Matthew Freeman, playwright of “The Listeners”

The Brick Theater presents The Listeners, by Matthew FreemanWhen you walk in to The Brick to see Matthew Freeman‘s play The Listeners, directed by Michael Gardner, you’re seeing the back of scenic flats—you might think you came in the stage door.

But you didn’t. Follow those flats around, and you won’t get to your seat “in front of” the set. Your seat is right there at the back of those flats; you’re intentionally on the outside, looking in on a lovely set through a small slit in the wall (or through a one-way mirror, if you’re lucky).

It’s a unique way to see a unique play, and, as the title would suggest, this restriction on your sight highlights the sounds. Listening to those sounds, along with your own private window into the world, you follow the story of a man and a woman who’ve arrived to a house, and the people who were already there—and all the while, time seems to be running out, for something, as an unknowable sound bears down on the people in the box you’re peering into.

This is quite a different show from what we discussed last time Matt was on the podcast, but he’s just as awesome to talk to as last time. Listen in as he discusses the translation from improvisation to page to stage, the sound of his play, creating nameless fear, and letting your influences be what you are.

“It wears all its influences on its sleeve; I think if you just don’t fight that stuff…the piece of it that is uniquely me will come through anyway…” Continue reading

Robert Honeywell, actor, and David Cote, director of “Something Something Über Alles (Das Jackpot)”

"Something Something Über Alles (Das Jackpot)" by Assurbanipal Babilla, performed by Robert Honeywell, directed by David Cote We all want to belong.

And, as the great poet Zimmerman has said, you gotta serve somebody.

Something Something Über Alles (Das Jackpot) is a complex & horrifying exploration into those very basic human needs, told through the recounting of a tale of a man who looks a lot like Adolf Hitler that becomes the center of a secret cult. While there’s only one actor onstage for this 90-minute piece, it’s a thrill-ride of a show.

Listen in as director David Cote and the sole actor, Robert Honeywell, recount the history of their relationship with the playwright, their friend Assurbanipal’s (Bani’s) work, herd mentality, feedback, how sex, politics, and religion collide in celebrity, and the leap from there to our social media obsession.

…oh, and happy 15th birthday, Horse Trade!

“Bani’s text has it’s own velocity somehow…it just moves, and it’s beautiful text, and the emotions and the imagery that he paints just surges. It’s really just full of life…”

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Robert Honeywell, playwright, and Leah Bonvissuto, director, of “Mass”

"Mass" by Robert Honeywell, photos by Joe KolbowVan Gogh. Gauguin. Duchamp.

Add to that list Pablo. Not Picasso. Just Pablo.

If that makes no sense to you, then you need to travel from New York to Vancouver to Shanghai along with Robert Honeywell‘s new musical Mass, as it follows the story of the troubled young artist Mary, her girlfriend Françoise (who becomes the aforementioned Pablo, an internationally-celebrated artist), and Mary’s art-dealer sister Kate, exploring the limits of art, commerce, love, and family.

Listen in as Robert and director Leah Bonvissuto discuss breaking the boundaries of art, the arc of study needed to write a musical about the art-world, and the struggle between different visions of what art can be — including the art of theatre.

“Art, love, & blood.”

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