Emily Louise Perkins, Ben Beckley, Jess Chayes, Stephen Aubrey, and Nick Benacerraf of “I Will Look Forward to This Later”

The Assembly presents I Will Look Forward to This LaterEpisodes featuring The Assembly have been some of my favorite episodes of this podcast.

Add this one to that list.

The company’s new show, I Will Look Forward to This Later, is currently running at The New Ohio. Make sure you get over to check it out, and definitely take a listen to this episode either on your way there, or on your way back. And, even better, hang out and chat with the company after the show, and dig into these issues with them yourself. They’d like to chat with you.

But at the very least, listen in to this episode as several Assembly members—director Jess Chayes, actor Ben Beckley, actor/writer Emily Louise Perkins, dramaturg Stephen Aubrey, and production designer Nick Benacerraf—discuss the Assembly process, inspiration from kabuki, choices/actions/consequences, conversations with your collaborators, your audience, & Judith Malina, and loss, legacy, & time.

“I think it’s important that we are in the process of figuring things out, that we don’t know the answers…and we’re excited about that.” Continue reading

Members of The Assembly, presenting “That Poor Dream”

The AssemblyThe Assembly was last on the podcast with an episode that, sadly, went live long after the show had closed (and damn, you should have seen that show…Home/Sick remains one of the best productions I’ve seen—take a listen to the episode about it, it’s well worth your time).

The company’s back with their devised adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, entitled That Poor Dream, bringing the story of Pip to the island of Manhattan via Connecticut, and this time I’m actually posting this with time for you to catch the show, so get out to The New Ohio if you can!

Joining me on the mic are actors Edward Bauer (Pip), Ben Beckley (Drummel), & Emily Louise Perkins (Jaggers), along with Production & Scenic Designer Nick Benacerraf and Dramaturg Stephen Aubrey—listen in as we discuss giving voice to a voiceless issue, capitalism, vulnerability, being content with your lot in life, and privilege, beauty, & money.

“…we encounter people with radically and contradictory visions of what class means, and how to behave in this world, and that’s, I think, the most interesting thing for us—to put all these contradictory ideas together, because that’s how the world is, so that we can look at them together, and try to hold more of it at the same time…”

Continue reading

Nick Benacerraf, Jess Chayes, Stephen Aubrey, and Edward Bauer of The Assembly’s “HOME/SICK”

HOME/SICK by The Assembly at The Living TheatreFor this 50th podcast of Go See a Show!, I present to you an episode recorded half a year ago, but that might be one of the most interesting interviews I’ve done.

As part of last summer’s Underground Zero Festival, The Assembly presented HOME/SICK, a brilliant, personal, beautiful, and exhaustively researched show dramatizing events in the history of the Weather Underground.

Though I knew when I recorded it that I wouldn’t be able to get this interview up before their show closed, my apologies to the good people at The Assembly for taking half a year to post this.

But it seems it was somewhat serendipitously timed, as the show was one of the last to occupy The Living Theatre’s space on Clinton Street, which was recently shuttered. Reports of the demise of The Living Theatre as a company have thankfully been greatly exaggerated (guilty as charged; see the GSAS! Facebook page for my mini-obit on the company), but whatever the current state and future of the company, here’s wishing all best to Judith, Brad, and everyone at The Living Theatre for this next chapter of the company’s long and amazing history.

Listen in as director Jess Chayes, dramaturg Stephen Aubrey, designer Nick Benacerraf, and actor Edward Bauer, all core members & artistic directors of The Assembly, discuss complicated empathy, theatre as a political act, and why the company looked to a radical political movement from over 40 years ago to create a play in the relatively peaceful U.S. of 2012.

“I don’t trust a mission statement that you can achieve on the first try.” Continue reading