On today’s podcast, we travel to Northern Liberties to Pig Iron Theatre School to chat with two students, Jacinta Rasma Lee Yelland and Mark Kennedy-McClellen who traveled across the country via Amtrak in search of inspiration. Being the first time chatting about the Pig Iron Theatre School, what a great conversation to have.
ABOUT UARTS / PIG IRON DEVISED PERFORMANCE PROGRAM
Students from the University of the Arts/Pig Iron Devised Performance Program will travel across America by train in March 2018, journeying from Philadelphia to San Francisco on Amtrak. Led by Devised Performance Program Director and Pig Iron Co-Artistic Director Quinn Bauriedel, the students of the Class of the 2019 will seek inspiration for original performance creations, attempting to make a ‘snapshot’ of America as it is right now–its landscapes and cities, its people and their stories. Along the way the students will meet and collaborate with fellow artists in Chicago and Omaha, forging connections and fostering creative exchanges.
About Pig Iron
Founded in 1995 as an interdisciplinary ensemble, Pig Iron Theatre Company is dedicated to the creation of new and exuberant performance works that defy easy categorization. Over the course of its more than two-decade lifespan, Pig Iron has created over thirty original works, toured to festivals and theatres nationally and internationally, and received two OBIE awards. The New York Times named Pig Iron “one of the few groups successfully taking theatre in new directions.”
On today’s podcast, we return to GoKash OnStage to talk about the production “V to X”, a remount in residence at Arden Theatre Company. In this piece, Kash takes a hard look at the U.S. Prison System as a business and show how the inmates lives and value are always up for debate. This piece touches on so many elements of a vicious cycle that makes prisoners more than it aims to rehabilitate. Stay Tuned!
ABOUT V to X
GoKash OnSTAGE in residence at the Arden returns in Spring with a sobering look at privatized incarceration, “V to X”. In this look at the U.S. justice system, writer/director Kash Goins draws inspiration from the tragic experience of N.Y. teen Kalief Browder, whose diminished mental state after three years of abusive Rikers Island incarceration without having ever gone to trial, drove him to suicide upon release in 2015.
Hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer as “A work that erupts with tragic power and vicious humor.”, “V to X” debuted in October, 2015 and encored in February of the following year, proving to be one of the hottest theatre tickets in town.
The interactive drama that Goins has coined theatre in 3-D takes Arden’s brand new Bob and Selma Studio Theatre stage on 3/28/18 – 4/15/18.
On today’s podcast, we chat with Mike Durkin, Artistic Director of The Renegade Company about the Philly Theatre Week offering, “Kensington Fragments: Selections from The Olde Man and The Delaware River. Almost two years in the making, we talk about gaining trust, finding support in same and the voices of a community on the mend. Stay Tuned!
ABOUT KENSINGTON FRAGMENTS
Conceived and Directed by Mike Durkin
Created by The Renegade Company and residents of Kensington
February 13, 16, and 17
Pop-Up performances in Kensington and in Center City
Tuesday, Feb 13th, 1pm – Rittenhouse Square
Tuesday, Feb 13th, 2pm – Across From City Hall (Love Park)
Friday, Feb 16th, 12pm – Rosa’s Pizza (25 S 11th Street)
Friday, Feb 16th, 1pm – Jefferson Station (11th Street and Filbert Street)
Friday, Feb 16th, 2pm – Blue Line Train (Starting at Jefferson Station, Going West to 69th Street Station)
Friday, Feb 16th, 3pm – 30th Street Station
Saturday, Feb 17th, 12pm – Emerald Street Bridge (Emerald Street/Lehigh Avenue)
Saturday, Feb 17th, 1pm – Steak N Beer (2769 Kensington Ave)
Saturday, Feb 17th, 2pm – McPherson Square (Kensington Ave and F Street)
Saturday, Feb 17th, 3pm – Allegheny El Stop (Allegheny Avenue/Kensington Avenue)
Free, Donations Accepted
In Ernest Hemingway’s famous novel, ‘The Old Man and the Sea,’ the titular figure (named Santiago) says, “my big fish must be somewhere.” Fisherman Santiago dedicates his life towards finding the fish that will change the tide of his life and career for the better. Santiago’s story is one of fighting the odds, of maintaining perseverance in the face of extreme obstacles. The Renegade Company will use Hemingway’s novel as a starting point to ask what is the “big fish” for the community? What are the greatest individual goals of community members? What is the larger goal of Kensington? How do we work towards achieving these goals while also understanding the obstacles in the way? The project is entitled The Olde Man and the Delaware River to reflect the rich neighborhood history and referencing neighborhoods like Olde Kensington, and Olde Richmond.
