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ISC: Art Break

ISC: Art Break

By Independent Shakespeare Co.
Created by Independent Shakespeare Co., Art Break is a living link between Los Angeles & its theater community. The podcast extends conversations about universal truths in Shakspeare's plays, theatrical performance, & relevant social issues beyond the stage, into the digital-auditory scape through storytelling, discussion, & social action. As theater’s societal role is reimagined, how do our priorities change as theatremakers? How do we serve the LA community when we’re forced to stay apart? How can we incorporate renewed values of holistic accessibility & social justice into this new era?
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Art Break: Arts Advocacy and Social Justice with Sabra Williams
Take an Art Break and learn more about ways you can mobilize for advocacy in the arts! Activist, actor and ISC Ensemble member Sabra Williams is in conversation with ISC’s Artistic Associate for Social Justice, Carene Mekertichyan about her social justice work with organizations like the Actor’s Gang and Creative Acts, creating a National Truth Commission, the importance of the arts, and the many layers of dismantling systemic white supremacy. Sabra is a person of action as evidenced by her work in the prison systems using the arts to transform lives. Her current work also includes contributing to the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation effort spearheaded by The Kellogg Foundation, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Senator Cory Booker to set up a national Truth Commission. You can learn more about Sabra’s social justice work as Co-Founder & Executive Director of Creative Acts: https://www.creativeacts.us/ The Actor's Gang: https://theactorsgang.com/ Learn how you can be an advocate for the arts and social justice at ISC's Justice page: http://www.iscla.org/justice Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
01:00:50
April 30, 2021
Off the Shelf: The Black Cat
It's time to grab another book Off the Shelf with ISC! In today's episode of Off the Shelf, ISC Ensemble Member, William Elsman, reads to you the spine-chilling tale of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat." Known for his stories full of mystery and macabre, Edgar Allan Poe take audiences for a disturbing ride in "The Black Cat" as the unnamed narrator's strong affection for his pet black cat turns deadly. William Elsman- as a company member with ISC, William has performed several seasons with the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival.  Favorite roles include Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Simonides in Pericles, Saturninus in Titus Andronicus, Quince in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Angelo in Measure for Measure.  Regional credits include work with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (School Visit Program), Santa Cruz Shakespeare, Sierra Madre Playhouse, A Noise Within (understudy, Macbeth), Sacramento Theater Company, The Mountain Play, Capital Stage, Sierra Rep, SF Playhouse, Marin Shakespeare Company and the Pennsylvania and Texas Shakespeare Festivals. He has also taught acting at New York Film Academy, and as a private coach or guest instructor. BFA, Rutgers University, MFA, University of Delaware.  www.williamelsman.com When asked why he selected this short story to read, William Elsman responded, "During this pandemic, I've kept busy (and employed) performing audiobooks.  I began to reflect on how reading out loud was something that I'd always delighted in, even when I was very young.  I was introduced to Edgar Allan Poe in the 7th grade, and am grateful to my teacher, Mr. Ferraro, for tasking me with the assignment of memorizing and reciting the opening lines from "The Tell Tale Heart." It was great fun, and it paired well with my desire to perform.  We explored several of Poe's stories, and the words had an arresting quality that grabbed my attention with their macabre musicality.  I was also captivated by the peek they afforded into the minds of those eccentric and disturbed characters.  It felt dangerous to read, but also thrilling!" Enjoy this week's hair-raising Art Break. Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
29:27
April 16, 2021
Community Action Update, April 2021
