Jake Lipman, Molly Ballerstein, and Brittany Anikka Liu of “Rapture, Blister, Burn”

Tongue in Cheek Theater presents Rapture Blister Burn by Gina GionfriddoWhen choosing the plays to be presented this season by Tongue in Cheek Theater Productions, artistic director Jake Lipman had remarkable foresight. The company’s mission is to produce thought-provoking comedies, and the shows usually have a woman at the center of the story. But they don’t always reflect a VERY current debate in American politics.

The company didn’t mean to produce a political play the week before the US presidential election. But because their current show, Rapture, Blister, Burn examines how women are often validated (or not) based solely on their societal roles as mother, wife or career-woman, one can’t help but see parallels in the current election. When Hillary Clinton is criticized for not baking cookies and also criticized for bragging about her grandchild, it’s easy to see that feminism still has a long hill to climb in America.

Rapture, Blister, Burn, written by Gina Gionfriddo (and a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Drama), is a deeply-moving story about feminism, choices, family, love and unfulfilled dreams. It also examines why people don’t always practice the beliefs and theories they say they support. Does the show “play the woman card?” If getting audiences to understand that women can be respected for whatever life choice they make is playing the woman card, then Tongue in Cheek has dealt a beautiful hand.

Listen in as GSAS! correspondent Tara Gadomski talks with Artistic Director and actor Jake Lipman, director Molly Ballerstein, and actor Brittany Anikka Liu to discuss diving deep into feminism to prepare for your show, the eerie prescience of the play, the role of music in TIC’s production, gendered and non-gendered audience responses to the show, actors’ perspectives between generations, what it means to make your own work, and shows that stay with you long after you’ve seen them.

“It’s extremely rare to find something that feels so topical and fresh that is a revival. All of it felt very close to the surface for me. And right now, we’re all on edge.”

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Tara Gadomski, playwright, Illana Stein, director, and Robert A. K. Gonyo, actor, of “The Offering”

Tara Gadomski, Illana Stein, and Robert A. K. Gonyo of The Offering

I make this podcast because I love sound, and I love theatre; Go See a Show! is a great way to unite the two.

And I’m an amateur sound-designer, and make radio dramas, for much the same reason.

For this episode of the podcast, those two worlds—sound about theatre, and sound in the theatre—collide. My guests are playwright Tara Gadomski and director Illana Stein, with whom I have a conversation about our production of The Offering.

For a bit of context: the play was originally written & recorded for Radio COTE, the radio-play festival I produce with my company Co-Op Theatre East—you can check out the original performance on iTunes. We all loved the play so much that Tara adapted it into a stage version, which is currently running in The Network One-Act Festival (with your humble GSAS! narrator doing live foley onstage). And in this shameless-self-promotion episode, we talk about this great little one-act, which to me is about the power of art, that we’d all love for you to come see.

Listen in as Tara, Illana, and I discuss making a radio play into a stage play, the beauty of language, “the question,” and getting (and keeping) power.

“…you just got compared to Shakespeare…”
“…let’s not go so far…”

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