WRRR Cast Interview: Sam Cha

Just a few more weeks until our production of White Rabbit Red Rabbit comes to OBERON!

We recently checked in with cast member Sam Cha (who’ll perform on Wednesday, November 16) to see how he was preparing for the show.


So much of White Rabbit Red Rabbit is a mystery. You can’t read the script, can’t memorize the script, can’t rehearse anything. We, of course, love the idea—but what makes this sort of risk attractive to you as a performer?

a) Performance is about being terrified and then turning that terror into something useful. (For loosely defined values of “use.”) When you can’t prepare for the performance, you’re even more terrified, and so, in theory, unless there’s a sort of terror-singularity thing happening, where you accelerate into terror faster than you can accelerate out of it, you’ll be a supernova of sublimated fright. This doesn’t attract me, per se, but it strikes me as something I’d definitely like to try.

b) Ever stand on the edge of a subway platform and think I’m definitely not going to jump, but what if my body has other ideas?

c) On roller coasters, I always envision the freak accident: the arm lopped off, the tongue bitten in half, the g-force induced heart attack, etc. I love roller coasters.

The possibilities that accompany performing a work you’ve never read or seen are wide open. What are you most excited about?

I’m not sure, so I’m going to be oblique.

I wrote in college. Then I stopped. It was years before I managed to write anything that wasn’t a close reading or an annotated bibliography or a prospectus. When, eventually, I did write a poem, I went to an open mic. I was feeling lonely. There’s this wonderful moment that happens and then passes—I think probably at the speed of sound–where the words leave your mouth and they haven’t quite registered with the audience yet—and you feel kind of weightless, like school’s been cancelled and you have the day off, like maybe you don’t have to be human anymore, you can just be a thin membrane, like the one in a kazoo, buzzing with air.

On stage, you’ll be holding a script and reading the words as you’re about to speak them. This setup could be limiting. How do you connect with an audience when you’re constrained in these ways?

I’ve never actually interacted with an audience in any other way.

I think of it as an opening-up, I guess. A signaling of vulnerability (which I guess in my head signals honesty signals authenticity signals look people something here is actually happening). (This doesn’t mean you’re actually vulnerable, of course, but you have to look like it.)

Are there any other steps you’re taking to prepare to perform White Rabbit Red Rabbit? (Reminder: Googling is against the rules.)

My friend Jade is feeding me these improv exercises. Also, monologues. Lots of monologues. Also, I plan to go to the Cantab and recite other people’s poems on the open mic. Will any of this help? I don’t know! I haven’t Googled anything.

Outside of this show, what else are you working on creatively?

Right now I’m working on a long poem that is sort of a riff on a couple of lines from Wordsworth. So far it’s about: the garden of Eden, procrastination, the sudden death of one of our neighbors, chessplayers in the Harvard Square Pit, and the shape of tragedy. If it sounds ADD, that’s because it is—when I write, I waffle between trying to leave almost everything out and trying to put everything in, but on balance I’m really mostly a collector, a magpie, going from shiny thing to shiny thing, in the hopes of making some kind of memorable temporary (slash temporal, I guess?) pattern.


Read more about Sam and the rest of the cast at the WRRR page. To see Sam in White Rabbit Red Rabbit, head over to OBERON and reserve your seats for Wednesday, November 16!


WRRR Cast Interview: Jen Taschereau

With less than a month to go until our production of White Rabbit Red Rabbit, we wanted to ask our cast members how they’re gearing up to perform a show they’ve never read or seen.

First up, we have Jen Taschereau, who’ll be performing on Tuesday, November 15.

So much of White Rabbit Red Rabbit is a mystery. You can’t read the script, can’t memorize the script, can’t rehearse anything. We, of course, love the idea–but what makes this sort of risk attractive to you as a performer?

I love challenging myself as a performer with tough scripts, whether it’s the language itself or themes that are difficult to tackle. I’m also very big on physically seeing how far I can push my body and mind. When Carissa approached me with this project, just the description terrified me, so I knew it was the right project for me to say yes to. I haven’t been on stage in three years, so coming back to something that forces me to jump in with no time for questions seems right. I also love connecting with the audience as a performer, and I imagine I’ll need them immensely the night I get to read WRRR for the first time. I believe the audience members who sign on for this kind of evening of theatre are also there to make connections. It’s the perfect relationship.