In this April Community Action Update, ISC's Artistic Associate for Social Justice, Carene Mekertichyan, speaks to what actions YOU can take this month to stay active in the fight for social justice and equity. List of Resources Stop AAPI Hate: stopaapihate.org Fundraisers for Victims and Families: Suncha Kim: https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-loving-memory-of-sun-cha-kim Hyun Jung Kim: https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-memory-of-hyunjungkim-to-support-my-brother-i Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-elcias-hernandez-ortiz-cover-medical-bills Save the San Marcos Foothills: @savethesanmarcosfoothills or savethesanmarcosfoothills.org Arts for LA Prefilled Email: www.artsforla.org/local_funding_for_the_arts StreetwatchLA: @streetwatchla SELAH: @selahnhcor selahnhc.org Armenian Genocide Recognition: yesitsgenocide.org COVID-19 LA County Vaccination Info: publichealth.lacounty.gov Are their initiatives in our community you want featured on our Community Action Update in May? Email carene@iscla.org Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
09:43
April 2, 2021
Art Break: Comparing Shakespeare Live vs. Shakespeare Filmed
This episode was recorded and edited before the horrific attacks against the Asian-American community in Atlanta. We stand in solidarity with the AAPI community and condemn the targeted violence that continues to escalate. We must dismantle systemic white supremacy in all of our communities. While we stay safer at home, Zoom readings and live streamed Shakespeare plays have served the need for some form (any form!) of theater. But there is nothing like folks gathering for the shared experience of Shakespeare performed live and in-person. This Art Break, we're taking a closer look at experiencing Shakespeare live in the theater vs watching filmed adaptations of Shakespeare. We have many special guests joining us for the episode, including Alex Lowe, a friend of ISC Managing Director, David Melville and a comic actor who played part in the Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing (1993); Reynaldo Macias and Jean Gaskill, educators at St. Matthews Parish School and collaborators on countless ISC projects; and the 354 Squad, a react group on YouTube consisting of ISC Family, Bukola Ogunmola, Kendell Byrd, Cary Reynolds, and Tiana Quant. More from Alex Lowe: Upcoming Live Performances: https://www.clintonbaptiste.com/live/ Barry from Watford: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2w8l_DJmXA More from 354 Squad: YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0Mbi55jUCCAQG6PPsvsEw Twitter: https://twitter.com/the354squad?lang=en Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the354squad/ Resources to Advocate Against Asian-American Hate Crimes: Stop AAPI Hate: https://stopaapihate.org/ Donate to Red Canary Song: https://www.redcanarysong.net/ Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
01:03:07
March 19, 2021
Community Action Update, March 2021
In this March Community Action Update, ISC's Artistic Associate for Social Justice, Carene Mekertichyan, speaks to what actions YOU can take this month to stay active in the fight for social justice and equity. List of Resources Black Lives Matter Survival Fund: blacklivesmatter.com/survival-fund Stop AAPI Hate: stopaapihate.org ISC Justice Page: iscla.org/justice Save the San Marcos Foothills: https://www.instagram.com/savethesanmarcosfoothills/?hl=en Volunteer to Vaccinate: publichealth.lacounty.gov Justice for Angelo Quinto: https://justiceforangelo.carrd.co Justice for Christian Hall: https://act.bencrump.com/a/christian-hall Petitions to Save Sakura ICF: http://chng.it/VC4dcGmwLL http://chng.it/FBBkjbfpgK Are their initiatives in our community you want featured on our Community Action Update in April? Email carene@iscla.org Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
08:20
March 10, 2021
Off the Shelf: Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest
Grab your favorite book Off the Shelf and take an Art Break with us! We're kicking off the premiere of our newest segment, Off the Shelf, with ISC Co-Founder and Managing Director, David Melville reading a classic, light-hearted short story, "Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest" from My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse. One of many Wodehouse short stories, "Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest" features the young Bertie Wooster, his valet, Jeeves, and Motty, the son of an aristocratic friend, who Jeeves and Bertie must get out of trouble. David grew up in the UK where attended the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and began his career as an actor. In 1995 he met Melissa Chalsma when they were both cast in a Broadway production of HAMLET. They married 10 months later and co-founded Independent Shakespeare Co. shortly after that. David has directed and appeared in many ISC productions. Recent roles include Bottom, Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar and Feste. David has composed music for many ISC shows and co-wrote the original musicals RED BARN and ANITA BERBER IS DEAD!  