel Cohen, at the Abrons Arts CenterListen in as TILT creator, choreographer, director, & performer Rachel Cohen, along with tap dancer Heather Cornell, composer Lynn Wright, and lighting designer Jon Harper discuss constructing your reality, creating a feast for the senses, a tight structure overlain with chaos, scaling your show, the sound of sandpaper and wood, pinball, and brilliant, delusional minds.

“…when you start to work on Don Quixote, and…you think about it, you realize, ‘oh my God, this is me’…as artists, too, you just keep trying to fight these windmills, and no matter how many times you get knocked down, you get back up, and you keep going…”

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Stanley Martin, Michael Blatt, Yhá Mourhia Wright, Ashley E. Matthews, Luis E. Mora, & Jayson Kerr of “Opportunity”

The Riant Theatre's Strawberry One-Act Festival 2019 presents OPPORTUNITY, written by Stanley Martin, directed by Michael BlattListen 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…”

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Nicola Korzenko, Cesar J. Rosado, Sheila Vand, Maggie Bofill, Brian Miskell, Knud Adams, Claire Siebers, & Anand Wilder of “Nylon”

Theaterlab presents Blockchain Theater Project’s production of NYLON, written by Sofia Alvarez, directed by Knud AdamsListen in as Nylon director Knud Adams, along with producer Nicola Korzenko, composer Anand Wilder, and cast members Maggie Bofill, Brian Miskell, Cesar J. Rosado, Claire Siebers, & Sheila Vand, speak with GSAS! correspondent Alex Randrup to discuss how best to tease your show, the cages we build for ourselves, “coming up from beneath the role,” the audience as an invisible character, making art on an indie theatre budget, jedi director tricks, demanding a response, making messy decisions and messing up, and balancing *you* with your character.

“…I loved when I first read this play, this idea that, we do create a narrative for our lives, and what happens when you start to confront the cracks in that narrative…?”

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Mark Levy & Sarah Detrik of “CC: You in Hell!”

FRIGID New York and Hub Theatricals present CC: YOU IN HELL!, written by Mark Levy, directed by Janet Bentley, in the 2019 FRIGID Festival at The Kraine TheaterListen in as CC: You in Hell! playwright/producer/actor Mark Levy, along with fellow performer Sarah Detrik, discuss a love for 90s horror, uniting the theatre and comedy scenes, ensemble work, creating your style, putting horror onstage, finding collaborators with a different view of the world from your own, warm hugs, and the magic of the indie theatre community coming together.

“…it is a horror comedy set very much now, but it feels like it’s from the late ’90s…it’s a very nerdy, theatre-movie-nerd play…”

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Alice Pencavel, Paul Bedard, Jonelle Robinson, Rosie Sowa, & Alison Walter of “Totally Wholesome Foods”

Theater in Asylum, in partnership with The Episcopal Actors' Guild Open Stage Grant presents TOTALLY WHOLESOME FOODS, written by Alice Pencavel, directed by Paul BedardListen 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…”

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Kelsey Hercs & Drew Bolander of “Romeo & Juliet”

William Shakespeare's ROMEO & JULIET, directed by Drew Bowlander, at The Kraine TheaterListen in as co-producers of Romeo & Juliet, Kelsey Hercs (“Juliet”) and Drew Bolander (adaptor/director) discuss undermining romanticism, logic-ing your way through your feelings, finding the kernel of the play we all think we know so well, making limitations into opportunities, love overflowing into hysteria and violence, and what we’re willing to do for the people and things we care about.

“…all of the violence comes from a place of love…it’s coming from a place of trying to protect what’s ‘theirs’…I think it’s interesting, because then we can apply that to ourselves, and our own groups, and kind of see where other people are coming from, even if their actions are wrong, and bad…”

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Ray Yamanouchi, Axel Avin, Jr., Sydney Cole Alexander, Hunter Canning, Alex Herrald, Martin K. Lewis, Danie Steel, and Enrico de Trizio of “The American Tradition”

New Light Theater Project presents THE AMERICAN TRADITION, written by Ray Yamanouchi, directed by Axel Avin Jr., at 13th Street Repertory CompanyListen in as The American Tradition playwright Ray Yamanouchi, director Axel Avin, Jr., and performers Sydney Cole Alexander, Hunter Canning, Alex Herrald, Martin K. Lewis, Danie Steel, along with music & sound designer Enrico de Trizio, discuss getting into the difficult questions with laughter, true stories of daring escapes, examining allyship, Brecht’s alienation effect, theatricalizing moments, how racism gets coded, remembering who the story is for, the incredible space that theatre gives us to “look through the keyhole,” and acknowledging the history that we don’t want to acknowledge.

“…I felt like it was a conversation that needed to be had. It’s a broader conversation than just speaking about slavery, or the Antebellum time period. It speaks to what’s happening today, using America’s great sin of slavery to talk about what’s still happening today…”

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Alex Randrup, Conrad Kluck, Gavin Myers, Cayenne Douglass, & Daniella Caggiano from “FEAST: A Performance Series”

Conrad Kluck, Alex Randrup, and Horse Trade Theatre Group present FEAST: A Performance Series at UNDER St. Marks TheaterListen in as the co-producers & curators of FEAST: A Performance Series, Conrad Kluck & Alex Randrup, along with several artists from the January 2019 edition of the series, playwright Cayenne Douglass, director Daniella Caggiano, and choreographer Gavin Myers, discuss encouraging cross-discipline collaborations, hearing from your high school bully, the excitement of eclectic evenings, finding creative partners, the art of the everyday, and growing community through art.

“…one of the things we wanted to put a high priority on is trying to create some kind of community base, for our artists to be able come back, and continue developing a project, or develop something new, or just have a home base…but also, art can’t exist without art-lovers, and the people in the audience. Both of those spaces are just as important…”

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