(sub)Text Prototype #1: Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”: Poesis as Revenge Forsaken (Full Release)

In light of our Calderón discussion, and the fact that Wes Alwan has not yet committed to spin off his solo podcast, we thought it was high time to unveil in its entirety to the general public the full discussion between Wes and the excellent and renowned Broadway actor Bill Youmans covering Shakespeare's 1611 play about revenge, forgiveness, and authorship. Or maybe it's about  Continue Reading …

Ep. 217: Discussing Calderón’s “Life Is a Dream”

On the 1636 comedy by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, considering destiny (Christian vs. Ancient Greek), skepticism, meta-theater, and the ethic of honor. Listen to our performance first. We used Stanley Appelbaum's 2002 translation with his introduction.. Some optional articles we refer to are Sophie Kluge's "Calderón's Anti-Tragic Theater: The Resonance of Plato's Critique of  Continue Reading …

Ep. 217: Discussing Calderón’s “Life Is a Dream” (Citizen Edition)

On the 1636 comedy by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, considering destiny (Christian vs. Ancient Greek), skepticism, meta-theater, and the ethic of honor. Listen to our performance first. We used Stanley Appelbaum's 2002 translation with his introduction.. Some optional articles we refer to are Sophie Kluge's "Calderón's Anti-Tragic Theater: The Resonance of Plato's Critique of  Continue Reading …

PREVIEW-(sub)Text#5: Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya”

Wes Alwan is joined by actress, podcaster, and educator Monica McCarthy to discuss Anton Chekhov's 1898 play about family dysfunction and potentially wasting your life. Monica draws on her theater experience to talk about method acting and what makes for a good Chekhov performance. This is a preview of a 54-minute discussion. You can listen to the whole thing by becoming a  Continue Reading …

Not School Theater Group: Philip Auslander on Post-Modern Theater

Discussing the first three essays in From Acting to Performance: Essays in Modernism and Postmodernism. The conversation touches on the therapeutic value of catharsis, deconstruction in theater, and Willem Dafoe's acting methods. Featuring Daniel Cole, Philip Cherny, Carlos Franke. Recorded April 19, 2015. As the back of the book says, these essays map a "transition from the  Continue Reading …

Not School Theater Group: Jerzy Grotowski’s Sourcebook

The first of two discussions on Jerzy Grotowski, the famous Polish director whose productions first stunned audiences in the 1960s with their distinctive physicality. Featuring Daniel Cole, Philip Cherny, Carlos Franke. Recorded January 4, 2015. Studying philosophy in theater primarily through texts is obviously somewhat indelicate. Plays are meant to be experienced  Continue Reading …

Not School Theater Group: Jerzy Grotowski’s “Akropolis”

Concluding the Philosophy and Theater Group's two-month foray into the Polish director's work; listen to part one first. Covering the play Akropolis, which was based on Stanisław Wyspiański’s dramatic epic poem, as well as more of the Grotowski Sourcebook. Featuring Daniel Cole, Philip Cherny, and Carlos Franke. Recorded January 4, 2015. Read more about the play. You can  Continue Reading …

Not School Theater Group: Victor Turner’s “From Ritual to Theatre: The Human Seriousness of Play”

Victor Turner was a true inter-disciplinarian, and this book draws from his own work in anthropology, as well as philosophy, drama, and sociology. Turner believed that acting out the rituals of other cultures provides a rich, sympathetic connection to them that can't be accessed from detached observation or the perusal of data. Turner saw drama and ritual all over the place in  Continue Reading …

Not School Theater Group: Antonin Artaud’s “The Theater and Its Double”

Two discussions are combined here about theater and consciousness. Artaud's views are deeply metaphysical yet rooted in the carnality and cruelty of material life. Featuring Daniel Cole, Philip Cherny, and Carlos Franke. Recorded August 17 and 31, 2014. Without an element of cruelty at the foundation of every spectacle, the theater is not possible. In the state of degeneracy  Continue Reading …

Not School Theater Group: “Antigone”

Nearly a year prior to our coverage of the play, the theater group attempts to divulge its philosophical riches. Featuring Daniel Cole, Philip Cherny, Carlos Franke, Mark Linsenmayer, and Michael Rissman. Recorded June 29, 2014. We talked a little about existentialist ethics, the concept of justice, power dynamics between the state and citizens, and about ancient Greece in  Continue Reading …

Not School Theater Group: Bertold Brecht’s “Theatre for Pleasure, Theatre for Instruction”

The Philosophy and Theater group takes on the 1936 essay (read it here) by famed playwright Bertolt Brecht. Featuring Daniel Cole, Philip Cherny, and Carlos Franke. Recorded May 4, 2014. Brecht details many aspects of his innovative "epic theater," the purpose of which, among others, is to get rid of what he sees as the false dichotomy between an amusing theater experience  Continue Reading …

Not School Theater Group: Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead”

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is a tremendously clever, meta-fictional play that fills offstage moments of Hamlet with absurdist hijinks. Philosophically, this play has fireworks from beginning to end, and Stoppard covers a lot of ground in between: the meaning of chance, free will and determinism, identity, madness, truth, and much more. Featuring Featuring Daniel Cole  Continue Reading …

Not School Theater Group: Cormac McCarthy’s “The Sunset Limited”

Billed as a "novel in dramatic form," The Sunset Limited reads like a sort of twisted Socratic dialogue. Featuring Daniel Cole, Philip Cherny, and Carlos Franke. Recorded Feb. 1, 2014. McCarthy gives us two characters, known only as "Black" and "White," who proceed without compromise to make their respective cases for life and death. When the play opens, White has just  Continue Reading …