Rob Hille, Jenna Panther, and Justin Yorio, Artistic Directors of Amios, on “Seven Deadly Shotz”

Amios presents Seven Deadly Shotz

As the producer of Go See a Show!, I’m going to take off my “objectivity” hat for this episode. I already do so in the interview, as you’ll hear, so why not go whole hog?

I’m happy to report that the “want to make theatre? then throw down and make some f*cking theatre” mentality is alive and well in this town. And Amios is at the front of that charge, in the best of ways.

Frankly, this episode is about what I thought downtown theatre was going to be when I arrived in New York. Amios is making theatre the way I want to make theatre (and often do make theatre, sometimes with them — but they just do it a lot more often), with the kind of people I love to make theatre with. Amios says, “we’re not going to wait for an opportunity—we’re going to make an opportunity.” And they do it as friends.

The greatest parts of it are, they consistently do it with a high level of quality, and always while having a heck of a lot of fun.

The company is kicking off their 5th season with the return of their monthly Shotz series (you may remember it from episode 13 of this very podcast). Shotz always works around a theme, and this month, it’s the 7 deadly sins; so naturally, the show on October 7 will be, Seven Deadly Shotz. Full disclosure: I’m directing the one on “greed.”

Listen in as Artistic Directors Rob Hille, Jenna Panther, and Justin Yorio discuss how you draw a crowd to your off-off-Broadway show (beer helps, they say — who’d have thought?), how to give your collaborators a sense of ownership, sin, and wanting to watch your artist friends “work out.”

“…people are like, ‘how do you guys do all this stuff?’…and the reason that we can do it is because of our badass team of folks…it is a collective, as opposed to a typical theatre company, and more, ‘everybody’s in the trenches together, making stuff happen.’ It’s more sustainable that way…”

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Robert Honeywell, actor, and David Cote, director of “Something Something Über Alles (Das Jackpot)”

"Something Something Über Alles (Das Jackpot)" by Assurbanipal Babilla, performed by Robert Honeywell, directed by David Cote We all want to belong.

And, as the great poet Zimmerman has said, you gotta serve somebody.

Something Something Über Alles (Das Jackpot) is a complex & horrifying exploration into those very basic human needs, told through the recounting of a tale of a man who looks a lot like Adolf Hitler that becomes the center of a secret cult. While there’s only one actor onstage for this 90-minute piece, it’s a thrill-ride of a show.

Listen in as director David Cote and the sole actor, Robert Honeywell, recount the history of their relationship with the playwright, their friend Assurbanipal’s (Bani’s) work, herd mentality, feedback, how sex, politics, and religion collide in celebrity, and the leap from there to our social media obsession.

…oh, and happy 15th birthday, Horse Trade!

“Bani’s text has it’s own velocity somehow…it just moves, and it’s beautiful text, and the emotions and the imagery that he paints just surges. It’s really just full of life…”

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Nora McNally, Ben Diserens, Rachel B. Joyce, Sean Patrick Monahan, & Patrick Dooley of “Beckett in Benghazi”

Less Than Rent presents "Beckett in Benghazi" by Ben DiserensBeing drawn to the classics, Less Than Rent has taken to integrating the work of the masters into their creations; as associate producer Sean Patrick Monahan notes in this interview, it’s like how painters try to imitate the iconic works of their predecessors to understand the process. By digging in and trying to understand what came before, we can come to appreciate the genius that preceded our work — and, possibly, see where it fits into our current cultural landscape.

In the company’s new show, Beckett in Benghazi, a young troupe of actors about to stage Samuel Beckett’s Endgame changes the show’s concept just days before opening in an attempt to integrate — or, perhaps, capitalize on — the major news of the day: the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Sean is joined on the mic by LTR’s Executive Director Nora McNally, Beckett in Benghazi‘s playwright Ben Diserens, and actors from the show Rachel B. Joyce and Patrick Dooley — listen in as they discuss world events becoming buzz-words, asking questions, and the cyclical nature of life, Beckett, and this play — as well as what sort of work a play can do.

