The Hippodrome Theatre will host the second annual Community Voices public theatre event on Monday, April 23 at 6:00pm. This year’s theme is Monologues on Change. We invited residents of Gainesville and surrounding communities to explore the idea of global, local or personal change through monologues. The call was answered by 72 youth and adults. Monologue submissions were evaluated by our panels of theatre and education professionals, and 15 original monologues were chosen for presentation.
Community Voices FREE Public Theatre Event:
Join us on the Hippodrome Mainstage to witness the presentation of 15 original monologues, written by your friends and neighbors!
Hippodrome actors and youth from the HITT (Hippodrome Improvisational Teen Theatre) students will perform the selected monologues in a free, public performance.
Following the free performance, actors writers and audience members will gather for a Meet and Greet with the writers and actors, and visit with area service organizations who will be at the event to share information about how their organizations are creating change in the community. The Meet and Greet will include a reception sponsored by Willy's Mexicana Grill.
Congratulations to the 2012
Community Voices Official Selections:
“Letter to the Pioneers”
Written by Nicole Cunningham
Performed by Ryan George
Written by Connor Werner
Performed by Filipe Valle Costa
“Don't roll your eyes at me!”
Written by Brittany Toms
Performed by Anaiss Morris
Written by Kaitlyn Maddux
Performed by Sarah Kell
Written by Kathryn Yachnis
Performed by Sandy Goetten
Written by Warren Parkin
Performed by Mark Woollett
“Living with Dying”
Written by Kal Rosenberg
Performed by Matt Lindsay
“State of Brotherly Love”
Written by Jameson Koenigsman
Performed by Adam Jalali
Written by Evans K. Newton
Performed by Ryan Glidewell
Written by Susan Rowan Masters
Performed by Alaina Manchester
Written by Holly Hofer
Performed by Katie Delvaux
Written by Art Crummer
Performed by Nick Hrutkay
Written by Celena Dong
Performed by Lizzy Snow
Written by Candace Clift
Performed by Alaina Manchester
“Change to Believe In”
Written by Michael P. Allard
Performed by Matt Lindsay
Organizations Participating inthe 2012 Community Action Fair:
Alachua County Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center
Blue Oven Kitchens
Buy Local North Central Florida
CDS Family and Behavioral Health Services
The Fine Print
Florida Defenders of the Environment
Meridian Behavioral Healthcare
Old Florida Heritage Highway (Scenic Byway)
PIPSA – Partners in Prevention of Substance Abuse
Rural Women’s Health Project
Monologues on Change:
WRITING PROMPT – Submissions should offer a response to the following:
Write a monologue in the voice of a character, real or invented, who wants to create change. Whether it's taking part in a community or global movement or making the first step toward improving our own personal circumstances, each change begins with a thought that prompts an action. In 200 to 300 words, write a monologue that explores your character’s journey toward change.
FORMAT – Submissions should be written in the form of a monologue. For this contest, a monologue is defined as: an extended speech by one character without interruption.
LENGTH – Monologues should be between 200 and 300 words, roughly one page.
CONTEST RULES – There is no entry fee. Submissions will be juried in two categories: Student (middle and high school) and Adult. Selected monologues will be performed by Hippodrome actors and HITT (Hippodrome Improvisational Teen Theatre) students at the Community Voices public theatre event on Monday, April 23. Only one original work may be submitted per writer. By submitting a monologue, the writer grants the Hippodrome Theatre permission to publish the monologue (in print or online) for archival, marketing or educational purposes.
HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR MONOLOGUE:
1. Compose an email or hand-typed/written cover letter with the following information: Name, Address, Email, Phone, Age, School (if a student), Organization affiliation (optional).
2. SUBMIT VIA EMAIL: Attach your monologue as an MS Word document (.doc file), or paste your typed monologue below your contact information. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or SUBMIT VIA MAIL OR IN PERSON: Mail or hand-deliver your cover page and monologue to: Hippodrome Theatre 25 SE 2nd Place Gainesville, FL 32601
Submission questions? Call Katie (352) 373-5968 ext 249 or email email@example.com
Monologue Submission Deadline: Friday, March 23
Official Monologue Selections Announced: Friday, April 13
Community Voices Event: Monday, April 23 at 6:00 pm
PAST COMMUNITY VOICES EVENTS
April 18, 2011
We put out a call for entries, and the community answered! Community members were invited to submit original one-page monologues that addressed community issues. Monologue submissions from youth and adults in the community were juried, and thirteen original monologues were chosen for public presentation. The monologues were performed by students from the HITT (Hippodrome Improvisational Teen Theatre) program and Hippodrome actors and staff. The performance was accompanied by a community action fair in which local service organizations were on-hand with information about their programs and volunteer opportunities.
