Upstage Left | Intimate Conversations with New York Theater

Upstage Left | Intimate Conversations with New York Theater

Rachel Lin speaks with the theater artists shaping the landscape of American Theater today. Join her, as she chats with the most exciting theater makers of our generation about their careers, the challenges, and how they lead a life in the arts.... Show More

Episodes

September 10, 2020 52 min

Rachel & Martyna recorded this episode in late April. While it was only 5 months ago, in some ways, it feels like an entirely different lifetime. As summer draws to a close, and we head into fall, Rachel can't think of a better time to share this episode with one of her theater heroes.

Martyna Majok is the 2018 pulitzer prize winner in drama for her play, Cost of Living. Other plays include: Queens, Ironbound, and Sanctuary...

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Monet Hurst-Mendoza and Ugo Chukwu are #relationshipgoals. They also happen to both be fantastic theater artists in their own right.

Monet's play Torera was slated for production at the Long Wharf Theatre this fall, pre-pandemic. She is former Emerging Writers Group member, current member of the Kilroys, and a staff writer for Law & Order: SVU. She also has her own Wikipedia page.

And you've probably seen Ugo in a play ...

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In this episode, Rachel speaks with C.A. Johnson - the playwright of All the Natalie Portmans, which premiered at MCC this February. C.A.'s play The Climb was part of the 2019 Cherry Lane Mentor Project, and her work has also been produced at the Contemporary American Theater Festival, and Strawdog Theatre in Chicago.

C.A. and Rachel speak about life during COVID, and the state of the American Theater during this long overdue up...

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In this episode, Rachel chats with Erin Daley, the associate artistic director of Primary Stages. They recorded this episode on March 25th (two months ago), when New York City was only two weeks into quarantine. While things were much less certain then, it might have also been easier to be more optimistic. With this in mind, listen in, as the two discuss what the realities of the industry might look like on the other side of this p...

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A special Mother's Day episode with Tony Award nominated actor, Maria Dizzia.

The celebrated stage & screen actor, director, & teacher chats openly and honestly with Rachel about her career, and the challenges she faced early on. They talk about how she got an 'unsatisfactory' in grad school, her experience playing Eurydice in Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice, and how being a mom has changed her work. 

In this episode:

  • O...
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    Rachel chats with one of theater's most sought after actors, Matthew Maher (The Flick, Mr. Burns, Chinglish) who has originated roles on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off. 

    Most recently he appeared in Will Eno's Gnit, and is slated to appear in NYTW's upcoming Three Sisters, adapted by Clare Barron directed by Sam Gold. Rachel and Matt chat about his early years in New York - working in the downtown theater scene, and...

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    Rachel speaks with old friend and actress, Keilly McQuail, whose work can be see in the HBO mini-series The Plot Against America, and the upcoming Lunch Bunch by Sarah Einspanier produced by The Play Company.

    They discuss why Keilly avoids social media, how she dealt with the close calls & rejections early on in her career, and how she achieved her dream of being a "Nicky Silver woman." Listen in to find out she navigat...

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    In the midst of this crazy time, we're excited to come back on air with this episode recorded with Haruna Lee before the shut-down of theaters city & nationwide. We hope you're staying safe and indoors at this time. May this episode offer some inspiration and reprieve in this time of isolation.

    Haruna Lee is a multi-hyphenate artist, included between hyphens are the titles: playwright, performer, activist, and more. Thei...

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    We kick off 2020, and a new decade with an interview with Artistic Director of Montana Repertory Theatre, Michael Legg. Montana Rep is the only full season, equity theater in the state of Montana (population: 1 million).

    Rachel & Michael talk about his journey to Artistic Director, after a brief stint as a talent agent in New York, and 11 years as the director of the professional training program at Actor's Theatre of Louis...

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    December 27, 2019 43 min

    In the last episode of 2019 - Rachel speaks with Margaret Odette, a first generation Haitian American actor from Harlem, NY most recently seen as Hero in the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing, starring Danielle Brooks and directed by Kenny Leon. If you missed it, you can stream it for free at PBS.Org as part of their Great Performances Broadway's Best of 2019 series.

    In this episo...

