On today’s podcast, we meet Almanac, an interdisciplinary theatre group whose production of “Leaps of Faith and Other Mistakes” runs through Fringe Arts at the Painted Bride Arts Center. I have been aware of Almanac for a while now, often in the building they are performing in for another production. Now, we get a chance to find out more about their work, process, practices and inspirations. Stay Tuned!
ABOUT LEAPS OF FAITH AND OTHER MISTAKES
From the company behind Exile 2588 comes a re-envisioning of Almanac’s acclaimed tale of sublime human idiocy, isolationist seafarer cults, & the absurdity of believing too hard. Breathtaking acrobatics & earnest theatricality combine with brand new live music. What do people do when they find themselves lost at sea?
On today’s podcast, I met with Kash Goins whose GoKash OnSTAGE is in residency at Arden Theatre Company. Following his work over the years, it was great to chat with him about the production, “Seventy IV seconds…to judgement”, the second installment of his justice series.
ABOUT “SEVENTY IV seconds…to judgement”
What is “Justifiable Homicide”? What roles do paranoia, race, and fear play in a split decision to kill? Should social class, personal histories, or individual assumptions factor into a months’ long evaluation of justice? Is there enough space for the application of law in a killing which takes seconds to commit? Who are we, who decide? How are we to decide?
In the next installment of his justice series, “Seventy IV Seconds… to judgment”, Kash Goins introduces us to a jury of 6 who have been deadlocked for over a week. In an attempt to uncover the truth buried in the facts as presented in the case, the youngest juror who is not much different from a central figure in the killing, offers a unique tactic. An exercise purposed to move the jury beyond feelings which are buried beneath the cover of what they’ve come to accept as their personal truths. To be heard. To listen. To process the law as instructed.
On today’s podcast, Dany Guy talks about his time at Interact Theatre Company as Director of Operations as he begins to transition into his new role as Managing Director of 11th Hour Theatre Company. From Intern to Director, Dany’s growth is similar and so valuable to our community and that is why we gave him time to talk about it.
ABOUT DANY GUY
Hails from Massachusetts and started with InterAct as a production intern for the 2009/2010 season. As an intern, he assistant stage-managed the Barrymore-nominated production of Lee Blessing’s WHEN WE GO UPON THE SEA, which was moved Off-Broadway to 59E59 Theatre. This is his 7th season working with InterAct. Other Philadelphia credits include: Tribe of Fools ZOMBIES…WITH GUNS!, TWO STREET, ANTIHERO, SHUT YOUR WORMHOLE, HEAVY METAL DANCE FAG (Production Manager) and DRACULA (Stage Manager); Shakespeare in Clark Park: WINTER’S TALE (Production Manager); Simpatico Theatre Project THE AMISH PROJECT (Lighting Designer), THE LYSISTRATA PROJECT, A BRIGHT NEW BOISE, THE BLACK MONK, THE MEEP PROJECT (Production Manager); Enchantment Theater Company’s THE VELVETEEN RABBIT national tour and HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON (rehearsal A.S.M. and A.D.). He currently serves on the board of Tribe of Fools and as a Barrymore Nominator. Daniel graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2008 and recently received his M.S. in Arts Administration in June from the Drexel University Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, where he was the 2014 recipient of the Karen Murdoch Scholarship for Visionary Leadership in the Arts.
On today’s podcast, I touch base with John Orr, Executive Director of Art-Reach. After the “Arts Funding Panel: Who Should Pay?”, I realized that we have known each other for 17 years and John’s path that lead to Art-Reach is an interesting one. We talk about Art-Reach’s mission and goals as well as the accessibility opportunities of our cultural community.
Art-Reach creates, advocates for and expands accessible opportunities in the arts so the full spectrum of society is served. Art-Reach works with the cultural community to ensure that opportunity exists for all people, and in doing so we will lift Philadelphia up to become a national model for cultural accessibility.
Eppchez!, who plays Max in Simpatico Theatre Company’s production of Taylor Mac’s Hir, is a nonbinary transgender Latinx performer who brings a wealth of talents to Philadelphia.
