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INTAR PRESENTS
INTAR PRESENTS

Season 1, Episode 5 · 7 months ago

Episode 5 - Baby Steps

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this epsiode we sit down with playwright Caridad Svich and director Estefanía Fadul to talk about their play "Baby Steps" and the importance in bringing theatre back to the city after the 2020 lockdown.

Int Our presents the Hell's kitchen arts corridor podcast, a series of discussions with the playwrights and directors from in to ours meekrot. Theatro play festival in the summer of two thousand and twenty one microt theatro consisted of six plays, all stage within local businesses in interurs neighborhood, upper hells kitchen. This episode will be hearing director Stephania father will and playwright gutty that's week on their processing creating baby steps, a play where two strangers meet on an afternoon in New York City's health kitchen, a story about random acts of kindness, everyday connections and trying to get by. Hello, hello, welcome to hell's kitchen arts cord or podcast on your host Jackie again, pronounced she her Ayah. I'm very excited to help play right, guddy that speak, and director is the funny of father will. Hi, hi, hi, you guys just wanna wait. Hy Hello. Hello, both for taking time off of your day and just sit with me and talk a little bit about this little festival that's happening here in New York City with int our. To those listening, Gutty that and a Stephania are one of the six teams that are taking hells kitchen by storm with their work in this year's meek at the atro festival, with Intur theater into our is staging for the first time meek you at the outrow here in New York. That is six short placed taking place around heals kitchen at the same time, all within walking distance from each other, and they are just rotating audiences throughout the night. In this case it's roughly three to four audience numbers, just based on still being in a pandemic and just trying to keep everything limited. And each play focuses on six different businesses or organizations that...

...have been in the neighborhood for decades and have all played a crucial part in in charts growth and the history throughout the years. I know one of the major topics, or the main topics of this was gentrification. So I'm just I'm curious to hear from both of you. had either of you ever experienced a version of meek at the other or before, whether writing, directing or just viewing it as an audience member? I had not, although I've heard a lot about it over the years. I remember they they did when in Miami. I believe that some friends were part of so I remember hearing about that thinking it sounded really fun. How about you getting then? I know you care a lot. I read a lot of things. I experienced as an audience member. I experienced some we got the atthrow in this mode in boot that Columbia, with a theater company that presented a more continuous narrative, I mean sort of yeah, and and just being kind of dropping into, dropping into a story, dropping out of a story, but still having it resonating your body as you're walking through, and I think that experience is like really interesting from an audience perspective. Wow, that sounds so cool and I really hope this type of theater kind of like takes off in New York because I think it's a great introduction to theater companies that you may not know. I have this major idea that I think all of these theaters around Hell's kitchen should put this big like meet with the atro festival and not only are your rotating audiences from play to play, but you're like introducing new theater companies to an audience member that may have only been like, I don't know, an eest fan, but now they know int are like I think, and then we can get all of these businesses involved. Have like food trucks everywhere. We should shut down all of Hell's kitchen. I love that. That is my like my pitch to any producer out there. Do you need to get...

...this done, because I think it would be such a magical experience, they give me so fun if it were like all over the city too, because whatever name, fiborhood you're in, there's you could stop in for ten minutes and see a play or, if you have more time, stopping for longer. Well, what I love is, like I've read five out of the sixth place from this festival and they're all very different. You know, there's one that's very like biographical and very much like this is the history of this particular place, and there's just others that it's like, you know, I'm assuming, based on stories that were told to them by the businesses. So I just think it's this great history lesson for New Yorkers. I mean, I'm not in New Yorker, I've been here for eight years, but I would have not known any of the information that is being shared on these like through these plays. So I think it's such a refreshing experience, especially coming, you know, from being under a rock for about, you know, fifteen months, to just kind of come back to this new form of and it's not new, new for me, but this new take on feeder and short place gotty that I know that you have more than forty full length place and I was just here like that sounds about right and I was wondering whether it's easier or more challenging to write a shorter piece that's very site specific, and I haven't. I like short plays. I mean I don't write them very often. I it's sometimes write them on my own just to test out an idea, for example, to see if the idea is going to be something I want to work on in a long form. But when I'm commissioned or when people ask me to write something short, like sometime it's a monolog or a minute play or five minute player or whatever. I've done a lot of like the one minute play festival, things I enjoy. I enjoy like type parameters, you know, because as a writer it's like, Oh,...

