Raven Theatre Company’s production of Death of a Salesman is the focus of this week’s podcast. Actors Chuck Spencer (Willy Loman), Jason Huysman (Bif Loman) and Greg Caldwell (Happy Loman) talk with Anne Nicholson Weber about their take on Arthur Miller’s great play, the shadow cast by earlier actors who have played the role of Willy, and how they’ve built the father-brother-son relationships that are at the heart of this production — and, along the way, they enact two scenes from the play.
Originally published December 21, 2009 on theaterinchicago.com.
What makes hyper-realism work on stage? ATC Artistic director PJ Paparelli and actor Keith Kupferer join Anne Nicholson Weber to talk about developing and rehearsing the world-premiere production of Stephen Karam’s play, The Humans.
One of the pleasures of the Chicago store-front scene is seeing our great actors work in tiny spaces. This week’s podcast features actors Brad Armacost and Coburn Goss and director Jeff Christian, who join Anne Nicholson Weber to talk about playing up close and personal in Irish Theatre of Chicago’s production of Conor McPherson’s Shining City.
Chicago’s storefront theatre scene is bursting at the seams. How does a new company break in? After two break-even seasons, with a subscription base and a clutch of good reviews for their most recent production of Richard Greenberg’s “Take Me Out”, Eclectic Full Contact Theatre seems to have done it. Founding member Andrew Pond and Michael Woods join Anne Nicholson Weber to talk about how and why they faced the challenge.
Under the auspices of Remy Bumppo Theatre, twelve experienced Chicago actors are gathering each Monday night in a rehearsal room on Ravenswood Ave to study scenes with eight of Chicago’s leading directors. Anne Nicholson Weber listens in as director Lia Mortenson coaches participants through scenes from J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls, and interviews Lia and Remy Bumppo Artistic Associate Annabel Armour about the purpose and structure of the “Master Scene Study Class”.
Originally published September 22, 2014 on theaterinchicago.com.
How can the theatre reach a generation that is used to sampling its art before buying? Or, put another way, what is the theatrical equivalent of movie trailers or Spotify? That’s the question currently being posed by a new theatre company in town, The Common Room. Founders Mary Hollis Inboden, Alexander Lane and Benno Nelson join Anne Nicholson Weber to talk about their current experiment along these lines – a weekly live show, cheap and short, that features scenes from several productions currently playing around Chicago.
Originally published August 11, 2014 on theaterinchicago.com.
Each year, a Chicago actor is chosen to spend a year training and acting at the Stratford Festival in Ontario. Under the aegis of the Chicago Associates of the Stratford Festival, each year’s Chicago Fellow is given the opportunity to train at the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre, and to act as a member of the company. On this week’s podcast, former Fellows Melanie Keller and Erin Neal join Anne Nicholson Weber to talk about their experiences at the Festival.
Originally published July 7, 2014 on theaterinchicago.com.
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble has a spanking new home, a focused mission, and a fine production of Courtney Baron’s new play, Eat Your Heart Out.Artistic Director Tara Mallen, founding ensemble member Mary Cross, and her husband and fellow cast-member Michael Szeles join Anne Nicholson Weber to talk about the history of the company, the challenges of acting with your spouse, and the technical demands of a script that cuts rapidly back and forth among multiple story lines.
Originally posted June 9, 2014 on theaterinchicago.com.
Vieux Carre was one of Tennessee Williams’ first plays and one of his last — begun in the late 30s but not completed until forty years later, near the end of the playwright’s life. The premiere production was a major Broadway flop and, despite the importance of its writer, the play has been seldom produced since then. Now Raven Theatre has brought it to Chicago audiences. Director Cody Estle, dramaturg Lukas Brasherfons and set designer Ray Toler join Anne Nicholson Weber to talk about the history, merits and challenges of this little known Williams work.
Originallypublished May 19, 2014 on theaterinchicago.com.
The provocative title of Mike Bartlett’s play, “Cock“, refers to both sexuality and cock fighting. Profiles Theatre cast members Christopher Sheard, Jake Szczepaniak, Eleni Pappageorge and Torrey Hanson join Anne Nicholson Weber to discuss sex on stage, acting without thinking and what an actor’s friends should wear to a performance.
Originally posted April 14, 2014 on theaterinchicago.com.