On Monday, October 21, the Dramatists Guild of America celebrated the launch of its new podcast, TALKBACK, at The Cutting Room.
TALKBACK is a six episode podcast series, co-produced by the DG's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and BOOM Integrated, and distributed by Broadway Podcast Network. The podcast entertains frank conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion; it asks the tough questions, and doesn't have all the answers, but digs into dialogue that's vital and messy and real.
Podcast host Christine Toy Johnson led a brief panel, comprised of podcast guests Kia Corthron, Anita Hollander, and Lynne Marie Rosenberg, that addressed the significance of TALKBACK’s mission.
“The overarching goal for all of this is to be a conversation starter,” Johnson stated. “We are sent so many messages that we don’t belong in the world, that we’re not invited. Having these conversations helps me to feel that I do belong.”
Many of the podcast guests agree with Johnson about the importance of having such conversations. “It was such a pleasure to be in a room with other professionals I admire and love, but with whom I never had a chance to talk about these issues before,” said Lynne Marie Rosenberg, writer, actor, and host of Famous Cast Words, who participated in the fourth episode of TALKBACK.
“We don’t often have a chance to sit down and have these conversations,” explained Garlia Cornelia Jones, a founder of a series for Black playwrights and a line producer at The Public Theater, who appears on the third episode of TALKBACK. “More of these conversations need to take place.”
“It’s important to understand and to ask questions and to engage,” added podcast guest Anita Hollander, a writer, performer, and the National Chair of Performers with Disabilities for SAG-AFTRA.
The first season of the podcast explores writing outside of one’s lived experience, diverse and inclusive casting, contemporary theatrical criticism, and more. Next season, according to producer Amy VonMacek, the podcast will investigate the theme of access, and all that entails.
The first episode of TALKBACK, “It’s Not My Story It’s Yours: Appropriation vs. Appreciation,” which features Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, Larissa FastHorse, Anita Hollander, David Henry Hwang, and Diep Tran, is now able for download: https://broadwaypodcastnetwork.com/podcast/talk-back/