In this Season 2 finale, Ruthie recommends currently running Broadway and Off-Broadway shows that speak to Why We Theater. Paradise Square, now on Broadway. Alex Edelman's Just For Us. Ruthie Fierberg, Host. Ruthiefierberg.com. IG: @whywetheater / T: @whywetheater.
In this week’s mini-episode, Ruthie recommends books—some novels, some memoirs—and television episodes that tell stories about homelessness. Then, taking a page out of Addressless’ book, Ruthie offers guides listeners through three at-home activities to better emotionally comprehend what it means to be at risk for homelessness and to experience it.
ADDRESSLESS: A Walk in Our Shoes played Off-Broadway at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in February 2022 as a virtual, interactive production. The play intimately and personally illustrated what it means to live homeless in New York City.
Last week, American Utopia performer Tendayi Kuumba and experts Drs. Vinoo Alluri and Alejandro Lleras helped host Ruthie Fierberg take step back and welcome a broader perspective to problem-solving, beyond “What are the next steps to create change?” to “How do we find the next steps to create change?” The human brain is not a muscle, but it does need exercise—so to speak.
You might think David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway is a concert. It’s not. Yet, it’s not exactly a play or a musical. It’s something else outside the box.
With the recent controversy surrounding Whoopi Goldberg and her remarks about the Holocaust, with the recent hostage situation at a Texas synagogue, with generational trauma and anti-Semitism on the brain, Why We Theater re-releases this episode from Season 1 with a new intro and new context.
Continuing our discussion about the musical The Color Purple (which is also about to become a movie musical starring Fantasia Barrino, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, and Corey Hakwins), this week Ruthie recommends Joshua Harmon’s new Off-Broadway play Prayer for the French Republic.
In all its forms, The Color Purple is a powerful account of generational trauma in the Black community. The novel by Alice Walker was published in 1982 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983 before being adapted into a movie by Steven Spielberg starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey.
Pulitzer Prize winner Martyna Majok writes the story of high-schoolers B & G in Sanctuary City. As undocumented teens, the two lean on each other. When G gets citizenship and B has to choose to stay in New Jersey or return with his mom to their country of origin, questions of identity, friendship, sacrifice, and love emerge.
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Martyna Majok debuted her new play, Sanctuary City, Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop in the fall of 2021. The drama follows B and G, two best friends, both undocumented immigrants.
It can be a challenge to make an episode of Why We Theater in time for you to see every show while it’s running. So here are some recommendations for currently running Broadway and Off-Broadway shows that speak to Why We Theater and some incoming productions to keep an eye on.
Building on our episodes about Nadira Simone’s The Killing of Kings, in this mini-episode, Ruthie recommends the documentary The Prison Within. The film reveals the stories of six incarcerated men—their upbringings, their crimes, their humanity—as we watch them go through a restorative justice process.
Building upon last week’s episode “THE KILLING OF KINGS and the Transition of Incarcerated Persons From Prison,” host Ruthie Fierberg speaks one-on-one with expert Esther Matthews, PhD, about the practical steps to take to achieve the prison and transition reforms we spoke about in our main episode.
Today we welcome artist Nadira Simone, who wrote the breath-stealing new play The Killing of Kings. The drama weaves a tapestry of Black families in America dealing with mass incarceration and police brutality, grappling with Black Lives Matter, and surviving racism.
Authenticity was the heart of our last episode “INTERSTATE and Authentic Trans, Queer, and Asian-American Representation.” Our discussion included artists Kit Yan and Melissa Lee and experts AC Dumlao of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund and Sheena Brevig of the Center for Scholars and Storytellers.
Representation is the buzzword of the day. But mere presence means nothing if it isn’t accurate and genuine. Authentic representation in storytelling benefits not only members of historically excluded groups like Asian-Americans and trans people but members of every group, including the dominant culture.
