Hooker-Dunham inaugurates writing and acting workshop group

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BRATTLEBORO — The Hooker-Dunham Theater and Gallery is launching a new "incubator" project designed to give developing artists — both in the performing and the visual arts — an opportunity to hone their skills. On April 15, from 7 to 9 p.m., the Hooker-Dunham will host a group for writers and actors who will meet bi-weekly to discuss their work, to read works-in-progress, and to present their work to each other on the Hooker-Dunham stage. The group, facilitated by Cassandra Holloway and theater manager Jon Mack, will meet every other Sunday for a series of six sessions. Anyone who wishes to participate may join the group.

While the Hooker-Dunham Theater and Gallery has long been a showcase for polished work of accomplished performers and artists, it has also been a space where artists and performers have the opportunity to develop their skills. Both the gallery and the theater have shown themselves to be well-suited for this role as an incubator of aspirational artists. The Hooker-Dunham's gallery, for example has for the past several years hosted shows of student work from the In-Sight Photography Project, and continues to have a permanent section of the gallery Since 2016, the Hooker-Dunham has hosted the AxWound Festival that has attracted international attention. The festival features independent horror films written and directed by women who have found this medium a means of offering striking re-imaginings of horror themes from a woman's standpoint — a stark contrast to the often violently anti-feminist traditional horror themes. Many stand-up comedians, magicians, and mentalists have found the Hooker-Dunham an ideal site to develop their acts.

It is in this spirit of being an "incubator" that the theater's most recent project brings playwrights and actors to work together to develop their skills. "I've long been a believer in peer support as fundamental to creative development," said Jon Mack, manager of the Hooker-Dunham.

The theater has grown to the point that it hosts a resident theater company, Shoot the Moon, which continually presses the edge of the envelop with exciting work that challenges theatrical conventions. The Hooker-Dunham also frequently hosts exciting productions of the Vermont Theatre Company, including their production of Athol Fugard's "Road to Mecca."

If participants feel they are benefiting from the sessions, the first set of six sessions will be continued. Participants may choose to present their work in performances open to the public.

If interested in participating, send via email to HDTandG@sover.net or via the Contact page at hookerdunham.org.




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