THEATER REVIEW / HIT “TWICE TOLD TALES” TO STREAM ONLINE FEB 8-14
To paraphrase an old meme: “You can’t keep a good show down…even with a virulent pandemic going on.”
So it will be when TheatreXP’s enormously-popular theatrical event, “Twice Told Tales”, finds renewed life online February 8-14. The show will be available at www.theatrexp.org, with access on a 24/7 basis during the run. The show is free, but donations can be made on the site that will go to support the actors and directors, as well as the theater company.
When the company’s scheduled late January live production of the raucus and humorous event had to be scrubbed at The Studios of Key West due to pandemic concerns, producer Bob Bowersox immediately shifted gears.
“’Twice Told Tales’ is perfect for a streaming platform,” Bowersox said. “Each actor is alone on stage during their particular performance, and it occurred to me that we can film those live performances in a much more intimate manner and in a very theatrical way, using the medium to our advantage. If people liked ‘Twice Told Tales’ as a live event, they’re going to love how we deliver it in this version. And they don’t have to leave home to enjoy it.”
Bowersox, founder and producing artistic director of TheatreXP, created “Twice Told Tales” four years ago as part of his company’s “Summer Stage” slate of events. It was an immediate hit, and soon became an annual staple presented at The Studios of Key West. It features a cadre of top Key West actors directed by a team of accomplished theatrical directors, delivering an evening of dueling monologues in a very unique way.
He’s also had experience with successful online streaming of quality theatrical events, having produced the recent online offerings of Nora and Delia Ephron’s ”Love, Loss and What I Wore” and Darrin Hagen’s “With Bells On” for the Red Barn Theatre’s current online season. He’s also produced online film productions of five of his own hit original plays.
“Things like these have been coming for a while, and home-bound audiences are gravitating to it more and more” Bowersox said. “The pandemic has forced the world of streaming entertainment to fully mature and is now encompassing theatrical events as much as films and TV. We have the technology, so why not join the fun?”
“Twice Told Tales” is an evening of monologues, each delivered twice…once each by two different actors, guided by a single director in two completely different directions, resulting in two completely different outcomes for the monologue and for the audience.
Directors for this year’s show include top Key West helmers Mathias Maloff, Vanessa McCaffrey, and Amber McDonald Good. Actors will include six of Key West’s best: Don Bearden, Wayne Dapser, Peggy Montgomery, Melody G. Moore, Ross Pipkin, and Donna Stabile.
Here’s how it works:
The subject of each monologue can be anything. They can be two to four minutes long. Each director is given two actors, who may be of different genders or orientations, but two actors of the same gender could also be used. The directors then work with each actor separately in rehearsal, developing the monologue in two completely different ways…meaning interpretation or delivery or emotion or intent or all of them.
The performance consists of each monologue delivered in its dual iterations, back-to-back. The results are sometimes startling.
“It’s a fun, surprising, and often illuminating evening of theatre,” said Bowersox, “and the audiences have really loved the show. It very clearly shows how direction and actor interpretation can completely change a piece of writing. It really shows the magic of theater.”
Part of the streaming evening will also include fun and stimulating intervals called the “Movie Monologue Challenge,” where the audience is presented with speeches from famous movies and challenged to identify the movie it’s from and the actor who delivered it.
“It’s an utterly wonderful, and completely entertaining,” said the Studio’s Rosi Ware, who has seen all previous versions of “Twice Told Tales”. “Don’t miss it.”
Information and access can be found directly at theatrexp.org. For more information, visit the website or call TheatreXP at 302-540-6102.