TV and Film includes LAWRENCE OF AMERICA, STARGATE ORIGINS, IRONCLAD, PERFECTION, THE UNDERSTUDY and ISC’s recent ROMEO & JULIET. When asked why he selected this short story to read, David responded, "P.G. Wodehouse is often referred to as the funniest writer in the English language. Dipping into his work always cheers me up and, as we all probably need a bit of cheering up right now, I thought it might be appropriate to read one of his short stories for this series. JEEVES AND THE UNBIDDEN GUEST is one of the earliest Jeeves and Wooster capers, first published in the Saturday Evening Post in December 1916 and later in the collection MY MAN JEEVES. Surprisingly, when we are introduced to Bertie, he is not in his native England but enjoying a lengthy stay in New York. I chose this particular story as it didn’t have any characters with tricky American accents. I hope you enjoy listening, it was certainly a joy to record." Enjoy David's lively voicing of P.G. Wodehouse's cheery, slapstick humor for this week's Art Break. Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
42:47
March 5, 2021
Art Break: Xavi Moreno & Richard Azurdia
Sit back, relax, and take an Art Break with us. Hosted by ISC’s Marketing Assistant and Podcast Producer, Carolina Xique, and our Artistic Associate for Social Justice, Carene Rose Mekertichyan, this casual Art Break interview features ISC Favorites and BFFs, Xavi Moreno and Richard Azurdia, who you have seen in countless LA Shakespeare Festivals, including Much Ado About Nothing, Titus Andronicus, Measure for Measure, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We caught up with Xavi and Richard to discuss connecting during the pandemic, memorable summer festival moments, their work at Company of Angels, representation in LA theatre, and even share a VERY special announcement! **Warning: there is some very minor cursing in this episode. Find out more from Company of Angels: https://www.companyofangels.org/ Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
01:12:25
February 19, 2021
Community Action Update, February 2021
In this premiere of our monthly Community Action Update, ISC's Artistic Associate for Social Justice, Carene Mekertichyan, speaks to what actions YOU can take this month to stay active in the fight for social justice and equity. A list of resources are available below. You can find the full transcript of the episode here. List of Resources: White people for Black lives: https://www.awarela.org/saturday-dialogue Black Lives Matter’s Stand with Gascon Petition: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/2012_email_blm_gascon?source=direct_link& Get involved with Justice LA: bit.ly/jlavasignup LA Students Deserve: https://www.schoolslastudentsdeserve.com Rain recovery for unhoused neighbors: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vfIMptplvHPobI2o4quVmMvHCVGtmonh8HYMWbr3kP0/edit LAHSA Winter Shelter information: https://www.lahsa.org/documents?id=2626-lahsa-winter-shelter-program-list-english-.pdf Covid distribution information: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/covidvaccinedistribution/ Support Black Theatre: https://www.instagram.com/supportblacktheatre/ Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
09:39
February 5, 2021
Ep. 10 The Shakespeare Conspiracy
What do The Kennedys, planet Earth, 2012, and Shakespeare all have in common? They all have conspiracy theories attached to them. Whether you believe the Earth is flat, or that the world was actually going to end back in 2012, it's a great wonder why conspiracy theories happen in the first place.  Who's prone to conspiracies? Why do we look to other means to make sense of the world around us? One of the conspiracies we hear all the time at Independent Shakespeare Co. is the question, "Do you actually believe William Shakespeare wrote all of those plays? Or do you think it was someone else?" So let's talk about it. Art Break producer and host, Carolina Xique, sits down virtually with ISC Managing Director, David Melville, and special guest, Amanda Hootman, who you may recognize from ISC's Anita Berber is Dead! and A Christmas Carol. Amanda trained at Guildford School of Acting in the U.K.. Previous theatre credits include Charles Dickens Presents: A Christmas Carol, Anita Berber is Dead!, Secret Garden, Harmony Boys Christmas: Live From Waikiki, Sex and the Musical, Carousel, Nilbog: The Unofficial Musical Parody of Troll 2, Not Phantom: The Musical, Spring Awakening, A Christmas Carol, The Light In The Piazza, Nothing Is The End of the World (Except The End of the World), Perchance to Dream. Other credits include: F.L.O.P.’s Buffy Kills Edward: the web series, F.L.O.P.’s Sex and the City parody videos, Pose Down, One Evening, Seabourn Cruise Line, and Lily Beacon's Post Apocalyptic Awesome Fun Time Podcast. Amanda can be found performing in improv spaces across LA with The Sound and the Furry or creating video essays on YouTube under the name “little hoot”. "Who Wrote Shakespeare?" A Video Essay by Amanda Hootman Sign up for Independent Shakespeare Co.'s 12 Days of Dickens 12 Days of Dickens will bring unique, joyful installments of all things Dickens right to your inbox. It unfolds over the course of twelve days of recordings and short videos. This would have been our 16th year producing A Christmas Carol With Charles Dickens, and there is little this year we miss more than welcoming you to the ISC Studio for this beloved event. But we can still connect and share in the Dickensian world of magic, redemption…and, of course, flaming punch. Sign up + Learn More about 12 Days of Dickens Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
