PMA Podcast Transcript: Episode 15—Part 1 of Mr. Burns, a post-electric play

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Chris: Hello and welcome to episode 15 of the PMA podcast, a discussion of an upcoming play at the Schwartz Center and titled, "Mr. Burns a post-electric play." This is a very special episode in that we really didn't do much to prepare for it because we knew that we'd be meeting with Jayme Kilburn and Erin Stoneking and that they would most likely take the show completely off the rails. You will know within minutes that the show never actually gets on the rails. We hope that you experience some laughter and enjoy the show as much as we did. If not, then we deeply apologize for the 58 minutes of your life that you will never get back. So without further ado, we join the PMA podcast already in progress.

Lindsey: Welcome to episode 15 of the PMA podcast. I'm your cohost, Lindsey White.

Chris: No, you're the host.

Lindsey: No.

Chris: Chris doesn't want any part of this.

Lindsey: Chris is saying I'm the host today. This is Lindsey White. I'm the communications manager for the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University and I'm the host, I was told.

Chris: That's right.

Lindsey: My cohost today, we're flipping the script here today. Here's Chris.

Chris: That's right, because.

Jayme: [singing] Women are on top.

Chris: Yeah.

Jayme: [singing] "Men are on the bottom."

Chris: We have Jayme Kilburn and Erin Stoneking. Second, third time on the podcast?

Jayme: Second.

Erin: Second.

Chris: Okay.

Erin: Yeah. It feels like more because the last one was so long.

Jayme: Yeah [laughs].

Lindsey: Some veteran podcasters here today, so this is going to be just flawless.

Jayme: Mom says every day.

Erin: So painful.

Jayme: We also get stopped on the street all the time.

Chris: Because of that podcast? Yeah.

Erin: That voice.

Jayme: We're like, whoa.

Lindsey: Paparazzi.

Jayme: Yeah. They have to close their eyes and they're like, hold on, I know you, but let me close my eyes.

Erin: Could you just whisper something in my ear?

Jayme: Could you lightly sing "The Bartman" to me? And I'm like, yes, I can: [whispers] "Everybody if you can, do the Bartman. Everybody if you can, do the Bartman."

Chris: Why are we singing "The Bartman?"

Lindsey: Why are we here?

Chris: Yeah, why are we here?

Lindsey: What are we doing here?

Jayme: "Who's Bart? What's The Simpsons?" is what every cast member says to me.

Jayme: We are singing "The Bartman" because we are promoting the show Mr. Burns. Comma. In lowercase lettering: a post-electric play.

Lindsey: By Anne Washburn.

Chris: Okay.

Lindsey: And this is happening here at the Schwartz Center in our beautiful Kiplinger theater. It's coming up April 27th to 28th and May 4th to 5th. So we're running for two weekends and Jayme Kilburn is directing and Erin Stoneking is dramaturg for this production. So that is why we are here today.

Chris: How are things going?

Jayme: Oh man. Couldn't be better.

Chris: She says with a smile and a slight bit of sarcasm, maybe.

Erin: It's just a dream.

Jayme: It's just a dream. It's a dream and always, yeah. You know, so when I chose this play, so I saw it, when I was at Wooly Mammoth in 2012, which I guess was its world premiere and it really leaves you with a feeling. I remember seeing it, I was like, "Oh wow, this has impacted me." And there's very few shows that stay with me because I think as everybody knows who watches theatre, there are very few shows that are worth watching, but we still keep going back because we're like, "Ah, maybe the next one." Kind of like a drug addict. And when you get that good hit, oh, it lasts for a while and then you see a lot of bad theatre in the meantime before the next one. So when I had the opportunity to propose a play, this was one of the ones that I wanted to propose because I thought I'd be really excited to direct it. And it's weird and there's lots of different elements and moving parts that are happening and I don't know when I will ever be asked to direct a show in such a big theater again or ever after this show, probably. I think this might be it.

Erin: This is your swan song.

Chris: Don't sell yourself short, come on.

Jayme: My swan song. People will see this and be like, great, you did it.

Lindsey: Blaze of glory, right?

Jayme: Yeah, you did it all. I mean, I'm going to burn the theater down on the last performance. I'll wait until everybody leaves, but then it's...that theatre is gone.

Chris: That's on recording, you know, for anything that happens.

Jayme: Oh, yeah. Well.

Chris: They're going to come looking for you.

Lindsey: That's right.

Jayme: I'll be gone by then.

Chris: Okay.

Jayme: Burn it down, then

Erin: Secure an alibi.

Jayme: Canada or Mexico, and then out of there fly overseas with my fake mustache, and my new name is Mr. Thompson, which is a reference...

Erin: …to the episode Cape Fear of The Simpsons, which is itself a reference to Cape Fear the film, the remake from 1991, which is a remake of the 1962 film, which is an adaptation of a novel, The Executioners. So yes, it's a novel first of all. So I think what's really interesting to me as a dramaturg if I may

Jayme: You may.

