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The Arts

Going SOLOs

Hooker-Dunham Theater, Rock River Players, BCTV team up for series dedicated to monologues, poetry performed by local actors

BRATTLEBORO—SOLOs — a co-production of the the Hooker-Dunham Theater, the Rock River Players, and Brattleboro Community Television — is a series of shows consisting of sets of monologues and poetry filmed on-stage in the Hooker-Dunham.

The first show in the series will be premiered on BCTV and YouTube in late October. Many of the area’s most talented actors are contributing performances, ranging from Shakespeare and Chekov to Edgar Allan Poe and T.S. Eliot as well as original material developed for the project.

“There is tremendous creative energy in our community. All of us in the arts are finding innovative ways to connect with our audiences,” Jon Mack, who manages the Hooker-Dunham Theater and hosts the series, said in a news release.

“We conceived of this series of solo performances as a means of enabling local actors to reach their audiences while keeping everyone safe and healthy,” he added.

“As we have witnessed live theater go dark, the idea of this collaboration project is to produce a series of well-rehearsed monologues, soliloquies, and poems in front of a camera for on-air and online broadcast seems like the natural next best option,” added Bahman Mahdavi of the Rock River Players, producer and lead director of the first show in the series.

In this first show, John Ogorzalek will perform Edgar Allan Poe’s classic poem Annabelle Lee, Dan Lloyd will enact a monologue from Shakespeare’s Sir Thomas More on the plight of immigrants, Cameron Cobane takes on Richard III’s “Now is the winter of our discontent,” and Annie Landenberger — founder of the Rock River Players — will perform a piece drawn from Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard.

Tom Ely will perform the Inquisitor’s monologue from George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan. Comic relief will be provided by a monologue of a cat’s view of its human “master,” and Rose Watson will perform Always Ridiculous by José Echegaray. Tino Benson will perform an original piece, “The Meaning of Life.”

Subsequent shows in the series will include Michael Fox Kennedy performing a series of Shakespeare monologues on troubled sleep, Ron Bos-Lun reprising his role from Cass Morgan’s Charles Henry’s Final Curtain, Mack taking on on T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, and Adrienne Major performing a Prospero monologue from Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Actors who would like to be considered to perform in future shows are encouraged to contact the producers via the Hooker-Dunham’s contact page (HookerDunham.org/contact).

All shows will be available free on BCTV and on the Hooker-Dunham’s YouTube channel.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #583 (Wednesday, October 14, 2020). This story appeared on page A7.

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