Mike Inwood, lighting designer of “The Essential Straight & Narrow”

The Mad Ones present The Essential Straight and NarrowSo this is one of those episodes that got recorded when the show was (first) presented, but I missed my window to get the podcast up before closing.

Thankfully, though, it was a show in development by The Mad Ones, and the full production is set to open this weekend at The New Ohio.

When lighting designer Mike Inwood & I first chatted during its workshop run in The Ice Factory last summer, it was called the Untitled Biopic Project, a show that crosses the genres of film, theatre, and music — in this interview, we talk a bit about the development process that went into the project, which is now called The Essential Straight & Narrow.

Listen in as Mike and I discuss how a lighting designer can inform the development of work with a group like The Mad Ones, writing & working in layers, and how to properly pronounce the word “biopic.” Continue reading

Boo Killebrew & Geoffrey Decas O’Donnell, playwrights/performers of “Family Play (1979 to present)”

Collaboration Town presents Family Play (1979 to present)Over the past several decades, the fundamental definition of “family” has changed — and the collaborators of Collaboration Town have come of age through some 30-odd of those years.

In their new show Family Play (1979 to present), previously titled Help Me to Make It and part of their two-year participation in The Archive Alliance Residency, CTown co-artistic directors, actors, and playwrights on the project Boo Killebrew and Geoffrey Decas O’Donnell (fellow playwright Jordan Seavey spoke about the project on an earlier episode of the podcast, during the show’s workshop last summer) explore the changing nature of the family through a series of 116 moments — many of which will be familiar to…well, anyone who’s grown up.

Listen in as Boo and Geoffrey discuss what makes a family, “a lot of Google Docs,” the deconstruction of the traditional nuclear family in traditional American drama, and how you define a person based on moments.

“…if we’re going to explore how family is changing, then we need to explore traditional structure in plays…we wanted to just break everything down as much as possible…take away definitions of people…everyone is everyone is everyone…”

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Meredith Burns, Carl Holder, and playwright Paul Cameron Hardy of “feeling.”

GB_feeling_FINAL_for_webJust what does a 20-something ABD PhD candidate with a broken heart have in common with a notorious serial killer?

According to Glass Bandits Theater Company‘s production of Paul Cameron Hardy‘s feeling. — a whole lot.

In this world premiere, the aforementioned student (played by Glass Bandits Managing Director Meredith Burns) falls into a deep depression when her 9-year relationship suddenly ends. And despite the encouragement and support of her enthusiastic younger brother (GB Producing Director Carl Holder) and her dissertation adviser’s push to focus on her work, she can’t seem to escape the darkness that she finds herself in. A darkness that manifests in a hallucination of Jeffrey Dahmer.

Listen in as Meredith, Carl, and Paul discuss the excitement of hearing “that play” for the first time, learning that your company would be producing “that play” via a nationally-circulated article, acting with mononucleosis, and exploring the lengths to which some people will go to keep a relationship.

“That’s why we need more companies doing what they love.”

“Preach. I’m here for the cookies.”

“…and the sword fights.”

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Sanaz Ghajarrahimi, Ben Hobbs, and Vincent Van Santvoord of “Red Wednesday”

Built for Collapse 1-Red Wednesday-pThe Ice Factory festival continues, and Go See a Show! continues to follow the new work showcased at The New Ohio with this week’s production, Red Wednesday, by the Brooklyn collective Built for Collapse.

The Artistic Directors of Built for Collapse — Sanaz Ghajarrahimi, who directed the show, Ben Hobbs, who choreographed, and Vincent Van Santvoord, who is acting in the show — joined me after the first public presentation of Red Wednesday, which is still in development. Described by Sanaz as a “multimedia ballad about revolution, past, present, and future,” Red Wednesday grew from Sanaz’s personal connection to the overthrow of the Iranian shah in the 1970s, and starts to dig into the connections between family and politics, and past and present history.

Listen in as Sanaz, Vincent, and Ben discuss searching for structure, revolution & theatre’s role in it, creating movement from images, and personalizing politics by mixing world history with being a 20-something in 2013.

“A political family drama about the politics of family.”

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Jordan Seavey, co-creator & co-playwright of “Help Me to Make It”

Collaboration Town presents a workshop production of "Help Me to Make It"

Collaboration Town returns to the podcast for their third episode (check out the The Deepest Play Ever and All Girls podcasts for interviews with Geoffrey Decas O’Donnell & Lee Sunday Evans, also co-creators on this project), with the workshop production of their new (apropos of their name) collaboratively-created show, Help Me to Make It, part of the 2013 Ice Factory Festival ahead of its full production in April 2014.