The possibilities that accompany performing a work you’ve never read or seen are wide open. What are you most excited about?

I’m just excited to actually read the script! I’m dying to know what’s inside that envelope. I’m excited to see how I react to it for the first time. How the audience reacts to it. And how that shapes the evening. 

On stage, you’ll be holding a script and reading the words as you’re about to speak them. This setup could be limiting. How do you connect with an audience when you’re constrained in these ways?

I’ve thought about this a lot. I’ve done staged readings before, but I’ve known the script and had time to get familiar and comfortable with them, so it’s easy to build in moments to take your eyes away from the paper and make audience connections. I have faith those moments will be found in the moment of WRRR. I don’t know how to describe it in words, it’s just a feeling I have. I have to be completely receptive and exposed and vulnerable up there. That state of being alone is going to open the door for connections, I believe. 

Are there any other steps you’re taking to prepare to perform White Rabbit Red Rabbit? (Reminder: Googling is against the rules.)

So far, I haven’t done anything to prepare because, to be honest, I’m not sure what that would be outside of any dramaturgical work. And I’m not allowed! I have been following this instruction so much that outside of the description Aforementioned gives of the play, I know nothing. Normally, I would be researching the time and place of the script, the author’s life, anything I felt was relevant and needs my attention. Instead, I’m completely in the dark. It feels both odd—like I’m being a lazy actor—and liberating—like I’m being told, “Don’t worry, just do this.”

I do plan on taking a few pieces of text, poetry maybe, or a book I’m unfamiliar with, and doing some out loud reading on the spot for some cold reading practice. 

Outside of this show, what else are you working on creatively?

If you had asked me this question three or four years ago, I would have started listing off a season of projects (3-5, maybe more depending on the year!), but I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from creative work these days—though I guess that’s not true. I’ve been teaching in Newton for 11 years now, and I write or adapt a show for about 70 children every year, which I then direct, music-direct, and produce. I have an amazing team behind and beside me. This year, it’s a crazy version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, adapted from the brilliant mind of Matthew Woods and his ensemble of artists over at Imaginary Beasts. I also spend many hours a day making up crazy stories and voices for my five-and-a-half-month-old son. So I guess the creative juices haven’t stopped flowing, really!


To see Jen in White Rabbit Red Rabbit, head over to OBERON and reserve your seats for Tuesday, November 15!


Help support Aforementioned

Last Friday, Oct 7, we—Carissa Halston and Randolph Pfaff; cofounders, editors, and publishers of Aforementioned Productions—were in a car accident. The car was a rental (we were going to a friend’s wedding), and while we have collision insurance, we don’t have liability insurance.

Neither of us have been to the hospital, though we both sustained minor injuries. But one of the reasons we didn’t go to the ER is we honestly can’t afford it. We pay for our insurance entirely on our own (that is, not through an employer).

And we pay for Aforementioned the same way. With the exception of preorders, we pay for everything on our own. We’ve worked for free for eleven years, and we’ve lost money every year. We produced 24 online issues of apt in the first five years, and five years of weekly content after that. Five years of Literary Firsts. Nine books over six years. Hundreds of writers’ work: edited, proofread, designed, packaged, published, hosted, curated. For free.

We know we’re not alone in this. We know how it goes: non-profits are labors of love.

The problem is we suddenly can’t afford ours.

And the fact is: we are Aforementioned. If we run into a financial problem, it makes it nearly impossible to continue funding AP.

Since starting in 2005, we’ve never asked for financial assistance. We’ve never had a fundraiser. We’ve always paid for whatever we needed on our own. Over and above donating thousands of free hours, we’ve paid for web hosting, printing books, paying apt contributors, shipping materials and shipping costs, business cards, advertisements, book release parties, attending trade conferences, exhibiting at book fairs, travel and lodging for both, etc.

At this point, we’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars into AP. And despite that investment, it’s still really difficult even asking for help. We wouldn’t do it if we thought we could avoid it. But right now, we need your support. We need help paying for the projects we’ve committed to producing in the next three months.

