Every other week, the editors of American Theatre curate a free-ranging discussion about the lively arts in our Offscript podcast.
This week, editors Rob Weinert-Kendt, Suzy Evans, and Diep Tran reflect on the results of the presidential election and what artists can do to unify our divided nation (including putting underrepresented voices and bodies onstage). Plus, we discuss recent developments in the Actors Equity Off-Broadway contract negotiations, #FairWageOnstage, and why it may be time for actors and stage managers to get a pay raise.
This week’s guest is playwright Sarah DeLappe, whose first play The Wolves premiered in New York to critical acclaim this fall, in a production from the Playwrights Realm. Scott Rudin is coproducing its return engagement Nov. 29-Dec. 24 at the Duke in New York City. DeLappe discusses how she’s feeling post-election, what arts can do in difficult times, and why she decided to write a play that features nine teenage girls onstage.
Suzy loves the War and Peace-inspired musical Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, currently on Broadway. The show was written by Dave Malloy, directed by Rachel Chavkin, and features a set design by Mimi Lien that turns a proscenium stage into an immersive Russian supper club. She thinks Josh Groban is pretty great too.
Diep recommends two short-play anthologies, “Every 28 Hour Plays,” about police brutality, and “After Orlando,” about the Pulse nightclub massacre, which are touring the country and speaking eloquently to current issues surrounding racism, xenophobia, and homophobia. Plus the roster of playwrights is impressive: Lindsey Ferrentino, David Henry Hwang, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and many others.
And Rob speaks highly of Falsettos on Broadway, presented by Lincoln Center Theater. Among the high points of this nontraditional-family musical by William Finn and James Lapine is “Trina’s Song,” with the newly timely lyric, “I’m tired of all the happy men who rule the world,” hitting particularly hard about now.