I have only so many things in my basket and so go right and and I love working against the clock in terms of running time. So so it keeps me kind of honest and there's always a beautiful challenge to figuring out how to how to relay kind of full experience somehow or that feeling. It's like writing a short story. You know, it's sort of like I want to give you a fuel experience as an audience, but kind of just give you a morsel. You know, I'm going to do it with less. And so, from a writer's perspective, working economically is a terrific challenge and when I enjoy so yeah, I don't privilege one or the other over the other. I think it's just I think that from a business standpoint, from a business standpoint, I think it's harder perhaps to have like a batch of like very, very short plays because, you know, irregular lengths or, I think, difficult from a producorial and people don't know quite what to do them with them unless they go in a festival format. So so I so, I don't. I don't crank out like a ton of short plays just for that reason. I mean I find it a little bit like, well, what do I do with it? I'll put it on new play exchange, you know what I mean? So but sometimes butter. But I like it when it took curated experience and what it I know what's going to get done and then I'm like Oh, cool, then they'll be an audience for it and that's awesome. So, so, yeah, so I love it and it's also fun for actors because they get to dive and quick make bold decisions and go. Well, you know, now with this Meeko theatro taking over in New York City, you may just have to continue writing a bunch of these short plays. I've put it out into the universe. It's gonna Happen. Yay US money to produce these plays. Please give us money. Manifesting. I love your piece, baby steps. It takes place at HCC, which is the housing conservation coordinators. Did you know anything about this organization,...

...either one of you before? Did you get to pick the location or was it just kind of like drawing straws? Go for it as stiff any it one in terms of all like honey. That's speak to the to the how the location was picked. But I did not know anything about HCC before. By God says you a really deep dive into their websites and with the actors and sent a lot of time learning more about them and you know, since we've been in the space for the final rehearsals and performance as we've gotten to know some of the folks there too. So it's been really fun. Yeah, for me, I mean the writers were literally there was a hat and they were like the locations were in a hat and then we all got on doom and Pussley from Columbia, in Colombia, with his hat in his hand, drew them out of his hat and a like you've got. So so that's how I got my location. Not a not very good all, not that I don't know. I don't know nobody in this process, so it's all good. My favorite thing about your pieces that it's like such like a New York moment where it's like two strangers that just go into a very deep dive into like some intense topics and it just gets very like personal. It's the funny how how was it going from zoom rehearsals right and zoom directing for as long as we've been doing it to jumping back into in person rehearsals? But not only that, but now you have to do it in a specific location that it's not necessarily, you know, see a theater. How was that for you, just kind of bringing this to life? Yeah, it was really fun. I mean I think we've become so used to zoom rehearsals, as we were discussing earlier, over this last year, and I think one of the discoveries has been that, you know, you can in fact...

...do table work on zoom. But then I think I'm with we were very lucky with with our two actors who live in the same apartment and so we were able to start kind of shaping a little bit of the of the physical part of it with them via zoom because they were sharing the same space. But you know, for me, I think I think of all theater as site specific. Even if you're in a you know, in a traditional kind of pre senium theater, I think, you know, you're always, as director at least, always kind of thinking about how the space and architecture is part of the world, and so it was interesting with this. We had a lot of images and videos of the space, but we were not actually able to get in there until our spacing rehearsal just a few days before the first performance. So for me it was a lot of like imagining what I thought it was going to feel like and, you know, playing out some possibilities with actors via zoom, and then once we actually got there, there were so many we basically had a lot of possibilities to play with and then we can make some choices once we were in the space, based on what actually makes once and any surprises that we found. There's some little things we found in the space that kind of helped amplify certain moments or give a new meaning to moments. So yeah, so that was it was exciting to actually be there and let the space also inform the piece in its d form. Thank you. Thank you, and I know you have to jump off, so, since I've already taken plenty of your time, thank you so much for adjusting your schedule. Of course they yeah, you know, go back to your life. I'll finish off with betty that here quickly. Thank you so much for joining us. As Stephanny, I look forward to watching the piece on Thursday. Thanks so much to you. Soon by so, Betty, that did the location itself in spe you know, I'm just wondering whether...

