Meet Braden Abraham

Braden Abraham, the new artistic director of Chicago’s Writers Theatre, just announced the theater’s 31st season, the first one he’s programmed since joining the company. Braden talks about what goes into planning a season (and how that thinking never really ends); how a theatre season is like a great album; the importance of being in a learning and discovery phase; remaining in conversation with various overlapping communities; how programming a show in one city leads to a different show in another; the challenge of making each show an event; finding the right balance of scale and intimacy; and the value of bring some west coast energy to the north shore. (Length 19:18)

Loud Storytelling Moms

Now in its sixth year, Louder Than A Mom is a monthly storytelling show that celebrates voices you don’t usually get to see or hear. Co-founder Dee Ryan (left) talks about how LTAM evolved and reveals many moments of generosity; her comparisons to Mary Shelley; how she and co-hosts Kate Hill and Erin McEvoy Mason create their ever-growing community (first in person and now online); how we all miss gathering at LTAM’s regular location, Martyr’s in Chicago; how they always give space to newbie storytellers; threading the needle of funny and moving; how art shouldn’t be competitive; becoming more political; and how there are always new stories to tell and new voices to hear from. (Length 16:34) 

Episode 635. Department Of Curiosity

Andrew White, the Director of Community Engagement for Chicago’s Tony-winning Lookingglass Theatre, talks about their newly-formed Department of Curiosity, which cultivates creativity, expands access, and transforms classrooms and communities while codifying and formalizing the fundamental instinct that fuels our work. Featuring the cultivation of new audiences and new theatre creators, building community coalitions, creating context around new programming, how artists can be of service, the difficulty of saying “I don’t know,” possible new titles for existing jobs and an expansion of imagination, and a special appearance from Rebecca Dumain, the program director of The Viola Project. Curiouser and curiouser! (Length 17:03)