Liz Thaler and Lauren Miller of “Happy”

In Extremis Theater Company presents Happy, written by Liz Thaler and directed by Lauren MillerYour ever-humble GSAS! producer is sound designing a great play that’s being produced as part of F*ckFest at The Brick in Williamsburg—and because I have editorial control over this here podcast, well, this is an episode about it.

Even if I weren’t working on the show, I’d still be excited to have playwright Liz Thaler and director Lauren Miller join me on the mic to talk about this “love story with a few kinks,” Happy. That’s because I’m extremely proud of the work everyone’s done on the show, and I think you’ll enjoy it, too. Go see this one, y’all.

Listen in as Liz and Lauren discuss how this “Shotz” piece proved itself to be the germ of a larger play, personal vs. professional BDSM, status, power, mystery, and what really makes us happy.

“…nobody’s left out of the story. Nobody has to come in and be, like, ‘oh, that’s not my kink,’ because some of the fantasies aren’t ever said out loud—so they get to fill it in with whatever’s scariest. Or whatever’s sexiest. So I think that allows the audience to identify with something that sometimes people are terrified to identify with, which is their own raw human sexuality.”

Quick point of order: the play and this podcast episode acknowledge the existence of sexual behavior among human beings, and some of that behavior might be outside the realm of what you’re used to seeing depicted in pop music videos and teen comedies; no discretion advised, but you’ve been notified.

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Rob Hille, Jenna Panther, and Justin Yorio, Artistic Directors of Amios, on “Seven Deadly Shotz”

Amios presents Seven Deadly Shotz

As the producer of Go See a Show!, I’m going to take off my “objectivity” hat for this episode. I already do so in the interview, as you’ll hear, so why not go whole hog?

I’m happy to report that the “want to make theatre? then throw down and make some f*cking theatre” mentality is alive and well in this town. And Amios is at the front of that charge, in the best of ways.

Frankly, this episode is about what I thought downtown theatre was going to be when I arrived in New York. Amios is making theatre the way I want to make theatre (and often do make theatre, sometimes with them — but they just do it a lot more often), with the kind of people I love to make theatre with. Amios says, “we’re not going to wait for an opportunity—we’re going to make an opportunity.” And they do it as friends.

The greatest parts of it are, they consistently do it with a high level of quality, and always while having a heck of a lot of fun.

The company is kicking off their 5th season with the return of their monthly Shotz series (you may remember it from episode 13 of this very podcast). Shotz always works around a theme, and this month, it’s the 7 deadly sins; so naturally, the show on October 7 will be, Seven Deadly Shotz. Full disclosure: I’m directing the one on “greed.”

Listen in as Artistic Directors Rob Hille, Jenna Panther, and Justin Yorio discuss how you draw a crowd to your off-off-Broadway show (beer helps, they say — who’d have thought?), how to give your collaborators a sense of ownership, sin, and wanting to watch your artist friends “work out.”

“…people are like, ‘how do you guys do all this stuff?’…and the reason that we can do it is because of our badass team of folks…it is a collective, as opposed to a typical theatre company, and more, ‘everybody’s in the trenches together, making stuff happen.’ It’s more sustainable that way…”

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Christian Haines, Michael Fulvio, Melissa Ortiz, and Rob Hille of aMios

aMios theatre company's "Shotz"Go See a Show! took a trip to St. Mark’s & 1st Ave this past Monday for the second performance of Shotzin’ Around the Christmas Tree, part of aMios theatre company’s monthly Shotz series at Under St. Mark’s.

Shotz is a unique & fun series, with brand new plays written & produced within three weeks, performed one-night-only — and the audience gets a free beer with admission. When I went, both performances were packed, and the vibe was celebratory; this was, without a doubt, the place to be on an unseasonably warm Monday night in December.

Listen in to this week’s episode for a conversation with Christian Haines (Artistic Director), Rob Hille (Associate Artistic Director), Melissa Ortiz (Producing Artistic Director), and Michael Fulvio (Associate Producing Director) for more info about monthly Shotz, the LongShotz: Arrivals & Departures performances running thru December 17, stealing their ideas, and what’s next for aMios.

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