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 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 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…”
Listen 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…”
Listen 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…”
Listen 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?”
Listen 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?…”