Cover image of This is a Classic: The Expand the Canon Theatre Podcast

This is a Classic: The Expand the Canon Theatre Podcast

Women wrote classics, too. And we’re here to celebrate them.We're spilling the tea on awesome plays by women that are *classics* as we fight for a gender-expansive canon. Timely, producible, excellent - these are plays you want to know.Each episode is dedicated to a different play and playwright.It's the podcast version of Expand the Canon.com with more puns. Perfect for the theater makers, theater goers, and theater teachers among us who are jazzed about diversity in the classics.This is a podcast by Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre, a non-profit company in Brooklyn, NY.Support the Podcast and Expand the Canon at http://bit.ly/HedgepigMemberships.

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Les Blancs by Lorraine Hansberry

If you’re looking to tackle race, imperialism, and the prejudice of the Western world towards African countries… consider this mesmerizing masterpiece. Set in a rural Christian mission in an unnamed African country, this play explores the complexities of navigating personal relationships across racial divides when every decision you make is inherently political. Intricate, atmospheric, and shimmering with emotional truth, this play is as relevant to our modern world now as it was fifty years ago.ExpandTheCanon.combit.ly/HedgepigMembershipsHosted by Skye Pagon and Emily Lyon.Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/this-is-a-classic-the-expand-the-canon-theatre-podcast/donations


29 Jun 2022

Rank #1

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The Frolicks by Elizabeth Polwhele

If you’re looking for a Restoration play with even more hijincks than Merry Wives of Windsor… consider this energetic, bawdy comedy that centers around the tricksy courtship of the clever Clarabell and the rakish Rightwit. Through a series of deceptions, plots, pranks, and manipulations, they find a way to be together – and manage to marry off everyone else in the cast as well. Complete with doltish country suitors, deceitful women, trusting husbands, untrusting fathers, and trendy dances, this play covers all the best staples of the Restoration. The plot itself is simple, and yet the events that lead us along the way are delightfully frothy, foolish, and fun.ExpandTheCanon.combit.ly/HedgepigMembershipsThis episode is hosted by Mary Candler, Emily Lyon... and two special guests, ensemble members Sara Hymes and Greg Phelps! The scene is performed by Skye Pagon & Jory Murphy. Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/this-is-a-classic-the-expand-the-canon-theatre-podcast/donations


22 Jun 2022

Rank #2

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The Fatal Falsehood by Hannah More

If you want a high-octane alternative to Two Gentlemen of Verona… consider this tight rollercoaster of a poetic play instead. Here, two of the closest friends fall deeply in love with the same woman. Spurred on by an Iago-like character, the plot careens toward a tragic end – yet each character reflects on the ramifications of their actions, which makes it all the more impactful. Fall in love—and out—with this epic tale of romance and duty. Undeniably, the poetry of this play is one of its biggest strengths, so be careful of confusing it with the Bard! Bonus: with some minor cuts to avoid a puzzling suicide, this tragedy could easily be presented as a dark comedy!ExpandTheCanon.combit.ly/HedgepigMembershipsEpisode hosted by Skye Pagon and Emily Lyon. Scene performed by Javan Nelson and Madeline Addis.Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/this-is-a-classic-the-expand-the-canon-theatre-podcast/donations


8 Jun 2022

Rank #3

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Director Victoria Collado on A Happy Country

Victoria Collado is a Cuban-American director who lead our reading of A Happy Country in 2021's Expand the Canon festival! We loved her insights and approach to the play, discussing its translation, and her reasons that this Maruxa Vilalta play is a classic. She chats with Skye Pagon and Shannon Corenthin. ExpandtheCanon.combit.ly/HedgepigMembershipshttps://www.victoriacollado.com/Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/this-is-a-classic-the-expand-the-canon-theatre-podcast/donations


1 Jun 2022

Rank #4

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A Happy Country (Un País Feliz) by Maruxa Vilalta

If you’re seeking a play about revolution where the family drama is the political drama… consider this powerful portrait of love, protest, class, and voyeurism. This play follows the recently impoverished Jiménez family in an unnamed Spanish-speaking country as complex conversations are brought to the foreground by the arrival of a tourist staying in their home. How do you balance your activism with your desire to just live? Do you fight for your family, or your country? And how do you be an ethical tourist in a culture that is not your own? This play leaves an audience asking all the right questions and drawing their own timely parallels.ExpandTheCanon.combit.ly/HedgepigMembershipsEpisode hosted by Skye Pagon and Shannon Corenthin. Scene performed by Mariana Mondragón and Reza Salazar.Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/this-is-a-classic-the-expand-the-canon-theatre-podcast/donations


