Lauren Hines!

Holy crap, it's been a while. I'm working on that, but, in the mean time we've got Lauren Juanita Hines, the freshly minted managing director of Adventure Theatre MTC. Lauren and I actually have mutual friends, and it took the genius of one of those friends to make this connection. I have really cool friends. Basically, Lauren is amazing. It was my first chance to talk to someone in the office (and a managing director, no less!) and it was everything I hoped it could be. We recorded the show on the set of James and the Giant Peach, which is lovingly detailed, really excellent work. Lauren and I talked a lot about the business side of theater and we got to talk a bit about opera (if you want more opera talk, don't forget about great friend of the show, Ryan Connelly!). Lauren is working hard at enabling the many excellent things that Adventure Theatre MTC is doing, things like presenting an autism-friendly version of James and the Giant Peach (which everyone loves), along with an ASL-interpreted show. They also have an academy, so you can do more than just watch their awesome shows. Check them out. They produce shows in Glen Echo Park, a really interesting little place in Georgetown. Watch out, though. Google Maps doesn't quite realize that the parking lot and the park are separate things (look for Oxford Rd). Now that you've been warned, you should check them out. I had a blast recording this one, and I hope that you enjoy this fantastic conversation.

One small note: there was a big ole fan going on-stage and I had to attempt some audio kung-fu to make this episode sound it's best. I think I mostly succeeded, but if it sounds a bit processed to y'all, you're not crazy. 

Andy Vance!

So, I know that this podcast is dedicated to the Washington DC/Baltimore megaplex, but I spent a good amount of time outside of that megaplex recently and I was making some theatre to boot. So my point is, I recorded a podcast with someone who works in the Houston area (because that's where I was). I think you'll forgive me because Andy Vance, the lighting supervisor at the newly renovated Alley Theatre is awesome. We had a fantastic conversation about his career, about what it's like to come back to place that is kinda the same, but also quite different, and quite a few ultra nerdy lighting things. I tried to keep that to a minimum. So when we talk about unit numbers on hanging positions, don't let your mind drift too far, we get back on track pretty quickly.

I had the pleasure of programming and installing the projection set up for the Alley Theatre's co-production (along with Dallas Theatre Center) of All The Way, a fantastic play that won some hardware. It's really perfect to see that play go up in Texas. But it will also be awesome to see that show in April when previews begin for Arena Stage's production of it (which I am only vaguely affiliated with, in that I will hang and point some lights). But it's going to be good, I'm guessing. Maybe I'll rope some critic or dramaturg or actor in to talk about All the Way, come April. 

Who knows about the future, right now, all I can do is present to you, the wonderful Andy Vance.

Shayla Roland!

Hey! The show goes on! For reals! I am bummed that the pace of the shows has slowed waaaay down but, we’ve got a good one for you this month: it’s Shayla Roland! Shayla is the Special Programming Manager at Ford’s Theatre and we spent a lot of time talking about what exactly that means (hint: lots) and a few things she's done, including Ford's events commemorating the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination, NBD. We also spent some time talking about the cool things that Cultural DC does, including and especially the Source Festival, a fantastic development playground for new plays and making new artistic connections. Shayla is now an assistant producer with the festival, so check that out. Also, if you are at all interested in getting thrown into the whirlwind world of Source Festival, there are many opportunities to get involved. And don't forget about Ford’s Theatre’s production of The Glass Menagerie, which starts previews on January 22nd. 

The next time I check in with y'all, it'll be from Houston freaking Texas, which is kind of wild. 

PS Ford's partnered with Google Cultural Institute on a cool thing

Pinky Swear!

Welp, the run of play finally went against me and this bi-weekly podcast took a whole month to come up with a new episode. But in the very act of promising to do more episodes on Twitter, I caught the attention of one of my favorite theatre companies in the area: Pinky Swear Productions (also to be found on the New Play Exchange) who have been producing excellent work since 2009, including Freakshow, Be Here Now, Bondage, Tiny House Plays, The Last Burlesque as well as Cabaret XXX and it's descendants, including an upcoming Christmas special (TICKETS!)

As it turned out, co-artistic director Karen Lange (the other is Allyson Harkey) and I had some spare time the day before Thanksgiving (i.e. the day you bake all the pies) and we put it to good use. We talked about what its like to realize that you can produce the theatre you wish you could see, how great it is to connect with audiences and collaborators, Marx's conception of alienation and what that might mean in a digital age (#GermanNerd), selfies and the importance of being seen (thanks Rachel Syme!), and making waffles out of stuffing (just briefly). It was fantastic.

One particular idea that we discussed was figuring out a way to establish a co-op theatre space that could accommodate multiple theatre companies and never went dark. Think about how great it would be to work with a cadre of reliable technicians in a well-maintained space that you had an stake in, but didn't have to worry about managing yourself. If you think that's a good idea, let's talk ( or @ExitStageDoor).


Usually, the podcast is a chance to catch up with interesting people and learn about their stories. This time up, we are catching up with interesting people on a production! #NotAReview. Salomé adapted from Oscar Wilde's play by Yael Farber and directed by Farber as well, is playing from now through November 8 at the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Lansburgh Theatre. It's a rich show with lots and lots to talk about and when I set the call out on Twitter, I managed to get two fascinating people into STC's conference room (thanks Michael Kahn!) to talk about the show. I was joined by Hannah Hessel-Ratner, STC's Audience Enrichment Manager, freelance dramaturg, and artistic enabler and by Rob Montenegro, writer, playwright, dramaturg and house manager at STC. It was a blast to record this one, to really dig into a fascinating production. I hope I get to do more of these deep dives as the show goes on (recommendations welcome!).

