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Showing posts from 2021

News: Remastered "Loveville High" and Songs from the Podcast Re-Released, Streaming Free

Loveville High: A Prom in Nine Musical Podcasts , in association with the Broadway Podcast Network, has announced that a re-release of the remastered audio musical plus songs from the podcast will be available free on streaming services. With book and lyrics by David Zellnik (Drama Desk-nominated Yank! ) and music by Eric Svejcar (Disney’s Peter Pan Jr. with Zellnik),  Loveville High  takes place on prom night in the fictional town of Loveville, Ohio. Each ten-minute episode tells a love story – new love, old love, romantic love, friend love, gay and straight, cis and genderqueer; each is a self-contained musical while also connecting with the other episodes to form a glimpse into the biggest night in the lives of one high school class. The first five remastered episodes and a special bonus episode were released together, with the final four remastered episodes released weekly on subsequent Wednesdays. Episodes are available exclusively from the Broadway Podcast Network on the BPN AP

Review: “Give Me Away” Broadens and Deepens to Close Out Season One

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Give Me Away (Season One, Part Two) Written by Mac Rogers Directed by Jordana Williams Presented by Gideon Media , with distribution from PRX Episode 5: September 17; episode 6: September 24; episode 7: October 1; episode 8: October 8; episode 9: October 15 on all podcast platforms; or, all episodes available September 17 on Stitcher Premium Cover art by Kate Kosma Give Me Away , the multi-season sci-fi audio drama from multimodal writer Mac Rogers, has returned to close out its first season. Individual episodes will be available for free on Gideon Media’s website and all podcast platforms, with release dates from September 17th through October 15th. Audience members who don’t want to wait that long to find out what happens next—and there are a few significant cliffhangers—can listen to all episodes ad-free on Stitcher Premium beginning the same day that the first episode of the back half of this season is released. Listeners can obtain a free month of Stitcher Premium by visiting ww

News: Hedgepig Ensemble and Partners "Expand the Canon" Again Beginning Sep. 13

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  Concepts such as the "canon" and "classic" works have been sites of struggle, in both academics and performance, for some time now, leading to some seismic changes both in who is considered a canonical writer and in who gets to shape that conversation. Of course, while undeniable advances in decentering White male writers and in increasing equity and representation have been made, the process of rethinking the canon remains contested and ongoing. In 2020, perceiving an inflection point in the New York City theater arts community, Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre , a Brooklyn-based collective founded in 2012, launched Expand the Canon , which focuses on furthering the inclusion of diverse women playwrights among what theater artists and audiences consider to be the classics. Having had success in influencing the works that have appeared not only on stages large and small but also in higher education classrooms nationwide, Hedgepig will shortly be highlighting a new set of

News: Krista Knight's "Crush" Named a Finalist for the Broadway On Demand Film Festival

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Image courtesy Emily Owens PR Crush , a VR puppet play by Krista Knight , is a finalist for the Broadway on Demand Film Festival, a short film festival to honor the groundbreaking ways in which creators approach theater in a digital age and socially-distant world. The short film with the most views by September 13 will be live-streamed on the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Emmy® OTT platform this fall. To watch Crush , just create a free account at Broadway On Demand . Crush  is a six-part video puppet play created by No Puppet Co. using virtual reality. Picking up roughly from where Kafka left off—a loner, squatter, and rebel dares to love. We follow the anti-morphosis through a series of beat poetry performances as our hero draws nearer to the object of his desire and his undoing.  When  Crush , a finalist for the 45th Annual Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, was canceled due to COVID-19, Knight and Barry Brinegar decided to use the virtual

Review: "God of Obsidian" Gleams Darkly

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Cover art by Kate Kosma God of Obsidian Written by Mac Rogers Directed by Jordana Williams Presented by Gideon Media on all podcast platforms Episode 1: August 27, 2021 Episode 2: September 3, 2021 Episode 3: September 10, 2021 If an intimate partner proposes any type of Bluebeard-style rule or, worse yet, expresses a lack of empathy for the service workers who deliver goods to his/her/their home, consider that a red flag. This applies doubly if the home in question stands at the end of a rickety bridge in the woods, as does Nathan's (Mac Rogers) sylvan abode in Mac Rogers's God of Obsidian . Rogers and Rebecca Comtois, as Nathan's significant other, Alice, reprise their roles from God of Obsidian 's 2017 stage debut as it transitions seamlessly into a free three-part audio play for this new production. Alice's first impression of Nathan's home elicits a comparison to the Brothers Grimm, and although subtle fairy tale elements indeed run throughout the play (Nat

