Recently Untapped caught up with Jennifer Jamula and Allison Goldberg, the Co-Creative Directors of Lively Productions. When we last spoke to them, these two women were wandering underground collecting stories and conducting interviews for their blog Why Are You On My Train? Since then, the duo has transitioned from MTA to “meta,” scouring the internet to create a totally new and innovative play series called Blogologues. Thus far, this quirky, creative brainchild of Jamula and Goldberg has been a hit, earning them a six month residency at Under St. Marks last year during which they conceived a brand spanking new performance each month. In May, Blogologues completed its first run Younger Than Springtime at The Players Theatre receiving glowing reviews from the Huffington Post. And–as if that was not nearly enough–Lively Productions has started to launch a number of webisodes on their tumblr, podcasts on their website and has an old time (for the techno-saavy age) radio show in the works.
Let’s start out with the basics. What exactly are Blogologues?
GOLDBERG: So the deal with everything we do under the guise of Blogologues is that it is completely verbatim from the Internet. After every single show people always ask us how much we wrote and we don’t write any of it. What we do is we give it a context. The premise behind it is that we live in a world where people are willing to spill their deepest, darkest secrets online and not really consider who their audience is or the fact that anyone could be reading it. Then, similarly, the writer is often pretty anonymous”¦
JAMULA: The main point is to reinforce this human-to-human connection in the theatre and getting people laughing together over things that they would typically experience alone, in their homes, on their computers.
GOLDBERG: The result is pretty much like sketch comedy. We are creating characters and scenarios. And projections [excerpts from Twitter, Texts from Last Night, etc.] weave together the pieces and introduce the topics”¦
What should we expect from your upcoming show?
GOLDBERG: Blogologues are always thematic. So for instance, a past performance was Are You There God It’s Me, Blogologues and that was all about religion. This next one is actually a “meta” theme ”¦
JAMULA: A meta-technology theme. Since we’re already dealing with technology, we thought we’d do one that’s all about the ways we communicate through technology. So it’s going to be a lot about social media”¦ It’s kind of a mixed bag.
GOLDBERG: ”¦It’s going to be about online dating and texting and why people blog”¦ It’s called Blogologues Technoganza: Like a LOLcat Watching Itself on YouTube.
So let’s backtrack a moment. Blogologues certainly adhere to your mission “to explore the intersection between new media and theatre,” but how did you stumble upon the concept? What was your inspiration?
GOLDBERG: Have you seen the post It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers? That was the inspiration. We were working on Why Are You on My Train? And I was like, Jen, you have to read this blog post. It’s amazing. I said, “Oh my God, this is like a monologue!” And she said, “BLOGOLOGUE!” Then we started this Google Doc where we just started throwing blog posts in that we thought were funny or liked for whatever reason or thought would be fun to “theatricalize.” And that is how the very first one got started.
JAMULA:”¦We kind of wanted to create our own destiny. We had been acting for a really long time separately. And I think, for a long while, we were trying to find our identity through the company. Through a couple of influences in our lives, we decided that Blogologues was the thing we wanted to put all of our energy into because it’s so creative, we get to make the scripts and we get to choose the material that we really want to perform. And for me, personally, that is the most exciting part.
Do you have any plans after Blogologues?
GOLDBERG: We feel Blogologues has really resonated with people. We weren’t necessarily planning to work on it as much as we are, but people seem to be really interested in the show… Something that has been really interesting is how much the tech community has gotten behind the project and supported us. We find that they’re a really inspiring group.
JAMULA: We’ve embraced them too! We’re talking to you right now from a loose cube co-working space where it’s all start up companies and us as a non-profit theatre company. So we’re kind of an unusual theatre company!
So if you’re in the mood to see your favorite blogs/tweets/TFLN/missed connections come to life, throw back a free beer and let hilarity ensue, purchase tickets now!
Blogologues Technoganza: Like a LOLcat Watching Itself on YouTube
August 16-August 25
Under St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place)
Tickets: $18 and include a free beer.