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.

Episodes

November 12, 2021 50 min

In this episode Rachel chats with Tedra Millan, one of New York's most celebrated young talents! Teddi originated the role of #46 in Sarah Delappe's The Wolves that world premiered at Playwrights Realm, and went on to Lincoln Centre production (that was made available for streaming earlier this year). Teddi has also been on Broadway in the revival of Noel Coward's Present Laughter (starring Kevin Kline), as well as the ...

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It's back-to-school season, and in this episode Rachel is taking notes from multi-hyphenate theater maker Vichet Chum. Rachel & Vichet met years ago working on a festival of short plays written by high school students, and since then Rachel has watched as Vichet has grown from actor to actor/writer to sought after playwright and industry leader. In this episode, they recount parts of his journey together.

Highlights include:

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    In this episode we speak with casting director: Conrad Woolfe, who has worked in casting for over a decade. He cut his teeth at Telsey and Company, one of New York's largest casting offices focused on film, theater, and television. Now, based on the West Coast, Conrad has started his own company: Conrad Woolfe Casting.

    Rachel & Conrad reminisce about the early years of their friendship, and how Conrad found his way to castin...

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    In this episode Rachel catches up with acclaimed stage, film, and TV actor: Catherine Curtin. After making her Broadway debut in Six Degrees of Separation in 1990, Cathy made her way onto stages large and small before appearing on screens everywhere. Today she is known for her roles as Wanda Bell on Orange is the New Black, Claudia Henderson on Stranger Things, Joanne on Insecure , and many many more.

    In this episode we chat with th...

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    In this episode Rachel speaks with one of the directors of Soho Rep and a co-founder of Radical Evolution: Meropi Peponides. The two met over a decade ago while Meropi was still an MFA student at Columbia. As the theater industry continues to have conversations about change, and what that might look like, we were excited to 1.  gain a better understanding of what leadership looks at one of downtown's bedrock institutions. 2. Le...

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    Josh Gelb is a director, performer, writer, & producer whose work is often visceral, surprising, and bold. Pre-pandemic his play Jazz Singer, which he co-wrote, directed, and performed in, received a critically acclaimed run at Abrons Arts Center. After performance venues closed, Josh built out his closet and created Theater in Quarantine, streaming fully realized theatrical experiences live from his home.

    Theater in Quarantine ...

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    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:

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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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