Welcome back to In the Chair
On this episode of In the Chair, Simone sits down with Trish Harnetiaux, Olivia Songer, and Blayze Teicher to discuss this spring’s Practicum show: We Are Not Well. An exciting opportunity to reminisce, both host Simone and director Olivia are alumni of the NYU Practicum program!
What is Practicum?
Designed to prepare students for the practical demands of the industry, Practicum is LSTFI’s capstone program for actors studying through NYU Tisch at Strasberg. In their final semester of training at LSTFI, students have the opportunity to audition for a select ensemble group. In collaboration with the Clifford Odets estate, LSTFI then commissions a playwright to meet the ensemble and write a brand new play for that particular group of actors. Over the course of the semester, the actors and playwright – along with a professional director and design team – will build the production from the ground up and work towards its ultimate world premiere.
In addition to taking weekly masterclasses with industry professionals, the Practicum students have the opportunity to witness and participate in the creation of a new work. With We Are Not Well in particular – which features a play within the play – the actors are able to experience the production process from all angles.
It’s been really interesting for the students to do the work of an actor, but also to get a sense of the production value that goes into making a show within the play. They’re getting a sense of what it takes on our end to put it up.Blayze Teicher, LSTFI Producing Manager
We Are Not Well
This year’s Practicum playwright, Trish Harnetiaux brings to us We Are Not Well a dark comedy inspired the infamous Fyre Festival and Eugène Ionesco’s The Chairs.
The elevator pitch is that it’s called We Are Not Well and it’s about the marketing department of a failing American cruise line that has recently had some PR problems trying to rebrand themselves and relaunch. So, they come across an avant garde theatre company that’s been rehearsing a production of The Chairs in rural France for a very long time, and decide to debut that production onboard their cruise ship as they re-christen the ship and launch a new route through the Bahamas.Trish Harnetiaux, Playwright
Not only is this play topical – dealing with issues of fraud, branding, and the desperation to be relevant – but it also allows the actors to delve deep into their Method training. As the original cast of the show, the ensemble is given the exciting and daunting task of creating characters with no prior history or points of reference. Director Olivia Songer finds this particular struggle to be a blessing and a reminder that there is no one answer.
No matter what you do, the audience looks at you and that role is you! It is you! They publish the script and it is your name under the original cast. What freedom there is in that and wonderful opportunities to go for it.Olivia Songer, Director
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Simone Elhart: Hey everyone, Simone here. I am without my trusty sidekick Will today. He is, lucky for him, a very professional and busy actor so he couldn’t be here with us this week. So forgive me if I’m a little rusty! I normally have the Clyde to my Bonnie and I don’t have him today. I’m winging this on my own. But, I’m excited because we are going to be interviewing some lovely ladies who are working on a very special project here at Strasberg. They do a project here called the Practicum, every year. That is where a playwright comes in and meets with a specific set of [NYU] students who auditioned to be in the program and they write a show around those actors. Then they hire a director and build a creative team around the playwright and director and then they put up a brand new piece of work by the end of the semester! It’s so exciting for young actors to be able to originate a role because that’s not something that we are able to do a lot in acting school. We’re often reprising plays that have been done before. It’s kind of exciting to get your hands on a brand new piece of work while you’re still in college. So I’m excited to hear about these ladies’ process and what they’re been doing to create this cool new play that’s coming up. I was also in this program when I was here at Strasberg so it’s going to be fun to hear how this process goes because it all kind of depends on the people involved and the creative team and how the show gets built. It’s going to be cool to hear how an entirely different year of Practicum worked out! So without further ado, let’s just right in!
So, hey everybody we’re back with some lovely ladies who are here to chat about this wonderful Practicum process! We’re here with Blayze Teicher, Olivia Songer, and Trish Harnetiaux. And we’re gonna jump right in, I guess! I just want everyone to give a spiel about who you are, so that our listeners can kinda figure out who you are and know a little about you, since they can’t see you. So, do you wanna start?
