Ross Williams of NYSX’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” plus talkback with Shane Breaux and Dr. Jaime Wright

New York Shakespeare Exchange presents MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHINGListen in as New York Shakespeare Exchange Artistic Director and director of Much Ado About Nothing, Ross Williams, discusses finding resonance with the “fake news” of today in Shakespeare, getting rid of unnecessary jokes, blending characters (and why you might want to), achieving a sense of inclusion with your audience, and getting around having all those pesky messengers in Much Ado.

…and, after the brief interview with Ross, stay tuned for a recording of the post-show talkback between him, Dr. Jaime Wright, Associate Professor at St. Johns University, and the show’s dramaturg Shane Breaux.

“…Shakespeare was all about the exchange between the audience and the players, and I think all too often, Shakespeare done contemporarily is done with our contemporary understanding of the fourth wall…what I really like to encourage is a sense of exchange between the audience and the actors…”

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Matthew Foster, Andrew H. Lyons, & David Sedgwick of “The Club”

Australian Made Entertainment presents The ClubThis episode serves as both a “welcome back!” and a fond “farewell” to the excellent company Australian Made Entertainment (previously heard on the podcast with their wonderful shows Speaking in Tongues and Once We Lived Here), who are presenting their last show in NYC before founders Kathleen & Matthew Foster bring their family & work to Los Angeles. West Coast, our loss is your gain.

Fittingly for their final NYC bow, AME is presenting an Aussie classic, David Williamson’s The Club, about the back-room negotiations and maneuverings of a football club in the 1970s, directed by Andrew H. Lyons. As noted in the interview, it feels like this play occupies an interesting spot between Glengarry Glen Ross and Moneyball—and don’t worry, you don’t have to know a thing about business, or Australian football, to enjoy the brilliant work going on right now at Urban Stages.

Listen in as Matthew, Andrew, and actor David Sedgwick discuss the struggles between tradition and business, moustaches, and how a contemporary Australian classic resonates in modern-day U.S.A.

“…what I saw getting into it was this tipping point of tradition vs. business, bottom-line vs. tradition…that’s where we were, we were right there at ‘do we hang on to tradition, do we keep America moving forward to help ourselves, or do we cut our losses, cut all that stuff, and go for the money‘…it’s the moment of the tipping point…”

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Greg Kalleres, playwright of “Honky”

"Honky" by Greg KalleresHonky is a play about relationships: about the relationships between five people, and about the relationships between who designs, buys, wears, covets, sells, and markets basketball shoes.

But hovering over—or rather, sitting squarely on top of—all of these relationships, is the issue of race.

It’s the kind of show that provokes wild, and/or uncomfortable, and/or silent laughter, at different times, from different people, for different reasons.

And while it doesn’t shy away from a difficult subject, Honky is hysterical, insightful, dramatic, and fun.

Listen to this episode of GSAS! to hear playwright Greg Kalleres discuss quiet audiences, brave actors, and advertising.

“You may fail, but you’ve certainly got the right to try.”

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Jon Stancato, director, and Kiran Rikhye, playwright, of Stolen Chair Productions’ “The Man Who Laughs”

Stolen Chair Productions' "The Man Who Laughs"In this episode, GSAS! visits the incongruously-located Urban Stages (who’d think you’d find a cool downtown-style venue just down the street from MSG?) for Stolen Chair Theatre Company‘s production of The Man Who Laughs, billed as a “live silent film for the stage.”

And that’s exactly what it is — black & white sets & costumes (and make-up), brilliant live accompaniment by pianist Eugene Ma, dialogue cards to impart important spoken lines, even silent-film-era-style camera angles. And then there’s the free popcorn.

Listen in as GSAS! talks with director Jon Stancato and playwright Kiran Rikhye about encouraging the audience to get into costume, how to write a play without dialogue, and re-discovering the magic & possibilities of past performance styles. Continue reading