The Strand Project Returns!
The Strand Project returns for a second year, and the 2017 production focuses on the American experience, featuring monologues from a range of viewpoints and characters. The audience hears from a cabbie, a biology teacher, a fry cook, a coroner, a troubled young man, a runaway teenage girl, an immigrant baker in New York, a group of backpackers, a woman fighting cancer, and many more.
The production will be staged at Selah Restaurant, 130 South Bridge Street, Struthers, OH 44471 on June 2, 3, 9, and 10 at 8:00 p.m. Each performance will be followed by a talk-back with writers, actors, and the production team. Theater-goers should plan to get their tickets early as last year’s production sold out more than a week in advance.
The action takes over a day in an urban park, where friends and strangers meet. Unlike other monologue productions, rather than speaking to the audience, the actors tell their stories to other actors onstage.
Project Coordinator, Kris Harrington, discusses the process: “What’s interesting and challenging for our actors is that they have to create these characters outside of the context of a full-length script and they also have to convey relationships with other actors,” Harrington added, “and this cast has been up to the challenge.”
This years cast includes Miranda Canacci, Terri Davis-Liller, D’Ella Heschmeyer, Frank Martin, Mateo Martin, Medford Mashburn, Mitchell Meyers, Jaye Mills, Tom O’Donnell, Erica Perna, Sam Perry, Jeanine Rees, Carlos Rivera, Michael Robinson, Jackie Stevens, Terry Shears, and Brenda Zyvith.
Audiences who saw last year’s production can expect a different setting, new themes, and a larger production team. Harrington said, “Last year’s experimental, ever-evolving process worked for us, so we decided to stick with the free-flowing nature of it. But, I realized I needed a co-coordinator.”
Joining the production team as co-coordinator is Bill Soldan, a recent graduate of the NEOMFA program in creative writing. Soldan said, “After having my acting debut in the first Strand Project production last year, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be involved with it again, this time as a co-coordinator.”
Soldan added: “We were able to compile a wonderful collection of pieces with a wide representation of unique voices, and our fantastic actors have really brought their A-games to the stage. It’s a night full of humor and strength and vulnerability–the things that make us human.”
Harrington is also directing the project, guided by theater veteran Mary Ruth Lynn who is the project’s co-director and Selah Dessert Theater’s Artistic Director. Lynn spoke about why The Strand Project is a perfect fit for Selah’s space: “The rich and diverse texture of the Selah experience makes it the perfect venue for bringing writers and actors together in a one of a kind evening of theater.”
Selected writers for The Strand Project include Ellyn Bache, Kelly Bancroft, Gayle Bell, Charles Belov, Jeannette Brown, Rob Carney, Philip Cioffari, Alex Dremann, Seth Freeman, Pamela Gay, Gary R. Hoffman, Jeannine Jones, David MacGregor, Wayne L. Miller, Cressida Peever, Cary Pepper, Erica Perna, Ron Pullins, Robin Rice, George Sapio, Terry Shears, and Judy Wells