Miranda Haymon, Emmie Finckel, & Cha See of “In the Penal Colony”

The Hodgepodge Group and Lucy Powis present IN THE PENAL COLONY, written and directed by Miranda Haymon, presented as part of Next Door at NYTWListen in as In the Penal Colony writer/director/producer Miranda Haymon, along with set designer Emmie Finckel and lighting designer Cha See, discuss the relationship and performance of patriarchy & punishment, how the show’s designers interacted with their process, sites of judgement, machines, building a highly physical piece with little dialogue, avoiding the “bad version” of the play, supporting design choices, and how Kafka’s 100-year-old short story resonates today.

“…I feel that this piece is directly engaging with the real live bodies and the real live circumstances in a way that feels gripping, and theatrical, and REAL…we’re able to get folks in the room, and have a real, live, conversation…”

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Tana Sirois & Maria Swisher of “Crushing Baby Animals”

CRUSHING BABY ANIMALS, created and performed by Maria Swisher & Tana Sirois, presented by Dirt [Contained] at the Plaxall GalleryListen in as the creators & performers of Crushing Baby Animals, Maria Swisher & Tana Sirois, discuss amazing synchronicity, combining genres in a multi-dimensional world, structured improv, cross-pollination among artists, “stylistic dis-integrity,” making space for the chaos and the wonder, how to build intense trust with your artistic collaborators, how to stick through the difficult stuff, and how “our sense of self is shaped by the people around us.”

“…stay with the trouble…something that we have learned is even when things feel very uncomfortable, or when you find yourself having to ask something that’s difficult of your partner […] and consistently make the decision to stick with it, and to experience what feels troubling and complicated, and know that you have a shared goal of moving past it […] and let that influence your work, and accept each other for that…”

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Stanley Martin, Michael Blatt, Yhá Mourhia Wright, Ashley E. Matthews, Luis E. Mora, & Jayson Kerr of “Opportunity”

The Riant Theatre's Strawberry One-Act Festival 2019 presents OPPORTUNITY, written by Stanley Martin, directed by Michael BlattListen in as Opportunity playwright Stanley Martin, director Michael Blatt, and cast members Yhá Mourhia Wright, Ashley E. Matthews, Luis E. Mora, & Jayson Kerr discuss mirrors of performers’ reality, universality in specificity, challenging body type stereotypes, finding a shared history from the subtext of the script, mining your dialogue in real conversations, representation not just in the theatre but in the cast and in the play, the beauty of this particular “opportunity,” and why despite it all, we love this mad business of the theatre.

“…it was important that these people were real people that everyone could relate to…if you mix a group of people from work, anywhere, and add lots of alcohol, and have a past, trouble’s about to stir. It’s just theatre people are a little more theatrical with it…”

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Mark Levy & Sarah Detrik of “CC: You in Hell!”

FRIGID New York and Hub Theatricals present CC: YOU IN HELL!, written by Mark Levy, directed by Janet Bentley, in the 2019 FRIGID Festival at The Kraine TheaterListen in as CC: You in Hell! playwright/producer/actor Mark Levy, along with fellow performer Sarah Detrik, discuss a love for 90s horror, uniting the theatre and comedy scenes, ensemble work, creating your style, putting horror onstage, finding collaborators with a different view of the world from your own, warm hugs, and the magic of the indie theatre community coming together.

“…it is a horror comedy set very much now, but it feels like it’s from the late ’90s…it’s a very nerdy, theatre-movie-nerd play…”

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Alice Pencavel, Paul Bedard, Jonelle Robinson, Rosie Sowa, & Alison Walter of “Totally Wholesome Foods”

Theater in Asylum, in partnership with The Episcopal Actors' Guild Open Stage Grant presents TOTALLY WHOLESOME FOODS, written by Alice Pencavel, directed by Paul BedardListen in as Totally Wholesome Foods playwright Alice Pencavel, director Paul Bedard, along with performers Jonelle Robinson, Rosie Sowa, & Alison Walter, discuss eerie prescience, gray areas, examining our political beliefs through theatre, true believers, “selling the crunchy,” contradicting oppositions, singing plants, connection through various languages, and how theatre can work to preserve community.

