David Barlow & Danielle Skraastad of “Havel: The Passion of Thought”

PTP/NYC presents HAVEL: THE PASSION OF THOUGHT, in rep with DOGG'S HAMLET, CAHOOT'S MACBETH at Atlantic Stage 2Listen in as actors David Barlow & Danielle Skraastad of PTP/NYC‘s production of Havel: The Passion of Thought—three short plays from Vaclav Havel, bookended by Harold Pinter’s The New World Order and Samuel Beckett’s Catastrophe—discuss why these plays work so well in conversation, the difference between performing them together in 1991 vs. in 2019, “On Tyranny,” the power of making theatre, “the politics of kindness,” and the importance of living the truth.

“…they felt so current, and felt so hopeful, in a galvanizing way…that art matters. Words matter. What do you want to do?…”

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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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Billy Carter, Ruairi Conaghan, Trevor Cooper, Catherine Cusack, Frank Grimes, and James Hayes of “All That Fall”

Samuel Beckett's "All That Fall" at 59E59As my friends, and regular listeners to the podcast know — I love Samuel Beckett.

[Pro-tip: produce a Beckett show off-off-Broadway, or anything even related to his work, and Go See a Show! will be there if at all possible.]

All That Fall, one of the master’s radio plays, is seldom-produced, and one that I’d actually never heard. So when I saw that Trevor Nunn‘s production from the Jermyn Street Theatre in London would be coming to 59E59, even though it’s not technically off-off-Broadway…well, I had to go and see what was up.

And notice I said “see” what was up, because even though the Beckett estate keeps a tight reign on productions of his works, they’ve permitted the folks behind this production to stage it live — almost like you’re watching a live recording of the radio play, but with some light, simple, highly effective choreography.

Listen in as (much of) the cast & I discuss watching radio drama (something that’s ubiquitous for our English-speaking friends across the Atlantic, but not too prevalent Stateside), Beckett as road-movie, the destruction of great classical plays by modern concepts, where you find the laughter in the bleak, and what it’s like playing Beckett for the first time.

“You gotta laugh at it all. Otherwise, it would be terrible.”

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Nora McNally, Ben Diserens, Rachel B. Joyce, Sean Patrick Monahan, & Patrick Dooley of “Beckett in Benghazi”

Less Than Rent presents "Beckett in Benghazi" by Ben DiserensBeing drawn to the classics, Less Than Rent has taken to integrating the work of the masters into their creations; as associate producer Sean Patrick Monahan notes in this interview, it’s like how painters try to imitate the iconic works of their predecessors to understand the process. By digging in and trying to understand what came before, we can come to appreciate the genius that preceded our work — and, possibly, see where it fits into our current cultural landscape.

In the company’s new show, Beckett in Benghazi, a young troupe of actors about to stage Samuel Beckett’s Endgame changes the show’s concept just days before opening in an attempt to integrate — or, perhaps, capitalize on — the major news of the day: the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Sean is joined on the mic by LTR’s Executive Director Nora McNally, Beckett in Benghazi‘s playwright Ben Diserens, and actors from the show Rachel B. Joyce and Patrick Dooley — listen in as they discuss world events becoming buzz-words, asking questions, and the cyclical nature of life, Beckett, and this play — as well as what sort of work a play can do.

“‘I can’t go on, I’ll go on.’ Exactly.”

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