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Talking Theater

Marc Smith

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Talking Theater

Talking Theater

Marc Smith

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Plays
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About Us

Talking Theater podcast celebrates theater! Your host, Marc Smith, interviews theater makers for theater people who love theatre. Actors, directors, playwrights, designers, stage managers, musicians, and other professionals will share stories about their career, their craft, and their community. You will be introduced each week to artists who make a living in the performing arts. We’re not just talking – we’re talking theater!

Latest Episodes

Tony Award Predictions with Jose Solís

Compare your Tony Award predictions with theater critic, Jose Solís

32 MIN2018 JUN 8
Comments
Tony Award Predictions with Jose Solís

Isaac Butler - Shakespeare, Angels, and Politics

EIsaac Butleris a writer and theater director, recently of The Trump Card, about the rise of Donald Trump with solo performer Mike Daisey. Isaac also wrote and directed Real Enemies, which was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music and named one of the top ten live events of 2015 by The New York Times. Along with Dan Kois, he is the co-author of the critically-acclaimed The World Only Spins Forward, a history of Angels in America which was just released this year. And, most recently, Isaac hosts a new podcast miniseries for Slate called Lend Me Your Ears, about Shakespeare’s plays and our modern views on politics. Isaac holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Minnesota, and his writing has appeared in the Guardian, Slate, American Theatre, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

42 MIN2018 JUN 7
Comments
Isaac Butler - Shakespeare, Angels, and Politics

Idris Goodwin - Playwright Spotlight

Idris Goodwin is an award-winning playwright, poet, performer, and essayist. This summer, he will become the Producing Artistic Director of StageOne Family Theater in Louisville, KY. For StageOne, Idris pennedAmerican Talesand the widely producedAnd In This Corner: Cassius Clay. Other plays include:How We Got On,Bars and Measures,The Raid,Hype Man: a break beat play,Blackademics,The Way the Mountain Moved,commissioned as part of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s American Revolutions Series, and will world premiere this summer, and This Is Modern Artco-written with Kevin Coval (which is getting a Blessed Unrest production in June 2018, in New York City). Just a few of the accolades Idris has earned include awards from the Hip Hop Theater Festival, theNational Endowment for the Arts, theFord Foundation, the Blue Ink Playwriting Award, and the InterAct Theater’s 20/20 Prize. These Are the Breaks, Idris’s debut collection of essays and poetry, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and ...

41 MIN2018 JUN 1
Comments
Idris Goodwin - Playwright Spotlight

Ken Urban - Playwright Spotlight

EKen Urbanis a playwright, screenwriter, and musician based in New York. Hisplays includeSense of an Ending,The Correspondent,A Future Perfect,The Awake, The Happy Sad, Nibbler, A Guide for the Homesick which recently premiered just a few months ago at the Huntington Theater in Boston, and his newest work, a darkly-comic play calledThe Remains, which opens in May 2018 at Studio Theatre in Washington D.C. His work has been produced Off-Broadway at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, 59E59 Theatres, The Summer Play Festival at The Public, and Studio 42.Ken's work has also been produced in London and at theaters all across the States. Just a few of Ken’s awardsinclude the Weissberger Playwriting Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for Playwriting,and the Dramatist Guild Fellowship. He is a member playwright atNew Dramatistsin New York, and an Affiliated Writer at thePlaywrights’ Centerin my city of Minneapolis. And, he’s also an accomplished musician playing with his band...

51 MIN2018 MAY 9
Comments
Ken Urban - Playwright Spotlight

Jessica Burr - Bodies Moving Through Space

Jessica Burris the artistic director of Blessed Unrest,an ensemble-based experimental theatre company in New York City, co-founded withMatt Opatrny. In 2011, Jessica received the Lucille Lortel Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women, in recognition of her work as a director and the body of work that Blessed Unrest has created under her leadership. With Blessed Unrest, just a few of the productions she has directed includeBody: Anatomies of Being,Eurydice’s Dream(for which she and Sonia Villani received the 2013 NY Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Choreography/Movement),ArtCamp SexyTime FootBall,365 Days/365 Plays Festival, A Midsummer Night’s Dream,Measure for Measure, and The Sworn Virginand Doruntine (both with Florent Mehmeti of Teatri Oda of Kosovo). And most recently, The Snow Queen, developed in residency at the New Victory Theater,and now running, Platonov – an adaptation and translation of Chekhov’s play by Laura Wickens. Jessica talks with Marc abou...

