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Theatre Couch

Author: Nathan Inzerillo and Nikki Jacobs

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There’s no better way to understand life than through theatre. Veteran acting couple Nathan Inzerillo and Nikki Jacobs give you an informal tour through the ins and outs of a diverse group of plays. Currently in Season 2, they are introducing listeners to a wide range of stories set in each decade of the last 100 years. Join the conversation. You will leave this podcast with a better sense of your connection to the world. Nominated for a 2022 Voice Arts Award for Outstanding Podcast in their debut season.
21 Episodes
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Subscriber-only episodeWhere were you when the Covid-19 pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020? What was your initial reaction? How did it feel to be separated from your loved ones? How thankful are you that Zoom was in existence? In Richard Nelson’s Zoom play What Do We Need to Talk About?, the Apple Family siblings Barbara, Richard, Marian, and Jane, and her partner Tim are among the millions of beneficiaries of this technology that ...
Subscriber-only episodeWhat would you do if you suddenly found out you were pregnant, dying, and needed to do your own funeral video? Maybe do three sets of stand up comedy for good measure? These are the stipulations imposed by Lydia Clark-Lin’s embryo, which she affectionately names Bubbly. Mind you, these conditions must be met within the 28-day deadline required to legally terminate her pregnancy. Placing the camera on her self-absorbed mother, her dingy bank co-wo...
Subscriber-only episodeHow would you prepare for the impending loss of your good-paying job which was supposed to be your ticket to upward mobility? In Dominique Morisseau's Skeleton Crew, autoworkers Faye, Dez and Shanita find themselves caught in the collapsing automobile industry of 2008 Detroit. The threat of a shut down is made more bearable by the attention paid from sympathetic foreman Reggie as well as the group's desire to look out for one another. Their job securit...
Subscriber-only episodeWhat would you do if your city was on fire from decades of racial tension? Anna Deavere Smith's Twilight: Los Angles, 1992 tells the collective story of the riots which erupted from the not-guilty verdicts of the police officers who beat Rodney King in 1991. Smith interviewed hundreds of Los Angelenos to gather their viewpoints on this major turning point in their city's history. She narrowed her one-person performance down to dozens of diverse p...
Subscriber-only episodeWhat would you do if an anonymous and insidious illness relentlessly preyed upon your nearest and dearest? This is Ned Weeks' reality in July 1981 when he meets Dr. Emma Brookner, one of the few physicians treating gay men stricken with the disease we now know as HIV/AIDS. In the wake of an apathetic and homophobic New York city government, Ned and his friends form a crisis organization to dispatch services and info to the neglected gay community. Larr...
Subscriber-only episodeHow do you cope with grief? This question haunts every character in Migdalia Cruz’s “Miriam’s Flowers.” It’s the 1970’s in the South Bronx and a Puerto Rican family has just suffered the loss of 7-year-old Puli who was struck by a train while retrieving his baseball. Miriam, his 16-year-old half-sister, turns her sorrow into a crusade to take away Puli's pain by suffering her own. Her mother Delfina and Puli’s father Nando find their own ways of ...
Subscriber-only episodeHave you ever become so obsessed with a goal that it devoured everything else in your life? This is the conflict for Artie, an incompetent songwriter who shares the delusion with his conniving mistress Bunny, that he must and WILL hit the big-time. The play is set on October 4, 1965--the day Pope Paul VI visited New York City to appeal for peace in the world. Artie and Bunny are determined to seize his blessing for their upcoming marriage and Artie's i...
Subscriber-only episodeHave you ever felt stuck in your life but didn't quite know how to get unstuck? This is the nagging reality for every character in William Inge's Picnic. Set in a small Kansas town in the early 1950s, handsome drifter Hal Carter arrives looking for his former college roommate Alan Seymour, hoping Alan's wealthy father will give him a job. Relentlessly searching for his own place in the world, Hal unwittingly stirs each character's need to be seen and v...
Subscriber-only episodeIf you knew you had only one week to live, what would you do with it? This is the game Eugene Morris Jerome and his fellow army recruits play in the barracks at basic training in 1943. It's simply a game, but the young soldiers' hopes and dreams revealed by it are as real as the war they face. Join us as we discuss Neil Simon's unapologetic coming-of-age comedy, Biloxi Blues. Topics include: anti-Semitism, homophobia, defying authority, finding true love, and the ...