Blayze Teicher: Sure! I’m Blayze. I’m the producing manager here at the Strasberg Institute. I’m a director and producer of new plays and that’s why we’re really excited to have Trish on board for one of the first few projects that I’ve been here for.
Olivia Songer: Sweet. I’m Olivia. I’m the director of the… Practicum show. I can’t speak. I give up, I’ll say that again. I’m Olivia! I’m the director of the Practicum show and I am a freelance theatre director. Yup, that’s what I do.
Simone: I like it! Cool.
Trish Harnetiaux: I’m Trish. I am the playwright that Blayze and the Strasberg Institute so lovingly commissioned and I’m really excited to be here and doing this work with them!
Simone: Yeah! So let’s jump right in and talk about this show. I explained a little in the intro about how it’s sort of a commision, that you meet with a group of students and then the show is written and then, you know, created from the ground up. But I’d love to kind of hear – because everyone has a specific way of working – so I guess it starts with playwright, so if we wanna start there?
Trish: Sure! Yeah. I think I met and found out I was doing this probably in late December. And then, in January, they selected the Practicum group and I was able to watch their auditions. So it was like an hour tape. This was all kind of done via the worldwide web. So I got a sense of them and then I scheduled five minute Skype calls with everybody to try to get to know them a little bit more. Yeah, it was a great way to kick it off. Really, I was really just trying to get a sense of what they were into, honestly. You know, it’s hard to get a sense of somebody in five minutes… but it was more about what topics they were interested in, what theatre they liked, what their experience was. And then, marrying that with any initial ideas I had about what I wanted the show to be.
Simone: Cool! So then, that was this winter, correct? January-ish?
Trish: Late January. So, I mean, this is record time for things to come together. I think I started writing the show like… the latest in January you can. Literally the 31st.
Simone: So very cool. Very quick, very exciting! So then when did you sign onto the project, Olivia?
Olivia: My timeline was pretty similar. Like, I knew I was hired in December-ish? And then had an initial Skype call with Trish where it was a similar thing – let’s figure out tone, what are you about, what kind of theatre do you wanna make, what’s your background. Just to see if we’d be a good fit. They sent me a couple of Trish’s plays which I read and I loved. I was like, “This woman is smart and funny. Yes, please!”. So, yes, then I watched all the audition tapes. Which, again, was a strange thing because there’s such a different quality when you’re chatting with someone and you’re able to ask them questions and they’re in front of you for a regular audition. Rather than just watching some other audition that previously happened for a different purpose. So, yeah, it was a bit of guessing what these people would be like, and then hearing what they would be like, until we finally met them in the first read through. I think we got a draft –
Trish: It was like the day of the read through. It was a cold read.
Olivia: I think I was the first person to get a draft and it was like three days before rehearsals started?
Simone: You had a short timeline so no judgement!
Trish: I was trying to figure out the end. It’s kind of done in three parts so we only read, on that first read, the first two parts and then I had kind of written an outline of what the third part was gonna be. It’s a departure from the first two. They’ve been very patient with this process as I figure that out! But, I believe it’s worth it.
Olivia: Yeah, yeah, patience and trust. The three of us were actually looking at different designers and who could complement that. Whereas usually, we have a lot of meetings before rehearsals start with designers –
Simone: I was going to say! It’s sort of an “as you’re going thing”.
Olivia: It was writing, rehearsing, designing, and figuring it all out simultaneously which provided its own challenges and benefits. But ultimately, it’s happening and it’s working.
Simone: Yeah! So, did you two know each other before this process?
Trish: No, not at all!
Simone: Ok, so you’re new coworkers.
Trish: Olivia actually lives in Dublin so…
Olivia: Yes. I don’t live here so it was very… virtual for the first few months.
Simone: Oh ok! I didn’t know that, wow!
Olivia: I used to live in New York. I got my masters in Ireland and then got a job there. So, I stayed on but will be coming back to New York this year so stay tuned!
Simone: So this is like a little preview trip to your moving back!
Olivia: Yes, this is my toe in the water, my little taste to remind everyone that I’m still alive and I’m still making work and I’ll be back soon!