...you had maybe this idea of this type of conversation with character a and C and if the location kind of like help you propel that story, or was it like a brand new, fresh idea that you just got based on, you know, this is Hell's kitchen, this is where it takes place, and like let's go. No, I mean I literally I got they pulled the name the location out of the hat and I was like okay, and then I went to the website and they said, you know, due to Covid we're not but you can't visit and Blah, Blah Blah, and I was like okay, so I just started kind of trolling website and then it just went on Google Earth and I started just getting I started doing access to the location that way, you know. So I went around the block in my head with the Google Earth and then I kind of like went around the street view of the whole area and peeked, peeked virtually into their windows, and then I was like okay, I'm going to write something and and the play just sort of happened where they organically. I mean I knew that it was a waiting room because that's what they told us was available to us as a stage space for the show. So I was like okay, waiting room and then I was like, you know, it is true, it's very New York. I mean, I one of the things I love about New York because that they are all these random encounters that it happened, where you suddenly get very personal really quickly with somebody who don't know, you know, people wouldn't typically talk to no, not at all. Like it just sort of like broom and you start talking and were and then it's over. Then you gone and people on to your day and they go into theirs. And but I find that kind of beautiful, like these sort of moments that are like gifts, I think, their gifts, you know, and our everyday life and so connections with other other humans, you know, and and I think that one of the things about the pandemic those kind of moments have been more rare, right because people are like I'm in my bubble, you're in...

...your bubble and I'm going here, you know, and so. And I'm like Oh, but actually what I miss is those moments that are really truly random and where you just kind of like Oh, you connect over I don't know, you're you're in a cafe and somebody's like rereading and the you're like, I'm reading this and then, Oh, you know, I've read this other day, and then you start a conversation and somebody startling about the lice and you're telling about there's a you know, and I missed all of that. So I was like, Oh, I love to craft like something that feels very organic, that feels very about communication and connection and also about, you know, obviously we're living in a very volatile time in history, you know, so I think that also dealing with all the trauma that we're carrying in our bodies and multiple layers of trauma that were carrying and and that that sits there all the time, you know, even in random encounters. So yeah, but I also wanted to craft something that was Bental, sort of a gentle experience for the audience, because I felt if you haven't, if you haven't been in person show and fifteen months, seventeen, eighteen, who knows, right for some folks, when the last show in person that they saw was, especially in an indoor location. I was like, I want to craft something that's that's warm, that has a kind of gentleness about it, because I feel like we need to ease into things. So I knew that and also I asked into our about how site, how site based, the that they want their pieces to be and interested. You know, they can reference the site or they don't have to. They can just be like the site kind of a sort of permiates the piece, or you can point at it and the writing. So so I chose them. I chose to not point at it, to just kind of let the site kind of inform the piece and and also structure. What a Stuffani always do way with the actors. Well, I love that because that, you know, if every single piece was kind of the same, you know, like we're teaching you...

...about this location, I think right. You know, people would eventually too and out throughout the to our, you know, adventure that you're having the theater. But thank you so much for humoring me and for joining me, and I it was so lovely to talk to you. Thank you exactly, so social. A great to talk to you or what a pleasure. Think likewise, will talk soon. They thank you for listening to interpresents, the health, kitchen arts corridor podcast. Oh Stay Tien, because we got that. Don't will returns for more Info and Inter theater. You can follow us on Facebook, instagram and twitter, or visit us at Inter Theater, DOTAL.

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