The playwright Matthew Paul Olmos and I sit inside a nearly empty dive bar on a sunny afternoon on East 4th Street before the rehearsal of his show at La MaMa next door. Through the dingy bar window, we can see the steps of New York Theatre Workshop, where he is an Emerging Artist Fellow.
Underneath Tea Lounge, a popular Park Slope hang-out, is the remains of Port Royal, a once thriving 1970s night club, replete with tiki-style bamboo paneling and a red dance floor. At its center, surrounded by café tables, two actors rehearse a heated exchange.
Dave Malloy, the award-winning composer and performer behind Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, a musical adaptation from a slice of Tolstoys War and Peace, spoke with me via Skype from his living room in Park Slope.
Poet, solo performer, and now playwright Lemon Andersen is speaking with me from the lobby of the Public Theater, on a break from rehearsals of his first full-length play, ToasT, which is having its world-premiere at the Public Theater Lab this April.
Casey Llewellyn sits with me at a small café table during tech. We’ve had just come from margaritas at Lupe’s around the corner. Llewellyn, a recent graduate of Brown’s MFA program, is a writer, director, and performer.
Leah Nanako WinklerJapanese-born, Kentucky-raised playwrighthas been self-producing her work in New York for years. Winkler has a singular voice, piercingly funny and irreverant, and surreptiously affecting.