Review: "Alma Baya" Gives New Meaning(s) to Pod People

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Alma Baya Written and directed by Edward Einhorn Presented by Untitled Theater Company No. 61 at A.R.T./New York Theatres 502 W. 53rd Street (at 10th Ave), Manhattan, NYC In-person: August 13 - 28, 2021 (masks and proof of vaccination required) Streaming on-demand: August 18 - September 19, 2021 Alma Baya Cast B - JaneAnne Halter, Maggie Cino, Nina Mann. Photo credit: Arthur Cornelius In Edward Einhorn's absurdist sci-fi drama Alma Baya , two's company; three's an ontological earthquake. Alma (Maggie Cino) inhabits a pod on a hostile alien planet with her assistant Baya (JaneAnne Halter), confined within due to the failure of their space suits, their lives measured by the alarms and bells of machines. Then a third woman (Nina Mann)* materializes outside, pounding on the airlock to be let in. Even before she emerges, naked, from the enclosed space of the airlock as if in a (re)birth, the Stranger's arrival, as she correctly observes later, has irreversibly changed ever

Review: "A Small Handful" from a Towering Poet

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A Small Handful Conceived and directed by Jim Petosa Presented by PTP/NYC via streaming August 13-17, 2021 Paula Langton. Courtesy DARR Publicity A Small Handful is the final of three online productions in what PTP/NYC (Potomac Theatre Project) is calling its Season 34 ½. This filmed piece presents a trio of poems by Anne Sexton, a pillar of 20th-century American poetry who struggled with her mental health and died by suicide in 1974. Each of the three poems is spoken and then sung, providing distinct but complementary experiences of Sexton's words. Running under half an hour, A Small Handful is free, but reservations are required and can be made at Home | PTP/NYC (ptpnyc.org) . Donations in support of the company are of course welcomed. The poems performed come from the earliest and latest of Sexton's published volumes, beginning with "Where It Was At Back Then," from the posthumous 45 Mercy Street (1976); then reaching back to "Music Swims Back to Me,"

Review: #These Are Not Your Mother's Karens

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The Karens Written by Peter Gray Directed and edited by Michael Alvarez Presented by The Muse Collective via streaming August 13-27, 2021 Morgan Danielle Day, Felicia Santiago, and LaurenSage Browning. Courtesy Emily Owens PR. Watching the protagonists of Peter Gray's comedy The Karens market social justice as part of their personal brand strategies, it is hard not to think of Nancy Fraser's analysis in Capitalism: A Conversation in Critical Theory (co-authored with Rahel Jaeggi) that capitalism presents differences "as consumer of lifestyle options" (186) and that what she calls "progressive neoliberalism" has appropriated emancipatory politics in order to "'diversify'" the existing meritocracy rather than "abolish social hierarchy" (Polity Press, 2018, pp. 186, 203-204). The eponymous Karens here are not the entitled middle-aged, manager-and-police-summoning white women for whom the name became a shorthand in popular discours

Review: "Herstory" Is One of Repetition with a Difference

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  Herstory Co-created by Gisela Cardenas, Laura Butler-Levitt, and Heather Hollingsworth Written for the stage by Javier Antonio González Directed by Gisela Cardenas Presented by In Tandem Lab and New Ohio Theatre at the New Ohio Theatre 154 Christopher Street, Manhattan, NYC August 4-7, 2021 Laura Butler-Levitt & Heather Hollingsworth. Photo courtesy InTandem Lab Perhaps one reason that Shakespeare's late play The Tempest has consistently inspired responses and reimaginings is that its concern with who controls the narrative is more text than subtext, from Prospero's rehearsal to his daughter Miranda of her own past to his paternalistic perspective on his expropriation of Caliban's land and labor to his stage managing of more or less everything that occurs during the play. Herstory uses The Tempest , specifically Miranda, to initialize an exploration not only of (gendered) control over narrative and expression, including the narratives that we construct for ourselve

