25 episodes

 The Dramatists Guild Presents: TALKBACK:
Where Art, Community, and Inclusion Meet.

Talkback is a podcast for every playwright, composer, lyricist, librettist, or theatre fan who wants to pull back the curtain to discover the highs and lows of what it means to create theatre and foster community in the complex landscape of American storytelling. Over the course of four seasons, host Christine Toy Johnson and her industry colleagues delve into in-depth conversations about the intricate facets of navigating and sustaining a life in a theatre that strives to make room for everyone.
In the fourth season of The Dramatists Guild Presents: Talkback, which launched on October 24, we celebrate how writers from a diverse array of backgrounds have built meaningful careers within a constantly evolving industry, while also giving back to their communities.
Join host Christine Toy Johnson as she interviews fellow theatre writers about what inspires them to create art and what inspires them to create community. This season, Lynn Ahrens, Amanda Green, Stephen Flaherty, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Michael R. Jackson, Lisa Kron, Rona Siddiqui, John Weidman, and Charlayne Woodard provide a searingly honest look into their writing processes and share what drives them to keep fighting for equal rights and protections for theatre writers everywhere.
From conversations about challenging the industry’s status quo to insights on crafting new musicals, these episodes offer a window into the struggles and triumphs of what it means to be a theatre writer in the 21st century and what it means to serve one's community.

The Dramatists Guild Presents: TALKBACK BIPOC Voices

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 30 Ratings

 The Dramatists Guild Presents: TALKBACK:
Where Art, Community, and Inclusion Meet.

Talkback is a podcast for every playwright, composer, lyricist, librettist, or theatre fan who wants to pull back the curtain to discover the highs and lows of what it means to create theatre and foster community in the complex landscape of American storytelling. Over the course of four seasons, host Christine Toy Johnson and her industry colleagues delve into in-depth conversations about the intricate facets of navigating and sustaining a life in a theatre that strives to make room for everyone.
In the fourth season of The Dramatists Guild Presents: Talkback, which launched on October 24, we celebrate how writers from a diverse array of backgrounds have built meaningful careers within a constantly evolving industry, while also giving back to their communities.
Join host Christine Toy Johnson as she interviews fellow theatre writers about what inspires them to create art and what inspires them to create community. This season, Lynn Ahrens, Amanda Green, Stephen Flaherty, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Michael R. Jackson, Lisa Kron, Rona Siddiqui, John Weidman, and Charlayne Woodard provide a searingly honest look into their writing processes and share what drives them to keep fighting for equal rights and protections for theatre writers everywhere.
From conversations about challenging the industry’s status quo to insights on crafting new musicals, these episodes offer a window into the struggles and triumphs of what it means to be a theatre writer in the 21st century and what it means to serve one's community.

    We are the Uber Drivers of the Theatre Industry: A conversation with Amanda Green

    We are the Uber Drivers of the Theatre Industry: A conversation with Amanda Green

    Amanda Green made headlines last year when she became the first female president of the Dramatists Guild of America in its over 100-year history. In this episode, Amanda talks about what DG means to her, telling podcast host Christine Toy Johnson about how the Guild uplifted her during an uncertain time in her life and career. She also discusses the importance of the PRO Act, explains why collective bargaining matters for dramatists, and offers advice on how writers across the country can support each other by being activists in their own communities. In addition, she shares anecdotes from development process of her two of her recent musical projects, Mr. Saturday Night and Female Troubles, and recounts what it was like to make Billy Crystal laugh.

    This episode was produced by Amy VonMacek and Christine Toy Johnson, with postproduction by John Marshall Media. The music is composed by Andrea Daly. Talkback is a production of the Dramatists Guild of America and is distributed by The Broadway Podcast Network. Join the conversation online, using hashtag #dgtalkback.
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    • 29 min
    Writing as a Way For Me to Make Sense Out of Certain Things: A conversation with Rona Siddiqui and Michael R. Jackson

    Writing as a Way For Me to Make Sense Out of Certain Things: A conversation with Rona Siddiqui and Michael R. Jackson

