Author Archives: lindacarmichael

Obie award winner, Robbie McCauley talks about her work.

“Theater for social change celebrates the world’s differences and the uniting of people for a shared goal.”


So says Robbie McCauley, my guest on today’s show. She’s an actor, writer, director and teacher. Her career spans over three decades. Growing up in the south, “before the revolution, as she calls it, segregation and marginalization was the norm. Moving to NY as a young woman, she found a voice for her rage in the newly developing Black Arts Movement, of the 60’s. One of the early cast members of, Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf, McCauley went on to perform and write across the United states, facilitating dialogues on race between whites and blacks, and working throughout Europe.  Her play Sally’s Rape about her great, great grandmother, who had “two chilin by the master” as it was expressed in family oral history, is a courageous piece of experimental theater, where dialoging with the audience and encouraging them to express themselves, is as important as the actress’s lines in the play.


Robbie McCauley won an OBIE and an Audelco award, which recognizes excellence in black theatre and very recently she became a recipient of the United States Artists Fellowship. I talked to Professor McCauley in her office at Emerson where she is a performing arts professor.Image

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Posted by on February 15, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Independent Music Series, featuring – Gumbo Diablo



As part of our on going commitment to feature independent musicians and music, I interviewed Ken Hiatt who plays accordion and keyboards, and who along with Wendy Kinal, lead vocalist, composes and performs with Gumbo Diablo.

Gumbo Diablo is a Boston-based quartet specializing in a sound they call pan-Americana – roots rock that crosses borders and boundaries. Mixing traditions such as zydeco and r&b from Louisiana, cumbia from Colombia, forro from Brazil, and modern roots-influenced rock, they have been amazing audiences since 2009 with their unique live performances. With a sound driven by soulful vocals, accordions, keyboards, bass, drums, and percussion, Gumbo Diablo has the versatility to pack the dance floor, captivate a rock club, or hold court in a small restaurant.

The group has just released its debut album, The Gods We Were Before.  Featuring 10 original songs and a cover of Luiz Gonzaga’s “O Fole Roncou,” it is a showcase of the band’s pan-Americana sound.  If New Orleans is the northern port of the Caribbean, then Gumbo Diablo will take you on a musical journey from there to points south, creating music that is distinct, international, and joyful. The group is touring throughout the Northeast in support of this release.

Wendy’s earliest musical memories are of her Polish father playing accordion in the living room and the Latin and Caribbean beats surrounding her during her childhood in South Florida. Her first job (and gig!) was as a “Christmas” Karaoke Hostess on a Seminole Indian Reservation in snow-less Fort Lauderdale. Since then, she’s expanded her musical repertoire, and has been heavily influenced by Brazilian culture and music. As a practitioner of capoeira and a former member of the Northeastern Brazilian band, Batuque do Norte, she learned the power of percussion and of call-and-response music to connect people. She loves exploring the musical traditions of the US and other countries, bringing vocals, percussion, and accordion to the mix. She’s had a wild and educational ride with Gumbo Diablo, and looks forward to more sonic journeys.

Ken grew up playing Western classical music on the accordion. After many years of lessons, contests, and pieces that were far beyond his ability to understand them, he took a 10-year “break.” During this time he picked up the drums and played throughout the Boston area in several jazz and rock groups. Gradually his musical tastes turned toward “world” genres, and he kept hearing the accordion in new and unexpected contexts. In 2003 he took up the squeezebox again, inspired by a Klezmer band he heard at a friend’s wedding. He has played Klezmer and Greek folk music, but now he spends all his time trying to make Gumbo Diablo happen.

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Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Be careful, you’ll end up in the Poor House!

I sat down with Architectural historian Heli Meltsner to discusses her recent book, The Poorhouses of Massachusetts: A Cultural and Architectural History. 
Many of us of a certain age remember our mother or grandmother warn us about the evils of overspending with the phrase, “If your not careful, you’ll end up in the poor house”. For generations in the not too distant past, that phrase was not just an old saying, but it was a very real threat. Remember all those Victorian novels with plots about women finding a good marriage? The Poor House was a very real possibility for anyone who was financially vulnerable in a time not that distant, before social security.

Massachusetts’s towns and cities used Poor Houses to shelter their destitute, elderly, medically indigent, orphans and mentally ill residents. In 1860, two thirds of our municipalities delivered needed support in a poorhouse or town farm. As late as 1945, one quarter retained one. The state only took over the job of delivering welfare in 1968.
Meltsner has identified 46 of these surviving buildings built by municipalities, two of them in Cambridge, and 52 old houses recycled for the purpose. Her book discusses the development of the institutions, the life within their walls and their architecture. Meltsner has also documented five still extant tramp houses erected to segregate the huge number of vagrants that flooded the roads in search of work or a meager meal and hard bed.

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Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Uncategorized


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September 14th 2012 The Bridge – Arts for the 99% features Boston artist, Raul Gonzalez III

Award winning artist Raul Gonzalez was nominated Boston’s best visual artist of 2010 by the Boston Phoenix. Raul is a self-taught artist with a fascination for American folk art and comic book art. As a youth, he painstakingly dissected the work and techniques of his favorite comic book artists, down to how they sharpened their pencils, in order to teach himself to produce art. Early influences include Jim Lee, Jack Kirby, and Todd McFarlane who drew Incredible Hulk for Marvel, (1987-1988) and is known for changing Spider-Man’s webbing from essentially X’s between two lines into “spaghetti webbing”.
 His work has been exhibited far and wide from coast to coast, not least at Tufts University in Medford, The Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts, and the San Francisco Art Institute.
 Gonzalez, a family man, who lives in Somerville MA., is committed to introducing youth to the visual arts. Raul has taught in the education departments of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 2011 Gonzalez collaborated with over 125 kids from all over the city of Boston to create a work entitled “and their Families” for the Linde Family Wing of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
 Raul has recently been commissioned by Tufts University to create a 4 by 20 foot mural as part of their Temporary Public Arts program.


