NEPA Scene Podcast Episode 48 - The absurdity of local theatre and millennial #vanlife with the NVE

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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. The award-winning NEPA Scene Podcast covers arts, entertainment, and the issues that matter to Northeastern Pennsylvania. It airs as a live video stream every Wednesday at 7 p.m. on NEPA Scene’s Facebook page and is available afterward on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, YouTube, and nepascene.com. This episode and all previous episodes are available now on NEPA Scene, the award-winning independent arts and entertainment website that combines the accuracy and professionalism of a print magazine with the immediacy and convenience of a blog, offering a wide variety of content to readers in NEPA, Philadelphia, New York, and beyond. The show is made possible by local sponsors Beer Boys, The V-Spot, Coal Creative, and viewers who tune in every week.

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