Renegade will be working with residents of the Riverwards communities (Port Richmond, Somerset, Harrowgate, and Kensington) to understand their stories and perspectives on issues of their neighborhoods, particularly with substance abuse and its effects on the community. Currently the neighborhood is represented by a narrative associated with opioid addiction, open-air drug trading, prostitution, and disrepair. We aim to go beyond this narrative by working with the community towards de-stigmatization of the neighborhood. Renegade will be presenting a series of performance interactions in Center City and Kensington exploring issues and stigma of Kensington and encouraging participation and dialogue with audience members. Performers all have a relationship with addiction, homelessness, and Kensington. Hear their stories, ask them questions, engage in conversation, all as an attempt to build common ground.
On today’s podcast, I caught up with Kittson O’Neill, director of Lantern Theater Company’s extended production of “Copenhagen” by Michael Frayn. We talk about her first experience with the piece, directing the Artistic Director, the cast and their return to the work and the design. Stay Tuned!
A fascinating mystery: why did German physicist Werner Heisenberg visit his old mentor and Danish counterpart Niels Bohr in 1941 while their countries were at war? Was he looking for clues to atomic secrets, asking for absolution, or searching for something unknowable? As the characters wrestle with their memories and motives, what becomes clear is the ultimate uncertainty of why we do what we do. Perhaps the greatest play ever written about science, Michael Frayn’s riveting drama puts us in the heart of the greatest moral dilemma of the 20th century.
On today’s podcast, I caught up with playwright, MJ Kaufman via Skype to talk about Interact Theatre Company’s World Premiere production of “Sensitive Guys”. MJ’s work has received a lot of attention this season but, this interview focuses on the development of this piece in the time of “Times Up” and on the heels of the news of Drexel’s recent campus assault that was developing as we connected. Stay Tuned!
ABOUT SENSITIVE GUYS
Takes place on the campus of a small liberal arts college where a pair of extracurricular programs, the student-led Men’s Peer Education Group and women’s Survivor Support Group, work together on an ambitious plan to unlearn sexism and totally eradicate all sexual violence everywhere within just five years. Everything seems to be on track – until an incident throws all their ideals into question. Beginning as a satirical look at hyper-progressivism and modern gender tropes, the play casts a long shadow, asking what change might actually be possible when complicity is assured—intentionally or inadvertently—in the monolith of male-dominated society.
MJ Kaufman (Playwright) is a playwright and devised theater artist working in New York and Philadelphia. Their work has been seen at the Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, the New Museum, Colt Coeur, National Asian American Theater Company, Huntington Theatre, and Yale School of Drama and performed in Russian in Moscow. In Philadelphia MJ has worked with InterAct, Bearded Ladies Cabaret and Headlong Dance Theater as an incubated artist. They taught at University of the Arts and served as a Teaching Artist in Residence at Philadelphia Young Playwrights. MJ also received a Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant and a project grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. MJ is currently a member of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers’ Group, WP Theater Lab, and a resident playwright at New Dramatists. Originally from Portland, Oregon, MJ attended Wesleyan University and received an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama. MJ has co-curated the 2016 and 2017 Trans Theater Festivals at The Brick and will launch Trans Lab, a fellowship for trans theater artists, in January 2018.