    In this episode, hosted by Christine Toy Johnson, Michael R. Jackson and Rona Siddiqui share their creative inspirations, discuss their collaboration on the upcoming musical White Girl in Danger, and reflect upon their respective journeys with the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning musical A Strange Loop, which was recently nominated for a 2023 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. They also discuss the importance of advocating for their community; as active members on the Dramatists Guild Council, both Michael and Rona are passionate champions of supporting and empowering their fellow writers.
    This episode first premiered in June 2022, in celebration of A Strange Loop's meteoric success at the Tony Awards. A Strange Loop is currently running on Broadway until January 2023. For tickets, please visit: https://strangeloopmusical.com/
    This episode was produced by Amy VonMacek and Christine Toy Johnson, with postproduction by John Marshall Media. The music is composed by Andrea Daly. Talkback is a production of the Dramatists Guild of America and is distributed by The Broadway Podcast Network. Join the conversation online, using hashtag #dgtalkback.
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    • 30 min
    Talking is Easy, Writing is Hard: A conversation with Lisa Kron and John Weidman

    Talking is Easy, Writing is Hard: A conversation with Lisa Kron and John Weidman

    In this episode, Christine interviews longtime friends and colleagues, Lisa Kron and John Weidman. Both John and Lisa have served as officers on the Dramatists Guild Council; under their purview, the Guild grew to become a national organization that seeks to serve writers of all backgrounds. They discuss the labor relations and gender equity issues that fueled their respective desires to help lead the Guild and talk about what it means to them to advocate on behalf of their community of writers. In addition, John reveals what inspired him to write the musical Pacific Overtures with Stephen Sondheim and Lisa shares her approach to adapting and theatricalizing the musical Fun Home.
     This episode was produced by Amy VonMacek and Christine Toy Johnson, with postproduction by John Marshall Media. The music is composed by Andrea Daly. Talkback is a production of the Dramatists Guild of America and is distributed by The Broadway Podcast Network. Join the conversation online, using hashtag #dgtalkback.
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    • 40 min
    There is No Such Thing as Failure Unless You Don’t Get in the Game: A conversation with Charlayne Woodard

    There is No Such Thing as Failure Unless You Don’t Get in the Game: A conversation with Charlayne Woodard

    We're excited to welcome back actress and writer Charlayne Woodard. In Season 1, Charlayne spoke with Christine Toy Johnson about her experiences marketing her work. In this episode, Charlayne takes us to the beginning of her career, sharing about how her early experience in the oral tradition inspired her to start creating theatre. She goes on to discuss how she overcame resistance from members of her community when she wrote her first play as a high school student, and how her own encounters with inequity have kept her motivated to help support her fellow community of writers.
     This episode was produced by Amy VonMacek and Christine Toy Johnson, with postproduction by John Marshall Media. The music is composed by Andrea Daly. Talkback is a production of the Dramatists Guild of America and is distributed by The Broadway Podcast Network. Join the conversation online, using hashtag #dgtalkback.
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    • 36 min
    I Love Being in this Lousy Hotel Room with You Creating Something of Beauty: A conversation with Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty

    I Love Being in this Lousy Hotel Room with You Creating Something of Beauty: A conversation with Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty

    Talkback host Christine Toy Johnson interviews Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, a dynamic musical theatre songwriting duo who have been collaborating together for almost forty years. Even at the height of the pandemic, their writing never stopped. Listen to this episode to learn about what it means to view collaboration as teamwork, how they approached the writing process for their current musical, Knoxville, and what inspired them to launch The Dramatists Guild Fellows Program, a mentorship initiative for playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists, that has nurtured a vibrant generation of diverse writers.
     This episode was produced by Amy VonMacek and Christine Toy Johnson, with postproduction by John Marshall Media. The music is composed by Andrea Daly. Talkback is a production of the Dramatists Guild of America and is distributed by The Broadway Podcast Network. Join the conversation online, using hashtag #dgtalkback.
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    • 46 min
    “You should feel weird if they love what you do”: A Conversation with Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

    “You should feel weird if they love what you do”: A Conversation with Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

    DG Council Vice President Branden Jacobs-Jenkins has made his career by building community with other writers - even if that community started as three blogs in the early aughts. In this episode, Branden tells Talkback host Christine Toy Johnson about his passion for fair and equitable treatment of writers and how his role at the Dramatists Guild enables him to advocate on behalf of his community of fellow playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists. He also discusses some of his earliest work as a young writer, revealing how his love of R.L Stine’s Goosebumps led to an interest in theatrical adaptation.
    This season of Talkback was produced by Amy VonMacek and Christine Toy Johnson, with postproduction by John Marshall Media. The music is composed by Andrea Daly. Talkback is a production of the Dramatists Guild of America and is distributed by The Broadway Podcast Network.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
30 Ratings

30 Ratings

Adaumbelle ,

Breath of Fresh Air

A terrific podcast featuring the much needed discussions about bipoc & other under represented community theatre makers. It's a breath of fresh air!

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