46 MIN2018 FEB 19
Comments
Jessica Burr - Bodies Moving Through Space

Dámaso Rodriguez - Transforming Artists Repertory Theatre

Dámaso Rodriguezis a Cuban American director based in Portland, Oregon, where he serves as artistic director ofArtists Repertory Theatre, Portland's longest-running professional theatre company, which became a member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) under his leadership. Prior to joining Artists Rep, Dámasoserved as the associate artistic director of the Pasadena Playhouse and co-founder and co-artistic director of the Furious Theatre in Los Angeles. And upcoming projects include work for Artists Rep, Actors Theater of Louisville and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Dámaso talks with Marc about his decision to leave Los Angeles and take over the leadership of Artists Rep, how he chooses a season for his audiences, his commitment to diversity and an Equity Diversity Inclusion Statement, and lots of details about his directing process and working with actors!

50 MIN2018 FEB 14
Comments
Dámaso Rodriguez - Transforming Artists Repertory Theatre

Julia Sirna-Frest - All the Weird, Crazy Stuff Downtown

JuliaSirna-Frestis an actor and singer based in New York. She was most recently seen as Margit inSederat Hartford Stage. And in the title role of:[Porto]which played at The Bushwick Starr last year where it was an NYT Critics Pick and The Times review said it was quote: “an excellent cast led by the wonderful Ms. Sirna-Frest” Porto makes its Off-Broadway premiere at the WP Theater. Other productions include:A Tunnel Year(The Chocolate Factory), and The Offending Gesture(The Connelly); Julia is also a Founding member of the Obie award-winning Half Straddle Company, where just a few of her shows include:Ghost Rings, Ancient Lives;Seagull (Thinking of you),and In the Pony Palace Football. Julia also fronts Doll Parts, Brooklyn's premiere Dolly Parton cover band, and composes music with Shane Chapman for productions such as Welcome to the Gun Show(Ars Nova) and IceBand(HERE Arts Center). Julia talks with Marc about creating wild, inventive theater, devising works by composing rock mus...

32 MIN2018 JAN 29
Comments
Julia Sirna-Frest - All the Weird, Crazy Stuff Downtown

Jose Solís - Theater Critic Spotlight

Jose Solís, as a theater critic,has been writing about film and theater since 2003, and his work has appeared in major film and theater publications including (links are reviews or articles):The New York Times, American Theatre, and Backstage. Jose is a member of the Drama Desk, the Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and the Online Film Critics Society. Jose is putting together a panel called Being a Critic of Color for BroadwayCon 2018. And, when he's not at a show, a screening or writing about all the art he loves, you can find him singing along to any cast recording featuring Kelli O'Hara. Jose talks with Marc about his passion for all theater and the arts, the distinction between areview versus an interpretation, racial disparity on stage and in theater criticism, and his newest projects to address inclusion and diversity among theater critics.

45 MIN2018 JAN 27
Comments
Jose Solís - Theater Critic Spotlight

Jamil Jude - Community Conversations

Jamil Judeis a director, producer, playwright, and dramaturg. Self-identifying as an "Artist Plus", Jamil feels most at home bringing socially relevant art to the community. Jamil is the Associate Artistic Director at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, GA as well as the Co-Founder of The New Griots Festival. He was a participant in the Leadership U: One-on-One program, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group. The program provided him a residency at Park Square Theatre, in St. Paul, MN, where he worked as Artistic Programming Associate. Prior to that, he served as the National New Play Network (NNPN) Producer-in-Residence at Mixed Blood Theatre Company. Jamil has helmed productions for companies such as the Olney Theatre, Forum Theatre, and Curious Theatre, as well as various Twin Cities’ theatre companies, including Park Square Theatre, History Theatre, Freshwater Theatre, Stages Theatre Company, and Daleko Arts....

52 MIN2018 JAN 25
Comments
Jamil Jude - Community Conversations

Brendan Hines - Fueled by Performance and Collaboration

Brendan Hinesis aversatile actor and singer-songwriter. He currently starsin Amazon'sThe Tickas Superian.The show is based on Ben Edlund's comic book of the same name, with new episodes in February 2018. Brendan is also performingHistrionics, a one-man show at New York's Theater for the New Citythrough mid-December of this year. Brendan has also appeared in fan-favorite shows including Suits, Scandal, and Lie To Me, as well as anumber of other films and television shows. Recently on stage, Brendan played Pip and Theo in the South Coast Repertory production of Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain. Outside of acting, Brendan focuses on his music career. He released his third album, QUALMS, in October, offering a lyrically urgent collection of songs written in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Brendan shares with Marc about acting in a one-man show, the latest about Season One of The Tick, his music career, auditioning in Los Angeles, and building a care...

