Liz Thaler and Lauren Miller of “Happy”

In Extremis Theater Company presents Happy, written by Liz Thaler and directed by Lauren MillerYour ever-humble GSAS! producer is sound designing a great play that’s being produced as part of F*ckFest at The Brick in Williamsburg—and because I have editorial control over this here podcast, well, this is an episode about it.

Even if I weren’t working on the show, I’d still be excited to have playwright Liz Thaler and director Lauren Miller join me on the mic to talk about this “love story with a few kinks,” Happy. That’s because I’m extremely proud of the work everyone’s done on the show, and I think you’ll enjoy it, too. Go see this one, y’all.

Listen in as Liz and Lauren discuss how this “Shotz” piece proved itself to be the germ of a larger play, personal vs. professional BDSM, status, power, mystery, and what really makes us happy.

“…nobody’s left out of the story. Nobody has to come in and be, like, ‘oh, that’s not my kink,’ because some of the fantasies aren’t ever said out loud—so they get to fill it in with whatever’s scariest. Or whatever’s sexiest. So I think that allows the audience to identify with something that sometimes people are terrified to identify with, which is their own raw human sexuality.”

Quick point of order: the play and this podcast episode acknowledge the existence of sexual behavior among human beings, and some of that behavior might be outside the realm of what you’re used to seeing depicted in pop music videos and teen comedies; no discretion advised, but you’ve been notified.

Continue reading

David Haan, playwright of “The President Plays”

playwright David HaanGSAS! Producer’s Note: playwright David Haan is writing things you should read, produce, and/or go and see.

Case-in-point: his 42-play cycle The President Plays re-imagines the death of every U.S. president from Washington to G.W. Bush, a series so epic that the reading of it had to be spread over three consecutive Tuesdays. The intrepid folks at Blowout Theatre are kindly hosting the readings on off-nights from their new show, Jona Tarlin’s In Antarctica, Where it is Very Warm (which, though the podcast wasn’t able to get out to cover it, looks super-cool, pun intended—remaining dates are Thursday thru Saturday, October 9, 10, & 11, nightly at 8PM!).

There’s only one more night from the posting of this episode to catch the remaining plays in the cycle (Tuesday, October 7 @ 7:30PM!), and it’s well-worth seeing thanks to the wonderful actors you’ll see (including members of Amios and The Assembly), excellent direction from Liz Thaler, and, of course, David’s imaginative, intriguing, insightful scripts.

I sat down with David over a beer after Part II of the cycle last Tuesday — listen in as we discuss getting history wrong, collaboration, our love of Amios, dreams of marathon theatre, and writing the impossible.

“…I’m very interested in the theatre as a collaborative enterprise…it’s kind of a conveyor belt, in which each part is kind of it’s own fully formed thing, but then becomes something greater…”

Continue reading