Subscriber-only episodeWhat if you spent your life hiding who you are? Not because you want to, but because other's want you to stay invisible. In 1937 New York, burlesque performer Chauncey meets newly arrived Ned at an automat where gay men cruise. Since homosexuality is illegal, the two must hide behind a secret code of behavior that protects them from arrest. Chauncey is famous for portraying the Nance—a flamboyantly gay stereotype used in comic sketches. Ned’s love, the...
Subscriber-only episodeAugust Wilson once again places the African American experience front and center—this time, through the strained interactions between blues musicians and the 1927 recording industry bent on denying them creative freedom and economic equality. Topics include: exploitation of African American blues musicians, collaboration vs. individualism, tradition vs. change, and self-preservation.Produced by Vast Improvement Productions. Hosted by Nathan Inzerillo and Nik...
They say writers should write about what they know. But, is what you know enough to get your writing noticed? This is the story of Moss Hart's courageous journey from a Bronx tenement to legendary scribe of the Broadway stage. This episode's play is Act One by James Lapine! (Published by Dramatists Play Service). Topics include: the often arduous writing process, the determination necessary to following your dreams, and the immeasurable value of friendships in the entertainment industry.Produ...
When it comes to political correctness, who gets the final edit? Through her comic sensibilities and believable depictions of today's so-called "wokeness," playwright Larissa FastHorse reveals the folly of a white theatre group constructing an elementary school Thanksgiving message which may or may not include Native Americans. We're talking about The Thanksgiving Play! (Published by Theatre Communications Group). Topics include: Lack of Native American representation in theatre, erasur...
What's more important to you: QUANTITY or QUALITY? In 1929, A cigar-making, Cuban-American family in Ybor City, Florida must face the harsh realities that accompany this dilemma. In this episode, Nikki and Nathan break down Nilo Cruz's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Anna in the Tropics. (Published by Theatre Communications Group). Topics include: traditionalism vs modernization, evolving gender roles, and the power of literature to teach and to change. *Co-host Nikki Jacobs wishes to acknowledg...
When was the last time you asked your parents about your family's history? Would knowing it change you? These are some of the questions raised in Lauren Yee's semi-autobiographical comedy King of the Yees. (Published by Samuel French). Nikki and Nathan invite you to join them in exploring these often neglected and yet close-to-home considerations. Topics include: the history of discrimination toward Chinese immigrants in America, the preservation of one's cultural heritage, and the importance...
Restrained by daily racism, on probation, and facing a baby on the way, King Hedley is determined to outsmart these harsh realities and achieve a decent life for his family. He contends with the inner and outer obstacles that stand between his dreams and the preservation of his very soul. Join Nathan and Nikki as they delve into the unforgettably provocative masterpiece King Hedley II by 2-time Pulitzer Prize-winning legend August Wilson. (Published by Theatre Communications Group). Topics in...
Yes. You read that correctly. This is a play about a vibrator. Not 2022 style--more like the late 19th century, when electricity was new and much was misunderstood about women. Join Nathan and Nikki as they grapple with the big questions posed by Sarah Ruhl's funny and sometimes heart-breaking In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play, published by Samuel French. Topics include: misogyny and female repression, society's relationship to technology, and the importance of intimacy. Produced an...
How much does one Muslim man have to give up in order to be accepted by American society? Join Nathan and Nikki as they tackle this and other complex questions posed by Ayad Akhtar's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Disgraced, published by Back Bay Books | Little, Brown and Company. Topics include: Islamophobia, covert racism, and the dangers of religious fundamentalism. Produced and hosted by Nathan Inzerillo and Nikki Jacobs. Theme song written and performed by Nathan Inzerillo and N...
How far are you willing to go to make sure a story gets told? Nathan and Nikki explore the world of Yiddish theatre in Paula Vogel's Indecent (published by Theatre Communications Group). Come hear how theatre can change the world! Topics include: anti-Semitism, homophobia, and the power of theatre.Produced and hosted by Nathan Inzerillo and Nikki Jacobs. Theme song written and performed by Nathan Inzerillo and Nikki Jacobs. Visit Us:nathaninzerillo.comnikkijacobs.comSupport ...
How would you thrive under the weight of an oppressive government? Within the framework of Tom Stoppard's Rock 'N' Roll (published by Grove Press), Nathan and Nikki search for some answers. Listen in and find some of your own! Topics include: censorship, the rise and fall of communism, and the power of artistic dissent.Produced and hosted by Nathan Inzerillo and Nikki Jacobs. Theme song written and performed by Nathan Inzerillo and Nikki Jacobs. Visit Us: n...
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