Jennifer Ashley Tepper on Be More Chill And More

Jennifer Ashley Tepper is not even 35, but already the theatre historian and producer. Jen is currently making her debut as an above-the-title Broadway producer on the new musical Be More Chill, composed by her good friend and longtime collaborator Joe Iconis, and is already preparing to produce another musical of his, Broadway Bounty Hunter, Off-Broadway this coming summer. We speak with Jen about her collaboration with Joe Iconis and his theatrical family, how she turned her knowledge of theatre history trivia into a career asset, what it’s like to be a young female producer, and more.

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Amanda Duarte on Staying Alive (her cabaret show, but also in the metaphysical sense)

Amanda Duarte has turned elements of her life into a cabaret show, Amanda Duarte: Staying Alive at Joe’s Pub. The show chronicles her life after the end of her long term marriage, which coincided with the 2016 election and the end of democracy. We speak with Amanda about her path to writing, writing from autobiography, the idea of “the good feminist,” and more.

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Kate Baldwin on Superhero, Developing New Musicals, and More

Kate Baldwin first gained major attention for Finian’s Rainbow, which earned her first Tony Award nomination. She then went on to originate roles in Giant, Big Fish, and Songbird, and recently played Irene Molloy in the 2017 Broadway revival of Hello Dolly!, for which she received her second Tony nomination. She’s now starring as Charlotte in Superhero. We speak with Kate about research and approach to the character of Charlotte, why working on new musicals is a deep emotional investment, what ambition means to her, and more.

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Danya Taymor on the Rise

Danya Taymor is a director on the brink of firmly establishing herself as no longer emerging, but a sought after interpreter of new work. For the last few years, she’s worked consistently on a wide range of new plays that have caught audiences’ attention and produced numerous conversations among theatre-goers. We speak with her about working on “Daddy”, her directing process, the challenges of a career as a director, and more.

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Sara Mearns Dances into Musical Theatre

Sara Mearns joined the company of the New York City Ballet in 2004, having already apprenticed and studied at the School of American Ballet, and by 2008 she became a principal dancer with the venerable company. From there she quickly became known as one of their premiere and most exciting dancers with a diverse repertoire. Now she’s dipping her toes back into theatre, with the New York City Center Encores! production of I Married an Angel. We speak with her about the Encores! process, the life of a ballet dancer, and more.

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Rehana Lew Mirza on Hatef**k and More

Rehana Lew Mirza is a playwright, bookwriter, and filmmaker whose work often focuses on highlighting the South Asian experience. Her latest play Hatef**k, which was featured on the 2017 Kilroys List, is currently having its world premiere at WP Theater, co-produced by Colt Coeur. We speak with Rehana about her experience working on Hatef**k, what it’s like to develop a new play and musical simultaneously, the community-building potential of theatre, and more.

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Sofia Alvarez and Sheila Vand on Nylon, Blockchain Theater Project, and More

In the new play Nylon, written by Sofia Alvarez, Anna, a woman in her early thirties played by Sheila Vand, has to confront the choices she made in her twenties and how they reverberate into her life going forward. The play is the first from the newly formed Blockchain Theater Project, which combines theatre, tech, and an artistic directorship that rotates. We speak with Sheila and Sofia about the inspiration for Nylon, unlikable women, and how to shake up the theatre.

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A Directing Roundtable with Arpita Mukherjee, Christa Scott Reed, and Colette Robert

Out of the 21 plays currently on Broadway or are upcoming this season, only three (a dismal 14%) are directed by women. However, Off-Broadway, there is a vibrant group of emerging new directors, many of whom are women staging exciting new work. We talk with Colette Robert, Arpita Mukherjee, and Christa Scott Reed about their desires to bring diverse stories to the stage; the challenge of balancing directing with their myriad other jobs, including acting, writing, and artistic directing; the importance of building community in the rehearsal room; and more.

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Kamilah Forbes on By The Way, Meet Vera Stark and More

Kamilah Forbes is currently making her Signature Theatre debut directing a revival of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. A theatre and television producer, as well as director, Kamilah is also in the midst of her third season as Executive Producer of the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem. We speak with Kamilah about her experience working on By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, her experience as a woman in a leadership position in the entertainment industry, and more.

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Lear deBessonet, of Great Faith

When Lear deBessonet was ten years old, she made the decision to live for God. Now deBessonet is responsible for some of the largest and most inclusive theatre productions in NYC. On the horizon are big projects, including some that just might reshape theatre in America. Her faith has evolved, but it’s still a driving force behind her work. We take a look at Lear deBessonet’s faith and what it means to really, really believe.

