Descendent Of Last Living 9/11 Search & Rescue Dog Speaks In Amy Raasch's THE ANIMAL MONOLOGUES
Winner of Son of Semele Theatre Company's Solo Creation Festival in Los Angeles 2017, media installation artist Amy Raasch debuts two new, NYC-inspired monologues in a special NYC Edition of her multimedia show, "The Animal Monologues," at United Solo Theatre Festival Tuesday, September 25.
Fast-moving, entertaining, and full of heart, the piece features the hopeful perspective of the young descendent of last living 9/11 Search and Rescue dog, Bretagne, who worked twelve-hour shifts at Ground Zero and became an international symbol of 9/11 heroism.
When researching the story, Raasch learned that over 300 dogs from all over the world had worked at the World Trade Center site, many entering spaces too tight for firefighters. As the mission turned from rescue to recovery, firefighters hid in the rubble to give the dogs a reason to keep looking. "New York stands as a beacon of resilience, grit, and hope in the face of tragedy. I wanted to offer thanks and respect to the city and to the human and canine heroes who inspire us to this day."
Directed by LA Drama Critics Circle Award winner Matthew McCray, the NYC Edition of "The Animal Monologues" also highlights the everyday service of a Bodega Cat, one of only a few domestic animals in the piece, which spotlights a lonely mountain lion trapped in the Hollywood hills, birds in a war zone, and a misunderstood lemming. Vibrant with campy, lo-fi video, soulful masks, and an evocative, electro-orchestral score by Sundance Fellow and longtime NYC resident David Poe; the lively, uncategorizable piece has captivated audiences in rock clubs and theaters alike. The play also interweaves Raasch's short film, "Cat Bird Coyote," animated by Annie Award nominee Tahnee Gehm; an official selection of 17 film festivals and winner of NYC's own Big Apple International Film Festival and the Los Angeles Independent Film Fest.
By voicing human concerns through animal characters, Raasch playfully re-contextualizes otherness through the lens of the animal kingdom, challenging the audience to embrace a more inclusive view of the world. "Unlike humans, animals operate purely from instinct, so they can't do anything wrong. I wanted to provide a way to view life experience outside the cultural programming that can precipitate unconscious judgments of people before we even know their names."
"The Animal Monologues" plays September 25 at the Studio Theater at Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street (between 9th & 10th). Tickets available at http://bit.ly/animalmonologues. Later this fall, the show receives a Los Angeles run 10/25-11/18 as part of the Solo Queens festival at the Bootleg Theater, during which Raasch will also teach a workshop on writing from character.
UNITED SOLO THEATRE FESTIVAL is an annual international festival for solo performances held at the Theatre Row in the heart of the New York City theatre district on 42nd Street, currently in its 9th season. Fiona Shaw called United Solo, "The mecca of the solo shows in the world." Over 130 participants from six continents will present their shows every day from September 13 until November 18, 2018. Numerous performances are already sold out. Through its mission, United Solo presents renowned artists as well as new talents, discovers original stories, connects artists with their audiences, exchanges diverse perspectives, fosters a dialogue for change, entertains, and now also educates through its professional training program led by distinguished artists and cultural icons. Artists and companies interested in being presented at The United Solo Festival in 2019 are now welcome to submit their applications online at www.unitedsolo.org/submit.