Simone: You’re like, “Hey guys, I’m here!”. I like it. So, without spoiling the show or the plot, do we want to talk a little about the concept and where you guys are headed? I know a little bit about it and I’ve been seeing [the actors] post on Instagram. It’s been interesting to see the cast – I know more of the cast from my time here at school – and it’s been fun to hear their side, but I’m excited to hear how the concept sorta came about from you guys!
Trish: Yeah! I mean, I think that there were two big ideas that I knew I wanted to marry. And I had a little bit of an idea about the concept of what this play would become prior to going into this process. I initially was thinking about it as a serial fictional podcast.
Trish: Yeah, way back before. Just as an outline. But, so… I was completely obsessed – as many people are – with the Fyre festival and the debacle that was. My day job is in producing huge live events, so I kind of understood everything that would need to go wrong. It was like candy to me because it was incredible that they got as far as they did!
Simone: I’ve seen the documentary, it’s insane.
Trish: So there’s this whole aspect of fraud, in general, in our society. And I’ve always been obsessed with Ionesco’s The Chairs, his play. So, the idea, the initial concept, the elevator pitch is that it’s called We Are Not Well and it’s about the marketing department of a failing American cruise line that has recently had some PR problems trying to rebrand themselves and relaunch. So, they come across an avant garde theatre company that’s been rehearsing a production of The Chairs in rural France for a very long time, and decide to debut that production onboard their cruise ship as they re-christen the ship and launch a new route through the Bahamas.
Trish: And so, it’s a lot about how to create something new and there’s a lot of bureaucracy involved in it and a lot of marketing and branding and then reality and the mismatch of communications and how all that can fall apart but then also transform.
Simone: That’s really interesting. I don’t want to put words in your mouth but I feel like, from what I’m getting from you, it’s almost like the two parts of your life – the art side and the business side.
Trish: I have to stop writing about workplace scenarios! It’s a little bit of a thing I’ve been doing lately.
Simone: It’s ok, write what you know!
Trish: This’ll be the last one.
Blayze: It’s really funny talking with some of the students too, because so much of Trish’s writing has this meta quality to it. It’s like, we’re talking about the play. We definitely talk about this a lot during production meetings, every single time we’re like “Are we doing the play right now?”. We have people calling in over the phone if they’re working on another project remotely, all of our conference calls – there are plenty of conference calls in the play as well. It’s been really interesting for the students to do the work of an actor, but also to get a sense of the production quality and value that goes into making a show within the play. They’re getting a sense of what it takes on our end to put it up.
Simone: I was gonna say, that’s kinda fun! It’s like, in this education setting, they’re learning every aspect through this one show!
Olivia: You know, you read the blurb and it seems like “How does Ionesco’s The Chairs and ‘cruise ship’ thematically come together into something that’s cohesive?”. But Trish’s word was perfect in that it transforms into this new thing. The third part is definitely not what the audience expects. Even after watching the first and second parts, we take you to an entirely different place.
Simone: Ooh, I like that.
Olivia: Yeah! It’s these two things that seemingly could be contrasting one another but I think they actually complement weird sides of the other thing to create this large, more interesting, nuanced play.
Trish: Another throughline, for me, is that I’m very interested in accountability and that low-grade care that comes with people constantly trying to define their purpose and prove their relevance. I think that also affects both a marketing department and a theatre company. To look at a play like The Chairs… It was really funny, I think it was after the first read, we were answering questions from the students and one of them was really cute and raised her hand and was like “Am I supposed to have read The Chairs??”. Because Olivia did then have them read it before [the show], but it wasn’t something that they had come across on their own. No one needs to have read The Chairs or even know what the play is to understand what We Are Not Well is.
Simone: To understand what the goal of that is.
Trish: Yes. Enough of it is explained throughout the play, multiple times. But it’s like all of the themes are kind of whipped around like a salad spinner. You can pretty much draw a connection between anything.
Simone: So, I’m interested in the way that you are speaking of the three parts. So is it kind of like three acts? Or is it just three large beats? How are you kind of defining that?