49 MIN2017 DEC 14
Comments
Brendan Hines - Fueled by Performance and Collaboration

Latest Episodes

Tony Award Predictions with Jose Solís

Compare your Tony Award predictions with theater critic, Jose Solís

32 MIN2018 JUN 8
Comments
Tony Award Predictions with Jose Solís

Isaac Butler - Shakespeare, Angels, and Politics

EIsaac Butleris a writer and theater director, recently of The Trump Card, about the rise of Donald Trump with solo performer Mike Daisey. Isaac also wrote and directed Real Enemies, which was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music and named one of the top ten live events of 2015 by The New York Times. Along with Dan Kois, he is the co-author of the critically-acclaimed The World Only Spins Forward, a history of Angels in America which was just released this year. And, most recently, Isaac hosts a new podcast miniseries for Slate called Lend Me Your Ears, about Shakespeare’s plays and our modern views on politics. Isaac holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Minnesota, and his writing has appeared in the Guardian, Slate, American Theatre, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

42 MIN2018 JUN 7
Comments
Isaac Butler - Shakespeare, Angels, and Politics

Idris Goodwin - Playwright Spotlight

Idris Goodwin is an award-winning playwright, poet, performer, and essayist. This summer, he will become the Producing Artistic Director of StageOne Family Theater in Louisville, KY. For StageOne, Idris pennedAmerican Talesand the widely producedAnd In This Corner: Cassius Clay. Other plays include:How We Got On,Bars and Measures,The Raid,Hype Man: a break beat play,Blackademics,The Way the Mountain Moved,commissioned as part of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s American Revolutions Series, and will world premiere this summer, and This Is Modern Artco-written with Kevin Coval (which is getting a Blessed Unrest production in June 2018, in New York City). Just a few of the accolades Idris has earned include awards from the Hip Hop Theater Festival, theNational Endowment for the Arts, theFord Foundation, the Blue Ink Playwriting Award, and the InterAct Theater’s 20/20 Prize. These Are the Breaks, Idris’s debut collection of essays and poetry, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and ...

41 MIN2018 JUN 1
Comments
Idris Goodwin - Playwright Spotlight

Ken Urban - Playwright Spotlight

EKen Urbanis a playwright, screenwriter, and musician based in New York. Hisplays includeSense of an Ending,The Correspondent,A Future Perfect,The Awake, The Happy Sad, Nibbler, A Guide for the Homesick which recently premiered just a few months ago at the Huntington Theater in Boston, and his newest work, a darkly-comic play calledThe Remains, which opens in May 2018 at Studio Theatre in Washington D.C. His work has been produced Off-Broadway at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, 59E59 Theatres, The Summer Play Festival at The Public, and Studio 42.Ken's work has also been produced in London and at theaters all across the States. Just a few of Ken’s awardsinclude the Weissberger Playwriting Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for Playwriting,and the Dramatist Guild Fellowship. He is a member playwright atNew Dramatistsin New York, and an Affiliated Writer at thePlaywrights’ Centerin my city of Minneapolis. And, he’s also an accomplished musician playing with his band...

51 MIN2018 MAY 9
Comments
Ken Urban - Playwright Spotlight

Jessica Burr - Bodies Moving Through Space

Jessica Burris the artistic director of Blessed Unrest,an ensemble-based experimental theatre company in New York City, co-founded withMatt Opatrny. In 2011, Jessica received the Lucille Lortel Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women, in recognition of her work as a director and the body of work that Blessed Unrest has created under her leadership. With Blessed Unrest, just a few of the productions she has directed includeBody: Anatomies of Being,Eurydice’s Dream(for which she and Sonia Villani received the 2013 NY Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Choreography/Movement),ArtCamp SexyTime FootBall,365 Days/365 Plays Festival, A Midsummer Night’s Dream,Measure for Measure, and The Sworn Virginand Doruntine (both with Florent Mehmeti of Teatri Oda of Kosovo). And most recently, The Snow Queen, developed in residency at the New Victory Theater,and now running, Platonov – an adaptation and translation of Chekhov’s play by Laura Wickens. Jessica talks with Marc abou...

