Heather Cohn, Kia Rogers, Rachael Hip-Flores, Isaiah Tanenbaum, and Jodi M. Witherell of “Salvage”

Flux Theatre Ensemble presents Salvage, written by August Schulenburg and directed by Heather Cohn“What lives on…what’s left when someone is gone?”

The kinds of things that remain can run the gamut—music boxes, stories, ephemera, bottles of booze, memories—but they can all mean something. And exploring that meaning is at the heart of August Schulenburg’s excellent new play Salvage, presented by Flux Theatre Ensemble.

Listen in as the show’s director Heather Cohn, actors Isaiah Tanenbaum and Rachael Hip-Flores, lighting designer Kia Rogers, and stage manager Jodi M. Witherell discuss Flux’s innovative Living Ticket model, tumblr-blogging for your show, working in a non-traditional space, putting audience submissions into your set, and what we save.

“…really, it’s this love-letter to New York that Gus has written…and I love being in it.”

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Heather Cohn, Rachel Hip-Flores, and Brian Silliman of “Once Upon a Bride There Was a Forest”

Flux Theatre Ensemble presents Once Upon a Bride There Was a ForestRegular listeners to the podcast have probably noticed that, if Flux Theatre Ensemble is presenting a show, GSAS! is going to be there. Great people, great productions, and great conversation always ensues.

In this episode, about Flux’s new show Once Upon a Bride There Was a Forest, the conversation isn’t just about the work onstage; it takes a turn toward how the artists were able to get that work onstage.

See, the show’s director (and Flux Producing Director) Heather Cohn, and Flux Artistic Director August Schulenburg, are partners in life as well as in art—and they recently welcomed a daughter into the world, which is certainly a big (and wonderful!) change in their lives. It doesn’t, however, have to keep them from making theatre; in fact, it can inform the process in a lovely way, as it sounds like it did here.

Listen in as Heather, along with actors Rachel Hip-Flores and Brian Silliman, discuss balancing parenthood with your theatre career, how you get both a house and a forest onstage at the same time, and when you know the play is the right one.

 “…those are the only two things you ever, ever need to do: look at babies and learn the lines.”

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TALKBACK: David Stallings & Heather Cohn of “Dark Water,” with Robin Madel & Kyle Rabin

Manhattan Theatre Works presents "Dark Water" by David Stallings, directed by Heather CohnDavid Stallings‘s play Dark Water is the tale of a mother turtle as she and her son negotiate the sea along with a host of other animals — like a land-loving dolphin, a vain heron, and a gluttonous gull — to save her daughters, who have been trapped by the titular menace. Director Heather Cohn‘s production features a colorful (and largely recycled!) set, music, puppets, and inventive projections to tell the moving tale of these animals.

Don’t let that description fool you — this isn’t a kids show.

Rather, it’s a righteous statement about the damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon blowout, the largest off-shore oil spill in US history. And sadly, although it comes almost four years after the initial tragedy, it can still be considered timely, because the environment is still dealing with the fallout.

At the performance on March 20, Robin Madel and Kyle Rabin of Grace Communications Foundation were on hand to lead a talkback on the environmental issues of the show. It was a great way to follow up the performance, and GSAS! was there to record it — it’s presented here in its entirety.

Don’t worry if you don’t remember just what happened in the Gulf in April of 2010; a brave audience member sums it up nicely in the discussion, before Robin & Kyle discuss the effects of this and other oil spills, what prompted David to write the play, and Heather’s fear (and ultimate triumph) of directing this “impossible to direct” play.

“Don’t eat bluefin tuna…BLACKOUT.”

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Johnna Adams, playwright, and Heather Cohn, director, of “Sans Merci”

Flux Theatre Ensemble presents "Sans Merci," by Johnna Adams, directed by Heather Cohn

When the mother of your lover shows up unannounced on your doorstep, it’s kind of shocking.

When she’s looking for answers about her daughter’s final days, which she shared with you, the shock is much more dramatic.

That’s the situation in which the characters in Johnna Adams‘s Sans Merci find themselves. Directed in its world premiere by Heather Cohn and produced by Flux Theatre Ensemble (in rep with another new play, Honey Fist — watch for a GSAS! podcast on that one soon), Sans Merci is a play about poetry, activism, and, as Flux asks, “who owns the stories of the dead?”

Listen in as Johnna and Heather discuss grief, haunting, activism, and theatre that can make everybody feel something.

“A lot of chocolate, and a lot of kleenex.”

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