Erin: Thank you, is how both deeply referential this film or this play is and it is sort of an homage to The Simpsons and how deeply referential and parodic The Simpsons is. It relies on a lot of sort of cultural references, but it also functions separately. Like you can watch the show and have a ton of fun and not know anything about The Simpsons and you can alternately see the show and know a ton about The Simpsons and laugh ass off because you get all the references. That's what I love about it.

Jayme: It is really fun to like feel old, you know, like the reference thing. I constantly, oh, I was telling an actor—

Chris: Are they not getting it?

Jayme: Nothing that I say. I'm like, oh, okay, so get together and you're going to sort of do a "Night at the Roxbury" sort of thing. And I'm like, "they're like, hey, you me, you, and then you sandwich somebody." And they're just like, "what is Night at the Roxbury?" All right. And I'm like, oh, that's, I was 18 when you were born. Got It. Yeah. Thanks for the reminder.

Chris: And it feels like that was just yesterday.

Jayme: Yeah, that feels like it was yesterday and a hundred years ago.

Chris: What is it? Twenty something maybe?

Jayme: Was it?

Chris: Maybe, I don't know.

Lindsey: And that's an important film. I mean, come on.

Jayme: Yeah. Oh my God.

Erin: Did they get an Oscar for that?

Lindsey: They should have.

Jayme: If they didn't, the Academy, they never, they're always slighting people.

Erin: Yeah. Them and Denzel Washington.

Jayme: That's probably not a good joke. It's because it's timely. So anyway, yes, you feel old, but you don't have to know The Simpsons. I mean, you'll enjoy the show so much more if you do.

Erin: No, you really don't.

Chris: Should people watch the episode of Cape Fear just in advanced before stepping

Jayme: They should for their own happiness.

Erin: I mean, yes and no. Here's the thing. I had this conversation the other day because a friend asked me if they needed to watch that episode to understand the play. And my answer is I actually think you don't. I think you have a different experience if you don't know that episode, but actually you get the episode through the first Act, right? It begins with a group of survivors of an unnamed sort of nuclear apocalypse who are bonding with each other by remembering the episode, this particular episode together collectively. That sets up for us all of the ways that that episode did. That story develops over time. By the end of the play, we've gone 83 years in the future where this story's evolved into a really different almost operatic ritual. I think that if you are paying attention in the first act, you can trace that story. I think if you know the episode, then maybe you'll catch, you know, the ways that they're getting the story a little bit wrong, but I think you can enjoy it.

Jayme: Yeah.

Erin: Without knowing you just, you get to experience The Simpsons the way that you will when the actual nuclear apocalypse occurs and we no longer have access to the Internet.

Jayme: Yeah, when people ask me if they should see it

Chris: Thanks for the downer, geez.

Erin: Think of it as an exercise in survival.

Lindsey: Jayme's going to be in Mexico by then.

Jayme: Yeah. When people ask me, "Oh, should I see it?" I'm like, I don't care. I have my own problems.

Erin: Get off my back.

Jayme: Get off my back. I'm trying to get this show up. Ew. Get out of here. Is this your biggest problem?

Chris: Speaking of problems, what are some problems with the play?

Jayme: Oh you wanna know all of them?

Chris: You know, so there's always challenges in doing a play, right?

Jayme: Are there?

Chris: Aren't there?

Erin: It's a breeze.

Lindsey: Sunshine and rainbows, right?

Jayme: One, the actors came in totally off book from the jump. They're off book. Uh, they all knew the episodes.

Lindsey: They got all your references.

Jayme: They got all our references. They all read music. The singing is a breeze. It's no problem at all. What else?

Erin: I assume they read every page of my 40-page dramaturgical packet.

Jayme: They, yeah, they all knew the backstory. Like somehow they just already knew their relationship to each other, even though they hadn't spoken to each other at all. And then, oh man, I think, uh, you know, Kent and Tim said they just like wave their hands and the boat was built. Just like build it boat.

Erin: The shop fairies.

Jayme: Came in in the middle of the night.

Chris: I thought they were on union strike.

Jayme: Oh. Who?

Lindsey: The fairies?

Chris: The shop fairies, yeah.

Jayme: Are they?

Erin: These were scab fairies.

Jayme: Which is great.

Erin: We'll leave you with that image.

Lindsey: More like gnomes. They're a little more haggard.

Jayme: They get, yeah, they crossed the line and everyone's like, ooh, damn scab fairies. Anyway. Um, so it is going great. It's a really big show. I feel like I don't know what I thought was going to happen doing this, but I was also like, oh, we're going to do this really well and everything's going to be entertaining and wonderful and big. But there's a lot of things that, there's a lot of moving parts. So we've been dealing a lot with the practicalities and you know, we also open pretty soon. So it feels like it'd be great to be running the show, but we're still blocking the show, which is fine. Also I am learning about myself as a director, such as I'm not very good at directing. I can't motivate anybody to save my life. I'm just constantly crying in rehearsal.

