FTC Monologue Festival
Actor and Playwright Notes for
Someone's Gotta Do It

During our 4th annual monologue festival at Forward Theater, we asked a pair of actors and playwrights to weigh in on this unique project.

Zhalarina Sanders (Actor, Enough Trouble in the World by Coleman):
Enough Trouble in the World is phenomenal. Period. I trust my director (AC member Jake Penner) because I’ve worked with him before, so when he asked me to consider the script, I knew he’d probably struck gold in the selection processes. The first day of rehearsal was when I truly realized just how necessary and beautifully written this story is, leaving an impression that inspires change and hope. I am honored to be able to play this character our experiences overlap so much that I am able to personally connect with her and really tap in to what is happening on stage, which I consider a privilege. In a lot of ways, I feel like I’m just sharing a part of myself with the audience. Our rehearsal process has also been very collaborative and so we’ve been able to understand the character outside of the script and from many different angles. If people walk away with only a fraction of the joy being a part of this has brought me, I will be content.

Sam D. White (Actor, Doorways & Beginnings by Eric Brehm):
“As both a founding member of Forward Theater and a long-time member of the Madison-area theater community, our biannual monologue festival is a very special event for me personally. Getting to write for it, act in it, or direct a piece is an absolute thrill (I get to perform a piece this year!). However, what makes it truly special for me is that it stands as proof our mission statement is core to everything we do. Besides being a great evening of unique theater our audiences cannot see anywhere else, it’s our chance to make connections with local theater artists we do not traditionally work with. It a chance to showcase playwrights, actors and directors who are not necessarily full-time theater artists. For many of the artists involved in this year’s festival, theater is not their full-time living. However, it is most certainly their full-time lifestyle. They love and live theater every day.

Looking at the material and the production company gathered this year, I am supremely confident the festival will be the quality of work you’re used to seeing at Forward Theater. These folks are good. Both the company and our audience will experience the work of many new artists (and a couple old-timers like me), which is truly good for everyone; for our audience, for our company, and especially our community of extremely talented theater artists. Our base just keeps getting stronger, and stronger, and stronger, and…”

Jess Schuknecht (Playwright, Cave Men):
Sometimes, you just know. That was the case for me when I heard the theme of Someone's Gotta Do It for this festival. Within seconds I knew what I was going to write. As a lifelong nerd, I can't tell you how many times I read about this place and thought about the logistics that impact the world of Cave Men - how it came to be, what the upkeep is like, who handles all the things we never see or hear about but obviously have to happen, how did that penny get put there without anyone noticing, how much is that penny worth? Yes, I'm being a little vague, because I don't want to give away everything and risk having your attention wane during the festival. I like clues and detective work, and I liked solving some of those mysteries I had questions about. I hope you do too.

Karen Moeller (Playwright, Bitter Blind):
Talk to any actor, and I guarantee they can tell you about at least one crazy job they've held. The kind of job you take when you're less worried about the job duties than you are about having the flexibility to audition on a moment's notice. The kind of job that most people would run away from after reading the job description, but you talk yourself into it because it's close to your agent's office. The kind of job that you don't even realize is unusual until you tell the family about it at Thanksgiving and see everyone's jaw drop. When the theme Someone's Gotta Do It was chosen for the Monologue Festival, the challenge for me wasn't coming up with a monologue, but in deciding which of the many strange jobs I've had (or my friends have had) to write about. I can't wait to see Bitter Blind and all of the other pieces performed on stage. There are so many talented actors, writers, and directors from our community taking part in this festival. It's one of my favorite things we do as a theater company.