Host Ruthie Fierberg recommends the most thought-provoking and moving pieces of New York theatre she’s seen to date. These plays and musicals bring to life issues in our society, which make them ripe for discussion. Each is further proof of why we theater.
Harriet Brown’s memoir Brave Girl Eating: A Family’s Struggle With Anorexia is a must-read for anyone looking to better understand eating disorders after last week’s episode “RINSE, REPEAT and Eating Disorders.” The book serves as a fitting companion to Domenica Feraud’s Off-Broadway play Rinse, Repeat.
Eating disorders affect 29 million Americans (9 percent of the population). Every 52 minutes, someone in the U.S. dies as a direct result of their eating disorder.
Beloved medical drama THE GOOD DOCTOR has a lot to teach us. Beyond its premise—following the evolution of Dr. Shaun Murphy, a physician on the autism spectrum, and the hospital and its employees around him—and beyond its weekly case, the ABC television series also demonstrates the use of the strengths model in foreign aid.
Powerhouse theatre-writing duo Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews join us to talk about their moving and personal musical, Witness Uganda (previously known as Invisible Thread when it premiered Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre).
Disney’s animated movie RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON (starring Awkwafina, Kelly Marie Tran, and more) resonates deeply on the themes we discussed last week in our episode “OSLO and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” inspired by Broadway’s Tony Award-winning Best Play OSLO (now also an HBO film).
The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East erupted yet again in May 2021. The violence and fight for land and rights goes back thousands of years, though the State of Israel was established in 1948.
Our BPN Podcasters bring you exclusive interviews with cast and creatives from In the Heights, in theaters on June 11 2021. Watch the video version of this event here: https://youtu.be/py3YLSt8MSo. Interview 1: Daphne Rubin-Vega, interviewed by Salisha Thomas.
What is the current state of theatre? Right now, the theatre industry and the pipeline to it (a.k.a. arts education) needs change. What can you do to save Broadway and hundreds of theatres around the country right now? What can you do to ensure artists can afford stay artists?
Broadway’s THE PROM takes center stage in this raw discussion about LGBTQIA+ teens and the discrimination they often face. After opening on Broadway in the fall of 2018, the musical comedy earned five Tony nominations, including Best Musical, and will debut on Netflix in a musical movie adaptation December 11, 2020.
Steven Levenson (DEAR EVAN HANSEN Tony winner) talks about his Off-Broadway play IF I FORGET. Set in 2000, the play focuses on a Jewish family as three adult children (Holly, Michael, and Sharon) return to their parents’ house in Maryland for their father Lou’s 75th birthday.
Ming Peiffer and our four experts return for more of the unfettered, vulnerable conversation about what it means to be femme and sexual, inspired by the play USUAL GIRLS. The drama premiered in 2018 at Roundabout Underground for an extended, sold-out run.
The first of a critical two-part discussion, this episode focuses on Ming Peiffer’s USUAL GIRLS. The play premiered in 2018 at Roundabout Underground for an extended, sold-out run.
David Henry Hwang, three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony-winning playwright, and director Leigh Silverman join former policy director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, and U.S.
Tony nominee Dominique Morisseau (TV’s SHAMELESS, AIN’T TOO PROUD) discusses her groundbreaking play PIPELINE, named for the national crisis of the school-to-prison pipeline.
Ira Glass, Tony nominee Leigh Silverman, and Barbara Brandon-Croft debate fake news and more, inspired by Broadway’s THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT.
Before Netflix’s THE SOCIAL DILEMMA, the 2019 musical OCTET tackled the harsh reality and trajectory of digital technology addiction and social media.
What is colorism, and how do we combat it? Who decides what is beautiful? Why are girls raised to compete with each other?
Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize–winning drama Disgraced changed Ruthie Fierberg’s life. In fact, it’s the whole reason this podcast exists. The play fused theatre and social justice for her. Theatre is not just a mirror to society, it’s a catalyst to change it.
© Broadway Podcast Network, All Rights Reserved