19 episodes

Two theatre nerds talking to cool people and saving the world one drink at a time.

Every week, we'll introduce you to a brilliant artist and explore their unique point of view on making theater, particularly the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Along the way, we hit peak geekitude on everything from Star Wars to Ancient Greek.

This Wooden O is the official podcast of Queens, NYC based theater company Rude Grooms (rudegrooms.com) hosted by our Master of Casting and Company Management Daniel Kemper (danielkemperacts.com), and Master of the Revels Montgomery Sutton (montgomerysutton.com).

Watch every episode in unedited form and tune into the conversation for livestreams of future episodes by becoming a patron at patreon.com/rudegrooms.

This Wooden ‪O‬ Rude Grooms

    • Performing Arts
    • 5.0 • 9 Ratings

Two theatre nerds talking to cool people and saving the world one drink at a time.

Every week, we'll introduce you to a brilliant artist and explore their unique point of view on making theater, particularly the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Along the way, we hit peak geekitude on everything from Star Wars to Ancient Greek.

This Wooden O is the official podcast of Queens, NYC based theater company Rude Grooms (rudegrooms.com) hosted by our Master of Casting and Company Management Daniel Kemper (danielkemperacts.com), and Master of the Revels Montgomery Sutton (montgomerysutton.com).

Watch every episode in unedited form and tune into the conversation for livestreams of future episodes by becoming a patron at patreon.com/rudegrooms.

    Revenge of the Sutt (with Daniel Kemper)

    Revenge of the Sutt (with Daniel Kemper)

    This week, in true Shakespearean fashion, Monty reclaims the pod as a solo host! His first guest in his new and glorious podcast empire is actor/singer/casting-director, Daniel Kemper (www.montgomerysutton.com). Topics include:

    The fact that websites are, by definition, a tool for self-aggrandizement
    YouTube live chat questions
    Daniel’s belief in having an affinity to certain skills and how working hard can sometimes bridge the gap
    The different pleasures achieved when working within natural skillsets versus working in areas that require additional effort
    What Daniel looks for as a Casting Director
    Treating an audition like a first date (or, don’t be a jerk)
    The production and personal experience that inspired Daniel to become an actor
    The power of theater to help people to look outside of themselves
    People’s willing state of readiness for change as audience members and the responsibility to do justice to people’s time that goes along with it
    The special atmosphere created by the communal knowledge that each theatrical performance is a singular and irreplicable moment.
    Loving cats while being allergic to them
    Daniel’s love for Shakespeare being born out of their enduring impact throughout the centuries and their abilities to ask the big questions
    Daniel’s beautiful rendition of a speech from the Archbishop Scroop from Henry IV part 2


    Shoutouts, recommendations, and further reading include:
    The West Wing
    Jesus Christ Superstar
    Carl Anderson
    James Gandolfini
    The Sopranos
    Zoom Dinners with your friends
    Circle in the Sand
    International Actors Ensemble
    Alex Theatre
    Melbourne, Australia
    Shakespeare’s Age of Crowns


    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/this-wooden-o/donations

    • 52 min
    Attack of the Kemper (with Montgomery Sutton)

    Attack of the Kemper (with Montgomery Sutton)

    This week, in true Shakespearean fashion, Daniel stages a coup and takes over the podcast as a solo host! His first guest in his new and glorious podcast empire is actor/director/writer and Master of the Revels for Rude Grooms, Montgomery Sutton (www.montgomerysutton.com). Topics include:

    Daniel’s boundless capacity for benevolence as a resplendent podcast dictator; How Monty was (maybe?) dropped as a baby; Where Monty gets his drive to constantly create; Using accountability to others as a means to spur productivity; Using art to engage with the world around you; Toddler Monty’s 3 hour, living room Batman plays; The religious experience of live theatre; What makes a good actor; Figuring out your own artistry through exposure to other artists and forms of theatre; The importance of a degree of “messiness” in live theatre; The difference between emotionally honest and performative acting; When do you impose structure on the sense of play when managing a show; The essential relationship between an actor and the audience; How much rehearsal is too much; The importance of a small amount of challenge or fear on opening night; Which TV show would Monty put himself in if given the opportunity?


