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INTAR PRESENTS
INTAR PRESENTS

Season 1, Episode 3 · 8 months ago

Episode 3 - LeNOBLE

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Playwright C. Quintana and director Melissa Crespo join us on this episode to give us insight on their process of staging a play inside of a delivery van. 

Int Our presents the Hell's kitchen arts corridor podcast, a series of discussions with the playwrights and directors from intours Mekrot theatro play festival in the summer of two thousand and twenty one microt theatro consisted of six place all stage within local businesses in inturs neighborhood, upper hell's kitchen. This episode will be hearing from Director Melissa Crispo and playwrights seeking Thanna as they talked about their process in creating Lenoble, a play that follows two lenoble lumber colleagues who share a van it workload and philosophies on life and love over the course of thirty years and ten minutes. Hi Everyone, is the health pension arts for door podcast. I'm your host, Jackie, and we have Casina King Danna, Aka Cq, and Melissa couldst both joining us and this fine hour from two different parts in the United States. Thank you, guys, for joining us and taking time out of your super busy, successful lives. Melissa, I feel everywhere turnet. I was trying to be different, legit, to be like let me do resarn, she'll let go, and I'm like Damn. was like she her name is everywhere. Yea. So congratulations, and hey you, I mean, I know you need to sleep, but just know that you're gonna, I'm pretty sure you're gonna continue working. So get used to not sleeping. I don't know. Yeah, it'll be fine. It'll be fine. I'll sleep when I'm dead. It's fine. Do Yeah, I know, this is a good rule to live like. Well, I don't know. The pandemic happen and I was like, I really like resting. I used to...

...not do it. I saw someone, I'm I'm into it. I saw something recently. It was like, did the pandemic not teach us? Did it teach us? Nothing, like like we're supposed to rest, like no, yeah, but but if, if I, if I had to guess that my first in person audience would be in a van, I would not. I would have been wrong. So I know it was. It's such a cool it's such a cool thing, and I honestly am so glad that we got paired too, because since I got to experience me, this is work and we were both participated in this all you voices festival, where you developed Mj Kaufman's piece. Yea, and I just thought you did such a great job. Thank you, like just in terms of just the choreography of it, like I just really thought it was just beautifully done and we were both in this festival together and just your spirit was so wonderful and I feel like anybody associated with a movement, theater company is also just like good people. So I was like, I'm not but DA v just know, but you want to like brought into the like into the yeah. So, yeah, that that vied for context for people listening. was asked to curate the first ever one act rotating rep situation with the Nyu undergrads on the main stage. Yeah, and I was so grateful because he directed q's play, this really sweet, beautiful play with polar bear in it and claud out climate change, and then I got paired with M J Kaufman, and so I got to be next to your work, but reading get to work together. So this was yeah, this is a long time coming. was a really cool piece about Joan of ARC was really meat. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it was really, really cool. But yeah, so this was I was so excited to and also just, you know, I don't know if you feel this way when this I think so based on just like what I know about your work, but I just feel like that's like the dream, you...

...know what I mean, in New York, to be able to do like site specific work, because it is kind of so difficult traditionally in New York. So yeah, I just I literally had this moment we were just like sitting in the van like watching the dresser so where. I was just like this is like kind of the dream, like this is actually like in my mind. Like you know, if you would ask me like ten years ago what kind of work I wanted to be making in New York, like absolutely, and I'd like told myself I did a short play in a van, I would have been like fucking thrilled about it. Yeah, I agree, and I we are. We are in a van, like so some people listening. This is for Lenovo, but the name of the piece, but it's also based on a business here in health kitchen, and that's what c q got as her as her subject, as her inspiration for me, because they have to do did did? Was The van the original location, or was it something that had to evolve into being a van, because in the the longer it's no longer houses. Lenoble health kitchen exactly back. So yes, so basically I was like kind of super I was super sad because we actually they you know, they picked out of a hat for us, and I was like kind of I knew that whatever lenoble no longer was in the in the location, because it's located in helping them in Long Island city. Now it's but it had like a huge impact on the neighborhood and Lu talked a lot about and and like how much they, you know, would like donate lumber and like just were a huge force in the neighborhood. They actually started that community garden that's like right across the way from the theater and like yeah, like all the school shit. So I found out that the current located the location. So, funnily enough, in the van, when you're sitting in the van, if you look out and you see that like fancy apartment complex, that's actually the location of where it was. So basically, Lou was kind of like okay, like what are we gonna do it? Like and so we're kind of like seeing, could we do it in the...