43:19
December 1, 2020
Ep. 9 Keeping the Momentum: Theatre's Role in Social Justice
ISC ensemble member and Artistic Associate for Social Justice Carene Rose Mekertichyan facilitates a panel discussion in which Black theater artists discuss how theater has historically been used to bring about social change and how we all can maintain the momentum of this current movement. Panelists include: Sophina Brown (award winning theatrical producer and founder of Support Black Theater), Aisha Kabia (actress and ISC ensemble member), Bruce Lemon Jr. (actor, writer, director, producer, Artistic Director of the Watts Village Theater Company, and Associate Artistic Director of the Cornerstone Theater Company), Dominic Taylor (writer, director, scholar, and interim chair of the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television), and Sabra Williams, (ISC ensemble member, cofounder of Creative Acts and The Actors' Gang Prison Project, and 2016 Champion of Change under President Obama). For more information about how you can help combat anti-blackness in the Los Angeles community, please visit www.iscla.org/justice Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
01:48:33
October 30, 2020
Ep. 8 Institutional Racism in the Theatre: Part Three
In Part 3 out of 3 of this series on Institutional Racism in the Theatre, host and producer Carolina Xique continues the discussion of anti-Blackness in Theatre Education. How is the diaspora of Black experiences neglected in theatrical education? What can White educators do today to dismantle White Supremacy within themselves? Continuing this discussion are highly-esteemed Black artists, educators, and theorists, Dr. Jaye Austin Williams (Assistant Professor of Africana Studies, Bucknell University), Chris Anthony (Assistant Professor of Performance, DePaul University), and Dominic Taylor (Acting Chair, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television). Take a look at their bios and extensive artistry in the Theatre at www.iscla.org/podcast. For more information about how you can help combat anti-blackness in the Los Angeles community, please visit www.iscla.org/justice Sign The People's Budget Petition: https://campaigns.organizefor.org/petitions/tell-the-city-of-los-angeles-to-implement-the-people-s-budget#signature-form Join us for our upcoming, multi-media production of Romeo & Juliet, directed and adapted by Melissa Chalsma, starring Nikhil Pai as Romeo, Bukola Ogunmola as Juliet, and featuring some of your favorite ISC ensemble members! You can find more information about the month-long event and register at iscla.org/summer-fesitval. Song in the Video: "Past Sadness" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
44:21
July 22, 2020
Ep. 7 Institutional Racism in the Theatre: Part Two
In Part 2 out of 3 of this series on Institutional Racism in the Theatre, host and producer Carolina Xique discusses anti-Blackness in Theatre Education. How can traditional Westernized theatre training be harmful to Black artists? What's the difference between "Black" Theatre & "African-American" Theatre? How do the stories we tell affect the way we see Black people? Joining this discussion are highly-esteemed Black artists, educators, and theorists, Dr. Jaye Austin Williams (Assistant Professor of Africana Studies, Bucknell University), Chris Anthony (Assistant Professor of Performance, DePaul University), and Dominic Taylor (Acting Chair, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television). Take a look at their bios and extensive artistry in the Theatre at www.iscla.org/podcast. You don't want to miss this important conversation. Be on the look out for an special announcement from ISC on Tuesday, 5/14! For more information about how you can help combat anti-blackness in the Los Angeles community, please visit www.iscla.org/justice Sign The People's Budget Petition: https://campaigns.organizefor.org/petitions/tell-the-city-of-los-angeles-to-implement-the-people-s-budget#signature-form Song in the Video: "Past Sadness" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
01:05:04
July 10, 2020
Ep. 6 Institutional Racism in the Theatre: Part One
