16 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.

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

This Wooden O Rude Grooms

    • Performing Arts

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.

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

    (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
    Lone Star Shakespeare (with Jenni Stewart)

    Lone Star Shakespeare (with Jenni Stewart)

    WE HAVE MERCH! Official This Wooden O coffee mugs and baseball tees are available on our website with a special 10% Discount (offer expires 3/16/2020). Get yours at http://www.thiswoodeno.com/shop and use code “WEIRDOS” at checkout!

    This week Daniel and Monty sit down with director, producer, and Associate Artistic Director of Shakespeare Dallas, Jenni Stewart. To learn more, follow her on Instagram @jennalola

    Topics include: Monty’s life’s work of getting everyone he knows from Dallas to move to NYC; The enduring splendor of snow for people born in the south; Jenni’s journey from producing intern to Program Coordinator to Associate Artistic Director in her 14 years with Shakespeare Dallas; Jenni’s background in performance art, avant-garde, and making really f*$%ing good shadows; Infusing principles of anant-grade performance into her interpretations of Shakespeare so that any type of learner can absorb the story; Directing a play so that a dog could watch and follow the story; The job of directing as being a professional audience member; The importance of the setting up character, concept, and setting first 7-10 minutes of a Shakespeare play for audience members; Jenni’s early 1900s Suffragette-era Taming of the Shrew and its Silent Film homage to the Induction; The unique difficulties of working in large, outdoor, mic’d spaces; The Tablework Controversy: essential, or a waste of time?; Shakespeare practitioners who have open disdain for scholars; Shakespeare Dallas’s Canon Completion Project: The Complete Works of Shakespeare as unabridged staged readings with just a week of rehearsal; The fake news of Romeo and Juliet’s “two hours traffic”; The importance of bridging the gap between the skills and knowledge of an Elizabethan actor and those of a contemporary actor in “original practice” rehearsal environments; Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s PlayOn project, modern playwrights translating Shakespeare’s plays; Words that only appear once in Shakespeare’s plays: translate them, or play them as a character making up a word?; How to bring the inherent collaboration built into Shakespeare’s plays into a 21st century production setting; The fact that every time to produce Shakespeare you are doing an adaptation by cutting, choosing a version, putting on a concept, etc; Protecting capital “S” Shakespeare versus collaborating with a down and dirty playwright; Folio vs. Quarto versions of the texts, and the incredible opportunity we have to get our fingers dirty and collaborate with Shakespeare by working from the original source material and choosing the versions that work for our particular productions and groups of actors; Moving out of the “Newlywed” phase of directing Shakespeare and becoming less “precious” with the plays; The fact that cutting one line of Shakespeare means you are adapting the play, and its implications for more “controversial” adaptation; The potential problems with how our educational system teaches Shakespeare (and literature); Send us your own personal translations of Shakepeare! Daniel will read them and Monty will wear his Darth Vader mask while maybe or maybe not paying attention!; Jenni’s journey from actor to director and the clear crossroads where that new journey began; ASMR

    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, Daniel recommends the upcoming Album It is What it is by Thundercat (releasing April 3), and its single “Dragonball Doorag.” Monty Recommends the podcast An Actor Despai

    • 47 min
    Find Your Weirdos (with Deb Radloff)

    Find Your Weirdos (with Deb Radloff)

    WE HAVE MERCH! Official This Wooden O coffee mugs and baseball tees are available on our website with a special 10% Discount (offer expires 3/16/2020). Get yours at http://www.thiswoodeno.com/shop and use code “WEIRDOS” at checkout!

    This week Daniel and Monty sit down with actor, yogi, and Rude Grooms Sharer/Founding Member Deb Radloff who has been featured in every RG production going all the way back to Much Ado about Nothing. She shares her story today about finding your wins in the theatre industry, and the importance of community. To learn more, follow her on Instagram @debfindingherwin

    Topics include: The importance of training for different mediums; The lies we tell ourselves as actors that inhibit our progress; Maintaining positive, clear relationships; Giving yourself permission to fail; The dangers of knowing “just enough”; Staying focused and positive during career dry spells; Knowing the difference between what you can control vs. what you can’t
    The self-sabotaging habit of intentional under preparation; The safety of familiar failure; The power and terror of being fully present and open; Counting your victories, no matter how small; Rude Grooms origin stories; Finding people you like to do work that matters to you; Being proactive about maintaining and building relationships; How creativity breeds creativity, and practice breeds preparedness; How to find or create your artistic home; An actor’s secret superpower; The camaraderie of community; Knowing your worth as an artist.

    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: Devin Shackett On Camera; Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender- Dr. David Hawkins; Michele Shay; Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre; Richard Easton

    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
    Play (with Elisabeth Ahrens)

    Play (with Elisabeth Ahrens)

    This week Daniel and Monty sit down with actor Elisabeth Ahrens, who was featured in Rude Grooms’s 2019 productions of Romeo & Juliet and The Changeling. She’s also the person we specifically referenced in Episode 1 of the podcast whose audition was so strong we added an entire actor track to a production. To learn more, follow her on Instagram @elisabethahrens.

    Topics include:
    - Finding alternatives to clichéd one-note character choices through non-traditional casting choices
    - How a rural, pre-Nintendo childhood inspired young Elisabeth to write, act, and direct in plays for her family to keep herself entertained.
    - Elisabeth’s time in the MFA program at the Asolo Conservatory (Florida State) and the Ringling Circus Museum, Art Gallery, and historic theater space
    - Monty’s inability to differentiate between Jeff Bridges and Jeff Daniels
    - White Russians as Daniel’s entry to drinking in NYC
    - Elisabeth’s extraordinary sense of play as an actor and its root in the text
    - Learning how to work on limited rehearsal time by being thrust into the fire of a condensed rehearsal period
    - The benefits & responsibilities of working in a condensed rehearsal period that doesn’t give you time to procrastinate as an artist
    - How to find freedom and play even in rehearsal rooms where the job is to fulfill a director’s predetermined plan
    - The difference between watching actors who are present with other actors on stage and actors who are checked out and going through the motions
    - The energetic tether between two people who are truly present with each other, on stage and in life
    - The return of Mirror Neurons!
    - The difference in watching theater as an audience member and as a practitioner
    - How to keep things fresh and new and present after you’ve reached the fourth week of a run
    - How rediscovering our spontaneous play as actors requires us to abandon our “good student” desire of some arts to “get it right.”
    - The importance of playing the reality of “mistakes” (or gifts) that happen in performance
    - How difficult it can be to enjoy watching theater as a theater maker
    - The power of being easeful on stage
    - Working on classical texts as a puzzle for the artist to unpack for the audience
    - Elisabeth’s turn as Peter in our production of Romeo and Juliet & finding new ways to “translate” jokes that resonate in hurtful ways for modern artists and audiences

    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: University of Kansas; FSU Asolo Conservatory; The Ringing, the State Art Museum of Florida; Tootsie the Musical; Shakespeare’s Globe; Once Upon a Time in Hollywood; Taylor Tomlinson’s “Quarter-Life Crisis” on Netflix; Sherry Turkle’s Reclaiming Conversation

    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

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

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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