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Michael Mellini

The King of Hell’s Palace: Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig Explores the Repercussions of Plasma Donation in China

In the early 1990s, the Chinese Ministry of Health set up plasma stations across Henan province that allowed impoverished farmers to sell their plasma for compensation. This infused cash into small villages, and also became a profit source for Health Ministry officials. When plasma is donated, red blood cells are routinely returned to the donor.…

Breaking Open Support Group for Men

The idea of a weekly support group formed by four men who drink glasses of French rosé, pass around a “talking stick” to share their struggles and have invented Native American names for each other may be enough to unsettle any feminist attempting to dismantle patriarchy or notions of male oppression. But in Ellen Fairey’s…

A Conversation with Support Group for Men Playwright Ellen Fairey

Much like the characters in her new comedy Support Group for Men, playwright Ellen Fairey recently sat down with the play’s dramaturg, Isaac Gomez, for an open discussion about her work and writing process. Isaac Gomez: What inspired you to write Support Group For Men? Ellen Fairey: The initial thought happened while I was watching Brian…

A Conversation with Blue Skies Process Playwright Abe Koogler

Abe Koogler’s new play Blue Skies Process examines the professional dynamics of several co-workers during an unconventional business meeting. Shortly before beginning rehearsals, Koogler spoke with the play’s dramaturg, Jonathan L. Green, to discuss his inspirations for the play. Jonathan L. Green: Several of your plays examine workspaces, with your characters trying to navigate personal…

An Enclave for Artists: A Brief History of Greenwich Village

“The poet reads his crooked rhyme/Holy holy is his sacrament/Thirty dollars pays your rent/On Bleecker Street.” So crooned Simon & Garfunkel in their 1964 song “Bleecker Street,” which recalls a time before Manhattan rents skyrocketed and most poets fled the island for cheaper housing. In 1964, Greenwich Village was nearing the end of its century-long…

Music Director Doug Peck on the Legacy of Leonard Bernstein

For Wonderful Town, music director Doug Peck reunites with director Mary Zimmerman. Having also previously collaborated on The Jungle Book and Guys and Dolls, this marks their second partnership on a Leonard Bernstein musical after the Goodman’s acclaimed 2010 production of Candide. Below Peck talks about Bernstein’s impact on American culture, in both the musical…