Erin: It just, well, that's a tactic in and of itself because—

Jayme: Just me in the corner crying.

Chris: Looking like a clown, makeup running down your face.

Jayme: And then Howie, the stage manager has to just step in and be like, hey, why don't we just block this while Jayme cries in the corner? And I'm like, [crying] "do The Bartman."

Lindsey: So pity is their main motivator.

Jayme: That's the motivator.

Erin: Don't give away all your secrets.

Jayme: I'm writing a book. So everything that I thought, everything I planned out is taking a lot more time than I thought. We did a whole four-hour rehearsal that was dedicated to the act two medley, which is basically just my seventh grade fantasy of the dances I did in the mirror, you know?

Erin: What are some of the dances that you did?

Jayme: Uh, well, one, the vogue, the robot, obviously. Vogue, robot. I think there's a little bit of like kick ball change, chorus line, big finale. Elise does the splits. Not to give it away, but I did. Spoiler splits are happening. Then Julia gets on the car and they spin her around the car. There's a car.

Chris: Okay, go ahead. Continue. But can we talk about that too?

Erin: Yeah. There's a car. There's a boat. There's a plane. There's a bike. Actually that's real. There is a bike.

Jayme: Yeah.

Erin: I was just naming transportation modes. I sort of landed on all of them.

Jayme: Well yeah, they're all there.

Lindsey: Come see which transportation modes make it into the play.

Chris: Do the audience get to be involved?

Jayme: Yeah, every time you see a transportation mode you drink.

Chris: Oh gosh.

Jayme: Drink!

Chris: I don't think you're allowed to have drinks in the theater.

Jayme: Well.

Chris: Maybe if you're watching from home.

Jayme: If you're watching—well or if you're watching from the balcony. Just go to the balcony.

Chris: No. Definitely not allowed to have drinks in the balcony.

Jayme: There won't be any drinking on the podcast. We would never do that.

Chris: You have incriminated yourself so many times.

Jayme: That's fine.

Chris: I think that's two or three now.

Jayme: They're so invested at this point they can't, you know, I mean if they kicked me out now they're losing some big money.

Chris: This thing's going to pack the house.

Jayme: Yeah. I mean I just meant like, you know, as a graduate student, you know, they've already sort of invested. So if they kicked me out it's like you're taking a big hit. It's like a house. You bought a house. It's got a lot of cracks in the foundation. Anyway, so there's a lot of cool dances and it's taken a long time. But I want this dance to really celebrate the pop medleys that are in it because there's so many great ones. So that's taking a lot of time. We are working with Jacob Lehman, the fight choreographer to make act three just really powerful. Pack a punch.

Erin: Nice.

Jayme: Fight pun. So it's a big show. There's a lot of things happening.

Chris: How many...?

Jayme: There's no storyline but surprise, there's a lot of things happening.

Chris: Keep wanting to say how many faculty but that's not the answer or that's not the question. How many characters on stage?

Jayme: There are eight in the final act, there are seven in act two, and then there are six in act one.

Chris: Okay. And is that cast a recycled throughout or is it...?

Jayme: Yes. Yeah, they double as themselves.

Erin: And as characters from The Simpsons.

Jayme: Yes.

Chris: Is there music or can we actually use, are you using any of the prerecorded stuff from The Simpsons or is that not permitted?

Jayme: Erin can answer that.

Erin: Sure. I will dip into my deep well of knowledge of copyright licensing.

Jayme: Let's talk about copyright.

Erin: And say no, I don't think we're allowed to use it.

Chris: Oh, gotcha. Okay. I was just curious.

Lindsey: But there is music.

Erin: There is music. You'll recognize music from The Simpsons. It will not be prerecorded from The Simpsons, but you will recognize music from many different sources, I would say.

Chris: When you say music? Is there a band?

Erin: There is a band.

Jayme: Yeah. A four-piece band with a, an electronica flute. Yeah.

Chris: Who's the band?

Jayme: I dunno.

Chris: Thanks for all that information.

Lindsey: It's good podcast.

Erin: If you came here for information came for the wrong [inaudible] turn around and leave.

Chris: You should work at an information booth over the summer.

Lindsey: I don't know.

Jayme: I don't care.

Lindsey: Why are you asking me?

Chris: I have my own problems.

Jayme: Yeah, well that's what I was telling somebody the other day when I walk my dog and then, you know, I'll walk. People always talk to me when I walk my dog. And then we walked by people.

Chris: I do. Every time I see you in the car now, Fighty's there.

Jayme: Geez, yes, it's a dog. Um, but then sometimes people will be like, I'm scared of dogs as they walk by. And I'm like, I don't care. I don't need to know about your phobias. Get outta here.

Erin: Is this how you're directing is working? "I have a question about—"

Jayme: "I don't care."

Chris: You're so supportive. Yeah.

Jayme: "Jayme, I'm feeling really—"

Lindsey: A lot of love in the room.

Erin: Just a nurturing presence.