“…to me, community is messy, is disordered, is inconvenient…diversity just brings so many challenges, and it’s essential for community, but it’s not the orderliness of aisles, clean aisles that are spacious and labeled…”

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Ray Yamanouchi, Axel Avin, Jr., Sydney Cole Alexander, Hunter Canning, Alex Herrald, Martin K. Lewis, Danie Steel, and Enrico de Trizio of “The American Tradition”

New Light Theater Project presents THE AMERICAN TRADITION, written by Ray Yamanouchi, directed by Axel Avin Jr., at 13th Street Repertory CompanyListen in as The American Tradition playwright Ray Yamanouchi, director Axel Avin, Jr., and performers Sydney Cole Alexander, Hunter Canning, Alex Herrald, Martin K. Lewis, Danie Steel, along with music & sound designer Enrico de Trizio, discuss getting into the difficult questions with laughter, true stories of daring escapes, examining allyship, Brecht’s alienation effect, theatricalizing moments, how racism gets coded, remembering who the story is for, the incredible space that theatre gives us to “look through the keyhole,” and acknowledging the history that we don’t want to acknowledge.

“…I felt like it was a conversation that needed to be had. It’s a broader conversation than just speaking about slavery, or the Antebellum time period. It speaks to what’s happening today, using America’s great sin of slavery to talk about what’s still happening today…”

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Alex Randrup, Conrad Kluck, Gavin Myers, Cayenne Douglass, & Daniella Caggiano from “FEAST: A Performance Series”

Conrad Kluck, Alex Randrup, and Horse Trade Theatre Group present FEAST: A Performance Series at UNDER St. Marks TheaterListen in as the co-producers & curators of FEAST: A Performance Series, Conrad Kluck & Alex Randrup, along with several artists from the January 2019 edition of the series, playwright Cayenne Douglass, director Daniella Caggiano, and choreographer Gavin Myers, discuss encouraging cross-discipline collaborations, hearing from your high school bully, the excitement of eclectic evenings, finding creative partners, the art of the everyday, and growing community through art.

“…one of the things we wanted to put a high priority on is trying to create some kind of community base, for our artists to be able come back, and continue developing a project, or develop something new, or just have a home base…but also, art can’t exist without art-lovers, and the people in the audience. Both of those spaces are just as important…”

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Ria T. DiLullo & Katelynn Kenney of “Wendell & Pan”

The Skeleton Rep presents WENDELL & PAN, written by Katelynn Kenney, directed by Ria T. DiLullo, at The Tank NYCListen in as Wendell & Pan writer Katelynn Kenney and director Ria T. DiLullo discuss the kismet that made them collaborators, “magical dramedy,” ghosts, eating up the play of the theatre, and modern American myth.

“…how do we take contemporary stories, and lift them up into the style of an epic, into something that a bard would want to sing about?”

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Billy Ray Brewton & Ben Hethcoat of “A Beast/A Burden”

A BEAST/A BURDEN, written and directed by Billy Ray Brewton, performed by Ben Hethcoat, at SoHo PlayhouseListen in as A Beast/A Burden writer and director Billy Ray Brewton, along with the portrayer of Chris Burden, Ben Hethcoat, discuss what distinguishes Burden from idiots on YouTube, sculpture in performance, exploring the creator’s complicated history, why you might have a photo of yourself in front of his work and not even realize it, and how to bring a controversial performance artist’s work to life in a theatrical stage play.

“…we sort of go behind the scenes of what it takes to put some of these performance pieces…and some of them, too, we recreate in our own way…”

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Scott Aiello, Jordan Lage, Benjamin Rosloff, Stephanie Gould, & Forrest Malloy of “Bernie and Mikey’s Trip to the Moon”

Strangemen Theatre Company presents BERNIE AND MIKEY'S TRIP TO THE MOON, written by Scott Aiello, directed by Claire KarpenListen in as Bernie and Mikey’s Trip to the Moon playwright Scott Aiello, along with performers Jordan Lage, Benjamin Rosloff, Stephanie Gould, & Forrest Malloy, discuss getting personal, creating a theatre family to create an onstage family, relating to your character, backstage donuts, not pulling any punches, your favorite Elvis Presley song, keeping your artistic heart full, writing fan-fiction for the show you’re in, “typecasting,” and love & inspiration from your family.

“…it speaks to the fact that any human being, whatever disability they have, physical, intellectual, anything, wants love…”

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