The Old Globe theater in Balboa Park.
The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. Photo by Bernard Gagnon via Wikimedia Commons

San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre Thursday will premiere “Cocktails with the Canon” — an interview-based podcast series hosted by the Globe’s literary manager, Danielle Mages Amato, and artistic associate, Lamar Perry.

Through a series of conversations, Amato and Perry will take audiences on a journey that investigates the “traditional” Western dramatic canon, along with the writers, groups, identities and aesthetics that have historically been excluded.

Over the course of the season, they will welcome to the podcast an acclaimed group of American playwrights to reflect on the forces that have historically shaped — and continue to shape — the American theatrical canon and to discuss the works they consider canonical within their own communities.

“Even as we look forward to our return to live theater production, the Globe continues to provide virtual and digital programming in many forms, including this dynamic and fascinating new podcast,” said Barry Edelstein, the theater’s artistic director.

“Lamar Perry and Danielle Mages Amato have curated a remarkable series of conversations with some of the most provocative thinkers in the American theater, and the ideas that ping through this podcast express some very big themes about who the American theater is for, what work stands center stage, and how rich voices that have been excluded need to be heard loudly.”

The hosts and guests will also dive into personal stories and share their dreams and action plans for the future of the American theater. Ultimately the podcast hopes to ask “how can we expand the canon and create access for all?”

“This podcast, and the conversations we’ve been having with artists about the idea of `canon’ in the theater right now, have been so powerful and transformative for me,” Amato said.

“I’m excited to welcome audiences to join us at this table where we’re gathering with friends and colleagues for a series of fun, relevant, eye- opening, necessary and often challenging conversations about the theater — where it has been and where we imagine it can go.”

Cocktails with the Canon will feature new episodes bi-weekly on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Music and Podbean. The trailer is currently available and can be streamed and downloaded at those links.

The first episode will feature playwright Lauren Yee, and the podcast will continue with playwrights Dave Harris, Donja R. Love, Ryan Victor Pierce or “Opalanietet,” Whitney White, and Karen Zacarias.

“This series is an invitation to imagination, something I believe we’re desperately in need of in the American theater at the moment,” Perry said. “I’m particularly mindful of not asking people of the global majority to reckon with fixing a system they did not create nor break, but rather to ask: what do you dream of, and who inspired those dreams?

“No sole person is the proprietor of right when it comes to restorative justice, in my opinion, but I do believe that through collaboration, accountability and grace we can begin a systemic reimagining,” he continued. “I hope these conversations can contribute to that.”

–City News Service

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