Kilusan Bautista of “Transcend”

Kilusan Bautista of TRANSCENDListen in as Kilusan Bautista, the creator & performer of Transcend, discusses his transplant status, why his show mixes media & how it’s a conversation, the benefits of social media, creating a democracy with post-show discussions, and making art out of struggle.

“…hey, we’re here, and if we can connect, then so be it…but if we can’t connect, at least we can have some respect, and still be a part of this community, and…y’know, get through, get through this life.”

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Cave Theatre Company’s “Gruesome Playground Injuries”

Cave Theatre Company presents Rajiv Joseph's GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIESLove hurts.

In Rajiv Joseph’s Gruesome Playground Injuries, it hurts a whole lot. Like face-split-open, teeth-knocked-out, razor-blade-cut, horrible-fireworks-accident maims. And the scars it leaves aren’t only on the bodies of protagonists Doug & Kayleen.

Cave Theatre Company, rounding out their first year of productions, is staging Joseph’s dark relationship dramedy at Under St. Mark’s as part of their residency with Frigid New York; listen in as director James Masciovecchio, actors Kiley Caughey and Alex Etling, and their fellow Cave crew, co-producers Josh Triplett and Cassie Wood, discuss getting rights to your favorite play in a nail-biting photo-finish, inspiration from podcasts (really!), leaning into theatricality, making bad Tinder dating stories into theatre, and why you should just get your friends together and make something.

…we want to see real stories on stage. We want to see honest stories, and try not to sugar-coat things, and try not to show things for what they aren’t…

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William Glenn and Trish Parry, creators & performers of “A Brief History of Beer”

Horse Trade Theater Group presents A Brief History of Beer“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria.”—A quote often misattributed to Benjamin Franklin, but with no clear source as far as my half-assed Googling can discern.

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”—Also misattributed to Mr. Franklin.

“Beer & theatre are a match made in heaven.”—I said that. Just now.

No matter who said which when, I firmly believe that all three of those quotes are true. And if you like your theatre fun, educational (in the best of ways, because it’s about something awesome: beer), and interactive—or, as they like to say, “drinkeractive”—you should check out one of Wish Experience‘s upcoming performances of A Brief History of Beer.

I sat down for a post-show drink with the shows creators & performers, William Glenn and Trish Parry, after the first show in their year-long monthly residency at UNDER St. Marks; listen in as Will & Trish discuss becoming unwitting beer judges, knowing where your beer comes from, Peter Brook’s idea of “deadly theatre” (you didn’t think this was all about alcohol, did you?), and the “secret mission” of their show.

“Beer is the drumbeat of life.”

“That’s it…in all of our veins, the rivers of Babylon flow. These ancient waters flow in all of our veins, and that’s what’s in this glass…”

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Artem Yatsunov, director, and Stacie Lents, playwright, of “Enchanted Arms”

StrangeDog Theatre Company presents Enchanted ArmsRemember your classic fairy tales?

Well, StrangeDog Theatre Company is taking the characters from those stories, and setting them up in low-rent apartments in a run-down building named, appropriately, Enchanted Arms.

And while the four tales presented here have a familiar ring…these are not the fairy tales your Grandma told you.

Listen in as director Artem Yatsunov, and one of the four playwrights featured in the evening, Stacie Lents, discuss taking the magic out of fairy-tales, throwing money around to the sounds of Whitney Houston, shit-talking Ayn Rand, and plays & stories that are actually…fun.

“No happy endings.”

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Katharine McLeod, writer/performer of “My High-Heeled Life: Or, How I Learned to Keep Worrying and Love My Stilettos”

Katharine McLeod in "My High-Heeled Life: Or, How I Learned to Keep Worrying and Love My Stilettos"You probably remember that old saying, “The clothes make the man.”

And while you might want to dispute it, or actively fight it (my stint as a goody-two-shoes honors student male with long hair in high school was my small form of personal resistance), it wouldn’t be an idiom if a good number of people along the way didn’t find some ring of truth to it.

