Kilusan Bautista of “Transcend”

Kilusan Bautista of TRANSCENDListen in as Kilusan Bautista, the creator & performer of Transcend, discusses his transplant status, why his show mixes media & how it’s a conversation, the benefits of social media, creating a democracy with post-show discussions, and making art out of struggle.

“…hey, we’re here, and if we can connect, then so be it…but if we can’t connect, at least we can have some respect, and still be a part of this community, and…y’know, get through, get through this life.”

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Dan Bianchi and R. Patrick Alberty of RadioTheatre’s 8th Annual H. P. Lovecraft Festival

RadioTheatre presents The 8th Annual H. P. Lovecraft Festival at The Kraine TheaterThis is now the fourth time I’ve done a podcast about RadioTheatre‘s annual H. P. Lovecraft Festival (now in its 8th year!)—and as long as they keep doing Lovecraft, I’m going to keep going to see their shows.

Fans of radio drama and/or horror fiction will definitely find something to love, as creator/director Dan Bianchi dramatizes 8 different stories from Lovecraft’s deep catalogue of weird tales, enlisting the vocal talents of actors like R. Patrick Alberty to bring them to life for your ears, live, onstage.

Listen in as Dan and Patrick discuss the company’s adaptation process, how the festival has changed through 8 editions, what can happen when you exceed audience expectations, why we need horror tales, and how this is the kind of experience only RadioTheatre can bring you.

“…we’re asking the audience to participate, to use your imagination…back in the days of radio, everyone sat around the radio in the living room in the dark…and they had to use their imagination to provide the visuals. And here we are, going back to that, the simplest form of theatre there was, sitting around the campfire in the dark, telling stories…” Continue reading

William Glenn and Trish Parry, creators & performers of “A Brief History of Beer”

Horse Trade Theater Group presents A Brief History of Beer“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria.”—A quote often misattributed to Benjamin Franklin, but with no clear source as far as my half-assed Googling can discern.

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”—Also misattributed to Mr. Franklin.

“Beer & theatre are a match made in heaven.”—I said that. Just now.

No matter who said which when, I firmly believe that all three of those quotes are true. And if you like your theatre fun, educational (in the best of ways, because it’s about something awesome: beer), and interactive—or, as they like to say, “drinkeractive”—you should check out one of Wish Experience‘s upcoming performances of A Brief History of Beer.

I sat down for a post-show drink with the shows creators & performers, William Glenn and Trish Parry, after the first show in their year-long monthly residency at UNDER St. Marks; listen in as Will & Trish discuss becoming unwitting beer judges, knowing where your beer comes from, Peter Brook’s idea of “deadly theatre” (you didn’t think this was all about alcohol, did you?), and the “secret mission” of their show.

“Beer is the drumbeat of life.”

“That’s it…in all of our veins, the rivers of Babylon flow. These ancient waters flow in all of our veins, and that’s what’s in this glass…”

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RadioTheatre’s 6th Annual “H. P. Lovecraft Festival” — Part II

RadioTheatre presents the 6th Annual H. P. Lovecraft FestivalAs promised two episodes back, GSAS! continues the seasonally-appropriate fare with another conversation with the vocal acrobats behind RadioTheatre‘s 6th Annual H. P. Lovecraft Festival.

Back on the mic are the excellent R. Patrick Alberty & Joshua Nicholson, along with RadioTheatre newcomer (& equally excellent voice-talent) Danielle Adams.

Listen in as Patrick, Danielle, Joshua & I discuss what it’s like to jump in and work with the RadioTheatre team for the first time, converting new theatre-goers into RadioTheatre groupies, the “theatre of the mind,” and what you can hear (& see!) next from their personal projects & RadioTheatre.

“You see the name ‘RadioTheatre,’ and immediately what comes to mind is the old ’40s, ’50s style, you see people dressed up, men in fedoras, you got the foley artist in the background…but this form of theatre that we do is completely unique…”

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RadioTheatre’s 6th Annual “H. P. Lovecraft Festival” — Part I

RadioTheatre presents the 6th Annual H. P. Lovecraft FestivalRadioTheatre was last on the podcast with their H. P. Lovecraft festival in 2012—and being a fan of the master’s fiction, the producer of GSAS! just had to get back to The Kraine to hear more of Dan Bianchi & Company’s adaptations of his classic stories.

After the first night of the festival, featuring The Moon Bog and The Shadow Over Innsmouth, I sat down with Bianchi again, as well as the three actors giving voice to the terror that evening—Frank Zilinyi, R.Patrick Alberty, and Joshua Nicholson.

Listen in as Dan, Frank, Patrick, Joshua & I discuss “Lovecraft” vs. “love craft” in the minds of unsuspecting patrons, performing at the new Lovecraft-themed bar (seriously, this is a thing), not looking at who you’re playing to, and how live radio drama differs from more “traditional” theatre.

…and yep, that “Part I” in the title means that there’ll be more aural cosmic horror discussed on the podcast soon!