...lobby of that building? And then Lou actually said like well, we could maybe like do it in a van or something, and I was like, Huh. Then I when I started talking that one. Yeah, when I started talking to Peter, who is Paul a noble, who started the start of the business. Peter is his son who heads the business now, and he's like this delightful man, and we had this long conversation and he was telling me that actually they started using smaller vans in addition to like large like because at first I was kind of like I love the idea of the van, but I'm also like is that leg is that realistic, like, are we just like doing that? Because it's like and then I found out that Paul actually use decided to use these smaller vans in addition to the big trucks because it allowed them to do really quick deliveries across the city, because they became known, like they did a lot of stuff for television and film sets. That's kind of what they originally sort of became known for. So I was so excited. So like the first line of the play is about that. Basically, Paul had a great idea with the these vans, because it's like so perfect, because that van is legit, the kind of band that they still use and their fleet to this day, which is really cool. I'm very excited to see it. I'm going to see it them Thursday. But Theo just showed me a photo of our two actors with the do real human yeas of this story. So how was the process for you like meeting them and getting to know their stories? Like, was it easy when getting in touch with them and then having them cooperate in Jenny, you know, little experiment that inturs doing, or I don't know, tell us about it? I think like, honestly, it was sort of beautiful. Well, one, I feel like this was like the easiest process, because usually I'm the one who's like getting in touch with people, and this was very much coordinated through Intaur, which was really lucky, and they were having the conversation with these businesses. Because the cool thing is, and I think like sort...

...of you know, the impetus for the festival was really about like neighborhood and about like how tight knit the street is, and you really feel that. I mean I've been involved with I was in young blood adst and I've done a lot of work with the few seconds three project and then I've had a you know, done work at int oar and it's like incredible, like just even just that, even within that like the way the community of that, the way, like Ardisia, has like become so such a supportive worse like for the theater to like it's really really cool, even as like the neighborhood is developed. So I think one really cool thing is I think like a lot of these businesses already had a relationship with in t our and have had a relationship with them, and so it was like a really, for the most part, of really natural conversation. I think when we tried to get in touch with the building, the fancy apartment building, unfortunately that was a little bit more of a challenge and, to be frank, I was more excited about the truck, I mean using the van anyway. So sure, sure, yeah, but talks are you know, you have sorry, not like no, no, good gentrification. That that that that changes the the neighborhood, right, but it brings like est an inch our and I would be like places kind of put together, but those, those big buildings are probably the one. Yeah, all right, fine, I don't and it was it was part of our community gathering. It was kind of a cool opportunity in my mind like just to talk. Like it was really cool to talk to Peter. He was so open and he was very much like any time you want to talk to me, like give me a call. Like he literally took time in the middle of his work day. People were like walking in the background like talking to him, like his father, who started lenoble, like basically like was he comes to work still, even though like he's like doesn't really like he's still kind of like clutters around at the office a little bit and stuff like that, and it you know, he was just there was just like the spirit of generosity that like I just really felt from him and I just loved that. And I mean I talked to Melissa and the team about this a lot, but I I feel like there's a lot of conversation and I've certainly had experienced it and all have of like toxic...

...masculinity. But I got really excited about this idea of positive masculinity and what does that actually mean, and so I felt like with this piece and in the conversations I was like having with Peter, I kind of just wanted to explore that and and thinking about like men in my life who have been like those like, you know, the Mann he's and the and the dance that I've known and it was amazing and it was incredible. Obviously, you know, Melissa could talk about that more. But, like you know, the decision to end up casting, you know, manny as a woman, I think was really a really cool as. Really was really really it's very funny, but but yeah, so, so, yeah, so that's kind of like how it all came came about. Really I love that and I love that they came and watch the show. We're very thrilled about it and just just that the support. They didn't have to come all the way. I know it's really sweet, I mean from what I did here, but it just like warmed my heart that they are just so excited about it and I need to honestly, I need to write a thank you. So I'm really glad you just said that I should write. I definitely write. Peter, thank you for sure. Well, I feel like a lot of people that may not be like, I don't know, feeder goers, don't get to like experience this kind of thing, but then to come from, you know, such a different industry and then see your life maybe like or a version of your life and like a as art you know, presented to people. I want to what a gift for them and then also what a gift for us to like have them and be so welcome of that and and it incited and kind of giving the air of like positive energy that's sometimes as artists, we don't necessarily give off all the time. Right now, one hundred percent, I think that's so. I like often think about and then the list. I wanted to talk because I've been talking a lot, but I I feel like I think a lot about I remember years ago I was like I was tating this woman in a Bush wik it just gives away, and we went to see this like dance piece and I remember like she was like recording this dance piece and she was talking about she worked for the MTA at the...