Namely, a very large expense: we’re producing a limited run of White Rabbit Red Rabbit at Oberon in November. The show will cost more than $4500 to produce.

We’re also publishing Krysten Hill’s monumental debut, How Her Spirit Got Out, in December. And in January, we’re putting out the seventh print annual of apt.

These are expenses we had accounted for—until last Friday.

To be clear, these projects are going to happen regardless of how much money we raise, but the truth is that future projects are in jeopardy because of the car accident.

We don’t want Aforementioned’s successes to be contingent on our financial situation. We’re looking into possible ways to secure financial stability once we get out of this rough patch, but in the meantime, if you have the means to help out, we’d really appreciate your support.



If you’re in the Boston area, the best way you can support us is by buying a ticket to see White Rabbit Red Rabbit. The show is running Nov 14, Nov 15, and Nov 16. Tickets are $20-$30. And if you need a reason to see the show, just check out the press and the cast.




If you’re not in Boston (or can’t make the show), you can still support us in four ways:

1/You can send us a tax-deductible donation via GoFundMe! No matter how small (honestly), we appreciate every donation. And if you’re really committed to helping us out, you can even set up a recurring payment.


2/You can preorder Krysten Hill’s urgent, necessary debut, How Her Spirit Got Out, which Jill McDonough praised: “These poems are a middle finger tucked into the hip pocket of your favorite dress.”



3/You can subscribe to apt: three years for just $30! And issue 7 is shaping up to be great–with work by Joanna Ruocco, Sonja Condit, Gregory Crosby, and more!


4/You can buy back issues of apt or any of our critically acclaimed, award-winning books!




If you’ve ever enjoyed any of our books, or a story or poem or essay at apt, if you’ve ever attended a Literary Firsts reading, or one of our book release parties, if you’ve ever come to one of our events and had a really great time, we hope you’ll support us now that we need it most.

And if you’ve already ordered a book or bought a ticket to WRRR, thank you. We couldn’t continue running AP without your help.

With immense gratitude,

Carissa Halston and Randolph Pfaff
Aforementioned Productions


We’ve been hard at work prepping Krysten Hill’s debut chapbook, How Her Spirit Got Out, for publication this DecemberAnd we’re thrilled to say the book is now available for preorder!

How Her Spirit Got Out is a lively, urgent song. Answering the writers whose voices raised her, Hill calls on Sylvia Plath, Audre Lorde, and Zora Neale Hurston to help her navigate the complicated landscape of selfhood. Hill’s speaker, wise and direct, open yet elusive, also sings for the women who brought her up: her aunt, her grandmother, and her mother. These spirits who’ve guided her life and taught her through example how black women persevere, have given her the means to bear witness to an age of racial violence. With intensity, audacity, and a darkly comic wit, Hill grapples with the question of how to fight “a city that knows you’re unarmed,” rendering each poem as a weapon and a shield, and using both for self-defense.

And some praise from the amazing Jill McDonough:

“Necessary and powerful….these poems are a middle finger tucked in the hip pocket of your favorite dress.”

And as always for our presales, we’ve got options and incentives for every budget: bundles that include broadsides, additional books (like issues of apt and chapbooks by Gillian Devereux and Michael Lynch), and copies of HHSGO with variant jewel-tone covers; poems written specifically for you; and, just in case you happen to be deeply committed to literary investments, you can also take a literary tour with Krysten to Sylvia Plath’s birthplace, Audre Lorde’s archive, and the Zora Neale Hurston house.

But most important: Krysten’s book comes with each incentive. So, check out the presale and order your copy today—this book is going to leave you breathless.

Cover reveal: Krysten Hill’s HOW HER SPIRIT GOT OUT

Summertime is lovely at the AP office. Being near Boston puts us close to the beach and we take advantage of that.

But honestly? Aforementioned is more of an autumn/winter. You can tell from our schedule: we tend to shine in the cooler months.

We have some really exciting projects ahead: in November, we’re producing White Rabbit Red Rabbittickets are on sale now!—and in December, we’re publishing Krysten Hill’s debut chapbook, How Her Spirit Got Out. We’ve been working with Krysten for years, as a contributor at apt, a reader at Literary Firsts, and now on HHSGO, so we’ve been so happy to see her work grow during that time.

