Jason Sofge, Dustin Charles, Kristin Wetherington, Dereks Thomas, and Tony Del Bono of “Anonymous, Anonymous”

Pogue Mahone Productions presents ANONYMOUS, ANONYMOUS by Jason Sofge, part of FringeNYC 2016This episode’s going up on a Saturday, which is a little weird, I know, but it’s Fringe-time, y’all, and I wanted to be sure you had a couple chances to catch this lovely show.

Jason Sofge, last heard on the podcast while performing in the excellent Fatty Fatty No Friends, presents his first full-length play, Anonymous, Anonymous, which he wrote, co-directed, and produced. Time in the play shifts a lot, and the structure is unusual (the playwright himself describes it as “metaphysical”), but as the story unfolds and reveals itself, there’s a ton of humor, heart, and truth to the piece.

Listen in as Jason and several members of the cast—Dustin Charles, Kristin Wetherington, Dereks Thomas, and Tony Del Bono—discuss developing your first play, “the one that got away,” breaking the rules to “defy the commercial construct of the modern theatre,” surprising your audience, and why we do this crazy theatre thing at all.

“…I think, as artists, when we have to deal with something that’s really painful, we have to use it, we have to make something productive out of it…”

Continue reading

Michael Paul Wirsch, Olivia Hartle, and Sarah Misch of “The Curse of the Babywoman!”

BIG Theatre presents The Curse of the Babywoman! as part of Fringe NYC 2016If you head out to see anything at the 2016 FringeNYC Festival, you’re likely going to run into a ton of crazy, catchy titles for the shows being offered. One that caught my eye was The Curse of the Babywoman! because of my penchant for horror—and this promised to be a fun, campy, theatrical romp.

And it kept its promise.

Michael Paul Wirsh‘s script is zany enough to keep you laughing, while layered in allegory that keeps your mind engaged saying, “wait, what?” And when you leave the theater and start to unravel the wild tapestry painted for you by director Olivia Hartle and the delightful cast, including the fabulous Sarah Misch as Philomena, you begin to develop a real appreciation for the levels in this show.

Listen in as Mike, Olivia, and Sarah discuss finding humor and leaning into your rehearsal mistakes, denying the obvious, embracing simplicity, mob mentality, how to put baby horses onstage, and finding social relevance in a play about a giant baby.

“If you’re going to convince people to change their minds and their hearts, you have to do it subversively, and that’s ultimately what I hope this does. And if not, it’s a good time, so that’s important, too.”

Continue reading

Danielle Trzcinski, writer of “Non-Equity The Musical!”

Non-Equity The Musical, book and lyrics by Danielle Trzcinski, music by Paul D. MillsIf you are, or have ever been an actor, how many times have you heard someone say something to the effect of, “oh, acting! that must be so much fun!”—and had to fight a visceral reaction to respond along the lines of, “yeah, but you have NO idea what we go through…”

Because while it is fun, of course, and those of us lucky enough to work in the theatre feel our jobs are indeed the best in the world, the fun part of acting comes after a lot of trials, heartache, early mornings, degrading calls, blood, sweat, and tears.

It comes…after the casting process.

Playwright Danielle Trzcinski and composer Paul D. Mills have taken the unique experience of being at a casting call and put it onstage, with music, like you do. Their show Non-Equity The Musical!, after a sold-out run at the NY Fringe in 2012, has recorded a cast album, and GSAS! recently sat down with Danielle to talk about the show.

Listen in as she discusses the virtues and values of making your own work, playing to and fighting against type (and typing yourself out of your own musical), and following your dream even through the mess that is our business.

“I think it’s pretty awesome, like your podcast, that all these people are out there…it is so much work to do all these things, but there’s only so long we can wait around for an opportunity to be given to us…”
“…or so many 5 a.m. calls…”
“Exactly! Honestly, doing this show…that opened up so many more doors for me than when I was getting up and busting my ass at 5 in the morning…”

Continue reading

The Playwright, Director, and Cast of “Poor People”

The Present Theatre Company presents POOR PEOPLE, written by Lavinia Roberts and directed by Irene KapustinaEven being as into independent theatre as I am, I always seem to miss most of Fringe each year.

Thankfully, I was able to get out to The Kraine with a microphone for just one show in this year’s festival, and had the pleasure of talking with some of the creative people behind this heartbreaking theatrical adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel Poor Folk, here entitled Poor People.

Listen in as the playwright Lavinia Roberts, creator/director Irene Kapustina, and actors Alan Altschuler, Jarrod Zayas, Jennifer Stepanyk, and Eric Doss discuss adaptation, perception, killer mustaches, the difference between “bad guys” and “guys who make terrible choices,” the challenges of putting up a show in a festival, and the relationship between Dostoyevsky’s 1845 St. Petersburg and our 2015 New York City.

