Tough detectives. Tougher dames. Double-crosses. Cigarettes. Shadows. Fedoras. All the hallmarks of film noir.
With their show Kill Me Like You Mean It, playwright Kiran Rikhye and director Jon Stancato (no strangers to the podcast—definitely check out their interviews from past Stolen Chair shows The Man Who Laughs and Potion) transfer all those classic film noir elements to the stage.
Then, they add in a healthy dose of theatre of the absurd.
What comes out is an absurdly fun & tightly executed piece of drama.
Listen in as Jon & Kiran discuss re-mounting (and revamping) a show from their past, audience placement as camera angles, abandoning tetralogies, having your actors create their own vocal musical score, and honing the rhythmic and sonic nature of your show.
“There’s something really unsettling about it…even though it is fun, and even though it is a comedy, it sort of is a deeply unnerving world…”
Regular listeners know very well by now that I love to enjoy a drink while I’m at a show. But I don’t think I’ve been to a performance that integrates imbibing as well as this one.
In Potion: A Play in Three Cocktails, playwright Kiran Rikhye, director Jon Stancato, and the lovely troupe at Stolen Chair Theatre Company have not only created a show in a bar with booze readily available for consumption, but they grab a big swizzle stick and mix the cocktails into the drama. The very act of drinking the custom “potions” served throughout the play serves the narrative, and its premise, in a brilliant and beautiful way.
This is a fun night at the theatre, y’all. A fun night of theatre at the bar. With delicious custom cocktails. What more could you want?
Listen in as Jon & Kiran discuss crazy ways to write plays, “potion” as metaphor for the transformation of the actor, how opera is like a great night out at a bar, and scratching your play like it’s on a turntable.
In this episode, GSAS! visits the incongruously-located Urban Stages (who’d think you’d find a cool downtown-style venue just down the street from MSG?) for Stolen Chair Theatre Company‘s production of The Man Who Laughs, billed as a “live silent film for the stage.”
And that’s exactly what it is — black & white sets & costumes (and make-up), brilliant live accompaniment by pianist Eugene Ma, dialogue cards to impart important spoken lines, even silent-film-era-style camera angles. And then there’s the free popcorn.
Listen in as GSAS! talks with director Jon Stancato and playwright Kiran Rikhye about encouraging the audience to get into costume, how to write a play without dialogue, and re-discovering the magic & possibilities of past performance styles. Continue reading →