Listen in as Echo creator & sound sculptor Ran Xia, along with director Nicholas Orvis and performers Andrea Lopez & Max Henry, discuss inspiration from books about harmonicas, moving from sound collage to stage play, improvising to audio, physicality with constantly changing things, handling nakedly honest material, timelessness vs. time specificity, and the importance of simply listening.
“…when I was editing them, it’s like, I could cry, like every second, every other track, because everybody was just so open, and very real. You get real very fast…”
Listen in as playwright/performer Manning Jordan, director Alice Cash, and performers Ashley Underwood & Ellie MacPherson of Dooley, performed as part of FRIGID 2018, discuss inspiration from disturbing 1960s board games, plunging psychological depths, collaboratively re-writing, re-naming in the interest of financial considerations, “sneaking around outside of classrooms” to meet your new collaborators, the benefits of inconsistent performance times, and sharing your most vulnerable self onstage.
“…my friends wouldn’t play it, they said ‘it’s all too heavy, we don’t want to get into it.’ So then I went home, and I wrote the play as if we had played it…”
Listen in as Tessa Flannery, playwright/performer of the new play Tentacles in the 2018 FRIGID Festival, along with her director, Rebecca Cunningham, discuss naming your characters after your actors, keeping calm in the face of technical difficulties, “on-brand failure,” and how to layer difficult social issues into your show about hentai.
“…I love working on shows that have strong women as the leads, but I also really love when they’re flawed, and the character Tessa is not perfect, and is certainly privileged and is coming at it from that perspective, and so we throw that at her…”
Listen in as performer Mariah Freda & director/”script assembler” Melissa Moschitto of The Anthropologists‘ new show Artemisia’s Intent discuss the company’s approach to devising, the well-meaning wish of “break a frame,” skirts from tablecloths, working from found texts, activating original art, and the resonance of 17th Century baroque painting with #MeToo.
“…pressing up these two points in time, with 400 years in between them, there’s actually still a lot with us, and we’re trying to point that out, and be, like, ‘now what?’ Let’s move forward from that…”
Listen in as the team behind the world premiere of Pete Rex—playwright Alexander V. Thompson, director Brad Raimondo, and performers Greg Carere, Simon Winheld, and Rosie Sowa—discuss the uses & dangers of fantasy, making your hometown a central character in your script, eerie resonance with the political moment, fun actor challenges, familiarity with the characters and situations onstage, loving someone while hating their inaction, crossing Ionesco with Albee, and, of course, dinosaurs.
“…this place that had been something, and turned into kind of a ‘non-place’ through the loss of industry, and the loss of jobs, and the economy. And we were all, ‘that feels like it should be in here now’…I think that’s something that we really want people to take away…the experience of these places…that have gone from thriving, to nowhere, and what that does to people…”
Listen in as playwright Jennifer Fell Hayes and actor Kate Grimes of Rosemary and Time discuss beginning with a true story before letting the playwright’s imagination take over, mastering the Yorkshire accent, figuring out where in time your play begins, issues of class in the U.K. vs. the U.S., throwing in local turns of phrase, and dealing with issues of “shame and grief and connection and the past and guilt.”
“…having met the two women […] I really was very, very touched by what had happened to them, and promised them I would really try to do the best I could…a truthful play that might say something about the human condition, about love and loss and life, all those major, major themes that we try to wrestle with…”
Listen in as actor Peter Buck Dettmann (“Brody”), director Ben Liebert, and playwright/actor Larry Phillips (“Davey”) of Koalas are Dicks discuss turning a six-foot man into a koala, finding sight gags, inspiration from Charlie Sheen, writing to your actor’s Aussie accent, finding a balance between groan-worthy and intellectual humor, and using abstraction through the absurd to get closer to the ridiculous & terrible truth.
“…there’s a lovely irony that the koala is the only one who seems to understand how worthless what they’re doing is…it is very liberating, that fantasy element…being a six-foot-tall dude playing a tiny koala, if the audience follows you on that, they’re with you…”
Listen in as writer & performer Brett Evan Solomon, director & performer Kelsey Lurie, and performer Gabriel Vasquez of SOMEONEPLEASELISTENANDUNDERSTAND (they’re wiretapping our brains) discuss collaborative creation, mediatization, putting a podcast into the live theatre realm, “abstracting feelings,” how technology and the people around you can shape identity, surveillance, and developing a shared language with your close collaborators.
“…that screen is not a threat to me as a performer; that’s my friend…”
Listen in as Paul Pinto, composer/performer of the new opera Thomas Paine in Violence, discusses difficult elevator pitches, millions of radio signals heading in millions of directions, “a shit-ton of words,” why Thomas Paine deserves this musical treatment,live editing, debating the ideas Paine himself was debating over 200 years ago, “words as texture, language as music,” and writing for his thingNY band-mates.
“…it’s juxtaposing Thomas Paine’s incredible writing with pop-culture…”
“…whatever that is…”
“…whatever’s on my brain at the time…it really is like radio stations changing all the time…”
Listen in as The Werewolf of Washington Heights playwright Christie Perfetti Williams and director Charmaine Broad discuss adapting your own work to the stage, why you should put “awesome, talented, and kind” people in your cast, the importance of putting women onstage (and in the producer’s chair), doing your job vs. doing what’s right for the world, swapping the genders of your characters, what’s next for Carnival Girls, and what happens to a family when tragedy strikes in a dystopian near-future U.S.A.
“…Imogene says, ‘we all, all of us as humans just want to be heard, our stories want to be told.’ I think that goes across the board, for every person on the planet, we just want to know […] that our voices have been heard. And I think for women, we haven’t been. So this play was hopefully a small little piece of what’s missing in the puzzle…”