Jayme: ...I was just wondering about what my character would do." "I— what? Get out of here!

Erin: "You're fired!"

Jayme: Um, anyway, we got, we got Mark on the guitar. We got—

Chris: Students?

Jayme: Mark is not a student. He comes from the community.

Chris: Okay. Does he have a last name?

Jayme: He does have a last name.

Chris: Do you want to share that?

Erin: We're protecting his identity.

Jayme: He hasn't signed off. We don't know, he hasn't even said if he wants to be in the program at this point. And he's like, we'll see how it goes.

Chris: Mark.

Jayme: We'll see if this show's any good, then maybe.

Erin: We'll wait until tech week.

Jayme: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Erin: Make a game-time decision.

Jayme: We got Hannah on the flute. We got Jacob on the drums. We got Emily on the piano.

Chris: And none of them have last names.

Lindsey: They're all like Cher. Madonna.

Erin: Yeah, they're that good.

Lindsey: I can't believe you haven't heard of them.

Chris: I haven't. So are the names in quotes too? So it's like "Mark."

Jayme: Uh, "Mark, the guitar man. Jacob, the boombox maker. Allie ,the conductor with the must-a-ker.

Chris: The what?

Jayme: I was thinking of trying to say with the most, but it didn't, it doesn't rhyme with conductors.

Chris: What's a mustaker?

Lindsey: She just made it up!

Chris: Did you just make it up?

Jayme: You gotta come to the show to find out.

Lindsey: Another tease for the show.

Jayme: Another tease! This has just been one long tease. But I'm sure it makes everyone want to see it. I feel like we don't even need to sell it, that's the thing.

Erin: It's a wild ride.

Jayme: It's so good.

Erin: It is. It's a great show.

Jayme: It is good.

Chris: Yeah. Lindsey, you got any questions to pull this thing back on the rails?

Lindsey: Well, we'll see how much—

Erin: Trains! That's another mode of transportation.

Jayme: But that's not in there.

Lindsey: Or is it?

Erin: Is it, is it in there?

Jayme: No, it's not. No, it definitely isn't.

Lindsey: So you've alluded to, this is a big show. This is one of the biggest shows we've done in recent memory. Um, so we talked a little bit about some modes of transportation that will be in the show, but talk a little bit more about the sets, the costumes and music. Like, this is a big production. So what, what can the audience expect to see here?

Jayme: Um, they can expect to see costumes. Sets.

Lindsey: Well, that's good. Any, any more, anything more specific than that?

Jayme: Um, yeah, I mean, uh, Sarah, who is the costume designer is going buck wild. So the third act, that's where you get your money's worth, that's where that—$15?

Lindsey: Yeah. $15 for the general public, but then $8 for the Cornell community and students and seniors.

Chris: Is there an intermission?

Jayme: Yes, there's an intermission.

Chris: So don't leave in the intermission then. If you want to get—

Jayme: I mean, after you pay your ticket price—

Chris: It really doesn't matter to you.

Jayme: I don't care. Uh, buy your ticket and don't come. Just buy it.

Lindsey: Please come. Please come. As the marketing person—

Chris: Yeah, you're not helping at all.

Lindsey: Excuse me. Yeah, don't listen to her.

Jayme: Anyway. So Sarah is... Yeah. We got masks. Masks, masks on the face.

Erin: There are masks. There are plastic halos.

Jayme: Plastic halos. Tight-skinned costumes. Loose-fitting costumes.

Erin: Sequins.

Jayme: Sequins.

Chris: Is there glitter?

Jayme: No, nobody likes glitter.

Erin: There's neon.

Jayme: Yeah.

Erin: There's camping gear.

Jayme: Whoa.

Erin: Just try to put that together. And you can't. You have to see the show.

Jayme: There's a Marge wig.

Erin: There's a Marge wig.

Chris: Oh!

Jayme: There are platform shoes. Um, yeah. The costumes are on point. In the production meeting on Wednesday, I looked at Sarah and I was like, this is all, this is all about the costumes, girl. You're going to save it. The show— Cut that out. Um.

Chris: No.

Jayme: Cut it out now.

Chris: Not gonna do it.

Jayme: But it is, the costumes are amazing. Uh, and it's great because Sarah is like so invested in the Simpsons. She loves them. I found this Simpsons tee shirt I want to get for her. Don't tell her.

Lindsey: Spoiler.

Jayme: She's not going to listen to this. It doesn't matter. Um, that because I feel like she, you know, she's got the CD, she got the cup, she's got all the merch. This show is made for her. I feel like somehow—

Chris: Wait, you're selling merch for this show?

Jayme: No, she has all the Simpsons merch.

Chris: Oh, I like the idea of the merch being for this show.

Jayme: It would be nice, but we'd have to do it some sort of way that the copyright people don't come after us. So maybe it's just us dressed up.

Erin: You just have to draw like a really offbrand Bart and instead of saying "Eat my shorts" he says eat my shirt. Masticate my shirt. Can I say masticate?

Lindsey: You can say masticate.