The performativity of what we prefer to wear—in her case, specifically, stilettos—intrigued actress Katherine McLeod to the point she had to write a show about it, appropriately titled My High-Heeled Life: Or, How I Learned to Keep Worrying and Love My Stilettos, which is currently running as part of the Frigid New York festival at Under St. Marks.

Listen in as Katharine and I discuss shoes as battleground, the long (and proper) title of her piece, and not having to apologize for those things that bring you joy.

“…what assumptions do you make about me based on what I wear? And, should I stop because you’re making those assumptions? Or, should I push back, and show my true colors, should I show all parts of me…”

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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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Nora McNally, Ben Diserens, Rachel B. Joyce, Sean Patrick Monahan, & Patrick Dooley of “Beckett in Benghazi”

Less Than Rent presents "Beckett in Benghazi" by Ben DiserensBeing drawn to the classics, Less Than Rent has taken to integrating the work of the masters into their creations; as associate producer Sean Patrick Monahan notes in this interview, it’s like how painters try to imitate the iconic works of their predecessors to understand the process. By digging in and trying to understand what came before, we can come to appreciate the genius that preceded our work — and, possibly, see where it fits into our current cultural landscape.

In the company’s new show, Beckett in Benghazi, a young troupe of actors about to stage Samuel Beckett’s Endgame changes the show’s concept just days before opening in an attempt to integrate — or, perhaps, capitalize on — the major news of the day: the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Sean is joined on the mic by LTR’s Executive Director Nora McNally, Beckett in Benghazi‘s playwright Ben Diserens, and actors from the show Rachel B. Joyce and Patrick Dooley — listen in as they discuss world events becoming buzz-words, asking questions, and the cyclical nature of life, Beckett, and this play — as well as what sort of work a play can do.

“‘I can’t go on, I’ll go on.’ Exactly.”

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Rachel Dart & Jenna Panther, directors of “There’s a Light on Yonder Mountain”

Ever wanted to create a brand-new piece of theatre, from the ground up? This is a good episode of the podcast for you.

aMios and Horse Trade present "There's a Light on Yonder Mountain"aMios has always embraced new work — their Shotz series is responsible for creating six brand new plays every month (!), and their past “longer-form” work has all consisted of brand-new plays from artists in the aMios circle of collaborators. Check out a great interview about Shotz on Episode 13.

For their latest full-length, There’s a Light on Yonder Mountain, the company wanted to bring in the creative energies of many of the wonderful people they’ve worked with since their inception in 2009. So instead of asking just one playwright to write a script, they asked five (one acted as a “literary manager”). And naturally, instead of one director, they got two.

Which led me, as a director myself, to ask the first question of this interview: how?!?!?

Listen in as those directors, Rachel Dart & Jenna Panther, discuss not only how they worked together as a team, but a whole lot more, including creating an ensemble-driven devised piece, tension, desert-island people, and the only resource you can’t get more of: time.

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FRIGID New York 2013

FRIGID New York 2013 A bit of a different podcast this time out: in this episode, GSAS! interviews artists from seven of the thirty — yes, 30 — plays that are part of this year’s FRIGID New York festival, presented by Horse Trade Theater Group.

It should be noted, FRIGID isn’t just another festival. The participants are chosen at random, so no silly politicking is involved; and, all participants keep 100% of the box office sales for their show. Try finding that kinda deal as a performer anywhere else in this town. Very cool format. Hats off to Horse Trade for making this happen every year since 2007.

Kicking off the marathon of mini-interviews is Erez Ziv, Executive Director of FRIGID and Managing Director of Horse Trade, followed by, in order:

— director Nikki DiLoreto & playwright/performer Antonia Lassar of The God Box
— co-director/producer/performer Bricken Sparacino of Sisters Grimm: Fables of the Stage
— director Christina Massie, performer Emily Tuckman, and performer Sarah Jacobs of Commencing
— playwright & performer Nikhil Tilwalli of A Panda Suit, Pythagorus, and Plenty of Puns
— playwright & performer Chris Harcum of Two Lovely Black Eyes
— playwright & performer Lucas Brooks of VGL 5′ 4″ Top
— playwright & performer D’yan Forest of My Pussy is Purrin’ Again Continue reading

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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