News: Hotsy Totsy Burlesque Returns August 12 with a Tribute to Star Trek

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WHAT:  Handsome Brad and Cherry Pitz Present:  Hotsy Totsy Burlesque's Return Tribute to Star Trek WHERE:  The Slipper Room 167 Orchard Street, NYC WHEN:  Thursday August 12th, 2021 Doors 7:00 PM / Show at 8:00 PM TICKETS:  Admission: $25 pre-sold reserved seating Tickets available at  www.slipperroom.com Shows are reserved seating, $20 drink minimum The Slipper Room is 21+ The mysterious Q has come back in time to find out who has framed him for the planetary garbage fire on earth that was 2020. Meanwhile, Captain Kirk has been stranded at The Home for Wayward Girls and Fallen Women for almost a year after a time travel excursion to whale watch landed him accidentally in the midst of the Covid Pandemic. Can Cherry Pitz help these intergalactic space guys, and can they help her in return to book Lwaxana Troi as the closing act of this, the first back-to-live-shows performance of Hotsy Totsy Burlesque? As live shows return to New York City, Hotsy Totsy Burlesque, in its 15th year

Review: We're Not of Two Minds About "Give Me Away"

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Give Me Away Written by Mac Rogers Directed by Jordana Williams Presented by  Gideon Media , with distribution from PRX Episodic, beginning July 16, 2021 Cover art by Kate Kosma Think about all that sharing your life with others--spouses, children, friends, lovers—entails. Now think about sharing it—you—with another consciousness—one that is literally alien. This is the resonant juxtaposition at the center of Give Me Away , an engrossing new, multi-season science fiction audio play written by prolific podcaster, playwright, and author of audio fiction Mac Rogers . The first season of Give Me Away is being presented in two parts, with Part One's episodes (discussed here) premiering on July 16, July 23, July 30, and August 6 and Part Two premiering episodes on September 17, September 24, October 1, October 8, and October 15. All episodes are free, and audiences can visit the show's page on Gideon Media to listen or to subscribe across all podcast platforms At the opening of Gi

Review: The Divine Comedy of "Judgment Day"

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Judgment Day Written by Rob Ulin Directed by Matthew Penn Presented via Stellar to benefit Barrington Stage Company July 26-August 1, 2021 Jason Alexander and Patti LuPone. Image courtesy Kampfire PR Rob Ulin's two-act play Judgment Da y introduces us to successful lawyer Sammy Campo (Jason Alexander) as he closes what sounds like a pretty shady deal—if you find things like child labor questionable. But Sammy has not gotten where he is by being particularly ethical. When, however, he comes away from a briefly fatal medical episode convinced that where he is headed in (or, really, after) the end hangs in the balance, he seeks to tip the scales in his favor, and enlists doubting priest Father Michael (Santino Fontana) along the way. Receiving an encore presentation to benefit the Massachusetts-based Barrington Stage Company, the virtual reading of this modern-day comedy of morals itself benefits from a high-powered cast and a willingness to take a few unexpected turns. Santino Font

Review: Award-Winning Audio Play "Supernova" Forges a Mosaic of Incarcerated Women's Stories

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Supernova Written by Elizabeth Hawes Directed by Bernadette Armstrong Presented by the Open-Door Playhouse Podcast at www.opendoorplayhouse.org ESA/Hubble & NASA. Acknowledgement: Claude Cornen. Used under Creative Commons 4.0 Elizabeth Hawes writes in multiple genres and has won multiple PEN America Prison Writing Awards, including for her new audio play, Supernova . Incarcerated in the Shakopee correctional facility in Minnesota, Hawes has described her purpose in writing as " to bear witness, to advocate, to entertain ," and Supernova achieves all three. Presented in two parts (debuting July 14 and July 21, 2021 and totaling about two hours and fifteen minutes) on the Open-Door Playhouse's website as part of its Prison Plays series, Supernova gives intimate expression to the experiences of women incarcerated by America's Prison Industrial Complex (PIC). This and Open-Door's other plays are available for free, but donations are welcomed. Part 1 of the pla

