In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month, please listen to Waking Up, an insightful short by Cori Thomas. It juxtaposes the experiences of an American urbanite’s and an African villager’s struggle with breast cancer. Although the details from diagnosis to ultimate triumph are vastly different, their stories underscore the universality of the human spirit. It features Lynnette Freeman and Amy Staats. Conversation between host, Claudia Catania, and playwright, Cori Thomas, follows the play.
In the comic TASHA WALKS by Kim Merrill, a young man (Steven Boyer, Tony nominee for Hand to God) returns dejected from his bomb of a vacation with his fiancee who has called the wedding off, to find his neighbor (4 time Academy Award nominee Marsha Mason) has lost his fiancee’s cherished cat. Directed by Brian Mertes and recorded live at BRIC Arts Media House in Downtown Brooklyn. Stay tuned after the performance for a conversation with the artists moderated by Host Claudia Catania.
In the autobiographical GETTING IN by Pulitzer Prize and Tony winner Frank Gilroy (The Subject Was Roses), a scrappy GI, gleefully recalls how he went from truancy, almost flunking high school, the trenches of WWII, to Dartmouth College, on the GI Bill that changed his life.
Getting In by Frank Gilroy (Tony, Pulitzer Prize) featuring eleven! – David Beach, Kim Benheim, Matthew Cowles, Caroline Gilroy, Michael Godere, Carter Hudson, Lillian Laserson, Thomas Lyons, David Margulies, Fiana Toibin and Jack Wetherall! Short play, long cast. Interview with Pulitzer and Tony winner, Frank Gilroy, follows the play.
The curtain is up. The play is in progress. We hear two stage managers. Calling the show. A man and a woman. At The Water’s Edge, Wet is written and directed by Jonathan Bernstein, whose plays and musicals have been produced throughout the country. His cast today includes Callie Thorne (“Necessary Roughness,” “Rescue Me,” “The Wire,”) and Jeremy Shamos (Clybourne Park, Birdman, Noises Off). Stay tuned after the performance for a conversation with the artists moderated by our Producing Artistic Director, Claudia Catania.
For a grammar school assignment a grand-daughter interviews her great-grandma on motherhood. She gets more than she bargained for. Way more. The illustrious Lois Smith (Five Easy Pieces, “True Blood,” The Nice Guys) plays great-grandmother to her real life grand-daughter, Eliana Saxe-Smith. Written by the inimitable Beth Henley (Pulitzer Prize for Crimes of the Heart), stay tuned after the performance for a conversation moderated by our Producing Artistic Director, Claudia Catania.
It’s post-WWII in the Ozarks and a young woman is leaving her “lady of the night” job for an offer of marriage when a former client shows up with some jaw-dropping news. Oscar-winner Chris Cooper (A Doll’s House, Part 2), Emmy-winner Margo Martindale (“The Good Wife”, Justified) and Broadway’s Liv Rooth (Venus in Fur) star in Bite the Hand, Ara Watson’s potent classic, directed by Tony-winner Doug Hughes (Doubt). Stay tuned after the performance for a conversation moderated by our Producing Artistic Director, Claudia Catania.
A BETROTHAL brings you into the cutthroat world of iris breeding, where delicacy meets domination. Lanford Wilson’s classic brings us two competitors, two irises–and one ingenious chance to win. Performed by Lisa Emery (Broadway – Casa Valentina) and Frank Wood (Tony for Side-Man); directed by Bruce McCarty. Stay tuned after the performance for a conversation moderated by our Producing Artistic Director, Claudia Catania. Recorded live at BRIC Arts Media House in Downtown Brooklyn. Original music by Tom Kochan. And thank you, Tanya Berezin!
In 24 Years by Leslie Ayvazian (Nine Armenians), a couple celebrates their 24th anniversary. Champagne in hand, and huge cast on leg (from an overly enthusiastic soccer mishap), this immobilized husband still manages to stay one step ahead of his exasperated wife and to declare his vows again. Leslie’s play features Jessica Hecht (catch her this summer at the Williamstown Theater Festival in Sarah Ruhl’s The Clean House directed by PoA vet Rebecca Taichman! July 19-29) and Dominic Fumusa (Edie Falco’s ex on “Nurse Jackie”). 24 Years is directed by novelist/ playwright/ filmmaker/ director Peter Hedges (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, Baby Anger, About a Boy, Dan in Real Life). Stay tuned after the performance for a conversation moderated by our Producing Artistic Director, Claudia Catania. And happy anniversaries!