It goes without saying that 2020 is not anyone's best year. However, it is the year that millions of Americans--even more specifically, theatre artists-- have had to take a hard look at the ways covert racism and anti-blackness are perpetuated throughout American culture. In the wake of protests against the murder of Black lives at the hands of police, Black artists are calling out major theatre arts institutions for claiming "wokeness" despite the lack of diversity in their hiring process, failing to address macro- & micro-aggression in their companies, and hesitating to hold their colleagues and collaborators accountable. It's 2020. Change has been long overdue. This time on Art Break, Carolina Xique speaks to ISC Ensemble Members, Carene Mekertichyan (who has also taken up the mantle as ISC's newly appointed Artistic Associate for Social Justice) and Sabra Williams about their careers as Black Female Artists, their social activism, and their experiences with racism in the theatre. This incredibly important conversation is one you don't want to miss. The core value of Independent Shakespeare Co. is that theater belongs to everyone. That it is accessible and welcoming to all audiences, nurturing and fulfilling to all artists, and a place where a community can come together. We recognize that it is impossible to fulfill this mission in a society that is not safe, just, and secure for our community members who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.  Therefore, we are committed to devoting resources to dismantling systems that perpetuate anti-Blackness, racism, and white supremacy, particularly within our city, our industry, and our organization. For more information about how you can help combat anti-blackness in the Los Angeles community, please visit www.iscla.org/justice Watch ISC's newly released video: JUNETEENTH: A Celebration, A Education, A Collaboration" https://vimeo.com/430861287 Sign the Los Angeles Theater Coalition Petition: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/los-angeles-theater-community-for-a-peoples-budget?source=direct_link&fbclid=IwAR0GgNVsDlVhaRxsG8HCg6FvX2BkkO58kz7n4LZdku_fePd8cAi1q2W5Js8 Song in the Video: "Past Sadness" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
43:52
June 25, 2020
Ep. 5 Two Months In
What is theatre in 2020? What is art? Is theatre still "theatre" if it must be held remotely or virtually? What might theatre look like once we can all commune again? In today's Art Break, Carolina discusses these questions with past ISC Artist, Luis Galindo, known for his wonderful performances in ISC's Macbeth, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Carolina also checks in with Nikhil Pai, Bukola Ogunmola, and Siegfried Tieber about how they are able to make art while working from home. Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
27:07
May 22, 2020
Ep. 4 Curious Shakespearean Connections
Happy Shakespeare Day! In today's Art Break, Carolina Xique Skype-interviews managing director of ISC, David Melville, about Shakespearean references that hit close to home--his home, that is, in England. They discuss everything from Simon Sudbury's mummified head, to Will Kemp's (a famous clown in Shakespeare's time) Nine Day's Wonder, to the masts that used to hold up the frame of The Globe Theater. Be sure to check out iscla.org/podcast to see pictures of the artifacts/places they talk about in the episode! Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
46:23
April 23, 2020
Ep. 3 Wit, Witchcraft, and Weird Sisters
In today's Art Break, Melissa Chalsma, director of ISC's upcoming production of Macbeth, and Kalean Ung, who plays Lady Macbeth, talk about how witchcraft and magic manifest themselves in Shakespeare's iconic world of Macbeth. Kalean also performs Lady Macbeth's speech from Act 1 Scene 5. Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
26:18
April 9, 2020
Ep. 2 "A Plague On Both Your Houses"
In today's Art Break, co-founders of Independent Shakespeare Co., David Melville and Melissa Chalsma, explore the Bubonic plague during Shakespeare's era and how it affected his writing. While discussing thing, they bring on surprise special guest, Andre Martin, an actor based in Austin and a former ISC ensemble member of 14 productions. Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
42:58
March 24, 2020
Ep. 1 Welcome to Your Art Break
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Independent Shakespeare Co. is committed to exploring digital content creation in our new program called Art Break. Art Break consists of short, free alternatives of providing ISC theatrical content, through videos, live streaming, and podcasting. On this podcast component of Art Break, we’re discussing the history of Shakespeare’s life & work, performing his famous monologues, and conversing with LA artists. ISC is a theatre nonprofit company located in Atwater Village. ISC is the producer of the GPFSF, now in its 15th year of providing free Shakespeare plays to the Los Angeles community. Follow us! Website: www.iscla.org Instagram & Twitter: @indyshakes Facebook: Independent Shakespeare Co.
17:53
March 15, 2020