Putting it in Words (Writing Workshop)
March 14, 2011
As a follow-up to “Finding a Voice,” this workshop offered participants an opportunity for the sharing of first draft monologues and peer review. Led by Hippodrome Dramaturg Tamerin Dygert, workshop participants exchanged critiques and experimented with writing prompts and exercises.
Finding a Voice (Writing Workshop)
March 5, 2011
Visiting playwright David Zellnik (Serendib, Yank!) conducted a writing workshop, focusing on monologues. The free, public workshop was offered to the community in preparation of the Community Voices event. Zellnik’s instruction focused on the development of character and point-of-view.
ADULT - OFFICIAL SELECTIONS FROM APRIL 2011
Newly Arrived From the Big Apple
by Kal Rosenberg
Newly arrived from The Big Apple in 1992, I went to the Hipp to get tickets for a play. “How much are your best seats,” I asked the lad who looked six years older than Bart Simpson. He declared all seats were fifteen dollars, smiled, thrust a diagram through the ominous glass barrier I imagined was bulletproof. (New Yorkers imagine stuff like that.)
“These seats are available,” pointing to the back row.
“Dude, that’s the last row.”
“Yes,” sez Bart, “That’s what’s left.”
“You want the same price as for the front row?”
“Listen, pal,” intoned through clenched teeth—New Yorkers clench a lot—“you must think I’m nuts. I ain’t giving you fifteen bucks to sit in the last row.”
Intimidated, Bart, mumbled, “Sir… there’s only eight rows.” I watched him count them on the diagram with his finger. I told myself, Okay—Gainesville Lesson One.
Embarrassed, I bought two tickets and slinked home during rush hour. I knew I’d wait a while at the intersection because it was bumper-to-bumper, I had to make a right, and there was no stoplight. As I practiced cursing, a car suddenly stopped. What’s with that idiot? Why’s he just stopping? Then he rolls his window down so I could see him motioning me to turn in front of him. Wow, I thought, that guy would live maybe eight seconds on the Long Island Expressway. Nine, tops. He actually let me go in front of him. A miracle: Gainesville Lesson Two.
by Matthew Lindsay
Not long ago my car’s clutch cable broke and I was rendered carless for a few months. At the time, I lived too far away from my job to walk or ride a bike, so my only option was to ride the bus. This was nothing new to me, as I had taken the bus while a grad student at UF. I rode the 20 onto campus; each way stuffed with flip-flop wearing undergrads busy cramming for a test or bobbing their heads to whatever was playing on their iPods. Riding the bus to UF was like taking a shuttle to an amusement park: in the morning, the bus was loud and stuffy, the talk excited and staccato. At night, the bus was filled with tired, groggy young people wearing T-shirts bearing the park’s grinning mascot, Albert. Heads bobbing again, but not to music, but to the movement of the bus as they half-dozed their way home.
So I was carless. I had to ride the bus. No big deal, I thought. Only now I had to transfer from one bus to another in order to get to where I needed to go. And it was when I boarded the 1 bus for the first time from one of its many stops along Museum Road that I encountered the rest of the bus-riding segment of the Gainesville community. The real bus riders, not those whose shiny, paid-for-by-daddy Honda was waiting for them back at the apartment complex, riding the bus only because it was more convenient. These were the people who needed the bus every day to get to work, school, or wherever. I was taken aback at first by the stark difference between the occupants of the 20 and those of the 1, each bus meeting at some junction between two worlds, connected by asphalt and exhaust. The 20 was a noisy, sweat-scented school bus, and the 1 was a cross-section of life here in Gainesville: students, and mothers with their babies, and workers, and even lawyers on their way to the county courthouse. Every time I rode the 20, I tuned the noise and the chatter and the tinny music out as best I could, but once I was on the 1, I relaxed. I talked to people I never would have spoken to otherwise, simply because I would have gone by them in my car.
I’m not saying that all UF students are spoiled brats, or that they shouldn’t ride RTS. Of course not. Public transportation is a necessity, and should be used by all who need it. But if you’re a car owner like me, and haven’t bothered to rake a ride on RTS, try it sometime. Notice who’s on it when you get on, and who’s on it when and where you get off. You’ll see what I’ve seen, a blatant reminder of where people live, and how cities like Gainesville, and so many others, are divided by the boundaries we impose on ourselves. The bus, on any given day, crosses those boundaries with each intersection it rumbles through.
by Patsy Murray
I sho’ appreciate the yard work, Miss Mary. I ain’t found no work since I got laid off from that motel two years ago. You know, the economy…
It’s hard to get around to find a job. My truck was broke up in an accident two years ago. They got that labor pool in Gainesville but you gotta be there at 5 in the morning. Can’t catch no ride at that time.