...time and she was like showing them the recording of it and the guys that she worked with were like, what is this? I don't I don't understand. I there's nothing wrong with that, but I think about that all the time and like I'm really interested personally a lot and like exploring like stories of like like blue collar stories and like because it's like I want like theater to be for all of us. Like I want people to be able to see themselves. I feel like this festival is such a great opportunity to be like showing the neighborhood like in and also honoring those people, because I think so often it's like we don't honor those jobs, which are just like really honest, hard work, you know. Yeah, this festival is definitely a good kick starter for the community to come and see their neighborhood be celebrated, and I'm so happy in tars doing that. I'm so happy they brought in, you know, the team that they did, all, you know, amazing women writers and directors and just anybody that wanted to just like, because everybody that I spoken too had spoken with how it has been so like in love with the idea of this project and really passionate about this project. Melissa, for you, I mean I know you're busy, so sometimes taken on projects can kind of feel like daunting and you're just like, oh my God, can I really handle another thing? But how was the experience for you? And also how was it working in a van, because a thing I'm assuming, I don't know. Maybe you staged a bunch of things in bank. I've actually done quite a bit of immersive theater, but the van is new and I was very surprised by how much I loved it. I love a Mercif there, so I'm not daunted by it. But in particular of the...

I like, once I got inside the van, I was like, oh, there's a natural frame to the back of and when you open the doors, there's it looks like a procenium, and then the doors are the curtain, and then you also have a natural stage with the front of the van, with the with the with the driver's seat and the passenger seat and the doors are such natural buttons to begin and end and and then and then, you know, I was like, oh well, now I need blankets and many pillows and we want the honest to be comfortable. And then I was like, oh, the Soun's going down and I need lights and and and I kind of just like in it in a beautiful way because this is, you know, not many hours, but it's an labor of love and and in t our has been so generous with like the staffing, in the resources that they've given us. So it was like really easy to ask for what we needed. And also because we're outside. I just also felt safe, you know, covid wise, because, you know, we had the windows open, we have the dope at the back doors open, were masks, and so there's like plenty of ventilation, the weather is beautiful and then once you're in the middle of the performance, I I love theater and I miss it to my core and the ability to have the the New York ambient landscape just playing. Like one day during dress rehearsal, there's a line in the play where one of the characters asked the other you want kids, and this baby on the sidewalk is just wailing and crying, like I'm que and I was like and so that kind of stuff just really I live for those accidents because I don't I'm over zoom and I'm over making it perfect for that like...

...final recording. And I mean when you when you have a film set and that's the name of the game. Yes, let's make it perfect, but for theater, that the beauty is very night. Yeah, the beauty is every night is different and you welcome the spot maybe, and our actors were game and I have to say also I feel like we got really lucky CQ, because we're in a van are setup is right in front of Char and that's where all that call the actors and the other directors and writers meet, and so we're like setting up and as all the other actors and company members are passing by and we get to be like and we get to see all our friends, you know, because you know, because we don't get to see the other shows, and so it just it was everything I didn't know I needed, really, because I've been I'm an extrovert and I the pandemic has made me really, really, like sad and, yeah, this hungry for human action and missing my art form and age cures for and to say that really, you're the first person that it's like, I'm an extrovert. I you to go out like most of those are like I justcvered. I'm really an introvert and I hate people. Now, you know. No, I between between Seeku's play, an intar and then the O'Neil and I'm like surrounded by creatives day in and day out, like living and breathing each other. Like it's been. It's been just like I feel refueled. Yeah, and I'm really grateful for the summer. So it's interesting. Yeah, I think he's saying that too. It's interesting because I've definitely felt more tentative about being in the world a little bit, which has been interesting, but at the same time I've definitely realized how much of like my we've talked about this, but at how much of like my social self comes from the theater.

So I think just even like being able to see people, like just even that brief interaction with like during dress rehearsal and stuff like that is just like it really is like just the experience, like so much of all of our lives before was going to the theater, experiencing theater, being in rehearsals, hanging out after rehearsals. So it's just like when that's totally zapped, it's like it really is so interesting to like be back in that game again, you know. Yeah, going back to in person and I actually socializing with actors that you may have not known. Yeah, director, that you're walking to the walking to the train, like yeah, that the other thing. Yeah, the wonderful things that I'm so happy in t our has brought that back to all of us. Yeah, and what a what a wonderful way to do it with me, Grot theatro and and have all of these stories about community and uplifting each other and kind of relying on each other for, I don't know, something as simple as just your day to day what a nice celebration. So thank you, guys, for joining me on this podcast. Yeah, thank you, conversation. You made it so easy, like oh well, thank you, tekling. Thank you. Job here is done. This was great. It was so great to chat. Thank you for listening to interpresents, the health kitchen, arts cord or podcast. Oh as day timmed because we grow the at full returns. For More Info and Intar Theater, you can follow us on Facebook, instagram and twitter, or visit us at Interur Theater Dot Org.

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