Trish: Many, many, many beats within each part. Or at least the first two, the last part is a little bit different. I think conceptually… I don’t know, “acts” is so formal! I feel like a lot of the language we use to describe new plays is just antiquated. So for this one, I chose to call them parts. Sure, they’re kind of like acts. There are some shifts that happen, there are some off-screen scenes that occur between part one and part two. Like, the theatre company has come over from France, you know? Some movement that happens. But, to be really lame about it, I think that it was just easy for me – in such a short period of time to write it – to think about it in sections.
Trish: It’s something I’ve done before and I’m really into. But I also am not interested in writing a play with an intermission so I look at it as a cohesive 85-minute show with no intermission.
Simone: That’s a perfect length, in my opinion. I love that length! I love that. So, how has your experience been working with these young actors on this brand new project?
Olivia: This is really full circle for me in a lot of ways. I was in Practicum. I was an actor in the first Clifford Odets commission that ever happened – Love Lab.
Simone: Oh wow! So, very full circle.
Olivia: And then, also, my first assistant directing job was on the Practicum show that following year. So to come back and be actually doing it and feeling like it’s our show has been really cool for me. And to see these students and remember so vividly what my mindset was like your junior year, senior year. You know, thinking about who you are and who you are as an actor and what kind of work you want to make and what matters to you and what doesn’t matter to you. And all of those just huge questions. You’re trying to figure out if you’re even an actor, in my case. Or if you’re even good or “maybe I’m a little good at that, but am I good enough?”. So anyways… all of the existential crises!
Simone: The end of school existential crises!
Olivia: I remember that mindset so well and actually, with this cast, I’ve been day in and day out impressed with how sort of together and exciting and willing they are to just leap into what it means to originate a role and be written for and be in the room with the writer every day on a new work.
Trish: And, I think, work on a tone they haven’t worked on before.
Olivia: Work on a tone they haven’t worked on before, that’s very different from what they’re studying.
Simone: I was going to say, very different from what we work on here.
Olivia: Yeah, and finding these people like “what’s the biggest leap?”. I think that all the students come in from a really naturalistic, genuine place which really helps us because it is – the stakes are that real. While it’s a bit heightened, intense, and expands in other genres, at the core of it is people fretting for their jobs and trying to remain relevant and find purpose. So, yeah, it’s been fun.
Simone: That’s so fun. It’s cute too because I know a lot of them –
Trish: Have they mentioned us before??
Simone: I know, I said “I will shout you all out… in audio form”. No, I just know them from school here. Strasberg has a program that’s like bigs and littles and so they would have been all the littles from all of my friends. So we all used to hang out all together. Of course, we get busy with college but I’ve been catching up with a lot of them lately. I think the biggest thing is, specifically, the females in your class are so excited with a female creative team. I’ve talked to quite a few of them about how exciting it is for them to see somebody that they’re working on this big project with that’s so exciting, and to see themselves in you guys. I was so lucky, my Practicum year was the same thing. We had both a female writer and female director and so it was so exciting for me because, throughout college, I kept getting directed by men!
Olivia: It should be said – when I was an actor in that first Practicum, it was a female writer and female director. Then when I assisted, it was a female writer, female director, so –
Simone: So we’re doing big stuff over here!
Olivia: At least anecdotally, doing well!
Simone: And, I mean I’ve had all kinds of experiences with directors here, but it was exciting and I’ve talked to them a lot with them about how exciting it is to see inspiration and see people who are out in the business and doing this professionally who are women! I think that is… not a complex, but a fear that a lot of us have is that, yeah, we can act but can we be more on the writing, directing… the big guns side? Can we do that kind of stuff? To have a see that and have a role model who is, I know at least the females in your cast are very excited to be working with you.
Trish: There’s eight of them! They’re the majority, so we’re doing well.
Simone: But yeah, other than that, I think a lot of people are saying what you’re saying that it’s exciting working on a genre they’re never worked on before. They’re really excited to originate roles. I mean, they’re amped!
Trish: They’re doing a great job.
Simone: They’re so excited. They’re a very enthusiastic bunch and I love them dearly. They’re like my children.
