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The Backdrop

Arts & Culture Podcasts

So the show’s a smash. But why? And why now? THE BACKDROP puts theater's biggest hits and most compelling productions in context — featuring interviews with the creators and cast, punctuated by a punchy, deeply researched dive into the reasons why this particular production is relevant at this particular moment. Join host Emmy and Writers Guild Award winner Kevin Bleyer (The Daily Show) and producer Nella Vera for this thoughtful mix of historical scene-setting and related current events — the full backdrop. Oh, and it’s also funny.

So the show’s a smash. But why? And why now? THE BACKDROP puts theater's biggest hits and most compelling productions in context — featuring interviews with the creators and cast, punctuated by a punchy, deeply researched dive into the reasons why this particular production is relevant at this particular moment. Join host Emmy and Writers Guild Award winner Kevin Bleyer (The Daily Show) and producer Nella Vera for this thoughtful mix of historical scene-setting and related current events — the full backdrop. Oh, and it’s also funny.

Location:

United States

Description:

So the show’s a smash. But why? And why now? THE BACKDROP puts theater's biggest hits and most compelling productions in context — featuring interviews with the creators and cast, punctuated by a punchy, deeply researched dive into the reasons why this particular production is relevant at this particular moment. Join host Emmy and Writers Guild Award winner Kevin Bleyer (The Daily Show) and producer Nella Vera for this thoughtful mix of historical scene-setting and related current events — the full backdrop. Oh, and it’s also funny.

Language:

English

Contact:

9192648493


Episodes

Episode 9: Barrington Stage Company's HARRY CLARKE

8/25/2020
Barrington Stage Company’s recent production of Harry Clarke isn’t just a play. It’s a test-case — the first Actors’ Equity Association-approved production since theater went dark. As such, the spotlight was blinding, and all eyes were on this one-man-show, eager to learn whether theater can adapt to the realities of COVID. So what’s the verdict? Is it safe to go back into the water? Kevin spoke to lone actor Mark H. Dold and BSC artistic director Julianne Boyd to find out. Resources Visit...

Duration:00:36:53

Episode 8: Quick drop with an update

4/6/2020
A quick drop with an update about the next two episodes, featuring the backdrop on Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and the musical Come From Away — two acclaimed productions now on hold because of the coronavirus. And why that’s a shame, considering what each has to say about why there’s no need to panic. Credits The Backdrop is hosted by Kevin Bleyer and produced by Nella Vera. The Backdrop artwork is by Philip Romano. Follow Kevin Bleyer and Nella Vera on Twitter: @kevinbleyer / @spinstripes...

Duration:00:05:27

Episode 7: THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG, PART II

2/11/2020
The Play That Goes Wrong is a great play about bad theater. Kevin says it’s also one of the best plays, comedy or drama, to hit Broadway in the past decade. In part one, he interviewed creator and original cast member Henry Lewis (of Mischief Theatre), and actors Matt Harrington and Matt Walker, to figure out just how it packed so many laughs in a simple premise. Here in part two, Kevin gets the full backdrop from New York Times comedy critic Jason Zinoman (author of a bestselling book on...

Duration:00:23:27

Episode 6: WILL ARBERY

1/14/2020
"The war is coming, dude.” So says a central character in one of the most talked about plays of the year. Is she right? Could be, who knows. But if a civil war returns, Will Arbery is undoubtedly the right playwright to spin our basest impulses into high art. In this “backdrop eavesdrop,” Kevin and Will speak one-on-one only days after Will’s play Heroes of the Fourth Turning landed on a heap of ’top 10’ lists in 2019. They talk empathy, writing anxiety, and the obstacles in offering a...

Duration:00:32:52

Episode 5: SAMUEL D. HUNTER

12/25/2019
Samuel D. Hunter is the MacArthur genius award-winning playwright who may have started small — as a teenager growing up in Idaho — but has since assembled a deep roster of plays set there. And that’s the point: small towns, all the better to explore big ideas. A Bright New Boise, Lewiston/Clarkston, Pocatello. For his latest, Greater Clements, he mines new territory, and he says it's both his most personal and his most ambitious attempt yet. This is the first of our one-on-one,...

Duration:00:37:39

Episode 4: HARRY TOWNSEND'S LAST STAND

12/12/2019
Harry Townsend’s Last Stand is a comedy about what could be tragedy — the decline of a man beyond his prime, and the struggle of a son to connect with his fading father. Written by playwright George Eastman, it hits close to home for Kevin, who interviews — and laughs along with — Broadway legend and Tony winner Len Cariou and his co-star, Tony nominee Craig Bierko, and gets vital and timely advice about caretaking from AARP’s caregiving expert, Amy Goyer. Resources Harry Townsend's Last...

Duration:00:39:03

Episode 3: THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG

11/26/2019
The Play That Goes Wrong is a comedy about a mystery. It was also a huge hit — during its run, it became the longest-running play on Broadway. Kevin has a mystery he needs solved: the mystery of why he has seen it seven times. To solve that whodunnit, Kevin interrogates creator and original cast member Henry Lewis, actors Matt Harrington and Matt Walker, even the comedy critic for the New York Times (Jason Zinoman) — who, it must be said, has only seen it twice. Resources The Play That Goes...

Duration:00:26:21

Episode 2: Waterwell's THE COURTROOM

11/17/2019
Waterwell Theater Company’s latest play, The Courtroom, has no playwright. Or even a theater. But as Waterwell founder (from HBO’s “Succession” and Tony nominee) Arian Moayed and Artistic Director Lee Sunday Evans tell Kevin, that’s the point. They found their inspiration — and their script — in the actual language of a deportation trial. And as immigrant rights advocate/attorney Elora Mukherjee reveals, they also found themselves pulled to ground zero of today’s drama: all the way to the...

Duration:00:37:48

Episode 1: August Wilson's JITNEY

11/4/2019
The big open, on all things August Wilson. In a deep dive on August Wilson’s JITNEY, Kevin drills down with Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson and actor Francois Battiste, and visits with Constanza Romero Wilson about her legendary husband's life, legacy, and the future of the Pulitzer Prize-winner's “Century Cycle.” Plus, a cameo by Tony Kushner. (As if a Tony Kushner cameo could ever be just a cameo.) August Wilson's JITNEY was produced on Broadway by Manhattan Theatre Club in...

Duration:00:25:12

Podcast Trailer

10/28/2019
So the show’s a smash. But why? And why now? THE BACKDROP puts theater's biggest hits and most compelling productions in context — featuring interviews with the creators and cast, punctuated by a punchy, deeply researched dive into the reasons why this particular production is relevant at this particular moment. Join host Emmy and Writers Guild Award winner Kevin Bleyer (The Daily Show) and producer Nella Vera for this thoughtful mix of historical scene-setting and related current events —...

Duration:00:02:26