Category Archives: Podcast Alert

Making Lemonade in the Berkshire Hills

In three speedy, busy days, Dan and I will move to North Adams, the littlest city in Massachusetts and home to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. One of the things I will NOT miss is the commute—but listening to podcasts is a commuter habit I have developed and hope to keep.

There are so many good podcasts out there: Selected Shorts, TEDTalks, StoryCorps, The Moth, Harvard Business IdeaCast, Slate’s Political Gabfest, Writer’s Block, and many others. Although I don’t listen to all of them every week, they have saved my life.

Selected Shorts is a podcast I started listening to early on. A few weeks ago, host Isaiah Sheffer introduced Edith Wharton’s story “The Eyes,” which they recorded in the Berkshires. In the introduction, Sheffer romanticizes the Berkshire experience—lemonade out under the tall trees in back of Wharton’s carriage house—saying “it’s all very different” from Symphony Space in Manhattan.

His comments reminded me of the shock and delight New York theatermakers had every summer I was at the O’Neill Theater Center. Some, like Adam Rapp, returned almost every year and made the O’Neill experience an essential part of their creative process. Others didn’t write much at all, but used their time “under the trees” to think and talk about big ideas.

I am looking forward to the thinking, the talking and the writing. But I will miss my podcasts.

Podcast Alert: The Dionysium

SVT

Salvage Vanguard Theater’s Dionysium, in Austin, provides a “unique, innovative program of debate, lecture, declamation, theatrical presentation and music in a salon-like atmosphere.” Audiences enjoy wine (or beer, or cocktails) and intellectual discourse in the spirit of the original Athenians.

In 2005, Jason Neulander, SVT’s director, argued the “pro” side of Why Government Should Support the Arts:

“When I use the term ‘arts,’ I am referring to an essential service—something that binds communities together, like roads and running water.”—Jason Neulander

Three years later it is just as relevant and riveting, and worth a listen.

Coming up soon: The Dionysium Hip-Hop Bonanza

Podcast Alert: The Moth

The MothAs lifelong fan of live performance, and a more recent fan of podcasts, I could not be more excited that The Moth, a not-for-profit storytelling organization, has just launched a weekly podcast.

I am especially looking forward to hearing Malcolm Gladwell, who spoke eloquently (as usual) on the subject of race and I.Q. in a New Yorker podcast in December.