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The One With Hurricane Diane

We speak with members of the cast and creative team of Hurricane Diane, the new play by Pulitzer finalist Madeleine George and directed by Leigh Silverman. With a nod to Greek drama, Hurricane Diane addresses the questions of how a person should exist in relation to society and fate, plopping the God Dionysus, disguised as a permaculture gardener named Diane, down among a group of suburban New Jersey Housewives. The play explores our individual and collective conscience on climate change

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Shariffa Ali and Victoria Clark on Directing and Strindberg

Mies Julie, an adaptation of Miss Julie by Yaël Farber set in post-Apartheid South Africa, and The Dance of Death, adapted by Conor McPherson, are currently being presented at Classic Stage Company. The plays are being directed by Shariffa Ali and Victoria Clark, respectively, in a first for CSC: having work in repertory, and having work on their mainstage that is decisively from a female point of view. We speak with Shariffa and Victoria about their visions for doing Strindberg in 2019, working in repertory, the pressure on female directors, and more.

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Beth Leavel on The Prom and More

In the new musical The Prom, Tony winner Beth Leavel plays the character of a Tony winning Broadway actress. This is not the first time that Beth has portrayed a satirical theatre diva; her twelve Broadway credits include a career-defining performance originating the title character in The Drowsy Chaperone. We speak with Beth about the experience of playing her own narcissistic “evil twin” in The Prom, how she approaches comedy, her thoughts on celebrity activism, and more.

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Christine Lahti, Emily Mann, Diane Paulus, and Daryl Roth on Gloria: A Life

The new play Gloria: A Life depicts Gloria Steinem looking back on her remarkable life and all of the women who shaped it. The show is written by Emily Mann, directed by Diane Paulus, and produced by Daryl Roth. Along with Christine Lahti as Gloria, there is an all-female cast—and creative, design, and management teams. We speak with Christine, Emily, Diane, and Daryl about bringing the life of Gloria Steinem to the stage, where their own lives parallel the story, being women in the public eye, hiring women, and more.

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Wild Goose Dreams with Hansol Jung

In playwright Hansol Jung’s world of glorious magical realism, the Internet is portrayed by people singing in binary code and fathers turning into penguins who have lost their wings. Those are only two of the many-layered metaphorical components that make up her new show, Wild Goose Dreams, currently playing at The Public Theater. We speak with Hansol about the thematic importance of communication, the inherent musicality of her plays, metaphors on stage, and more.

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Usual Girls: An Interview with Ming Peiffer and Tyne Rafaeli

Usual Girls by Ming Peiffer and directed by Tyne Rafaeli centers around Kyeoung, a young Asian-American woman coming of age in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and the messy, sometimes dangerous, sometimes exhilarating ways that sex and friendship and personhood meld and to form the moments that define us. It’s the first show in Roundabout Underground history to sell out both its initial run and extension before it had even opened. We speak with Ming and Tyne about developing the play, the experiences that are carried into adulthood, putting female sexuality on stage, and more.

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Natural Shocks: An Interview with Lauren Gunderson, May Adrales and Pascale Armand

Lauren Gunderson is one of the most produced playwrights in America, but her plays have almost entirely been produced outside of NYC. Presented this fall at The Women’s Project, in a production directed by May Adrales, Natural Shocks stars Tony Award nominee Pascale Armand. We speak with Lauren, May, and Pascale about the challenges of working on a one-woman show, how comedy can foster empathy, the community-building aspect of theatre, and more.

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Caitlin Kinnunen on The Prom and More

In the new musical, The Prom, Caitlin Kinnunen plays a teenager who just wants to take her girlfriend to the high school prom. It’s Caitlin’s first lead role in a Broadway musical. She’s been with The Prom from its early workshops, to the out-of-town production, and now Broadway. We speak with her about working on a timely musical, the responsibility of playing Emma, the pressure of Broadway, and more.

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Miranda Rose Hall and Margot Bordelon on Plot Points in Our Sexual Development

Playwright Miranda Rose Hall and director Margot Bordelon to discuss their latest work, “Plot Points in Our Sexual Development” at LCT3. The show, which is described by LCT as “a contemporary queer love story” explores the intricate rapport between a Cecily, a cisgender lesbian and Theo, who is genderqueer. They discuss what it was like to write and stage a play that addresses very personal, vulnerable subject matter, and more.

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