“…I really fell in love with Dostoyevsky’s humanist lens, and how perceptive he is about people, and able to really appreciate them for who they are, even when they behave in dubious ways. He has such a beautiful understanding of humanity…it was just such a really exciting world to dive in to…” Continue reading

Ashley Jacobson, Elizabeth Sarkady, Ryan Guess, Dondrie Burnham, and Brett Epstein of “The Tunnel Play”

The Dirty Blondes present The Tunnel PlayWelcome back to The Dirty Blondes, playwright Ashley Jacobson and producer Elizabeth Sarkady, and to Mr. Brett Epstein (his third appearance on the podcast)! They’re joined by fellow actors Ryan Guess and Dondrie Burnham (both of whom I hope will also become repeat-guests here on the podcast) to talk about their new show, currently playing in The Fringe.

Around a moveable set of three trunks, The Tunnel Play follows a young woman who gave up her comfortable life to live in the tunnels, her older friend (and tunnel-life mentor) who landed in the tunnels through hardship, and a self-loathing yuppie copywriter, as their lives set on a collision course just ahead of a massive weather event to hit New York City. What do you do when faced with the possibility that everything could be washed away at any moment?

Listen in as Ashley, Ryan, Dondrie, Brett, and Elizabeth discuss that scary, difficult question, as well as having to answer to someone, taking inspiration from Superstorm Sandy, and the things we bottle up (until the lid blows off).

“…life is a storm, and storms affect everybody, and your actions also affect everybody…”

Continue reading

Lizzy Beth Elkins, Kathy Huynh-Phan, Peter J. Wallace, and Drew Nungesser of “The Anger in Ernest & Ernestine”

"The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine"What do you do when you’re graduating from a respected, traditional acting program, and you make your own theatre company?

If you’re actors Peter J. Wallace and Kathy Huynh-Phan and sound designer Drew Nungesser, you do a clown show in The Fringe. And you get the awesome Lizzy Beth Elkins to direct it.

Listen in as Lizzy, Peter, Kathy and Drew discuss directors auditioning for actors, clowning, Al Gore & the internet, and welcoming your sound designer into the rehearsal room. Plus, suspenders are snapped, live, on-air.

“…part of what I’m attracted to for theatre is, let’s see if we can be truthful and tell great stories, but then also kind of make it a party…”

Continue reading

Kristin McCarthy Parker, director of “kumrads won’t”

"kumrads won't," part of the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival, directed by Kristin McCarthy ParkerOn this episode, the fabulous director Kristin McCarthy Parker returns to the podcast — and this time, I’m posting our interview in time for you to hear it and then see her show (unlike when I covered her show Bears).

Kristen, along with producer Nick Abeel, playwright Christina Michelle Watkins, & other committed artists, knew they wanted to see kumrads won’t in a real production — so they decided to produce it themselves, submitting it to the New York International Fringe Festival. Self-producing is something I’m all in favor of, but I also know it’s a daunting proposition. So of course one of my biggest questions for the interview were, “why would you do this to yourself?” And in a festival, nonetheless!

Must be a really special show to them. As you’ll hear in the interview, indeed it is.

Listen in as Kristin discusses how she came to fall in love with this play, the stuggles of being vulnerable, and what it means to be successful within your means.

“I found it really intriguing, and funny, and heartbreaking, and sad, but also just a really poignant look at a relationship between two people who are very different, and who we don’t normally envision having any sort of connection, but who are struggling to connect with each other nonetheless.”

Continue reading

Matt Graham, writer & performer of “This Too Shall Suck”

"This Too Shall Suck" by Matt GrahamI can completely identify with Matt Graham on at least one point: real men do indeed love cats (big shout-out to my man Compay).

Graham’s show, This Too Shall Suck, of which he is the writer and performer, was a standout in the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival, and now continues weekly at Soho Playhouse’s Huron Club.

The show is dark, autobiographical, incredibly personal…and funny. And yes, cats are involved.

Listen in to this episode of Go See a Show! as Matt talks about getting onstage for the first time in eight years, cats, and making theatre to connect with people (and maybe to meet women, too). Continue reading

Christie Perfetti, playwright of “No Fault: A Tale about the Big D in the Big Apple”

No Fault: A Tale About the Big D in the Big AppleThis week’s episode of Go See a Show! features an interview with a woman who was introduced to me by a mutual friend as “not only a fantastic woman but one of my favourite playwrights” — Christie Perfetti.

After seeing her play No Fault: A Tale About the Big D in the Big Apple at The Kraine Theater in the New York International Fringe Festival, I can understand my friend’s enthusiasm.

Listen in as Christie and I discuss the resonance of a very personal play with audience members, how to make a play go from script to performances in a 99-seat theater in just three months, and what it means to be in “the middle.”

download podcast Continue reading

Mariah MacCarthy, playwright of “Ampersand”

Ampersand, photo by Kacey AnisaWe don’t yet have a logo, and we’re just on a simple WordPress template — but we’ve got a podcast! And it’s a great introduction to what Go See a Show! is all about, if I do say so myself.

Listen to an interview with playwright Mariah MacCarthy, recorded immediately after opening night of her new play Ampersand: A Romeo & Juliet Story in the New York International Fringe Festival.

download episode Continue reading