On Saturday, 2/9/12 Theatre Breaking Through Barriers presented a "lightly staged" reading of the first two acts of William Shakespeare's THE MERCHANT OF VENCIE at the Jewish Community Center on Manhattan's upper west side as part of the ReelAbilities Film Fesival. It was a pleasure to take part in an event that honors the work of disabled artists and fimmakers, and it was very exciting to start work on a challenging and exciting play. The full production will be presented Off-Broadway this Spring on Theatre Row.
Last week I recorded Arlene Hutton's LAST TRAIN TO NIBROC for Northeast Public Radio's, Playing On Air. I had the pleasure of working with Mamie Gummer and Toni Award winning director, John Rando.
Playing On Air, is a program for public radio that features two or three short plays followed by an interview with their playwright. Northeast Public Radio; a consortium of ten public radio stations covering large areas of Massachusetts, Vermont and New York as well as northwest Connecticut and bits of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New Hampshire; is airing the program starting this March. More stations will follow.
They have already recorded Christopher Durang's Mrs. Sorken performed by Dana Ivey; Peter Sagal's Milton Bradley with Bob Balaban and Michael Stuhlbarg; Sheri Wilner's Relative Strangers with Julie Halston, Debra Monk and Merritt Wever; Alexandra Gersten-Vasillaros' Two Jewish Men in their Seventies with Jerry Stiller and Bob Dishy; Tennessee Williams' The Strangest Kind of Romance with Kathleen Turner, Michael Stuhlbarg, Matthew Cowles; Lesley Ayvazian's There You Are with Olympia Dukakis and Maria Tucci; Jacquelyn Reingold's Dear Kenneth Blake with Matthew Cowles and Jodi Long; Cary Pepper's Small Things with Jack Wetherall and Bobby Steggert; Susan Sandler's The Burial Society with Anne Meara, George Morfogen and Jerry Stiller; a Frank Gilroy play with a cast of 11; Romulus Linney's Good-bye, Howard with Lois Smith, Frances Sternhagen, Dana Ivey and Scott Sowers; Naveen Bahar Choudhury's Skin with Vandit Bhatt and Nitya Vidyasagar; Cusi Cram's West of Stupid with J. Smith-Cameron and Alfredo Narciso; Cori Thomas' Waking Up with Lynette Freeman and Amy Staats; David Cale's Elizabeth with James Lecesne. About to be recorded are Alexandra Gersten's Open Arms with Bill Irwin and Julie White; and, of course, Arlene Hutton's Last Train to Nibroc .
The purpose of Playing On Air is to introduce playwrights and performers to a broad American audience via the short play. Public radio provides easy entry to theater for Americans with limited time, cash and access while cultivating an audience for the playwrights' larger body of work and for theater itself.