Students are invited to work with Playwright Brandon Monokian as he offers a mini-residency on campus to develop two of his comedies.
The HWS Theatre Department will welcome playwright Brandon Monokian to campus for a mini residency to develop two of his comedies. Student actors will have a chance to read and discuss Monokian’s plays on Friday, April 29 and then to share one in a public Work-in-Progress Staged Reading on Saturday, April 30 at 1 p.m. in McDonald Theatre. Participants should be available from 4-10 p.m. on April 29 and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on April 30. Register by contacting Associate Professor of Theatre Chris Woodworth.
“Brandon and I met in Arlene Hutton’s playwriting master class through The Barrow Group in New York City,” says Woodworth. “We’d be workshopping his plays and I’d be laughing so hard I could sometimes hardly even speak the stage directions! He creates vivid characters and deploys humor in such a refreshing way! I cannot wait for our students to encounter his smart, biting and hilarious work.”
Monokian’s comedies that will be presented include Quiche, the story of teenage serial killer Danica who is on a quest to sacrifice 75 hearts to Aphrodite, Goddess of Love by Valentine’s Day. Can she manage that and still find time to study for the big math test? The other work is Zombie Cheerleaders, A Teenage Witch, & The Demonic Voice On The Other End of the Phone. In this play, characters Claire, Denine and Stacey are your typical teenage girls who are trying to make it to the end of the school year without eating any more fellow students or else they’ll get expelled. When a witch named Trinity transfers to their school, students start to go missing and suspicions start to rise. And who is this demonic voice on the other end of the phone?
In his artist statement, Monokian says, “I’m an Armenian American Queer artist who writes absurdist pieces with a pop culture sensibility. I would describe my work as somewhere between José Rivera’s Marisol and The Real Housewives of New York City.” He is also an ordained minister and can be followed on instagram @brandonmonokian and @lovedrunklife
His other work includes writing and starring in the musical theatre mockumentary Happy Yummy Chicken which features cast members from Encanto, Orange is the New Black, How Stella Got Her Groove Back and more. The film is available on NBC’s Peacock Network, iTunes, Amazon and more. Monokian’s writing credits include the short film Tree Time, two seasons as a writer for John Wascavage’s SMASH’d and the play amethyst,. which was written for EveryLibrary’s 2019 Artist in Residence.
In addition, Monokian’s infamous and once popular Twitter character Theatre Critic Trump, which imagined Donald Trump as a theatre critic, spawned the books Theatre Critic Trump’s Bigly Yuge Guide to Booking Broadway & Beyond: Volume 1 and Call Me By Your Stage Name. Monokian co-created the NEH Grant funded Page to Stage program with librarian Janie Hermann for the Princeton Public Library which presented free readings of plays adapted from literature. He co-founded the company Love Drunk Life with Katie Frazer and together they have produced plays, films, books and a product line for theatre artists. Favorite acting credits include Katie Pearl and Lisa D’Amour’s eight-hour piece How to Build a Forest and Charlotte Lang’s That Feeling When You’re The County Sheriff.