Review: "Democracy Sucks" and "Testament" at East to Edinburgh Goes Virtual Festival

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East to Edinburgh Goes Virtual Presented by 59E59 Theaters via  https://59e59.org/ July 15-25, 2021 Cori Hundt, Jessica Giannone, Desireé Rodriguez, Doron JéPaul Mitchell, & Biko Eisen-Martin in Testament . Photo credit: Jessica Bennett The East to Edinburgh festival comes to 59E59 Theaters this summer in virtual form, as East to Edinburgh Goes Virtual. The lineup of nine shows has been curated by 59E59 Associate Curator Jessica Hart to celebrate the diversity of the Edinburgh Fringe, even if this year's productions won't be physically performed there. The festival's limited run extends from July 15 through July 25, with one $20 festival pass ($18 for 59E59 Members) giving access to all nine shows for on-demand streaming through the 59E59 website. Yesterday, we discussed #Charlottesville and Black Women Dating White Men , a pair of plays constructed verbatim from interviews. Today, in our second of two pieces on the festival, we look at two plays that take a more tra

Review: "#Charlottesville" and "Black Women Dating White Men" at East to Edinburgh Goes Virtual Festival

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East to Edinburgh Goes Virtual Presented by 59E59 Theaters via  https://59e59.org/ July 15-25, 2021 (top, l-r) Christelle Belinga, Clara Emanuel, Risha Silvera, (bottom, l-r) Arianne Carless, and Merryl Ansah in BLACK WOMEN DATING WHITE MEN The East to Edinburgh festival comes to 59E59 Theaters this summer in virtual form, as East to Edinburgh Goes Virtual. The lineup of nine shows has been curated by 59E59 Associate Curator Jessica Hart to celebrate the diversity of the Edinburgh Fringe, even if this year's productions won't be physically performed there. The festival's limited run extends from July 15 through July 25, with one $20 festival pass ($18 for 59E59 Members) giving access to all nine shows for on-demand streaming through the 59E59 website . In the first of two pieces on the festival, we look at #Charlottesville and Black Women Dating White Men , a pair of plays constructed verbatim from interviews. While the focus of the latter might seem in some ways much bro

News: “Dreaming the Queer Future”: Peppermint in Conversation with the New Visions Fellowship on 7/8

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  Peppermint. Photo courtesy Emily Owens PR Activist and international star Peppermint (she/her) will host an online conversation on Thursday, July 8 at 6pm ET (5pm CT, 4pm MT, 3pm PT) with the inaugural recipients of the 2021-22 New Visions Fellowship, Ayla Xuan Chi Sullivan (they/them) and Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko (he/they), along with New Visions Lead Mentor, Roger Q. Mason (they/them) on the importance of transgender and gender non-conforming representation in the American Theatre.  The conversation will take place on Zoom and will launch a fundraiser for the New Visions Fellowship, an innovative new artistic program established by National Queer Theater and The Dramatists Guild of America. The Fellowship is a rigorous year-long professional development initiative aimed at celebrating the brilliance of and uplifting Black TGNC writers in the face of the systemic exclusion that Black TGNC writers have endured within American theater.  The entertainment industry not only struggles in dep

Review: In Marionette Production of Havel's "Audience," It's a Question of Who's Pulling the Strings

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  Audience Written by Vaclav Havel Translated and directed by Vít Hořejš Presented by the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre at Bohemian National Hall , Manhattan, NYC June 23 and 29, 2021 L to R: Theresa Linnihan as The Brewmaster, Vít Hořejš as Vanek. Photo by Jonathan Slaff. There is an irony to the title of Vaclav Havel's 1975 one-act play Audience —one tends to think of being granted or summoned to an audience with some elite personage rather than a brewery worker—just as there is some irony to staging with marionettes a play in which one character is being puppeteered, as it were, to try to gain a form of control over another. There is also, though it might sound strange for a play about omnipresent surveillance under an oppressive Communist regime, a tremendous amount of fun in this production by the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre (CAMT), presented as part of the 2021 Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival honoring Vaclav Havel. The comedic Audience —preceded