NEPA SCENE PODCAST: The absurdity of local theatre and millennial #vanlife with the New Vintage Ensemble
Recorded and produced every week by Internet marketing company Coal Creative in their production studio in downtown Wilkes-Barre, the award-winning NEPA Scene Podcast presents honest, uncensored interviews and in-depth discussions about local arts, entertainment, and the issues that matter to Northeastern Pennsylvania.
The live, multi-camera show streams in high definition on NEPA Scene’s Facebook page on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. and is hosted by Rich Howells, editor and founder of NEPA Scene; Brittany Boote, owner of Boote Photography Studio in Forty Fort; and Johnny Popko, host of Alt-Natives on Scranton radio station Alt 92.1 and senior marketing consultant at Alt 92.1, Rock 107, and ESPN Radio. Viewers are encouraged to tune in during each hour-long episode and interact during the Facebook Live stream so that the hosts can address comments and answer questions as they come in.
In Episode 48, we sit down with Casey Thomas and Kimmie Leff, members of the Scranton theatre group New Vintage Ensemble who wrote and star in “#vanlife,” a comedic play about the millennial van life trend that premiered at the Scranton Fringe Festival last year and comes to The Cooperage in Honesdale on Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3 at 8 p.m. before driving off to the Pittsburgh Fringe Festival in April.
Before and during the interview, we drink Beer Boys crowlers of Crush by North Slope Brewing Company in Dallas, Dry Hopped IPA by Berwick Brewing Company, and Shady Spot by Susquehanna Brewing Company in Pittston, all great beers we love from great local breweries.
We talk about open mics and developing artists, how they got started in acting, why actors should say no to murder mysteries and dinner theatre, how they met and ended by creating “#vanlife” together after a bad experience at another production, the writing process and making changes after each show based on feedback, why theatre is like an absurd Christopher Guest movie, how the Scranton Fringe Festival developed and benefited the show, the tiny living and van life movements, presenting a fake curated life on social media, millennial criticism and if it’s all justified, their juxtaposed characters in the show, The Cooperage space and the welcoming community of Honesdale, modern hippies and hipsters, attracting and repelling audiences with other shows, the current state of Broadway, supporting small and off-Broadway shows, and more.
In The Last Word segment, we talk about arts funding being slashed locally and nationally and focus on the controversy started by Lackawanna County Commissioner Laureen Cummings, who voted against legislation from the county’s Arts and Culture Department that awarded grant money to the Scranton Fringe Festival. While Cummings was outvoted and the Scranton Fringe still received the funds, we question why she specifically targeted the festival and its programming with misinformation and criticism.
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