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The Arts

SOLOS features monologues and song by local performers

BRATTLEBORO—SOLOs Episode 7: Originals — a video montage of monologues and song by six area performers filmed by Brattleboro Community Television — premieres simultaneously on BCTV and on YouTube Friday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m.

The free opening is capped with an online session at 8:15 p.m., where audience members can chat with cast, directors, producers, and technical staff.

Each episode of SOLOs is a co-production of the Rock River Players (RRP) and the Hooker-Dunham Theater (H-D), filmed on the H-D stage at 139 Main St.

RRP’s Bahman Mahdavi produced Episode 7, the latest in a series conceived and launched by Mahdavi and H-D Director Jon Mack last fall as a way to keep the lively arts alive in Covid times.

SOLOs Episode 7 features “Gertrude,” written and performed by Annie Landenberger and directed by Mahdavi; “Moffit,” written and directed by Michael Nethercott and performed by Joel Kaemmerlen; “Take Me,” written and performed by Gary Keiser; “Lesbian Perspective,” written by Matt Cogswell, performed by Charlene Kennedy, and directed by Carrie Kidd; “The Daisy,” written and performed by Johanna Gardner and directed by Mahdavi; and “Open the package, Denise,” written by Erica Walch and directed by Austin Rice.

Mahdavi, who has trained and worked in film production as well as, more recently, in directing and acting, called this production “our most ambitious undertaking so far, with enhanced production values and original work that’s never been performed in public before.”

“Open the package, Denise” is actually a short movie featuring the dystopian story and narration of Walch, an award-winning Newfane author. Filmed, directed, edited, and performed by Rice, Angus Reid, and Anneli Curnock, the short features what Mack and Mahdavi describe as some of Brattleboro’s finest young talents.

“Even during COVID-19, art brings us closer together,” Mahdavi observes, and so it has been in Originals, which manifested several new collaborations.

“I am delighted by the high quality of theatrical performance this series is creating,” says Mack, who will narrate SOLOs 7. “In this extended period of isolation, we have found a way to keep the artistic juices flowing for our community of artists and audiences.”

The free premiere is available at bit.ly/607-solos and on BCTV. To request links to the free talk-back that will follow, write info@hookerdunham.com or info@rockriverplayers.org.

Landenberger will produce and direct Episode 8, which will premiere in May and will feature Curnock, John Moran, Veronica Stevens, Marisa Imôn, Fred Lawrence, Kaemmerlen, Tom Ely, and Mahdavi.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #607 (Wednesday, April 7, 2021). This story appeared on page B4.

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