15 episodes

Conversations about the ideas that disrupt and transform the performing arts. Each episode features an interview with an artist or performing arts scholar that delves into how innovators challenge the boundaries of their art forms. Interdisciplinary artists and work, such as opera, music theater, multimedia performance art, and dance theater; cross-cultural perspectives and historically marginalized voices are in focus. Hosted by Jennifer Williams.

Original photo credit: Fay Fox

Disruptive Stages Jennifer Williams

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Conversations about the ideas that disrupt and transform the performing arts. Each episode features an interview with an artist or performing arts scholar that delves into how innovators challenge the boundaries of their art forms. Interdisciplinary artists and work, such as opera, music theater, multimedia performance art, and dance theater; cross-cultural perspectives and historically marginalized voices are in focus. Hosted by Jennifer Williams.

Original photo credit: Fay Fox

    Ricky Ian Gordon: Composing Authenticity in Opera, Musical Theater and Art Song

    Ricky Ian Gordon: Composing Authenticity in Opera, Musical Theater and Art Song

    Director Jennifer Williams interviews composer Ricky Ian Gordon. A leading writer of vocal music that spans art song, opera and musical theater, the GRAMMY-nominated and OBIE Award-winning composer’s work has been performed and recorded by such internationally renowned singers as Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Nathan Gunn, Stephanie Blythe, Denyce Graves, Judy Collins, Kelli O’Hara, Audra MacDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, and the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, among many others. We discuss the role art plays in healing a community, composing authentic voices, and the relationship between musical theater and opera.


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    • 43 min
    Lucia Lucas: Illuminating the Power of Creativity and Inclusion

    Lucia Lucas: Illuminating the Power of Creativity and Inclusion

    Jennifer Williams interviews baritone and transgender activist Lucia Lucas. Hailed as “one of the most powerful and beautiful baritone voices you can hear,” American baritone Lucia Lucas is making waves on operatic stages internationally, with recent performances in Berlin, Torino, London, Dublin, Brussels, Korea, and the United States. She is the first transgender baritone to perform a principal operatic role in the United States and the first transgender baritone to appear with the English National Opera. She was slated to make her Metropolitan Opera debut this 2020-21 season, which, at the time of this recording, has been canceled due to the pandemic. We discuss her experience launching an international performance career while transitioning, her take on some of opera’s notoriously toxic masculine roles, and blueprints for how the arts can create more inclusive spaces for future generations of transgender artists.

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    • 50 min
    Anthony Roth Costanzo: Blazing Interdisciplinary Trails [Interview Only]

    Anthony Roth Costanzo: Blazing Interdisciplinary Trails [Interview Only]

    Jennifer Williams interviews countertenor, curator and interdisciplinarian Anthony Roth Costanzo. In addition to appearing with many of the world’s leading houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, and Houston Grand Opera, he is also a producer and curator, creating shows for National Sawdust, Opera Philadelphia, Princeton University, and WQXR. His debut album, ARC, on Decca Gold was nominated for a 2019 GRAMMY Award, and he is Musical America’s 2019 vocalist of the year. We discuss a unique dimension of his experience starring in Philip Glass’s Akhnaten; his curatorial vision behind his operatic installation, Glass Handel; and his next ambitious venture. Interview only. Full episode available on Anchor.

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    • 28 min
    Tracy Cox: Dismantling Fatphobia in Opera

    Tracy Cox: Dismantling Fatphobia in Opera

    Jennifer Williams interviews soprano and Fat Politics activist Tracy Cox. Hailed by LA Weekly as a “force of nature,” Tracy Cox’s distinguished acclaim includes a Sullivan Foundation Award, the Birgit Nilsson Prize at Operalia and the Kirsten Flagstad Award from the George London Foundation. She has been interviewed by The New York Times on Fat Politics and is an in-demand consultant on diversity in the performing arts for singers, competitions and opera companies alike. We discuss fatphobia’s roots in colonialism and Protestantism, what we teach audiences when performances fail to represent diverse bodies, and why those who benefit from fatphobic systems should also dismantle them.

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    • 42 min
    Sharrell D. Luckett, Ph.D.: Black Acting Methods

    Sharrell D. Luckett, Ph.D.: Black Acting Methods

    Jennifer Williams interviews Sharrell D. Luckett, Ph.D., acclaimed theatre director, professor, actor, scholar, and author of the book Black Acting Methods: Critical Approaches – a groundbreaking anthology which is the first book to highlight diverse acting and directing methods rooted in Afrocentrism. She is the Director of the Weinberger Center for Drama & Playwriting and professor of Drama and Performance Studies at the University of Cincinnati. We discuss Afrocentric approaches to acting and acting pedagogy; why colorblind casting is problematic and better practices for inclusive casting; and a sneak peek at future editions of her book and the future work of the Black Acting Methods Studio.


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    • 34 min
    Sarah Kirkland Snider: Composing Against the Grain

    Sarah Kirkland Snider: Composing Against the Grain

    Jennifer Williams interviews composer Sarah Kirkland Snider. Deemed “one of the decade’s more gifted, up-and-coming modern classical composers” (Pitchfork), “a potentially significant voice on the American music landscape” (Philadelphia Inquirer), and “an important representative of 21st century trends in composition” (New York Classical Review), she has received commissions and performances from the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and the National Symphony Orchestra, among many others. We discuss her reimagining of mythology in her recent work, Penelope, her inter-genre music – and how the artistic impulses the classical world tells you to repress might just be the very inspiration that defines your unique and important work.


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    • 46 min

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