    Shoutouts, recommendations, and further reading include: The Drawer Boy; Shakespeare Dallas; Rene Moreno; Dallas Children’s Theater; Junior Players;
    Shakespeare Happy Hours; Shakespeare's Globe; Michelle Terry; Colin Hurley; Toni Morrisson; “Different Every Night” by Mark Alfreds; Ed Dixon; David Baynes; New York Shakespeare Company.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/this-wooden-o/donations

    • 57 min
    Hat on a hat (with Laura Piccoli)

    Hat on a hat (with Laura Piccoli)

    Daniel & Monty are back with our first episode recorded during Corona. In a Facebook livestream (using Skype), they virtually sit down with Rude Grooms Associate Artist Laura Piccoli (check out her website lauracpiccoli.com). Topics include: Shifting to a virtual Wooden O; How Laura’s super-high work ethic developed and has influenced her life from undergrad, through freelance acting, producing with Rude Grooms, and into a Masters program; The benefits for an actor of wearing other theatrical hats and feeling more power in the process of creating opportunities; How the feeling of empowerment from getting more involved on the producing side of theater inspired Laura to start writing her own short films; Pursuing a Masters degree in Energy and Environment Policy to learn more about subjects so that she should start writing projects, like a recent short film she wrote inspired by studying in Bolivia
    Shifting as a writer from writing for herself as an actor to writing with a hope towards other actors flourishing
    Finding your Artistic Family; Imposter Syndrome
    How a Process-oriented approach can benefit even Product-oriented environments; COVID brain

    This week, Daniel & Monty both recommend Shakespeare Happy Hours, co-produced with Seven Stages Shakespeare Company - 90 minute virtual performances of all of Shakespeare’s plays, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at shakespearehappyhours.tv. Other shoutouts, recommendations, and further reading include: Pachamama; Cloud Forests of Bolivia

    This Wooden O is a production of Rude Grooms. Learn more at rudegrooms.com or follow us @rudegrooms on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/this-wooden-o/donations

    • 41 min
    (Don’t) Spill the Tea (with Michael Ortiz)

    (Don’t) Spill the Tea (with Michael Ortiz)

    CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains mentions of sex, and references of drug use.

    This week, Daniel and Monty reconnect with a former acting classmate turned entrepreneur and International Tea Master, Mike Ortiz (@sipjojo on Instagram) to discuss his journey from theatre school to brewing tea on the world stage.

    Topics include: The return of “Danny” Kemper; Finding your weirdos in action; The parallels between auditioning and building a business; The importance of unapologetically taking up space; Being comfortable with not having answers, and being willing to constantly ask questions in life and theatre; The proper way to drink tea; How Mike went from actor to tea salesman and entrepreneur
    Brewing tea as a practice of meditation; The importance of persistence in developing relationships; Learning under pressure; The influence of slave labor on modern tea consumption and sales; How an actor with no business training starts a company; Resilience as a necessity in the pursuit of your goals; What makes a master; Understanding a structure well enough to break it; The origin of the name Jojo Tea

    This week’s shoutouts, recommendations, and further reading include: Anya Saffir; EBE Ensemble; Master Chufei Tsai; Jojo Tea Company; Badia Spice Company; World Tea Expo
    Grandmaster Maurice Ashley; Tea Master’s Cup; Osteria 57; Malaparte; Cafe Integra; Tiger King on Netflix; Hollywood Caucus podcast

    This Wooden O is a production of Rude Grooms. Learn more at rudegrooms.com or follow us @rudegrooms on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

    WE HAVE MERCH! Official This Wooden O coffee mugs and baseball tees are available on our website. Get yours at http://www.thiswoodeno.com/shop today!

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/this-wooden-o/donations

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Gettin Jiggy With It (with Bridget Bose)

    Gettin Jiggy With It (with Bridget Bose)

    WE HAVE MERCH! Official This Wooden O coffee mugs and baseball tees are available on our website. Get yours at http://www.thiswoodeno.com/shop today!

    This week Daniel (@thedanielkemper) and Monty (@montgomerysutto) sit down with Rude Grooms’ Master of Movement Bridget Bose (@bridgetbose on Instagram). Bridget has choreographed dances, jigs, and creepy death movement pieces for all Rude Grooms productions. Listen to her talk about her journey from Colorado to New York, starting and running Guilty Pleasures Cabaret, and much more.

