Lauren Hlubny & Thomas Giles of “Thoughts & Prayers”

Danse Theatre Surreality presents THOUGHTS & PRAYERS, directed and created by Lauren Hlbuny, composed by Thomas GilesListen in as the director/creator of Thoughts & Prayers, Lauren Hlubny, along with composer/”Felix” Thomas Giles, discuss the meaning of “dance-theatre concerto,” encouraging presence, developing a process to combine artistic disciplines, starting conversations, and not only reacting but taking action.

“…I think it’s very easy to become numb to it, and not know how to take action…creating this piece came, for me, as a point of wanting to do something, or at least wanting to be involved with other people, and start conversations…”

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Max Hunter of “See You”

The Bridge Production Group presents the US Premiere of SEE YOU by Guillaume Corbeil, translated to English by Steven McCarthy, directed by Max Hunter, at The New Ohio TheaterListen in as See You director Max Hunter discusses the show’s rehearsal process, making your play resonant to its local culture, unifying tone, how to make a list interesting in the theatre, play, honesty/vulnerability supplanted by signifiers, directing as conducting, and relaxing into a difficult piece.

“…in a world where you ask someone to put the phone away, and pay attention in a shared space for two hours—I think that really asks something, and there’s a weight to that…”

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Tana Sirois & Maria Swisher of “Crushing Baby Animals”

CRUSHING BABY ANIMALS, created and performed by Maria Swisher & Tana Sirois, presented by Dirt [Contained] at the Plaxall GalleryListen in as the creators & performers of Crushing Baby Animals, Maria Swisher & Tana Sirois, discuss amazing synchronicity, combining genres in a multi-dimensional world, structured improv, cross-pollination among artists, “stylistic dis-integrity,” making space for the chaos and the wonder, how to build intense trust with your artistic collaborators, how to stick through the difficult stuff, and how “our sense of self is shaped by the people around us.”

“…stay with the trouble…something that we have learned is even when things feel very uncomfortable, or when you find yourself having to ask something that’s difficult of your partner […] and consistently make the decision to stick with it, and to experience what feels troubling and complicated, and know that you have a shared goal of moving past it […] and let that influence your work, and accept each other for that…”

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Akia Squitieri, Matthew Weitz, Adeyinka Adebola, Desiree Pinol, Kyle Porter, Johnny Blaze Leavitt, & Ita Korenzecher of “Friendly’s Fire”

Rising Sun Performance Company, co-presented by the 14th Street Y, presents FRIENDLY'S FIRE, by John Patrick Bray, directed by Anna HoganListen in as the cast of Friendly’s FireMatthew Weitz, Adeyinka Adebola, Desiree Pinol, Kyle Porter, Johnny Blaze Leavitt, & Ita Korenzecher—along with Artistic Director Akia Squitieri (with a quick note from Production Stage Manager Callie Stribling) discuss non-toxic male friendships, the sad timelessness of plays about trauma from war, the difference between cheerleading into war vs. receiving the warriors back into society, and how we use stories to make myths and to heal.

“…the same way kids believe in ghosts, and Santa Claus…and then you’re taught years later that these things are pretend, and made up, and that you need to get a job. So you’re pulled away from storytelling…and the healing powers that it has for people…”

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Heather E. Cunningham, Chris Harcum, Robert Franklin Neill, Desmond Dutcher, & Shay Gines of “Mary, Mary”

Retro Productions presents MARY, MARY by Jean Kerr, directed by Shay GinesListen in as Retro Productions Artistic Director Heather E. Cunningham, who plays the eponymous Mary of Mary, Mary, along with fellow performers Chris Harcum, Robert Franklin Neill, & Desmond Dutcher, and director Shay Gines, discuss digging into a zippy comedy, gender roles in retro shows, leaving naive nationalism, playing the outdated references, the complicated lenses through which we see plays from the past, transitions, “playing for keeps,” and why plays about relationships will never go away.

