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Forward's Inaugural Monologue Festival

The Love That Changed My Life

February 11th and 12th, 2011

“…charming, sad and funny theatrical valentine to Madison theatergoers that reflects Forward’s admirable commitment to new work.”

— Jennifer A. Smith, Isthmus

Forward Theater invited playwrights from across the country to contribute to this celebration of true love, in all its incarnations. The result is an engaging evening of monologues examining the relationships that affect us most profoundly, whether life-altering love comes in the form of a best friend, a Labrador retriever, a great slice of pizza, or a matinee-movie idol. It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day outing for you and the one you love.

Overture Center for the Arts

201 State St,
Madison, WI 53703

Sponsored By:

Madison Community Foundation

About the show

102 minutes

Performance Dates:
September 7-24, 2023

Age Recommendations:
Not for children under 17


We strive to make our performances available to the entire community. This guiding principle captures the theater we aim to be.

We’re proud to be a resident company at Overture Center, which provides practical accessibility for a variety of needs.

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“When Forward was established, one of the things we wanted to do was promote the development of new plays,” said Artistic Director Jennifer Uphoff Gray. “This is a great way to work one-on-one with a wide variety of playwrights and get to know their writing styles. We’re very excited to start rehearsals.”
“It was really interesting to see the writers’ creative approaches on the subject of love,” added Kimberly Yarnall, a member of the advisory company who coordinated the contest. “It was even more interesting looking at the scores for each monologue once the authors’ names were revealed. Everyone read the pieces ‘blind’ so we could honestly respond to the writing.”

The festival’s roster of short plays includes work from Wisconsin writers, as well as notable dramatists Christopher Durang (Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them), Beth Henley (Crimes of the Heart), and Constance Congdon (Tales of the Lost Formicans). The Monologue Festival is dedicated to the memory of David Schanker, a Madison playwright who worked with Forward earlier this year on a staged reading of his award-winning play, Kiritsis.

The performance will include:

“An Evening with Jon Jones” by David Schanker, formerly of Madison, WI

“Autumn Sky Blue” by Russell Weeks, Seattle, WA

“Being Reasonable” by Heather Meyer, Minneapolis, MN

“Certainty” by Joe Rice, Madison, WI

“Trouble With Love” by Christopher Durang, Pipersville, PA

“Getting Back Together” by Christopher Durang, Pipersville, PA

“I Am the Tree” by Kimberly Yarnall, Madison, WI

“Izabella” by Rob Matsushita, Madison, WI

“Jenny’s Cough” by Lori Romero, Santa Fe, NM

“Memo From My Father” by Amanda Petefish-Schrag, Maryville, MO

“My Brother’s Love” by Beth Henley, Los Angeles, CA

“The Love That Changed my Life” by Constance Congdon, Amherst, MA

“Something Real” by Gwendolyn Rice, Madison, WI

“The Nuts that Changed My Life” by Kimberly Yarnall, Madison, WI

“Star Crossed Lovers” by Joe Rice, Madison, WI

Michael Herold
Tom Henson
Paul Milisch
Gail Becker Koppa
Kate Ewings
Donovan Armbruster
Liz Angle
Simon Henriques
Stephanie Monday
Kathy Lynn Sliter
Stephen Montagna
Greer DuBois
Karen Moeller
Allison Katula
Creative Team
Frank Scheeberger
Set Designer
John Frautschy
Light Designer
Jim Uphoff
Sound Designer
Jen Uphoff Gray
Richard Ganoung
Joan Brooks
Catie O'Donnell
Allen Ebert
Reva Fox
Lynda Sharpe
Jess Lanius
Tony Trout
Miranda Hawk
Greg Harris
Sarah Day
Erin Baal
Frank Honts

“The Love That Changed My Life is a charming, sad and funny theatrical valentine to Madison theatergoers that reflects Forward’s admirable commitment to new work.”
“Plenty of unexpected treats, both in terms of snappy, original writing and in terms of local actors I haven’t seen before, such as Kate Ewings, whose ode to hot dogs (Star Crossed Lovers, written by Madisonian Joseph Rice and directed by Tony Trout) is a thing of beauty.”
~Jennifer A. Smith, Isthmus
Click here for full review.

“The performance featured a good mix of dramatic and comic pieces, a variety of perspectives and situations, and wonderful performances. The quality of the acting is what made the strongest overall impression on me and it was a pleasure to see so many accomplished local actors onstage.”
~Christian Neuhaus, Dane 101


“Some solos could translate into comedy club sketches. The Nuts that Changed My Life by Yarnall gives Michael Herold a chance to wax buttery — and hilariously — about a seedy obsession. (The nuts he describes really are that good; they changed my life, too.)”
~Lindsay Christians, 77 Square
Click here for full review.


More from this season

In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play
November 4-21, 2010
Going to St Ives
March 3-19, 2011
Moonlight and Magnolias
April 28 – May 15, 2011