“It’s more like a band, I always say…it’s kind of like doing sets in a band.”

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The Cast & Director of “The Drunken City”

Battalion Theatre presents The Drunken CityNew on the scene Battalion Theatre presents their second production, where a night of excessive partying and drunken carousing with handsome strangers leads to unavoidable confrontations with the realities of the relationships between a young bachelorette and her circle of friends—Adam Bock’s The Drunken City. It’s a premise that could easily devolve into cliche, but wisely starts at cliche before delving into the humanity underneath.

Listen in as director Emma Johnson, and actors Christine Spang, Conrad LeBron, Dan Gonon, Elena Kritter, Gadi Rubin, and Kullan Sinclair Edberg, discuss starting your theatre company at CraftBar, how your interviewer looks like Rocket Raccoon, love & magic, and taking a cold hard look at your own relationships. Oh, and there’s an on-air selfie.

“The play is a comedy on the surface, but for me it’s a tragedy, it’s about the lies that we call truths in the battle against loneliness…those lies, when called truths, build up and become the foundations upon which we build our lives…”

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Artem Yatsunov, director, and Stacie Lents, playwright, of “Enchanted Arms”

StrangeDog Theatre Company presents Enchanted ArmsRemember your classic fairy tales?

Well, StrangeDog Theatre Company is taking the characters from those stories, and setting them up in low-rent apartments in a run-down building named, appropriately, Enchanted Arms.

And while the four tales presented here have a familiar ring…these are not the fairy tales your Grandma told you.

Listen in as director Artem Yatsunov, and one of the four playwrights featured in the evening, Stacie Lents, discuss taking the magic out of fairy-tales, throwing money around to the sounds of Whitney Houston, shit-talking Ayn Rand, and plays & stories that are actually…fun.

“No happy endings.”

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Sean Patrick Monahan, James Presson, Charlie Polinger, and Tom Sanchez of “Little Mac, Little Mac, You’re the Very Man!”

Less Than Rent presents Little Mac, Little Mac, You're the Very Man!It’s been a good few seasons for Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera, his adaptation of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera — Martha Clarke’s version is currently running at The Atlantic, Marvel Rep’s production of Feingold’s translation was up for a Drama Desk in 2012, Robert Wilson’s stylized take was at BAM not long ago…now, add to that a truly American adaptation — Less Than Rent’s Little Mac, Little Mac, You’re the Very Man!

In LTR’s freewheeling musical, the infamous Macheath chases the American dream through time and space, encountering everyone from Richard Nixon & Ronald Reagan, to Joe DiMaggio and Michael Jordan, to Bugs Bunny & Jessica Rabbit. It’s as wild as you think it is, and a lot of fun.

Listen in as playwrights Sean Patrick Monahan and James Presson, director Charlie Polinger, and Mac himself, Tom Sanchez, discuss free-association & post-it notes to write your play, how to make it in America, and what happens when your American History book throws up all over The Beggar’s Opera.

“They were sort of taking the audience on a ride and then kicking them out of the car…and so we started trying to find a way that we could do that…”

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Katharine McLeod, writer/performer of “My High-Heeled Life: Or, How I Learned to Keep Worrying and Love My Stilettos”

Katharine McLeod in "My High-Heeled Life: Or, How I Learned to Keep Worrying and Love My Stilettos"You probably remember that old saying, “The clothes make the man.”

And while you might want to dispute it, or actively fight it (my stint as a goody-two-shoes honors student male with long hair in high school was my small form of personal resistance), it wouldn’t be an idiom if a good number of people along the way didn’t find some ring of truth to it.

The performativity of what we prefer to wear—in her case, specifically, stilettos—intrigued actress Katherine McLeod to the point she had to write a show about it, appropriately titled My High-Heeled Life: Or, How I Learned to Keep Worrying and Love My Stilettos, which is currently running as part of the Frigid New York festival at Under St. Marks.

Listen in as Katharine and I discuss shoes as battleground, the long (and proper) title of her piece, and not having to apologize for those things that bring you joy.

“…what assumptions do you make about me based on what I wear? And, should I stop because you’re making those assumptions? Or, should I push back, and show my true colors, should I show all parts of me…”

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RJ Vaillancourt, Jenna Grossano, James Presson, and Patrick Dooley of “How Less Than Rent Stole Christmas!”

How Less Than Rent Stole Christmas!Less Than Rent was last on the podcast with a provocative take on a theatre company’s provocative take on Beckett’s Endgame (listen to it here).

Now, the company sets their sights on the holidays, with three distinct evenings of theatrical cheer. The podcast was there on night one, when RJ Vaillancourt hosted a Christmas variety show a la his hero, Bing Crosby (see the photo below), under the direction of Jenna Grossano.

Listen in as Jenna & RJ, along with LTR members (and the masterminds of the series) James Presson and Patrick Dooley, discuss reflecting reality back from the stage, how you find the glue to hold a variety show together, and why the company would do not one, but three different holiday shows over three weeks. Continue reading