46 MIN2018 FEB 19
Comments
Jessica Burr - Bodies Moving Through Space

Dámaso Rodriguez - Transforming Artists Repertory Theatre

Dámaso Rodriguezis a Cuban American director based in Portland, Oregon, where he serves as artistic director ofArtists Repertory Theatre, Portland's longest-running professional theatre company, which became a member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) under his leadership. Prior to joining Artists Rep, Dámasoserved as the associate artistic director of the Pasadena Playhouse and co-founder and co-artistic director of the Furious Theatre in Los Angeles. And upcoming projects include work for Artists Rep, Actors Theater of Louisville and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Dámaso talks with Marc about his decision to leave Los Angeles and take over the leadership of Artists Rep, how he chooses a season for his audiences, his commitment to diversity and an Equity Diversity Inclusion Statement, and lots of details about his directing process and working with actors!

50 MIN2018 FEB 14
Comments
Dámaso Rodriguez - Transforming Artists Repertory Theatre

Julia Sirna-Frest - All the Weird, Crazy Stuff Downtown

JuliaSirna-Frestis an actor and singer based in New York. She was most recently seen as Margit inSederat Hartford Stage. And in the title role of:[Porto]which played at The Bushwick Starr last year where it was an NYT Critics Pick and The Times review said it was quote: “an excellent cast led by the wonderful Ms. Sirna-Frest” Porto makes its Off-Broadway premiere at the WP Theater. Other productions include:A Tunnel Year(The Chocolate Factory), and The Offending Gesture(The Connelly); Julia is also a Founding member of the Obie award-winning Half Straddle Company, where just a few of her shows include:Ghost Rings, Ancient Lives;Seagull (Thinking of you),and In the Pony Palace Football. Julia also fronts Doll Parts, Brooklyn's premiere Dolly Parton cover band, and composes music with Shane Chapman for productions such as Welcome to the Gun Show(Ars Nova) and IceBand(HERE Arts Center). Julia talks with Marc about creating wild, inventive theater, devising works by composing rock mus...

32 MIN2018 JAN 29
Comments
Julia Sirna-Frest - All the Weird, Crazy Stuff Downtown

Jose Solís - Theater Critic Spotlight

Jose Solís, as a theater critic,has been writing about film and theater since 2003, and his work has appeared in major film and theater publications including (links are reviews or articles):The New York Times, American Theatre, and Backstage. Jose is a member of the Drama Desk, the Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and the Online Film Critics Society. Jose is putting together a panel called Being a Critic of Color for BroadwayCon 2018. And, when he's not at a show, a screening or writing about all the art he loves, you can find him singing along to any cast recording featuring Kelli O'Hara. Jose talks with Marc about his passion for all theater and the arts, the distinction between areview versus an interpretation, racial disparity on stage and in theater criticism, and his newest projects to address inclusion and diversity among theater critics.

45 MIN2018 JAN 27
Comments
Jose Solís - Theater Critic Spotlight

Jamil Jude - Community Conversations

Jamil Judeis a director, producer, playwright, and dramaturg. Self-identifying as an "Artist Plus", Jamil feels most at home bringing socially relevant art to the community. Jamil is the Associate Artistic Director at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, GA as well as the Co-Founder of The New Griots Festival. He was a participant in the Leadership U: One-on-One program, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group. The program provided him a residency at Park Square Theatre, in St. Paul, MN, where he worked as Artistic Programming Associate. Prior to that, he served as the National New Play Network (NNPN) Producer-in-Residence at Mixed Blood Theatre Company. Jamil has helmed productions for companies such as the Olney Theatre, Forum Theatre, and Curious Theatre, as well as various Twin Cities’ theatre companies, including Park Square Theatre, History Theatre, Freshwater Theatre, Stages Theatre Company, and Daleko Arts....

52 MIN2018 JAN 25
Comments
Jamil Jude - Community Conversations

Brendan Hines - Fueled by Performance and Collaboration

Brendan Hinesis aversatile actor and singer-songwriter. He currently starsin Amazon'sThe Tickas Superian.The show is based on Ben Edlund's comic book of the same name, with new episodes in February 2018. Brendan is also performingHistrionics, a one-man show at New York's Theater for the New Citythrough mid-December of this year. Brendan has also appeared in fan-favorite shows including Suits, Scandal, and Lie To Me, as well as anumber of other films and television shows. Recently on stage, Brendan played Pip and Theo in the South Coast Repertory production of Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain. Outside of acting, Brendan focuses on his music career. He released his third album, QUALMS, in October, offering a lyrically urgent collection of songs written in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Brendan shares with Marc about acting in a one-man show, the latest about Season One of The Tick, his music career, auditioning in Los Angeles, and building a care...

49 MIN2017 DEC 14
Comments
Brendan Hines - Fueled by Performance and Collaboration
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