Olivia: They’re my children now. I literally said to Trish yesterday, everyone’s asking like “Can I take my shoes off?” and I’m like “Yes, you can!”. I have twelve babies. I love them.
Simone: That’s great, they’re adorable. They’re the best. So, Blayze, I’m interested in hearing your angle on this. You sort of jumped into the Strasberg family and immediately into this project. I’m interested to hear the production side a bit, and putting all that stuff together.
Blayze: Sure! I came in about two weeks before our spring musical, Spring Awakening, went up and was also working on pre-production for Machinal directed by Matt Dickson. So I kind of had my plate full trying to get the immediate projects off the ground. But then, I got some lovely phone calls from Olivia over here and I was so excited to completely, from the ground up, be a part of hiring the design team, assembling the right team of artists that are going to breathe a new play into the world. Working in new play development is so, for me, about “Why are we telling this new story? What is it that we need”. We talk about genre quite a bit around here and I love that this play kind of defies genre, in a way. You have to try to define it, and say it’s a dark comedy, but so much of what I’m interested in is seeing what hasn’t been told before and changing what needs to be addressed and having the chance to work on an ensemble piece. There are so many plays that are written… I mean, from a producing standpoint, you want to keep a small cast but –
Trish: From a writing standpoint, I totally agree. I don’t usually think of twelve people for a cast.
Blayze: Kind of from all angles, the theme is to condense your cast size but working on this has been really exciting. When I came on board, I tried to help vet who the students were, get to know them on my end, so these folks who weren’t here could have a better sense of “this is what i’m hearing about this student in class”. It’s worked out so organically. Nothing has felt super forced. It’s all been exactly what the mission sets out to be. That’s why it’s really special.
Simone: I remember in my time here, it was the first time that I felt it was a colleague relationship [with the writer and director]. I felt like I was being entrusted with something. In a lot of the processes I had done before – not in a bad way but – people knew exactly what they wanted. It was very much “This is the show we’re doing. This is what I want you to do. Let’s put it up.”
Trish: We make discoveries every day in rehearsals! And they’re brand new.
Simone: Right! So, it was very empowering for me as a student, as I was exiting my time [at NYU], to be entrusted with something and be given the opportunity to originate a role. There is something powerful in being able to make your own decisions and talk to the creative team and be like, “I’m feeling like this. Is this kind of where we’re going? Or, what are we doing?”. It was the first time that I felt I was part of a project that was greater than me and less of “here’s a school play because we need to educate you on how to perform”. That was the first time I was like “oh, this is a process”. Like you’re saying, I got to see all angles of it. And luckily at the time, the stage manager and assistant director was a good friend of mine and the designers they hired were some former students that I knew, so I really got it from all angles and how the process was working. So I think it’s really exciting that you guys are doing this big collaborative thing. I think it’s cool that we have all the sides of the creative team here too. I think it is so important as an actor and a performer to know all of it and to be a more well-rounded, educated person so that when you go into productions, you have a greater idea of all of the things that into it.
Trish: And so many actors that I know… there are so many new plays out there! For people that go on and try to do work, a lot of times it’s going to be working on new plays. And that’s a completely different beast than what you’re saying. Like this is super collaborative and it has to be, to make it work.
Olivia: And it doesn’t always happen that you always get this level of collaboration. Even with new plays, sometimes people are super pedantic and want one certain thing, you know? Which is good, you need to know what your vision is and what you want. But it’s definitely something that I think is worth protecting and fighting for in a room is that the best idea wins and to continue to play and have that sense and have actors bring things to the table and come into the room and say, “I was thinking about this moment and it really feels more like this”. I had one of the actors – or, it was a larger conversation about the burden of originating and they were saying “actually, I find it really daunting and I’m really nervous”. Because, you know, there’s nothing to sort of ground myself in. This has never existed before so what does it mean? And we’re sitting there saying, “But what a great opportunity because, no matter what you do, the audience looks at you and that role is you! It is you! They publish the script and it is your name under the original cast.” What freedom there is in that and wonderful opportunities to go for it. To just keep that alive for as long as possible, as often as possible, and just remind us that there is no right answer and we are all finding something that’s bigger than our individual jobs and our individual selves and coming together to find what’s the best fit of all these things and really elevate all of the work.
