Ran Xia and Charlotte Arnoux of The Arctic Group’s FRIDGE Festival

The Arctic Group presents FRIDGE Fest 2017Listen in as Ran Xia and Charlotte Arnoux, co-Artistic Directors of The Arctic Group, presenting their Fridge Festival at IRT, discuss happy autocorrect errors, finding a fridge for your fridge festival, developing your climbing skills, the beauty of limitations, serendipitous curation, “figuring it out,” and what it means to “pick a snowflake out of an avalanche.”

“…it’s putting two different groups of people onto the same platform, so they can have a conversation…”
“…and just offering space to artists that we love, and ones that we have come to love…we wanted to create the theatre festival that we never had…”

Continue reading

Patrick Vermillion and Emily Jackson of “Jessica”

Sanguine Theatre Company presents JESSICA, written by Patrick Vermillion, directed by Emily JacksonListen in as two of the creators behind Sanguine Theatre Company‘s world-premiere production of Jessica—playwright Patrick Vermillion and director Emily Jackson—discuss justifying your narrative, Sanguine’s “Project Playwright” process, why their AI story focuses on the building process, confronting the truth, the morality of technology, and what makes us human.

“…I wanted to create a sci-fi piece for the stage mostly because I was watching these really old, kinda shitty…[but] super-relevant, very socially-interesting television shows, with virtually no budget. It’s so much your imagination…kind of like with theatre…”

Continue reading

Max Baker, Ricki Lynée, Ian Poake, Alice Johnson, Lisa Jill Anderson, and Arthur Kriklivy of “The Conspiracists”

Stable Cable Lab Co presents THE CONSPIRACISTS, written and directed by Max BakerListen in as The Conspiracists playwrights/director Max Baker, along with members of the cast Ricki Lynée, Ian Poake, Alice Johnson, Lisa Jill Anderson, and Arthur Kriklivy, discuss getting inspiration from conspiracy theories, storytelling as a way to relate, eerily-accurate Catholic Church basement settings, “The Mandela Effect,” parallel universes, out-crazy-ing crazy, and how we relate.

“‘We use conspiracies to hide behind reality…'”
“…or just to make sense of reality…”
“We tend, as humans, to look for patterns…”

Continue reading

Veronique Ory, Tom Block, & Hunter Bird of “Sub-Basement”

Athena Theatre presents SUB-BASEMENT at IRT TheaterListen in as Athena Theatre Artistic Director (and actor in the show) Veronique Ory, along with Sub-Basement writer Tom Block and director Hunter Bird, discuss eschewing the Mad Men path, writing to a company’s mission statement, the importance of absurdity in the theatre at the present moment, where to find the best poutine in the city, and the “absurdist odyssey to find your life’s purpose.”

“The entry point was really wanting to address the homeless in our city, and to find a way…[to] address it in a way that wasn’t stereotypical…in other cultures, this idea of how homeless people are thought to be mystics, they’ve come to an enlightened point in their life…that if they can have peace and clarity in their mind, then that’s all that they need. And part of representing them in this way is hopefully taking a small step to giving face and voice to our homeless population…”

Continue reading

Allyson Morgan and Mara Kassin of “The Spring Fling: Crush”

F*It Club presents Spring Fling: CrushLooking for your big break? Auditioning over and over again? Sending out tons of feeler e-mails? Feel like you’re spinning your wheels, waiting for someone to notice your talent?

F*** it. Go out and make something yourself.

That’s the motto, and of course the inspiration for the name, of F*It Club. And it’s the kind of motto that GSAS! can get behind. The company is currently producing their annual Spring Fling of new short plays, this year around the theme of Crush.

Listen in as the company’s Executive Director and festival producer (as well as actor in the show) Allyson Morgan and Associate Producer/fellow actor Mara Kassin discuss audacity, finding themes, finding collaborators, finding solutions to last-minute casting issues, and treating short form work with respect.

