Diane Davis & Illana Stein of “Complicity”

Eden Theater Company presents COMPLICITY, written by Diane Davis, directed by Illana Stein, at The New Ohio TheaterListen in as Complicity playwright Diane Davis, along with director Illana Stein, discuss finding a different way to approach a well-known story, the illusion of power, the timeliness of this play about history, holding each other accountable, “heart and humanity,” complexity in complicity, how systems perpetuate themselves, the importance of intimacy direction, and who is responsible when bad things happen.

“…this is the play of women trying to wrestle out their roles in allowing the deconstruction of rights…and the way that assault is perpetuated…We’d like to think it’s gone. The idealist is gonna say, ‘We’ve come so far!’…and yes, we’ve come a long way, but we still don’t have parity…those needles haven’t moved…”

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Heather E. Cunningham & Sara Thigpen of “On the Verge”

Retro Productions presents Eric Overmyer's ON THE VERGE at The Gene Frankel Theater, directed by Sara ThigpenListen 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…”

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Alec Duffy & Lori Elizabeth Parquet of “White on White”

Hoi Polloi presents WHITE ON WHITE, written by Robert Quillen Camp, co-directed by Alec Duffy & Lori Elizabeth Parquet, at JACK BrooklynListen 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…”

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Kirk Gostkowski & Deven Anderson of “Garbageman”

The Chain Theatre presents Keith Huff's GARBAGEMAN, directed by Greg Cicchino, featuring Kirk Gostkowski and Deven AndersonListen 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…”

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Sara Fellini, Jillian Cicalese, & Caitlin Dullahan-Bates of “Ectoplasm”

Spit & Vigor presents ECTOPLASM, written & directed by Sara Fellini, at The Players Theatre, 2022Listen 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…”

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Andy Boyd, Katie Palmer, and Paul Bedard of “Occupy Prescott”

Theatre in Asylum presents OCCUPY PRESCOTT, written by Andy Boyd, directed by Katie Palmer and Paul Bedard, at Jalopy Tavern, BrooklynListen 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…”

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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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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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