Me and my mama don’t get along too good. She let me stay in her shack behind the house, but she lock the door every time she leave. Guess she don’t trust me after I got out a prison. But I stayed out o’ trouble since the last time, which was three years ago.
Now my mama said I gotta get out. Last night I slept under some trees. Someone gave me a sleeping bag. Maybe I can sleep at the St. Francis House if they got room tonight.
What do I want most? I jes’ want me a little place in the county where I can live peaceable. But how am I gonna find me a job?
Got a letter from Social Services. My brother helped me read it. They cut off my food stamps ‘cause they need mo information. My friend did it on the computer for me, and I don’t know what information they need. I tried callin’ them, but I can’t never get to talk to nobody. Used up all my phone minutes. Oh, thank you, Miss Mary. If you write them a letter and explain what happened maybe I can get my food stamps back.
Miss Mary, I got me a Liberry card, and that nice lady to the liberry is helping me with readin’ on Thursdays. I’m goin’ to school now!
But I still need a job.
Breathing To Walk
by Deborah Thompson
Hypoxia Therapy to Cure Paralysis
First ever-human trials!
Do you know what it took for me to walk in here?
Can you imagine?
Six years of hard work, prayers, hope, tears, laughter, determination, research studies, doctors, nurses, therapists, and family.
One morning in Anchorage someone attempted to kill me. 10 stab wounds. One in the neck severed my spinal cord, leaving me paralyzed on the left side. Doctors said I’d never walk.
I returned to Florida scrunched up, clinging to a cane and falling frequently.
NE Florida’s leading spinal cord injury rehab facility rejected me. “There’s nothing we can do for you.”
I felt hopeless, seized with discouragement and had nowhere to turn.
But not for long…
There’s a gold mine, right here in Gainesville…The Brain Rehab Research Center at the VA Hospital. Scientists research new ways to cure paralysis. Participants receive free therapy and the latest neurological treatments.
They taught me to walk so well that I can keep pace with you and you and you, most of the time.
Hypoxia Therapy is the latest Buzzword, in spinal cord injury research. Breathing, to cure paralysis. The Center is looking for participants. Vet status not required.
I had a breathing mask strapped to my face. Each breath opened tiny valves to exchange ‘used up’ air for fresh oxygen.
Mesmerized by the rhythm, in and out, in and out, open and close, excitement welled inside me. I feel privileged to participate in this groundbreaking study.
Thoughts of Christopher Reeve’s braveness, and tireless work flooded my mind. His voice and commitment inspires people like me, and scientists laboring to cure paralysis.
Gratitude for him tugged at my heart.
Here I lie, reaping the benefits of a study Christopher never partook in.
This is Easy
by Kyle Strohmann
(Speaker: 15-year-old male)
Oh, great, Dad, there you are on TV again. Great! Giving yourself to everybody—everybody, everybody, everybody. Everybody in Gainesville can count on you, can’t they?
You are always there—always, always, always, you’re always there at six o’clock and eleven o’clock, they can count on it, you never let them down, no! No no no, you never let them down. “Hey, honey, the news is on, c’mon!, it’s Grant Ford, he’s great!”
The man at every dinner table. But see how empty this one is? No, you don’t see, this is a one-way conversation, that’s the way you like it, one-way, “I talk, you listen,” it’n it? IT’N IT?
What? “Speak correctly, James”—oh, but I can’t hear you, the volume’s all the way down, it’n it?
I talk, you listen. Where’s Mom? Huh? Look around, where’s Mom? She’s not here either.
“Oh, Peter!” You should hear the way she says it, sneakin’ into the pantry with her phone, she thinks I’m as stupid as you are. “Oh, Peter!”
Ha! And there you go again with that big, fake smile. Where do you get that thing? Does the make-up lady put it on you, then wipe it off with the pancake? You don’t ever bring it home.
Try smiling about this: you know what my shrink said today? Break a plate. Go outside, and break a plate. Then, glue it back together. He even gave me the plate, and the glue.
So here I go. This is easy.
by David Stringer
From your seat before the window you
lift from your chair and take flight
over Paynes Prairie – low at first,
skimming the barbed wire fence,
avoiding the still vacant blue bird house,
then gliding free, twisting over the grasses.
Startled egrets cock their heads
to look up, and sandhill cranes, yes,
crane their necks to see and cry their
raucous welcome to you, the newcomer.