In A Man of His Time by Kate T. Billingsley, a descendant of Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney (who handed down the disastrous 1857 Dred Scott decision) invites a descendant of Dred Scott to meet him at a highway diner halfway between Virginia and Vermont. Scott shows up.
It stars Sam Waterston (The Killing Fields, “Law and Order,” “The Newsroom,” “Grace and Frankie”) as the contemporary Taney and the acclaimed stage star John Douglas Thompson (TONY nomination for Jitney, Satchmo at the Waldorf, Othello) as the contemporary Scott. Estelle Parsons (Oscar win for Bonnie and Clyde, “Roseanne,” August: Osage County) directs. It is written by Kate T. Billingsley and recorded and co-presented at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at New York Public Radio. Stay tuned after the performance for a conversation moderated by our Producing Artistic Director, Claudia Catania.
“As starkly moving as taps at dusk” says the Washington Post about Beyond Glory, a powerful tribute to military valor written and performed by stage and screen star Stephen Lang (Colonel Quaritch in Avatar). This piece features Stephen Lang portraying Private First Class, 1st Marine Division, Korea, Hector Cafferata, and is based on his own words. Hector Cafferata is a portrait from Stephen Lang’s one-man show, Beyond Glory, adapted from the book by Larry Smith of the same title. Stay tuned for a conversation between Mr. Lang and Playing on Air’s producer and host, Claudia Catania.
In Goodbye, Howard, a rich comedy by Romulus Linney, three North Carolinian sisters in a total tizzy about their esteemed 85-year-old kid brother’s imminent death, avoid an embarrassment worse than death. Three virtuosos: Lois Smith (2 time Obie winner and 2 time Oscar nominee), Frances Sternhagen (2 time Tony winner), and Dana Ivey (5 time Tony nominee) play Howard’s three adoring sisters. They are joined by T. Cat Ford, Jacob Callie Moore, and Scott Sowers.
Romulus Linney is one of America’s great playwrights and a master of the short form. He conjures up a particular time and place in this confection of a play. Stay tuned after the performance for a conversation with Lois Smith, Frances Sternhagen and Scott Sowers moderated by Artistic Director, Claudia Catania.
In IT’S ALL GOOD, a short play by a master of the form, David Ives (Venus In Fur, All in the Timing), a Chicago native visits his hometown and encounters his past. Directed by Tony Award winner John Rando, IT’S ALL GOOD features Carson Elrod, Rick Holmes and Kelly Hutchinson. As you’ll hear, this is a four character play, but at the last minute, one stellar actress was struck down by extreme flu and Kelly valiantly assumed both roles! Stay tuned after the performance for a conversation moderated by our Producing Artistic Director, Claudia Catania.
In Two Jewish Men In Their Seventies, by Pulitzer Prize Finalist, Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, two great comedians Jerry Stiller (“Seinfeld”, “The King of Queens”) and Bob Dishy (Sly Fox, Along Came Polly) play two old friends visiting a new holocaust museum. They don’t like it so much. They’ve seen better. This funny and moving short was one of the very first short plays Playing on Air recorded. Thank you, Alex, Jerry, and Bob. Stay tuned after the performance for a conversation with with the playwright, moderated by our Host, Claudia Catania.
In Closing Costs by Arlene Hutton, a real estate broker hits her threshold when a client reveals her listing is the 396th co-op he’s seen. It features Amy Ryan (Gone, Baby, Gone; Bridge of Spies, Birdman) and Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man,“Boardwalk Empire”). Playwright Arlene Hutton is an alumna of New Dramatists and author of The Nibroc Trilogy and Gulf View Drive. Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch (Director: Bethany with America Ferrara for The Women’s Project, Harper Regan for The Atlantic Theater Company and Stay for Rattlestick Theater). Stay tuned after the performance for a conversation with with the cast and playwright, moderated by our Host, Claudia Catania.