Headspace Theatre

Available online
November 6 – 29

monologues by
Richard Strand, James Menges, Jack Helbig, Robin Rice, Joan Ackermann, Cristina Luzárraga

from the book
Monologues for Headspace Theatre: Radical Thinking Inside a Box
, Michael Bigelow Dixon, ed.

Headspace collage

A small space for big ideas, Headspace Theater is a collection of monologues performed by actors with their heads…in a box. (Yes, you read that correctly!) Compiled by frequent Commonweal collaborator Michael Bigelow Dixon (who directed hits like To Kill a Mockingbird, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, and On the Verge) playwrights around the country have created a series of monologues that push the boundaries of traditional storytelling, emphasizing the characters’ internal lives. At once quirky, humorous and absurd, Headspace Theatre offers us the opportunity to be intimate with the actor and story, even in this time when we must be apart.

PLEASE NOTE:

Some of these Headspace Theatre pieces contains adult language.
Run time is approximately 1 hour.

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

From the Director

We theater professionals find ourselves in a unique time, in a unique set of circumstances. With a plague raging all around us, making our art form one of the most dangerous activities one can engage in (a room full of strangers sitting in an enclosed space for up to two hours, breathing the same air), we are presented with circumstances that cry out for examining new forms.

Thanks to our dear friend Michael Bigelow Dixon, we have discovered a form that fits perfectly—headspace theater. The following presentation answers the question, “what if all you had to communicate with is your head—your face and, more importantly, your mind?” Michael reached out to playwrights around the world and received 175 responses from almost as many playwrights.

The result is an evening of monologues, widely disparate in their subject matter, from an equally diverse set of characters, who choose to explore what it’s like to exist in these conditions. I am excited to see what great art will emerge for I have long believed that the best art comes from working within very specific, very defined limits. Exploring within the box yields tremendous creativity, some would argue even more than if one has the freedom to work outside the box. So please, do enjoy what happens inside the box. We give you—Headspace Theatre.

—Hal Cropp

From the Collection’s Editor

It’s a strange idea to begin with. It flies in the face of theatrical trends in terms of physical movement. It restricts the actor severely. It requires that playwrights start with the setting, and then find characters and metaphors to fill it. It’s definitely not suited for realistic stage conventions. It seems completely out of synch with the times. And yet…

There’s something to it. The image refuses to fade. It takes root in your brain, this head in a box, speaking to you, telling you a story. If you encountered that on the street, of course you’d stop and listen—if you didn’t run away. Its hypnotic appeal defies rational explanation. It’s dream-like yet tangible, impossible yet very much present. It definitely deserves further investigation.

—Michael Bigelow Dixon