Jayme: Why can't you say it? Does it sound like—

Erin: It sounds dirty.

Lindsey: It means to chew.

Erin: I don't know. Some other word.

Jayme: Okay. Anyway. No, I shouldn't. As soon as the microphone gets in my face, I love it.

Lindsey: What do you got in that bottle?

Jayme: I've been drunk this whole rehearsal process.

Lindsey: And can I have some. Just cut this out.

Jayme: I'm going to April 27th I'm going to come out of my, my drunken fugue state and be like, what?

Chris: That's it. Let's just scrap this podcast.

Jayme: Yeah. What is, what's Nick Fesette, is he professional on these?

Chris: He's incredibly professional. Everyone who's ever stepped onto this podcast.

Jayme: Oh, well.

Chris: Every part of it is completely professional. I expect nothing of the sort from either of you and I'm happy with the direction it's going.

Erin: Listen, I'm here to say—.

Chris: I don't know what we're going to do.

Erin: I'm here to be boring, so‚—

Jayme: Oh, okay.

Erin: I see myself as this.

Chris: You're the dry sense of humor.

Erin: Well, I'm the nerd and I'm the straight man.

Jayme: The Lisa Simpson?

Erin: But for gender neutrality, we may, I'm the straight person. I just stare at you while you make jokes.

Jayme: Um, and it reads, I'm sure, on the podcast. Uh, Tim is rockin' and rollin' building a—

Chris: Tim Ostrander. Our resident props guy.

Jayme: He, uh, Tim and Kent and Fritz building a car that moves on stage. It moves every which way. Direction.

Chris: First time we've had a car since Grapes of Wrath.

Jayme: Oh, is that a play?

Lindsey: Ever heard of it?

Jayme: Based on a, what'd you call it?

Chris: Steinman? Steinbeck?

Jayme: No-vel?

Erin: It's a novel.

Lindsey: It's like a book.

Erin: It's like a play, but instead of watching other people read it to you, you have to read it by yourself, so it's more work.

Jayme: Ew.

Erin: I would just see a play, if it were up to me.

Jayme: Yeah. I'm not using my imagination. I've never, I haven't used that since I was five.

Chris: It's probably a good—

Jayme: I said, nope, I don't like this, but I turned on the TV.

Chris: So more on the car.

Jayme: So there was a car, there's a car in it. There's a boat that comes in and every time it comes in, I want to sing this song. "I'm on a boat, I'm on a boat."

Erin: Is that—Okay, I have a question. Is that too dated of a reference for the students in the show or—

Lindsey: Lonely Island.

Jayme: I played it and they were like, oh, I like this song. And then I think—

Erin: My mom used to sing it to me when I was child.

Jayme: She sang it in the womb. I love the classics. No, I think they like it in terms of like, oh, I remember this from like elementary school.

Lindsey: That was probably 10 years ago? 10, 11 years ago.

Chris: Was it that long ago?

Lindsey: I think so, right?

Jayme: For me it's like yesterday.

Lindsey: Yeah, well.

Jayme: [whispers] 'Cause I've been drunk since then.

Chris: Oh geez.

Jayme: I'm just kidding. I don't drink, I just make jokes about it. Um, anyway, so I played "On a Boat" and they were loving it and it's spectacular.

Lindsey: It's a houseboat.

Jayme: Yeah.

Lindsey: Not just any boat.

Jayme: It's big. There's two tiers to it. So actors get on the top and they're 12 feet up.

Chris: Wow.

Jayme: I went up there the other day—

Chris: Did you have a helmet?

Jayme: And I almost—no. And then Ed came. Ed, the lighting designer, like he was like, let's make this really funny and I'm going to shake the boat while you're up there. And I was like, that's funny.

Erin: That's a fun joke.

Jayme: That's a fun joke that you did.

Chris: Ed's a fun guy.

Jayme: He's like, eh, and just looked me dead in the face. He's like, I don't care.

Erin: If you live or die.

Chris: He's been hanging around you too much.

Jayme: Um, and then he lit a match and he burned the theatre down.

Lindsey: He beat you to the punch there, Jayme. Sorry.

Jayme: Um, yeah. So that was fun. It's great. You feel really powerful on the top of that stage.

Lindsey: And how about if you're in the audience watching? Do you feel powerful?

Jayme: You feel powerless.

Lindsey: I shouldn't have asked. I don't know why I asked that. What was I expecting?

Erin: Speaking of powerless, the world of the play—

Jayme: Nice.

Erin: Yeah, nice segue. I was just, I had that in my pocket and I was just waiting for you to get there. It took 20 minutes, but you got there.

Jayme: Well I feel like people don't know, there's this, this, there's a script for this podcast.

Erin: We're just reading.

Jayme: Yeah, we wrote it. This is all scripted.

