New multimedia show "The Animal Monologues" returns to Los Angeles 2/23/19
Forest confessionals, filmic fables, and electro-orchestral soundscapes fill the world of “The Animal Monologues,” where the wild and (allegedly) civilized live side by side. Lush with campy, lo-fi video, live vocal effects, soulful masks, and a fast-moving, poetic, humorous performance, playwright and musician Amy Raasch gives voice to humans and animals trapped together in an urban landscape, as the lines between them become blurrier by the day.
"'The Animal Monologues' explores courage, resilience, gentleness — traits inherent in the animal kingdom that humans need to re-discover. Each animal’s perspective provides a refreshingly pure point-of-view about topics that that dominate today’s headlines...What a wonderfully wild way to view the world!” - Dana Martin, Stage Raw
“Animal characters that are spoken, written and performed impeccably by Amy Raasch take us through a spectrum of human fears, sadness, joy and a multitude of life complications with a deft simplicity that is as hilarious as it is biting.” - Discover Hollywood
"Artist-actor Amy Raasch shines a fascinating light into the world we live in by telling her stories from the point of view of animals." - LA Weekly
"Fast-moving, entertaining, and full of heart" - Broadway World
Descendent of Last Living 9/11 Search & Rescue Dog Urges Hope and a Donkey Takes A Knee in Amy Raasch’s “The Animal Monologues”
New multimedia show opens at Bootleg Theater Los Angeles October 25
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Los Angeles, CA – September 26, 2018
Winner of Son of Semele Theatre Company’s Solo Creation Festival 2017, media installation artist Amy Raasch follows her recent NYC debut with a handful of timely new characters in a freshly-expanded version of her new multimedia show, “The Animal Monologues,” opening at the Bootleg Theater as part of the Solo Queens Festival in Los Angeles October 25.
Fast-moving, entertaining, and full of heart, the piece features the hopeful perspective of a 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 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 whose legacy has inspired a new generation of activists.”
Turning her idiosyncratic lens on current events to Colin Kaepernick’s activism, Raasch proffers a wise donkey’s perspective of the late-2017 Twitter roasting of an anti-protest protest song by an unknown country singer entitled, “Take A Knee, My Ass (I Won’t Take a Knee).”
Directed by LA Drama Critics Circle Award winner Matthew McCray, “The Animal Monologues” hits home with up-to-the-minute fables that address how humans contend with the wildness in their neighborhoods and inside their own skins. Vibrant with campy, lo-fi video, soulful masks, vocal effects, and an evocative, electro-orchestral score by go-to “Nashville” songwriter and Sundance Institute Fellow David Poe, the lively, uncategorizable piece has captivated audiences in theaters and rock clubs alike. The event also interweaves Raasch’s short film, “Cat Bird Coyote,” winner of the Los Angeles Independent and Big Apple International Film Festivals and Official Selection of 17 fests, animated by Annie Award nominee Tahnee Gehm.
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. Stories told from the viewpoint of animals, who we tend to perceive as innocent, provide a way to view life experience outside the cultural programming that can precipitate unconscious judgments of people before we even know their names.”
An adoptee herself, Raasch has always had a soft spot for homeless animals. Her web installation, “KITTY DECIDES,” benefits animal rescue and has become a stealth feminist slogan seen at the past two Women’s Marches. Trained at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Raasch has appeared in several productions for theater and feature film, including Stephen Chbosky’s “the four corners of nowhere,” and recently contributed music to Sony Classics release, “The Diary Of A Teenage Girl.” Raasch’s 2018 album of quirky electro-pop, “GIRLS GET COLD,” is out now.
Bootleg Theater, named by Time Out as one of Los Angeles' "best performing arts centers," is a gathering place, a large 1930's warehouse, a home and a watering hole for adventurous Los Angeles performing artists and their audiences. The Bootleg’s uniquely beautiful, nontraditional theater space inspires and compels artists and companies to create daring, genre-bending, striking performance events. Bootleg has a fierce belief in the power of the feminine in art to create change in the world and is proud to present SOLO QUEENS FEST 2, which celebrates the feminine life experience.
Tickets for "The Animal Monologues" are available online at http://theanimalmonologues.com (showtimes vary). Tickets are $15 Stud/Sen, $20 GA ($20/$25 at the door) and group discounts are available. Tickets for Amy’s workshop, "The Animal Inside: Writing from Character" are $30. Bootleg Theater is located at 2220 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90057. Free parking is available at the church across the street at the intersection of Beverly and Roselake.
The Animal Monologues is a new solo multimedia work for theatre that explores the animalistic behavior of humans in love -- and the humanistic behavior of animals in love -- through forest confessionals, filmic fables, and original songs.
As their intersecting habitats come alive with projections, masks, and soundscapes ranging from orchestral to electronic, playwright and performing musician Amy Raasch gives voice to animals and humans animals living side by side in the urban sprawl.
A scientist installs a microchip in the throat of a bird, then plays it like a piano.
Ever unable to capture the animal energy that throws her out of control, the scientist begins to morph into her subjects. Her voice drops to the growling register of a murderous bear, a lonely mountain lion caged by freeways, an objectified Fawn, a Total Fox.
There are human animals, too. A secretary wonders whether someone she doesn’t want to kiss is a good kisser, while outside, coyotes fill their mouths with her trash.
A DJ rocks the all-night clubs to quell memories of her mother’s oxygen tank and her declining father’s hand clinging to the remote control. The call of the newborn fledgling outside her window at 5AM won't let her forget.
The aim is to produce a unique take on traditional themes: expression and repression, dominance and submission, sexuality and faith; to show how suppression and control can be transformed into liberation and wholeness.
Animals are as void of conscience as predatory lenders, as persistent as addicts, as ritualistic as priests -- lustful, loyal, even loving – but all for mostly pragmatic reasons which describe so many "modern" relationships. The Animal Monologues examines animal energy in an effort to harness, rather than be ruled by, the animal in all of us.