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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Uncategorized


July 13th show featuring Composer Audrey Drake and Arts At The Armory, Somerville


Through her inspired guitar playing and classically trained voice, Audrey Drake weaves the story of her life and connects with her audience. A powerhouse of emotion and subtlety of texture will keep you intrigued and raw emotions will draw you into her world. Her spirit will leave you wanting to know the intimate details behind her inspiration.  In this interview, Audrey describes very eloquently, her process as she composes and we discuss the question, why go out to hear live music?


In the second half of the show I share a retrospection on my favorite Film Director, Ken Loache, and visit Arts At The Armory, in Somerville, MA to check out what is going on at this recently renovated arts and community center
Mission & Vision
Given that artistic expression elevates a civil society, Arts at the Armory seeks to galvanize the creative spirit by providing a space where working artists and the community can come together.

Recognizing that art can bridge cultural, class and generational divides, Arts at the Armory showcases a wide range of visual arts, dance, theater and musical performances. Arts at the Armory is located in an historic armory that also provides studio spaces for artists, a cafe, galleries, two live/work artists units, two performance spaces, and offices for arts organizations.

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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Uncategorized


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SlamMaster Simone Beaubien & Poet, Artist and Musician James Caroline on The Bridge Today!

James Caroline Photo by Jeff Robinson

This Friday I talk to Simone Beaubien, SlamMaster at the Cantab Lounge. Simone has been hosting there since 2004 and is currently the reigning Champion of Champions of the venue. She will tell us all about the Slam Poetry scene.

In the second half of the show I interview, James Caroline who is phenomenal! An intense performer, a warm big hearted guy, a delight to be with and an exciting force of nature when he performs. Jamie travels all over America and the world

During the spring of 2004, he directed and performed in Musician and the Muse, a performance of poetry and music at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, featuring Nicole Terez, Tom Daley, Regie Gibson, and Iyeoka Okoawo. He was also commissioned to write the vocal text and act as artistic sound director for the Naked Truths; Voices of Shame, Sexuality, and Eating Disorders in Women, a play performed at HERE multimedia center in Manhattan. Selected publication credits include The Lifted Brow, The Cascadia Review, Quarry, Subliminal, A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry, and Painted Bride Quarterly.

Recently, he became the closing speaker for Join The Impact Massachusetts, performing along side Senators and activists in protests against DOMA, Prop 8, and other Queer issues. He is currently working on a collection of poems, Live, From the Killing Jar, and a novel in verse based on the myth of Dionysus

Listen to the show and share with friends:

You can listen to the new audio here.


Posted by on June 7, 2012 in Uncategorized


Danny Bryck performing Occupy play

Danny Bryck will be performing his one-man documentary play No Room for Wishing on June 29 in a one-night only workshop production at Central Square Theater. Danny was featured on The Bridge, in May when we did a show on Political Theater:

Listen to THE BRIDGE – Political Theater episode 3


Written using only the exact words of the people involved in Occupy Boston, No Room for Wishing pieces together the voices and experiences of a variety of diverse individuals into the larger story of what happened over the two months that Occupy Boston held a physical encampment in Dewey Square.

Both personal and political, No Room for Wishing is an up-close look at the sociopolitical climate of contemporary America and the way it affects a broad spectrum of people. Probing the ways that we as a culture perceive and communicate with each other, it asks, “What happens when we try to reinvent society?”

This will be the first fully-staged workshop production of the play, which has been in development for the past eight months. Seating is limited so please reserve your seat in advance. To reserve a ticket please email

For more information, including a sneak preview of the play, go to Danny’s web site.

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Posted by on June 6, 2012 in Uncategorized


First episode of THE BRIDGE tomorrow!

Radio | Occupy Boston

We are thrilled to be broadcasting on-line the first episode of, THE BRIDGE, Arts for the 99% tomorrow May 4th at 2.30pm Boston time, 7.30pm UK time. I’m Linda Carmichael and my friend, Janet Gillespie is the Co Host, fellow producer and editor of this 1/2 hour arts program.

We look forward to your comments and suggestions for future programing.

The line up for May:

Episode 1 May 4th Interview with musician/composer, Dave Kobrenski from The Black Bear Moon Project. He will talk about what it is like to be an independent musician in the corporate climate of today’s music scene, his travels in West Africa to learn that country’s traditional music, and we will hear some truly spectacular Afro Funk Jazz.
Episode 2 May 11th Interview with Abe Rybeck Executive Artistic Director of The Theater Offensive. The Theater Offensive’s mission  is to form and present the diverse realities of queer lives in art so bold it breaks through personal isolation and political orthodoxy to help build an honest, progressive community. This show is incredibly moving with some spectacular pieces of theater from their up-coming work.

Episode 3 May 18th  Explores Political Theater with interviews with Oscar winner Ernest Thomson who wrote ON GOLDEN POND. He will talk about his recently written series of plays collectively entitled Political Suicide, and Actor/writer Danny Bryck, who is working on his one man show, No Room For Wishing, based on his interviews with the Occupy Boston inhabitants of Dewey Square.
Whitebridge Farm Productions LLC – Ernest Thomson’s company

Episode 4 May 25th We spend time with BOOKS OF HOPE, a dynamic youth literacy empowerment program inspiring the next generation of young authors through writing, publishing performing and entrepeneurship. We will have some of their work in the second part of the show.
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Posted by on May 3, 2012 in Uncategorized