Erin: Very organized. Um, so this, this postapocalyptic moment that the entire play unfolds in is without power. There's no electricity. It's a post-electric society. So part of the play is, it's an exploration of, you know, how do we use stories to move on from moments of trauma and loss like you would experience if many of the people you knew died or were lost to you in a apocalyptic scenario. Uh, but it's also about, you know, what, what are the sort of basics of society, like how do we pick up the pieces and move on? And what role does theater have to play if we have no electricity? I mean, we have no TV, no Internet, no texting.

Lindsey: No Diet Coke.

Erin: No Diet Coke.

Jayme: Yeah. Except for that guy. There's a hoarder. Somebody who's hoarding Diet Coke.

Erin: There's a guy in Denver.

Jayme: Yeah.

Erin: Yeah.

Jayme: He's got them all.

Erin: But there's a lot of things that you have to learn to live without. And part of the question is, you know, how do people entertain themselves? How do they pass the time? How do they form communities? And the answer is the Simpsons.

Chris: Always.

Erin: Yes.

Jayme: [singing] The Simpsons.

Erin: That was good.

Chris: That was very close. I can see the clouds right now.

Erin: That was really actually very beautiful.

Jayme: But far enough off that it's not copyrighted.

Erin: Yeah.

Chris: Yeah.

Jayme: Yeah. It wasn't good. Um, Erin, what would you hoard in the apocalypse?

Erin: That's a great question. Um, I'm gonna say books because I told you I was here to be the boring nerd. Uh, but hear me out. It's the only source of information. We don't have nonelectric printing presses unless you're like breaking into museums and stealing like old-timey printing presses. So like, it's going to take awhile to develop new ways of disseminating information. So if you have books, you have information, information is power. You actually I think would become the like just the king, like you could become like a small-time despot if you had like all of the books because you would control the flow of information and also it's a form of entertainment. People would be desperate for entertainment. You can't just look at Wikipedia and figure things out. I would have like a book that's like a manual on like creating water filtration systems and if you wanted to figure out how to do that without dying in the apocalypse, you would have to come see me.

Jayme: And you'd be like, you got to give me all this stuff or I'm not giving you that book.

Erin: Yeah, I'd be like make with the Diet Coke.

Jayme: Make with the Diet Coke, or you can just die—

Erin: The rate is three Diet Cokes.

Jayme: —in the ditch.

Erin: Two, three pages. It would be a very steep, it would be a steep price.

Chris: Wow, you're running barter town.

Erin: Yeah. Listen, every person for herself.

Chris: What is that? Mad Max? Something like that. Yeah. You're the person to go to, I guess.

Erin: What would you hoard?

Jayme: I don't know. Sandwiches.

Chris: What kind?

Jayme: Baloney. Those don't go bad, right?

Chris: No. There's a lot of preservatives.

Lindsey: Processing.

Jayme: Yeah. Yeah. Oh yeah. Twinkies!

Erin: Anything wrapped in plastic is actually a pretty good bet. You don't want anything that's been exposed to like radioactive particle fallout.

Jayme: Yeah. Alright. I'll hoard Twinkies. You hoard books.

Erin: Okay.

Chris: Pop Tarts. The aluminum foil.

Erin: We can form an alliance and—

Jayme: No thanks.

Chris: No?

Erin: Fine.

Jayme: No thank you.

Erin: Books are fiber. I could survive on books.

Jayme: I don't need nobody. I'm not joining any sort of group. Just me, myself, and I.

Erin: You're not here to make friends.

Jayme: I'm not here to make friends.

Erin: In the apocalypse.

Jayme: I'm Negan, that's what I'm going to do. That's a Walking Dead reference, which we have been referencing a lot in this play. Also. Not to show that the cast watch. So.

Chris: Really?

Jayme: It's not helpful, but me and Howie get it.

Erin: It's going to be a fun show to do where all of your homework is just to watch TV.

Jayme: Yes. It, yes.

Erin: It should be fun.

Jayme: It should be fun to do that. Anyway. Um, the cast is awesome in this production. They're being asked to do a lot of stuff: to dance, to sing, to act, or as Howie said yesterday he put acts in quotation marks. It's like when you're "acting," I mean then he did it in quotes and then the cast just did not let that go. And that was the running joke throughout rehearsal. Um, cause it hurt their feelings. And uh, it was pretty tough. It was a, it was a tough night. [.

Lindsey: [laughter] This podcast is going to be two minutes long. Like when you extract the usable material.

Chris: What about the play?

Lindsey: World's shortest podcast.

Chris: We had a hard night. End.

Jayme: Um, but the cast is really, really great and yeah, they, they're asked to do so much stuff and they are doing it. Talia and Sarah, they play Itchy and Scratchy and the third act. And they are thrown from the boat. So they're doing a spectacular death. All the death scenes are very dramatic. The third act is not realism, which I constantly am telling the actors cause they're like, oh, but the emotions, I'm like, no, it's not realism. Move your hands.

Erin: It's an opera.

Jayme: It's an opera. Just move your hands. Always be moving your hands. And making gestures.

Erin: I can't wait to see this.

Chris: Are Itchy and Scrachy in costumes?

