Listen in as Blake Habermann & Jae Woo, performers in Broken Box Mime Theater‘s newest show Take Shape, discuss being prepared, music for mime, outbursts from toddlers, the benefits and difficulties of being a mime when masked, making some last-minute adjustments pre-show, breaking through language barriers, and making theatre accessible to as many people as possible.
“…we’ve been working on accessibility as part of our approach for all of our productions…being more inviting to different kinds of populations, people with different kinds of needs to come into the theater…”
Listen in as Garbageman performers Kirk Gostkowski and Deven Anderson discuss seeing the familiar onstage, truth in absurdity, the benefits of repartee, how the audience interacts with juxtaposed seriousness and silliness, how a difficult piece morphs and changes over time, and searching for the American dream.
“…the bottom line with this piece is, I feel like this topic needs to be discussed. And people are afraid to discuss it. Because what does it mean? What does it mean about our humanity, what does it mean about our families, and our neighbors, and people that we know in our society…and we can’t just sweep it under the rug. The only way things gets better is if we discuss it…It’s about humanity, ultimately…”
Listen in as Ectoplasm playwright & director Sara Fellini, along with cast members Jillian Cicalese and Caitlin Dullahan-Bates, discuss “life and death and lust and love,” the stories we tell ourselves as we try to determine the truth, navigating society’s return to live in-person theatre while COVID is still a thing, layers of artifice and reality, and what it means to be making work together again.
“Right now, we don’t need tv. We don’t need movies. We have SO MANY SCREENS…you need a human being in front of you, who might make a mistake…who might do something brilliant and amazing that you would never see, you’d never feel the energy in the room…”
Listen in as longtime Bread & Puppet Theater collaborator John Bell discusses the history and activism of the company, bringing together collaborators from disparate locations, an “accessible and unpretentious” style of theater,” the use and meaning of different kinds of chairs, survival & mutual support, and the magical precarity of live performance.
“…it’s a different type of theater work than what I think of as ‘straight theater’…it’s different, it’s looking around and making due with what’s there…creating from your own experience, using what you’ve got, not being hampered or set back by the challenges, but just sort of making it happen with whatever you have with you…”
Listen in as playwright Andy Boyd, along with Theatre in Asylum co-Artistic Directors (and the play’s co-directors) Katie Palmer and Paul Bedard, discuss how it feels to watch a history play about something we all lived through, doing the thing, the value of gathering together, how Occupy issues are still a part of the zeitgeist, producing in a pandemic, finding the corners, and what happens when five very different people get together to try to change the world.
“…one of the things I love about the piece is that it shows the value of gathering together, and it shows the value of trying to do something whether or not you succeed…”
Listen in as producer/actor Sean Williams, director Jordana Williams, and playwright/actor Mac Rogers of Gideon Media/Gideon Productions discuss how they connected with legendary playwright Wallace Shawn to bring two of his stage plays to the radio drama realm, the outgrowth of Gideon Media from Gideon Productions, adapting Mac’s indie plays for audio podcasts, using short-hand with your long-time collaborators, getting through (and out of) the pandemic, how to get that “indie theatre” feel on the mic, the benefits of creating in a new medium, and why, come what may, we’ll all be back in those tiny dark spaces telling stories together, soon.
“…at any second, the whole thing might fall apart, and at any second, something magical might happen…”
Listen in as League of Independent Theater Managing Director Aimee Todoroff, and President of their Board of Directors Guy Yedwab, discuss the recently passed Open Culture program, what can be done, what the process looks like to do it, how to get your work out on the streets (safely), and LIT’s further efforts to sustain and promote indie theatre in NYC.
“…we’re all dying to re-open, and first, to really, truly re-open, we have to beat this coronavirus thing…putting it into structures where there’s safety in these performances is going to not only allow us to perform now, but build that world where we can go back to more performance, more normally in the future…”
Listen in as Genny Yosco, the writer & director of (and an actor in!) im ur hamlet., discusses writing through food poisoning, creating for the Zoom medium, knowing who it is your parodying, creating a Shakespeare festival from afar, making community during a pandemic, and what happens when everyone wants to be the star.
“One of the things about this cast is…they all love each other, and I love all of them, so even though we were all playing at odds with each other, there still was this overlying, person-to-person silent communication that we all did really enjoy each other, which was perfect…”
Listen in as Mark Blankenship, editor and founder of The Flashpaper, discusses finding a way to let artists both share ideas and get paid, creating “a collective experience of good in a time of great crisis,” the power of a physical manifestation of our indie theatre world while our spaces are indefinitely shuttered, and the importance of community in theatre.
“…it’s a real treat for me, as someone who loves to get my hands as deep into the dirt of theatrical ideas as I can, to be able to support so much thinking about the theatre, but also theatre’s relationship to the rest of the world…”
Listen in as Erin B. Mee, conceiver & director of Play In Your Bathtub: An Immersive Audio Spa for Physical Distancing, discusses why we should call it “physical” distancing as opposed to “social” distancing, getting inspiration from quarantine, engaging all five senses, inviting the audience to be creative themselves, putting everyone on the same time-line from their respective locations, and the importance of giving us a sense that we’re going to an “event” in these strange days.
“A lot of our work is really co-created with the audience, in the sense that we have all kinds of ‘invitations’ …and I think this play is almost all invitation…because that’s where we are at this moment…”