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BORN READY EP 21 – Performance Enhancing Drugs w/ Theater MadCap


Welcome to episode 21! Our guests are Robin Fontaine and Gabriel Montoya, the director and co-star of Theater MadCap‘s production of Sam Shepard’s True West, running through Nov. 30 at Inner Mission.

Theater MadCap, started by Eric and Annie Reid this year, was formed with the goal of producing, “Deliberately diverse theater,” to address the frequent problem in the American Theater (especially the American Cannon), of racial parity on stage. And the company’s production of True West follows that directive by casting two men of color in the lead roles.

Montoya, who grew up in Sacramento, describes cutting his teeth as an actor of color in the Nine-One-Sickness (as Ray calls it), and the fact that as a 41-year-old, life-long actor who also lived and worked in LA, he’s only played a Mexican twice. And Fontaine makes the great point that Theater falls into the same trap of most modern culture, and frequently sees life through a pretty white-washed lens that doesn’t reflect the awesome diversity of this country.  Madcap’s production of True West is stunning for any company, especially for a small company’s first offering, and if you have the opportunity, go fucking see it.

The second half of our talk gets into Gabe’s career as a sports writer who covers boxing, and specifically, his knack for exposing the use of performance enhancing drugs. Naturally, we all try to figure out which drugs are performance enhancers in theater. The crew argues over whether certain drugs are more conducive to certain performance genres and Robin and Gabe relate their story of the show’s drunk rehearsal. The two also present the show with a shard of an Idaho plate destroyed nightly in their show.

And we wrap up with with our recurring renamed social media segment, FaceBeet! Ray answers questions from listeners and calls out our call outs on Twitter.

As always, you can holler at us @BornReadyShow, @DrHobbs or @RealDuncanWold, you can subscribe and rate us on iTunes here. Thanks for listening!

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  1. Loved the topic, diversity in theater, film and TV is a pet peeve of mine. And so often it has to be one way or the other-for instance I saw an excellent production of Kiss Me Kate with a mostly African American cast, and also saw a production of Raisin in the Sun which has only one white character. I was struck by the fact that while chatting with a nice man in the lobby, he asked me if I was black, because he was puzzled as to why we were there. It was a small theater and we were the only white people in the audience. Of course sometimes it would change the story, but there is far too little diversity in race and gender in film, theater and on TV. One reason I loved going to the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland , Oregon ROB READY is that they often had very diverse casting and also switched characters from being male to female, and it was just as good, or better. Although one production of MacBeth which changed the characters orientation to all female plus only used two actors became a little confusing.