On today’s podcast, I caught up with Terrell Green whose remount of his one-man show, “Must Go On: A Rite of Passage” kicks off a new year. From, struggles with addiction to yoga sessions, the production takes a look back in an attempt to resonate, educate in a quest to find a safe space. Stay Tuned.
Local Artist Uses Theatre To Create Community Dialogue on the State of Mental Health in the Black LGBTQ Community
Local Artist Terrell M. Green is utilizing theatre in a new and innovative way; as a means to create community conversations about the Black Gay Male experience. Must Go On (#MGO) uses yoga, African-dance influenced movement, spoken word/monologue performance, video projection, and music to examine the health and wellness of Black Gay Men, while fighting for their identities to be accepted. Must Go On: A Rite of Passage, is a one man show, written and performed by Terrell Green. This is it’s third public performance.There will be a post show community conversation explore the direct link between identity inclusion and it’s impact on one’s mental/physical wellness.
Four men of color pull up to a mic and talk diversity, inclusion and race in the Philadelphia Theatre Community. While this is not a complete reflection of our cultural makeup, these voices paint a picture that may not be as clear to all but, are views through a lens that is worth a look. This, I hope, will be the start of many conversations that bring to light the extremely complex mission of a great cultural community as change is demanded and the conversation continues. Today, I am joined by Terrell Green, Ozzie Jones, and Brian Anthony Wilson. Stay Tuned.
On today’s podcast, Philadelphia Theatre Company played host to 6 influential voices who were brought together to discuss Arts Journalism in conjunction with “Mike Daisey’s This Is Not Normal & The End of Journalism”. Stay Tuned!
A panel discussion, moderated by award-winning playwright Jackie Goldfinger, featuring Michael Riedel, New York Post columnist and author of Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway; John Timpane, Media and Fine Arts Editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer; John Moore, Senior Arts Journalist for Denver Center for the Performing Arts; Chris Jones, Chief Theatre Critic for the Chicago Tribune; and Wendy Rosenfield, Editor-in-Chief for the Broad Street Review.
On today’s podcast, we get to know Theatrical Trainer. Health and wellness are a huge part of everyday life. Of course, we know that the life of an artist can be an adventure. If only there were a team of dedicated artists who understand the plight and has a direct focus on the maintenance required to be a working artist. That is what I sought to find out when I sat down with Theatrical Trainer, a Personal Training Company by Theatre artists, for theatre artists and beyond. With the understanding of be working artists combined with health and wellness practices, all signs point to, let’s find out. So, here’s our interview with Theatrical Trainer at Rep Radio, Studio D, for The Drake. Stay Tuned!
ABOUT THEATRICAL TRAINER
Theatrical Trainer is a theatrical conditioning and In-Home Personal Training company located in Center City, Philadelphia.
With the help and support of our staff at Theatrical Trainer you’ll get personal training in the comfort of your own home or local park and get results without the commitments or expense of a gym/studio. Workouts are fun, challenging, convenient, semi-private/private, affordable and completely safe. Our staff not only provides general personal training, but workshops, movement coaching and choreography as well. We service the theater and film industry, both conditioning actors and providing physical theater training to your cast, educational program or company.
After a long day, I wanted to make this easy. So, a casual conversation about the many “wigs” Dito van Reigersberg wears lightens the mood. During the rehearsal for Buyer & Cellar, Dito had another “Pig Iron” in the fire. Fringe Arts, the artistic overload that welcomes in our theatre season, needed his attention as well. I ask about switching gears and turning the rest off in order to focus on becoming Alex. Of course, he is a professional. Of course, he knows how to do that. But, most theatre lovers see the polished presentation of all the hard work and not always do they get to hear about the process. Stay Tuned.
ABOUT BUYER & CELLAR
Just fired from a stint working at a California theme park (mouse ears, anyone?), Alex More is an underemployed actor looking for a new gig when, out of the blue, the biggest piece of theatre in the world just happens to find him.