Jayme: The, oh yeah, they're in costume.

Lindsey: And Mr. Burns.

Jayme: And Mr. Burns. Mr. Burns, you don't want to give it all away, but it doesn't matter. We're editing this and nobody's gonna listen to it. Right.

Chris: Don't talk about it.

Jayme: I was looking at the stats from our last podcast and I feel like other people's got listened to way more than us and I felt like that was rude.

Chris: If anyone's made it this far into the podcast. Like you might as well just keep on going through.

Erin: Hi Mom.

Jayme: Hi Fighty. That's my dog.

Chris: We established that. Could you get onto something new? For Pete's sake.

Jayme: Listen, it's the only, the only living thing that loves me. Um, so Burns.

Erin: [whispers] I love you.

Jayme: [whispers] I love you too.

Jayme: So Burns comes out from underneath the boat and it's like so scary. I peed.

Chris: Every time.

Jayme: Every time I see it.

Erin: Yes. That seat will be marked off in the theater. So just make sure you avoid that seat.

Jayme: I'm like [screeching noises].

Chris: Ooh, that was nice. We should loop that. For at least like a minute and a half. That sound, that strange Rodan-like sound.

Jayme: [Screeches] I peed.

Chris: The quality of this podcast just keeps going up.

Jayme: So anyway, it's really good. They're doing such a great job and I just feel like I'm always, I'm like that mean taskmaster, but I gotta do it.

Erin: I think the show is going to be so much fun. It's got something for everybody. It's got a dystopian future, which we all know is very hot right now.

Jayme: Yeah, that's on trend.

Erin: Yes. It's got survivalist elements, also very on trend. It's got singing, it's got dancing, it's got costumes, it has a car, it has a boat, it has a plane. It has a bike. It has walking. Also, it has Simpsons references.

Chris: Walking? There are people walking on stage?

Lindsey: Love a good walking play.

Erin: I just wanted to make sure I'm giving you a full picture of all of the ways that humans move on stage and outside of the confines of the stage.

Chris: It sounds really exciting. I have to get tickets immediately.

Erin: It's really great. They walk forwards. They went backwards. There's stomping. Uh.

Jayme: There's no stomping.

Erin: I know for a fact there's stomping. Yeah.

Jayme: Oh, I don't know.

Erin: There is stomping.

Jayme: I don't know.

Erin: Anyway, uh, there is Simpsons references. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be confused.

Jayme: You'll pee your pants.

Jayme: It's like Cats only with no cat costumes or references to Cats?

Erin: There's a cat: Scratchy.

Jayme: Hmm. Okay.

Erin: Scratchy's a cat.

Lindsey: One cat.

Jayme: One cat. One cat. But if you like cats, see this cat.

Chris: Lindsey, do you have any power over there? Written on that page to help us, uh—

Jayme: Are you going to interview the cast? Cause I think they would do a—

Lindsey: The cats?

Chris: I can't wait to interview the cats. We'll bring in a litter box, it'll be good. As it happens or it so happens I may have to go out for jury duty next week so we may not be able to fit in another podcast. I won't know til 5:30 Friday night.

Erin: Well, Jayme and I can interview them, and that'll go really well.

Chris: Can you go to jury duty for me? Oh wait. You're probably busy like directing a play or something.

Jayme: You'd be surprised.

Chris: It sounds that way.

Lindsey: Jayme's got a knack for stealing identities, it sounds like.

Jayme: Yeah, that'd be good. I gotta steal that before I go on the run.

Lindsey: If Chris grows a mustache, then you can get a fake mustache.

Jayme: And he'll look just like me. Is that what you were gonna say?

Lindsey: No! You were talking earlier about your fake mustache.

Jayme: So rude.

Erin: Jayme, will you do your best Simpsons impersonation? Like which character do you think you could do?

Jayme: I haven't done any.

Chris: How about Otto?

Jayme: "Hey, I'm drivin' the bus!" Is that Otto? "Hey, dude! Drivin' kids to school!" I haven't done any of the others.

Chris: Principal Skinner.

Jayme: "Hey, I'm Principal Skinner, everybody." No, that's more of Sideshow Bob.

Chris: All right. Mr. Burns.

Jayme: Uh, "Excellent."

Erin: That was actually really good. I like that one.

Jayme: "Excellent." I need a line. And then there's "Oh, Homie."

Erin: That's one's good too!

Chris: What about Santa's Little Helper? Go.

Jayme: Oh [panting].

Erin: Wow. I feel like this was actually a pop quiz from Chris and you aced it. He's trying to trip you up.

Jayme: Yeah. Oh, I know it. I watch the Simpsons.

Erin: I saw that glint in your eyes, Chris.

Jayme: He's like, oh, I bet you don't know who this character is.

Erin: How about Snowball II?

Jayme: Oh [meows].

Chris: Wow.

Jayme: "I'm Groundskeep—" No, wait. Who is the, "I am going to get you!" Who did that? There was like a guy. Yeah, but I was trying to do Groundskeeper Willy and that came out really wrong.