You glide on silent wings over ponds
and marshes, the morning mists lifted,
the sun warm and golden, the breeze
strangely still. You lift yourself on soft
powerful wings, pass the stoic kestrel
standing sentinel on a leafless tree as
meadowlarks rise in alarm, gather, scatter,
and reassemble again in the grasses.
A great blue heron approaches and veers
away. You circle toward distant
trees edging the prairie, but no, in a graceful
turn you swerve back toward the house and me,
my coffee frozen inches from my lips, watching,
transfixed, my wife who was suddenly not
at my side eating breakfast. You skim low over
the reeds to check for frogs, then spy the bulls
ambling into the prairie and can’t resist bothering
them into a small stampede. You swoop
through our window, settle into your chair,
smooth your feathers, and nibble your toast.
by Art Crummer
I’d like to thank this parole board for asking me what-all happened. Which weren’t my fault.
The deal is, I was doing good. Had me a old truck, a solid delivery job, and rented me a trailer with a kitchen window, where I was frying eggs when I heard Cindy screaming at Mack from behind the glass door. He kept kicking it, sloshing beer from a can in his fist. “Let me the-hell back in, Cindy Lou. Stop it with the bawlin’ and open the fucken door.”
Course I remembered what y’all said. “Keep your nose clean.” I shut the window and cranked up Johnny Cash … Music settles my mind.
I heard a car door slam and his Chevy roar off. Cindy glanced at my window before running back inside. After work, mostly, I eat at the diner where she waitresses. Seems friendly enough. Works her shift. Don’t say much.
Anyways, the next Saturday, I’m working in the yard. Wheel bearings.
Cindy, she come out humming a tune, and brought me over a sweet tea. She was used to me from the diner. The black and blue was faded.
So she’s in her lawn chair reading the WANTEDs when his Chevy cruises up. She stands, punches at her phone, and holds it up, her knuckles all white. “Cops coming. You got court orders.” Her other hand was inside her housecoat. He scratched off.
She picked up her paper, and waved to me. I figured no harm waving back from my own kitchen window. That’s when Mack, he come running between the bushes, and grabbed her.
They was wrestling for the gun when I tackled him.
I’m sorry he got shot. I needed to help, though.
Whaddaya gonna do?
8th Grade Sarah
by Nancy Hastie
Aw, Miss…I’m so happy you’re back! That lady tha’ was in here, she was ME-EAN! She look at me and star’ yellin’ cuz I was speakin’ in Spanish, ya know? Cuz Renee here just wanted to know how to say somethin’ in Spanish, ya know? So I was tellin’ her…and I wasn’ being loud, or rude…and she like, she was like all over me right away sayin’, “You pretendin’ you don’ understand me? Just cuz I’m a sub? I took four years of Spanish, I’ll have you know!” She went on an’ on. Miss, tha’ woman crazy! I ditn’ do nothin’! And here she is all up in my stuff tellin’ me that I’m rude. She’s rude! Miss, don’ let her come back here. I’m so glad you’re back…Then, you know what? You know what I did? I was jus’ sittin’ here when she was goin’ on and on and like yellin’, Miss! She was like yellin’ at me! For no reason! I came into class and sat in my seat and was talkin’ to Renee and the bell ditn’ even ring yet, so I said somethin’ bad to her in Spanish, well, not really bad, you know, but I said something’ mean to her…in Spanish…but I wouldn’ do that to you, Miss, you know? You and I talk and stuff but she was jus’ rude as soon as I walk in the room she started with me. Do you know you’re the only teacher tha’ I talk to? Math, well, I don’ really care about that, and science…I do my work and stuff but I don’ really talk to the teacher or nothin’ and reading…well, I usually jus’ fall asleep in there cuz I don’ like reading. You’re the only one that talks to me, Miss.
YOUTH – OFFICIAL SELECTIONS FROM APRIL 2011
Boy if You Don’t Pull Your Pants Up!
by Johntelle Lewis
Boy if you don’t pull your pants up!... I don’t know why ya’ll young folks wear your pants down to your ankles. I also don’t know why you hang out with them thugs you call friends- all they do is get you into trouble running the streets and stealing. I remember back when I was your age and a gallon of gas was 25 cent. If my mom seen me with my pants like that she would beat me the same color as them pants. Back when I was young I was in the house before the street lights came on- now you come and go as you please. Don’t be rolling your eyes at me I’m being serious. When I was your age I answered my mom and dad yes sir, yes ma’am. No sir and no ma’am. When they told me to do something I got up the first time because I know that if I didn’t my mom would slap me into next week. You walk around the house and listen to all that nasty rap music about money, slapping a girl and selling drugs. Back in my day we ain’t have all that nasty music- we listened to music about treating a woman like a queen. Now you young folks call them the female dogs and garden tools- if my mom heard me call a woman that, my butt would be the same color as that black pole. It’s not just ya’ll little boys it’s also them girls wearing them short skirts with tattoos everywhere. It’s just nasty- back in my day ladies wore skirts down to their ankles and they carried their self in a good manner. Did you know I walked outside and I seen 3 little fast girls walking down the road, stomach as big as this house. I pray to god that you ain’t knock one of them up. Your mom told me about your report card- what do you do in school? I told your mom she should have raised you right like I was raised and I bet your grades would be better. What college do you think you’re going to? Because with grades like that you won’t be able to get into clown college. I can see you’re trying to get out the door- go ahead and go but don’t do nothing stupid. I think it’s time for Grandpa to take a nap.
