The Institution Theater has received it’s share of Cease and Desist letters: first from FOX for our production of “Firefly: The Musical”, then from Viacom for our live staging of two episodes of South Park. The most recent will be the most memorable, a letter direct from the producer of NPR’s This American Life, Seth Lind, which most rightfully contends that The Institution Theater’s This American LIVE is too close in name and font and has prompted confused phone calls to their offices from Austin listeners.
“I’m sorry to have to ask you to change it,” Lind states in his email. “I know it’s a hassle.”
Thus a digital back-and-forth emerged between the two productions leading to a new (Ira Glass-approved) name: NOT THIS AMERICAN LIFE, hosted by Not Ira Glass, our Austin-bred facsimile played with radio pitch perfection by Michael Ferstenfeld.
The enthusiasm for personal stories remains fully in tact with opportunities taken to up the theatrical ante in a way that can only be done live on our five upcoming themes:
Produced by Dystheatre’s Michael Ferstenfeld (American Buffalo, This Feather House) and The Institution Theater’s Asaf Ronen (The Suitcase, Firefly: The Musical), each topic will be explored by a diverse army of performers and storytellers. NTAL looks not only to present the widest array of narratives, but to redefine narrative. Any given show will include a mix of script and improvisation, interviews and monologues, video and sketch and dance and burlesque and whatever else the Austin talent pool has to offer.