Mike Inwood, lighting designer of “The Essential Straight & Narrow”

The Mad Ones present The Essential Straight and NarrowSo this is one of those episodes that got recorded when the show was (first) presented, but I missed my window to get the podcast up before closing.

Thankfully, though, it was a show in development by The Mad Ones, and the full production is set to open this weekend at The New Ohio.

When lighting designer Mike Inwood & I first chatted during its workshop run in The Ice Factory last summer, it was called the Untitled Biopic Project, a show that crosses the genres of film, theatre, and music — in this interview, we talk a bit about the development process that went into the project, which is now called The Essential Straight & Narrow.

Listen in as Mike and I discuss how a lighting designer can inform the development of work with a group like The Mad Ones, writing & working in layers, and how to properly pronounce the word “biopic.” Continue reading

Boo Killebrew & Geoffrey Decas O’Donnell, playwrights/performers of “Family Play (1979 to present)”

Collaboration Town presents Family Play (1979 to present)Over the past several decades, the fundamental definition of “family” has changed — and the collaborators of Collaboration Town have come of age through some 30-odd of those years.

In their new show Family Play (1979 to present), previously titled Help Me to Make It and part of their two-year participation in The Archive Alliance Residency, CTown co-artistic directors, actors, and playwrights on the project Boo Killebrew and Geoffrey Decas O’Donnell (fellow playwright Jordan Seavey spoke about the project on an earlier episode of the podcast, during the show’s workshop last summer) explore the changing nature of the family through a series of 116 moments — many of which will be familiar to…well, anyone who’s grown up.

Listen in as Boo and Geoffrey discuss what makes a family, “a lot of Google Docs,” the deconstruction of the traditional nuclear family in traditional American drama, and how you define a person based on moments.

“…if we’re going to explore how family is changing, then we need to explore traditional structure in plays…we wanted to just break everything down as much as possible…take away definitions of people…everyone is everyone is everyone…”

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Liz Davito, Lucy Smith, Eamonn Farrell, & Jessica Weinstein of “I Land”

Anonymous Ensemble present "I Land," part of the Ice Factory festival 2013The Ice Factory festival of new works at The New Ohio comes to a close with Anonymous Ensemble‘s I Land, and while all the works have been creative & adventurous, this, in my humble opinion, might be the most innovative.

Because when you sit in this show, you’re co-creating the show with Anonymous. Despite their name, you, as an audience member, are not anonymous in this production; you help to write it, in a very real way. I’ll stop there, I don’t want to give too much away…but I think it helps to know at least that much about the show before listening to this episode.

On the mic are the performers: Liz Davito, Lucy Smith, Eamonn Farrell, and Jessica Weinstein. I’m going to let them carry this episode from here. To say any more here would take away from the experience you get when you walk into a performance of I Land, and I certainly wouldn’t want to do that.

Listen in as Liz, Lucy, Jessica & Eamonn discuss extraordinary stories, the fine line between “playing with” and “mocking,” theatre as an event, and what happens when the last element you add to your show is a script.

“I felt like I existed. And it was so fantastic.”

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Sanaz Ghajarrahimi, Ben Hobbs, and Vincent Van Santvoord of “Red Wednesday”

Built for Collapse 1-Red Wednesday-pThe Ice Factory festival continues, and Go See a Show! continues to follow the new work showcased at The New Ohio with this week’s production, Red Wednesday, by the Brooklyn collective Built for Collapse.

The Artistic Directors of Built for Collapse — Sanaz Ghajarrahimi, who directed the show, Ben Hobbs, who choreographed, and Vincent Van Santvoord, who is acting in the show — joined me after the first public presentation of Red Wednesday, which is still in development. Described by Sanaz as a “multimedia ballad about revolution, past, present, and future,” Red Wednesday grew from Sanaz’s personal connection to the overthrow of the Iranian shah in the 1970s, and starts to dig into the connections between family and politics, and past and present history.

Listen in as Sanaz, Vincent, and Ben discuss searching for structure, revolution & theatre’s role in it, creating movement from images, and personalizing politics by mixing world history with being a 20-something in 2013.

“A political family drama about the politics of family.”

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Jordan Seavey, co-creator & co-playwright of “Help Me to Make It”

Collaboration Town presents a workshop production of "Help Me to Make It"

Collaboration Town returns to the podcast for their third episode (check out the The Deepest Play Ever and All Girls podcasts for interviews with Geoffrey Decas O’Donnell & Lee Sunday Evans, also co-creators on this project), with the workshop production of their new (apropos of their name) collaboratively-created show, Help Me to Make It, part of the 2013 Ice Factory Festival ahead of its full production in April 2014.

Listen in as co-creator & co-playwright Jordan Seavey talks about how to get from 12 hours of written material down to a one-act workshop performance (hint: “killing textual babies”), the relationship between his life as a playwright and his life as a performer, and how Collaboration Town defines their namesake—collaboration.

“We have that kind of tension, as well, that siblings have, and we have that kind of forthrightness…where we can say, ‘this is really what I want,’…we’re very blunt, in a loving way…”

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