An Amherst, Massachusetts, native, Eppchez! (who uses the pronouns ey and eir) has worked with Pig Iron Theatre Company, the Mediums, and other groups with a focus on devising new work. Ey studied theater and writing at Wesleyan University. A playwright, choreographer, director, designer, puppeteer, songwriter, and vocalist, ey is also artistic director/conductor of Alma’s Engine, a process-focused creative ministry and self-producing platform for realizing eir work in music and theater. Among eir works is the album Self-Realized-Nation; A Song Cycle of the Occupation (2013), the original plays Junk Redemption (2012) and They Extract! (2014 and 2016), and a site-specific musical staged in Bartram’s Garden, Train-ing: A Duet (2017).
On May 15, 2017, Broad Street Review, in cooperation with the University of the Arts’ Corzo Center for the Creative Economy and with support from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, hosted a panel discussion titled Arts Funding: Who Should Pay? Initially, the discussion was supposed to examine funding in light of impending cuts to the federal arts budget; surprisingly, those cuts didn’t happen. Even more surprising, our panelists mostly looked at the NEA as a nice bonus, but nothing to hang their shingles on.
On this podcast, on a beautiful night in Old City, I caught up with playwright, director, teacher, and actor James Ijames, whose latest play, WHITE, is enjoying a critically acclaimed world-premiere production at Norristown’s Theatre Horizon. Meanwhile, this Barrymore and F. Otto Haas Emerging Artist Award winner’s The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington opened at the Ally Theatre in Washington, D.C., on April 30, 2017; another, Kill Move Paradise, opens at New York’s National Black Theatre on May 31, 2017. Ijames also recently won the $50,000 Whiting Award for “emerging writers who exhibit great promise.”
“A jazz guy”
Philadelphia audiences already know he’s delivered on that promise. Here we discuss the creative process and how Ijames’s work was enhanced after development at PlayPenn’s new-play conference. We also touch on provocation in art, a playwright’s responsibility to their audience, and the Whitney Biennial’s Emmett Till controversy. While WHITE traverses some rocky territory, it’s very funny. Ijames explains, “I’m a jazz guy, not a blues guy.” So what play does Ijames really adore? The answer may surprise you.
For Wendy Rosenfield’s review of WHITE, click here.
Scottish playwright Stef Smith isn’t yet 30, but her plays show a power beyond her years. Philadelphia’s Inis Nua Theatre Company, which focuses specifically on presenting contemporary work from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, is a perfect fit for her unique voice.
Here, we speak with Smith and director Claire Moyer about Inis Nua’s production of Swallow. Smith’s tale about a trio of lonely adults all in the midst of life-changing events finds a kind of universality in alienation from the modern world. Smith has received an Olivier Award for her play RoadKill and is an associate artist at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland. This is the third play Moyer has directed for Inis Nua. Together they discuss the play’s symbolism, getting into the heads of these characters, and the reactions from audiences around the world.
To read Mark Cofta’s review of Swallow, click here.
On this podcast, award-winning Philadelphia-based playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger talks about her newest production, The Arsonists. This “play with music” marks the third and final installment of her Southern Gothic trilogy, after The Terrible Girls and Skin and Bone. A National New Play Network (NNPN) rolling world premiere, it will open first under the aegis of Azuka Theatre Company and then head to theaters around the country.
Goldfinger grew up in rural Florida and, captivated by the region’s literature and music, decided the Southern Gothic form was worefully underutilized onstage. The Arsonists, inspired by Sophocles’s tragedy Elektra, follows a father-daughter arson team who reside deep in Florida’s swamplands. A live band will play during the show and, on certain nights, give concerts afterward. Here, Goldfinger discusses how the play and its predecessors came to be, NNPN’s rolling premiere process, and much more.
This week, we grabbed our magnifying glasses and followed the clues to New Paradise Laboratories’ site-specific mystery Gumshoe, which takes place deep in the bowels and throughout the corridors of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Afterward, we went even further and tracked down the company’s innovative founder and artistic director, Whit MacLaughlin.
On the case
MacLaughlin, who arrived in Philadelphia after more than 20 years with the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, brought New Paradise Laboratories’ (NPL) founding ensemble here in 1996. Some of the company’s members have gone on to become this city’s most recognizable onstage faces (Lee Ann Etzold, Jeb Kreager, Matt Saunders, Mary McCool), and the company and its members have also seen much success in New York (NPL won an Obie Award for 2000’s The Fab 4 Reach the Pearly Gates) and elsewhere. NPL has created roughly one original work per year since its founding, and this year, they’ve paired with the Free Library and Rosenbach Museum to present Gumshoe. Listen in to learn the difference between fact, fiction, and falsehood, and — perhaps most importantly — how to escape a maze.