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 White on White co-directors Alec Duffy & Lori Elizabeth Parquet discuss the Hoi Polloi process, developing and discovering a play with the playwright, avoiding spoilers, how to examine whiteness in a theatrical context, troubling the waters, taking theatre to an extreme place, and asking questions that we’re all “answering for ourselves, all the time.”
“…this is difficult stuff to talk about intellectually, let alone theatrically…to really tell the truth about what whiteness is. Because I feel like one of the tools of whiteness is to be vague about it, to be obscure about it, to not be straightforward about it…so that it can continue to exist…”
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 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 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…”
Listen 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…”
Listen 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…”
Listen in as the cast of Friendly’s Fire—Matthew 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…”