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BORN READY EP 20 – The Bar is Open at The TBA Awards

Born_Ready_EP_20_TBA_AwardsIt’s our 20th episode! And for this milestone we decided to invade the TBA Awards armed only with our wits and a bottle of whiskey. Podcasting from backstage in the green room, we had the chance to interview finalists, presenters, and award recipients and get their candid thoughts on the awards, the community, and what they’re all excited about.

First up, Reggie D. White who’s playing in Party People at Berkeley Rep. We get the lowdown on how physically exhausting the show is and then corner him into offering us comps to the show.

Next up, Lily Tung Crystal and Leon Goertzen, the founders of Ferocious Lotus Theatre. Ferocious Lotus, who just wrapped up the world premiere of Mutt by Chris Chen, talk about their upcoming world premiere of JC Lee‘s Crane, directed by Mina Morita, tentatively happening in September 2015.

With Kimberly and Patrick Dooley, we get an intimate look into what goes on in the Dooley house at 2am, as Patrick, artistic director of Shotgun Players, tells us how Kimberly’s Mary Poppins at Berkeley Playhouse has invaded their bedroom.

Z Space‘s Lisa Steindler stops by for yet another appearance on BORN READY, to record some drop-ins, detail the Geary Theater after the Loma Prieta earthquake, and to tell Patrick Dooley to go fuck himself.

At this point Ray and Rob get on stage to present the awards for Outstanding Creative Specialty, Outstanding Video Design, and Outstanding Underscore of a Play. Oh and Marga Gomez blows our intro about as hard as Ray botches the pronunciation of Napoli.

Back in the green room we grab Miguel Ongpin, Head Carpenter for American Conservatory Theater. He bros down, calls us dorks, then calls us dope, then tells a great story about a mishap during ACT’s production of Napoli.

Next up, Abigail and Shaun Bengson, creators of Hundred Days at Z Space, jump on the mic to tell us about their upcoming album and putting Hundred Days up in NY. Abigail gives us the lowdown on what goes on backstage on the Tonight Show, when she performed on the show as part of a world tour with Tune-Yards.

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Listings Editor at TBA, Lily Janiak grabs a seat to dish on the shaky ground SF Weekly is currently occupying and why, as a professional theater critic, she will no longer write for free. She also swears to contact Colin Mitchell from Bitter Lemons about some potential SF collaborations despite the fact that she will likely reap zero financial benefits.

Prolific playwright and producer Stuart Bousel, who won a TBA award for Best Original Play for Everybody Here Says Hello, and hope on the mic to talk drama at the just-opened Olympians Festival at EXIT Theater.

We snag some audio from Vince Media of The Bengsons performance of “Hundred Days,” which Rob somehow weaseled his way into.

We rap with the hosts of the TBA Awards, comics Will Durst and Marga Gomez, and Marga owns up for duffing the Born Ready intro.

And we wrap up with Susan Monson, the TBA Awards Vanna White, who gives us the skinny on her stunning dress from ACT’s Costume Shop, and Cecilia, the Awards Asst. Stage Manager who reminds us that next time, we need to save some Jameson for the crew.

All in all, it was a very cool night. Seeing the Bay Area theater community dressed to the nines, and having a blast in the same room was, to say the least, a very cool sight. A fun part for me was ending the night at the White Horse, and chatting with Stuart Bousel and Allison Page about the show, about theater, about life, and about the cool shit we want to make together. And to me, that’s the best part of the awards, because chances are the three of us don’t get into that situation without having had the awards bring us out and together for the night.


As always, feel free to share it with everyone you’ve ever met and thanks for listening!

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