Offering an opportunity for both new and experienced actors to put their talents on display, “An Evening of Monologues” was a wonderfully entertaining exhibition of UNB’s thespians.
DRAM 1173’s presentation of monologues was a rollercoaster of dramatic performance ranging from the Iliad to Shakespeare, and Shakespeare to Fleabag. The constant movement through time, space, and genre kept the hour-and-a-half performance engaging and entertaining until the last performer recited their carefully practiced words.
The night’s program moved at a breakneck pace as twenty-five performances were fit into an hour and a half. Luckily, every performer appeared comfortable with their allotted time and not a single monologue felt rushed.
The monologue experience was heightened by ruckus audience participation as the night’s host assured the viewers that voices were a more than appropriate reaction when they liked something. Fredericton viewers—which are usually relatively timid as far as crowds go—were laughing along with comedic delivery and gasping during emotional moments.
Some performers even prompted the crowd for reactions, adding further engagement to the already intimate performances.
The locales visited by the “Monologues’” performers varied widely. As mentioned, ancient Greece was only one example of the many locations performers took the audience to, which included jungles, and the darkest depths of human existence: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Some monologues included powerful political and ideological messages. There were intense discussions of freedom, lynchings, immigration, drunken Scotsmen, and forest fires—giving an attentive audience member plenty to think about in UNB’s Memorial Hall—where the performances occurred.
DRAM 1173’s performers also displayed an eye for both costuming and set design, as almost everyone was impressively dressed for their part. Swords, hats, and full robes made appearances as various dramatists stomped, slumped, and slithered across the stage.
One performance of note was Erin Shields’ rendition of Paradise Lost. Shields’ monologue was a sneak peek at an upcoming production from Theatre UNB set to debut in February 2023. Proposed as a “decidedly contemporary and feminist retelling of Genesis,” this production of Paradise Lost will be performed by students from UNB’s DRAM 3170 course.
In short, Theatre UNB’s “Monologues” was a wildly entertaining night and wonderful opportunity that deserves the support of the whole UNB community, so keep an eye on Theatre UNB’s upcoming events.