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    Will Arbery is a playwright & filmmaker raised in Wyoming and Texas. His latest play, Heroes of the Fourth Turning, is about a group of Catholic Conservatives reuniting in the Path of Totality, in their Wyoming hometown on the night before the solar eclipse.

    Will & Rachel talk about his experience sharing this deeply personal play on an Off-Broadway stage, how he came to playwriting, what he most loves to see on stage, and t...

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    Abby Rosebrock is a brilliant and hilarious actress (Dido of Idaho, Women), and equally brilliant and hilarious playwright (Blue Ridge, Dido of Idaho, Different Animals), and lastly incredible friend. I had the honor of interviewing her back in January 2019 when her play Blue Ridge premiered at the Atlantic starring Marin Ireland.

    In this episode we talk about how she juggles both acting and writing, the most important advice she wi...

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    Noel Allain started out as an actor... once playing a "large dwarf" as part of Richard Foreman's ensemble. After attending Skidmore, and meeting his now, long-time collaborators - he would go on to become a founding member and Artistic Director of the Bushwick Starr.

    Noel and Rachel talk about his early years in New York City, how he ended up at Juilliard, and how the Bushwick Starr has grown over the past decade from DI...

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    August 1, 2019 50 min

    Diana Oh's work encompasses multiple performance categories, including but not limited to: music, art, storytelling, and theater. Earlier this year, Diana's The Infinite Love Party was hosted at the Bushwick Starr and is described as "barefoot barefoot potluck dinner, dance party, and sleepover for QTPOC and Their Allies." Their residency at A.R.T. in Boston culminated in Clairvoyance, "an installation series th...

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    Jaclyn Backhaus is the 2018 Horton Foote prizewinner for her play India Pale Ale. Her play Men on Boats has been produced at Clubbed Thumb's Summerworks, Playwrights Horizons, & regionally in the US. Her new play Wives will be opening Playwrights Horizons' 2019-2020 season, running from August 23-October 6. She is a co-founder of Fresh Ground Pepper, a theater company committed to developing new work, and a member of th...

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    Annie Tippe's latest project, Octet, a chamber musical, written by Dave Malloy, is a meditation on our collective addiction to technology and our devices. In this episode we talk about how Annie came to direct this strikingly relevant piece, and what she did the day after the show opened to rave reviews.

    Annie talks about her relationship to her mentor, Rachel Chavkin, who just won the Tony for Best Director of Musical - and ho...

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    Wendy Vanden Heuvel is a native New Yorker, who has been acting since high school. Today she is an actor (most recently seen in the world premiere of Jessica Dickey's The Convent as the Mother Abbess), teacher, and producer. She is the artistic director of  Weathervane Theater, founder of piecebypiece productions, and a member of Rising Phoenix Rep.

    I met Wendy when she was teaching acting at the Experimental Theater Wing, at NY...

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    You may have seen Layla Khosh (Khoshnoudi) in the Pulitzer Prize nominated Dance Nation at Playwrights Horizons as Amina, in Abby Rosebrock's Dido of Idaho at Ensemble Studio Theatre, in the original cast of Men on Boats, or as Nina in Seagullmachine by the Assembly. She's a brilliant actress, as well as writer and director. 

    After moving New York to attend the Martha Graham School, she left the program early to pursue a car...

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    Jessie Austrian and Noah Brody are two of Fiasco Theater's co-founding members and co-artistic directors. In addition to running a company celebrated for their productions of Shakespeare & Sondheim - they're both actors, teachers, and directors. Their production of Merrily We Roll Along co-produced with Roundabout Theatre Company has been extended until April 14 at the Laura Pels Theater.

    They joined forces after graduat...

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    March 21, 2019 51 min

    Ronald Peet is currently starring opposite Alan Cumming in Daddy by Jeremy O. Harris. You can also catch him in Netflix’s upcoming series “The I-Land” (with Kate Bosworth, Natalie Martinez and Alex Pettyfer). Previous credits include: Spill (EST), Cute Activist (The Bushwick Starr), Kentucky (EST/P73), Icarus On The LES (Joe’s Pub), The World My Mama Raised (Clubbed Thumb), Debutante (Ars Nova).

    In this episode Ronald talks to Rache...

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