    Topics include: Rude Grooms’ Secret Shakespeare Hunt (possibly returning in 2020); Performing at Lincoln Center with Bridget’s cabaret troupe, Guilty Pleasures; Dancing in a circus in the Middle East
    Touring the world in a Bollywood dance company, and becoming a tourist attraction by rehearsing in Central Park; The happenstance creation of Guilty Pleasures in a tiny UWS bar; Defying expectations at The Duplex by making dance that functions in a non-traditional space; The power of appealing to the 11pm timeslot niche; How Guilty Pleasures alters shows from late-night to mainstage, from smaller venues to larger venues, and from 1.0 to 11.0 versions; Repurposing successful material to fit in different shows; Parallels between creating frequent cabaret content and the incredibly prolific rate of new plays in Shakespeare’s London; Keeping all of her creative work in notebooks and having an archive dating back to high school; The importance of overplanning and yet being able to throw it all out in the moment when none of it works for the bodies in the room; Cue Scripts and the power of muscle memory from writing down, going back to the beginning until you make no mistakes, or just repeating things over and over; The difficulty of dancing someone else’s choreography vs. what comes naturally to your own body; The importance of letting dancers write choreography down in the performer’s own vocabulary because there’s no standardized form of notation; How to navigate the balance choreographing for character and for an individual actor; Is there a point at which a piece is “done” for Guilty Pleasures?

    Music is by Kara Arena, Master of Music for Rude Grooms. Share your thoughts and questions with us @thiswoodeno on Twitter and Instagram, email audio responses to thiswoodeno@rudegrooms.com, visit us on the web at thiswoodeno.com, like us at facebook.com/thiswoodenopod/, or support us on Patreon (patreon.com/rudegrooms) to join the conversation during livestream broadcasts of every episode.

    This week’s shoutouts, recommendations, & further reading include: Guilty Pleasure Cabaret | email: info@guiltypleasurescabaret.com; website guiltypleasurescabaret.com; twitter/instagram: @gpcabaret; The Duplex; 54 Below; LineLearner App, available on the App Store or Google Play; Kast App: kastapp.co; The Show Must Go Online, produced by Rob Myles (@robmyles)

    This Wooden O is a production of Rude Grooms. Learn more at rudegrooms.com or follow us @rudegrooms on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/this-wooden-o/donations

    • 46 min
    Music of the Spheres (with Kara Arena)

    Music of the Spheres (with Kara Arena)

    WE HAVE MERCH! Official This Wooden O coffee mugs and baseball tees are available on our website. Get yours at http://www.thiswoodeno.com/shop today!

    This week Daniel and Monty sit down with actor, singer/songwriter, and Rude Grooms Master of Music, Kara Arena. Kara has composed music for every Rude Grooms production, as well as the music for this very podcast. Listen to her talk about her journey as an artist, how her creative process works, and then go and follow her on Instagram at instagram.com/karaarena/.

    Topics include: Kara’s artistic origin story | Fearless, mystical writing | Learning to play an instrument for a show | The difficulty of consistent practice | How the comfort of the theatre and performance can relieve the pressure of learning an instrument | The difference between the artist and their artistic persona | Playing your own music for the first time | Learning not to take judgement personally | The inherent compelling nature of fictional villains | The fun of playing roles that go counter to “type” | Looking internally at your own experience as a catalyst for character development | Separating your own sound from your influences | How to write music for a show | Finding the vibe of a show | The power of oooooh’s and aaahh’s in music | How simplicity in songwriting leads to adaptability | What most people get wrong about Romeo and Juliet | Why Juliet is out of Romeo’s league | Allowing your creations to take on lives of their own | Improvisation within structure | Why you don’t need lessons to be a musician | Kara’s first music video! | How the meaning of a song evolves as you spend more time with it | The differences in writing for Greek theatre vs. Shakespeare

    Music is by Kara Arena, Master of Music for Rude Grooms. Share your thoughts and questions with us @thiswoodeno on Twitter and Instagram, email audio responses to thiswoodeno@rudegrooms.com, visit us on the web at thiswoodeno.com, like us at facebook.com/thiswoodenopod/, or support us on Patreon (patreon.com/rudegrooms) to join the conversation during livestream broadcasts of every episode.

    This week’s shoutouts, recommendations, & further reading include: Rickie Lee Jones | Spring Awakening | Joni Mitchell | Sufjan Stevens | Arcade Fire | The Beatles | “Heart Song” by Kara Arena: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwA-rDVsRsU | Gilbert Theater; Portland Stage Company

    This Wooden O is a production of Rude Grooms. Learn more at rudegrooms.com or follow us @rudegrooms on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.


    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/this-wooden-o/donations

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

AmberElby ,

Theatre at its friendliest

This podcast explores the mechanics and theory of theatre in friendly, supportive kitchen-table chats. It’s great for theatre nerds, Star Wars geeks, and anyone who needs a warm hug.

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