1 Jun 2022

Rank #5

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The Beau Defeated by Mary Pix

If you’re looking for a fun rom-com where your wingman is a flock of wingwomen… consider this witty Restoration comedy. A rollicking, hilarious, and touching tale of Mrs Rich, the wealthy widow of a banker, who wants to marry a Lord to improve her social status. She listens to all the wrong people for advice– eventually leading her straight into the arms of a notable rogue. Through sparkling discourse, interwoven with a moving subplot, Mrs. Rich’s friends and brother-in-law come to her rescue in the nick of time and prevent their friend (and a few other women) from throwing it all away for an undeserving man.ExpandTheCanon.combit.ly/HedgepigMembershipsThis episode is hosted by Mary Candler and Shannon Corenthin, and the scene is performed by Desiree Baxter and Rachel Schmeling.Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/this-is-a-classic-the-expand-the-canon-theatre-podcast/donations


25 May 2022

Rank #6

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Forging the Truth by Yang Jiang

If you’re looking for a clever class comedy by a Noel Coward contemporary… consider this zany play that takes on tradition, marriage, and capitalism. The spoiled but sweet Wanru has a watchful father… who she is desperate to avoid when sneaking in her hot new boyfriend. In this story, family is often run like a business and financial prospects are important across the board – but not everyone is clearly showing their cards. Wanru’s Dad keeps trying to run her love life like a business, Yanhua gets the world’s worst proposal, and everyone’s trying to keep up the face of tradition... even if it’s just a show. Chinese comedic playwright Yang Jiang brings light, love, and clarity to this relatable family situation.ExpandTheCanon.combit.ly/HedgepigMembershipsThis episode is hosted by Emily Lyon and Mary Candler, and the scene is performed by Dorothea Gloria and David Huynh.Family Tree: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Jq5XvtvQw1tott2PED5D-FGIK-WPMhLe/view?usp=sharingSupport this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/this-is-a-classic-the-expand-the-canon-theatre-podcast/donations


18 May 2022

Rank #7

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Translator Catherine Boyle on Ana Caro

Catherine Boyle is a professor, as well as one of our favorite translators. You may know her from our 2020 list, having translated Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz's House of Desires. Luckily for us, she's been working on a title from our 2021 List – Ana Caro's Valor, Agravio, y Mujer!For more information on Out of the Wings, visit: https://outofthewings.org/Mary and Skye host this fun conversation about translations!ExpandtheCanon.combit.ly/HedgepigMembershipsSupport this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/this-is-a-classic-the-expand-the-canon-theatre-podcast/donations


11 May 2022

Rank #8

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Valor, Agravio, y Mujer by Ana Caro Mallén de Soto

If you want a scorned heroine who is determined to live in a revenge tragedy but accidentally finds herself in a comedy… consider this Spanish Golden Age play. With cross dressing, love triangles, swordplay, and soaring verse, this is a celebration of women’s agency. Doña Leonora dresses like a man and crosses Europe to get revenge on her ungrateful ex who left her unmarriageable. Along the way, she manipulates others in her sphere (often through the clever use of funny voices) causing confusion and antics – and ends up with a triumph that she deems better than any murder.*Disclaimer: we had an audio mishap, so bear with us –– Skye's audio gets better 7 minutes in!ExpandTheCanon.combit.ly/HedgepigMembershipsThis episode is hosted by Skye Pagon and Mary Candler, and the monologue is performed by Ashley Kristeen Vega.Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/this-is-a-classic-the-expand-the-canon-theatre-podcast/donations


11 May 2022

Rank #9

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Françoise by George Sand

If you’re looking for something a bit lighter in your Ibsen or Shaw slot… consider this deft comedy where the girl finally learns to stand up for herself. An enjoyable romp through Bourges, France, this play speaks to anyone who has gotten stuck in a relationship with someone truly selfish. Henri, the idealized love of Francoise, is “a central role without precedent in French literature” – yet whom is easily recognized in contemporary life. Ahead of its time, George Sand delivers this delightful, snide jab at the aristocracy that seems a precursor to Oscar Wilde’s cutting humor. Join us in rooting for Françoise as she gains the self worth to say adieu. ExpandTheCanon.combit.ly/HedgepigMembershipsThis episode is hosted by Emily Lyon and Shanon Corenthin, and the scene is performed by Gagarin and Sara Hymes.Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/this-is-a-classic-the-expand-the-canon-theatre-podcast/donations


4 May 2022

Rank #10