“…what F*It Club was founded on is this idea of, ‘why are we waiting for people to give us work? Eff it, let’s make our own work,’ of being audacious and asking people whose work we really admired, whose work we really wanted to be a part of, to work with us…”

Continue reading

Matt Herzfeld and Greg Carere of “The Improbable Fall, Rise & Fall Of John Law (Part 1)”

The Dreamscape Theatre presents The Improbable Rise, Fall, and Rise of John Law, written by Matt Herzfeld, directed by Brad Raimondo, at IRT TheaterVisionary economist. Confidence man.

It’s likely that John Law blurred the line between the two better, or at least earlier, than anyone else.

The incredible true story of the exploits of this 18th Century genius/rapscallion proves fertile ground for playwright Matt Herzfeld‘s The Improbable Fall, Rise & Fall Of John Law (Part 1) currently being produced by The Dreamscape Theatre and running at IRT Theater.

Listen in as Matt, along with John Law himself, actor Greg Carere, discuss perception, mathematical purity, finding inspiration in Men of Wealth, morality in the grey, and how economics was, and remains, a confidence game.

“…John, to some degree, is a confidence man. And economics, to some degree, is a confidence game. The whole system works because people believe in it…and so perception is a part of that, because you have to sort of look the part…”
“…we get to sort of see the illusion that he creates, at every level…”
Continue reading

David Haan, playwright of “The President Plays”

playwright David HaanGSAS! Producer’s Note: playwright David Haan is writing things you should read, produce, and/or go and see.

Case-in-point: his 42-play cycle The President Plays re-imagines the death of every U.S. president from Washington to G.W. Bush, a series so epic that the reading of it had to be spread over three consecutive Tuesdays. The intrepid folks at Blowout Theatre are kindly hosting the readings on off-nights from their new show, Jona Tarlin’s In Antarctica, Where it is Very Warm (which, though the podcast wasn’t able to get out to cover it, looks super-cool, pun intended—remaining dates are Thursday thru Saturday, October 9, 10, & 11, nightly at 8PM!).

There’s only one more night from the posting of this episode to catch the remaining plays in the cycle (Tuesday, October 7 @ 7:30PM!), and it’s well-worth seeing thanks to the wonderful actors you’ll see (including members of Amios and The Assembly), excellent direction from Liz Thaler, and, of course, David’s imaginative, intriguing, insightful scripts.

I sat down with David over a beer after Part II of the cycle last Tuesday — listen in as we discuss getting history wrong, collaboration, our love of Amios, dreams of marathon theatre, and writing the impossible.

“…I’m very interested in the theatre as a collaborative enterprise…it’s kind of a conveyor belt, in which each part is kind of it’s own fully formed thing, but then becomes something greater…”

Continue reading

J. Julian Christopher and Jose Zayas, playwright & director of “Animals Commit Suicide”

terraNOVA Collective presents J. Julian Christopher's "Animals Commit Suicide," directed by Jose ZayasWhenever we walk into that dark room for a work of theatre, I think it’s safe to say that most of us are, at the least, looking to be entertained. But the theatre that excites me most is that which is not only enjoyable, but also provokes.

It’s not common, but it’s a great trick when it works. This episode is about a show that succeeds in this way.

terraNOVAcollective presents J. Julian Christopher‘s Animals Commit Suicide, directed by Jose Zayas, as part of their terraNOVA Rx development series, and while the show’s subject sounds (and is) incredibly dark—a young man actively seeking to get infected with HIV—the play works as a play rather than a moralizing, bash-you-over-the-head screed. It makes for a provocative, yet enjoyable night of theatre.

Listen in as Julian & Jose discuss how to wrap scary material into a love story, writing like an actor, addressing dangerous questions through theatre, and “truth.”

“…the people who I like being with are the ones who are willing to take that journey, who are willing to go, ‘I may not approve of this, but I’m willing to go there with it, and stretch my humanity, and think about why someone would do something that I don’t understand.'”

Continue reading