Blayze: Part of what makes that opportunity even more special and even more pronounced here at Strasberg is that students throughout the country in different theatre schools are trying to do the same thing – creating original work. But they don’t have the access to such a seasoned team of creatives. Having Olivia back – yes, she’s an alumni – but also she’s gone off into the world and is a professional director. And an international director too! For her to come back… she’s bringing so much perspective that we could really benefit from, for our students who are very much contained to “what is it to be a truthful actor”. Then having access to a Trish Harnetiaux play? She’s a playwright for some of my favorite producing houses in the city – Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Soho Rep. Having this type of access is not just even for the cast members, it’s for our community of folks who want to come see the show – it’s part of our greater family now.
Simone: Well and there’s something for me about – thinking about being a student in this project – having Olivia direct because I feel like there are a lot of people that come here who don’t know the Strasberg language. You being an alumnus of here, I feel like there’s something special too about shared creative language and being able to bond over similar experience. I know a few people in the cast have said “this is so cool that we get to work with someone who knows the building and has been here and worked on the Practicum show before”. Because I know from my time, you get some directors – and it is a learning curve because you’re always going to work with people who don’t have the same creative language as you, but it’s really exciting to work with someone who also was a student here. There sort of a shared soul there! It’s like “We were all here! We all did the same crazy things in this building”. So I think that’s a very exciting aspect of this show as well.
Olivia: For sure. And I think it’s important for me to play into those strengths. But it’s also important to look at it and say “Hey, I’m not gonna go through step by step like you’re acting teacher.” Because it is, exactly as Blayze pitched it to us when they were hiring us, that this is marrying their training and the step beyond into the professional world. So, yes, there are moments when it is advantageous to lean into the training but also moments when I’m like “This is you guys. This is your work. You have to trust the work that we’ve done and come into the room and be ready”. So, not to negate either thing, but to use both.
Trish: I think especially because, as we talk about, there’s this… they might not have the life experience that, say, the tone we’re going for asks for. So we spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to communicate that and how to do it in a way – and Olivia’s been a great, strong advocate for them – to lead them there in a way that they understand. Where, like, I am not that person!
Olivia: I’m like a translator, translating from one language to the other.
Trish: And I completely respect that way but also, you know, we might just need to have a conversation with them and not put an educational lens on things. After a couple of times of something not working, we really just use different language and be plain about it. I feel like we’re always talking about how we do that with the tone. Where we are in the process is such an interesting, interesting spot because we have, you know, two days of tech left and then we start running it. In my brain – and I don’t think I’m wrong – fifty percent of the work is going to happen between now and Thursday night.
Simone: Oh, of course.
Trish: Of every bit of acting work, of every bit of what this show is, of making sure that there’s a story there, that the tone has hit. It’s so funny how it doesn’t matter how long you’re doing theatre, it’s like “Oh my god!” and suddenly it’s going to be the last five days.
Trish: And you just have to have laid that foundation and get in there and make sure everyone is alert and scared.
Olivia: And trust it, too. You know, trust that it’s not throwing away everything from the last four weeks.
Trish: Not at all, it’s building on it. It’s breaking through.
Olivia: Yeah, it totally is. It’s setting yourself up to be in a place to be like “actually that’s not working, let’s switch it up” and be super precise.
Trish: And people need to throw stuff away.
Olivia: Yes, not being precious.
Trish: And again, sure, that’s in all plays but I think it’s even more so with new play. You have to be able to do that. Because you just don’t ever see it until [the premiere], like I haven’t seen it yet! I feel like when we start running Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday it’s going to be a different thing. I’m really excited to see it and know what that is, but I’d be lying to say I knew what it is right now.
Olivia: Right. I feel the exact same way. And, I mean I don’t wanna speak for them, but I feel like the actors feel the same way too. It’s like “I don’t know what my arc is because we’ve never run it!”.
