Devon England and Art Friends (theater simple's PARK BENCH, Ep 32)

Welcome to a special edition of Park Bench.

For the past 7 years and 31 episodes, Park Bench has been a whimsical mobile interview outpost with a serious agenda.  We ask folks to have a seat, consider a big idea from a different perspective and then digitally record those conversations and podcast it to the world.  But, with Episode #32, we leave the Park Bench at home and turn our attention, and the microphone on ourselves, our art, and some people who have inspired us for years.  

This Spring theater simple’s co-founders, Llysa Holland and Andrew Litzky, traveled to Devon, England, about 4 hours West of London, to do intensive work with the ensemble Multi Story and it’s founders, Gill Nathanson and Bill Buffery, who we first met and toured alongside in Canada 15 years ago.  Also, in London, we interviewed and observed Kath Burlinson and her ensemble, the Authentic Artists Collective, another mate from our Canadian and Australian touring days. 

Over 3 very busy days in Devon, and one in London, we shared philosophy and tactics, plotted future work together, met with Beaford Arts Rural Touring Director, Mark Wallace, and soaked up the impossibly rustic landscape that has been Bill and Gill’s working home for 30 years. 

We hope you enjoy the lilting accents, and that you will forgive the serious sound quality issues, (the result of conversations in cars, barns, cafes and rehearsal halls), and that through it all, we give you a little window into into the passion and artistic sensibility that has kept us going in the theater for the past 23 years.  MANY, MANY THANKS to the Network of Ensemble Theaters, who helped make this happen with an Ensemble Travel Grant, and to the several donors who also helped us get there and back again.

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