And now that we get to shine it up and present it to all of you, Carissa may have gotten a bit carried away in designing the cover.

Or, shall we say, covers:



Keep your eyes peeled for presale news for how you can get your own copy (maybe one in each color?)—more details soon!

White Rabbit Red Rabbit at OBERON

Last month, we said we were working on a new staged Aforementioned Production.

And now we can finally announce it: This November, we’re producing a limited run of White Rabbit Red Rabbit, an experimental work by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour.


The show has no set, no director, and no rehearsals.

It features a rotating cast of actors who encounter the play in a sealed envelope. They’ve never seen it performed. They’ll never perform it again. They read it for the first—and last—time aloud for the audience.

So, please join us at OBERON in November, when Carissa Halston, Jen Taschereau, and Sam Cha will take the stage and help us discover the play no one is allowed to talk about.

To order tickets, visit White Rabbit Red Rabbit at OBERON.

HOW HER SPIRIT GOT OUT, Liam Day at BBF, and a staged Aforementioned Production

Friends, it’s finally summer! We’re reading as much as we can, working on apt 7 (which is going to be astounding—fiction by Joanna Ruocco and Sonja Condit; poetry by Doug Paul Case and Gregory Crosby!), and planning a slew of upcoming projects!

Among them:

Krysten Hill’s debut poetry collection, How Her Spirit Got Out

This is going to be such an important book. As our EIC, Carissa Halston, mentioned recently at Entropy magazine: Hill “questions all the ways black women’s bodies are commodified, used, and disregarded. There’s a great amount of urgency in [her] work, not only for its political relevance, but because she renders each poem as a weapon or a shield and uses both for self-defense.”

It’ll be on shelves this December, pre-sale coming soon!

Liam Day at the Boston Book Festival

Afforded Permanence was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award in poetry last year, so we’re so proud to have him representing AP (and AP) and the Massachusetts Poetry Fest at the Boston Book Festival this year!

Liam will be reading in Copley Square on Saturday, October 15. Keep your eyes peeled for the official schedule at the BBF site.

An exciting, nearly announced theatrical event

We’re so excited to produce a limited run of an experimental play—but we have to wait a bit longer before we can officially announce it.

But we want to give you a glimpse, so here’s what we can say so far. It’s a one-person show with a revolving cast, and it’ll feature our co-founders, Carissa Halston and Randolph Pfaff, alongside AP stalwart Jennifer O’Connor. If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Jen perform, get ready, Boston: she’s a delight.

Be on the lookout for more info soon, on stage this fall!

SPD sale + free shipping!


Readers, have you been socking some funds away waiting for a great book to read?

Your wait is over! Our dear distributor, Small Press Distribution, has launched a brand new website and a sale to celebrate! For the rest of the month, you can get 20% off Aforementioned titles and free shipping when you order through SPD!

Just use the code SITE when you check out.

As an added bonus, SPD has some titles we’re sold out of: like issue 3 and 5 of apt! So there’s no time to lose! Head over the the Aforementioned page at the new SPD site and check out their other fine titles while you’re there!

Aforementioned at Mass Poetry Festival this Saturday!


Boston friends, come see us on April 30 (this Saturday!) for the 2016 Mass Poetry Festival!

At 12:15, founding editors, Carissa Halston and Randolph Pfaff, will be part of a panel called Small Press, Big Love.

As the publishing landscape transforms, and the writing population expands, the role of small presses is becoming increasingly more significant. Join us as we talk with the founding editors of three independent presses about the kind of work they’re looking for; the relationships they cultivate with their authors during the revision and publication process; their innovative strategies for getting poetry out in the world; and the ways they’re actively working to increase diversity.

We’ll be talking alongside Liz Kay and Jen Lambert of Spark Wheel Press, and Enzo Silon Surin of Central Square Press. Also, the panel will be moderated by apt contributor, Danielle Jones-Pruett!

And if you can’t make the panel, worry not—we’ll be selling copies of apt, Underlife and Portico, They Used to Dance on Saturday Nights, and Afforded Permanence at the Small Press and Literary Fair! Stop by and see us!