Anton Chekhov’s roundelay of love, art, and misery in late-19th-century Russia is so resilient to interpretation that someone is always coming along to rough it up again. In the past decade alone, The Seagull has been whisked to Australia and the Hamptons, hurled through the fourth wall in Stupid Fucking Bird, and impastoed on American actors in the 2018 film.

Back in 2016, before she was Piedmont Laureate, Tamara Kissane got in on the act when her contemporary adaptation at Manbites Dog Theater got four stars from Byron Woods. Now, Kissane’s The New Colossus is back in the perfect form for today: a six-part podcast.

You’d think it was planned for quarantine, but in truth, translating live theater to podcast form has been Kissane’s endeavor for the past couple of years. The New Colossus is her second podcast play, following The Master Builder in 2019, which we interviewed her about then.

The six 20-minute episodes form a full-length drama, available at Apple Podcasts or the play’s website. With original music by Skylar Gudasz, who just dropped her album Cinema, it features a great local cast, including Edith Snow, Carly P. Jones, and Susannah Hough.

It’s a decidedly unhinged American version that makes free with the source material and contains (as the content warning says): “Explicit language, lust and sexual situations, gunfire, death, dysfunctional conversations, illness, bad theatre, anti-patriotism, drinking, and arm-wrestling.” 

Sounds like a good time to us. 

Listen to The New Colossus here. It’s is a production of the Artist Soapbox, Kissane’s prolific interview outlet for local artists, which you can support here

Contact arts and culture editor Brian Howe at