Andrea Alton, Mark Finley, & Allen Warnock of “Molly’s World”

MOLLY'S WORLD at FRIGID 2018, written and performed by Andrea Alton, directed by Mark FinleyListen in as Molly “Equality” Dykeman herself, Andrea Alton, along with her director, Mark Finley, & “Jerry from Task Rabbit,” Allen Warnock, of the new Molly show in FRIGID 2018, Molly’s World, discuss responding to the moment, working with a director when the show is grounded in improvisation, finding the gold between the islands, allowing for audience engagement, internal logic, “Molly-heads,” and having the freedom to say whatever you want, however you want.

“…I like that Molly can say whatever she wants, and she always comes from a lovable place. She’s this total misfit, and I like that she has the freedom, and she’s just trying to get through the day as best she can. I kind of enjoy her freedom, and her cluelessness…”

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Tessa Flannery & Rebecca Cunningham of “Tentacles”

Voyage Theater Company presents TENTACLES, written by Tessa Flannery, directed by Rebecca Cunningham, at the 2018 FRIGID FestivalListen in as Tessa Flannery, playwright/performer of the new play Tentacles in the 2018 FRIGID Festival, along with her director, Rebecca Cunningham, discuss naming your characters after your actors, keeping calm in the face of technical difficulties, “on-brand failure,” and how to layer difficult social issues into your show about hentai.

“…I love working on shows that have strong women as the leads, but I also really love when they’re flawed, and the character Tessa is not perfect, and is certainly privileged and is coming at it from that perspective, and so we throw that at her…”

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Melissa Moschitto & Mariah Freda of “Artemisia’s Intent”

The Anthropologists present ARTEMISIA'S INTENT, devised by the company, performed by Mariah Freda, script and direction by Melissa Moschitto, presented as part of FRIGID NEW YORK 2018Listen in as performer Mariah Freda & director/”script assembler” Melissa Moschitto of The Anthropologists‘ new show Artemisia’s Intent discuss the company’s approach to devising, the well-meaning wish of “break a frame,” skirts from tablecloths, working from found texts, activating original art, and the resonance of 17th Century baroque painting with #MeToo.

“…pressing up these two points in time, with 400 years in between them, there’s actually still a lot with us, and we’re trying to point that out, and be, like, ‘now what?’ Let’s move forward from that…”

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David Carl & Michole Biancosino of “Trump Lear”

Horse Trade Theater Group and Project Y Theatre Company presents TRUMP LEAR at Under St. Marks, created by David Carl and Michole BiancosinoListen in as the co-creators of Trump Lear, writer/performer David Carl & director Michole Biancosino, discuss their collaboration to put this piece together, playing Trump (and finding a way around the fact that Trump is inherently not funny), complicity, how to avoid preachy political theatre, tearing yourself down in your own piece, the importance of an excellent technician at the board, and the benefit of doing solo shows.

“…yeah, Trump and Shakespeare don’t really go together, usually…”
“Well, it works really well, in this instance…”

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Emily Owens, Hollis James, & Nat Cassidy of “Kyle”

Hot Tramp Productions presents KYLE by Hollis James, directed by Emily OwensListen in as Kyle playwright Hollis James and director Emily Owens—who are, combined, the newly-formed Hot Tramp Productions—along with actor Nat Cassidy discuss how a play can sneak up on you, overcoming the little demon inside of yourself, how to pronounce “publicist,” getting coaxed into the director’s chair, playing your playwright in his play (while he’s acting opposite you), and why you shouldn’t get a “Nat-Cassidy-type”—you should get Nat Cassidy.

“…I didn’t set out to write this story. I just sat down to try and write something, my writing partner and I…we were in a holding pattern, and we were sick of pitching, and going through all the rigamarole. So I just sat down to try to write something just for me, and I wrote this scene…and then I realized, ‘that’s me, back then…'”

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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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