The Quickening show

The Quickening

Summary: The Quickening is an interview podcast for people who make and love theater. The premise is simple: We invite artists we admire and ask them one question… “What was it like making your first show in New York?” Where the conversation goes from there is up to the universe. The Quickening is hosted by Fern Diaz and Matt Kagen, co-founders of softFocus, a theater incubator for the digital age.

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 All These Bodies Are In This Room | Clare Barron | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:20:47

We talk with Clare Barron about writing, vulnerability, and sex — in theater and in life.

 I’m Both a So-Called Poster Boy and Detractor | Ayad Akhtar | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:25:50

Ayad Akhtar is skeptical about the current role of identity politics in art. Hold on to your hats — it’s a good one.

 Everything Was Messy and Really Explicitly Cheap | ERS Theater's John Collins, Scott Shepherd & Pete Simpson | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:32:40

John Collins, Scott Shepherd and Pete Simpson, members of the theater company Elevator Repair Service, talk about their different paths into ERS and the New York experimental theater scene from the 90s to the present.

 I Am My Own Artist | Condola Rashad | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:29:53

Condola Rashad sits down with Fern and Matt to talk about starting out in New York. Topics include: how to audition, LA vs NYC, how to grapple with coming from a long lineage of artists, and performing in Lynn Nottage’s “Ruined.”

 It All Looks So Ridiculous on the Page | The Debate Society | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:32:17

The Debate Society (Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen, and Oliver Butler) has been praised for making plays that are "uncannily familiar and teasingly mysterious at the same time" by The New York Times. On the kickoff episode of softFocus' The Quickening, they talk about how they started. Topics include: chili cook-off fundraising, a first production turning point, why it's important to have the fear of God in you, how you can do bad theater very well, and ASMR.


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