When I Decided to Become a Math Teacher
by Brandon Matthews
When I decided to become a math teacher, I had no idea it would be like this. It’s the same, day after day, with few variations. I start teaching, and the second I turn my back, the students make disgusting comments, chew gum, tease each other, and a few actually do dances on their desks! They put almost zero effort into their work. On the question 2+2, one student wrote “chair”. Then, there’s the excuses they come up with for not doing their homework. These students would be geniuses at creative writing. The excuses range from “My dog ate my homework” to “I accidentally spilled white paint all over my homework”. When I assign any work to them, they all groan. I’m certain that they don’t think about it, and just do it to annoy me. Once, I told them that their work would be to go home early, they groaned, realized what they had groaned at, and then cheered, until I told them I was joking. Then they started groaning again. I don’t even get a decent salary! Honestly, if it weren’t for minimum wage, I’m sure they’d pay me a quarter once a week. I think I’m just going to quit and find a nice, easy, stress-free job defusing bombs!
S.O.S. (Save our Squirrels)
by Sarah Merritt
Do you ever feel that there isn’t enough space being reserved for squirrels in Gainesville? I mean, honestly, if we want to have lots of squirrels in Gainesville, we need to keep those areas we already have for them safe, instead of tearing them down to build another Walgreens, or Publix. Think of all the poor squirrels. One of the most common causes of squirrels dying is by getting hit by a car. This wouldn’t happen if squirrels didn’t have to make their habitat so close to the road. I mean, sure there is enough space in Gainesville, but it isn’t necessarily safe for them.
Last week we took our puppy to the vet. Right next to Shores Animal Hospital was a large piece of land with lots of trees. But I noticed something strange. The trees were gone. I learned that the reason they were tearing apart the piece of land was to build a bigger and better Shores right next to the old one. And honestly if that place has been in business in that location for 39 years it can do it for another 5 years, at least. Each time something like this happens, squirrels are being pushed back farther and farther. I think it is time we think more about the habitats we are destroying before we think about the animal hospital we are rebuilding.
Hey… I Know You See Me Down Here!
by Megan Rouse
Hey… I know you see me down here! How dare you step on me! No, I won’t move- I live here! I’ve lived in this same spot for almost five years and I ain’t moving for nobody that is walking on the street just trying to start a problem. And let me tell you, son, I’m too old to be fighting out here, but if you kick me one more time, imma give the whopping yo’ mama should’ve given you, now try me! Boy, you better… You see, one day, imma be president and when I do, it’s gonna be people like you that are gonna try to hold me back, or say stuff to me to bring me down or DO… stuff to make me angry.
OK kid, listen to what I’m trying to say- if I can make it in this world, so can you. But the way you’re acting now shows me that its gonna take some time and hard work, so imma tell you now tighten up and do what you supposed to be doing, and that don’t mean kick your elders! Ya feel me young blood? Now I don’t want you to go telling yo’ mama that you just got a lecture from a talking stray dog, tell her you just got a lecture from a talking stray dog that’s going to be our next president of the United States! Oh and don’t forget to tell her that becoming the president is about two things: being boss and getting money, and when I get money imma buy a whole bag of something just for you! Are you sure yo’ wanna know what it is?? OK, well dang kid, if you wanna know so bad… well, I’m going to give your mother hand made, 100%, leather belts! YEA you better run!
I Have My Reasons
by Florita Reese
People always ask me why I became a teacher, why put up with kids all day. I always tell them that I don’t do it for the money, I do it because it makes me happy to know that I’m educating the future scientists, CEOs and inventors. Also it’s just the smiles on their faces. Being with kids all day can be stressful but to me, there’s no other feeling like it.
But there are always the few students who are questionable. Because you never know what kind of people they’re going home to. Since you’re getting different kids from different backgrounds, you never really know what’s going on at home. I only want the best for my students, because when they walk into my classroom they’re my responsibility.