“…when I set out to choose a play, I narrowed it down: ‘mid-century, female playwright, comedy’…”
“…I was very drawn to this character. She’s the smartest person in the play…she has flaws, she’s insecure, she’s a beautiful, robust, witty woman. I felt like she was so full, and rich in character…”

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Alice Pencavel, Paul Bedard, Jonelle Robinson, Rosie Sowa, & Alison Walter of “Totally Wholesome Foods”

Theater in Asylum, in partnership with The Episcopal Actors' Guild Open Stage Grant presents TOTALLY WHOLESOME FOODS, written by Alice Pencavel, directed by Paul BedardListen in as Totally Wholesome Foods playwright Alice Pencavel, director Paul Bedard, along with performers Jonelle Robinson, Rosie Sowa, & Alison Walter, discuss eerie prescience, gray areas, examining our political beliefs through theatre, true believers, “selling the crunchy,” contradicting oppositions, singing plants, connection through various languages, and how theatre can work to preserve community.

“…to me, community is messy, is disordered, is inconvenient…diversity just brings so many challenges, and it’s essential for community, but it’s not the orderliness of aisles, clean aisles that are spacious and labeled…”

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Alex Randrup, Conrad Kluck, Gavin Myers, Cayenne Douglass, & Daniella Caggiano from “FEAST: A Performance Series”

Conrad Kluck, Alex Randrup, and Horse Trade Theatre Group present FEAST: A Performance Series at UNDER St. Marks TheaterListen in as the co-producers & curators of FEAST: A Performance Series, Conrad Kluck & Alex Randrup, along with several artists from the January 2019 edition of the series, playwright Cayenne Douglass, director Daniella Caggiano, and choreographer Gavin Myers, discuss encouraging cross-discipline collaborations, hearing from your high school bully, the excitement of eclectic evenings, finding creative partners, the art of the everyday, and growing community through art.

“…one of the things we wanted to put a high priority on is trying to create some kind of community base, for our artists to be able come back, and continue developing a project, or develop something new, or just have a home base…but also, art can’t exist without art-lovers, and the people in the audience. Both of those spaces are just as important…”

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Ria T. DiLullo & Katelynn Kenney of “Wendell & Pan”

The Skeleton Rep presents WENDELL & PAN, written by Katelynn Kenney, directed by Ria T. DiLullo, at The Tank NYCListen in as Wendell & Pan writer Katelynn Kenney and director Ria T. DiLullo discuss the kismet that made them collaborators, “magical dramedy,” ghosts, eating up the play of the theatre, and modern American myth.

“…how do we take contemporary stories, and lift them up into the style of an epic, into something that a bard would want to sing about?”

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David Mandelbaum, Eli Rosen, Richard Saudek, Gera Sandler, & Myron Tregubov of “Waiting for Godot”

New Yiddish Rep presents Samuel Beckett's WAITING FOR GODOT, translated by Shane Baker, directed by Ronit MuszkablitListen in as New Yiddish Rep Artistic Director David Mandelbaum, who also plays Estragon in the company’s production of וואַרטן אויף גאָדאָ (Waiting for Godot), and fellow actors Eli Rosen (Vladimir), Richard Saudek (Lucky), Gera Sandler (Pozzo), and Myron Tregubov (The Boy, sharing the role with Noam Sandler), discuss how the play’s musicality aligns with the musicality of the Yiddish language, surviving catastrophes, fake & real tolerance, Didi and Gogo as refugees, the work of New Yiddish Rep, connecting through sound, and the importance of Vladimir’s line “Was I sleeping while the others suffered?”

“…the context of the play is particularly meaningful when you look at the circumstances under which it was written: a couple of years after a catastrophic world war. What could be more natural than for it to be translated into Yiddish?…”

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Alex Roe, Erin Beirnard, Michael Turner, & Jessie Lynn Smith of “Shadow of Heroes”

Metropolitan Playhouse presents SHADOW OF HEROES, written by Robert Ardrey, directed by Alex RoeListen in as Shadow of Heroes director Alex Roe, along with actors Erin Beirnard & Michael Turner and lighting designer Jessie Lynn Smith, discuss modern resonance with pockets of history, humanizing historical figures, exploring the “why,” witnessing, finding the balance between fact and dramaturgy, and the “constant tension” between open societies and darker personal interests.

“…essentially, it’s about the life of, and possibilities of giving life to, an ideal, and the challenges those ideals face. But in the end, I think there’s something inspiring…”

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