“‘I can’t go on, I’ll go on.’ Exactly.”

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Rachel Dart & Jenna Panther, directors of “There’s a Light on Yonder Mountain”

Ever wanted to create a brand-new piece of theatre, from the ground up? This is a good episode of the podcast for you.

aMios and Horse Trade present "There's a Light on Yonder Mountain"aMios has always embraced new work — their Shotz series is responsible for creating six brand new plays every month (!), and their past “longer-form” work has all consisted of brand-new plays from artists in the aMios circle of collaborators. Check out a great interview about Shotz on Episode 13.

For their latest full-length, There’s a Light on Yonder Mountain, the company wanted to bring in the creative energies of many of the wonderful people they’ve worked with since their inception in 2009. So instead of asking just one playwright to write a script, they asked five (one acted as a “literary manager”). And naturally, instead of one director, they got two.

Which led me, as a director myself, to ask the first question of this interview: how?!?!?

Listen in as those directors, Rachel Dart & Jenna Panther, discuss not only how they worked together as a team, but a whole lot more, including creating an ensemble-driven devised piece, tension, desert-island people, and the only resource you can’t get more of: time.

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Ming Peiffer, playwright, and Kat Yen, director, of “Advance Guard”

Spookfish Theatre Company presents "Advance Guard"The term “avant-garde” gets thrown around a lot, but as you’ll hear playwright Ming Peiffer recount in this episode, it started as a military term before it was used to describe the artists changing forms, and pushing art forward.

And as you’ll hear director Kat Yen discuss, the co-Artistic Directors of Spookfish Theatre Company felt that the plays they’ve been seeing of late aren’t original, or pushing theatre forward.

That frustration is where the play, and the central conflict of, Advance Guard comes from.

Listen in as Ming & Kat discuss rebelling against post-impressionism & what other people want to see, the madness leading up to opening night, and why be an artist.

“What the hell are we doing here?”

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Anna Greenfield, playwright & actress, & Lee Sunday Evans, director, of “All Girls”

"All Girls," by Anna GreenfieldCollaboration Town was last on the podcast with the crazy epic The Deepest Play Ever: The Catharsis of Pathos. This time around, their show All Girls brings things to a much more personal level to great effect with this lovely, personal piece about three young girls on the verge of entering high school.

It may be “all girls,” but of course all are invited. And as you’ll hear in the interview, playwright/actress Anna Greenfield and director Lee Sunday Evans want to be sure this show is accessible to all (and they succeeded).

Listen in as Anna & Leigh talk about sensitivity to voices, “struggling with the process of becoming,” writing something so you can act in it, and being honest. Continue reading

FRIGID New York 2013

FRIGID New York 2013 A bit of a different podcast this time out: in this episode, GSAS! interviews artists from seven of the thirty — yes, 30 — plays that are part of this year’s FRIGID New York festival, presented by Horse Trade Theater Group.

It should be noted, FRIGID isn’t just another festival. The participants are chosen at random, so no silly politicking is involved; and, all participants keep 100% of the box office sales for their show. Try finding that kinda deal as a performer anywhere else in this town. Very cool format. Hats off to Horse Trade for making this happen every year since 2007.

Kicking off the marathon of mini-interviews is Erez Ziv, Executive Director of FRIGID and Managing Director of Horse Trade, followed by, in order:

— director Nikki DiLoreto & playwright/performer Antonia Lassar of The God Box
— co-director/producer/performer Bricken Sparacino of Sisters Grimm: Fables of the Stage
— director Christina Massie, performer Emily Tuckman, and performer Sarah Jacobs of Commencing
— playwright & performer Nikhil Tilwalli of A Panda Suit, Pythagorus, and Plenty of Puns
— playwright & performer Chris Harcum of Two Lovely Black Eyes
— playwright & performer Lucas Brooks of VGL 5′ 4″ Top
— playwright & performer D’yan Forest of My Pussy is Purrin’ Again Continue reading