Erin: That was an excellent Scottish—.

Chris: Lindsey, did you have any idea you'd be in the presence of greatness this morning for as long as we have.

Jayme: We should just do a radio show.

Lindsey: A radio play?

Jayme: Like, yeah, radio play. And I'll be like [tapping noises]. Is that reading? That was me doing a walking sound.

Lindsey: Oh yeah.

Erin: That's good.

Lindsey: Flawless. Who just walked in here? Who was that? So real.

Jayme: [Door creaking noise.] Yeah. Take, take you there.

Chris: So, Lindsey.

Lindsey: Oh God.

Chris: I keep throwing it back to you. In the hopes that like—

Jayme: Chris is like—

Lindsey: We've gone in a lot of directions.

Chris: Back to those same directions.

Jayme: Did we cover it all? No, there's more.

Lindsey: So we have this wonderful—

Chris: Does there have to be?

Lindsey: This wonderful promo video that Jayme sent this morning, which we'll be disseminating.

Jayme: I wanna make a lot of promo videos.

Lindsey: We will put it out soon.

Chris: Where?

Lindsey: On our social media: Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and just all over the place. Um, anyway, so there is a quote on there. It says "Every story ends on a dark and raging river." Tell us more.

Jayme: Um, well that is a quote from—

Erin: This is Anne Washburn's quote that she actually, she has included this in one of the songs in act three. Um, but she also has created, she sort of draws it out and puts it at the top of the script. Um.

Jayme: Spoiler, it's also a projection. Oh, there's projections in this play. What!

Erin: But I will say, I also included it in the dramaturg's note. And part of the reason why is because I think on its face, it's a really dark sounding quote. Like, it sounds like every story ends in a really dark and difficult place. But the way that, um, I think the story evolves. You'll have to see the show to see how it evolves. But I think, um, it also signals a kind of hope because the story ends and then it starts over. The story ends and then a new story starts. And I think that, um, you know, what it means to me is that each story comes to its conclusion in a, in a moment that might feel really drastic and like nothing could possibly come after this. Um, and this is, you know, this really chaotic, dark, terrible moment. Um, and yet life goes on and humanity continues to struggle on towards, you know, it's the future and I think new stories begin and new people arrive on the scene and I think that's actually the really hopeful part of that line and the, the play itself.

Chris: Wow.

Jayme: That was beautiful.

Chris: Well put.

Erin: Thank you.

Jayme: Yeah. We have two minutes of the podcast now. Put that in there and that's it. No, but I think that's great. And you know, part of Erin's dramaturgy note.. Is that what you call it?

Erin: Sure.

Jayme: Okay. Um, in the program is the idea of what, what is remembered and so throughout the play, that's what you see is like what is, what's kept in society, what's remembered, how does it change as we keep going? How do we build anew? Which is a great, let's all watch the play cause we, we about to build a new—.

Erin: Yeah.

Jayme: Ooh, don't ever, no, nevermind.

Chris: Don't ever—

Jayme: Look at the news.

Chris: Don't read the news.

Lindsey: Just come to the play.

Erin: Yeah. But here's why. Let me bring it full circle for you. Yeah. We're on the dark and raging river at this moment, is what it feels like to me. And that's why if I choose to find it helpful and hopeful that line because I think then the storm clears and something else happens.

Jayme: Yeah, we will all die. But some people will live.

Erin: Yes.

Jayme: And they'll make a new and better society.

Erin: And some of us will hoard books and become your overlords.

Jayme: And some of us will hoard Twinkies and just eat them all and die in two years.

Chris: And let's leave on that upbeat note there. Lindsey, play opens when?

Lindsey: Mr. Burns, a post-electric play opens April 27th to 28th and then the following weekend, May 4th to 5th. And I should also mention there is going to be an open rehearsal this Sunday from 2:00 to 3:00 PM so.

Chris: Well, you just put the pressure on. Now I have to edit this thing and put it up.

Lindsey: I'm sorry. Wait, what? Oh, before.

Chris: If it's going to be this Sunday and then we got to get the podcast up there really soon.

Jayme: The 16th? No, 15th.

Erin: It's the 15th.

Jayme: 16th is the designer run, which is a very, very stressful day. The 15th open rehearsal. Well, you don't have to, I mean it's.

Chris: If this podcast—

Jayme: It's a promotional ploy.

Chris: —isn't up before the weekend, then for those of you who missed the open rehearsal.

Erin: You missed Jayme crying in the corner. Yeah.

Jayme: Just put the podcast up May 6th.

Chris: After the play.

Jayme: And let's call it a day, the day after the play, and then it can be sort of like, and then you can add commentary on it. Like "The theater did get burned down that day."

Erin: And now we all know why.

Jayme: Yeah. It could be sort of like, uh, these were the hints and the clues are more than very spelled out in great detail. You should have seen it coming.

Lindsey: She told us exactly what she was doing. How did we miss that?