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 preview our February issue on theatre and television. We also discuss leadership transitions in Chicago*—including Heidi Stillman’s election to leadership at Lookingglass Theatre—and the recent kerfuffle between the Wooster Group and the Pinter estate. Dramatic times!
In a new segment, we placed two artists in a room together and turned on the microphones. This week it was monologists Eric Bogosian and Mike Daisey. Eric stopped by to discuss his 100 Monologues project, which has actors such as Jessica Hecht, Billy Crudup, and Mike himself to record monologues Eric wrote years ago and used to perform himself. Eric and Mike disagree (slightly) about why most solo shows are terrible, but they share common ground on their love for the theatrical moment, and compare notes on where they find their inspiration.
This week’s recommendations:
- Speaking of television, you should check out “Jane the Virgin” starring Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez. How can a show about a virgin who gets accidentally artificially inseminated be both funny and moving? It doesn’t hurt to have great writers on board, including playwright Christopher Oscar Pena. (Note: Rob’s tall tale of insemination-by-bullet is “explained” here.)
- Binge-read Eric Bentley’s books on theatre criticism: The Playwright as Thinker, What Is Theatre?, In Search of Theatre, and Theatre of War.
- Sweat by Lynn Nottage, currently running at Arena Stage.
*We misidentified Bonnie Metzgar’s new title at American Theater Company; she was named interim artistic director after PJ Paparelli’s death, not artistic director.