Frank Cwiklik, director of DMTheatrics’ “FINAL CURTAIN: The Last of Ed Wood”

Final Curtain: The Last of Ed WoodI’m sure we’ve all noticed the trend in theatre to take material from the film world and put it upon the stage — look at the Broadway listings, and you’re sure to see what I mean. Director Frank Cwiklik of DMTheatrics is also in the business of bringing the big screen to the live stage, but right now he’s not working with “successful” films — he’s working with material from Ed Wood, the much-maligned/cultishly-adored1950s sci-fi/noir/horror/strange film writer/director/producer/actor. And for FINAL CURTAIN: The Last of Ed Wood, he’s got 5 (five!) Wood pieces running in rep at The Red Room.

After opening night of Bride of the Monster paired with The Sinister Urge!, Frank took a break from the madness to discuss the origins of his putting Ed Wood onstage, technical difficulties as aesthetic choices, playwrighting by necessity, and giving the man some have called “the worst director in history” a little respect.

DMTheatrics presents

FINAL CURTAIN: The Last of Ed Wood

directed by Frank Cwiklik

Remaining performances:
TUE JUNE 26 8 PM The Ed Wood Memorial Burlesque Blowout
WED JUNE 27 8 PM The Violent Years!, 9:30 PM Hot Ice
THURS JUNE 28 8 PM Night of the Ghouls, 9:30 PM The Violent Years!
FRI JUNE 29 7:30 PM The Sinister Urge PLUS a retrospective of past DMT B-movie shows
SAT JUNE 30 8 PM Hot Ice, 9:30 PM Bride of the Monster
SUN JULY 1 1 PM Matinee Double Feature: Night of the Ghouls/The Violent Years!
8 PM Hot Ice, 9:30 PM The Sinister Urge!

FINAL CURTAIN: The Last of Ed Wood, "Bride of the Monster"FINAL CURTAIN: The Last of Ed Wood, "The Sinister Urge!"FINAL CURTAIN: The Last of Ed Wood, "The Sinister Urge!"

Martin Dockery, and his new show “The Holy Land Experience”

Martin Dockery's "The Holy Land Experience"Playwright & performer Martin Dockery is one of those guys who seems, to me, to have the most interesting life — his stories are always full of wild adventures and profoundly meaningful interactions with fascinating people, all true, all from his life.

I interviewed Dockery after a performance of his new show The Holy Land Experience at The Kraine Theater, and he answers the question of “just why is your life so awesome and mine so mundane?” beautifully. That, and more, in this episode of Go See a Show!


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There’s sadly just one more chance to see this run of The Holy Land Experience — Monday, December 19, 8PM at The Kraine. Check it out if you can; watch one of his appearances at The Moth to get a sense for the kind of storytelling you’re in for, like this one below:

Christian Haines, Michael Fulvio, Melissa Ortiz, and Rob Hille of aMios

aMios theatre company's "Shotz"Go See a Show! took a trip to St. Mark’s & 1st Ave this past Monday for the second performance of Shotzin’ Around the Christmas Tree, part of aMios theatre company’s monthly Shotz series at Under St. Mark’s.

Shotz is a unique & fun series, with brand new plays written & produced within three weeks, performed one-night-only — and the audience gets a free beer with admission. When I went, both performances were packed, and the vibe was celebratory; this was, without a doubt, the place to be on an unseasonably warm Monday night in December.

Listen in to this week’s episode for a conversation with Christian Haines (Artistic Director), Rob Hille (Associate Artistic Director), Melissa Ortiz (Producing Artistic Director), and Michael Fulvio (Associate Producing Director) for more info about monthly Shotz, the LongShotz: Arrivals & Departures performances running thru December 17, stealing their ideas, and what’s next for aMios.


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