By: Paulanne Simmons
October 15, 2020: A few years ago, Eric Ostrow inaugurated The Lucille Lortel Theatre’s series “Live at the Lortel,” which was inspired by the chatty atmosphere of the The Dick Cavett Show. In the midst of a pandemic, the series has been revived as a virtual experience.
The podcast, now in its second season, is hosted by Ostrow, along with co-hosts John-Andrew Morrison and Daphne Rubin-Vega. The upcoming lineup, which launches with Tony Award winner BD Wong, Producing Artistic Director of the Classical Theatre of Harlem Ty Jones, transgender actor and rights advocate Maybe Burke, and stage, screen and recording artist Telly Leung, will be dedicated to amplifying the voices and stories of people of color, members of the LGBTQ community and artists who are engaged in the movement for racial justice.
Future guests include Tony Award winner Karen Olivo, playwright Betty Shamieh, Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins, actor, film maker and transgender activist Pooya Mohseni, and Drama Desk Award winnerAndréa Burns.
According to Rubin-Vega, the series will also be about “how we are doing as artists during a global crisis.”
As a person who “loves to get to the bottom of things with my peers,” Rubin-Vega is well-suited to the role of co-host. And as a Panamanian-American with a Jewish stepfather, she knows a lot about artists who may be considered a “diversion from the norm,” in a society where people are “invited to the table,” but not necessarily accepted.
Most of all she is looking forward to interviewing “people I know and admire and find[ing] out how their spirit navigates through the world.” She believes some people may be made uncomfortable by these interviews, but others will be empowered.
Besides, says Rubin-Vega, “What else is there to do during a pandemic rather than explore our humanity and what art means?”
In accordance with social distancing guidelines, the podcast is being recorded via ZOOM rather than at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. These webcasts will offer theater fans the opportunity to not only watch live interviews but also to participate in a Q&A with the artists.
For information on future guests and how to register for upcoming webcasts, please visit www.liveatthelortel.com.