Listen in as co-creator & co-playwright Jordan Seavey talks about how to get from 12 hours of written material down to a one-act workshop performance (hint: “killing textual babies”), the relationship between his life as a playwright and his life as a performer, and how Collaboration Town defines their namesake—collaboration.

“We have that kind of tension, as well, that siblings have, and we have that kind of forthrightness…where we can say, ‘this is really what I want,’…we’re very blunt, in a loving way…”

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Lynn Rosen, playwright, and Shana Gold, director, of “Goldor $ Mythyka: A Hero is Born”

Goldor $ Mythyka: A Hero is Born

…who’d have thought that, even with this being the 58th (!) episode of Go See a Show! (seriously, I think this is the longest commitment I’ve ever made, except to my girlfriend), I’d have two episodes that touch on Dungeons & Dragons?

Ripped from the headlines (seriously), Goldor $ Mythyka: A Hero is Born is playwright Lynn Rosen‘s reimagined story of two young lovers who bond over D&D, rob an armored car, and subsequently inspire a cult-like following among the working-poor. The production, directed by Shana Gold, uses a wonderfully-Brechtian emcee narrator character to guide the audience through the tale, and is a super-fun piece of theatre.

Listen in as Lynn & Shana, with some guest shouts from Assistant Director Casey Cleverly (no stranger to the podcast!), discuss building a script from a truly true story, solving the unexpected problems of a new play, and playing D&D for research. Continue reading

Lawrence Jansen and Gregory Konow of Godlight Theatre Company’s “The Pilo Family Circus”

Godlight Theatre Company's "The Pilo Family Circus"

We’ve all got those friends who are terrified of clowns.

Godlight Theatre Company‘s world premiere of The Pilo Family Circus might be enough to turn you into that friend.

Adapted for the stage from the breakout debut novel of Australian writer Will Elliott, the show follows mild-mannered Jamie after he’s recruited by demented clowns for the circus. The clowns who won’t take “no” for an answer. And neither will “JJ,” Jamie’s face-painted alter-ego, who wants full ownership of their shared body.

In this episode, GSAS! talks with Lawrence Jansen (the dangerous & foul-mouthed “Gonko the Clown,” the green-haired guy in the last three photos below, with the half-yellow, half-red suit) and Gregory Konow (the impossibly tall & omnipresently creepy “Kurt Pilo” — that’s him in the background of every photo below) about not having the time for props, why the story is the most important thing, and delving into the darkness of the Pilo Family Circus.

“Don’t show. Just do it.” Continue reading

Geoffrey Decas O’Donnell, playwright & actor, from “The Deepest Play Ever: The Catharsis of Pathos”

Collaboration Town's The Deepest Play Ever: The Catharsis of PathosGo See a Show! was back at The New Ohio last weekend for some deep, epic thoughts, provided by The Deepest Play Ever: The Catharsis of Pathos.

Playwright & actor Geoffrey Decas O’Donnell joined me for an interview on his dinner break between shows — that’s him in the first photo below, red-eyed & blue-mouthed, with his arm outstretched next to the puppet & puppeteer of Mephistopheles.

Listen in as Geo discusses acting in a show he’s still revising, loving & lampooning Brecht, and what’s next for the company he co-founded & leads, Collaboration Town — and I curse Jad Abumrad (not seriously, of course).

Obligatory Shakespeare reference this time? The Winter’s Tale. It never fails to come back to the Bard!

(…sorry for the background noise — it seems Collaboration Town has a big population!…)


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The Deepest Play Ever: The Catharsis of Pathos
by Geoffrey Decas O’Donnell
music by Michael Wells
lyrics by Geoffrey Decas O’Donnell, Jordan Seavey and Michael Wells
directed by Lee Sunday Evans and Jordan Seavey

The New Ohio Theatre
154 Christopher Street, 1E
Tickets available via SmartTix

Wednesday, March 14th @ 7:30 – Opening Night!
Thursday, March 15th @ 7:30
Friday, March 16th @ 7:30
Saturday, March 17th @ 5:00
Saturday, March 17th @ 9:00 (WEAR GREEN AND PAY WHAT YOU CAN!)
Sunday, March 18th @ 7:30
Monday, March 19th @ 7:30
Wednesday, March 21st @ 7:30

Thursday, March 22nd @ 7:30
Friday, March 23rd @ 7:30
Saturday, March 24th @ 5:00 & 9:00

Collaboration Town's The Deepest Play Ever: The Catharsis of Pathos

Collaboration Town's The Deepest Play Ever: The Catharsis of Pathos

photos by Colin D. Young