High on Film!

I hope that you have been listening to High on Film. They have been great friends of the show and they host such a fun discussion on a more or less random movie each week (they choose guests and those guests choose movies, which might as well be random). They have been huge supporters of Exit the Stage Door for a long time now, please, give them a listen.

I spent some time in LA and we got a chance to exchange episodes. I made them watch The Five Obstructions (from Lars von Trier) and they were kind enough to let me stick microphones in their face and talk about theatre and movies and stuff. It was awesome, so please give High on Film a chance and if nothing else, you can enjoy this week's episode!

Celia Wren!

Ok, you got me. I'm not into this whole season 2 rhythm yet. This is late. But, better late than . . . Never mind. It's much more important to celebrate this guest on the podcast: Celia Wren! Celia is a theatre critic freelancing in the Washington D.C. area. Her byline appears in a couple local newspapers, a little rag called the Washington Post, which you may have heard of, for example, and in various publications in Richmond, VA. She was a managing editor for American Theatre magazine as well for many years. It was an absolute delight to talk about a very different part of the theatre experience, one that is more on the reception end of theatre than the production end. But critics are close to dramaturgs in my heart and I hope to have a few more on the show as we go along. 

A quick note, Celia's column with the Washington Post, the Diaspora column was recently discontinued, which is a bummer, but she remains a regular reviewer and contributor (talking about Synetic's latest, for example), you can find her recent articles here.

Annalisa Dias!

It's finally here: Season 2! Woohoo! I'm celebrating with a little Barbados rum, I highly encourage all of my listeners to celebrate in their own unique ways. Though, what better way is there to celebrate than find out more about an Annalisa Dias based project! This Monday, September 28th, the Women of Welders 2.0 have a featured presentation at the Kennedy Center on the Millenium Stage. It would be awesome if you could attend! If not, check out the facebook page of the DC Coalition for Theatre and Social Justice, founded by Annalisa or keep tabs on what she is doing on her very own website

Season 2!!!!! #LetsDoThis

Danielle Mohlman! (Again!)

I am so excited to wrap up season one of Exit the Stage Door with Danielle Mohlman. There's just a great symmetry to it. It's a shame that we are doing it under the circumstances: Danielle is moving to Seattle, so she can enrich the theatre scene in the Pacific Northwest, among other reasons, and it will be great to keep an eye and an ear out for what she is up to out there.

In the meantime, you've got this wonderful conversation, which probably could have gone on for a helluva lot longer. We chat a bit about Birdman Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance and it's horrible treatment of women. We talk a whole lot about Danielle's collaboration with dog & pony dc's playground piece about privilege, Squares, which I was lucky enough to see that very day, so it was ultra fresh for our conversation together. We had a list of a whole bunch of things to talk about and we did but I didn't keep the list, so I can't remember what else we got up to. I guess you'll just have to listen.

But it'll be fun. I promise. No, really. Check it out.

Catherine Rodriguez and Gavin Witt!

I've been away, living the jet-setting life of walking hundreds of kilometers and not washing clothes in search of spiritual enlightenment or whatever, and that's a shame really. It's a shame because it deprived y'all of the timely release of a fantastic conversation I had with friend of the podcast, Catherine Rodriguez and Gavin Witt. Catherine is a dramaturgical dynamo whose time as a fellow with Center Stage is rapidly approaching its end and she is always incredible to talk to, especially if you've seen Troll 2 (available now on Amazon Prime, so why haven't you, I mean really?). But don't take my word for it, you can find her at several of the remaining Dramaturgy Open Office Hours happening this summer. You can find the full schedule down below (alright, here). Catherine also managed to convince Center Stage Associate Artistic Director and Director of Dramaturgy Gavin Witt to join our little chat and it was such a blast. We got to talking about art, dramaturgy, challenging plays, fun, creative programs that Center Stage is a part of (like Write-Right Now - the City Paper write up) and Toast Bars. Please check those out, I know that I will be doing that, stat. We actually got to rap a bit about Chuck Mee's play, The Glory of the World as well, the mindbender of a piece that Les Waters directed for Humana Festival this year, which was a nice bow on my visit to that festival. 

There is a Play Lab for Carey Perloff's Waiting for the Flood at Center Stage on Monday, June 29th at 7 PM (of course, there will be a Toast Bar, so please RSVP). And I can't forget those Dramaturgy Open Office Hours (Facebook and some deets), which are June 24th with Annalisa Dias at Redline from 4 PM to 7 PM, July 1st (with Gavin!) again at Redline from 4 PM - 7 PM, and July 8th with LaRonika Thomas (the LMDA rep for the region) at Dooby's. Check out Jeremy Stoller's work on #OpenDramaturgy in New York and perhaps how you can be a franchisee as well. Hooray to LMDA for the grant that let's Catherine give her guest an honorium for their awesome time. I will be joining them at some point because Penn Quarter is my DC work home (what up, Sydney Harman Hall!) and you should as well.