Trish: But now, with all these bells and whistles –
Simone: Yeah! With the sets and the costumes and all of it.
Olivia: We’re definitely giving ourselves the process and giving ourselves the process the whole way through. Which, I think is also important because it isn’t about “on this day, we’re going to have a play”. That’s not how these things work. It’s, “on this day, maybe we’ll have a couple more ideas”. There’s never a finite goal, there’s never a [single] result. It’s a constant circling and deepening and questioning and learning how to ask more specific, better questions.
Simone: And I do think, for me as a performer, I feel like when you’re in a show there is something magical about the last week before something opens. Your senses are a little heightened, you’re a little nervous, and there’s just a little bit more of that adrenaline. That, I think, is something – creatively – very juicy to dig into. It’s like “Ok! These last few days when stakes are really high, what can we discover that maybe when we were a little bit more relaxed four weeks ago didn’t experience?”. And I think that it is kind of –
Trish: And then what’s gonna when there’s an audience there? It can totally change again. I’m obsessed with what’s gonna happen – you have no idea how it will change with that, too.
Simone: It was interesting for me going up because ours was, in tone, similar where it was a workplace dark comedy going on. And it was interesting for us, these things that we did not think were funny, the audience died laughing.
Olivia: I think our cast is gonna have a huge awakening.
Simone: The first night was rough! We were like, “People are laughing. What’s going on??”.
Olivia: I think they’re gonna realize how frickin’ funny it is. Yeah, I mean, now in the room it’s like… me, being like, “Good job everybody!”.
Simone: Like, “Haha!”
Trish: But we’re just, like, not laughing at all.
Olivia: Or we’re looking at the 68 chairs we have on stage, trying to move them around.
Trish: Or being like, “we need to kill their souls a little more”.
Olivia: But I think it’s gonna be a nice surprise to find that what Trish has written and the show is hilarious.
Simone: Because I think there is something about working on a project for so long. You’re so deep in the exploration of it, you sort of forget.
Trish: We need to get some people in for dress. Yeah… we have to, just to get a couple.
Olivia: Or even, you know, the first table read was electric. People were crying they were laughing so hard. And again, completely cold read. You turn the page and it was genuine discovery because no one had seen stuff before. So, just remembering that initial instinct and “oh yeah, that line is hilarious”, I think is helpful.
Simone: Well that’s so exciting! Ah, it’s gonna be all fresh and new next week!
Olivia: Next week…
Simone: I was gonna say, for our listeners… It’ll probably be like tomorrow by the time they hear this. But for us, right now, it’s next week! Alright, well, I think we’re gonna take a small break and we’ll be right back!
Simone: So, hello, we’re back to the exciting section of this podcast called The Long, Loud Sound. So, does anyone feel very strongly that they want to express their long, loud sound first?
Blayze: Yeah. On my mind is just the continued, horrible, horrific treatment of transgender folks in the military under this administration. I think it’s gone on in a very silent, horrific manner and it bugs me every day.
Simone: Yeah, I can relate. I feel that as well.
Simone: Alright. Very simple, short and I felt it.
Trish: The concept that there is an American Dream.
Simone: Oh, I like that. That one… sunk. In a very moving way, yeah. I think mine today was just I have this terrible habit of getting lost on Twitter sometimes and reading some terrible replies to people’s tweets. There’s just some tweets being shared about white privileged high schoolers thinking that it’s cool to be white nationalists and how fun they think that is. I just got lost in this deep hole, Twitter thread, of these children who are like 14 and don’t know any better and their role models are just… not good people. It hurt me a little this morning and I had to put my phone down and say, you know, “This isn’t helping. This is just Twitter”. So, mine is for the young people on Twitter who think white nationalist is trendy right now. So –
Trish: And on that light note.
Simone: And on that!
Olivia: Come see our play!
Simone: Come see We Are Not Well! Because, truly, we are not well… And, yeah, if anyone feels the desire to do the long loud sound, I will take the lead on this one and if anyone feels so including they can do it with me.
Blayze: Let’s do it.
Simone: Thank you guys for coming! It’s been so great to have you!