Brandon Monokian is a theatre artist who works in the New York City and New Jersey area. For the Page to Stage guest blog series, Brandon will document the process of bringing three works from the page to the stage – all in the Princeton Public Library.
by Brandon Monokian
And so a second season of Page to Stage has come to an end! This season was filled with challenging, poetic text that, spoken out loud, managed to transform the community room of the library into a theater.
We were able to choose plays that helped serve the Princeton Public Library’s pre-existing programs in the form of Einstein’s Dreams and The Arabian Nights, complimenting their Pi Day and Summer Nights programing respectively. We also presented engaging work for high schoolers in the form of Freak, and brought back a Page to Stage favorite from our first season, Eurydice.
I learned a lot this summer from continued work with the library, and as the program continues to grow I hope to more tailor the play selection to their already vibrant myriad of community activities. I also learned a lot from the plays themselves. In Eurydice, a tale of a bride who dies tragically on her wedding day and must chose between staying in the underworld with her father or returning to the surface world with her husband, I learned that second chances can often be complicated.
In The Arabian Nights which ends with the most beautiful music in the world (silence) and an accompanying dance (a series of every day gestures), I learned to pay more attention to the beauty of the world around me, and so much of what we desire, we already have.
In Freak, a take off the Pygmalion myth of a sculpture who falls in love with his statue brought to life, I learned that in our relationships with people we at times can be the sculptor or the sculpted, and to never take for granted the influence of those we meet in passing. And in Einstein’s Dreams I learned that an obsession with our relationship to time doesn’t allow us to take time for things that actually matter, such as our relationships with one another.
The plays selected were as rich and compelling as their source material. As we move forward I hope to continue to present challenging material that deserve more productions, and continue to display literature in an animated, engaging manner. I couldn’t be more thankful for the support of the Princeton Public Library and their commitment to literature, young artists and serving their community. I also am in deep gratitude to the Library As Incubator Project for allowing me to share my experiences this summer; a summer of growth both artistically and personally, with much of my personal growth coming from lessons I learned in the library.
Up next for Brandon Monokian are new works In Development and Grimm Women. In Developmentis a new multidisciplinary theatre piece Monokian co-created starring award winning film, television and Broadway actress Suzzanne Douglas, written by Yorri J. Berry with music by members of the Grammy Award winning Sweet Honey in the Rock, Louise Robinson and Carol Maillard. Grimm Women is a modern and outrageous riff on the Brother’s Grimm fairy tales written by Monokian and starring Style Network “Jerseylicious” and “Glam Fairy” stars Briella Calafiore and Jessica Romano.
Follow In Development, Grimm Women and Brandon Monokian on Twitter check out @indevelopplay, @GrimmWomen & @brandonmonokianPin It