Listen in as Harmony Hall playwright & director Duncan Pflaster, along with the cast of Wyn Delano and Clinton Powell, discuss inspiration from terrible/wonderful Tennessee Williams adaptations, what is and is not a “pandemic play,” personal connections to the material, grounding your characters, the challenges of putting a show up in a festival, religious trauma, and the joy of working on poetic new work.
“…this is one of those things where we put our hearts and soul into it, all of us, it’s a very meaningful show…something where I think people will get a lot out of it if they see it, but to see it, you gotta do the old-school theatre thing and put your butt in the seat.”
Listen in as Retro Productions Artistic Director Heather E. Cunningham, who also plays Fanny in the cast, along with director Sara Thigpen, discuss looking at the past through the lens of theatre and theatre through the lens of history, enthusiasm to jump in and play, suggestions vs. specificity, getting back to the live space post-COVID, and how it seems like everything comes back around again, in their production of Eric Overmyer’s On the Verge.
“…I love what it says about America, what it says about our history. The language is beautiful…”
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 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 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 the performers of Lizzie Vieh’s new play Monsoon Season, Richard Thieriot & Therese Plaehn, discuss the development of this play from a 7-minute one-night-only solo piece to a set of solos, making something horrifying but also incredibly funny, how your performance changes when a play’s world expands, the benefit of working with smart, generous, welcoming people, and what can can happen when the seed of a piece is tossed into fertile ground.
“…so it’s dark, and the emotional terrain is dark, but there’s also, hopefully, occasionally, laughs […]”
“…I remember being disturbed…and sure enough, it’s funny as hell…”
Listen in as “Strangers in the Night” contributing playwrights Patricia Lynn (writer of Screwed, portrayer of “Molly”, director of Frank) & Philip Estrera (writer of the Frank monologues, who also performs “Stranger” in Bottling Dreams of the Tearful Don’t-Knower), along with fellow Bottling… actor Natalie Hegg (“Other Half”), discuss creating a complete theatrical experience out of one act plays, sketches in rehearsal, provocative nocturnal stories, doing that one thing well, collaboration, different extremes of theatricality, & the intimacy that can develop between total strangers.
“…one little thing would totally change the way the scene would go…a creative, supportive battleground…”